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Who's most likely to be traded before the NFL draft?
Who's most likely to be traded before the NFL draft?
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The April 25-26 NFL draft could drive trades that send notable players to new destinations. USA TODAY examines some of the players who could be changing locations in trades before or during the draft.
-- Anquan Boldin, Cardinals WR: Boldin has complained that his contract is undervalued since last season, and the Cardinals have begun talks on a renegotiated deal. But there have been bad feelings on both sides. And on Wednesday the Cardinals acknowledged they will entertain trade offers for the wideout. Boldin said in February that he didn't think the relationship could be repaired, though he later softened his remarks. The presence of Pro Bowler Larry Fitzgerald and the promising Steve Breaston would make dealing Boldin more palatable for the Cardinals. Philadelphia and the N.Y. Giants could both be potential destinations, and Boldin also said he "would love to" play for the Dolphins.
-- Braylon Edwards, Browns WR: Edwards is due to be a free agent after next season and could net a valuable draft pick or two for the rebuilding Browns. Former teammate Kellen Winslow, whom the Browns traded to the Bucs in February, said Edwards would love to play for the Giants, who need a featured receiver after cutting Plaxico Burress. "New York would be a great fit for him," Winslow told Sirius satellite radio.
-- Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs TE: The former Kansas City regime held off trading Gonzalez at last year's deadline. Gonzalez, 33, has said he's happy in Kansas City, but would like a chance to win a Super Bowl. NFL Network analyst Mike Lombardi reported on Monday he's "80-85% certain" the Chiefs would trade Gonzalez before the draft and mentioned Atlanta as a potential landing spot. New Chiefs GM Scott Pioli might be looking to extract a second-round pick for the 10-time Pro Bowler.
-- Chad Ocho Cinco, Bengals WR: Unlike last offseason, Ocho Cinco and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, haven't been openly campaigning for a trade this year. But Ocho Cinco hasn't reported to Cincinnati's offseason workouts. The Eagles, who own two first-round draft picks, or Raiders might be interested in dealing for him. But with T.J. Houshmandzadeh gone to Seattle, the Bengals will need a receiver with the Pro Bowl talent Ocho Cinco flashed from 2003-2007.
-- Julius Peppers, Panthers DE: Carolina placed the franchise tag on Peppers, and until he signs the team's contract tender the Panthers can't trade him. But Peppers has said he wants out of Carolina. NFL.com reported in March that the Patriots were interested, but coach Bill Belichick diffused the rumor. Peppers would command more than $16 million in salary if he returns to Carolina on the franchise tender. If Peppers, 29, is insistent that he doesn't want to return to Carolina, the Panthers could try to leverage a high draft pick, or more, in return for the four-time Pro Bowler.
-- Jason Peters, Bills LT: Peters has wanted a new contract since last summer, when held out out of camp and didn't report until after the season started. Peters, a Pro Bowler the last two seasons, has two more years left on his deal. The Bills, who have been discussing a renegotiated contract with Peters, might see trading Peters a better option than waging a contract standoff again this summer. The Eagles could have interest in Peters, who would probably net the Bills at least a first-round pick.
-- Brady Quinn, Browns QB: Publicly the Browns have said Quinn, the 22nd overall pick in 2007, will compete with Derek Anderson to be the starter this season. But rumors of a potential trade won't die. Quinn was linked to the Jay Cutler negotiations before the Broncos and Bears agreed to a deal. And the National Football Post reported this week that the Browns have an offer of a first-round pick for Quinn. If new coach Eric Mangini doesn't have confidence in Quinn, another team will be willing to give the former Notre Dame standout a chance.
UNLIKELY, BUT KEEP AN EYE ON
-- Derek Anderson, Browns QB: There haven't been trade rumors surrounding Anderson as they have been his teammate, Brady Quinn. But if the Browns are willing to discuss a trade for Quinn, it's not a stretch to think they'd consider a deal for Anderson, a 2007 Pro Bowler who lost his starting job to Quinn last season.
-- Marc Bulger, Rams QB: Early in the offseason, Bulger was linked to the Jets in trade rumors. The Rams gave Bulger a six-year, $65 million deal in 2007, but it's possible they'd consider trading him and drafting a Matthew Stafford or Mark Sanchez. They signed former Ravens QB Kyle Boller, who could be a stopgap starter in such a scenario.
-- Jason Campbell, Redskins QB: After trying to acquire Jay Cutler, Redskins officials had to try to patch up their relationship with Campbell, the team's starter since 2006. Campbell has just one year left on his contract. Trading him is unlikely unless the Redskins find a capable replacement to start right away.
-- Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks QB: At 33, Hasselbeck, despite missing nine games last year with a back ailment, still could have several productive seasons ahead of him. He could interest a QB-hungry team such as the Jets or Redskins, though there has been no buzz linking those teams to him. Many mock drafts have Seattle targeting a QB such as Mark Sanchez, so if nothing else the Seahawks may be considering life after Hasselbeck.
-- Larry Johnson, Chiefs RB: Johnson has backed off earlier comments that he wanted to be dealt. After a grievance ruling said the Chiefs were not bound to pay Johnson the money that was previously guaranteed in his contract (after his suspension for violating the NFL personal conduct policy), the running back has been open to playing in Kansas City again. He has been participating in the team's voluntary workout program. His trade value is diminished, however, after injuries, two subpar seasons and several off-field transgressions.
-- Levi Jones, Bengals LT: Jones could be on thin ice if the Bengals decide to draft a tackle such as Andre Smith in the first round, when they pick sixth. The Chicago Sun-Times reported in March that the Bengals were trying to deal him. His fate could rest on who else the Bengals have available.
-- Aaron Kampman, Packers DE: Kampman is a better fit for the 4-3 defense the Packers are abandoning in favor of a 3-4 set. But he's also a two-time Pro Bowler with 37 sacks in the past three seasons, and the Packers need pass rushers. Green Bay could decide that Kampman, 29, isn't a great fit for the new scheme and start over.
-- Matt Leinart, Cardinals QB: Leinart's place as Arizona's quarterback of the future was interrupted when Kurt Warner won the starting job last summer and took the Cardinals to the Super Bowl. Still, Leinart, 25, represents the quarterback of the future to somebody. A QB-hungry team might convince the Cardinals, who signed Warner to a two-year deal in March, that a high draft pick now is worth more than Leinart's potential.
-- Michael Vick, Falcons QB: Atlanta has publicly said it wants to trade the suspended and imprisoned quarterback, who plans to apply for reinstatement after his sentence ends in July. But Vick's hefty contract and the uncertainty about his value and public perception if he returns to a roster make a trade unlikely. The Falcons will probably have to cut him.
-- Vince Young, Titans QB: While Titans coach Jeff Fisher has publicly said Young could reclaim the Titans' starting role someday, that day won't be soon. Kerry Collins, 36, re-signed in Tennessee, and the team is committed to him as starter. The Titans also signed Patrick Ramsey as a backup, and he'll have a chance to win the No. 2 job from Young. The market for Young won't be much, but if the Titans could get value in return for the third overall pick from 2006, they might decide to cut their losses.
Posted by Sean Leahy at 01:13 AM/ET, April 16, 2009 | Permalink