Wide receiver has been the most talked about position in the NFL this past week, with Antonio Brown landing with the Raiders and Odell Beckham finding a home with the Browns. Most of the top free agent receivers like Golden Tate and Adam Humphries are off the board.
That leaves several NFL teams with weak wide receiver corps and antsy fan bases.
One solution could be a potential trade for Bengals star receiver AJ Green. Green is entering the final year of his contract with Cincinnati and an extension does not appear to be coming any time soon. Bengals ownership has always been stingy and with what looks to be a rebuilding season on the horizon, the best move this off-season may be trading the face of their franchise.
New head coach Zac Taylor is from Sean McVay’s infant coaching tree, but will be unable to replicate the Rams formula roster-wise. The Rams signed and traded for every big name under the sun last off-season. That’s not happening in Cincinnati.
Owner Mike Brown would much rather prefer Taylor build up the team through the draft, and trading away Green would yield quite the draft haul.
There has been buzz around the NFL in the past week regarding a potential Green trade, but nothing concrete has come forth.
“AJ Green is an enormously talented WR,” Chad Ryan of Redskins Capital Connection tweeted this week. “He’ll also be 31 years old at the start of this season, has had some injury troubles, and is entering the last year of a four-year $60 million deal, meaning he’s looking for one last pay day. If Redskins are looking to trade for a WR, go younger IMO.”
Indeed the Redskins are one of the teams that make sense when it comes to a Green trade.
“I keep hearing Redskins want to upgrade at WR,” JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington tweeted. “A source tells me that’s not confined to free agency and the team could be looking at trades. Heard ‘big splash’ more than once.”
The Packers are a team that was thought to be possibly in on the Antonio Brown trade talks but those never got serious. But with three picks inside the top 50 of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Packers will be one of the prime candidates to make a monster trade in the next few weeks. Drafting young kids won’t appease Aaron Rodgers at this point. A trade for a veteran receiver certainly would.
Green Bay’s rival in Chicago could also use a top of the line receiving option. Chicago restructured Khalil Mack’s salary to a bonus this week to create some cap room but the signing of Ha-Ha Clinton Dix may have nixed any chance of the Bears making a “big splash” on offense.
Then, of course, there are the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots who almost always hibernate during the first few days of free agency and then scoop up all the scraps left behind. The Pats were in the mix for Tate and Humphries but whiffed when the money got too high. Bill Belichick has shown that he will pay market value when the return is great enough, and Green is one of the few receivers in the league that lives up to his hefty contract.
Five years ago, the Patriots brought on high-priced cornerback Darrelle Revis in a trade. In essence, the Pats rented Revis for one year – allowing him to up his free agency worth with a Super Bowl run. New England could now do the same for the championship-starved Green.
The Patriots have three picks in the first two rounds of the 2019 draft and have compensatory picks up the ying-yang. The Pats are another team that will no doubt make a trade between now and draft night. Just how big of a trade remains to be seen.