One of the things I saw mentioned often last night on Twitter was the belief that the Vikings should trade away Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson as they rebuild their franchise. Allen is a free agent next season while Peterson has four years remaining on his contract. I thought it might be worth looking at the costs of these two players and other rumored players to see if trades can really happen.
Jared Allen- If Allen were traded this week it would require a team to have $8.4 million in cap space to absorb Allen’s $14.28 million dollar salary or for a team to be willing to extend Allen for future years and prorate a portion of the salary. The only teams able to take Allen in a straight trade would be the Browns, Jaguars, Dolphins, Bills, Eagles, Panthers, Packers, and perhaps the Bengals. Allen is not going to go to a 34 defense which eliminates four of the teams. The Panthers are already set at DE and the Jaguars would have no interest. Miami and Cincinnati already have significant investments in their defensive lines, so its doubtful he will go anywhere.
Adrian Peterson– Peterson would consume $6.6 million in cap space which allows us to add Tampa Bay, Tennessee, and maybe Denver to the list of teams with big cap space. Teams could choose to prorate some of the salary but Peterson’s future year salaries are cost prohibitive. Even in his record breaking season last year Peterson was overvalued and he has not been the same player this season. Miami has gone into a tailspin and has no running game and could be in desperation mode, but again Id imagine a pretty limited trade market with a $12 million dollar salary coming his way in 2014.
Darren McFadden– I’m only throwing his name out there because I’ve read it among fans, but I have not seen any new outlet really discuss this as a possibility. McFadden is a health risk and has never lived up to his potential since being drafted by the Raiders. The Raiders claim they would like to re-sign him next season, but I don’t really know why. I have to think if a team offered them something reasonable they would consider it since they are going to improve via the draft. McFadden would cost a team $3.45 million which limits his suitors as he has made it clear he is hoping to hit free agency next year. If Tampa was decent I could see them being interested but they should be sellers right now.
Maurice Jones-Drew– Jones-Drew would cost a team $2.92 million in 2013 cap room before he heads for free agency. MJD has not been effective for two seasons, but he is also on a historically bad team that creates no room for it’s runners. This is going to have someone stick their neck out and say that MJD’s issue are more about Jacksonville than about his skill. At this salary 17 teams could take MJD. Dallas is not one of them, but is only about $900,000 off meaning a contract restructure could get the job done.
Hakeem Nicks– Nicks would be much more reasonably priced at $1.57 million for 10 week rental. At that price the only teams that would need to really work to get him under the cap would be the Rams, Vikings, 49ers and Steelers, none of whom would likely be interested anyway(I dont see the 49ers re-signing him, and they wont trade for a pure few game rental). The Saints, Colts, Ravens, and Jets could all make it work with some minimal restructures of veterans currently on the team. The difficulty is the asking price. I went over trade possibilities and I’d think the cost is going to be two 2nd rounders. The Colts could make sense given the injury to Reggie Wayne, but they have already traded a 1 for Trent Richardson who was and is nowhere near the player Nicks is. The Giants, based on the Colts history, are not going to give him away to Indianapolis. The Colts would have the cap room to keep him in 2014 if they want.
Kenny Britt– Britt is cheap and only costs a team $528,000 making everyone in the league pretty much able to jump in on him. Britt comes with major baggage and has been ineffective this year and is now benched. Hes a free agent in 2014 so its only for a few weeks, but hes just a prayer for a team at this point where you hope the change of scenery helps the player.
Josh Gordon– A team only needs $372,000 to bring in Gordon making him affordable for all. He has two more years under contract that will only cost a total of $1.89 million making him a great value for a potential 1,000+ yard player for the next two seasons. The negative is that he is one strike away from being out of the NFL for a season. That may make the cost too high but for a team with WR troubles and future tight cap situations it might be worth the risk. The 49ers got a 2nd rounder for Alex Smith so essentially flipping Smith for Gordon might be looked at as not so risky as if they had no other 2nd rounder to spend. I don’t think anyone touches him for a 1.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.