For many years, the NFL trade market was a yawn fest compared to the other major sports leagues'. There wasn't the frenetic back-and-forth that happens annually in the NBA or in MLB.
In recent years, though, it's been a different story. Since the collective bargaining agreement was signed in 2011, teams have been more willing to play Let's Make a Deal—especially on draft day. The first round is now littered with teams looking to move up or slide back—just as the Baltimore Ravens did when they selected Lamar Jackson in 2018.
That worked out OK.
It's not just rookies getting dealt, though. In 2019, there was quite a run on veteran edge-rushers. Three teams applied the franchise tag to talented pass-rushers only to send them packing. The Kansas City Chiefs were in on two of those deals, flipping Dee Ford to the San Francisco 49ers and acquiring Frank Clark from the Seattle Seahawks.
Again, that worked out OK.
Now, it's all about looking toward 2020. Scoping out which teams are best-positioned to be movers and shakers over the next few months.
Lots of draft picks to use as bargaining chips are good. High draft picks are even better. Having veteran talent to dangle in trade talks is better still. And having a veteran quarterback?
Katy, bar the door.
That's what this article is all about: ranking the assets each team might be willing to sell, from squads whose cupboards are nearly bare (at least in regard to what they'd be willing to part with) to those who can't even get the cabinet door shut.
32. Los Angeles Rams
First, let's dispense with a bit of...let's call it over-optimism.
There's been speculation the Los Angeles Rams will shop running back Todd Gurley II. There's little question the Rams would like to shop him. But the realities of the market for a running back with a cap hit of $17.3 million and an arthritic knee coming off a bad season are...not good.
And that's the thing: The realities of this offseason aren't good for the Rams, period. At least not when it comes to making trades.
The Rams have less than $15 million in available cap space—before considering the pending free agencies of linebacker Cory Littleton, offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth and others. Thanks to the Jalen Ramsey trade, the Rams won't have a first-round pick until 2022.
With limited cap resources and just six picks in April, it's going to be a tall ask for the Rams to improve their roster.
Doing so via trade could be next to impossible.
31. San Francisco 49ers
The season didn't end the way they'd hoped, but it was still quite the campaign for the San Francisco 49ers—from 4-12 and the second pick in the draft in 2018 to 13-3 and NFC champions in 2019.
There's only one step left to be taken: winning the Super Bowl after coming so close this year.
The 49ers don't have many holes. It's a good thing—with less than $14 million in cap space, the Niners aren't going to be big players in free agency. It gets even worse when you look at the 2020 draft.
San Francisco will make a pick at the end of Day 1—and then have a seat for a while. A good long while. The Dee Ford trade cost the 49ers their second-round pick. The in-season trade that brought Emmanuel Sanders to Santa Clara cost them third- and fourth-round selections.
The 49ers could dangle some of their depth at running back in trade talks. Perhaps pull a tag-and-trade with defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who is about to hit unrestricted free agency after a breakout season.
But the 49ers are as bereft of trade assets as any team in the league.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers missed the playoffs last year, but that had more to do with injuries than holes on the roster.
That's good, because whether it's salary-cap space or draft capital, the Steelers don't have much in the way of resources.
In regard to the former, only two teams have less wiggle room under the salary cap than the Steelers. The trades that brought in inside linebacker Devin Bush and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick left the Steelers with just a single pick over the first three rounds of the 2020 draft.
With just one pick in the top 110 (No. 49), the Steelers aren't well-positioned to make any moves without sacrificing picks in 2021. It could improve somewhat, though, as the departure of Le'Veon Bell could net Pittsburgh an extra third-rounder.
There's also not much in the way of veteran trade pieces. This isn't to say the Steelers wouldn't like to unload a veteran or two and grab a pick and some salary-cap relief.
There just isn't a name that stands out on the roster as being both expendable and valuable enough to bring any kind of return.
29. Houston Texans
The Houston Texans went all-in on getting better in the short-term in 2019, making a number of trades to bring in offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, cornerback Gareon Conley and tailback Duke Johnson.
Those moves paid off at least somewhat—the Texans won the AFC South and notched the second playoff win of the Bill O' Brien era.
But the cost of those trades is a team that won't be doing much over the first two days of the draft.
