Since it’s the early part of the NFL offseason, this is the ideal time to pick out the best NFL offseason trade candidates in 2022.
For fans, it’s arguably more fun than trying to guess where the best NFL free agents in 2022 will end up signing. Whether it’s teams trying to get better right now, stock up on draft picks, or cut payroll, there are tons of potential NFL trades this offseason.
Naturally, as part of our NFL offseason predictions for 2022, we wanted to explore the NFL’s offseason trade candidates for the 2022 offseason.
NFL offseason trade candidates in 2022
Of course, picking out the most likely NFL offseason trade candidates in 2022 is easier said than done. In theory, there is only a small number of players who won’t get traded no matter what.
Keep in mind that a former Super Bowl MVP was traded during the 2021 season, so clearly there are few limits to the trades that can happen during the offseason. On our list, we tried to only include players with a legitimate chance of being traded before the start of the 2022 season. With that said, is our list of the top NFL offseason trade candidates for 2022.
Deshaun Watson’s future is very much uncertain right now, as it has been for a while.
At some point, the Texans are going to have to pull the trigger on a trade and move on from him completely. The question is what team will want to take a chance on him given his off-field issues.
There were some rumblings about Jarvis Landry being traded before the trade deadline this past season, and it looks likely those rumors will return.
Jarvis Landry surprised his former teammate OBJ during his media availability.
"I love you. Go get that ring."
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 7, 2022
With one year left on his contract, Landry has insinuated that his time in Cleveland could be over. He’s not the only player the Browns have to make a decision about, which means the trade rumors are likely to persist.
In theory, Za’Darius Smith could make for a good trade chip if they want to free up some money. Obviously, it would hurt them on the field, but it’s a move that might need to happen.
Among offensive linemen, Andre Dillard could be the best on the trade market this offseason. Injuries have held him back, but there’s no denying he would be an asset if healthy.
There are more than a few teams out there that could stand an upgrade along the offensive line, opening the door for the Eagles to move him.
While his health is a question, Marcus Peters could potentially fetch a nice pride on the trade market.
The Ravens would surely welcome the financial flexibility of trading him while another team might think that Peters could become a top-10 cornerback if he’s healthy in 2022. This may not be a sure thing, but Peters is someone to watch on the trade block this offseason.
Saquon Barkley appears to have multiple suitors heading into the offseason, and if we’re being honest, he needs a change of scenery. Frankly, he just needs a better offensive line blocking for him, and there’s no guarantee he’ll get that if he stays with the Giants.
With a new coach, the G-Men are starting over yet again, and without a quarterback for the future in place, they’d be foolish not to trade Barkley if they can get good value for him.
The Browns, not to mention their fans, appear to be somewhat split on Baker Mayfield‘s future. He’s far from a lock to be traded this offseason, nor should he be. Mayfield played hurt for long stretches of 2021 and helped get Cleveland to the playoffs the previous year.
Among Oklahoma players in the NFL, Joe Mixon has more Super Bowl passing TDs than Heisman winners Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, and Sam Bradford combined.
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) February 14, 2022
Perhaps he’s not an elite quarterback, but that doesn’t mean the Browns can’t win with him. If nothing else, the Browns will consider their options when it comes to Mayfield before committing to him as their franchise quarterback.
Brandin Cooks has already been traded multiple times in his career, so what’s one more time?
There should be no doubting his talent. He just has to find the right quarterback and the right system. For a guy of his talent, the price in a trade for Cooks could be somewhat affordable.
There’s no question that Jimmy Garoppolo will be traded this offseason. The 49ers spent a first round pick on Trey Lance last year and there’s no way they can let him sit on the bench for a second straight season.
San Francisco’s options for trading Garoppolo should be numerous. Obviously, he’s had injuries and isn’t what you would call an elite quarterback. But in the last three years, he’s taken the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game twice and gone to a Super Bowl. On the right team, he’s a winning quarterback, so there should be serious interest in Garoppolo this offseason.
Derek Carr is a three-time Pro Bowler who helped get the Raiders to the playoffs this past season. It wouldn’t be the worst idea for Las Vegas to stick with him and see if he can help get them to the next level.
But with at least a couple of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks potentially available via trade this offseason, the Raiders will consider their options, opening the door for them to pawn off Carr on another franchise that will hopefully treat him a little better.
Out of all of the quarterbacks on the trade block this offseason, Kirk Cousins might be the most interesting case. He has just one year left on his contract with the Vikings, so if Minnesota doesn’t want to commit to him beyond 2022, the smart move would be to trade him to someone who wants him and start over rather than lose him in free agency a year from now.
Matthew Stafford just won a super bowl. Damnit so can Kirk Cousins.
— Realistic Randy (@realistic_randy) February 14, 2022
We know that he can get to the playoffs with the right team around him, but Cousins may not have the upside of a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, which could limit his market on the trade market.
There’s no question that Calvin Ridley had an unusual 2021 season and could use a fresh start somewhere other than Atlanta.
There would surely be a little risk in trading for a wide receiver who sat out most of the season. However, his talent and upside would create enough interest for Atlanta to get something substantial in a trade for the former Alabama wide receiver.
Let’s face it, the Panthers aren’t likely to compete for a Super Bowl anytime soon. They are wasting Christian McCaffrey’s prime years and just watching his trade value decline with every passing year and every injury.
The injuries have already taken a toll on his trade value. But there are still plenty of teams that would jump at the chance to acquire McCaffrey if Carolina makes him available.
It looks like Russell Wilson’s time with Seattle has run its course. He’s been a little coy about his future, but he could force a trade if that’s what he wants.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) February 11, 2022
At this point, both he and the Seahawks could use a fresh start away from each other. The question is where Wilson could end up because there are plenty of options and several other quarterbacks on the trade block.
Something has to happen soon with Aaron Rodgers. Either he’s going to commit to spending his entire career in Green Bay or he’s going to force the Packers to trade him.
All signs point to Rodgers getting traded, especially with Green Bay way over the salary cap. With former Green Bay offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett becoming head coach of the Broncos, Denver looks like a potential destination, although there should be several teams trying to trade for the future Hall of Famer.