Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
There is no bigger waste of talent in the NFL right now.
Despite having the speed of a wide receiver, Davis has spent much of his career anchored to the line of scrimmage blocking instead of split out in the slot. Though he is an excellent blocker, his skills set and athleticism is way above other great receiving tight ends like Shannon Sharpe and Antonio Gates.
If Davis had been used right, since being drafted in 2006, he would be on his way to Canton instead of having just one Pro Bowl so far. At this rate, he will only have a good career like Brent Jones, Monty Stickles, and Ted Kwalick instead of the great one he should be having.
The best thing to do is trade Davis to a team that wants him, knows how to use him, and has a quarterback who can get him the ball.
It won’t happen yet, but it is a shame so see so much talent being wasted and handcuffed from greatness.
Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers
Carolina has already said they won’t trade him. Mainly because he is their best player, but he is also the only guy on the roster who can consistently get open.
Smith is a dynamic player who has gone to four Pro Bowls and led his team in receiving the past six years and eight out the past nine seasons. He has also stood out returning kicks and punts.
The Panthers are rebuilding, appearing to be several years away from being pertinent again. It would be nice to see the 31-year old wind down his career on a winning team trying to get a ring.
Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
Even if he doesn’t take another snap this year, it has been a successful season for Vick. Making his first starts since 2006, he showed he had actually improved his game.
He was thrown into action because starter Kevin Kolb was hurt. He was hurt himself just three weeks later, and now Kolb is showing everyone why the Eagles let the legendary Donovan McNabb go so he could play.
It may be a gamble trading Vick, because another injury to Kolb would hurt the team if he were not still with the team. Yet his contract expires after this year, so getting something for him, as opposed to nothing, may be more logical.
Teams like Buffalo, Cleveland, Minnesota, Arizona, San Francisco, and Carolina need help at quarterback now, or will need help next year. Vick is a three-time Pro Bowler who has shown a new wrinkle to his exciting game. One that he could bring to a team in need of some life offensively.
Bernard Berrian, Minnesota Vikings
He gets $5.5 million a year and is basically a fourth receiver now. When Sidney Rice returns, he will get buried deeper.
With six catches for 42 yards, and two passes thrown to him the past two games, Berrian has truly become a forgotten man.
He was signed in 2008 as a free agent by the Vikings in 2008, which he did by averaging over 20 yards per catch. Since then, it has gone downhill for the man expected to stretch the opponents seam. He averaged 11 yards on 55 receptions last year, and it probably will not improve with the arrival of Randy Moss.
Trading the soon-to-be 31-year old makes the best sense, because Minnesota is an old team that will need to start rebuilding next year. Getting any kind of draft pick, as well as dumping his salary, would help the team immensely.
Michael Bush, Oakland Raiders
Timing has not been kind to him the past few year. After a breakout junior year in college, the 6’1″ 245 lbs running back seemed destined to be a first round draft pick in the NFL. Then he broke his leg early in his senior year, missing the rest of the season.
The Raiders gambled on him in the fourth round of the 2007 draft, knowing he wouldn’t be able to play until 2008 after having a steel rod put in his leg. Since then, he’s played 34 games, but has carried the ball just 254 times despite averaging 4.6 yards per carry.
Darren McFadden is the Raiders main running back, and has been excellent so far this year. Unless Bush gets traded to a team needing a workhorse, like Green Bay, he is destined to keep averaging just over seven carries a game.
If given the chance, he could be a 1,000 back.
Steven Jackson, Saint Louis Rams
He has run for over 1,000 yards in five of his seven years, and appears headed to a sixth. He is the leader of a young team, and the backbone of the offense.
So why trade the two-time Pro Bowler?
Though he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down after almost 2,000 career touches, the longevity of a typical NFL running back is under two seasons. The Rams are rebuilding, so Jackson would command good draft picks for his services.
If he was dealt to a winner, he also could have a shot at earning a ring. It is something he probably will not get with the Rams.
Rashean Mathis, Jacksonville Jaguars
Not only have his number of tackles drastically decreased each season since 2007, Mathis has missed 12 games over that time too.
He still is the Jaguars top cover guy, but his production has slipped since his 2006 Pro Bowl year. A change of venue on a winning team in need of a cornerback could reinvigorate Mathis.
Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders
He isn’t going anywhere, though Oakland just announced every player is available for trade.
Quite simply, he is the best cornerback in the NFL for at least the past three years.
If the Raiders are serious about trading anyone, some team should make a serious inquiry about this 29-year old stud about to enter his prime.
Kyle Williams, Buffalo Bills
He has been steady and reliable since the Bills drafted him in 2006, and he has started pretty much his entire career. A wide body at 6’1″ 300, he has been effective mainly against the run.
A year removed from a career best 66 tackles, Buffalo switched this year from a base 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense. Williams was moved to nose tackle, instead of pulling an Albert Haynesworth by crying and pouting about it.
He has responded with 25 tackles and a sack after five games this year, which is an excellent pace. Though Buffalo may not part with their best defensive lineman, and quite possibly their best defensive player, Williams would help any team in any system.
Lee Evans, Buffalo Bills
The term underused comes to mind when Lee Evans name gets mentioned. He is a top-notch deep threat, with three seasons of catches over 83 yards, but he has just two years of over 1,000 in his seven years.
The biggest reason has been the poor play of Bills quarterbacks, a theme that continues on this year. Most of them have struggled to get him the ball.
Though just 29-years old, his speed declining is not as far away as maybe thought. His going to a team with a solid quarterback could invent a rebirth for him, considering he has never really had one since the Bills drafted him in the first round in 2004.
If Buffalo is willing to part with Marshawn Lynch, possibly their best running back, for draft picks, they may be willing to do the same with Evans as the team continues to rebuild.