Quarterback trades have become a thing over the last few years. From Sam Bradford to Alex Smith to Jacoby Brissett and AJ McCarron, the trade tsunami taking over the league has extended to its most important position.
No quarterback trade came as a bigger surprise than the San Francisco 49ers’ deadline deal for Jimmy Garoppolo last season. It was a seismic move that none of the insiders saw coming. Before getting to the Week 8 QB rankings below, let’s take a quick look at some long-shot candidates to get moved before the league’s Oct. 30 deadline (next Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET), with an eye on what could happen to them this offseason.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders: There just isn’t a logical trade partner for Carr before the deadline because of his salary, among other factors. Jon Gruden should view the rest of the season as an opportunity to evaluate Carr’s fit in his system. A potential trade in the offseason, when teams have more cap space again and the draft is closer, makes a lot more sense.
Sam Bradford, Arizona Cardinals: Arizona makes Bradford inactive every week in order to avoid paying him over $300,000 for every game he’s on the 45-man gameday roster. Bradford’s market in the offseason was strong enough for him to warrant $15 million guaranteed this season, so it’s not that crazy to imagine a team interested in the former No. 1 overall pick for depth or a potential look-see.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This would be the ultimate YOLO trade for the Jaguars — the most logical trade partner for any of these quarterbacks, even if they seem to stubbornly believe that Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler are better options than the field. If nothing else, the short-lived September Fitzmagic should earn this soon-to-be 36-year-old another contract as a free agent this offseason.
Teddy Bridgewater, New Orleans Saints: It would be strange for the Saints to deal Bridgewater now, although it was a little strange to give up a third-round pick for Bridgewater back in September during his contract year. New Orleans GM Mickey Loomis recently made it sound like the Saints want to sell Bridgewater on the benefits of staying in New Orleans beyond 2018, but it will be tough to make a competitive offer for Teddy if he hits free agency when Drew Brees is playing so well.
Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland Browns: The Browns traded Carlos Hyde, a quality veteran starter who was clearly in Cleveland on a one-year rental. Could they do the same with Taylor now that he’s on the bench? And could there be a surprise team — like the Dolphins — willing to take a shot? The 29-year-old is more likely to finally hit free agency in the offseason, where he may wind up being the latest “bridge quarterback for hire,” following in the fine tradition of Josh McCown and Fitzpatrick.
NOTE: This is the Quarterback Index. The QBs are ranked based on 2018 play alone. So what’s happened in previous seasons — and what will happen moving forward — doesn’t matter in this exercise. The next ranking of all 32 starters comes after Week 8.
The Ravens called the perfect blitz against the Saints on a number of occasions and Brees still managed to make play after play against the NFL’s top-ranked defense, often with a free rusher right in his face.
2018 stats: 6 games | 77.3 pct | 1,870 pass yds | 8.5 ypa | 13 pass TD | 0 INT | 9 rush yds | 2 rush TD