Three Potential NFL Trades That Could Go Down Next Week


With less than two weeks before the NFL Draft, there are plenty of rumors and scenarios that may eventually develop. One word that captivates NFL fans like no other is the word “trade” and it can send the NFL media markets into a frenzy when it’s mentioned.  Here are three potential trades with real substance that could unfold before or during the up-coming 2015 NFL Draft.

1. Cleveland Browns Trade Johnny Manziel to the Dallas Cowboys: Two things contribute to Manziel being shipped off to Dallas.  St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher confirmed at the owners meetings saying that, “There were discussions (with the Browns) late in the process,” that revolved around Cleveland acquiring Sam Bradford. The deal never happened between Cleveland and St. Louis, but it left a lasting impression and insight on how the Browns view their second, first-round pick from last season. Although Fisher said the 12th overall pick that Cleveland owns was not discussed in the deal, the 19th overall pick that the Browns also own was probably incorporated in the talks.

Manziel was born and raised in the state of Texas and played his college football at Texas A&M. There was reports that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones desperately wanted Manziel.  Jones’ son Stephen had to bring sense into the equation and they eventually selected offensive guard Zack Martin.

“Figuratively speaking,” Jones said last year referring to drafting Manziel, “It certainly was a big debate going on at no place else other than my mind.”

2. San Diego Chargers Trade Philip Rivers: A few years ago Philip Rivers was being viewed as a quarterback on the decline and then San Diego hired a new offensive coordinator. The Chargers’ employed Ken Whisenhunt (current Tennessee Titans head coach) to revamp the Chargers’ offense and help restore Rivers back to the upper echelon of quarterbacks in the NFL.

“What we’ve established here with my growing family is hard to recreate,” Rivers told the U-T San Diego. “It’s hard to up and recreate that. I know that moves are part of life. But that certainly is fair to say that (not being sold on moving to Los Angeles) is part of it. The good thing is I’m not under contract in a year where we’d potentially be in Los Angeles.”

Rivers doesn’t sound like someone who has any plans to sign an extension as he’ll likely play out his current contract in San Diego. That leaves the Chargers and Tennessee Titans in very peculiar situations.

Whisenhunt coached Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger when he served as Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator. His success led him to be hired as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, where Whisenhunt had Kurt Warner under center and took the pair helped lead Arizona to the Super Bowl. Whisenhunt was fired after six seasons in the desert and one of the most contributing factors was the retirement of Warner. In his last season as head coach in Arizona, the team finished 5-11 with a list of starting quarterbacks that included Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer.

To make a long story short, Whisenhunt wants an established veteran to help advance the success of the Titans. The Chargers do not want to be on the hook with a quarterback who may not want to stick around after the season concludes.

The Chargers’ could move up to the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft and select Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota. If the whole scenario unfolds, then the Los Angeles Chargers arrive in the NFL in 2016 with Mariota as their new quarterback in their new city.

3. Minnesota Vikings Trade Adrian Peterson: Earlier this winter CBS Sports Jason La Canfora reported Adrian Peterson’s agent Ben Dogra engaged in a heated exchange with Vikings vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski. According to sources, Dogra made it clear Peterson would never play in Minnesota again.

Dogra has since continued the stance that Peterson is best suited not suiting up for the Vikings. Minnesota likely doesn’t want to retain Peterson especially considering his age and more importantly his salary.

Peterson signed a six-year, $86.3 million contract before the 2011 season. He is scheduled to earn $12,750,000 this year that escalates to 16,750,000 in 2017 if he is still under contract with Minnesota. The Vikings want to maximize how much they can fetch in a trade and not simply allow one of the game best running backs to walk away and receive relatively nothing in return.

If Minnesota decides to trade Peterson, the best opportunity will arrive during the NFL Draft. When the highest bidder comes calling and desires the services of Peterson for the up-coming season. The one team heavily rumored to be and may have interest in Peterson is the Arizona Cardinals.

“If you have a guy who is your horse and there have been some good ones the last couple of years, you ride them,” said Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians.

One thing the Cardinals lacked last season was exactly what Arians referenced to a “horse” in the backfield. Incumbent running back Andre Ellington is a terrific, but his durability especially as a running back that is going to be force fed the football may not be realistic.

The Cardinals finished 10-6, without their starting quarterback Carson Palmer who was placed on injured reserve after tearing his ACL in Arizona’s sixth game of the season. Ellington followed Palmer to the injured reserve list six games later after the running back needed surgery to repair a hernia.

Arians may crave Peterson above all else because playing in the NFC West he knows first hand how dangerous the Seattle Seahawks are with their “horse” Marshawn Lynch. The NFL is a copycat league and the Cardinals could copy the Seahawks backfield with the addition of Adrian Peterson via a trade.


About Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte is an NFL writer for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade. His background includes being staff for the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game as a talent evaluator for player personnel along with an internship scouting with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Canadian Football League. Bo’s draft background includes working for the NFL Draft Bible and currently owns and operates He has done radio spots on NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN and their affiliates in different markets around the country. Bo covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers along with other colleges in the northeast.