Trading places: List of 14 who should get dealt

By Jason Cole, Yahoo! Sports
Oct 13, 1:19 pm EDT

The general manager of one NFL team with a need for a pass rusher was going over names of players out loud, almost desperate for a quick fix to his team’s dilemma with the trade deadline approaching Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

Suddenly, the GM came up with a pipe dream.

“What about Jared Allen? I think the Vikings should be thinking about that,” the GM said, more than a little wishfully.

Fact is, the Vikings are not considering dealing Allen, who has nine sacks in five games (a pace that would obliterate the NFL single-season record). A team source reacted almost angrily to the insinuation that Allen would be traded.

Too bad, because that means, as usual, the trade deadline figures to be an exchange of misfit (Aaron Curry from Seattle to Oakland) or overused (Derrick Mason from the New York Jets to Houston) toys.

Looking ahead, here are some players who could and should be traded:

Miami RB Reggie Bush – It has taken only four games for the Dolphins to discover that Bush isn’t an every-down back. Worse, they really can’t maximize his value as a weapon in open-field situations. Throw in the fact that the Dolphins should be playing in the Suck For Luck sweepstakes and there is no reason to keep Bush. Send him to a contender.

Best fits: San Francisco, Washington and Dallas.

Miami LB Karlos Dansby – Dansby was a very good player in 2010, his first year with the Dolphins, and still is solid. However, like many free-agent signings by the Dolphins in recent years (Gibril Wilson, Jake Grove, Vernon Carey, Justin Smiley and Ernest Wilford), Dansby hasn’t been worth the five-year, $43 million deal the team gave him. It’s hard to swallow trading him, particularly after giving him $22 million guaranteed, but linebackers shouldn’t be that hard to find and there will be suitors for Dansby.

Best fits: New England, Baltimore, Washington.

Miami DE/LB Jason Taylor – At 37, he’s probably not worth much (fifth-round draft pick, at most) and he might not report if dealt since he went back to Miami to be close to his family, but Taylor can still make plays and it would be nice to see him get another shot at the playoffs after a frustrating career.

Best fits: Houston, Pittsburgh, New England.

Denver QB Kyle Orton – Orton shouldn’t be any team’s starter. I don’t care about last year’s stats. However, he’s a great backup who could get a team through a game or two, particularly in a situation where the demands of the position are minimized as much as possible. If the Broncos can get a fourth-rounder, they should jump at it.

Best fits: Baltimore, San Francisco, Houston.

Carolina QB Jimmy Clausen – It took less than a full season for the Panthers to realize that Clausen was not only a marginal prospect, but that he has the personality of a fig. The other players can’t stand him and he probably needs to go somewhere else. If he fetches a fifth-round pick (a conditional seventh might be all) at this point, that’s a bonus.

Best fits: Dallas, San Diego, Seattle.

St. Louis RT Jason Smith – In 2009, he was supposed to be a safe pick at No. 2 overall, a guy who would at least become a very good left tackle. Three seasons later, he’s a marginal right tackle who is suspect in passing situations. Moreover, he’s a symbol of how bad the ’09 draft has been (Curry, Aaron Maybin and Tyson Jackson are other notable flops). Some people might argue that the Rams need to keep trying with Smith, but not at the expense of getting QB Sam Bradford hurt. The big problem with trading him is his high future salaries. But everybody needs offensive linemen.

Best fits: Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Chicago.

Seattle CB Marcus Trufant – The Seahawks wouldn’t be dealing from a position of strength: Trufant missed last week’s game against the New York Giants because of lower back spasms. However, few positions are in as much demand as cornerback, particularly at the trade deadline when contenders desperately need anybody who can cover. Trufant has had a nice career, but he’s not special and he’ll be 31 by the time the season ends.

Best fits: Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Houston

Denver SS Brian Dawkins - “Paging Bill Belichick, paging Bill Belichick, there’s a call on line two from Denver. They have a 38-year-old safety on a team that’s rebuilding. You’re starting a special teams guy at strong safety right now.” The Patriots have some extra picks over the next few years. Or, to quote one of Belichick’s favorite singers, “Don’t think twice, it’s all right.”

Best fits: New England, New England, New England.

Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer – No one drives down the value of his own players like Bengals owner Mike Brown. By waiting this long, Brown turned a possible second-round pick into a likely third. The only way Brown can hope to get more out of Palmer is to wait until the offseason and hope a team gets desperate for Palmer. That’s unlikely. If he can get a third, he should grab it.

Best fits: Seattle, Oakland, Dallas.

Minnesota CB Antoine Winfield – He’s 34 and has a neck injury that kept him out of his last game. However, as noted with Trufant, there are not enough cornerbacks to go around in the NFL. Winfield can still play well enough to help somebody, but his long-term future is dim.

Best fits: Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Houston.

Denver CB Champ Bailey – A lot of people questioned the Broncos’ decision in February to give the 33-year-old Bailey a four-year, $43 million contract. Fortunately for Denver, only $15 million of the deal is guaranteed because Bailey is continuing to break down faster than the world economy. However, after one game back from a hamstring injury, maybe somebody will take Bailey off Denver’s hands.

Best fits: Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Houston.

Arizona OLB Joey Porter – If you like over-the-hill, egomaniacal 34-year-old former pass rushers who don’t like to play the run, Porter is your man. As sarcastic as that sounded, the mere mention of “pass rusher” is enough to pique the interest of half the general managers in the NFL, especially the many who think their teams are still contending.

Best fits: Houston, San Francisco, San Diego.

Denver WR Brandon Lloyd – Dear Broncos fans, do not send me emails claiming your team desperately needs to hold onto Lloyd because he’s the best weapon you have. Do not send me messages with his stats from 2010 (77 catches, 1,448 yards, 11 TDs). Do not send me YouTube clips of that awesome catch he made last week against San Diego. Instead, please realize that Lloyd is 30, that it took him seven years and four teams to figure it out for one season on a bad team (against which few opponents really worried about taking Lloyd away). He’s a nice player who has had some moments, but he ain’t all that.

Best fits: Tennessee, Houston, San Francisco.

Miami TE Anthony Fasano – Fasano is one of those guys who looks like a really good player with his uniform on, but his stats never quite measure up. He’s a solid receiver and a solid blocker. With a better quarterback, he might emerge as a significant addition, but he’s not a world beater.

Best fits: Baltimore, San Francisco, Tennessee.