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1 Trade Each NFL Team Should Propose Before the 2022 Season

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    The 2022 NFL
    season may nearly be here, but there is still plenty of time for teams around
    the league to talk shop and swing trades.

    Notable players
    could be on the move based on training camp and preseason results. With
    positional battles being settled and depth charts being sorted, franchises may
    seek to clear a logjam by offloading some veteran talent who may otherwise ride
    the pine.

    While final cuts
    aren’t due until August 30, general managers could make certain decisions
    easier by trading away a player currently on the fringes. These decision-makers
    would benefit heavily from scoring a late-round pick for a player who might not
    even make the final 53-man roster.

    With that in
    mind, here is a look at one player each NFL team could propose a trade to get rid of prior to the 2022 campaign kicking off.

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    Cooper Neill/Getty Images

    Andy Isabella has been a bust for the Arizona
    Cardinals, but a divisional rival could help revitalize the young wide
    receiver’s career.

    Isabella fell completely out of favor in Kliff
    Kingsbury’s offense last year, catching just one pass for 13 yards across a
    mere 30 snaps over eight games.

    The Cardinals granted Isabella permission to seek a trade and shopped him around during the 2022 draft, but so far neither side has
    found a taker.

    Arizona should attempt once more to move
    Isabella rather than waste a spot on the roster again, this time offering him
    to the Seattle Seahawks for a last-round pick.

    Isabella would be a perfect buy-low pickup for
    the Seahawks. The team has no real chance of contending this year after trading
    Russell Wilson and failing to unearth a suitable heir to the star quarterback’s

    With a lost season on the horizon, Seattle could
    kick the tires on the 2019 second-rounder and give him ample opportunity to
    prove himself.

    Isabella was a highly regarded prospect for his
    speed and athleticism who displayed a well-rounded skill set at UMass.

    If he reaches that ceiling, he could serve as an
    ideal complementary wideout behind starters DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, the
    latter of whom is about to turn 30 years old and could see a decline in the
    coming seasons.

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    The Atlanta
    Falcons appear to be stuck with Deion Jones, but the lack of interest thus far shouldn’t
    shop them from trying to trade their expensive linebacker this offseason.

    According to The
    Athletic’s Jeff
    , Atlanta hasn’t been able to find a suitable trade for Jones despite
    multiple attempts to deal him. The club seems resigned to keeping the
    27-year-old, preferring to have him on the roster rather than take the massive
    dead money hit a release would bring.

    When Jones is
    healthy—he’s still working his way back from a shoulder surgery—he has the
    talent be a significant asset for a contending squad. The Falcons could attempt
    to leverage his talents by dangling him to a Super Bowl hopeful in exchange for
    meager recompense.

    A team like the New
    England Patriots could be intrigued by the value here. The Pats parted ways
    with Dont’a Hightower this offseason and need a high-caliber replacement for
    their longtime defensive captain.

    Jones has
    recorded 652 tackles, 11 interceptions—five of which he returned for
    touchdowns—and 8.5 sacks over his first six years in the league. The Pro Bowler
    may be rehabbing, but he’s played in all but one game since the start of the
    2019 campaign and a clean bill of health could coincide with a return to form.

    Although they would
    have to take on a significant portion of Jones’ $24.9 million salary to get him
    cheap, New England hasn’t shied away from moves like this in the past. It’s a low-risk,
    high-reward deal that could pay dividends.

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    The Baltimore
    Ravens are hosting a competitive battle for their starting left guard job. It
    could get easier to declare a winner if the club opts to trade one of the
    linemen vying for the gig.

    Although head
    coach John Harbaugh recently called
    Ben Powers the “most consistent guy there right now,” he could net the club a
    nice return in a trade.

    Powers, a fourth-round
    pick in 2019, has started 19 games for Baltimore over the last two seasons. His
    66.3 PFF grade last year was adequate, but it wasn’t indicative of a long-term
    anchor along the interior of the offensive trenches.

    With Tyre
    Phillips and Ben Cleveland also for the same role, the Ravens may benefit most
    by simply dealing Powers and removing one competitor from the picture.

    The team may have
    showed their hand during the preseason opener by deploying Powers as their
    starting right guard and giving him snaps at center. Having him display that
    type of versatility could bolster his trade value by widening the number of
    potential suitors.

    The Minnesota Vikings
    are desperate for a decent center right now. Garrett Bradbury hasn’t panned out
    for the club and needs to be replaced for their line to be competitive. They
    should be more than willing to part with an early Day 3 pick to get someone
    like Powers before the season begins.

    With his reps
    in training camp and preseason at the position, Powers could immediately slot
    in as the team’s new starting center for 2022. If Minnesota finds a more
    natural fit for the position in the future, Powers could slide back over to
    guard or provide depth at multiple spots.

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    The Buffalo Bills
    picked up a quality veteran wideout this offseason in Jamison Crowder, but
    there’s a chance he doesn’t play a single meaningful snap for the club.

