(Image credit Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
The NFL Trade Deadline is approaching soon and this got me thinking the past few weeks. Who will be the teams in the NFL that buy, avoid any negotiation whatsoever, or sell players during the trade deadline? In this article, I will continue my journey by this time looking at the AFC West and take a look at what each team in that division will possibly do during the trade deadline this season.
Denver Broncos - Buyers
I debated this a lot as The Broncos came out of the season really strong but let's be real the team faced the Giants week 1, Jaguars Week 2, and the Jets Week 3. That's a really easy schedule and now that they faced real competition in the Raiders and Ravens there are plenty of weaknesses regarding the coach both on offense and defense. I can see the Broncos try to sell during the deadline but I think if the Broncos want to push for playoffs in a tough division they're going to have to buy during the Trade deadline. To me, there are three positions that the Broncos should buy during the NFL Trade Deadline. They have the salary cap to do is as they currently have around 16.7 million dollars in salary cap.
Position the Broncos could trade for
Offensive Lineman - It never ever hurts to build the offensive line as that is what protects the quarterback and opens holes for the running backs to run through. The Broncos o-line definitely has holes in it as the Broncos don’t have a ton of depth and I am not a fan of their right tackle situation as Bobby Massie has regressed and Cameron Fleming, while solid, has been extremely inconsistent through his career. Fleming is more of a rotational offensive lineman. If I were the Broncos I would absolutely make a few trades to bolster the offensive line depth and find a strong Right Tackle that can be dependable.
Defensive Lineman - The Defensive line for the Broncos is not that strong, It has heavily been exposed in recent weeks as Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, Najee Harris, and Latavius Murray have all exposed how weak this defensive line has been. If the Broncos want to stop the run they are going to have to strengthen the defensive line on their core and I can see Denver trade for more defensive line help.
Linebacker - I was watching film of recent Broncos games. I got, to be honest, the linebackers for the Broncos are very mediocre this season. It also does not help that Denver has been hit by the injury bug at linebacker. I will list the current linebackers hurt for the Broncos Baron Browning, Alexander Johnson, Jonas Griffin, and Josey Jewell. The linebacker depth has been ravaged by injuries and I can see the Broncos acquiring some rental linebackers to replace the injured core until they are fully healed up.
Kansas City Chiefs - Avoiders
I have no clue what is currently going on with the Chiefs as this is not the team that won a Super Bowl years ago. I doubt that the Chiefs do anything during the deadline. The issue is that they can’t buy at the deadline because they are in a cap crunch and only have around 1.8 million dollars in salary cap. They cant sell at the deadline as they have a ton of bad contracts and trading them would have them paying a ton of dead money they would have to pay. This is a tough spot for the Chiefs because they have a ton of weaknesses right now on defense and even on offense but can't fix it during the trade deadline now. I would be surprised if the Chiefs made a move during the Trade Deadline...
Los Angeles Chargers - Avoiders
The Los Angeles Chargers are one of the best teams in the AFC conference and are the favorites to win the AFC West division. Justin Herbert is the real deal and has been fantastic, excluding that Ravens game last week. The offense has been fantastic and the offensive line has been heavily upgraded during the last offseason. The Defense as well has been fantastic as well this season. I don't think the Chargers need to buy at the deadline and they are absolutely not going to sell at the deadline as they are one of the best teams currently in the conference. I am extremely excited to see the Chargers perform during the season and it will be interesting to see what they do in the playoffs.
Las Vegas Raiders - Sellers
Yes, currently the Las Vegas Raiders are 4-2 for now. Even though former head coach Jon Gruden resigned due to his disgraceful emails that came out resulting in his fall from grace. I am not ruling them out yet. But the Raiders have a tremendous opportunity here to try and trade players that the team overdrafted and overpaid in free agency. Currently, the Raiders have 3.6 million dollars in salary cap but there are many bad contracts that have been given to young players that have not performed well and they should do what they can to get rid of them.
Players the Raiders can trade away
DE/EDGE Clelin Ferell - This was a complete reach of a pick when the selection was made 4th overall. He has not worked out with the Las Vegas Raiders. He showed flashes that he can be a player but has not been consistent at all when he has played. It is not a good sign that he was a healthy scratch against the Baltimore Ravens this season. Clelin Ferell currently has a cap hit at around 8.5 million dollars and it is going to be difficult trading him unless they utilize the Osweiler Effect in order to get rid of his awful contract. I don’t see a scenario except for sacrificing a high pick in order to trade a high draft pick to get rid of his contract but it is going to have to be done if Ferell does not improve in upcoming weeks.
CB Damon Arnette - Speaking of a complete reach of a selection we have Damon Arnette. Oh Boy, where to begin he has been an absolute flop the moment he was selected by the Raiders. He has been terrible every time he has stepped on the field and he is currently dealing with a groin injury. He currently has a cap hit of 3 million dollars which is a decent contract but when looking at the future cap hit in his contract it is at 3.6 million in 2022 and 4.2 million in 2023. I think Arnette absolutely needs a change of environment to succeed in the NFL as he is not working in the NFL and I can see teams try to acquire him. If not then the Raiders should use the Osweiler effect and trade along a draft pick to take his awful contract.
QB Marcus Mariota - I never really understood this signing at all when it was first made. The Raiders originally gave a 2-year deal worth a 17.6 million dollar contract. Luckily the team restructured his deal to a 1 year 3,5 million dollar contract. Mariota is one of the biggest what-if stories in football as he had talent when he was a part of the Tennessee Titans but he could not stay healthy at all. Say what you want about Nathan Peterman but at least he stays healthy and is dependable. Mariota’s injury risk has not made him dependable but when he is on the field he is a strong performer. I can see the Raiders make a trade involving Mariota to a team that desperately needs a quarterback, maybe Seattle depending on how Geno Smith will do. The Raiders can increase their draft capital moving on from Mariota. Mariota currently has a cap hit of around 3.5 million dollars.