With Mohamed Sanu already a New England Patriot and Vic Beasley on the trade block, we are trying to figure out what other moves could be coming down the pike for the 1-7 Atlanta Falcons.
Austin Hooper doesn’t appear to be on the trade block, but someone like De’Vondre Campbell could be. Other names make sense, too, and we’ve seen everyone from Adrian Clayborn to Alex Mack bandied about.
In all this, there are a few scenarios make sense, and we’ve tried to identify what those are as Tuesday’s trade deadline looms. Here are some potential ideas as to where this might go.
OLB De’Vondre Campbell to the Baltimore Ravens for a fifth-round pick
Campbell is a prime target for trade, a very sound strongside linebacker in a down year and very unlikely to return to the Falcons next season. His value right now to the organization is minimal past 2019 sans a compensatory pick, and he could provide value for a team looking to shore up its linebacking corps.
The Ravens are contending for the AFC North but could use a little help on defense, particularly in the linebacking corps. Campbell could step in as a rotational guy and potentially start down the line, given that he’s still quite young, has the physicality Baltimore likes, and doesn’t figure to break the bank.
The Ravens could afford to part with a mid-round pick for immediate help, which Campbell would provide. Atlanta would get a pick right away, and they’ve had some success in the fifth round in the recent past.
CB Desmond Trufant to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2020 third-round pick
Make no mistake, Trufant is a good cornerback, even if he hasn’t been the elite one his contract suggests. The team could be just fine keeping him as the top corner on the roster for the next few years, and he could find more of his old form in a better-schemed defense.
But his contract is prohibitive with so many other deals on the cap and the Falcons have stacked up young options on the depth chart, making him a candidate to be moved. The Eagles were in on Jalen Ramsey before he was traded to the Rams and really could want to add some more stability to its secondary as they push to make it back to the playoffs. Thomas Dimitroff and Eagles GM Howie Roseman have already made a move this year involving Duke Riley, so this could be a good match.
Trufant is worth a third-round draft pick for what he’d provide, so it’d be a good move if the Falcons want to stock up picks for next season and lessen the cap load for the future.
C Alex Mack to the New England Patriots for a 2020 fifth and sixth-round pick
Who says the Falcons and Patriots are done making deals?
The Patriots are going all-in on right now with Tom Brady’s future in question, and they’ve placed starting center David Andrews on IR at the start of the year. They could wish to get a blue chip veteran in the mix at the position to give its offense the best chance it has to outscore a team like Kansas City in the playoffs.
Mack has been a great center for the Falcons, but he comes with a luxurious price for the position and could be a cap casualty next spring under a new regime. The Patriots could flip a mid-round pick and a late one to Atlanta to massively upgrade the center spot and make that push to yet another Super Bowl.
OLB Vic Beasley to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2020 seventh-round pick
It’s not likely Beasley will get moved, but let’s look at a cap-flush team like the Colts, who might feel it’s worth it to throw a flier pick and pick up Beasley’s salary for the rest of the year to have as deep of a rotation on the edge as it can when it gets to the playoffs.
The Rams did something similar last year when it traded for Dante Fowler, Jr., and he helped just enough to justify the move. Beasley could have a similar transition to Indy, where he’d be around veteran guys like Justin Houston and Margus Hunt and coached by a great schemer in Matt Eberflus.
It’d be a pricey rental for the Colts, but if they are set on making the playoffs, it could be worth it. Now let’s get into a couple more far-fetched suggestions.
RB Devonta Freeman to the Houston Texans for 2020 fourth-round pick
The Houston Texans have Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson in its solid makeshift backfield, but the team no doubt would love to have an electric talent like Freeman to bolster its offense for the playoffs.
Freeman doesn’t necessarily need to be traded, but his contract could be prohibitive to a team that needs to invest more on its defense next spring. He’s in his prime but has struggled with injuries and concussions over the past few seasons.
Running backs are easier to find than pass rushers, so the Falcons open up the salary pool for next season and send Freeman to a playoff contender who is trying to strike with a rookie quarterback contract in tow.
DE Takk McKinley to the Cleveland Browns for DE Genard Avery
Pass rusher swap! McKinley’s talent has always been there, but the young pass rusher has never found consistency in Atlanta and could be better off getting a fresh start elsewhere.
Avery is a guy the Falcons really liked in his draft process but weren’t able to secure. He’s been inactive for Cleveland, hinting he’s not quite in their immediate plans, regardless of them saying he’d make an impact if he were active.
Maybe this would be a good swap. McKinley heads to Cleveland to work with Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon, and Avery gets cemented playing time with the Falcons and a fresh start.
We’ll see if the Falcons make any moves when the deadline day approaches on Oct. 28.