By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on July 17, 2014
Trades are much rarer in the NFL than in the other major professional sports leagues. But that doesn't mean they're impossible, or that multiple deals can't transpire over the duration of one preseason. Here are five potential trades that make too much sense.
Even after nabbing defensive end Michael Johnson in free agency, the Buccaneers could use another edge-rushing threat to further bolster a pass rush that managed just 35.0 sacks in 2013. They could potentially find just that by trading for Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Derrick Morgan, who would benefit from a move back to a 4-3 scheme. Acquiring Morgan would potentially cement Tampa Bay's status as a top-10 defense.
Another edge rusher playing out of scheme is Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Brandon Graham, a former first-round pick who has been criminally underutilized through four seasons. A change of scenery on a team that employs a 4-3 defense, like the Cincinnati Bengals, who could use another pass rusher after the aforementioned Michael Johnson bolted for Tampa Bay in free agency, would likely do wonders for Graham.
It's clear that the Minnesota Vikings envision either Matt Cassel or rookie Teddy Bridgewater becoming the starter at quarterback this fall. The odd man out, Christian Ponder, could subsequently become trade bait this summer, and the Arizona Cardinals, with a 34-year-old starter in Carson Palmer, would be an ideal suitor.
The New England Patriots made it known how they feel about quarterback Ryan Mallett when they selected Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round of May's draft. Garoppolo is now unquestionably viewed as Tom Brady's successor, a title previously thought to be Mallett's. Thus, Mallett should be shipped elsewhere, like Houston, where the Texans are in desperate need of a long-term answer at quarterback.
In another potential deal between the Texans and Patriots, disgruntled receiver Andre Johnson would be the perfect fit in New England. The Patriots need to upgrade their receiver corps and while the Texans have talent defensively, they're unquestionably still in rebuilding mode. Johnson deserves to play for a winner and a franchise quarterback. Will the Patriots be willing to part ways with a high draft choice, though?
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