1 Trade Each NFL Team Should Propose Before the 2023 Season
NFL rosters are mostly set, but as teams start paring down their rosters to 53, there are often trades that go down before the season starts.
As teams continue to work through the preseason and the remainder of training camp, they get a good feel for who is going to make the roster. They also get a sense of where they might need to bolster things.
Final cuts aren't due until August 29, but general managers might want to start working the phones now.
Here's a look at one deal each team should propose before the season starts.
There comes a point when an aging veteran takes away from the efforts of a rebuilding club. That's where it feels like Zach Ertz is with the Arizona Cardinals.
Ertz, 32, was recently cleared to return to football activities following a knee injury he suffered in Week 10 last season. Prior to the injury, he was an important cog in the Cards passing attack with 406 yards on 47 receptions.
However, the Red Birds also drafted Trey McBride in the second round in 2022. He flashed the ability to be the team's top tight end in his rookie season with 29 receptions for 265 yards.
The Cards would save $10.1 million by trading the veteran tight end. With Jonathan Gannon taking over as head coach and Kyler Murray's questionable timeline to return to start the season, they should be thinking long-term.
The Cowboys would make sense as a landing spot. After letting Dalton Schultz walk in free agency, they will be putting a lot of stock in second-year tight end Jake Ferguson and rookie Luke Schoonmaker.
Unlike Arizona, they figure to be a contender. It would make sense to add a veteran like Ertz who could elevate the floor of the position group.
The Atlanta Falcons had a dynamic rushing attack with Cordarrelle Patterson and Tyler Allgeier carrying the load last season. But the decision to draft Bijan Robinson with the eighth overall pick signals a much lighter workload for the duo.
It makes sense to keep Allgeier. He's a big, physical back who is going to take away some of the more taxing between-the-tackles running duties from Robinson. Keeping Patterson is a different story.
The former wide receiver has been the primary pass-catching back. His best season came in 2021 when he saw 69 targets, but that number was cut down to 31 last season.
His pass-catching role isn't going to return with Robinson on the roster. He caught 60 passes in his three seasons with the Longhorns and his dual-threat ability was a big reason for drafting him that early.
The Falcons would be better off saving $4.3 million and getting something in return for the veteran back.
A call to the Browns would make sense. Nick Chubb has never been utilized as the primary pass-catching back, and they only have second-year player Jerome Ford behind him.
The Baltimore Ravens made a lot of changes on the offense that should raise the stock of most players. Coordinator Todd Monken should run a more wide-open offense after years of Greg Roman's power-based attack.
However, there's bound to be an odd man out. With Odell Beckham Jr. signing in free agency, Zay Flowers coming in as a rookie and Rashod Bateman returning from injury, they all of a sudden have a lot of options in the passing game.
Devin Duvernay could go from the team's fourth-most targeted player last season to a complete afterthought in the new offense.
The All-Pro punt returner had 49 targets for 37 receptions and 407 yards with three touchdowns. Combined with his blocking at 5'11", 200 pounds, he's a functional player in an NFL offense.
The Cardinals could use more of those in their receiving corps. Duvernay isn't huge, but he's bigger than all three of their presumed starters in 11 personnel. Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore and Greg Dortch all under 185 pounds.
With Colt McCoy or Clayton Tune likely starting in Kyler Murray's absence, they need all the help at receiver they can get.
Even with Von Miller starting the season on the PUP list while he recovers from last year's knee injury, the Buffalo Bills have a ridiculous amount of depth on the edges.
They signed Leonard Floyd to help out while Miller recovers. Gregory Rousseau is an ascending threat, A.J. Epenesa made good strides last season and they still have Shaq Lawson with some juice left.
That could create a scenario in which Boogie Basham is a luxury who could be used as a trade chip. The 2021 second-round pick has not really become the pass-rushing threat the team hoped with just 4.5 sacks over the last two seasons.
The 6'3", 281-pound defender has some inside-outside versatility and is still a strong run defender with room to grow as a pass-rusher.
