With the NFL trade deadline just 10 days away — Nov. 3 — rumors will begin to swirl with more gusto over the next week.
Speaking on NFL Network’s GameDay First on Sunday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport provided us three names to watch, but noted that all three could be difficult to trade because of their high salaries.
Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
2015 Contract: $6.64 million — plus $1.05 million in per-game roster bonuses (2016 Free Agent)
Rapoport’s lowdown: “It’s clear this is a rebuilding year for the Bears with a new regime. They are open, I am told, to trading really a lot of their key parts, mainly because they would like draft picks. At this point nothing is expected from Forte, because of his age, because of his salary.”
Translation: If someone (Cowboys?) were willing or able to take on the salary for a few week rental, the Bears would gladly take a mid-to-late round draft pick for a soon-to-be 30-year-old running back who will likely leave in 2016.
Verdict: As much as we’d like to #FreeForte and see one of the most underrated runners in the NFL play for a winner this year, it’s likely not happening.
Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
2015 Contract: $4.35 million (2016 Free Agent)
Rapoport’s lowdown: “Another player due a huge salary, his role really has diminished in this offense with Jim Tomsula taking over as the head coach. It’s unclear what his future is with this team.”
Translation: Davis has just 12 catches in five games this season and zero touchdowns. He had six targets in Thursday night’s blowout loss. Given their spiraling season and Davis’ status as a soon-to-be free agent, parting ways makes sense. But what team is going to give up a valuable draft pick for an inconsistent tight end with declining skills and a history of being a disgruntled employee?
Verdict: Davis will be the most talked about player this week in terms of trade rumors, but ultimately no one will offer to take on the money and give up a pick.
Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
2015 Contract: $2.2 million base salary (Under contract through 2017)
Rapoport’s lowdown: “He has openly mused about what his in this offense is, he is too often the third and fourth option for this team. He loves Atlanta, doesn’t want to go anywhere. It doesn’t sound like (the Falcons) are motivated to move him, but will a team change their mind as we get closer to next Tuesday.”
Translation: Roddy wants the ball, but the Falcons are winning and have no reason to change a thing.
Verdict: There is no reason for Atlanta to trade the veteran. So long as the team keeps winning, any rants from Roddy will be peripheral. Julio Jones doesn’t exactly have a pristine health record, so jettisoning a veteran receiver — even one with diminished skills — doesn’t make sense for a team gunning for a playoff spot.
Bonus opinion: Dear NFL, can we please move back the trade deadline? Sincerely, The Universe.