    Crowder needs to
    beat out Isaiah McKenzie and rookie Khalil Shakir for the WR3 role in an
    offense that already has a an elite wideout in Stefon Diggs and an up-and-comer
    in Gabe Davis. The position looks crowded, potentially leaving the the 29-year-old
    as the odd man out.

    While the
    seven-year veteran has been a steady option for much of his career,
    injuries—including one suffered early in training camp—have set Crowder back in
    recent seasons.

    Since Crowder’s salary is fully guaranteed, the Bills would
    be much better off finding a taker over losing money by cutting him.

    The Baltimore
    Ravens should be interested in acquiring a wideout with Crowder’s resume. The
    team has a critical lack of proven pass-catchers in its receiver’s room right
    now, an issue it can cheaply rectify by bringing in a savvy veteran for a
    late-round pick.

    With second-year wideout
    Rashod Bateman set to take on the WR1 role and a host of inexperienced talent
    such as Devin Duvernay and James Proche II attempting to establish a pecking
    order behind him, Baltimore’s passing game will be in rough shape if a move like
    this isn’t made soon.

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    The Carolina
    Panthers tried and failed to revitalize Sam Darnold’s career last year. The team
    admitted the gambit didn’t work by taking on another project in
    Baker Mayfield this offseason.

    While Darnold
    cost Carolina several draft picks—including a second-rounder this year—the club
    will likely have to settle for a Day 3 pick in exchange for dumping off the
    quarterback’s salary and opening up a roster spot.

    The Seattle
    Seahawks are one of the teams downright desperate for a decent signal-caller
    right now. Their decision to trade away Russell Wilson has them looking for a
    starting QB for the first time in a decade.

    Geno Smith and
    Drew Lock are duking it out for the job in preseason, but neither is a viable
    long-term option under center. Rolling the dice on Darnold could potentially
    give the organization a franchise QB for a throwaway draft selection.

    Because Seattle
    isn’t expected to contend in 2022, Darnold can get a low-stakes audition in the
    Pacific Northwest, a final chance to prove he’s capable of becoming a decent starter
    in this league.

    Given Darnold is
    just 25 years old and it’s reasonable to conclude that the New York Jets and
    Panthers simply couldn’t unlock the talents that made him the No. 3 overall
    pick four years ago, it would be hard to fault the Seahawks for taking a chance

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    The Chicago Bears
    may not have a desire to deal Roquan Smith right now, but the star linebacker could
    force the organization to deal him before the 2022 campaign kicks off.

    Smith began a holding-in
    to protest his lack of a contract extension before he publicly announced his trade
    request earlier in the month, releasing
    a statement
    that claimed the Bears have “refused to negotiate in good faith.”

    As solid as Smith
    has been to start his career, the Bears have plenty of needs during this
    critical rebuilding stage. They may not want to pay upward of $20 million
    annually to an off-ball linebacker and could benefit more from the package they
    would receive for his services.

    If Chicago decides
    to move Smith, offering him to the Las Vegas Raiders could be the best play. Vegas
    made its intentions to compete this year readily obvious after dealing for
    Davante Adams and could swing another blockbuster, this time to bolster the

    The Raiders have
    the cap space—their $23 million in available funds is more than every club but
    the Browns—to give Smith the deal he desires

    linebacking corps leaves something to be desired. Denzel Perryman has been
    inconsistent at best during his career, and fellow starter Divine Deablo is
    still learning the position after being converted from safety. Trayvon Mullen Jr.
    had a down year before joining as a free agent, making Smith an ideal pickup to
    bolster this unit.

    It could be
    costly to get a deal done in terms of draft capital—it would likely take at
    least a second-rounder plus some later picks—and a new contract, but Smith
    would patch a huge hole in the Raiders defense. With Chicago getting more assets
    to rebuild and significant cap savings, both sides should be happy with this move.

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    The Cincinnati
    Bengals did not come to terms on a contract extension with Jessie Bates III
    this offseason. Although they knew the star safety had no interest in playing
    the 2022 season on the franchise tag, the team still offered it his way and let
    the deadline to sign him to a long-term deal pass.

    Bates declined to sign the tender and began holding out. He’s still yet to
    report to training camp, and there is little Cincinnati can do at this point to
    appease him besides finding a trade partner.

    If Bates refuses
    to return, the Bengals could ship him over to the Philadelphia Eagles in
    exchange for a Day 2 draft pick.

    The Eagles improved
    their secondary this offseason by locking up cornerback James Bradberry
    following his release from the rival New York Giants and could get even better
    with the addition of Bates.

    Bates has already tallied up 408 tackles, 35 pass defenses
    and 10 interceptions since entering the league in 2018. He’d add an edge to a Philadelphia
    defense that allowed nearly 70 percent of passes to be completed and gave up 28
    touchdowns against 12 interceptions last season.

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    Kareem Hunt isn’t
    happy about his current contract situation and asked the Cleveland Browns to trade
    earlier in August.

    Although the team
    denied the request and the star running back is still participating in training
    camp, the Browns could opt to reverse course. Moving on from Hunt before losing
    him for nothing following the 2022 season would be a sensible move given how
    deep the team is at the RB position.

