The NFL trade deadline is only a few hours away and already there's a handful of trade rumors making the rounds. Two guys many people talked about as potential trade bait -- Carson Palmer and Brandon Lloyd -- have already been traded.
That's more action than the trade deadline is used to seeing so it's already a busy trading season. The reason we often don't see a lot of movement around the trade deadline is because it comes so early in the year -- after Week 6. Teams aren't quite ready to give up on their season yet and have fire sales like they do in other sports. Football is also different from baseball and basketball in that it's hard for just one player to make a significant difference on the season (unless we're talking about a quarterback).
Teams have been talking trade rumors for a few weeks now and just a few hours before the 4:00 p.m. (ET) deadline, here are a few moves teams should consider.
Raiders need to get a quarterback. This was a blurb saying the Raiders should strongly consider someone like Carson Palmer and, what do you know, that's exactly what they did. The Raiders gave up a first round pick in 2012 and a conditional first round pick in 2013 for Palmer's services.
49ers and Titans should find a receiver. The 49ers 5-1 and in clear control of the NFC West but they need someone opposite Michael Crabtree after Josh Morgan went down for the season. Likewise, the Titans need to find another receiver after losing Kenny Britt for the year as they sit at a competitive 3-2 on the season. The obvious choice was Brandon Lloyd before the Broncos shipped him to St. Louis. There's no indication this is even a possibility but Steve Smith with the Panthers makes a lot of sense for a team trying to get over the hump. He seems happy in Carolina but if the price were right I'd snatch him up as a playmaker for one season.
The Patriots need a pass-rusher. That's a premiere position so finding one at a reasonable price is nearly impossible. That said, they need to be on the look out for a pass rusher that can add some much needed help in the front seven. Gil Brandt of NFL.com suggested Jared Allen but, even at 1-5, I can't see the Vikings letting him up, especially for anything other than a first round pick (and likely more). No one on the market comes to mind but the Patriots don't mind making big moves that no one sees coming. Just ask Richard Seymour.
Packers should consider another offensive tackle. Aaron Rodgers is clearly doing OK without a replacement for Chad Clifton, who's injured, but in the long run they could use more offensive tackle help. The problem? Offensive tackles are A.) expensive and B.) hard to find. Those two reasons, plus the fact that they protect each team's most valuable asset, are why you rarely see high quality offensive tackles traded (or on the open market). So file this under a trade that should happen, but probably won't.
Someone should grab Asante Samuel. The "other" cornerback in Philly after offseason moves netted them Nnamdi Asomugha and Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie. ESPN's Adam Schefter made a good point in a recent story filed under trades that should happen but probably won't -- the Lions make sense as a trade partner and I agree. Right now, the Lions need to construct their roster in order to beat the Packers, who are in the same division and easily claim the title of the NFL's best team. Stop Aaron Rodgers and you stop the Packers. The way to do that? Add talent in the secondary.