The NFL trade deadline is one week from today, and as scary as trades can be, the Buffalo Bills have until Halloween to make some room on their roster by moving one of their offensive tackles. Two questions pop up; which tackle should they move and which landing spot should they pick?
While most teams have three or four, Buffalo has five tackles on the roster and four of them are tradeable assets at this point in the season. (Sorry, Conor McDermott.) Big-time left tackle Cordy Glenn, right tackle Jordan Mills, and backup tackles Dion Dawkins and Seantrel Henderson could all have value to the right team, though it’s highly unlikely Buffalo would trade Dawkins, who was one of their second round picks a few months ago.
That leaves Glenn, Mills, and Henderson who all have different values to other teams, different contracts, and different reasons some want them gone.
Let’s be clear; I don’t want the Bills to move on from Cordy Glenn. He’s a franchise left tackle despite the injury concerns one might have and I want the Bills to be that franchise. Add in the big salary cap hit that would come from trading him and it doesn’t make a lot of sense. That is, unless the Bills can get a big haul for him from a team that is desperate AND head coach Sean McDermott feels comfortable enough with what he has seen from Dawkins’ time filling in.
The Eagles lost Jason Peters on Monday night and the 36-year-old former Bill could have played his last snap. If the 6-1 Eagles don’t just want a stop-gap for one season and instead want to pull the trigger on a deal to get a franchise left tackle to protect Carson Wentz and replace Peters permanently, it’s an intriguing option for them.
Philadelphia has shown a willingness to deal with Bills general manager Brandon Beane, which is why they don’t have a third round pick. Their first round pick might be enough to snag Glenn, though, given his high financial figure.
Last week, the Seattle Seahawks were rumored to be interested in a trade for Glenn, too, so maybe a bidding war could help the Bills get some more loot. Their offensive line, including much-maligned left tackle Rees Odhiambo, had their best outing of the season on Sunday.
Here is the guy I would like to see traded and there should be at least two teams interested. Mills has started 22 straight games, and 27 of a possible 38, for Buffalo after coming over from the Bears where he started 29 games in two seasons. He’s limited as a right tackle without the left side possibilities of Glenn and Henderson, but that’s okay.
Philadelphia could move Lane Johnson to the left side, something suggested by Brandon Gowton at our Eagles blog, and use Mills as a fill-in on the right side. Especially if Peters only tore his MCL and his ACL is intact, this would make the most sense.
In Denver, the Broncos have gone through several different right tackles dealing with injuries in the last month. Mile High Report, our Broncos blog here at SB Nation, didn’t seem too keen on the idea last week but then they were shut out for the first time since 1992, so maybe now they want an upgrade. Because they have a long-term answer in place and just need a fill-in for a few months, Mills and his one-year contract make a lot of sense.
Mills doesn’t seem to fit with what the Seahawks need right now, but Seantrel Henderson does.
The Washington Redskins are dealing with injury problems all over their offensive line and could be in play, as well. They have wide receiver Terrelle Pryor languishing on the bench, too, which makes a play-for-player trade possible.
In exchange for Mills, Buffalo could probably get a Day 3 NFL Draft selection from a team desperate enough to try and add him at this point in the season. The guys available on the waiver wire don’t have as much experience as Mills and that has to count for something.
Coming off his latest suspension for marijuana use associated with treatment for his Crohn’s disease, Henderson hasn’t seen any action in 2017 which would certainly drive down his value. Still, he has decent game tape and has experience at both left tackle and right tackle. He would seem to be the most expendable player of the three in question, though many would like to see him step in for Mills.
Having served multiple suspensions for violating the league’s policy on drugs, Henderson’s next suspension is for a full season, something else that will drive down his trade value.
The Broncos make sense because they don’t need a long-term answer and if he tests positive again, they have other guys to take his place. Seattle might be willing to take the risk, too. Philadelphia could use him at either right tackle or left tackle for this season, if they so choose, as could Washington.
It’s possible Henderson would only net a late round selection in a trade, perhaps one even pushed back to 2019 or beyond to further lower the value. The risk is high for any team counting on him.