    With Nick
    Chubb—one of the NFL’s best backs—locked in as the starter, third-stringer
    D’Ernest Johnson looking like a potential star in his limited work last year
    and promising rookie Jerome Ford now in the mix, Cleveland could forge ahead
    without the talented veteran.

    It’s possible the team that Hunt started his career with would be interested in taking him back, though the Kansas City Chiefs did release Hunt in 2018 after footage of him shoving and kicking a woman was made public. The running back apologized and reportedly underwent treatment and counseling after two other alleged physical altercations surfaced in the news.

    return would greatly boost a Chiefs backfield that hasn’t gotten much out of
    2020 first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The club is desperate for
    playmakers after trading away their most dangerous weapon in Tyreek Hill,
    leaving a major pass-catching void that Hunt could help fill.

    Even if it’s only
    a one-year rental, giving up a late-Day 2 or early-Day 3 draft pick for Hunt
    would aid the Chiefs tremendously in their quest to make a fifth straight AFC
    Championship Game.

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    The Dallas Cowboys brought in Trysten Hill to bolster the
    defensive trenches in 2019. The second-round pick hasn’t lived up to
    expectations, however, and could find himself dealt while he still has some
    value this offseason.

    Hill has performed decently in the preseason, a promising
    showing that could help the team get a better return for his services. The team
    seems set at the defensive tackle spot right now with veterans Neville Gallimore,
    Osa Odighizuwa, Carlos Watkins and Quinton Bohanna in the mix and rookie John
    Ridgeway learning behind them.

    The Jacksonville Jaguars may be willing to cough up a Day 3
    pick for Hill, a move that would reinforce a position that isn’t exactly
    brimming with depth right now.

    While Jacksonville did add a quality free-agent DT in
    Folorunso Fatukasi this offseason, fellow starter DaVon Hamilton earned an
    unsightly 52.8
    grade last year. Jay Tufele and Adam Gotsis aren’t great options behind
    them either, opening the door for Hill to earn some meaningful playing time
    right away.

    While Hill only has 27 tackes and 0.5 sacks to his name
    since entering the league, a fresh start in Jacksonville could rejuvenate his
    career and help him reach the ceiling that made him an exciting prospect back
    in 2019.

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    The Denver
    Broncos aren’t stacked with talent on the edge, but they do employ several
    intriguing players who could evolve into legitimate contributors this season.

    While Malik Reed
    is one of the more established pass-rushers on Denver’s roster, the club might
    be better off trading him and clearing the way for the likes of Nik Bonitto and
    Baron Browning to shine across from free-agent pickup Randy Gregory.

    Reed could net
    the Broncos a nice return given his status as a capable edge-rusher on a reasonable
    Owed just a shade over $2.4 million for the 2022 season, the 26-year-old could
    draw serious interest from contending squads if he’s shopped around.

    One team that
    should be heavily interested is the Arizona Cardinals. The team let Chandler
    Jones walk in free agency and is hoping that a pair of rookies in Cameron
    Thomas and Myjai Sanders can replace the veteran’s huge production.

    If Arizona is
    going to get back to the postseason and avenge an embarrassing NFC Wild Card Round
    loss, the team needs more proven options on the edge. Reed would be a fantastic
    fit, joining forces with J.J. Watt and the youngsters to form a much more
    balanced pass-rushing unit.

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    The Detroit Lions
    brought Michael Brockers in from the Los Angeles Rams last offseason for the
    low cost of a 2023 seventh-round pick. After only one season with the club,
    Brockers could be on his way out.

    While Brockers is
    one of the few veteran leaders on Detroit’s roster, the team is oozing with
    young and upcoming talent in the defensive trenches. He is on the wrong side of
    30, coming off a disappointing showing—Brockers earned a concerning 40.6 PFF grade
    last year—and isn’t likely to be around when the Lions finally turn a corner
    and becomes a contender.

    With his
    reasonable contract—just $7 million in 2021 and $10 million in 2022—the 2012
    first-round pick could be a better fit with a club in win-now mode.

    A return to the
    Rams could be a great fit and a sensible move for all parties. The Lions would
    free up cap space and open playing time up for 2021 second-rounder Levi
    Onwuzurike, while Los Angeles gets a player who is intimately familiar with its
    system and could immediately assist in a title defense.

    Brockers would fit
    in nicely to a rotation with the likes of Aaron Donald and Greg Gaines, depth
    the Rams need to sustain another long season and playoff run.

    Considering they probably
    wouldn’t need to give up anything more than the pick they returned for him in
    2021, this deal nicely fills a need and comes cheap.

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    The Green Bay
    Packers’ decision to take Jordan Love with their first-round pick was
    controversial in 2020 and remains as much in 2022.

    With Aaron
    Rodgers re-upping on a three-year extension this offseason, it’s now time for
    the Packers to admit the move was a mistake and deal the young signal-caller
    while he still holds plenty of value.

    Love didn’t do
    much of note during his first two seasons in the league but looked sharp in his
    preseason debut this year. He hung 113 yards and a touchdown on the New Orleans
    Saints, making several big throws and showing strong development all around.