The Tunsil deal cost Houston its first-rounder in 2020—and then some. Since Johnson was active for 10-plus games, the Texans' third-rounder will go to the Cleveland Browns. Houston will likely get a third-rounder back, though—in the form of a compensatory pick for the loss of safety Tyrann Mathieu.
There also isn't a lot in the way of veteran trade chips for the Texans to consider moving. Houston fancies itself a Super Bowl contender, and the Texans aren't especially deep at most of the coveted position groups.
In fact, if anything, Houston is more likely to throw more (future) picks at a defensive backfield that continues to be a major area of need.
28. Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears took a major step backward in 2019, falling to 8-8 and missing the playoffs after a 12-win season.
That sets up a make-or-break season—one in which the team could be that much more aggressive in looking to improve the roster.
There are a few younger veterans the Bears might make available in trades. Edge-rusher Leonard Floyd hasn't lived up to his draft slot in four seasons, but he's still just 27 years old with a first-round pedigree. Offensive weapons Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel have shown flashes but don't appear to be part of Chicago's long-term plans.
Those players aren't going to bring big returns, but with a larger stockpile of picks, the Bears could package them to move up into the first round. The Bears have a pair of picks inside the top 50, but neither lies inside the top 32 as Chicago finishes paying off the Khalil Mack blockbuster.
There should also be a compensatory pick coming thanks to the departure of veteran safety Adrian Amos—a fourth-rounder.
27. Green Bay Packers
After advancing to the NFC Championship Game last season, the Green Bay Packers are much more likely to be buying than selling veteran players. General manager Brian Gutekunst hasn't shown the reluctance to add veterans that his predecessor did—as evidenced by the team's spending spree in 2019.
Trading for, say, a veteran receiver to line up opposite Davante Adams won't be especially easy. It's not a matter of a lack of draft capital—the Packers own 10 picks in the 2020 draft (provided the conditions in the Reggie Gilbert trade were met), including two selections in Round 6 and three in Round 7.
But most of those picks will be late in their respective rounds. It's the price of the team's success in 2019.
Add in less than $24 million in cap space, and the Packers could be precluded from offering another team cap relief in a salary dump. All told, Green Bay isn't especially likely to be a big player.
26. New Orleans Saints
Another successful regular season in New Orleans ended in disappointment, but let's get one thing out of the way.
There isn't going to be any disappointment with Drew Brees. Not in 2020, anyway. He's going to be the starting quarterback for the Saints. Take it to the bank.
That's not to say there won't be movement at quarterback in the Big Easy. Something has to give with Brees, Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill all about to hit free agency. But the veteran core of this team isn't going to change much.
The Saints also aren't likely to be players on draft day, either—at least not without mortgaging an already uncertain future. The Saints possess the 24th pick in Round 1, but that's the only selection they have in the top 80, and New Orleans has just five picks overall.
The Saints are too good to be sellers and don't have the assets to be buyers.
So the status quo it is.
25. Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans probably aren't all that focused on wheeling and dealing. With both quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry slated to hit free agency, Titans general manager Jon Robinson's plate is full just trying to keep his own players in town.
There also isn't a veteran player in Nashville who stands out as potential trade bait—with the possible exception of cornerback Adoree' Jackson. If the Titans bring back free agent Logan Ryan, and if they want to improve their draft capital, the fact that Jackson has two years left on his rookie deal (if his fifth-year option is picked up) could make him an attractive target to cornerback-needy teams.
That's a lot of "ifs," though.
The Titans aren't in a spot to be major players on draft day, either. Tennessee has just six picks in the draft (beginning with No. 29 overall), and the team isn't in line to receive any compensatory selections.
This offseason is going to be more about preventing subtractions than addition for 2019's surprise postseason squad.
24. Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills were aggressive in free agency last year, and it paid off—Buffalo won 10 games and made the playoffs for the second time in three years.
However, that aggressiveness in free agency means that when compensatory picks are awarded, the Bills are going to be on the outside looking in. And Buffalo's draft capital doesn't lend itself to a move up the board. The Bills' first pick lies outside the top 20, and it's their only pick inside the top 50. The Bills did pick up a couple of extra Day 3 picks from Cleveland last year, but the team sent one back in the deal for wide receiver Corey Coleman.
