The NFL trade deadline comes today at 4:00 Eastern time but Redskins fans should not make any special plans for this afternoon. It seems very unlikely that the team will make a deal.
The trade that is most likely is Fred Davis getting shipped anywhere for just about anything. Once viewed as a rising star, Davis has played just 91 of the team’s 511 offensive snaps this year and he has been inactive in three of the Redskins’ seven games. He could provide a boost to a team in need of an athletic pass catcher.
But there are obstacles. The Redskins themselves are a team that could use more quality targets for their quarterback so teams have to wonder why they are so willing to deal him. He only has the rest of this season remaining on his contract. Although it probably won’t matter with just half a season left, Davis faces a one-year suspension from the league under the substance abuse policy.
Despite the drawbacks, Davis does have talent and there is always a market for that. There’s a chance that a team comes in with an offer of a sixth- or seventh-round draft pick. The Redskins will then have to weigh if the draft pick is worth foregoing the insurance that Davis could provide behind rookie Jordan Reed, who has been bitten by the injury bug from time to time this year.
The salary cap greatly limits who the Redskins might be able to bring in via a trade. Many fans have been clamoring for them to deal for unhappy Bills safety Jairus Byrd. But the Redskins have barely enough cap room to get through the rest of the season. Byrd’s franchise tender carries a $6.9 million salary for this season. The Redskins would be on the hook for just over half of that for the remainder of this season, about $3.6 million. On top of that, they would have to try to make a deal to keep Byrd beyond this season as he will be a free agent looking for top money.
The other player fans have been yearning for is Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon. He’s the type of dynamic receiving threat that the Redskins need to give Robert Griffin III, Gordon’s former Baylor teammate, as a compliment Pierre Garçon.
The asking price for Gordon is a second-round pick and the Redskins would be very reluctant to part with that high pick given the fact that they already are without their first rounder, their final installment in the Griffin deal. But Gordon is just 22, possibly younger than whoever they might draft in the second round. His contract could easily be absorbed; he is owed about $335,000 for the remainder of the season and since the Redskins would release a player to make room for Gordon, the money is virtually a wash.
Gordon is under contract for the next two years at very reasonable salaries, much less than the Redskins would pay for a receiver on the free agent market.
One “buyer beware” note the Redskins need to take into account is the fact that Gordon was suspended for two games this year under the NFL’s drug policy. He may face a one-year ban if he tests positive again at any point in the future.
You never say never but Mike Shanahan is not the sort of coach who likes to make major changes in season. It would be very surprising if the Redskins pulled the trigger on a trade today.
You can catch the up-to-the-minute buzz on anything that’s happening with the Redskins at the trade deadline and around the league over on CSN Washington at Redskins Pulse. Drop on by and see what’s happening.