    That performance should have perked up the
    ears of several rival teams in need of a franchise quarterback, a group that
    includes the Indianapolis Colts.

    Indy settled on
    veteran Matt Ryan to lead the offense this year—the latest in a string of
    stopgap signal-callers the team has brought in following Andrew Luck’s retirement—but
    have a clear need for a young QB to build around.

    Love would get a
    chance to become the next in a long line of storied Colts quarterbacks. While
    he wouldn’t take the reins right away, spending a year learning the system and
    preparing to take over in 2023 could set him up for sustained long-term

    While Love won’t
    come at a bargain—especially not after his latest preseason showing—a
    second-round pick could be enough to pry him away from Green Bay.

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    Max Scharping has
    been a serviceable offensive lineman since entering the league as a
    second-round pick in 2019. He’s never developed into a top-end starter,
    however, and is in danger of riding the pine for much of the upcoming campaign.

    With the
    additions of rookie Kenyon Green and A.J. Cann, the Texans’ guard spots are in
    better shape than they were last year. That could render Scharping—who has
    started 33 games in his career—expendable.

    The Carolina Panthers have been working relentlessly to
    re-tool their offensive line following a dismal 2021 performance. They could
    make another move to shore their protection up right before the season starts,
    with Scharping making an intriguing candidate for the club.

    At the age of 26 and only owed $2.5 million for the final
    year of his rookie deal, the Northern Illinois product could be a budget starting
    option for a Carolina unit that shouldn’t feel comfortable with its current
    left guard situation.

    Michael Jordan and Brady Christensen are currently battling
    it out for the job, but Scharping could usurp both quickly. Even if he doesn’t
    slot in as a starter right away, the Panthers have a lack of depth in the
    offensive trenches that Scharping’s presence would help rectify.

    If the Panthers cough up a late-Day 3 pick, it should be
    enough to take Scharping off the Texans’ hands.

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    The Indianapolis
    Colts may have an intriguing young backup quarterback in Sam Ehlinger on their
    roster right now, but there’s a real chance the team could soon lose him.

    The Colts have
    only carried two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster in recent years, and it’s
    highly unlikely Ehlinger is able to climb over backup Nick Foles or starter Matt
    Ryan before final cuts are due. While Indianapolis would ideally put Ehlinger
    on the practice squad, there is a real chance a competing squad poaches the
    23-year-old if that move is attempted.

    Rather than watch Ehlinger depart for zero
    compensation, the Colts may want to outright offer their second-year
    signal-caller to a team that would consider claiming him.

    The Tampa Bay
    Buccaneers are a team that could take on Ehlinger as a long-term project. The
    team felt the pain of losing Tom Brady earlier in the offseason to a brief
    retirement and should want to better position itself for life without the
    future Hall of Famer.

    Ehlinger may not
    be Brady’s heir, but having him learn from the greatest QB of all time—with a chance
    to supplant Blaine Gabbert as the backup eventually—could help him develop into
    a quality NFL starter one day.

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    Shenault Jr. was once one of the more intriguing prospects on the Jacksonville Jaguars’
    roster, but time is quickly running out for the 23-year-old to show he can be a
    viable NFL wideout.

    Shenault was a
    second-round pick in the 2020 draft and opened his career with a 58-reception, 600-yard,
    five-touchdown rookie year. He regressed in 2021, however, only catching 63
    passes for 619 yards and failing to score once. He had eight drops last season
    alone, bringing his career total to a concerning 11.

    Jacksonville recently adding Christian Kirk and Zay Jones to complement a
    receiving corps that also has Marvin Jones Jr. and Laquon Treadwell, Shenault
    could find his role even further reduced in 2022.

    Rather than let
    him languish on the pine or cutting him, the Jaguars could offer him up to the receiver-needy
    Texans for a Day 3 pick.

    receiving corps is already thin and could have a critical lack of talent if the
    club opts to trade Brandin Cooks this year. Cooks recently re-upped for two
    more seasons but could be more valuable to the club as trade bait to bolster the
    current rebuild.

    The Texans have
    guys like Nico Collins, Chris Moore, Chris Conley and Phillip Dorsett attempting
    to carve out a role behind Cooks. Shenault may not be ready to separate as a
    clear-cut WR2, but he’d be one of the most athletically gifted wideouts on the
    roster with a higher ceiling than his peers.

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    The Kansas City
    Chiefs have been struggling to get production from the running back position over
    the last few years. The team’s high-powered passing attack has allowed it to
    overcome the lack of an elite backfield, but this flaw could be exposed following
    a receiver’s room overhaul in 2022.

    The Chiefs should
    be working to bring in a top-tier back to improve this situation. To free up
    room on the roster, the club could shop disappointing backup Ronald Jones

    Jones was brought
    in early in free agency but hasn’t separated himself during training camp. He’s
    buried behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon on the depth chart and worked with
    the third- and fourth-string offense in the preseason.

    The 2018
    second-rounder racked up nearly 1,000 rushing yards and scored seven rushing
    touchdowns while starting for the eventual champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers two
    years ago. He’s only 25 years old and could still return to form, but it seems
    Kansas City isn’t the right location to maximize the back’s talents.

