The trade deadline is fast approaching and there are a lot of big names that could be finding new homes mid-season. The Redskins have a solid roster but if they are really in “win now” mode there are a few holes that need to be filled.
It’s no secret the receiving core isn’t keeping defensive coordinators up at night. The Redskins failed to address the guard position in the offseason and are now dealing with the consequences. On the other side of the ball, the Redskins wish they could be getting more from their pass rush. There are also some questions about the secondary.
I’ll start with the biggest name at what I consider the biggest need. Should the Redskins trade for Amari Cooper?
Cooper has been impressive at times. His first two years were excellent and he looked like he would be a Pro Bowler for years to come. Cooper has a problem with drops but the numbers he was putting up were enough to look past it. His 2017 and now 2018 season…not so much. Cooper’s production dropped from two consecutive 1,000+ yard seasons in 2015 and 2016 to under 700 in 2017. His catch percentage has fluctuated between 50%-63% throughout his career. However it’s worth noting, he is currently having his best season in that regard at 68.8%, but overall production remains an issue.
Cooper will cost $7.2 million against the cap in 2018 and then that jumps to $13.9 million in 2019 before free agency in 2020. An expensive two-year rental on a guy that drops nearly half the balls you throw him… I don’t think Cooper is the answer. Also, did I mention the Raiders want a 1st round pick for Cooper? No chance.
What price would I take Cooper for? A 3rd round pick.
Update: According to Adam Schefter, The Redskins have inquired about Amari Cooper. Now that doesn’t mean a trade is happening. The Cowboys and Colts also reportedly have reached out to the Raiders as well.
The Broncos have had steady production from their talented receivers over the last few years but they drafted well and may be ready to move on from some of the old guard. Should the Redskins trade for Demaryius Thomas?
Adam Schefter is reporting that the Broncos are fielding phone calls on Demaryius Thomas. I’ll give you a quick answer here-No. He’s 30 and will cost $17.5 in 2019. That’s all we need to know.
DeVante Parker is the Miami Dolphins’ Josh Doctson. The Dolphins took Parker 14th overall in the 2015 draft. They exercised his 5th-year option this past offseason keeping him on the roster through 2019 but it looks like they are regretting that move already. Parker has largely disappointed in Miami failing to surpass 750 yards (per season) in his four years. Perhaps the argument here is a change of scenery would help but I don’t think you fix your mistakes by trading for someone else’s.
Sticking with the offense, some believe the Redskins have a need at running back. We all know the big name that’s out there. Should the Redskins trade for Le’Veon Bell?
Look, I get it. Bell is so f’ing good. He changes an offense. To explain my position, I’ll take a note out of former “Hard Knocks” star Carl Nassib’s book. When you are buying stocks, you don’t invest everything in the same way or in the same company. You want to diversify. There is no question Bell would be the best running back on the Redskins but you can’t ignore the investments you have already made just because the returns are taking longer than you want.
Derrius Guice and Chris Thompson are the future of this backfield. Adrian Peterson has blown me away with what he can do this year but he is not a factor long-term. The Redskins will be going into 2019 with limited cap space and to keep Bell passed this year it will take the most expensive running back contract in league history. That’s not a smart investment. The Redskins will have immediate needs at other positions in 2019. Better to spend the cap and draft capital there.
Over on the defensive side of the ball, another Raiders 1st round pick is being shopped. Should the Redskins trade for safety Karl Joseph?
Joseph is a fine player who I imagine the Redskins had interest in throughout the 2016 draft process. The Raiders spent a first-round pick on Joseph just two years ago so they will be looking for a significant return. Probably not a first, but at least a 2nd, maybe a 3rd and conditional pick. Either way that price is too heavy to throw away the development of Montae Nicholson.
The Arizona Cardinals are throwing big names out there as they prep for a possible fire sale on some pieces from a prior regime.
Should the Redskins trade for the Cardinals 2017 first round pick Haason Reddick?
Reddick was drafted too high by the Cardinals at 13th overall. I think he still warranted being a first round guy. He has reportedly been struggling with the new defense under head coach Steve Wilks and has lost almost all playing time. I see a guy that was over-drafted, so expectations were too high, paired with having to learn two complex defenses in less than 18 months at the age of 24. I’m 25 and I struggle to not blow coverage in flag football on Thursday nights.
The Redskins pass rush has been lacking and Reddick would be the most athletic outside linebacker on the team. With Preston Smith in a contract year and the free agent price on all pass rushers skyrocketing, this could give the team options. Trading for Reddick would mean he has to learn another defense but I think a change of scenery could be good for him, especially if the Cardinals have already given up on him.
What would I give up? No more than a 3rd round pick (Redskins will have two in the 2019 draft).
This last guy has been floating out there since the season began. He’s blown out a knee and gotten in fights with his teammates. He also paid the price. Should the Redskins trade for Jaguars Dante Fowler Jr?
For many of the same reasons I think Reddick would be a good addition to the Redskins, Fowler could bring a new element to the team. The Redskins had significant interest in Fowler throughout the 2015 draft process.
The former 3rd overall pick had some injury issues early in his career and has been butting heads with teammates in Jacksonville. Things boiled over earlier this year so much that the team slapped him with an internal suspension to start the year. 2017 was Fowler’s best year as a pro as he was a full year removed from the ACL tear that cost him his rookie season. Fowler’s speed is something that could complement Ryan Kerrigan well. It’s also something the Redskins haven’t had in a long time.
Fowler is in a contract year so that makes a trade difficult. If you want Fowler, why spend draft picks to get him now when you can wait six months and just sign him during the offseason? This is where the “win now mentality” test comes into play. If you like what you see, you sign him long-term.
What would I give up for Fowler? I’d play hardball here and offer a 4th/5th round pick and see where that conversation goes. You have to assume Fowler walks to Free Agency at the end of the year.
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