He isn't likely to get the experience he needs to improve in Buffalo, but he could in a place like Minnesota. The Vikings have remodeled their edge room with Za'Darius Smith's departure and Marcus Davenport's arrival in free agency.
Basham would make an intriguing third rusher to pair with Davenport and Danielle Hunter. His size would help beef up a run defense that added Dean Lowry and Harrison Phillips this offseason.
The Carolina Panthers are understandably in the midst of a youth movement on offense. With Bryce Young already named the starting quarterback, Carolina has wisely done a lot to bring in new pass-catchers.
That includes the tight end position, where they signed Hayden Hurst to go with Tommy Tremble and Ian Thomas.
Hurst is obviously going to be the top option, with Tremble and Thomas competing to be the second tight end. Thomas is a solid veteran who has been with the Panthers for five seasons, but he's already shown his limited ceiling as a receiver. He had 330 yards as a rookie and hasn't crossed that threshold since.
Tremble is a younger option who is in his third season and still on a rookie contract. He was drafted in the Matt Rhule era, but the coaching staff should still be interested in seeing what they can get out of him.
Thomas would be better suited in a tight end room that doesn't have a veteran. The Packers would fit that description. Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft will be called upon to play roles as rookies, but Tyler Davis suffered a torn ACL.
Thomas could at least be the veteran presence in the locker room and be a dependable blocker.
Trading Velus Jones Jr. might seem a little hasty since the Chicago Bears just used a third-round pick on the receiver in 2022. But it's also hard to see where the speedster is going to fit in the new-look Bears receiving room.
Since drafting Jones last April, the Bears have added Chase Claypool and DJ Moore via trades, and then they drafted Tyler Scott in the fourth round. Dante Pettis and Equanimeous St. Brown both saw more run than Jones last season and are still on the roster.
Jones was an old prospect, so he's already 26 despite playing just one season in the league. Still, there's enough raw material for a team to take a shot on developing him. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at the combine and specializes in tracking down deep balls.
The Patriots could use more of those receivers. DeVante Parker was their best deep threat last season, but he's struggled with injuries throughout his career and Tyquan Thornton hasn't proved he can take over the role.
New England needs to continue to develop receiver depth, and taking a shot on a player such as Jones would make sense.
La'el Collins still hasn't returned from the torn ACL that he suffered last season. Yet, the Cincinnati Bengals still seem to have answers up front that don't involve the veteran tackle.
Signing Orlando Brown Jr. in free agency has kicked Jonah Williams over to right tackle. Collins hasn't been available, so 2021 fourth-round pick D'Ante Smith has gotten work along with Jackson Carman.
Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic recently noted that Smith has started to pull ahead of Carman in the battle to be the swing tackle. Smith has looked strong in preseason games, and he's starting to show that he can take advantage of his long frame and athleticism.
Having a young and hungry tackle who can plug in at either spot on a cheap contract is better than keeping Collins around. The Bengals could save $7.7 million by trading the veteran.
Meanwhile, the Jets are left waiting to see what 37-year-old Duane Brown has left once he returns from a shoulder injury and have a right tackle battle between Max Mitchell and Billy Turner.
Releasing or trading Corey Davis would easily give them enough money to take on Collins' contract. His ability to play either guard or tackle would give them another competent lineman and Collins a legitimate chance to start again.
A fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft, Harrison Bryant has never hit the ceiling some envisioned when he came out of Florida Atlantic as a Mackey Award winner.
Last season he set a new career high with 31 receptions, but he only averaged 7.7 yards per catch. What's worse for him in Cleveland is that his role was reduced when Deshaun Watson became the starter. In the final six games of the season, he saw just nine targets.
His lack of involvement isn't likely to change. The Browns brought in Jordan Akins, Watson's former teammate with the Houston Texans, to become the complementary piece alongside David Njoku.
That makes Bryant a disposable piece of the Browns roster who could be intriguing to other teams.