There's not much in the way of veteran players who could be available, either. Linebacker Matt Milano would be attractive to any number of teams, but given his reasonable contract and steady play, the Bills aren't likely to move him. If the team could find a taker for tailback T.J. Yeldon, he could be moved, but his value in a deal would be minimal—and that's if the Bills don't just hang on to him as Devin Singletary's backup in 2020.
Trade-wise, it will probably be quiet in Western New York this offseason.
23. Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys face a number of difficult personnel decisions in Mike McCarthy's first year as head coach. Quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper, defensive end Robert Quinn and cornerback Byron Jones are all set to hit free agency.
So, it's far more likely the Cowboys will use the franchise tag to keep one of them in Dallas than deploy a tag-and-trade scenario. Given that, a trade involving a veteran player such as Quinn or Cooper isn't all that likely.
The Cowboys also don't own a ton of draft capital. Dallas owns half a dozen selections—beginning with the 17th pick in Round 1. The Cowboys should also recoup the Day 3 pick they traded thanks to a compensatory pick for the loss of wide receiver Cole Beasley.
Dallas won't be trying to remake the roster this offseason so much as hold together what it already has while bolstering a weak spot or two.
22. Baltimore Ravens
It ended in disappointing fashion, but the Baltimore Ravens had a great season in 2019, winning a league-high 14 games.
There's something of a downside to that success, of course: The Ravens won't make their first pick in this year's draft until No. 28 rolls around. There's not a ton in the kitty to help Baltimore move up, either—while the Ravens are projected to get a pair of extra fourth-rounders as compensatory picks, it has just six draft picks and only two inside the top 90.
In fact, Baltimore's most valuable trade asset is one the team would just as soon not use. Edge-rusher Matthew Judon led the Ravens with 9.5 sacks in 2019, but with the four-year veteran about to cash in big in free agency, ESPN's Adam Schefter wrote that a tag-and-trade is a possibility.
"Judon is scheduled to become a free agent this offseason," Schefter said, "and the Ravens would like to bring him back, but they also are likely to listen if another team expresses interest in trading for him, according to sources."
21. New England Patriots
The future of quarterback Tom Brady is the dominant storyline in Beantown this offseason. Whether the Golden Boy stays or goes will go a long way toward determining the course of New England's offseason.
Assuming that he hangs around for one more year, the Patriots would be much more likely to be buyers on the trade market as they try to upgrade the talent around him. And while the team doesn't have a ton of assets in that regard, the cupboard isn't entirely bare.
The Patriots haven't been shy in the past about trading veteran players (ask Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins), but there isn't a player on the roster who would land a sizable haul.
However, the Patriots could be positioned to parlay picks into better draft position or a veteran player. In addition to seven draft picks (including an extra one in Round 4 and three in Round 7) headlined by the 23rd overall selection, the Pats are also projected to receive the maximum four compensatory picks as the result of free-agent departures—including two at the back end of the third round.
20. Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals had the first overall pick in the 2019 draft. Given that quarterback Kyler Murray went on to win Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, it appears general manager Steve Keim chose wisely.
Now, it's a matter of getting better around him.
In an effort to do so, the Cardinals could dangle a couple of players who once were thought of as franchise cornerstones. Tailback David Johnson had a miserable 2019 season, but the 28-year-old topped 1,300 yards as recently as 2018. With Patrick Peterson set to turn 30 in July and headed into a contract year, the Cardinals may decide to get younger (and cheaper) on the back end.
For the third straight year, the Cardinals will pick inside the top 10. Arizona is not especially likely to move up with Murray on the roster, but it might be open to sliding back a few spots if it means gaining another pick on Day 2.
19. Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts are in an interesting position. They were thought of as Super Bowl contenders before Andrew Luck's retirement. A franchise that played well over the first half of 2019 with Jacoby Brissett.
But down the stretch, it became evident that Brissett is not the long-term answer under center. And ESPN's Mike Wells predicted Colts general manager Chris Ballard will get aggressive in the hopes of improving the position.
"Indianapolis has questions at quarterback, and general manager Chris Ballard will try to move ahead of Miami, which has the No. 5 pick, to get [Tua] Tagovailoa," Wells wrote. "In Ballard's favor is that Indianapolis has nine picks in this year's draft."
