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As the trade deadline approaches, should Washington be trying to acquire unhappy pass catchers looking for a new home?

Trade deadline is Tuesday, 3 Nov. Don’t forget to vote!

Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With the trade deadline approaching on 3 November, traditional logic says that the Washington Football Team, sitting at 1-5 and in last place in the division, should probably be trying to trade older players with just a few miles left on the treads or guys with only a half-season left on their contracts — guys like Ryan Kerrigan.

But, with the WFT actually just one game out of first place in the division and a game coming up against the NFCE leading Dallas Cowboys, there’s an argument to be made that Washington could use this as an opportunity to develop the roster with some late round draft capital. In fact, when it comes to unhappy players asking for trades, sometimes something can be done at the trade deadline for nothing more than a 6th round pick in next year’s draft for the player and a 7th rounder — effectively buying 9 games and the opportunity to extend the player for the cost of moving back one round.

There will be plenty of rumors swirling this week, but two have caught my eye today.

The first is one that we’ve heard discussed before — many times. According to multiple media reports, TE David Njoku has renewed his request for a trade. The Browns have already exercised his 5th year option, which will pay the tight end a guaranteed $6m in 2021 if he is on the roster on 18 March. Given that the Browns actually seem to want to keep Njoku on the roster along with the fact that they control his contract through the end of the ‘21 season, Njoku doesn’t have a lot of leverage to force a trade.

Because of this, it could take a very strong deal to coax the Cleveland front office to give up Njoku. As desperate for tight end help as Washington is at the moment, it probably isn’t worth parting with much draft capital to acquire a player who has been inconsistent and who has developed a reputation for being a bit difficult — especially given the relatively short and relatively expensive contract he is signed to.

For his part, Njoku might welcome a trade to Washington, where he would almost certainly have a chance to earn a lot of playing time. Securing the tight end’s services for the next season and a half could take a bit of pressure off of the draft next year, allowing the team to focus on positions in the early rounds other than tight end.

The second unhappy player looking for a trade that caught my attention is John Ross of the Cincinnati Bengals. This report is from NFL.com:

The veteran wide receiver is frustrated with his playing time in 2020 after showing flashes of his potential in 2019, Garafolo reported, per Ross’ agent Brad Cicala. After appearing on 56 offensive downs in Week 1, Ross played half as many snaps (28) in Week 2 before he was inactive from Weeks 3-5. He played just one snap in Sunday’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Once seen as a big-play threat with rare speed — record-setting 4.22 40-yard dash speed — capable of taking the top off opposing defenses, Ross’ career has been fraught with injuries since he was selected ninth overall in the 2017 draft. Ross has caught just 51 passes in his career, with a single-season high of 28 (for 506 yards) coming in 2019.

The 2020 season was essentially seen as a make-or-break campaign for Ross, who is in the final year of his rookie deal after Cincinnati declined his fifth-year option ahead of 2020. So far, Ross isn’t able to make much of anything without an opportunity to take the field.

With two weeks left until the trade deadline, Cincinnati has some time to potentially work a deal.

Washington is desperate for help at wide receiver. Ross is desperate to play. The Bengals don’t seem to value him much.

This is a deal that looks to me like it could be done for as little as a pick swap...just enough for the Bengals to claim that they got some value on the deal.

Poll

What would you do if you were the WFT decision maker?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    I’d trade a 4th or 5th rounder for Njoku
    (451 votes)
  • 36%
    I’d trade a 6th or 7th rounder for Njoku
    (959 votes)
  • 23%
    I’d do the deal if it was a 6th round pick for Njoku and the Browns 7th
    (632 votes)
  • 22%
    I wouldn’t trade anything at all for Njoku
    (599 votes)
2641 votes total Vote Now

Poll

What would you do if you were the WFT decision maker?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    I’d trade a 6th or a 7th round pick for John Ross
    (901 votes)
  • 40%
    I’d do the deal if it was a 6th round pick for John Ross and the Bengals 7th
    (984 votes)
  • 22%
    I wouldn’t trade anything at all for John Ross
    (555 votes)
2440 votes total Vote Now