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As the trade deadline approaches, Washington must be a seller

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With the NFL’s trade deadline fast approaching, savvy teams are considering the best way to strengthen their roster for the late-season playoff race, or how to dump components that other teams may want now to build for the future. Teams have until 16:00 on November 1 to complete trades, and some have already started:

At 2-4, it’s time to take a hard look at it, as the Carson Wentz try was a pretty clear failure and the 2022 season has now decided to figure out how to best position the team for the future QB in the 2023 draft. Identify the roster and which players might be the most desirable targets for other teams in the league.

While some people would love to trade William Jackson III for round three or Bobby McCain for round four, I will try to ground this exercise in reality, focusing on players who have truly demonstrated their past talents and played. So who can help another team win a game now and this year?

Daron Payne

At this point I was on the “Trade Daron Payne” train for over a year, not because I didn’t like Payne or because I thought he was a very solid player, but because I didn’t think he was. It would make sense to have a long-term agreement with him about what it would cost to do so. The $18 million AAV deal Jon Allen signed last year is definitely in the ballpark of what Payne would expect when he reaches free agency.

Payne is young, 25 still in their 5th year in the league and playing well as he has been this year.

For teams looking for a way to strengthen their inner line of defense, there may not be a better option for the next few weeks. By the end of the season, Payne will either be a freelancer, buyer of a franchise tag (~$15 million) or sign a long-term deal there.

With Jonathan Allen already jailed and facing contract decisions over the next few years for Montez Sweat and Chase Young, it doesn’t make much sense to invest a big chunk in defensive tackle.

If Washington gets a 2023 third bid for Payne (the 2024 third is what it would bring as a compensatory choice if it walks after 2022), they need to think strongly about it. If they’re offered a 2023 runoff, they should jump at the chance. They will need high-value draft capital so they can enter the 2023 draft for rebuilding purposes.

JD McKissic (or maybe Antonio Gibson)

With Brian Robinson back and apparently healthy, Washington’s backroom is becoming a force again. Robinson gets into the role of RB1 and Antonio Gibson moves on to a more passable weapon. JD McKissic recedes into the background, battling to get below 10 touches per game.

Just two years after being one of the most prolific RBs in the league, McKissic has been a hot target as a free agent this season and was nearly captured by the Bills before being sent back to Washington:

Despite being contracted until 2023, it is underutilized in Washington while both Robinson and Gibson are healthy.

Washington should jump into any fourth-round or better pick bid for McKissic and seriously consider any trade compensation as low as round 5. Best for the player and a better deal for the team in the long run.

The other alternative would be to try to trade Antonio Gibson and play McKissic more. I would expect Gibson’s trade to be significantly more than McKissic’s, but the best opportunity for this trade may be off the table right now with the 49ers trading McCaffrey.

Cam Curl

This will certainly be the most controversial of the proposed trades, the 7th round rookie – for good reason – a fan favorite and has been ranked as one of the best Day 3 picks in the league for the past few years.

With one year left on his rookie deal, Curl steals about $1 million a year. However, we can be sure that this number will increase dramatically when it reaches free agency after 2023. The best cashiers in the league routinely generate more than $12M a year in revenue—unless they’re Landon Collins followed by a dull owner, then the price is dramatically above that.

What is the trading market for the strongest security? It’s hard to say, but it’s worth a try. With Darrick Forrest on the rise and on the flanks, the drop from Curl to backup may not be as dramatic as you might think.

If any other team were willing to pull out of the 2023 second-round picks, perhaps even the third-round, they might deserve consideration. This will allow the team to quickly reload with the best talent in next year’s draft in the draft sweet spot area, which has recently produced stud cases like Jalen Pitre, Jaquan Brisker, Jevon Holland and Trevon Moehrig.


Which of these transactions are you more likely to approve of?

  • 51%

    Daron Payne one second.

    (383 votes)

  • 22%

    JD McKissic for fourth.

    (165 votes)

  • 4%

    Wait a second Cam Curl.

    (35 votes)

  • 22%

    I’m not interested in trading any of them.

    (166 votes)

total 749 votes

Vote now