For most of the teams in the league the season is over, and planning for next year has already started. Here are 5 potential 2019 NFL trades that could shake up the league before the draft even arrives.
5: John Harbaugh to Miami Dolpins.
At the time of writing this, Miami is one of the few teams left to not yet name a head coach. Team owner Stephen Ross has a well-known appreciation for both Harbaugh brothers but is more likely to be able to pry John out of Baltimore with a juicy trade offer. Getting Jim would require a buyout of his University of Michigan contract, plus the hard part of convincing him to coach the Dolphins.
Trading for a coach when they have so many needs elsewhere is a very Dolphins thing to do, is Ryan Tannehill good? Do we even know yet? That’s a worrying set of questions given that he’s been with the team since 2012 and nobody, not the Dolphins, not me, not even Tannehill himself knows if he’s good.
The Dolphins may be looking for a coach to come in and try to turn things around. Maybe someone who can get more out of Tannehill than previous coaches. However, Baltimore is unlikely to let a coach who won them a Super Bowl go for anything less than a pair of second-round picks, maybe more.
The Ravens looked somewhat good this year, they got younger at quarterback with Lamar Jackson looking somewhat OK, he wasn’t elite but then was the man he replaced (Joe Flacco – see point #3) much better? If they manage to fleece the Dolphins into paying 2nd or 1st round draft picks to get a coach they still haven’t signed to an extension they stand to rock the boat a bit with several spots to upgrade in the draft. Of all the items on this page, this is least likely and least impactful trade that might even be a thing.
4: Joe Flacco to Jacksonville Jaguars.
Flacco is a quarterback who finds himself on the outside looking in, although he’s been replaced by someone younger as opposed to, you know, having the coach throw him under the freaking bus.
The Jaguars found themselves a quarterback away in 2017, and in 2018 looked like they were a quarterback plus giving a damn away. I suppose it must be hard to play defense in Sacksonville when you’re vaunted as a top tier defense only to have the organisation stick to the “Blake Bortles is our guy” mantra as he throws his 5th interception of the game. I understand how that must get players down.
Joe Flacco isn’t all he used to be, but he’s a damn sight better than Bortles and for a team where the window on a championship defense is closing, it’s time they made some moves and tried to win for today.
3: Derek Carr to New York Giants.
This is one of the most obvious upcoming NFL trades.
It’s no secret that Derek Carr is on the outs in Oakland, it’s about as obvious as me declaring I’m not in line to be the next pope. Though I would look sweet in that hat.
With the future of Eli Manning looking uncertain the Giants need to find their successor sooner rather than later, and Carr is just one season removed from looking like a top tier quarterback. This season he’s not lived up to expectations, but hey would any of us perform well if the boss got rid of the best people and kept going on TV to tell everyone it’s all your fault?
The Giants could capitalise on this. Securing themselves a much-needed improvement in the passing game to pair with superstar wideout Odel Beckham, someone with enough downfield threat to prevent opposing defenses from stacking the box. Opening up running lanes for Saquon Barkley. Without opponents being able to key in on one specific threat the Giants could revitalise their entire offense in one move.
Ultimately the success of trading for Carr rests on the ability of his new team to rebuild his confidence and convince him it’s all over now and nobody will hurt him like that again.
2: Rob Gronkowski to LA Rams.
The Patriots are a team well known to trade players a year or so before their eventual decline, and this may be the year that they move Gronk on. Early in the season, there was news about a possible trade to Detroit and when asked Gronkowski said he didn’t want to leave New England. It’s OK Rob, I wouldn’t want to live in Detroit either.
However, the opportunity to play in LA as part of one of the league’s most explosive offenses would probably be a lot more attractive than going to Detroit. Also the weather, in fact mostly the weather.
If the Rams did trade for Gronk, suddenly they have a terrifying new piece added to that passing attack which already features a pair of 1000 yard wide receivers in Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods. Opposing secondaries would have to deal with those two, plus Cooper Cupp running go routes and now here comes that polar bear in pads, Gronk, over the middle. Someone is getting open.
Also not surprisingly, Gronkowski ain’t half bad at blocking. Adding him to the end of a line and getting him to go make a gap for Todd Gurley to burst through in the running game almost certainly means a ton of big plays on the ground.
Just don’t ask him to play Safety in obvious Hail Mary situations
1: Antonio Brown to New England Patriots.
Can you imagine this?! My stomach literally turns at the thought of AB going to the Patriots, but it’s such a Patriots thing to do.
Bill Belichick is an evil genius. He’s more than happy to take on players who may or may not have some issues and teach them “the Patriot way”. Sometimes it doesn’t work out a la Josh Gordon, other times it does a la enough Super Bowl rings for each finger on one hand!
Getting Brown away from Pittsburgh would mean giving up some assets to get him, but rarely do we see this team come out on the wrong side of a trade. What it would do however is give Tom Brady a legitimate set of options in the passing game. They currently don’t look quite right when Julian Edelman is covered, injured, suspended for PEDs or just otherwise indisposed.
The addition of Brown would make every passing play a potential scoring one with opponents forced to be constantly mindful of the big play over the top, or that deep play action pass. That constant worry means less stacking the box. Which means more big runs from Patriots tailback Sony Michel. More big runs mean you must stack the box. Oh look there’s Antonio in the end zone dancing with the ball. No defense would be safe. None!
The Patriots are no strangers to an arms race, famously tooling up against the Denver Broncos in 2014, and 2019 could see them going all in on out doing the Kansas City Chiefs