Trade deadline: Deals that make sense
Don't expect any real blockbusters, but John Clayton and Len Pasquarelli break down 10 deadline trades that make sense.
With the trade deadline set to pass Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, we asked John Clayton and Len Pasquarelli to break down 10 trades than made sense and could actually have a chance of happening.
• Raiders WR Jerry Porter to New England: The Patriots need to acquire Raiders wide receiver Jerry Porter even if it costs them a third-round choice. Though the Patriots wouldn't want to pay the $4 million the Raiders would want back from Porter (in bonus money) if they trade him, this deal makes sense for both sides. First, the Patriots need a big receiver. They signed Jabar Gaffney to play the weakside, but he's only a minimum-salary fix. Porter is a big threat with speed. Certainly, it may turn off the Patriots that he has been suspended four games by the Raiders for conduct detrimental to the team. But it shouldn't. The Patriots got lucky this year. Their schedule is easy and their division is bad. The Patriots have a chance to get a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the playoffs, but their receiving corps right now isn't good enough to get them to the Super Bowl. Porter would be a nice fit.
• Raiders QB Marques Tuiasosopo to the Buccaneers: The Raiders won't get many wins, so they should get all the draft choices they can. Trading quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo to Tampa Bay and coach Jon Gruden would get them a sixth- or seventh-round pick. The Raiders could then bring in Jeff George (they liked him when they signed him for one week during the summer). Gruden drafted Tuiasosopo in Oakland to be his quarterback in the West Coast offense. The West Coast offense (or any offense) is long gone in Oakland. Tuiasosopo is on his fourth coach and fourth different system, and he's gone as a free agent after the season. If he gets traded to the Bucs, they could sign him to an extension and start to repair the quarterback position for the future. Remember, injured QB Chris Simms is a free agent after the season.
• Jets WR Justin McCareins to the Bears: The unbeatable Bears don't look like they need anything. But wide receiver Justin McCareins would be a nice insurance policy. McCareins is a big receiver and could help if something happens to Muhsin Muhammad. Bears general manager Jerry Angelo has pushed all the right buttons. QB Rex Grossman, now healthy, looks better than advertised (even though he struggled in the Bears' MNF win over the Cardinals). Still, Chicago is thin at wide receiver. Angelo made one of the great moves of the offseason when he signed Brian Griese to be the backup QB and provide depth. Getting a receiver like McCareins would add even more depth.
• Cardinals OT Leonard Davis to the Ravens: The Ravens have major problems along the offensive line. Coach Brian Billick loves big offensive linemen, and Leonard Davis of the Cardinals could be had. A fifth-round pick that could move up to a fourth-rounder might get it done. QBs Steve McNair and Kyle Boller won't survive if the team doesn't get some offensive-line help. Davis could play guard or right tackle. He's a big blocker with decent athletic ability, but he is a free agent after the season and the Cardinals might not re-sign him. The Ravens are 4-2 and could win the AFC North, but they won't be able to do that without offensive-line help. Davis could be a positive addition at the right price.
• Philadelphia DT Sam Rayburn to Indianapolis: The Colts' most recent experiment with a defensive tackle who began his career in Philadelphia, underachieving Corey Simon, was a flop, which is why Indianapolis could stand to add another veteran at the position. Like Simon, fourth-year veteran Sam Rayburn is bigger (303 pounds) than what the Colts prefer on the defensive line, but he does have some quickness and one-gap ability. Colts coaches keep pinning their deficiencies versus the run on poor tackling, but that isn't the lone problem, and another front-four body would be a plus. Rayburn, 26, had been the odd man out in the eight-lineman rotation Eagles' coordinator Jim Johnson has been using, but finally dressed on Sunday and posted one tackle. He has played in 42 games, with four starts, and has 89 tackles and nine sacks. An undrafted free agent in 2003, the former Tulsa star really flashed in 2004, when he notched six sacks. He is under contract through 2011 at palatable base salaries that top out at $950,000 in the final year of his deal.
• St. Louis CB Jerametrius Butler to Cleveland: The Browns have been decimated by injuries to their cornerback corps, so Jerametrius Butler, a former starter who has slipped to No. 5 on the St. Louis depth chart, would be a nice addition. He'd add a veteran presence and, if healthy, the six-year veteran can still be an effective player. Butler had a combined nine interceptions and 20 passes defensed in 2003-04, when he was emerging as one of the NFL's top young corners; then he missed all of 2005 with a knee injury. He is all but buried now in St. Louis. He has three more years on his contract after this season, at an average of $2.5 million per year, so he doesn't come cheap.
• Tampa Bay CB Brian Kelly to San Francisco: The lesser-known half of one of the NFL's best but most underrated cornerback tandems, Brian Kelly has played in the shadow of Ronde Barber. But Kelly is an accomplished coverage defender in his own right. He wants a new contract, and since the Bucs just signed Barber to an extension this summer, they might not want to ante up. Kelly has missed three games with a toe injury, so that has to be a consideration, but he should be a solid player for several more years. And the 49ers definitely need a top-flight cornerback. Kelly has 20 career interceptions and 76 passes defensed, and since he plays in the Cover 2 scheme, he's excellent against the run too.
• New York Jets WR Justin McCareins to Kansas City: It's been pretty obvious since training camp that Justin McCareins isn't a favorite of first-year coach Eric Mangini, and the sixth-year veteran has seen his playing time (and thus his production) dramatically reduced. McCareins, 27, has just six receptions for 87 yards and no touchdowns. He started Sunday's game against Miami but did not register a catch. The Kansas City wide receiver corps is once again fairly mundane, and McCareins could lend a boost. Plus, he is familiar with Chiefs coach Herm Edwards, having played for him in New York. One huge stumbling block is McCareins' contract. He is signed through 2010 and, after this season his base salaries average $2.96 million over the final four years of his deal.
Len Pasquarelli and John Clayton are senior writers for ESPN.com.
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