The Atlanta Falcons are 1-7, despite the agreed sentiment they would be playoff contenders in 2019. With that in mind, there are a couple of pieces they could consider trading if they wanted to punt on the season. One of these pieces is pass rusher, Vic Beasley.
Beasley’s contract is up after this season. He is owed $12.8 million this year, and becomes a free agent ahead of the 2020 season.
He is a talented player that has a very high ceiling, despite his injury history. Beasley is one of the many Falcons that has been bitten by the injury bug since their Super Bowl campaign. His only full season came in his rookie year, in 2015. From 2016-2018 he missed 19 games, and has already missed one this season.
When he is on the field, however, he produces well. Beasley has nine forced fumbles in his career, and 31 sacks. Add 100 solo tackles, 30 for a loss of yardage, and he clearly produces well when healthy and in the correct system.
The Falcons should probably go out and find some value for his expiring deal. So here are some teams that could use a pass-rushing defensive end.
The Lions defensive unit is known for almost never blitzing. Defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni has the Lions play man to man at a high percentage than any other team in the league, yet they hardly get coverage sacks.
They have Damon “Snacks” Harrison on the defensive line, but he is more of a run-stopper than a pass rusher. Trey Flowers has only two sacks, and their other biggest pass rushers have seen minimal action due to injury.
In fact, the Lions only have 13 sacks on the season. That tied for 25th in the NFL. The addition of a proven sack-hungry linebacker may change the culture on the defense. Detroit could run more blitz packages, and not rely on their secondary to carry them through every game.
Beasley would fit in nicely here. Matt Patricia could make great use of his talents in a division where stopping the quarterback is everything. His sack total already ties him for third on the Lions’ roster. That is the kind of immediate production he could bring to Detroit.
As a team on the edge of playoff contention in the toughest division in football, they should consider upgrading their defense with this trade.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that the Raiders would be looking for pass rush help at the trade deadline.
Raiders will be buyers at Oct. 29 trade deadline. Already have called around the league looking for LBs and pass rush help, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 20, 2019
It became evident they need some help on the line against the Packers, as they sacked Aaron Rodgers only one time. Rodgers also managed to find the end zone five times through the air, and once on the ground in the 42-24 loss to the Packers. Needless to say, if the Raiders were able to generate more pressure on Rodgers, the score may have been closer.
They have a chance to surprise the NFL and sneak into the playoffs, as the AFC West is surprisingly open. The Chiefs lead at 5-3, but they lost Patrick Mahomes with an injury and the Chargers and Broncos are underachieving.
At 3-4, the Raiders have reached a point where decisions need to be made to try and go for it all now, or stick with what they have and build on it next year. Considering they are playing well, adding that one extra piece could make them very competitive in-division.
In a year where a playoff berth of any kind would be considered a good season, and taking into account all of their acquired draft capital, trading for Beasley based on his potential would be a low-risk, high-reward move.
The Texans traded Jadeveon Clowney away to Seattle at the beginning of the season. At 5-3, they are only a half-game out from the AFC South lead, but a more solid pass rush could be a huge difference-maker. Beasley would be a clear and immediate upgrade from their current situation, even if Houston does not need to make the trade.
If the Texans could acquire Beasley for relatively cheap, why not make the move? Shoring up the defense is always a good idea, and getting to the quarterback is even better.
This is a team primed for playoff contention and the offense clicking on all cylinders. Making a move to improve the defense could put the Texans over the edge. They are seen as some of Brady and Belichick’s most stout competition on the way to the Super Bowl, so lean into it and improve the pass rush that has just lost J.J. Watt for the season.
Featured Image courtesy of Rick Scuteri/Associated Press
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