Every year as we approach the NFL trade deadline, I find myself getting unreasonably excited at all the potential moves we could see in the coming days. Do these moves often happen? No. Sadly the NFL hasn’t quite reached the NBA’s level of game changing, mid-season moves, but in a weird year such as this, we might be in store for a particularly wild trade deadline. Or it’ll be a complete and total bust because it’s such a weird year. Or people will be far more willing to part with draft picks since it’s such a weird year in college football and scouting will be even more of a crapshoot this year. I could go back and forth forever.
Part of the fun each year at the deadline is dreaming up wild and crazy trades that just might happen but more than likely won’t. That is precisely what is happening here.
These trades are founded upon a kernel of realism but the likelihood that they actually occur is low. That being said, they are all moves that would make sense for the parties involved and would be extra helpful in the fantasy football world (since this is a fantasy sports site).
Let’s get to the five trades I’d love to see go down at the deadline.
Ryan Fitzpatrick to the Dallas Cowboys
This trade could legit happen. The Dolphins are officially turning things over to Tua Tagovailoa this week and that means Fitzmagic will find himself on the bench. The Cowboys find themselves still in the playoff hunt despite being 2-5 because the NFC East is just that terrible, but they’re not going to make any noise if they continue to ride with Andy Dalton who has looked less than great in his two starts in the place of Dak Prescott.
Fitzpatrick would give the Cowboys an upgrade at quarterback, and a relentless gunslinger who could take full advantage of the rich receiver room the Cowboys have. You can’t tell me you wouldn’t feel a whole lot more excited about starting CeeDee Lamb or Michael Gallup in fantasy with Fitzmagic under center. (As a Lamb AND Gallup manager, I am begging the football gods for this to happen.)
Michael Gallup to the Green Bay Packers
The Cowboys could also decide that this just isn’t their year and even with a better quarterback, their defense is simply so dang bad, there’s no way they’re contending. If that were the case, they are a perfect candidate to sell at the deadline and the Packers should be calling about getting Gallup on the cheap.
Aaron Rodgers is playing at an MVP level right now but outside of Davante Adams and occasionally Robert Tonyan, he doesn’t have much to throw the ball to. Gallup has taken a backseat to Lamb in the Cowboys pecking order and would be the perfect complement to Adams. Gallup’s ability to work down the field would open up the underneath for Adams to do damage. Or, just send them both deep and throw to whomever the safety doesn’t help on. Let’s not forget Gallup is coming off a sophomore season in which he had over 1,100 yards and six touchdowns on 66 catches. (As a Gallup manager, I am begging the football gods for this to happen.)
Mike Evans to the Baltimore Ravens
Hat tip to my colleague Jordan Smith who brought this trade up on Tuesday’s RB1 Podcast. The Buccaneers are about to have a crowded wide receiver room with the addition of Antonio Brown and as crazy as it sounds, Evans might be the odd man out. Now Chris Godwin’s finger injury is notable and likely means the Bucs will not be looking to move Evans at the deadline but I can dream damnit. Let’s #FreeMikeEvans and send him to the Ravens to become Lamar Jackson’s favorite target.
Baltimore is not a team to be scared of making a big splash move and they clearly think they have a Super Bowl window and are going for. The offense has not been as dynamic as it was last year but adding a talent like Evans would instantly improve Jackson’s targets and give Jackson basically a tight end size receiver on the outside would would more than help clean up some of Jackson’s errant passing this season. I mean, this trade just makes all the sense in the world for Baltimore. Ignore the real world Eric DeCosta, and make this dream a reality.
Marvin Jones Jr. to the Philadelphia Eagles
Like I said earlier, the NFC East sucks and it’s anyone’s division to win. In fact, it’s currently the Eagles’ division to lose as they currently sit atop it with a remarkable 2-4-1 record. (Side note: please NFL take the NFC East’s playoff spot and give it to the far more deserving NFC West.) The Eagles passing game has been a hodgepodge of pass catchers with no true No. 1 option to led the offense and if the Eagles want to retain their division crown, they need to get Carson Wentz at least one reliable target. Enter Marvin Jones.
The Lions are bound to be sellers at the deadline and with Jones in the final year of his contract, he’s a prime candidate to get moved. Jones has been somewhat lost in a muddy and uncoordinated Lions offense this year, but he’s coming off a year in which he racked up almost 800 receiving yards and caught nine touchdowns. His size, hands, and big play ability would be a welcome sight in Philly and instantly give Wentz (and those who’ve held onto Jones in fantasy football) an upgrade.
John Ross to the San Francisco 49ers
Now this certainly isn’t the sexiest of trades (Adam Thielen might get traded! How’s that for sex appeal?), but it’s one that actually would be rather exciting if it happened. Ross has been basically a healthy scratch for the Bengals for a couple weeks now and clearly doesn’t fit into the team moving forward. We saw his potential flash last year when he opened the season with back-to-back 100+ yard receiving games. Ross has the elite, game breaking speed to be a home run threat anytime he gets his hands on the ball. And we’ve seen receivers like this have huge success in Kyle Shanahan’s offense before.
Back as the offensive coordinator for the Falcons in 2016, speedster Taylor Gabriel tallied 579 yards and six touchdowns as Atlanta’s downfield threat. In Shanahan’s first year with the 49ers in 2017, it was track star Marquise Goodwin who played that role and finished with a career high 962 yards and two touchdowns. With all the injures the 49ers have been dealing with on offense, and how successful their last NFL deadline trade was (man I wish Emmanuel Sanders was still in San Fran), I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 49ers make a move to help bolster their offense. Adding the elite speed and potential of John Ross for cheap seems to make a fair amount of sense to me.