BeginningNFLpreseason marks the upcoming start of the regular season. Every year players move from one city to another, sometimes through trade. Some of those trades have major implications for the teams' short- and long-term fortunes. With that in mind, let's examine five NFL players who could realistically be traded in 2023 and the circumstances that could lead to those results.
5 NFL Players to Potentially Be Traded in 2023
We have witnessed important transactions in recent years. Some have spoken. Others just don't. Just last year, the Jaguars' low-cost acquisition of Calvin Ridley could help them become legitimate Super Bowl contenders this season. The addition of T.J. Hockenson filled a big offensive void en route to a 13-4 record.
A year earlier, the (at the time) undefeated Cardinals secured Zach Ertz, in what appeared to be the last stretch of the Super Bowl. Namely, the 2021 Rams were traded for Matthew Stafford, Von Miller and Sony Michel, which contributed to the franchise's first title in more than two decades.
When it comes to NFL trades, the end often justifies the means. If it works, it was worth it. If not, it may have been a mistake. But in real time, they can drastically change the landscape of the NFL.
The next five big names could realistically be dealt before the trade deadline in 2023. Here are the conditions under which they can be moved.
Derrick Henry, RB, Titanes de Tennessee
Tennessee was the No. 1 seed in the AFC two years ago. But in one of the greatest slumps of the modern era, they lost their final seven games last season, including a Week 18 loss to Jacksonville (on a fumble-six with less than three minutes remaining) that knocked them out of the game. . off keep off. .
While the Titans defense can keep them competitive, the Jaguars are increasingly outmatched. Ryan Tannehill's shine has long since faded, and as the AFC has become more competitive, Tennessee appears to have only the faintest hope of making the playoffs with a relatively easy win.the power of schedulework in your favor.
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But here is the simple reality. Derrick Henry turns 30 in January. Among starting running backs, he is the active career leader in regular season rushing attempts with 1,750, 37% more than runner-up Dalvin Cook. On a team in need of a partial rebuild, Henry's value can only go down.
It would be almost crazy for Tennessee to gradually run out of Henry's contract hours without picking up some change for themselves. As they focus on 2024 and beyond, the Titans hope to unleash their star RB, one of the best of his generation, while rebuilding their offense against Treylon Burks, Will Levis and maybe even Tyjae Spears. Henry is past and present. They have to look to the future.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Entering the league, Austin Ekeler didn't even shape up as a future starter, let alone a future steeplechase. He was one of the biggest offensive surprises in decades, one of the best at his position, period.
However, Ekeler is unlikely to return to Los Angeles after this season. The Chargers do not want to give the 28-year-old (who will turn 29 next season) a long-term contract. If Los Angeles thinks they can catch up to the Chiefs, they will certainly take Ekeler. If the team was healthy, this team proved last year and the year before last that it can compete with anyone.
But if the Chargers are off to a slow start, keep an eye out for rumors about this franchise. A half-dozen or more teams would like to hire Ekeler at the right price. It could be essential for a team watching the Super Bowl. If the Chargers falter in the first six weeks, they could trade their former star.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Much of what has been written about Henry can be applied to Cooper Kupp, who turns 30 in June. Kupp's value couldn't be higher and the Rams' 2023 prospects couldn't be lower. They deserved their title. Trading the future for the present in 2021 paid off. Now they live with the consequences.
Kupp's greatness aside, L.A. he has big question marks at quarterback (Has Stafford officially regressed?), the backfield (Can Cam Akers finally make it all work?) and the defense, which used to be his calling card. The Rams are also weak at receiver outside of Kupp, which became apparent last season after the world-class receiver was cut midseason.
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Like the Titans, the Rams must rebuild. But unlike Tennessee, they have higher salary caps.
Kupp was locked up for four more seasons, though the team is out after two years. Still, with the Rams treading water at their best in the NFC, it would be fitting to hand one of the best receivers in the game to a team with cap space and title prospects to make that "last piece of play" . puzzles".
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals
If you think DeAndre Hopkins is going to be done, consider his 64-717-3 receiving line in just nine games last year, with most of that production coming from backup quarterback throws. He could still be a near-elite wide receiver in the NFL, at least for another year.
The Cardinals were the last undefeated team just two years ago. Like the Titans, they appeared to be well on their way to Super Bowl contention. However, Arizona's collapse due to injuries (among other factors) makes them the best contenders to win the title this season.
With Kyler Murray potentially out for half the season, it's hard to justify keeping Hopkins around. Coincidentally, sheseemed closeTrade him to the Titans before this year's draft.
There is still a market for an alpha receiver who can improve the passing attack. Depending on how things go in the first month of the season, one or more teams may need Hopkins more than ever. And the cards would be happy to pay.
Tyreek Hill, WR, Miami Dolphins
We can focus on the latter.Dalvin Cook Rumors. But with rumors that he could be waived rather than traded, let's make a much bolder prediction based on some startling truths. And yes, this will look shocking. But keep reading.
Miami went all-in last season when they traded for Tyreek Hill. He certainly fulfilled it. And for a Super Bowl-caliber team, Hill is a must-have WR: an offensive anchor alongside Jaylen Waddle and Tu Tagovailoa. Why would Miami change that?
The problem the Finns face is threefold. First, AFC East is fierce. They could go 10-7 and still finish in last place and miss the postseason. The Patriots can do better. nozzlesyou shouldto be better. And the Bills are still the team to beat. Miami has a lot to do.
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Second, the first half of s.dolphin scheduleit's brutal. Five of their first nine games are road games against the Chargers, Patriots, Bills, Eagles and Chiefs. Home runs against the Broncos, Giants, Panthers and Patriots can make it 3-1. But those road games could put them at 4-5 by midseason, with second-half games against the Cowboys, Ravens and Bills.
Third, Hill turns 30 in March and owes a large amount over the next four years. While the Dolphins could abandon ship after the 2024 season, the dead cap cost would be significant.
Miami's acquisition of Hill was a win-now move while the Patriots and Jets were mired in mediocrity. There's a distinct possibility that the Dolphins franchise will realize by mid-October that they don't have the firepower, cap space or draft capital to make big moves in 2024. Do they keep their core together for a few more years? two or three years and wait for a breakthrough?
The Dolphins may be forced to face the unthinkable: that without a clear path to the Super Bowl, spending tens of millions a year on Hill becomes more painful than beneficial.