As the National Football League trade deadline quickly approaches, rumors continue to swirl over who will be switching team colors. With the undefeated San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots both making moves to improve their rosters in the past week, the trend is moving towards contenders swapping picks for veteran players before the stretch run of the season. In the NFL, the best teams are always looking to get better, and the Green Bay Packers should look to do the same in the coming days.
Tuesdays trade deadline represents the Green Bay Packers last shot at improving their team entering the second half of the year. If the front office truly believes they are contenders for the Lombardi trophy in 2019, as they should, making a trade to improve the roster should be a priority. Executing a move to improve the roster while the team sits a 6-1, and a healthy Aaron Rodgers is once again torching defenses makes sense. There are a number of players on the trade block that the Packers would be wise to target.
A.J. Green, WR, Bengals: Green has been perhaps the most widely reported trade target of the Packers, with Matt Miller of Bleacher Report saying the Philadelphia Eagles join Green Bay in pursuit of the 30 year old. The former 4th overall selection remains a top tier NFL receiver and is fully capable of transforming whichever offense he is plugged into later this year. Green suffered an ankle injury in training camp which has kept him out for the entire season so far, but should be on the field within the next two weeks. One has to wonder if the Bengals have kept him on the sidelines to avoid further injury in the hopes of trading him for full value. Green Bay could unleash a scary offense on the rest of the NFL with Green and a healthy Davante Adams out wide.
Possible trade package: Josh Jackson, 2020 2nd round pick
Robby Anderson, WR, Jets: On the field, Anderson is a speed demon and a dangerous weapon when attacking opposing secondaries. Having Anderson and Marquez Valdes-Scantling line up on the same side of the field, with literally anyone else utilizing the open space underneath is a recipe for success in today’s NFL. The very thought of the pairing is tantalizing. However, Robby seems to have his own demons off the field, and has run into trouble with the law on a few occasions. Will that be enough for Brian Gutenkunst to look elsewhere for extra ammo?
Possible trade package: 2020 4th round pick
Leonard Williams, DE, Jets: Williams had the look of an absolute game-wrecker coming out of USC, and fell into the Jets lap at pick number six. While a Pro Bowler in 2016, he has yet to have a true breakout year in the NFL. Quinnen Williams is the future of the Jets defensive line, and with his high draft status, a contract extension for Leonard seems unlikely. To be fair, number 92 has played for less than impressive teams and has almost always been the offense’s main focus. A change of scenery could prove fruitful. Williams remains an elite run defender and would shore up the Packers defensive line.
Possible trade package: 2021 3rd round pick
Raekwon McMillan, MLB, Dolphins: McMillan’s name has yet to come up in trade rumors, however with the Dolphins having a full on fire sale, there’s no reason think he won’t be dealt. McMillan has been one of the few bright spots on the season for the floundering ‘Fins franchise. According to Pro Football Focus, McMillan tops all linebackers in the NFL against the run entering week 8. That’s exactly what the doctor ordered for a Packers defense allowing 128.9 yards on the ground per game on 4.9 yards per carry. The third-year backer out of Ohio State is somewhat of a wildcard on this list, but would prove an excellent, savvy addition. Make the call Gutey.
Possible trade package: Josh Jackson, 2020 6th round pick, 2021 4th round pick
NFL General Managers are making trades like never before. According to Peter King of NBC Sports, in the calendar year of 2009, 39 trades were made involving 50 players. With seven of those players being Pro Bowlers. So far this year, there have been 54 trades, involving 69 players, with 13 making at least one Pro Bowl. An unheard of uptick. Just look at some of the names moved, Khalil Mack, Marcus Peters, Jalen Ramsey, Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, Laremy Tunsil. Front offices have been far more aggressive in identifying holes in their rosters and making moves to reinforce their depth charts.
With Aaron Rodgers in the fold, and the team looking like a Superbowl contender, Brian Gutekunst would be wise to follow suit. Taking a chance at the deadline is always a risk. Nonetheless, at this juncture the reward far outweighs the danger in aiding this Packers team. The goal, as always, remains bringing the Lombardi trophy back to Titletown.Nick is a lifelong Packers fan. 4th and 26 was on his 13th birthday, unlucky. Follow him @CANDRAFTGEEK647 on Twitter for all your Packers draft needs and questions.