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Which NFL teams could enter a firesale midseason?

With Stephon Gilmore and Jaylon Smith hitting the market, the Rams have more options for help than expected

Washington Football Team v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have released Jaylon Smith. The New England Patriots are saying goodbye to Stephon Gilmore. It wasn’t long ago that the Jacksonville Jaguars traded C.J. Henderson to the Carolina Panthers.

Which notable NFL player will be the next to part ways with his team and will that decision manage to help the Los Angeles Rams win the Super Bowl this year?

The NFL’s trading deadline is November 2.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Myles Jack, LB

There were concerns about both Jaylon Smith and Jack in the 2016 draft, with Smith going 34th and Jack going 36th. Both could have been top-10 picks if not for injury concerns. Jaylon Smith’s turned out to be true. But concerns that Jack’s knee condition would force him into early retirement and thus far unfounded.

However, is Myles Jack going to be around when Jacksonville is competitive again? If they’re ever going to be competitive again?

The situation with Urban Meyer appears headed into a collision course that ends with Dabo Swinney coaching the Jaguars in 2022. Jack, who just turned 26 last month, might not be the guy who needs to stick around for the next two or three years to find out if Trevor Lawrence can carry the league’s most dysfunctional franchise to the playoffs.

The truth is that I’m not sure Joe Burrow is anywhere close to right about Jack. Concerns about him in coverage are legitimate and regardless if he has to retire before he’s 30, Jack has missed seven games over the last two years.

Cam Robinson, LT

Jacksonville drafted tackle Walker Little in the second round and that seems like a clean transition that they are preparing for in 2022. Without it looking likely that Jacksonville will win more than two games this season, why not try and take advantage of a trade market that would be delighted to entertain any starting caliber offensive linemen?

The same could potentially also be said about veterans Andrew Norwell and center Brandon Linder.

The Rams and Jaguars made a midseason trade two years ago.

Detroit Lions

Michael Brockers, DL

Is this really the situation that Brockers needs to be in at this stage of his career? It feels like this was some sort of retaliation by Les Snead, to send Brockers to the Detroit Lions in 2021.

Trey Flowers, DE/OLB

He’s still only 28, but Flowers has missed 11 games in the last two years. Maybe a change of scenery will help.

Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan, QB

Tough to say what Ryan has left in the tank, but he’s clearly not combusting right now with head coach Arthur Smith. Ryan is not a player who can help the Rams but given what we’ve seen already with Gilmore, is it out of line to think that the Falcons are entertaining an overdue departure? Some NFL team out there wants to make the playoffs, has an opening at QB, and should attempt to entice Atlanta to give up on their season.

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR/RB

If the Falcons want to cash in on an unexpected breakout campaign then Patterson might be the huckleberry. He’s been incredible. Patterson has caught 18 of 22 passes for 235 yards and four touchdowns, also carrying it 27 times for 119 yards and another score. Suddenly a former first round disappointment is unleashing his potential onto the NFL at age 30. Atlanta might command a third round pick for a player who was pretty much available to any team not long ago.

Dante Fowler, OLB/DE

Yeah, you know it’s true.

Isaiah Oliver, CB

He’s a 25-year-old starting corner but he’s also given up 12 touchdowns in the previous two years.

Miami Dolphins

DeVante Parker, WR

I find Miami’s disappointing start to the season to come as no surprise. They were an overrated 10-6 team last year and they’re just not very talented at many key positions, including quarterback. Jaylen Waddle is the future at receiver and while teams do need more than one receiver, now is a fine time to cash in some value for Parker, who has 17 catches for 242 yards right now.

But Waddle has been good too and Miami can keep feeding him and Mike Gesicki the rock.

Solomon Kindley, G

A fourth round pick in 2020, Kindley was getting good grades and notes and started for Miami as a rookie, but he’s fallen on the depth chart and out of favor for a team that has picked four offensive linemen in the last two drafts. Kindley could potentially be a project for another team.

Xavien Howard, CB

Byron Jones, CB

Howard held out and then returned on a restructured deal. With Stephon Gilmore leaving the Patriots, Xavien Howard is the logical next step. The less competitive that the Dolphins look in the coming weeks, the less it makes sense for Howard or Byron Jones to be there if there’s a team willing to give up nice draft picks for either.

I mean, put the whole secondary on the block: S Eric Rowe, S/CB Jason McCourty, and CB Justin Coleman should also be on the market if Miami gives up on 2021.

Pittsburgh Steelers

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR

If Ben Roethlisberger can’t throw the ball, why are you wasting the players who are meant to be thrown to? Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson make sense to stay in Pittsburgh, while Smith-Schuster could return a nice draft pick, and James Washington.... well, you remember James Washington, right? He’s there too.

Eric Ebron, TE

There aren’t many tight ends available, so if any do become available, they’ll be quite valuable. That’s supply-and-Ebron.

Benny Snell, Jr., RB

Put a RB out there too, why not?

Houston Texans

Deshaun Watson, QB

It would make a lot more sense to trade Deshaun Watson in 2022, which is almost certainly what will happen, but this is the Houston Texans. They screw up almost everything. They have no intention of winning this season. They don’t want to win another game in 2021. I am sure of it. They’ll do whatever it takes to prevent another win from happening. I don’t know how trading or not trading Watson would impact that need but you just can’t predict what Houston will do and even if teams are not going to go near Watson at the moment, it’s improbable that there aren’t a number of franchises having ongoing discussions about when will be the best time to strike.

Marcus Cannon, OT

Cannon was acquired from the Patriots just before the season and has started four games at tackle. By having Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard already on the roster, it’s one area of slight depth for Houston and maybe a place to trade from.

Mark Ingram, RB

This couldn’t be the scenario that the 32-year-old running back really wanted, right? Ingram leads the team with 52 carries for 171 yards, which is 3.3 yards per carry.

Brandin Cooks, WR

He’s. The entire. Offense.

Cooks has caught 28 passes for 369 yards. That is 20 more catches than any of his teammates. It is 22 more catches than any receiver on the team. That is 296 yards more than any other Texans player.

Like I said—Houston is TERRIFIED of winning another game. Cooks will be traded. AGAIN.

Whitney Mercilus, OLB

Yeah, obviously. And Mercilus has three sacks in four games so he might even have some value.