The 2018 NFL season is nearing the halfway point, which also means that the trade deadline is looming. Clubs have until Oct. 30 to wheel and deal should they choose to, and given the increased trade activity in recent years, it should come as no surprise if some big names are moved.
Here’s a look at 10 players who could be traded ahead of the deadline.
10. Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles opted not to trade Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles this past offseason, and that proved to be the right decision as Carson Wentz took a little extra time before returning from a torn ACL. However, with Wentz now back in the starting role, Foles has once again been relegated to clipboard duty while a plethora of quarterback positions have opened up around the league. Perhaps more than any other backup quarterback in the NFL, Foles carries a tremendous value and could yield a good return for Philadelphia.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr took one of the worst beatings of his career in his team’s 27-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, and he left the game with an arm injury after taking his sixth sack of the day. Fortunately, the bye week should give him enough time to heal.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Carr is not expected to miss a start.
#Raiders QB Derek Carr is sore from a 6-sack game and numerous hits. But despite his left arm injury suffered in London, I’m told he’s not going to miss a start. Carr is going to grind and tough it out. He did plead to go back in the game after all.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 15, 2018
Carr was favoring his left arm as he left the field on Sunday, but he was later shown trying to talk himself back into the game after being examined by medical staff. With the Raiders trailing big at the time and virtually no chance of coming back, there was no reason to risk Carr going back in.
The bye week could not have come at a better time for Oakland, as Carr wasn’t the only key offensive player injured on Sunday.
- Derek Carr
The Oakland Raiders continue to struggle, and now their quarterback is struggling with injury.
Derek Carr left Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks after taking his sixth sack of the game, and appeared to be favoring his left arm or shoulder as he left the field.
Derek Carr is in some pain. He’s holding is left shoulder/arm and is with trainers on the sideline and now going to the blue tent.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) October 14, 2018
If there’s any good news, it’s that Carr looked like he was trying to talk himself back into the game after being evaluated. The Raiders, trailing 27-3, saw no point in further risking Carr’s health and brought A.J. McCarron in to replace him.
Derek Carr looked to be making case to stay in game — good sign for future. Bit with Raiders trailing 27-3 in fourth quarter, arguably no point. A.J. McCarron just took practice snaps behind center Rodney Hudson and has helmet on. Looks like McCarron will finish game.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 14, 2018
Carr’s injury wasn’t the only one suffered by a key Raider on Sunday in what was a brutal day for them.
- Derek Carr
Through five week of the NFL season, we’re getting a much better sense of the contenders and teams that will be picking high in next year’s draft. Some players’ seasons have taken off, while others are struggling. For those in the latter group, there is still time for a turnaround.
Here’s a look at 10 players who badly need to turn things around.
Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
The Cowboys looked like they were set at the quarterback position for a very long time when Prescott burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2016, but he has been quite underwhelming since. Dallas has basically had no passing game this season, and that is one of the main reasons they are off to a 2-3 start. Prescott has just five touchdowns compared to four interceptions in five starts. Teams are challenging the Cowboys to throw by loading up to stop Ezekiel Elliott, and Prescott hasn’t looked up to the challenge. That could have a lot to do with not having playmakers like Dez Bryant and Jason Witten to throw to, but Dak needs to pick things up if the Cowboys want to make a run at the postseason. Luckily the NFC East is in bad enough shape where there’s still time.
No running back is more familiar with the idea of a goal line pass play blowing up in a team’s face than the one Jon Gruden has in his backfield with the Oakland Raiders, but that didn’t stop the coach from trying to get fancy during Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. While it did not work out, Gruden does not regret the play-call.
The Raiders had gone 74 yards in 10 plays before a pass interference call in the end zone placed the ball at the 1-yard line. Rather than handing it to Marshawn Lynch for what could have been an easy score, Gruden called a play-action pass with his team trailing 20-3. The end result was Carr’s eighth interception of the season, but Gruden defended the decision.
“Certainly the call is to hand the ball to Lynch there because of what happened, but first-and-goal at the 1, a play pass, faking to Lynch, has been a great call for a lot of years,” Gruden said, per Jimmy Durkin of The Athletic.
Lynch, of course, was lined up in the backfield when the Seattle Seahawks threw the most infamous interception in NFL history to lose Super Bowl XLIX. Not wanting to sugarcoat anything, Gruden placed the blame squarely on Carr’s shoulders.
“The decision there is to throw it and if it’s not open, you throw it away. It just didn’t work out,” he said. “We expected to have a wide open receiver on the play and obviously that’ll be second-guessed — rightfully so — but shouldn’t have made that throw down there. I’ll live to hand the ball off and the next play possibly.”
Gruden is right that Carr should never have made the throw, and perhaps the coach was trying to design a play that would give his quarterback some confidence. Still, you’d like to hear the coach share some of the blame while speaking with the media — even if everyone knows he is just defending his QB.
This isn’t the first time we have seen Gruden throw someone under the bus this year, so passing the buck is becoming somewhat of a theme in Oakland.
While there were some exceptions, Week 5 was not a great one if you were a quarterback, or especially a kicker. There were a lot of notably underwhelming performances, including a handful of high-profile quarterbacks and a kicking nightmare in Detroit. Those were hardly the only positions to suffer, though, as receivers, defenses, and even coaches were left looking a bit silly after Sunday’s events.
Here’s a look at 15 of the biggest disappointments of NFL Week 5.
Mason Crosby, K, Packers
It’s safe to say Crosby had the worst kicking performance of the 2018 season. His first miss, wide left from 41 in the first quarter, was unusual, but sometimes good kickers just blow one. Then he missed off the right upright from 42, followed by another wide right from 38, and it was clear that something was going on. A missed extra point in the third confirmed that Crosby’s confidence was shot and initiated a Twitter pile-on, and sending him out there in the fourth to miss from 56 — more understandably — felt like cruel and unusual punishment. It was so bad for Crosby that the Packers saw fit to let him hit one from 41 with seven seconds left just so he could see one go through the uprights. Crosby has five seasons, including the previous three, where he missed just four kicks all season. To say this was uncharacteristic for him is an understatement.
Miami Dolphins defensive end William Hayes tore his ACL while trying to avoid putting his weight on Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr during Sunday’s game to avoid a roughing the passer call under the league’s new rules. That has prompted an avalanche of criticism of the rule, arguing that it’s making other players less safe at the expense of quarterback safety.
Carr, the quarterback involved, thought Hayes should have landed on him, and not because he wanted the penalty yardage.
Raiders QB Derek Carr on Dolphins DE William Hayes, who tore ACL trying not to land hard on Carr when sacking him: “I wish the guy would have just landed on me instead of tearing his ACL. …For him to tear his ACL, nobody wants that. I don’t want that.”
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) September 26, 2018
Even opponents who benefit have been critical of the rule. While Carr isn’t directly criticizing it, it’s pretty clear he thinks there should be some common-sense limits to what is illegal under the interpretation of the rule.