The NFL trade deadline is typically not a time where many major trades are made.
This year, we’ve heard names like Adrian Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald, Tony Gonzalez, and Jared Allen all be mentioned in trade rumors. There is also a good chance that none of those names are traded by Tuesday afternoon.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sit in an unenviable position at 0-7 on the season with a coach who’s likely staring at his final days as a NFL head coach in front of him. The strange part is that Bucs GM Mark Dominik is also on the hot seat, which means he needs wins now and might not be willing to trade current players for draft picks he might never be able to use himself.
The Bucs are in a position to be sellers at the trade deadline with valuable pieces that could bring in high draft picks and give the Bucs some cap relief.
Here are 3 names the Bucs should be listening to offers on:
1. Darrelle Revis – CB – Revis’ current deal has 5-years and $80 million left on it. While he might be the best cornerback in the NFL, at $16 million this season, Revis has helped the Buccaneers to zero wins. If he is not used as a press man corner to eliminate an opposing team’s top receiver and allow the other 10 players on defense to be creative, then that $16 million would be of better use elsewhere. The Buccaneers traded 1st and 3rd round picks to the Jets for Revis when the Bucs were unsure of Revis’ health and whether they could sign him to a contract. If the Bucs were to listen to trade offers for Revis, those offers must exceed what the Buccaneers already gave up because of the knowledge that Revis has come back from his ACL injury and that he is already under contract for 5 more years. The Buccaneers would suffer no cap hit with this move. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is another team in the NFL that would pay $16 million per season to a cornerback.
2. Vincent Jackson – WR – While it is important to have a top receiver for your quarterback to be comfortable with, I think we’re starting to see why the San Diego Chargers allowed Jackson to walk away in free agency a couple years ago without getting anything in return. Jackson’s drops, penalties, lazy routes (ie. Patrick Peterson’s 2nd INT vs. Bucs), and being constantly caught from behind are not typical of an elite receiver in the NFL. Due to an accelerated bonus last season, Jackson only has a base salary of $840,000 this season, but that base escalates to around $10 million each of the next three seasons. With teams like the Colts, Lions, 49ers, Patriots, and Ravens eyeing wide receivers, there is a nice market set. If the Bucs can find a team willing to part with a 1st round pick or two 2nd round picks, they might have to seriously consider making the deal on a receiver slated to be 31 next year with zero guaranteed money left on his current deal.
3. Donald Penn – OT – Donald Penn has been part of an offensive line that is among the most disappointing units in the NFL this season. Penn will be 31 next season with 2 years left on his current deal that pays $6.4 million in 2014 and $6.5 million in 2015. Penn’s guaranteed money is also gone, so the Bucs would not take a cap hit for moving Penn. Demar Dotson has been one of the few bright spots for the Bucs offense this year, and many believe Dotson is the Bucs future left tackle. Penn probably won’t get a big return after seeing Levi Brown and Bryant McKinnie go for late round picks, but if the Bucs could get a 3rd round selection, I would think they’d have to think about pulling the trigger.
While none of these players are likely to be dealt at the NFL’s trade deadline, these would be my most valuable pieces to move if I was the Bucs general manager and trying to stock up on draft picks in what might be a pretty talented NFL draft.
I am a firm believer of at least listening to offers for every player on my roster. Listening and accepting a deal are two completely separate entities. If an offer is good enough for me, I would then agree to accept a deal.
For Bucs fans, prepare to hear no news on Tuesday with a regime in place that needs wins much more now than worrying about what 2014 and beyond looks like.