    The New Orleans Saints could be a better fit
    for Jones.

    The team doesn’t
    have much in the way of depth behind star starter Alvin Kamara, who has yet to
    play a full season since his rookie year in 2017. Primary backup Mark Ingram II
    is well on the wrong side of 30 and only accumulated 260 yards and one
    touchdown for the club in seven games last year.

    Jones would push
    for the No. 2 role quickly in the Big Easy. For what would almost surely cost
    no more than a late-Day 3 pick—potentially even a conditional one—it’s a great
    move for the Saints to shore up their improving offense.

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    The Las Vegas
    Raiders have a tough decision to make regarding Darren Waller. The tight end has
    outperformed the four-year, $29.8 million contract he inked in 2019 and is now hoping
    for a new deal.

    Vegas is
    understandably being cautious about giving out a big-money extension to a
    player who is going to turn 30 at the start of the 2022 campaign, missed six games
    last year and has already been absent from training camp with injuries.

    If the Raiders do
    not plan to meet Waller’s demands, they could opt to trade him and get a
    sizable return for his services.

    The Green Bay Packers,
    a team that Vegas already swung a major deal with this offseason when they landed
    Davante Adams, should be interested in taking Waller on. The Packers made it
    clear they wanted
    as part of that deal and still have a clear need for his services.

    Green Bay’s
    pass-catchers leave a lot to be desired, especially at the tight end position.
    The team failed to find an upgrade to Robert Tonyan this offseason, making it a
    spot to address before the campaign begins.

    It would probably
    cost the Packers a second-rounder and an additional late-mid-round pick to convince
    the Raiders to part with their star tight end. That would be worth it if the
    club wishes to contend during the final years of Aaron Rodgers’ career.

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    Jerry Tillery has
    been one of the more polarizing players on the Los Angeles Chargers roster. The
    2019 first-round pick has been a consistent starter over the last two seasons
    but didn’t show enough growth to have his fifth-year option picked up by the

    With Tillery now
    in a contract year, the Bolts could decide to move on from the inconsistent
    defensive tackle a year early and get some value in return rather than let him
    leave for nothing come the spring.

    The Cleveland
    Browns could take on Tillery to improve the interior of their defensive line. Their
    top-four rotation of Taven Bryan, Jordan Elliott, Tommy Togiai and rookie
    Perrion Winfrey is relatively weak, and the addition of Tillery could inject
    some more upside into this unit.

    With elite
    edge-rushers like Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney book-ending the Browns’
    line, Tillery might just thrive in the middle. For the low cost of a Day 3
    pick, the 25-year-old could add a surprising edge to the Cleveland defense in

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    The Los Angeles Rams
    boast one of the league’s most feared defenses despite one of their rare
    early-round picks failing to develop into a quality starter.

    Taylor Rapp, a second-round
    pick in 2019, is going into his fourth NFL season and has yet to emerge as a
    top contributor in L.A.’s secondary. He finally earned a starting job last
    season but only notched 94 tackles, six pass defenses and four interceptions despite
    staying on the field for 96 percent of the defensive

    Rapp is most
    comfortable in the box and struggles in coverage. In 2021, he allowed a
    concerning 74.1 percent completion rate on the 58 targets he faced and gave up
    a career-high four touchdowns.

    With his contract
    set to expire following the season and the Rams unlikely to retain him, Rapp
    could be a trade candidate this preseason. A safety-needy squad like the
    Cincinnati Bengals—the team the Rams beat in the Super Bowl last season—could
    be interested.

    Given the Rams also
    have Jordan Fuller, Nick Scott and Terrell Burgess at the safety position, they wouldn’t
    need much in terms of compensation to part with a player making $2.9 million who
    could find himself back on the second-string unit in 2022.

    A sixth-round
    pick could be enough for the Cincinnati Bengals to convince Los Angeles to ship
    Rapp over and shore up the secondary.

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    The Miami
    Dolphins are attempting to clear their logjam at the receiver position by reportedly
    both Lynn Bowden Jr. and Preston Williams available.

    Williams has
    become disgruntled with the Dolphins after the club added Tyreek Hill and
    Cedrick Wilson Jr. this offseason. Those veterans, along with the emergence of Jaylen
    Waddle as a star last year, have pushed the fourth-year wideout way down Miami’s
    depth chart.

    The 25-year-old found
    a consistent role in the ‘Phins offense during his first two years in the
    league. Although he was only available for 16 total games, he managed to rack
    up 50 catches for 716 yards and seven scores in that span.

    Williams was
    phased out last year, catching just six passes for 71 yards and failing to find
    the end zone in any of the eight contests he participated in. It’s unlikely he’ll
    improve upon those numbers if he remains in Miami.

    The Cleveland
    Browns could give Williams the opportunity he is seeking.

    The Browns have
    little in the way of proven pass-catchers outside of Amari Cooper. Donovan Peoples-Jones
    and rookie David Bell are both set to assume large roles for this club as
    things stand right now, marking a concerning lack of depth and experience in
    this receiving corps.

