The NFL trade deadline is suddenly right around the corner. Just two games separate the Washington Commanders from the Nov. 1 deadline. If they beat Green Bay and Indianapolis, might the front office consider going on the attack? Or if they lose both fixtures, will the front office look to sell off some key pieces?
In terms of positions that could use some reinforcements, linebacker, cornerback and interior offensive/defensive line stick out the most. With Andrew Norwell and Trai Turner both underperforming after coming over in free agency, we wouldn’t hate to see the Commanders go out and make a trade for more depth.
In terms of positions that are locked and loaded for now and the future, receiver, running back and safety are the first that come to mind.
Though the deadline is still over a week away, the first blockbuster trade materialized Thursday night, as the rebuilding Panthers, who recently fired head coach Matt Rhule, sent star running back Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers for a cavalcade of draft picks.
How does that relate to the Commanders? In a recent article, Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay tackled “5 Wild NFL Trade Ideas That Actually Make Sense Before the 2022 Deadline.” One of Kay’s proposals included McCaffrey ending up with the burgundy and gold.
Bleacher Report wanted the Commanders to trade for Christian McCaffrey.
This isn’t the first time Bleacher Report has tried manifesting McCaffrey to the nation’s capital. Back in January, admittedly before Washington drafted Brian Robinson, they proposed the same trade. The idea alone is enough to make you nauseous, but BR had the Commanders parting with a first-round pick for the player.
A first-round pick for a running back? In this economy?
If you think that’s bad, get a load of what Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch offloaded for McCaffrey. Per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Panthers got a 2023 second-round pick, a 2023-third-round pick, a 2023 fourth-round pick and a 2024 fifth-rounder for the sixth-year back.
The Panthers were reportedly seeking multiple first round picks for McCaffrey, but they did superbly to get four picks for the player. While an elite talent, McCaffrey was limited a combined 10 games in 2020 and ’21 due to injuries.
Here’s how Kay rationalized the hypothetical trade.
"The 26-year-old put up those eye-popping figures under head coach Ron Rivera, who was hired by the Washington Commanders in 2020. The pair could reunite this season if Washington is willing to shell out for the versatile back.Rivera has been trying to replicate McCaffrey’s production with Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic, but they haven’t been anywhere near as effective as the No. 8 pick in 2017.Washington should be willing to gamble. With the Commanders rapidly falling out of contention in the competitive NFC East, they should swing for the fences by trying to acquire McCaffrey."
Where to start? While the Ron Rivera-Panthers pipeline has been prevalent since Washington hired him in 2020, why would Rivera identify RB as a position of need? Further, McCaffrey is the league’s highest-paid running back in terms of annual average value at $16.015 million and has cap hits of $11.8 million, $11.8 million and $12 million over the next three seasons (2023, 2024 and 2025).
For whatever reason, Bleacher Report wanted to see McCaffrey in DC even though it didn’t make a shred of sense from a personnel, salary cap and team record standpoint. There’s a reason only Super Bowl contenders or “win now” (Rams and Bills) teams were the only teams in the mix for the former All-Pro.
Thankfully, this is the last time McCaffrey to Washington gets discussed.