The NBA community was in a frenzy after Chris Paul was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, rarely does the NFL experience a genuine blockbuster trade in the same vein as the Paul deal, which would likely brighten a long offseason.
With just over two months until the start of the season, these three blockbuster trades could realign the NFL and spark some excitement, if they were to happen:
Thomas heads to Buccaneers
Buccaneers receive: Joe Thomas
Browns receive: 2018 second-round pick, Doug Martin
Analysis: It’s somewhat tragic that Thomas hasn’t been to the playoffs despite earning 10 consecutive Pro Bowl selections. Arguably the greatest lineman of his generation, Thomas will get an opportunity to contribute to a young, ascending Buccaneers team that could make a serious run for the Super Bowl over the next few seasons. Cleveland’s greatest strength is its offensive line and can draw the largest yield without damaging its long-term future in trading Thomas.
In return, the rebuilding Browns will receive another future asset in a 2018 second-round pick, one that could yield a top-50 selection next spring. Martin will serve the final three games of a suspension to begin the 2017 campaign, but the Browns will receive a player who is a clear upgrade over the rest of their running back contingent. The 28-year-old is two years removed from a 1,402-yard campaign where he earned first-team All-Pro honors, and the Browns can continue to accelerate their rebuild.
Cousins takes over Broncos
Redskins receive: Aqib Talib, Paxton Lynch, 2018 first-round pick
Broncos receive: Kirk Cousins
Analysis: Cousins and the Redskins haven’t been able to agree on the framework for a long-term deal, so the Pro Bowl quarterbacks get jettisoned to the Broncos, with a genuine opportunity to win a Super Bowl. The Broncos finally figure out their quarterback scenario and in return, provide the Redskins with a developmental prospect in Lynch, who could become their cost-effective starter immediately.
It may seem lopsided in favor of the Broncos upon first glance, but the Redskins receive arguably the NFL’s best cornerback in Talib, and an extra first-round pick that could bolster a strong roster. Make it happen!
Garoppolo headlines 49ers’ rebuilding efforts
49ers receive: Jimmy Garoppolo
Patriots receive: Arik Armstead, Joshua Garnett, 2018 third-round pick.
Two teams that are in diametrically opposite directions could engineer one of the biggest trades in recent memory, as the 49ers finally nab their quarterback of the future in Garoppolo. San Francisco is amid a drastic rebuild, and gaining a ready-made, 26-year-old starter, who excelled in an admittedly small sample, is well worth the risk.
The Patriots are still answering a philosophical question about what to do when Tom Brady eventually retires. For the time being, Brady isn’t going anywhere, remaining in peak form as he enters his age-40 season. New England will receive two recent first-round picks, both of whom can contribute immediately on strong, stable defensive and offensive line units.
Throw in another future asset, and Belichick and Co. will finally feel comfortable getting rid of their contingency plan for Brady, as the Patriots try to win as many Super Bowls as possible in the latter stages of the legendary quarterback’s career.
(Photos courtesy: Action Images)
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