    With a price tag
    that is likely no more than a conditional last-round pick, the Browns should roll
    the dice on the athletic 6’5”, 220-pound wideout.

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    The Minnesota
    Vikings have relied heavily on Harrison Smith to lead their defense over the
    last decade. A changing of the guard could happen sooner than later. An
    adjustment could be expedited this offseason if the team elects to trade its
    longtime safety.

    Smith is now 33
    years old and could sharply decline as early as the 2022 campaign. Despite his
    advancing age, Smith hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down—evidenced by a
    career-high 114 tackles last season—which should help Minnesota maximize the
    return it would get for his services.

    By moving on from
    Smith a year early rather than a year late, the Vikings can save cap room and
    get some notable draft capital out of the Notre Dame product.

    The Miami
    Dolphins should jump at the chance to land Smith if they receive a call gauging
    their interest. He’d be an ideal complement to rising star Jevon Holland and a significant
    improvement over Brandon Jones, Miami’s other projected starting safety.

    With Lewis Cine
    and Camryn Bynum ready to assume larger roles in Minnesota’s secondary, the
    Vikings should be willing to take an early-Day 2 pick in exchange for Smith.

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    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    The New England Patriots’
    receiver’s room is brimming with mid-range weapons. While the team doesn’t have
    any truly elite playmakers at the position, it has a group of decent
    pass-catchers all looking to establish themselves atop the pecking order this

    New England could remove one candidate from
    the equation by shipping off Nelson Agholor. The receiver was a mild
    disappointment during his first season in New England, catching just 48 passes
    for 896 yards and eight scores after signing a two-year, $22 million contract.

    Kendrick Bourne
    and Jakobi Meyers are both returning to the fold and have been joined by
    second-round pick Tyquan Thornton and trade pickup DeVante Parker. Agholor
    could be the odd man out in this group, making him a likely trade candidate ahead
    of final roster cuts.

    The Arizona
    Cardinals may want to consider bringing the pass-catcher aboard for a Day 3
    pick after they lost wideout DeAndre Hopkins for the first six games of the 2022
    campaign and let Christian Kirk walk in free agency.

    While Arizona did
    bring in Marquise Brown from the Baltimore Ravens, the club will be relying
    heavily on aging wideout A.J. Green and an unproven Rondale Moore following a
    wildly inconsistent rookie year.

    Agholor would
    give recently extended quarterback Kyler Murray a reliable and athletic deep
    threat who could play a big role early in the year with the potential to
    establish himself as a consistent part of the offense even after Hopkins gets
    back from his suspension.

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    Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

    The New Orleans
    Saints might have too many capable tight ends on their roster after Taysom Hill
    made a full-time switch to the position. That could lead to the club dealing
    Nick Vannett before the 2022 season kicks off.

    The 29-year-old has
    his work cut out for attempting to establish a regular role behind starter Adam
    Trautman and Hill. The Saints also have a promising talent in converted
    receiver Juwan Johnson, who caught two touchdowns in last year’s season opener,
    and Chris Herndon competing for snaps.

    Vannett didn’t do
    much of note during his first season in the Big Easy, reeling in a mere nine receptions for 133 yards and one score in seven games. Barring a slew of
    injuries that hinders New Orleans’ depth, he could soon be on his way to his
    fourth team in as many years.

    The Houston Texans
    could give Vannett plenty of playing time this season. They have one of the
    weakest tight end rooms in football, a group headlined by Pharaoh Brown, Jordan
    Brevin and rookie Teagan Quitoriano vying for playing time in training camp.

    Vannett would immediately
    slot in as one of the better options for Houston, which would have to give up
    almost nothing in exchange for his services. A conditional seventh-rounder
    should get this deal done.

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    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    Darius Slayton has
    been one of the New York Giants’ most intriguing young players, but he’s
    running out of time to show he can take a leap.

    After being
    selected in the fifth round of the 2019 draft, Slayton amassed an impressive 98
    catches for 1,491 yards and 11 touchdowns across the first 30 games of his
    career. He regressed in 2021, however, notching only 26 catches for 339 yards
    and two scores.

    With Kenny
    Golladay and Kadarius Toney returning to the mix as starters and Wan’Dale
    Robinson the top candidate for the WR3 role this year, Slayton could see even
    fewer offensive
    than the career-low 536 he logged last year.

    The G-Men would
    be better served taking a sixth-rounder from a team like the Indianapolis Colts
    over burying Slayton on the depth chart.

    The Colts had one
    of the league’s weakest passing attacks last year but have made several changes
    to rectify the issue. With Matt Ryan now starting under center and rookie Alec
    Pierce joining up-and-coming star Michael Pittman Jr., the team could have a
    much more balanced offense in 2022.

    Slayton could immediately
    step in as the WR3 in Indianapolis, giving the club a promising young receiving
    corps that has a chance to heavily impress this coming season.

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    Steven Ryan/Getty Images

    The New York Jets
    overhauled their offense following yet another disappointing season in 2021. One
    of the key additions was rookie Garrett Wilson, the No. 10 overall pick in the
    2022 draft.

