When NFL rumors turn to defensive players potentially being shopped by their franchises for trades, the only name currently being mentioned is New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson.
Sheldon Richardson — a fourth-year veteran out of Missouri — has been mentioned as a candidate for trades to multiple franchises in the last week. SB Nation recently explained why Sheldon Richardson has been mentioned so many times in possible trades, including why the New York Jets are willing to part with him.
“Set to reach free agency in 2018, the Jets don’t have long-term ties to the lineman and might be better off without him after some off-field troubles, including an incident that led to a one-game suspension. Other teams haven’t been scared off, though. Still just 25, Richardson could be a valuable young piece for another franchise and come at a reasonable price.”
With Sheldon Richardson being essentially the only defensive player on the market, practically every team with playoff aspirations that does not have the position locked down has interest. Some NFL analysts have suggested the Oakland Raiders go all-in to secure Sheldon Richardson this year for a playoff run, while another sports writer suggested the Indianapolis Colts should “leap at the chance” to swap a first round draft pick for Sheldon Richardson.
With a $3 million salary cap hit this season, Sheldon Richardson is a salary-cap-friendly fix for defensive front line issues. His 2017 salary cap hit of $8 million is also low enough to entice teams to give up a high draft pick in exchange for Sheldon Richardson before the trade deadline.
While Sheldon Richardson remains the most-talked about defensive player seemingly available, Yahoo! Sports raised the possibilities of another defensive lineman being shopped by his franchise. The article suggests that the Miami Dolphins are considering a trade for defensive end Cameron Wake in exchange for a fifth- or sixth-round draft pick.
In addition to allowing younger players behind the 34-year-old veteran to show their worth, trading Cameron Wake would allow the Miami Dolphins to clear cap space, the article explained.
“Rumor has it the Dallas Cowboys are interested in the pass rusher and I think it’s time to let Wake go. With another two years past this season on his contract, Miami could also shed some money while not losing much in the way of production. After all, Wake only has three sacks and is a part time player right now.”
Outside of Cameron Wake, another high-priced defensive player from Florida could also potentially be available to a team with salary cap space, Bleacher Report suggested. Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Alterraun Verner — who made the 2013 All-Pro Team — is a 27-year-old who lost his starting job earlier this season. Now expendable, Tampa Bay is running into the same problem trading Verner as Miami has found with Wake, according to the article.
“The trouble with trying to move Verner is that he is still in the third year of a four-year, $25.75 million contract. Tampa Bay may have an easier time trading a draft pick than finding a team willing to take on Verner’s salary.”
Although the NFL trade deadline does not produce many transactions, multiple players appear to be available this year. Darren McFadden — who led the Dallas Cowboys in rushing last season — is available after Ezekiel Elliott burst onto the scene this season, the Inquisitr reported. And stuck in a 1-6 rebuilding season, the San Francisco 49ers could be ready to move either Torrey Smith or Joe Staley for the right offer.
Do you believe NFL rumors surrounding Sheldon Richardson being available before the trade deadline? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
[Featured Image by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]