The NFL Trade Deadline (4:00 PM, Tuesday, Oct 31) has not, historically, propagated a lot of significant transactions. That’s slowly starting to change, however, and the likes of Adrian Peterson (New Orleans to Arizona) and Marcell Dareus (Buffalo to Jacksonville) have already been moved. We’re going to see another move or two in the next 24 hours, and if we can predict who’s going where, we can also find some futures betting value.
2017 NFL Trade Deadline Possibilities
Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, Patriots)
Nobody can be sure how good the Patriots back-up QB is. What is certain is that, if New England doesn’t trade Garoppolo, the team faces a difficult decision at the end of the year when his rookie contract ends. Either they give him a large payday or let him walk. It’s unlikely the Pats would use the franchise tag to keep Garoppolo around for one more year, since that would result in paying two QBs over $30 million next season.
The question New England is asking itself right now has to be: can we win the Super Bowl if Brady goes down? If the answer is no, they might as well avoid a messy salary-cap situation this winter and add reinforcements for their 2017 Super Bowl run.
Plenty of teams need a long-term solution under center (Cleveland, San Francisco, New York Jets, among others), and would trade veterans and/or high draft picks to land Jimmy G. Conversely, squads in contention but weak at QB like Arizona, Denver, or Jacksonville, could add Garoppolo and hope that he leads them to the playoffs.
There is a significant market for Garoppolo, but New England has been unwilling to deal him thus far, and it’s not overly likely that they shift their thinking unless they get a truly great offer. There’s probably only a 10 to 15-percent shot that he gets dealt. However, New England is a Super Bowl contender regardless, and would be in line for a big return haul if they move Garoppolo. As a result, a wager on the Pats at 4/1 to win Super Bowl 52 is reasonable. If they get more help after a trade, that number will get shorter (likely in the 5/2 range), and you can either play it out or cash in immediately for a smaller score.
Eli Manning (QB, Giants)
With two Super Bowl titles as a Giant, Manning’s legacy in New York is rock solid despite several middling (at best) seasons. This year, the Giants are going nowhere, and it’s in their long-term best interest to finish 1-15 instead of rallying to go 5-11. Eli’s $15.5 million salary next year ($16.5 in 2019) are not ridiculous, and the team can get out of a portion of it by cutting him if they want. But there are a handful of teams that are just a quarterback away from being true Super Bowl contenders (Jacksonville, for instance), and they might fancy aging Eli and his playoff experience worth a gamble.
Why wouldn’t the Jaguars make a strong offer for Manning? His former coach Tom Coughlin is running the team, and with Manning turning 37 years old in January, and Coughlin already in his 70s, their window is the same, to wit: closing fast! Jacksonville has been aggressive, taking Marcell Dareus and his bloated contract last week. They have no shot at winning the Super Bowl with the radically inconsistent Blake Bortles captaining the ship — their defense is good, but not that good. Eli, for all his faults, would be an upgrade. It would have been better to make this move prior to Jacksonville’s bye, but Eli can quickly fit into a run-based and defense-oriented team. The Jaguars are 20/1 to win the AFC and 40/1 to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. What would those numbers be with Manning at the helm? Shorter, that’s a certainty.
Duane Brown (OL, Texans) & Cordy Glenn (OL, Bills)
Brown finally ended a long holdout with the Texans last week, while Glenn plays for the surprisingly solid Bills who are somewhat split between trying to win now and setting themselves up for the future. Both offensive linemen have value for teams suffering from O-line injuries (e.g. Eagles) or simply having difficulty in protection (e.g. Lions, Seahawks). Brown is the more complicated situation, because the Texans are a legitimate contender, but they played well before Brown ever came back. They may prefer to deal Brown for a player than a draft pick.
Since getting to Buffalo, GM Brandon Beane and coach Sean McDermott have consistently made measured moves to put the Bills in a position to be good next year (and further down the road). They’d happily swap Glenn for additional picks, recognizing that, despite their impressive 5-2 record to date, they simply don’t have the horses on offense to win it all this season.
Seattle and Philadelphia both have Super Bowl ambitions and both could use help up front. The Seahawks just saw Brown first-hand in their dramatic win over Houston on Sunday, and likely came away impressed, especially after such a long layoff. It would be surprising if these teams didn’t at least make inquiries. As for the Texans, who have traded away 2018 draft picks already, getting one or more back is very intriguing.
With help up front to replace injured Jason Peters, the NFL-leading Eagles could see their current odds (3/1 to win the NFC; 15/2 to win the Super Bowl) get shorter. The better value, however, is on a potentially improved Seattle team (currently 4/1 in the NFC and 10/1 to capture the Super Bowl) that has myriad playoff experience already on the roster.