    Wilson rounds out
    a receiving corps that also features a pair of solid starters in Elijah Moore
    and Corey Davis. That trio, along with possession receiver Braxton Berrios, is
    likely to dominate the touches during the regular season.

    Denzel Mims was
    already struggling to see regular action for Gang Green and could be phased out
    entirely this year because of the Wilson pickup.

    The 2020
    second-round pick’s snap count decreased from 439 as a rookie to just 279 in
    2021. Mims’ production regressed from 23 catches for 357 yards in his first
    year to a mere eight catches for 133 yards last season.

    Although Mims is
    a cut candidate at this point, the Jets should try to offer him up to a
    receiver-needy squad before releasing him. The Dallas Cowboys are starved for
    healthy wideouts right now and could be convinced to part with a late-Day 3
    pick to bolster their depth.

    Dallas lost Amari
    Cooper and Cedrick Wilson Jr. this offseason and is currently forced to go
    without both Michael Gallup and James Washington while they rehab from
    injuries. CeeDee Lamb is locked in as the No. 1 WR, but the Cowboys will be
    relying heavily on third-round pick Jalen Tolbert to shoulder the No. 2 job
    while his teammates recover.

    With Tolbert a
    question mark and little depth behind him, Mims could be worth kicking the
    tires on to shore this unit up.

    It’s possible the
    Jets failed to maximize the once-promising prospect’s talents. Mims would get
    no shortage of opportunities in a depleted Dallas offense, a destination that
    represents his best chance to turn his career around.

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    Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

    Jalen Reagor hasn’t
    looked anything like the player the Philadelphia Eagles were hoping for when
    they drafted him in the first round three years ago.

    Despite this,
    teams are still reportedly interested in seeing if they can rehabilitate the 23-year-old’s
    wildly disappointing career. According to Geoff Mosher of Inside The Birds,
    at least two clubs have recently inquired about the receiver’s availability.

    Although he’s only
    notched 64 receptions for 695 yards and three touchdowns since entering the
    league, Reagor still has some upside after a dominant career at TCU.

    The Denver Broncos
    should be one of the interested parties after losing Tim Patrick for the season
    during training camp. Patrick’s ACL tear left a sizable void in the receiving
    corps, one that the Broncos have yet to bring in any notable replacements
    to fill.

    If Philadelphia’s asking price is low—a fifth-round pick at
    most—the Broncos could justify the risk of taking on this project.

    Reagor would get a shot at living up to his billing while running
    routes for a perennial Pro Bowler in Russell Wilson. If Denver’s rejuvenated
    offense can’t get the young receiver playing at a decent level, it’d be safe to
    call Reagor a surefire bust.

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    Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

    The Pittsburgh Steelers
    are playing host to arguably the most interesting positional battle of any team
    during the preseason. The club has three candidates vying to replace the
    retired Ben Roethlisberger as its starting quarterback.

    While Mason
    Rudolph has the advantage of experience on his side following four years of
    backing up Big Ben, he lacks the experience that free-agent pickup Mitch
    Trubisky brings to the table and has a much lower ceiling than first-round rookie
    Kenny Pickett.

    Because of this,
    Rudolph could be dealt to set Trubisky and Pickett up as the top two
    quarterbacks—in some order—on Pittsburgh’s roster this year.

    Rudolph already admitted
    he was frustrated by the lack of first-team reps he was getting. With his
    chances of winning the QB1 job rapidly diminishing, the 27-year-old could end
    up getting shipped off before the regular season kicks off.

    The Detroit Lions
    are generating buzz as a potential landing destination for Rudolph.

    Steelers insider Andrew
    revealed that a former NFL GM predicted the Oklahoma State
    product will soon end up in the Motor City, a rather logical fit given Detroit’s
    quarterback situation.

    Jared Goff didn’t
    show anything during his first season with the Lions to give the team a reason
    to believe he could be the long-term solution under center.

    Backups Tim Boyle
    and David Blough aren’t cut out for much more than holding clipboards, making
    Rudolph a nice fit as a high-end backup who has the potential to take Goff’s
    role if the starter struggles again this year.

    Pittsburgh won’t
    be able to get much for Rudolph, but simply getting him off the roster in
    exchange for a late-Day 3 pick within the next week would be a big win. That
    would allow the Steelers to pare down their QB competition to just Pickett and
    Trubisky and free up a roster spot before final cuts are due.

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The San Francisco
    49ers may have declared Trey Lance their new starting QB, but they still must
    figure out what to do with the incumbent.

    The Niners have waited
    patiently for a situation to arise that maximizes the asking price for Jimmy
    Garoppolo. While the signal-caller’s market was ice cold following a surprise surgery
    to open the offseason, he appears healthy and has been spotted throwing

    The Cleveland Browns
    could be one of the few squads willing to give San Francisco reasonable value in
    exchange for Garoppolo after starting QB Deshaun Watson was handed an 11-game

    The Browns would
    be facing a potential lost season without making a drastic move. The
    30-year-old Garoppolo has led the 49ers to conference championship game
    appearances in each of his last two healthy seasons and can steady the ship while
    Watson is sidelined.