The Colts have three picks inside the top 45. That could be enough to allow them to surge up the board from No. 13, though it may take all three (or picks in 2021) to get into the top five.
Indianapolis also has enough depth in the secondary to dangle a young cornerback as trade bait, but if the team makes a player trade, the Colts are more likely to be buying than selling.
18. Philadelphia Eagles
The good news for the Philadelphia Eagles is that despite being besieged by injuries, they won the NFC East.
The bad news is that that 9-7 season and division title accomplished little but to cost the Eagles draft position. Philly won't have an opportunity to address glaring needs at cornerback and wide receiver until the 21st pick.
Still, the Eagles are sitting on a fair amount of draft capital. They already own six picks in the first five rounds and are in line for three more compensatory selections. Better yet, the Eagles lost a trio of fairly prominent free agents in quarterback Nick Foles, linebacker Jordan Hicks and wide receiver Golden Tate—so those compensatory picks should be relatively high ones.
There's enough in the draft-day arsenal for the Eagles to move up in Round 1 if they wish, though getting into the top 10 would be costly.
In a recent article, Bleacher Report's Brent Sobleski mentioned Eagles wideout Alshon Jeffery as a veteran trade candidate. Philly would likely love to shed Jeffery's salary, and it's possible the Eagles could move one of their young defensive backs who has disappointed—say, Sidney Jones.
17. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks were busy on the trade market throughout the 2019 offseason. Frank Clark was franchise-tagged and then shipped to Kansas City. Clark was then replaced by Jadeveon Clowney, who joined the Seahawks in a trade with the Texans just before the season.
Those trades will have an impact on Seattle's ability to deal in 2020. The Clark swap netted the Seahawks an extra second-rounder, though that selection will come at the back end of the round. The Clowney deal, on the other hand, cost Seattle its third-round choice.
However, Seattle will be picking up another selection at the back end of Day 2—the loss of safety Earl Thomas III to the Baltimore Ravens is projected to net the Seahawks one of their three compensatory selections.
There aren't any veteran players on the Seattle roster who stand out as trade bait. It's more likely general manager John Schneider will use one of those four picks in the draft's first three rounds to add veteran help in an effort to unseat the 49ers in the NFC West.
16. Minnesota Vikings
As Shanna McCarriston of CBS Sports wrote, the fact that Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes made the Pro Bowl as an alternate in 2019 tells you all you need to know about the event.
By most objective measures, his seventh season was a disappointment.
Rhodes has been mentioned as a potential cap casualty for a Vikings team in the worst salary cap situation in the NFL. But Rhodes is also still just 29 years old, and not that long ago he was regarded as one of the best corners in the game.
Given the premium position he plays, Rhodes' age and his resume (at least prior to 2019), it's not hard to imagine a team convincing itself that a change in scenery could spur a rebound. This isn't to say Rhodes would net a high pick. But cutting him outright would net Minnesota nothing but cap relief.
The Vikings are sitting on seven picks (beginning with No. 25) and should pick up a few more compensatory selections, but Minnesota can use as many bites at the apple in the draft as it can get.
Those rookie contracts will also help the team clear some cash off the books.
15. Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs enter the offseason as the happiest team in the NFL. Winning the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years will do that.
As difficult as it is to get to the mountaintop, it's that much harder to stay there. Every team in the league will be trying to knock off the Chiefs in 2020.
Where draft capital is concerned, Kansas City isn't exactly loaded. Not only will the Chiefs be picking at the back end of each round, but they only possess five picks and aren’t expected to add any compensatory selections.
There is a way the reigning champions might be able to add a pick or two in 2020. As the Chiefs showed with Dee Ford last year, the team isn't averse to applying the franchise tag to a player and then trading him.
With Chris Jones set to command a king's ransom in free agency, the Chiefs already heavily invested up front on defense in Frank Clark and a Patrick Mahomes extension that will break records looming, K.C. may decide that while Jones is an excellent player who shined in Super Bowl LIV, keeping the defensive tackle around just isn't feasible.
Jones isn't the only pricey veteran who could be on the market. Given his robust salary and the cheaper young talent behind him, Sammy Watkins could probably be had for a modest haul.
14. Cleveland Browns
Stop me if you've heard this before: The Cleveland Browns are starting over.
