On Feb. 8, the 2018 NBA trade deadline produced a flurry of moves not rivaled by many deadlines. The Cleveland Cavaliers were the team to do the most, trading away six players and two picks to bring in four players and a pick to help shore up their team for the playoffs.
In the NFL, the trade deadline is not quite a national holiday like it is in the NBA, so in this obvious hypothetical situation, the Green Bay Packers are going to alter that outlook.
For this, I used the current rosters as if the trade deadline were to happen today. I considered every player in the NFL and had current free agents remain in free agency (and did not send them back to their respective teams) to make this situation consider both free agency and trade options.
Trade #1: Packers address offensive line
Going into the offseason, the offensive line is an area of improvement for Green Bay. All starters are under contract for at least this season except for Jahri Evans, who signed a one-year deal back in May.
After having played his 12th season in the NFL, there have been whispers of Evans considering retirement. He is a free agent this year, so there is a gap at right guard that needs to be filled.
Last year for the Buffalo Bills, 30-year old Vladimir Ducasse played in and started 12 games at right guard. According to the NFL1000 scouts in an article on Bleacher Report, Ducasse was ranked as the 33rd-best offensive guard in the league.
Signed to a three year, $3.5 million contract in 2017, Ducasse is going into the second year of this contract. He is only earning a base salary of $1.3 million with an incentive bonus of only $150,000.
Ducasse comes cheap and he is only 30 years old. For Green Bay to acquire him, they should only need to send a conditional late-round pick to Buffalo
Outcome: Ducasse comes to Green Bay for a 2020 conditional fifth-round draft pick
Trade #2: Green Bay raids Cleveland
As many teams have found out, you can never have too many playmakers on both sides of the ball. For Green Bay and new general manager Brian Gutekunst, this offseason is a huge sign for how the team will acquire talent.
Let’s consider the situation the Cleveland Browns are in: coming off a 0-16 season, the team has the first and fourth overall draft picks, where they could address any type of need. The team has been linked to quarterbacks, running backs and defensive impact players in many mock drafts, so the options are endless.
The teams between the Browns’ first two picks are also looking into quarterbacks, so the opportunity to upgrade is there. Therefore, let’s take advantage of the draft situation the Browns are in and shore up Green Bay’s depth.
With the team most likely addressing the QB and RB positions at some point in the draft, plus with both positions being relatively deep in the draft, Green Bay can make some noise with the Browns.
If Cleveland were to draft any of the top signal callers, the team would have four on the team: the draft pick, Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan and last year’s starter DeShone Kizer. The Browns could be alright with trading Kizer if they bring in a rookie, which is talked about in this article.
But Kizer is not the last player becoming a Cheesehead in this situation. The Browns would also have depth at the tailback position, so one of either Duke Johnson Jr. or Isaiah Crowell could be moved if Cleveland would draft Saquon Barkley or Derrick Guice early.
Crowell has started the last 32 consecutive games for Cleveland and amassed nine touchdowns and over 2,000 total yards over the past two seasons. He is more of a runner than a receiver but has a better-proven record than Johnson Jr. does.
So far, GB is bringing Kizer and Crowell into the fold, but there is one other player that the team could look into acquiring: Briean Boddy-Calhoun.
The slot corner for the Browns has been a revelation ever since being picked up off waivers from Jacksonville in 2016. He has started 13 games over the past two seasons, picking off three passes in 2016 and knocking down 17 passes over the two years.
The draft has a deeper defensive back class, with many options in the second through fourth rounds. With the plethora of picks the Browns have, they could be looking to start new in most positions and moving Boddy-Calhoun would work with that mindset.
While Crowell and Boddy-Calhoun are both in the final years of their deal, the Packers could easily extend both for relatively cheap while keeping the team’s finances strong for the upcoming seasons.
The hardest part is to try and figure out how to gauge the return for the Browns. In a way that could help Green Bay financially while improving their roster, the team could free up cap space by moving big contracts with picks. Randall Cobb could be the odd man out for receivers next year, and getting his contract off the books would constitute a big chunk of cash for free agency.
Outcome: Green Bay acquires DeShone Kizer, Isaiah Crowell and Briean Boddy-Calhoun from Cleveland, while Randall Cobb joins the improving receiver ranks for Cleveland along with a 2019 fourth round pick and a 2020 sixth round selection.
While these deals are all very hypothetical, the idea of Green Bay improving through the trade market is more real now with Gutekunst than with former GM Ted Thompson. Leave your suggestions below in the comments if you think these deals could ever have a chance to happen, or if you have any potential trade ideas!
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23