NFL Trade Rumors: Former high picks who could be available

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 31: Quarterback Paxton Lynch
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 31: Quarterback Paxton Lynch /

The NFL trade rumors are flying as the final roster cuts before the regular season begin. Already there has been a host of notable moves.

There is a strong rumbling that more will happen soon. Most likely not long after the final stretch of preseason games happening this week. A number of them may involve minor player-for-player swaps. Nothing new. However, there is an undercurrent of belief that several former high draft choices may be on the block and could get dealt as well.

It comes down to figuring out who those names might be. There are some criteria to figure it out. They must’ve been drafted at least two years ago as high picks generally get two seasons to prove themselves before teams start making determinations. Then it’s a matter of assessing whether those players are needed on the roster anymore.

Under those conditions, here are some names that quickly popped up.

Shane Ray (OLB, Denver Broncos)

The status of Shane Ray became questionable the moment the Denver Broncos picked Bradley Chubb 5th overall in the 2018 draft. Given his problematic health issues over the past couple of years, it’s clear their patience is wearing thin. They didn’t pick up his fifth-year option and now a number of young players like undrafted free agent Jeff Holland are making strong pushes for a roster spot. Trading Ray might alleviate that issue and get them something back in return.

Paxton Lynch (QB, Denver Broncos)

John Elway has had some trouble in the 1st round the past couple years. Paxton Lynch may be his biggest blunder as a GM. Denver traded up to get the young QB out of Memphis in 2016 and it has been proven they way overpaid. Lynch hasn’t done anything to indicate he can be a starter in the NFL, or even a serviceable backup. Case Keenum and Chad Kelly have clearly outplayed him on the field. It’s apparent he might need a fresh start somewhere else.

Arik Armstead (DE, San Francisco 49ers)

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There are a few factors working against Armstead. For one is health. The defensive linemen has had a hard time avoiding injuries. Then there’s the simple reality that he’s now playing in a defense he wasn’t drafted to play in. The 49ers ran a 3-4 system when Armstead was selected out of Oregon. Now they’ve switched to a 4-3 alignment and he’s struggling to find a proper role. It might be best for all parties if he were sent to a team that could better utilize his talents.

Laquon Treadwell (WR, Minnesota Vikings)

It’s hard to figure out what happened to Laquon Treadwell. He was a playmaking receiver at Ole Miss. Yet in two seasons he has just 21 catches for 200 yards. Not numbers befitting a 1st round pick. The Minnesota Vikings are running out of patience on him and with options developing elsewhere, they may just decide to ship him elsewhere. Maybe another team will better understand how to utilize him. He’s still only 23-years old, so there’s plenty of time.

Shaq Lawson (DE, Buffalo Bills)

Another player who was drafted by a different coach for a different defense. Shaq Lawson was brought in to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment under Rex Ryan. Now he’s in a 4-3 alignment under Sean McDermott and it seems the two sides are struggling to mesh. Rumors have persisted the former 1st rounder could even be cut. If that’s true the odds are they’d much prefer to get even a modest pick in return.