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7 blockbuster NFL trades we’d like to see ahead of the 2019 season

For The Win logo For The Win 6/19/2019 Henry McKenna
a group of people playing football on a field: Getty © Getty Getty

The NFL offseason has taken a sleepy turn. Let's change that.

We've actually seen a few real, actual blockbuster trades in recent months, with receivers Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham, quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Ryan Tannehill and pass-rushers Frank Clark, Dee Ford and Olivier Vernon all moving to new teams. Why stop now?

Mandatory minicamp is over, which probably affirmed for coaches that what they expected to be their glaring weakness is, indeed, a glaring weakness. Or that the unhappy player is still a problem. These issues won't fix themselves. In order for a team to fill a need or ditch an unhappy player, they may have to make a trade. So let's make the trades they don't have the guts to complete.

This will be an exercise in creativity (if not reality, since trades are still relatively rare). As a result, you'll notice a pattern of player-for-player trades, because they don't happen often - but they should. Let's look at seven blockbuster trades that might liven up the quiet period in the 2019 NFL offseason.

Bengals WR A.J. Green

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Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson

The Bengals had one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL, so they add Peterson, who has two years left on his deal. The Cardinals don't take a financial hit, because all of Peterson's cap hit is salary, which would transfer to Arizona. Peterson would immediately become Cincinnati's No. 1 cornerback and return specialist.

Coach Kliff Kingsbury, meanwhile, would get a tremendous pass-catcher for Kyler Murray and company. The Bengals would have to eat a $3 million cap hit in the trade while the Cardinals would pay Green roughly $12 million in 2019. But surely Arizona and Green would work out an extension to make him Murray's top option for the foreseeable future alongside Christian Kirk, while - and if - the team's three receiver draft selections (Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler and KeeSean Johnson) develop.

Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette

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Chiefs 2020 third-round pick, conditional 2021 fourth-round pick

a group of baseball players standing on top of a field: File photo © File Photo File photo

Damien Williams proved to be a jittery and versatile ball-carrier, but Kansas City can nab Fournette from Jacksonville, which isn't pleased with the running back, and put him to work between the tackles. Fournette has two years left on his rookie deal, which was largely guaranteed and would result in a large cap hit for the Jaguars. But they can rid themselves of a headache who has never averaged more than 4.0 yards per carry. And the Chiefs get a sledge hammer to provide a new element to their already impressive offense. Surely, the Chiefs would also experiment with throwing the ball to Fournette, who caught 36 passes in 13 games in 2018.

Giants QB Eli Manning

for

Conditional 2020 third-round pick from a team that loses its QB to injury this summer

As the weeks go on, New York is going to fall in love with Daniel Jones. The media is changing its tune on the sixth-overall draft pick. The organization - particularly general manager Dave Gettleman - will likely be itching to see him on the field, and if the coaches and front-office see a glimmer of competency, they'll probably thrust him into the starting role. The problem is that there isn't a market for Manning. The Oakland Raiders might want him. (Is Manning and upgrade over Derek Carr? Hard to say.)

The Giants might just wait for a team to lose their quarterback to injury. When that happens, they'll offer Manning and hammer out a deal.

Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey

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Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery

a group of baseball players playing a football game: Getty © Getty Getty

Yes, another swap of stars at receiver and cornerback.

The Eagles drafted J.J. Arcega-Whiteside with hopes that he'd someday replace Jeffery. They're both big, physical receivers who dominate the red zone. But the longer the Eagles wait on Jeffery, the less of a return they'll get. Philly might be wise to rely on their depth at receiver (DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor) and tight ends (Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert) and push Arcega-Whiteside into an accelerated developmental timeline. Meanwhile, the receiver-needy Jaguars can pair Jeffery back with Nick Foles, who developed a rapport with the receiver in Philadelphia (see: Super Bowl LII).

The Jaguars can maximize their value on Ramsey, who is already asking for a tremendously large contract that they may not want to pay. They'll leave the Eagles, who currently have $21 million in cap space, to figure that out. But perhaps Philly would be glad to take on that financial burden after its secondary was the biggest reason the Eagles struggled at times in 2018.

Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner

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Dolphins 2020 second-round pick

The Dolphins seem to be broadcasting two things this offseason: they want to run the ball and defend the run. They signed blocking tight end Dwayne Allen and drafted fullback Chandler Cox in the seventh round, and he might just sneak onto Miami's roster. The Dolphins also drafted stout run-defending defensive tackle Christian Wilkins in the first round in 2019. Why stop there? Brian Flores and company could try to poach the best linebacker in football on the final year of his contract. Wagner, 28, would get a new deal in Miami, where he'd be a core member in changing the team's mentality (again).

The Seahawks, meanwhile, continue their turnover away from the group that won Super Bowl XLVIII. Rather than letting their relationship with Wagner get complicated, Seattle could learn from its mistakes with Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman and convert Wagner into solid value. It would be devastating to lose him at this point, and Seattle would be resistant to the idea. But there's a good chance the Seahawks would end up with the first pick of the second round, and that will assuage their anxiety.

Jets DE Leonard Williams

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Rams TE Gerald Everett, 2020 third-round pick

Associated Press © Associated Press Associated Press

Sean McVay hasn't figured out how to get Everett involved. The Jets offense, meanwhile, has an extremely promising young tight end in Chris Herndon. But Herndon and Everrett are quite opposite in playing style, which might make them good players to have on the field at the same time.

While the Jets are giving up a blue-chip defensive lineman, Williams is on the final year of his deal, and the Jets already have depth on the defensive line, with Quinnen Williams, Steve McLendon and Henry Anderson. They'll be OK without Williams.

Eagles OT Jason Peters

for

Patriots CB Duke Dawson, 2020 fourth-round pick

The Patriots seemed to want to give first-round pick Isaiah Wynn a year to acclimate to the NFL, so they acquired tackle Trent Brown, who ended up being the team's starter for the year when Wynn tore his Achilles in preseason. Might the Patriots be willing to give up another haul to land another stopgap option at tackle? Peters is 37 and on the final year of his contract, with 2019 first-round draft choice Andre Dillard arriving as a backup/eventual replacement.

The Patriots, meanwhile, could part ways with some draft capital and Dawson, a 2018 second-round pick, because he seems to have slipped down the team's wildly deep cornerback position group in New England.

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