The Browns entered the 2019 season as the NFL's most hyped team. They left it one of the league's most disappointing squads—a 6-10 face-plant that got both head coach Freddie Kitchens and general manager John Dorsey fired.
Kitchens and Dorsey have been replaced by Kevin Stefanski and Andrew Berry, and the new regime has a fair bit to work with. The Browns added an extra third-round pick in this year's draft thanks to the Duke Johnson trade, giving the team four selections in the first two days (starting with pick No. 10).
Among the team's veterans, there's one name that stands out—even if it's a name the Browns have already said they aren't interested in moving.
However, just because the Browns say they aren't interested in trading wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. after one so-so season in Cleveland doesn't mean the brain trust won't at least listen to offers for the 27-year-old. Ditto for tailback Kareem Hunt, who will be a restricted free agent.
If the right deal comes along, minds can change.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
To Winston or not to Winston?
That is the question.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in one of the best situations relative to the salary cap: They have almost $80 million. But the team also has a number of prominent players set to hit free agency, whether it's edge-rushers Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul or quarterback Jameis Winston.
Those players would have value for the Buccaneers as tag-and-trade candidates. But those would not be moves without risk. If the Buccaneers tag Winston, for example, they can't do the same to Barrett.
In other words, the status of one affects the others. It may take the first domino falling to see where the other two land.
If Winston does move on, the Buccaneers will be starting over under center. And with just six picks in 2020 (starting with No. 14), the Buccaneers don't have the capital to move up without dipping substantially into the 2021 well and beyond.
Unless, of course, the Bucs can flip Winston or Barrett for a significant return.
12. Denver Broncos
Can the Denver Broncos interest you in a gently used Super Bowl MVP?
John Elway took another stab at upgrading the Broncos quarterback situation via the veteran route in 2019 with the addition of Joe Flacco. That didn't work out even a little, and while the team may just have something in youngster Drew Lock, finding a taker for Flacco won't be easy unless the quarterback market is a lot shallower than most expect.
The Broncos have enough depth on the defensive front and the edge to package a player and picks to play some draft-day hopscotch, but it's more likely the team would do so using picks alone.
In that regard, Denver is in good shape. The Broncos have nine picks in 2020 beginning with No. 15, including five picks on the first two days of the draft and three picks in Round 3.
Denver's also in line to receive three compensatory selections on the draft's third day.
That would give Elway a dozen picks to play with—which would be the largest draft class of his tenure as general manager in Denver.
11. New York Giants
The last three seasons have been rough for the New York Giants, who are 12-36 over that span. And now that Eli Manning has called it a career, the Giants are Daniel Jones' team.
Making the team better in short order is the only thing standing between Dave Gettleman and the unemployment line.
Trade-wise, that won't be easy. There aren't any appealing veterans on the roster, and the Giants may well wind up using the franchise tag on defensive lineman Leonard Williams after trading for the 2015 top-10 pick during the 2019 season.
That trade cost the Giants their third-rounder in 2020, but there will be added ammunition arriving via compensatory selections. Safety Landon Collins will get the Giants back that Round 3 pick, while sevreal seventh-round compensatory picks could give them as many as four picks in the final round.
New York's first pick has a great deal of value given that it is No. 4 overall. Since the Giants already have their quarterback of the future, it's not difficult to imagine scenarios in which Gettleman trades back and stockpiles picks.
10. Atlanta Falcons
In 2019, the Atlanta Falcons started 1-7. They finished with a 6-2 surge that saved head coach Dan Quinn's job.
Atlanta has seven picks in the 2020 draft, including a pair of second-rounders and four selections over the first two days. It's enough to engineer a trade up to obtain a high-end prospect—especially if the Falcons play a little Monty Hall and add more draft capital.
The Falcons aren't in good shape relative to the salary cap—only four teams are worse off. Atlanta needs to shed some salary—now.
There are a couple of veteran players who make sense as trade bait. Running back Devonta Freeman isn't the player he once was, but his well-rounded skill set could still appeal to some teams.
The market for cornerback Desmond Trufant would be even more robust. Trufant remains one of the better veteran defensive backs in the game, but with a cap hit of $15.2 million in 2020, the Falcons will probably at least listen to offers for the 29-year-old.