    Without a deal, a
    career backup in Jacoby Brissett would be tasked with guiding these promising but
    currently rudderless Browns to the playoffs. It’s a tall task in any division,
    let alone the competitive AFC North.

    Cleveland would
    have to absorb Garoppolo’s $24.2 million salary and send over some compensation
    to get a deal done. That alone should be enough to get the 49ers to make the
    move. Securing a late-Day 2 or early-Day 3 pick on top will be icing on the

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    Abbie Parr/Getty Images

    The Seattle Seahawks
    have long been regretting their choice to draft L.J. Collier with first-round
    pick in 2019.

    He hardly saw the
    field as a rookie on a team that badly needed defensive line help, was forced
    into action and fared poorly in 16 starts as a sophomore before getting sent
    back to the bench for much of last year’s campaign.

    After recording a
    meager 33 tackles and three sacks across 930 defensive
    in that three-year span, it’s readily apparent that Collier doesn’t
    have much of a future in Seattle. The club has the depth to move on from him—Darrell
    Taylor and Boye Mafe are both promising young talents—before the upcoming

    While Seattle
    could simply cut Collier, offering the edge-rusher up to a rebuilding team could
    net at least a conditional seventh-round pick based on his pedigree and upside.

    The New York
    Giants fit the bill here. The team is looking to exit a rebuild this offseason
    and could roll the dice on Collier to potentially add some surprise production
    at a bargain-bin price.

    Big Blue’s starters
    on the edge are solid, but the depth behind them isn’t elite. Having a group of rotational edge-rushers like Collier to throw at opposing quarterbacks will
    help this defense evolve into a playoff-worthy one.

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Parting with a
    fan-favorite player is never easy, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be wise to
    flip wideout Scotty Miller this offseason.

    Miller was a fixture
    during the team’s Super Bowl-winning 2020 campaign but has since fallen out of favor
    and dealt with injuries. With Russell Gage and Julio Jones joining a receiving
    corps that still has Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, there simply won’t be enough
    touches to go around.

    There should be
    plenty of contenders interested in picking up a battle-tested wideout who was
    contributor for a championship club. The Los Angeles Rams could be one of them,
    needing to add some high-end depth to their receiver’s room.

    With Odell
    Beckham Jr. remaining unsigned, the Rams could go for a cheaper option to work
    behind Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson II and Van Jefferson as a fourth wideout. Miller
    has the reliable hands and well-rounded skill set to complement Los Angeles’
    current crop of pass-catchers.

    It likely won’t
    take much for the Bucs to part with Miller right now either. They have a logjam
    to clear and some tough cuts on the horizon, so kicking over a Day 3 pick
    should get them to agree.

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    The Tennessee
    Titans have made some additions to the tight end spot that could see an
    incumbent starter on the move.

    Tennessee brought
    in two new talents this offseason, signing veteran Austin Hooper and drafting
    Chigoziem Okonkwo in the fourth round to shake things up at a position that wasn’t
    exactly producing at a high level last year.

    Top tight ends
    Anthony Firkser and Geoff Swaim only accumulated a combined 65 catches for 501
    yards and five scores in 2021. Firkser already departed to the Atlanta Falcons
    as a free agent, and Swaim could soon be on the move as well.

    The Eagles might
    be interested in acquiring Swaim to bolster a depleted tight end corps.

    The club has a quality
    starter in Dallas Goedert but lacks reliable options behind him. Jack Stoll—an
    undrafted free agent last year—is currently the No. 2 TE on the depth chart, a
    role that Swaim could fill in 2022.

    If the Titans
    keep their asking price reasonable—a seventh-rounder at most—the Eagles would
    be foolish to pass up on the chance to reinforce a position that is among the
    weakest on the roster.

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    Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Daron Payne has been one of the more reliable members of the
    Washington Commanders defense since he was selected in the first round back in

    Although the 25-year-old has been a regular starter and has
    tallied up 227 tackles and 14.5 sacks over the last four years, he’s yet to
    fully reach the potential that made him such a lofty draft choice.

    The Commanders still picked up the fifth-year option on his
    contract, and he’s now entering the final year of that rookie deal.

    Because he’s
    set to hit the open market after the season and hasn’t yet earned an extension, The Athletic’s Ben Standig noted
    that teams have been inquiring about Payne’s availability. Thus far no deal has
    emerged strong enough to entice Washington’s brass to make a move.

    If the
    Commanders decide they want to get some value out of Payne before potentially
    losing him for nothing, they should offer him to the rebuilding Detroit Lions.

    Payne would be
    a great pickup for an up-and-coming defensive line. He’s still young enough to continue
    developing alongside the other emerging talents in the Motor City and would
    still be in his prime when Detroit finally emerges as a contender following
    this extended rebuild.

    It will take a
    respectable offer to pry Payne out of Washington.

    The Commanders
    will almost certainly net a compensatory mid-round pick if he exits in free
    agency next spring, so the Lions would need to cough up at least a late-Day 2
    pick and package in some other minor assets to get a deal done.

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