The 2016 NFL regular season is almost upon us, but it won’t arrive without some severe roster casualties. Every year some big name players feel like locks to win a key role or at least hold onto their roster spot, and every single time someone ends up being traded or cut as teams make those tough, last minute decisions.
The writing is already on the wall for numerous players, while we’ve even seen some get cut. Paul Kruger just got let go by the Cleveland Browns and more big names are sure to follow soon, whether their departures be by flat out release or some type of trade.
With NFL trade rumors being such a big draw, we’re naturally focusing on the star NFL players that could actually get dealt before week one, and maybe even after. Let’s take a look at the top pro football players that could be on the move very soon:
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
The man of the hour (in a sense) is absolutely in the NFL trade rumor mill due to his odd stance against the National Anthem, as well as his poor play on the field. Kaepernick is not on the good side of America at the moment, but he still provides upside as a passer, potentially.
Numerous teams could show interest, with the Vikings and Cowboys specifically being in the worst spots at the moment due to injury. San Francisco is inching closer to unloading him and those teams needing extra quarterback help could lead to them pulling the trigger on a deal.
Mark Sanchez, QB, Denver Broncos
Sanchez is almost certainly on the way out of Denver, as the Broncos traded for him to win their starting quarterback job and he ended up losing out to former 7th rounder, Trevor Siemian. With Paxton Lynch likely to take over as the top backup, Sanchez no longer has a place on the roster. Add in a hefty salary due come week one, and it makes little sense for the Broncos to hold onto their failed experiment.
That doesn’t mean Sanchez doesn’t have value, of course. The Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings, among other teams, could very well give Denver a call about his availability and their asking price. Both of those teams could look to add some quarterback depth due to injuries at the position, while other teams could also express interest in Sanchez as a backup.
Josh McCown, QB, Cleveland Browns
If Sanchez has trade value, you better believe Josh McCown does. McCown has flashed brilliance as a starter over the last four years, but the journeyman has struggled with consistency or the ability to stay healthy. After losing the starting job to Robert Griffin III in Cleveland, there is a decent chance the Browns are ready to move on from the aging passer.
McCown simply isn’t needed in Cleveland, while several teams could stand to improve their backup situation under center. The Cowboys and Vikings remain the two most likely trade partners.
Mike Glennon, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s the same story here, as the Bucs have a new franchise passer in Jameis Winston and don’t have much need for Glennon’s services. He’s a quality backup with starter upside, but Tampa Bay probably doesn’t need to carry three quarterbacks and they’re reportedly high on third stringer, Ryan Griffin.
The Bucs have been shopping Glennon for a while now, and it may only be a matter of time before someone is willing to trade a solid pick to make a deal happen.
Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Numerous teams could use quality talent at the running back position and whispers suggest McFadden could be on his way out of Big D.
Report: Cowboys getting calls about Darren McFadden https://t.co/bDTYWNLJMK
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 30, 2016
McFadden was regarded as a cheap depth add in 2015, and ended up being just fine as part of the Cowboys’ rotation in the offensive backfield. However, he’s always struggled mightily to stay healthy and with Ezekiel Elliott, Alfred Morris and Lance Dunbar looking like the team’s top three rushers, he could be on the move.
Dallas is in need of quarterback depth, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see them try to dangle McFadden as they try to bring in some passing help. In addition to teams that could try to trade a quarterback to Dallas, teams like the Dolphins, Chargers and Rams could express interest due to less than stellar running back depth.
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos
Hillman will be a much hotter name than McFadden on the trading block, as he really wouldn’t be exiting Denver based on performance or ability. He simply could finally be the odd man out on a team that is loaded at running back after drafting the talented Devontae Booker this off-season.
Hillman may not be a true feature back talent, but he’s extremely versatile and explosive and absolutely could fill a big role in the right situation. Denver would be wise to trade Hillman out of the AFC if they do look to unload him.
Aaron Dobson, WR, New England Patriots
New England is suddenly shoving Dobson onto the trade market, per reports, as it just doesn’t look like the former first round pick is long for the final roster. Dobson flashed big play ability during his rookie season, but he’s never been able to put it all together while battling drops, injuries and inconsistent route-running.
Dobson still has heaping talent and could thrive in a new environment, but the Pats seem ready to get rid of him for the right offer. New England also added Chris Hogan in free agency and drafted Malcolm Mitchell, so they seem to have already moved on.