One of those teams could be the Miami Dolphins. They allowed Mike Gesicki to walk this offseason, but they did utilize the tight end some with 52 targets on the year. It was a big step down for him but would be huge for someone like Bryant.
Durham Smythe will continue to be the primary tight end for his willingness to block, but another dynamic receiver instead of or in addition to Tyler Kroft would make the Dolphins more versatile on offense.
The Dallas Cowboys hoped they were getting a future long-term solution at defensive tackle when they took Neville Gallimore in the 2020 draft. The penetrating interior defender ran a 4.79 40-yard dash at 6'2", 304 pounds.
Gallimore has not become a disruptive force through three seasons with the Cowboys. He has three sacks in three seasons and missed all but five games of the 2021 campaign with a dislocated elbow.
At this point, Gallimore has lost quite a bit of ground in the Cowboys defensive tackle group. Osa Odighizuwa has proved to be a more productive 3-technique. Mazi Smith was drafted in the first round this season, and Johnathan Hankins is the best run-stuffer they have. Quinton Bohanna is a more prototypical nose tackle with his 6'4", 360-pound frame.
A fresh start for Gallimore and a little bit of draft compensation for the Cowboys could be best for everyone.
Rob Davis—who was the assistant head coach in Dallas when they drafted Gallimore—is now a front office executive for the Packers.
They have a need for interior defenders after losing both Dean Lowry and Jarran Reed in free agency. Gallimore would address their need for depth there while potentially turning his career around.
The writing was on the wall for Albert Okwuegbunam last season when the Denver Broncos drafted Greg Dulcich in the third round in 2022. The 2020 fourth-rounder was relegated to just 190 offensive snaps on the season.
Okwuegbunam's outlook doesn't seem any better with Sean Payton taking over. The head coach brought in former New Orleans Saint Adam Trautman and veteran Chris Manhertz. Both bring the kind of blocking Payton typically wants out of his tight ends.
He still hasn't realized it, but Okwuegbunam still has a lot of potential as a pass-catching tight end. At 6'5", 258 pounds with 4.49 speed, the combination of size and speed makes him a vertical threat down the seams.
He's not going to be a fit with what Payton wants to do, and the Broncos already have a lot of receiving options.
The Houston Texans, however, are still building a support system around C.J. Stroud. Dalton Schultz is a big part of that, but they don't have much depth behind him. Okwuegbunam would give them a big-bodied receiver who could make them more versatile in 12 personnel.
Romeo Okwara had a breakout season in 2020 but has had a hard time building on it due to injuries. He's played in just nine games over the last two seasons with three sacks.
In that time, the Detroit Lions' group of edge defenders has moved on without him. Aidan Hutchinson is obviously the star, but James Houston looked great as a rookie before an injury ended his season.
Okwara is listed as a third-string defensive end on the team's unofficial depth chart.
That leaves him with a long road to make the 53-man roster, but he's still a player who had 10 sacks just two seasons ago and is only 28 years old.
A team like the Atlanta Falcons, who have struggled with pass rush for years and have little depth there, should be interested in taking a shot on Okwara. If he can regain some of his previous explosiveness, he could be an asset for them.
The Falcons did a lot to beef up their interior pass rush with Calais Campbell and David Onyemata joining the team. Another veteran on the edge could make a difference.
The New York Jets are already looking like the Green Bay Packers of yesteryear, but it might be worth dialing them up one more time. Protecting Aaron Rodgers is going to be crucial for the Jets, and David Bakhtiari certainly has experience doing it.
The five-time All-Pro has spent his entire career in Green Bay, which is probably part of the reason general manager Brian Gutekunst recently told reporters the team would not trade the veteran tackle.
It's still a move that makes a lot of sense for the Packers, though. The 31-year-old has become injury prone over the last few seasons. He has missed major chunks of the 2020, 2021 and 2022 campaigns with multiple injuries, including an ACL tear that required three different surgeries.
