Hey, the NFL trade deadline is here, pushed back to Thursday afternoon because of Hurricane Sandy. Big deal. The league could have pushed it back another week and it still would have had all the excitement of a preseason game between the Colts and Cardinals.
If teams were to step out just a little and make some deadline dealings, we have a few suggestions to offer. Here's a look at moves the 16 teams in the NFC ought to be considering.
Oh my. The Cowboys, above all else, need some consistency. Things were really supposed to be better this year, thanks in part to the addition of two A-level cornerbacks. If only someone could stop Tony Romo from throwing interceptions. Interior offensive linemen would help Dallas tremendously. Running back is another area for improvement, especially with DeMarco Murray hurting. Steven Jackson has been talked about as a possibility, and that would actually make a lot of sense. The Cowboys could use the no-nonsense veteran in the locker room.
The Giants mostly look like they need a bigger trophy case with the team's level of play this season. Jerry Reese can hang onto his mid-round picks. He is the one general manager most likely to find a superstar where the rest of the league finds roster fodder.
Andy Reid now makes his quarterback decision on a weekly basis, bunker mentality at its finest. Regardless of how long he sticks with Michael Vick or inserts Nick Foles to bear the weight of his problems, either of those signal callers could use some improved protection, especially with Jason Peters and Jason Kelce both injured.
Mike Shanahan got so desperate for a wide receiver last week, he tried to see if RGIII could do that too. It almost ended in disaster because RGIII can't throw the ball to himself. A healthy Pierre Garcon would add a big boost to the offense. More than anything, the Redskins miss outside linebacker Brian Orakpo. Surprise, there aren't many teams looking to unload pass rushers at the deadline.
Keeping with annual tradition, the Bears could really use some help along the offensive line, someone new for Jay Cutler to poke in the chest or whisper things to after a play. Guess what, half the teams on this list could use offensive line help; they're all unlikely to find it. I do applaud the Bears' willingness to improve the roster with trades, which makes you wonder if they should make an honest effort to pry Bryant McKinnie out of Baltimore.
Well, they have Mike Thomas now, so it's really just a matter of sitting back and waiting for the Lombardi Trophy to come to there. Too bad Thomas doesn't play cornerback, because the Lions really need someone besides Chris Houston to be their top cornerback. Chris Houston!
Had Greg Jennings stayed healthy, the Packers could have been shopping him at the deadline. Viable running back help would be appreciated. Ted Thompson's team has been mentioned as possible suitors for Jackson from the Rams, but those rumors were recently put to bed by Jeff Fisher. Too bad, because Alex Green just isn't getting the job done.
The Vikings have some good things going for them. Christian Ponder has a weapon in Percy Harvin, and Adrian Peterson is back to his old self. The problem with the offense is that Jerome Simpson is the No. 2 receiver. Minnesota might have a real shot in the NFC with someone like Dwayne Bowe on the roster. Rick Spielman will keep his draft picks instead.
Hard to find much to be improved on the Falcons' roster. Atlanta either needs offensive line help or a running back to push the aging Michael Turner, depending on your perspective. The folks over at The Falcoholic believe the latter:
Think of it this way: Williams is an afterthought in Carolina, he's signed to a long-term deal and the Falcons ground game has been completely ineffective throughout most of the season. If you believe that problem is solely on the line, then you grit your teeth and move ahead with the backs you've got. If you don't...maybe you take a shot at DeAngelo Williams.
So much for that big leap forward, huh? The Panthers fired GM Marty Hurney, only three years later than he should have been gone. Vultures are circling a one-win Carolina team in the hopes of picking off Steve Smith. The rudderless front office is trying to give away DeAngelo Williams. Cat Scratch Reader says make as many deals a possible:
Ron Rivera has stated publicly that he doesn't expect the Panthers will make a move by the trade deadline. However, with no general manager, and a disastrous season, the prudent move may be to trade as many assets as possible, rather than waiting for a new GM to cut swathes through the roster.
The Saints have an embarrassment of riches at running back, and should probably trade Chris Ivory with an eye on getting draft picks. Players capable of playing defense would also be useful since whatever anonymous combination of 11 men the Saints don't appear to be working.
Still, trading Blount for a seventh-round pick seems silly. Blount is far from the greatest running back in the NFL, but he's still a useful player. Giving 30 touches per game to Doug Martin isn't exactly sustainable, and Blount is a decent if inconsistent runner. Despite losing Carl Nicks for the season, the Bucs have a chance to make the playoffs and Blount could play a role there. Is a measly seventh-round pick worth more than a decent backup running back?
This team started the season with a 4-0 run. Four and oh. Since then, the Cardinals are 0-4 and much of the blame can be laid at the not-so-nimble feet of the team's offensive line. That unit has allowed 39 sacks, which is 11 more than any other team in the league ... and there are some really bad offensive lines out there this season. Again, kicking the tires on Bryant McKinnie would be well advised. The Cardinals even tried to get Chicago castoff Chris Williams. Running back is another need with Beanie Wells injured.
Jim Harbaugh's roster looks pretty good, long on depth and short on holes. Moving a disgruntled Brandon Jacobs gets talked about some, but what team is desperate enough to send a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2034 draft for an over-the-hill running back? Niners Nation sees the team holding fast at the deadline:
Trades are fairly infrequent outside of the numerous deals for draft picks in April. The 49ers seem to be in a fairly solid position, particularly with the special teams starting to round back into form. At one point, it seemed like help was needed on special teams, but the last two weeks we've seen very strong performances in all aspects of special teams.
Seattle is another one of those teams not getting mentioned much in trade talk. The problem in the Northwest is an offense scoring less than 18 points per game. Sidney Rice is finally healthy. His numbers are underwhelming as he and Russell Wilson have yet to establish much of a connection. Another receiver would help.
Another year, another futile effort from the St. Louis offense. Pick any number of the usual suspects. Injuries have devastated an already underwhelming offensive line. Once again, the team didn't do enough to add receiver help for a budding young game manager in Sam Bradford. With two first-round picks in the next two drafts, the Rams are literally swimming in draft picks. Why not spend some to get Bowe, with an eye toward locking him up to a long-term deal after the season?