The NFL trade deadline is still two weeks away, but it’s not too early to start dreaming up some possible trade scenarios that would completely change the landscape of the league. Sure, the NFL notoriously has the most boring trade deadline of all of the major four sports, but let’s forget that for a minute. Pretend that the league’s GMs will channel their inner gun-slinging, wheeling and dealing selves and make some earth-shattering moves at the trade deadline on Oct. 28. Are you with me in this universe? Good, because ready or not, here are three potential trades that would be awesome for both teams involved and would rock the NFL.
1. Detroit Lions trade Matthew Stafford to the New York Jets for Muhammad Wilkerson
Here’s the scenario: Matthew Stafford has officially played himself out of favor with the Lions faithful and might just need a change of scenery (or a change of offensive coordinator, but that’s another story). Muhammad Wilkerson is an absolute menace for the Jets on the defensive line, but the Jets are stacked at the position, especially with the return of Sheldon Richardson from his four-game suspension this coming week.
Not to mention the fact that it’s a contract year for Wilkerson and contract talks between his camp and the Jets have gone, well, terribly to this point. Combine those factors with the fact that the Jets need a quarterback (sorry to those of you on board the “Fitz-Magic School Bus”) and the Lions need a stout defensive lineman who can not only rush the passer, but stop the run as well. Admit it, this one is a winner all around.
2. Philadelphia Eagles trade DeMarco Murray and Riley Cooper to the Denver Broncos for Emmanuel Sanders
44 running backs and 5 quarterbacks have more rushing yards than DeMarco Murray this season. Yes, we’re talking about the same guy that rushed for 1,845 yards last season and rushed for over 1,000 the year before that even though he missed two games due to injury. This is not what Murray or the Eagles had in mind when he was signed. The Eagles will be fine – if not better off – with Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews carrying the load in the backfield. Emmanuel Sanders would fit right into Chip Kelly’s offense with his quickness and would give the Eagles three credible threats at wide out.
Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos running game has been non-existent. The only team running at a worse clip is the Detroit Lions, who are doing everything poorly this year. Peyton Manning has already shown that he can’t carry an offense like he used to and Denver’s passing attack is suffering because of it. Bringing in Murray could galvanize Denver’s inept rushing attack, which would be more useful at this point to Manning – who is under duress and can’t make the throws he used to – than Sanders. Sanders is a great wide receiver, but the Broncos have to know their season is doomed if they can’t run the ball and take the pressure off Manning. A running game is exactly what the doctor ordered for that wicked Broncos defense.
3. Chicago Bears trade Alshon Jeffery to the Carolina Panthers for Devin Funchess and a 2016 second round pick
Alshon Jeffery is wearing out his welcome rapidly in Chicago. His inability to get healthy this season, combined with his ongoing contract situation (he’s a free agent at the end of this season) has left Bears fans feeling frustrated with the No. 1 wideout. The Bears showed some toughness in their comeback win against the Chiefs, but the fact remains that with or without Jeffery this team isn’t going anywhere this year.
On the flip side of things, the Panthers have a shot at winning a division title this year but it won’t mean anything if they don’t bolster their roster. Their wide receiving corps is marginally talented at best and they’re a seemingly inevitable Jonathan Stewart injury away from being without any real talent on offense besides Cam Newton and Greg Olsen. Jeffery is a sure fire No. 1 receiver and can do wonders for Newton this year. It’s certainly possible that Devin Funchess, the team’s second round pick this year, can become that type of receiver for them, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen this year. Plus, a second round pick is a small price to pay for a No. 1 wideout if Funchess can’t piece it together. This deal lets Chicago start the rebuilding process while it gives the Panthers a real shot at doing something special this season.
Bryan Altman is, for some reason, an unabashed fan of the Rangers, Jets and Mets. If he absolutely had to pick a basketball team it would be the Knicks, but he’d gladly trade them for just one championship for either of his other three teams.