When healthy, Bakhtiari is certainly good enough to improve the Jets' line situation. There's a reason they were also listed as a potential destination for La'el Collins. Mekhi Becton hasn't been getting first-team action in camp, the team is still waiting on Duane Brown to return from a shoulder injury and the right tackle competition is coming down to Max Mitchell and Billy Turner.
Trading Bakhtiari would be huge for the Packers' salary-cap situation in 2024. They would only save $2.2 million against the cap this season but would dodge the tackle's $40.5 million cap hit next season.
If the Jets are willing to give up real draft capital for an aging tackle with serious injury issues, it's a move the Packers should be considering.
The Houston Texans got aggressive with their rebuild when they traded up to land the No. 3 pick, giving them the second and third selections in this year's draft. But they shouldn't be giving valuable snaps to soon-to-be 35-year-old Jerry Hughes at a position where they have young options who need to develop.
DeMeco Ryans wants to see growth in his first year, but there aren't a lot of expectations for them to be a playoff team. Hughes, who was productive with nine sacks last season, still has two years left on his contract and doesn't really fit in with the Texans' timeline to compete.
The Texans would be better off taking their lumps and seeing what Will Anderson Jr., Jonathan Greenard and prospects like Dylan Horton and Adedayo Odeleye could become with the opportunity to be on the active roster.
Meanwhile, a team like the Giants should be interested in acquiring Hughes. After going 9-7-1 last season, they are going to look to be even better in 2023. Bulking up the pass rush will be key to that pursuit.
The Giants have a lot of pocket-pushing juice on the inside, but the depth behind Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari is suspect. Hughes would change that and could thrive in a part-time role.
The Indianapolis Colts had to turn to Sam Ehlinger to start three games last season. The third-year player didn't light the world on fire, but he showed enough to prove he can be a backup quarterback.
That's not going to happen in Indianapolis. The Colts are going with Anthony Richardson as the starter, and Gardner Minshew was brought in as one of the league's top backup quarterbacks.
That leaves the Colts with the option of releasing Ehlinger, trying to pass him through waivers before making him their designated emergency quarterback or trading him.
Trading him is the only way they could guarantee themselves a little bit of compensation. Dialing up Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus, who was with the Colts when they drafted Ehlinger, would make sense.
Ehlinger is a tough quarterback who is willing to take hits to move the ball. He doesn't have a great arm but is an adequate runner and had 33 rushing touchdowns in his collegiate career.
That makes him a strong candidate to back up Justin Fields. The Bears' backup quarterback battle is coming down to undrafted free agent Tyson Bagent and 28-year-old P.J. Walker.
Ehlinger has higher upside than Walker and is more experienced than Bagent.
There's still a little time left for a late K'Lavon Chaisson breakthrough in Jacksonville, but the sand is sifting through the hourglass pretty quickly on that one. The club declined his fifth-year option, and he's had just one sack in each of his first three seasons.
The Jaguars drafted Yasir Abdullah in the fifth round this year. He gives them a sensible replacement for Chaisson. The Jags would also benefit from shopping for a veteran pass-rusher on the trade market who could provide some punch.
Right now, Chaisson isn't that guy and would make more sense on a roster that is in a rebuilding phase.
The Buccaneers might not be willing to admit that is where they are at, but Tom Brady isn't walking through that door. Shaq Barrett is 30 years old and only had three sacks in eight games before suffering a torn Achilles.
Joe Tryon-Shoyinka has had back-to-back seasons with four sacks. The Bucs are one more injury for Barrett away from having serious pass-rush issues.
Bringing in a guy like Chaisson and seeing if they can help him reach his potential is the kind of move they should do in their quasi-rebuild state.
With Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon taking over clearly defined roles down the stretch for the Chiefs last season, it's hard to find a role for Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
The former first-round pick has been a disappointment, and the fact that the Chiefs were able to replace him with a seventh-round draft pick and cheap free agent is emblematic of the bleak situation running backs face.
