The NFL is becoming more and more like the NBA as the have-nots are ready to deal big money players to top contenders in exchange for future draft picks.
The 2-5 Broncos are prepping to trade wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders following their latest loss, and we could see even more teams enter the seller’s market over the course of the next week with the trade deadline coming on Oct. 29. If the Buccaneers fall on the road to the Titans this coming Sunday and drop to 2-5, expect general manager Jason Licht to survey the land and look to trade off high-priced talent.
Licht recently signed a five-year contract extension and seemingly has complete power to rebuild Tampa Bay the way he sees fit.
Wide receiver Mike Evans hasn’t lived up to his contract this season as he’s already had multiple no-shows (zero catches against the Saints, two catches against the 49ers). The Buccaneers have a huge decision coming up when it comes to their wide receiving corps as Chris Godwin is set to become a free agent in 2021. The Buccaneers cannot afford to be paying enormous money to two receivers, so it’s likely that either Godwin or Evans will be out the door within the next 12 months or so.
Licht knows that trading either receiver would give the Bucs a massive haul, considering that the Jaguars just got two first rounders and a fourth for Jalen Ramsey. Evans would command even more draft capital.
The Patriots remain the top destination for all of these top receivers on the trade market as there has been an enormous amount of trade smoke coming from Bill Belichick’s tipi. That said, the Pats need to do some major cap maneuvering to fit a big contract under their umbrella. Belichick made multiple transactions last week, laying the groundwork to clear even more cap space but it still may not be enough to bring on a player that’s making over $9 million this season.
The Eagles have also continuously been mentioned as a team that will make a big splash at the trade deadline, though Howie Roseman may now hesitate on giving up a hefty amount of draft capital given that his team looks like it’s going nowhere in 2019.
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Interestingly enough, the Steelers are a team that could be buyers at the deadline. Pittsburgh will likely move to 3-4 next week, as they have the Dolphins at home on Monday Night Football, and GM Kevin Colbert believes that this team can make the postseason as evidenced by the trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick last month.
Wide receiver is definitely a need for the Steelers, as JuJu Smith-Shuster has shown that he can thrive as a 1A behind a like No. 1 like Evans.
All of this said, an in-season trade for a name as big as Evans is unlikely. If Licht does decide to roll with Godwin over Evans long-term, then a trade will likely transpire this off-season.