9. Los Angeles Chargers
The future of the quarterback position for the Los Angeles Chargers is the team's biggest offseason question. The Bolts may be prepared to move on from Philip Rivers after 16 seasons.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the Chargers could apply the franchise tag to Rivers. They would then be able to use him as a one-year stopgap or offseason trade bait.
Flipping Rivers for a pick would give the Bolts something they lack: a draft selection that wasn't theirs to begin with. The flip side of that coin is that Los Angeles also still has all seven of its selections in the 2020 draft—beginning with the sixth overall pick.
General manager Tom Telesco isn't generally known for making a lot of deals before or during the draft. But with the uncertainty facing the Chargers at the game's most important position, this season may prove to be the exception to that rule.
If the Chargers fall in love with Tua Tagovailoa, it would all but certainly take a trade up to get him. If the team brings in a veteran, it could trade back into the middle of Round 1. Or the Bolts could just stand pat and more likely than not have a shot at Oregon's Justin Herbert.
It's a decision that could define the Chargers for many years, but at least the team has multiple options.
8. New York Jets
For a majority of the teams here, trade ammunition is mostly dependent on available draft capital. The New York Jets have it after a 7-9 season in 2019; in addition to the 11th overall pick in the 2020 draft, the Jets also have the third-rounder of their MetLife Stadium roommates after flipping defensive end Leonard Williams to the Giants.
It's possible that Williams won't be the only big-name veteran sent packing.
As Ralph Vacchiano reported back in December for SNY, the Jets are expected to explore dealing both running back Le'Veon Bell and safety Jamal Adams during the offseason.
The Jets signed Bell only a year ago, but he's not a great fit in Adam Gase's offense. Trading Adams is a puzzling move n the surface, but the young safety made no secret of his displeasure when the Jets nearly dealt him to the Dallas Cowboys near the trade deadline last year.
Given that he's one of the NFL's better safeties and could (if his option's picked up) be under contract through 2021, interest in Adams should be robust.
And the Jets could be sitting on a mountain of picks by the time April rolls around.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
In a perfect world, the Jacksonville Jaguars would be over the moon if a team came calling about veteran quarterback Nick Foles. If his first year with the team was any indication, Foles' four-year, $88 million contract was a boondoggle.
But this isn't a perfect world, and there are just too many other quarterbacks who could be available in 2020 for Foles (and his salary) to draw a lot of interest.
Still, the Jaguars may yet send a high-priced veteran packing. The Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks were both able to net a significant return last year by applying the franchise tag and then trading a young edge-rusher. Given how well that worked and the annual desire for so many teams to upgrade the pass rush, there could be a significant market for the services of Yannick Ngakoue.
Trading Ngakoue could add extra meat to an already beefy array of draft picks for the Jaguars. Compliments of the trade that sent cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams, the Jaguars own two first-rounders in each of the next two drafts, including picks No. 9 and No. 20 in 2020.
If the Jaguars have their hearts set on a high-end prospect, they have the capital to go after him.
6. Cincinnati Bengals
To be clear, it's highly unlikely the Cincinnati Bengals will use their most valuable trade asset in 2020 to do anything except select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the draft.
Yes, Burrow recently made comments that some have construed as potential reluctance to play in Cincy. But it would take a true "Godfather" offer to dissuade the team from taking a player who could transform the franchise for years to come.
With that said, drafting a quarterback isn't going to fix all that ails a team that went 2-14 last year. The Bengals are in the opening stages of a full-on rebuild.
And that could mean a fire sale.
Assuming the Bengals do draft Burrow, Andy Dalton would become expendable, and his sub-$20 million cap hit could be attractive to a number of franchises. Veteran defensive players like tackle Geno Atkins, end Carlos Dunlap and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick could all be flipped for future draft picks.
It's going to be a very interesting offseason in the Queen City.
5. Carolina Panthers
What a difference a year makes.
At this point in 2019, there was talk of the Carolina Panthers getting back to the playoffs after a miserable second half in 2018. Now, after a second straight second-half collapse, the Panthers are staring at a ground-up rebuild.
Head coach Ron Rivera was fired. Middle linebacker Luke Kuechly shockingly retired. And while Cam Newton may be sure that he'll still be in Charlotte in 2020, not many other people are.
Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Panthers aren't just going to give Newton away; the team is holding out for a "large" deal before trading the former NFL MVP. But all it takes is one team to offer the Panthers a package that could accelerate the rebuild.
The Panthers could also avail themselves of some of that draft capital, package it with their own seventh overall pick and make a play for a quarterback like Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa.
The first season for Matt Rhule as head coach in Carolina is going to be an interesting one.
4. Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions have come to a fork in the road, one that could be a massive game-changer for the franchise. That could shake the Lions to the foundation of Ford Field.
On February 2, Dave Dameshek of the NFL Network sent out a tweet that certainly caught the attention of Lions fans.
"I don't know about you," he wrote, "but I'm interested to see where Matt Stafford gets traded in the next month or so."
Trading arguably the best quarterback the team has ever had while he still has (in theory) quite a few years left in him would be a true blockbuster. It would also essentially lock the Lions into drafting a quarterback with the third overall pick in 2020.
And there it is. The fork in the road. Do the Lions stick with the 32-year-old Stafford and use that third pick to build around him? Trade down and stockpile selections? Or blow things up, send Stafford packing and begin a new era in Lions history?
It's a situation that the rest of the league will be watching with immense interest.
Never mind that, according to reports, veteran cornerback Darius Slay could be hitting the market as well.
3. Washington Redskins
The 2019 season was a miserable one for the Washington Redskins. But whether it was the surprising rookie year of wide receiver Terry McLaurin, the improvement of young quarterback Dwayne Haskins or the ammunition the team takes into the offseason, there's room for a healthy measure of optimism in 2020.
For starters, the Redskins possess arguably the most sought-after player in this year's trade market—at least among non-quarterbacks. Offensive tackle Trent Williams didn't play at all last year while embroiled in a dispute with the team, but the 31-year-old is a seven-time Pro Bowler.
If the Redskins want to move Williams, there will be no shortage of suitors.
The same can be said about the second overall pick in the 2020 draft—a pick that many have surmised the Redskins will use on Ohio State edge-rusher Chase Young. But there's also been more than a little speculation that Washington could look to move back and stockpile picks, going with the quantity over quality approach.
Just as with Trent Williams, there wouldn't be any shortage of suitors.
2. Las Vegas Raiders
It's the dawn of a new era in a new city for the Las Vegas Raiders, who begin their tenure in Sin City in 2020. With the draft also in Las Vegas this go-round, the Raiders will be one of the most talked-about teams in the league over the next few months.
They have the ammunition to drive the trade conversation as well.
The biggest chip the Raiders hold is a pair of first-round picks inside the top 20. With Las Vegas in possession of picks No. 12 and No. 19, the Raiders have the capital to move up in Round 1 if the team sets its sights on an elite prospect. Las Vegas also has a pair of picks in Round 3, although it doesn't own a second-rounder and isn't expected to pick up any compensatory selections.
Also, if the Raiders decide to make a change under center (a real possibility, according to some reports), Derek Carr could become one of the most sought-after trade commodities in the league. The 28-year-old is coming off his second straight 4,000-yard season, is under contract through 2022 and carries a relatively modest (for the position) cap hit of $21.5 million in 2020.
If the Raiders don't want Carr, some team(s) will.
1. Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins aren't especially likely to trade any more veterans this offseason, if only because they already dealt just about everyone who had any real value.
To be fair, Miami would no doubt love to find a team willing to take Reshad Jones off its hands. But the veteran safety's level of play wasn't anywhere close to his salary in 2019, and the 31-year-old will likely be released outright.
However, the deals that sent Laremy Tunsil to Houston and Minkah Fitzpatrick to Pittsburgh also equipped the Dolphins with more first-round capital than any team in the league.
In addition to their own pick at No. 5, the Dolphins also own picks No. 18 and 26. That's not all, though. As part of their 14 picks in the 2020 draft, the Dolphins also own two second-rounders and could have two in Round 3 if the compensatory pick for tackle Ja'Wuan James comes in on the high side.
That's at least six (and possibly seven) selections over the first two days in Vegas—more than enough firepower to move up if necessary and obtain a potential franchise quarterback.
Year 2 of the Brian Flores era in Miami is going to feature a lot of new faces.
Salary-cap and compensatory pick information courtesy of Over the Cap.