Ten NFL players with the highest trade value


The sports world has been abuzz in recent days with reports surfacing about what NBA teams would be willing to give up in order to acquire the services of Kevin Love. Apparently, the Timberwolves are going to rake in a nice haul when they eventually trade the power forward.

That got the staff at cover32 thinking about an important question: What players in the NFL would demand the most in return if they were put on the trading block?

As the debate raged, a couple of things became central to conversation:

1. The Player’s Position – Not surprisingly, the most valuable trade commodities tended to play a position that also attracts the biggest contracts. Why? Because a) they have a tremendous impact on the game and b) they are hard to find. For those reasons, quarterbacks, cornerbacks, offensive tackles, pass rushers and wide receivers make up the majority of the list.

2. Quality Time Left – Using Jimmy Johnson’s “QTL” quotient is another way of saying that age plays a factor. If a player has a decade of greatness ahead of them, they are worth more than a guy who would be a rent-a-player for a year or two. Sure, the right team might give up a lot to have Peyton Manning or Tom Brady for one season; but they only hold that value with a select group of franchises, not across the board.

One thing that didn’t carry much weight was the player’s current contract situation. They’re all going to get paid big money in relatively short order, if they aren’t already earning a hefty paycheck, and any team in the league would make room for them under the cap to get them on the roster. So while dollars matter in almost every other scenario in life, they don’t factor much into this list.

Here’s how things shook out:


10. Ndamukong Suh

Suh is a rare DT who can dominate

There are very few defensive players who can dominate a game from the middle of the defensive line, but Suh is on that list. At times, he’s as unblockable as Joe Greene was during his heyday in Pittsburgh. And that’s not hyperbole. Given that he’s only played four years and just turned 27, teams would give up a small fortune to line him up at defensive tackle; his “dirty” reputation would only enhance his trade value.

9. Richard Sherman

Sherman is a game-changing cornerback

In just three seasons, Sherman has established himself as arguably the best cornerback in football. Being a first-team All-Pro selection in each of the past two years is evidence of that fact. And he’ll only be 26 during the 2014 campaign, meaning there are plenty of good years left. He’s a playmaker at a position that constantly gets tested in today’s game, making him a very valuable commodity.


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  • J

    How does kaepernick make the list and not DangeRuss?

  • Huey

    Don’t want to tell you how to do your job but a list of highest trade value players should be made of players that uh I don’t know, might actually be traded. Andrew Luck, Calvin Johnson, are you kidding me. You wouldn’t trade those guys away in a fantasy league. Deals for these guys would make the Hershel Walker and Ricky Williams trades look like Big Lots liquidations. Thanks for wasting my time and clicking energy.

    • c32admin

      That was the point, Huey. Of course these guys won’t be traded, but every single team has to have an asking price, no? If someone came to the Colts tomorrow with 10 first round picks for Andrew Luck, they’d likely say yes, but it’d take an obscene offer such as that.

      • Dewey

        WHAT? The point was to waste people’s time?

        No, every team does not have to have an asking price for their untouchables, because they won’t trade them. Not only would the Colts not trade Luck for 10 first round picks, no team can/will offer that.

        The OP for this thread is correct, this is a column with no point what-so-ever. That said, it and the incredibly inane positional top ten lists at least somehow got me to post (albeit with a fake name).

        That’s probably the goal.

        Sad state of journalistic affairs.

        • Dewey’s an idiot

          Hmm Dewey have you ever heard of a pretty popular guy named Bill Simmons? He does something like this EVERY year with the NBA (http://grantland.com/features/nba-trade-value-part-3/). I think you’re the sad one — lighten up, sport. I enjoyed this.

          • Seando

            Great analysis Dewey. I believe the only types of people who would put Peterson over Sherman for this would have to be on acid.

  • dean

    No Russell Wilson? Luck and Kaep over him? He just won the Super Bowl playing behind a line that was terrible because of injuries. This list was terrible. Tyron Smith more valuable than Wilson? lol!

    • Timothy Benton

      The problem I have is kaepernick and wilson would never do what a QB like Rodgers, or even Luck has done in their teams. These QB’s have carried their teams, you can never argue this seeing the fall of quality when Rodgers was out. Put kaepernick or russel behind where Rodgers or Luck is, they would not have pulled off half the wins. What has kept them going is their D puts them in great scoring positions.

    • ATTBrad

      Obviously a smoked salmon, piped in noise loving fan. I am a huge 49er fan, and I actually really enjoy and respect Russell Wilson, The reason he is not trade bait, is similar to Montana AT TIMES, and Steve Young of youth. He wore the cape, and did it all but the rest of the offense had not one clue where he was. If traded his style would make his new team have to make so many more adjustments than even the Qb’s mentioned in this article. And please everybody, he is no JOE, nor STEVE, but those were things they had to overcome with “CRITICAL COACHING” for Walsh, not having there ass kissed by the whole state of Washington…….

  • Kevin

    As a rams fanI would switch Watt and Quinn. Love em both and theyre both great, but I would say Watt is an all around better D-lineman

  • Luis Diaz

    What about AJ Green and Julio Jones? Both are under 25 years old and are on the top of their game.

  • Isaac

    Kaep over Wilson? Really? You’d rather trade for Colin Kaepernick rather than Russell Wilson? smh I’m done

    • Josh

      Kaepernick is better than wilson….