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#pounditThursday, May 6, 2021

5 players most likely to be dealt by NFL trade deadline

Dwayne Haskins

As hard as it may be to believe, the 2020 NFL trade deadline is rapidly approaching. Determinations are being made on which teams are buyers and which teams will be sellers. However, this trading deadline may be a bit different than in years past due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on the league.

While the coronavirus makes it difficult to predict just how active the next few weeks will be, some superstars will undoubtedly be on the move. Here’s a look at five of the most likely trade candidates.

5. Ryan Kerrigan, EDGE, Washington Football Team

The thought of trading Ryan Kerrigan might seem blasphemous to most fans of the Washington Football Team, but all good things must come to an end, as they say. At 32 years old, Kerrigan is on the down side of his career. Washington is in obvious rebuilding mode, and since Week 1, the veteran’s production has been very little. The longer Kerrigan continues to flounder (51.8 PFF grade so far this season), the more value he loses. And while head coach Ron Rivera may appreciate the depth off the edge, accumulating more assets is what this team needs. It would be difficult to pull the trigger, but it’s a new era in Washington, and some difficult decisions need to be made.

4. Stephon Gilmore, CB, New England Patriots

Although the Patriots gave Stephon Gilmore a substantial pay raise this offseason, that did not prevent Bill Belichick & Co. from dangling the cornerback out there as potential trade bait. As recently as training camp, the Pats were floating Gilmore as a potential trade chip, and there’s no reason to believe that’s going to change as the trading deadline approaches. The Pats are 2-2 to start the season and no longer appear to be the powerhouse they once were. So if Belichick doesn’t believe they can compete down the stretch, it would make sense to ship Gilmore out for either picks or other assets as New England looks to rebuild in the post-Tom Brady era.

3. Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants

The Giants are going nowhere fast, and following an offseason in which the hype was built up to astronomical levels, tight end Evan Engram has fallen flat in New York’s struggling offense. However, Engram will still flash his rare and elite athleticism from time-to-time, and that’s enough to keep teams interested. Opposing head coaches frequently rave about the tight end’s potential, and many consider Engram to be a Jordan Reed clone. Someone out there will be willing to take a flier on him. The Giants may as well entertain the idea of trading him because their ongoing rebuild appears as if it will linger for a while. Engram may not be a make-or-break factor for the Giants, but he could be a key asset for a playoff team that’s just a piece or two away.

2. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Washington Football Team

It’s hard to believe that Dwayne Haskins might get the Josh Rosen treatment this early in his career, but here we are. Haskins has not only been benched in D.C.; he’s been demoted to QB3 and has not been with the team since said demotion (allegedly due to illness). And although head coach Ron Rivera insists he has not yet given up on the 23-year-old, rumors have begun to swirl that the quarterback could be traded in the near future. Despite Haskins’ early struggles, there’s no denying that he possesses the talent necessary to find a foothold in the NFL, even if it doesn’t come in Washington. His attitude may need some adjustments though.

1. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

This was potentially the year A.J. Green would bounce back and reestablish himself as one of the league’s elite wide receivers, but the connection between him and rookie quarterback Joe Burrow just doesn’t seem to be there. Through four games, Green has hauled in just 14 of his 33 targets for 119 yards and no touchdowns. His catch rate of 41.2 percent is a career-low by a mile. Ditto his 8.5 yards per reception. Green came into this season playing on the franchise tag and there does not appear to be a long-term future for the 32-year-old in Cincinnati. It’s time for both sides to move on, and that’s likely how things will play out in the coming weeks.


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