(Image credit Jayne Kamin-Oncea /USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
In my Buyers, Avoiders, and Sellers article for the NFC West, I had stated that the Los Angeles Rams would be avoiders during the trade deadline. That might change now as in recent news wide receiver DeSean Jackson had requested to be traded from the Los Angeles Rams. What is interesting to note is that even the Rams organization agrees with him and has mutually agreed to seek a trade during the upcoming deadline. This is very telling as DeSean Jackson has been on a decline and except for two long grabs (one which went for a touchdown), He has not done much with the team. In fact, DeSean has really never been the same player since he was a Tampa Bay Buccaneer in the 2018 season. The Rams would love to move on by trading DeSean Jackson as moving him would save the Los Angeles Rams around 1.5 million and would increase their salary cap from 4.9 million to 6.4 million dollars. For DeSean Jackson, it's clear that he wants to play more than he has been and is not happy during his time with the Rams. Now DeSean Jackson during the offseason was signed to a 1-year contract worth 4.5 million dollars by LA Rams GM Les Snead. His current cap hit is around 3.2 million dollars. I have listed 5 teams that could acquire DeSean Jackson during the upcoming trade deadline on November 2nd.
Honorable Mention - Kansas City Chiefs The Kansas City Chiefs are a broken offense. There is just something off with Mahomes. I don't know if it is due to injuries with him, or something mental going on but he is not the same player that he was. Maybe it has to do with the running backs or his o-line but we can agree that the receiver core has been a mess this season. Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are battling nagging injuries. Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson have not been that good this season. It has gotten so bad that they had to bring in Josh Gordon who spent time with the Fan Controlled Football league with the Zappers. Josh Gordan also played with former Browns QB and the most unsurprising bust in NFL History (in my opinion) Johnny Manziel. I think the Chiefs need to add more to bolster the receiver core and get more depth. I can see the Chiefs acquiring DeSean Jackson but the reason they are an honorable mention is salary-wise they can't afford him. The current salary cap for the Chiefs is 2.3 million dollars and Jackson's currency cap hit is around 3.2 million dollars.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers - The Pittsburgh Steelers are going all-in on Ben Roethlisberger this season as this will most likely be his final season in the NFL. Honestly, Ben should have retired seasons ago but this organization overpaid to keep a guy who had a severe elbow injury. Did you know his original contract was around 41 million dollars per season before they restructured it? The Steelers have been a mediocre team at best including how bad this offense is excluding Running Back Najee Harris. I can see the Steelers but at the deadline especially as this receiver, core has been dealing with injuries. They lost JuJu Smith-Schuster for the season due to his arm injury and who knows when or if Eric Ebron will return this season with his hamstring injury. I like Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool but both have been dealing with nagging injuries. James Washington who I think is underrated has never been the same since Big Ben called him out years ago. They had to rely on Ray-Ray McCloud and Cody White as receivers. The Steelers brought in Anthony Miller after the Texans released him. Miller does have promise but has not been good since he was drafted by the Chicago Bears. I could absolutely see the Steelers bring in a veteran presence in DeSean Jackson and get another target for a declining QB to throw the ball too. Salary wise the Steelers can afford him as their salary cap is at 11.4 million dollars.
4. Cleveland Browns - The Cleveland Browns receiver core is one of the best in the NFL if they were healthy. Odell Beckham Jr. has never been the same player he has been since he tore his ACL last season. Jarvis Landry, while a solid player is also dealing with the injury bug. I like Donavan Peoples-Jones and Rashad Higgins but I would not call them a #1 or solid #2 receivers on a team. This core needs to get more depth at the receiving core and get an experienced veteran in this locker room. There were rumors that the Browns did have interest in bringing in DeSean to their team. DeSean Jackson may be on a decline but he continues to show that he has the ability to go deep and has the speed to go quick. He is also a healthy option the Cleveland Browns can bring in and be that #1 option until Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry are all healed up. This could add another target for Case Keenum or Baker Mayfield. The Cleveland Browns can afford him as their current salary cap is at 9.7 million dollars.
3. Green Bay Packers - I could start this off by saying the same thing I did with the Steelers. This is the Packers all in year for Aaron Rodgers before he departs for a different team. Devante Adams and Allen Lazard were out last week due to being placed on the Covid list. Randall Cobb was solid but I got to say I was not impressed with any other Packers receivers on this team. I was very disappointed with rookie 3rd round selection Amari Rodgers. He was awful vs the Arizona Cardinals and had brutal drops plus fumbles in this game. The Packers need to bolster the receiver core and get another tool for Aaron Rodgers to throw the football to and Rodgers has the arm to throw deep to DeSean Jackson. The Packers have a 5.3 Million dollar cap hit and it will be a big contract to deal with but it is all or nothing for the Packers. The NFL version of The Last Dance. If the Packers want to win the Super Bowl they can add to the receiver core to help
2. Tennessee Titans - In my Buyers, Avoider, or Sellers article for the AFC South I said that the Titans are going to be buyers during this year's Trade Deadline. One of the positions I mentioned that the Titans should buy is at wide receiver. They absolutely need to find a third receiver on this team as the lack of talent experience was one of the reasons why they lost to the New York Jets. It is crazy how things change now because I am wondering now, How the heck did this team lose to the New York Jets of all teams? Anyway in that game both Julio Jones and AJ Brown did not play due to their respective injuries. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine showed promise but the Titans receivers struggled in this game. That game truly exposed that the Titans need a confident Third piece to that receiver core and I can see DeSean Jackson being that option for them. The Titans current cap space is around 8.2 million dollars so they can afford to bring in DeSean Jackson to their team.
1. Indianapolis Colts - No question with this one and I absolutely see this as a possibility. The Colts desperately need receiver help. TY Hilton is almost retired and has never been the same player he was. Michael Pittman has promise but is not the best receiver and Parris Campbell has had durability concerns. The Colts receiving core is terrible and If they want to win this division, make the playoffs, and want this Carson Wentz experiment to work they have to upgrade at wide receiver. The Colts have the cap space at 3.2 million which is just enough to afford DeSean Jackson on their payroll. I will be shocked if the Colts don't offer a trade for DeSean Jackson during the trade deadline.