For the Chiefs, there's not a lot of incentive to keep him around, and they would save $2.1 million by trading him.
Still, Edwards-Helaire has a first-round draft pedigree and can do some damage as a receiver out of the backfield. The Chiefs had him playing multiple receiver positions the week of practice leading up to the Super Bowl before he was a healthy scratch.
The Vikings are one of the few teams who could still add a back to their offense. With Dalvin Cook gone, they'll be relying on Alexander Mattison to shoulder most of the workload. But there's room for someone like CEH to work as a third-down back.
The Las Vegas Raiders had one of the worst secondaries in the league last season, surrendering the league's highest passer rating. General manager Dave Ziegler went to work this offseason renovating the cornerback room.
They brought in David Long, Duke Shelley, Marcus Peters and Brandon Facyson through free agency and drafted Jakorian Bennett. Last season they only carried five corners on the Week 1 roster.
Assuming they will keep all of those additions, that could leave Amik Robertson on the outside looking in.
Robertson was not one of the major problems for the Raiders last season. He ended up playing in 17 games, starting seven contests. He had some decent ball production with nine passes defended and two interceptions.
One team that could use some depth at corner is the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are set to start Chandon Sullivan in the slot, and Robertson is at least a comparable player who could give them another option.
Nick Niemann is a strong special teams player but doesn't necessarily help the Los Angeles Chargers at linebacker. He was named to the All-Rookie team in 2021 for his special teams wizardry, and he helped the Chargers lead the league in punt return yards allowed.
But the Chargers are starting to stack up linebacker options who could make the final roster. Amen Ogbongbemiga actually played more special teams snaps than Niemann last season.
Eric Kendricks and Kenneth Murray Jr. are going to be the starters. Daiyan Henley is likely to be the third linebacker and special-teamer as a rookie.
That means a fifth linebacker spot could either be given to Niemann again or someone who may have a little more upside as a linebacker.
The Browns are even thinner at linebacker, as Jacob Phillips was ruled out for the season with a torn pectoral. They could also use help with their punt coverage after giving up 18.8 yards per punt return last season.
If the Chargers can get a pick in return, it would be wise to give up Niemann's roster spot to a younger talent.
The Los Angeles Rams have stripped their roster to the point that it's hard to come up with someone they should be looking to trade. They've already parted with many notable players from their Super Bowl-winning roster two years ago.
Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp are still the core, but players like Van Jefferson, who were role players on that team, are nearly all gone.
That's why it might make sense for the Rams to continue the rebuild by dealing Jefferson. He's in the final year of his rookie contract and hasn't really done enough to guarantee he's part of the long-term plan.
He wasn't all that efficient last season. He caught just 24 of the 44 targets thrown his way for 369 yards and three touchdowns.
If the Rams aren't sold on extending him in the offseason, it would make sense to try to get something for him now. A team like the Detroit Lions might be willing to give something up for him.
They traded for Denzel Mims earlier this offseason but have since waived him with an injury designation. They still need receiver depth, especially with Jameson Williams set to serve a six-game suspension to start the season after he violated the league's gambling policy.
Amon-Ra St. Brown is a similar target magnet to Kupp, so the Lions should be able to utilize him as a good complement to their star wide receiver.
If the Miami Dolphins could take back one move last season, the Cedrick Wilson Jr. signing would have to top the list. The Fins handed the former Cowboys receiver a three-year, $22.1 million contract in free agency.
They went on to pair Tyreek Hill with Jaylen Waddle and make Wilson an afterthought in the offense. He ended up with 18 targets and 12 receptions for 136 yards in 15 games.
Wilson just doesn't fit in with the Dolphins offense, and it's hard to see him returning to his 2021 form when he had 45 receptions for 602 yards and six touchdowns.
That was by far the most productive season Wilson has had in his four-year career. Kellen Moore was the play-caller, and while the Chargers receiving room is getting crowded, the 27-year-old could reunite with former Cowboys wide receiver coach Adam Henry.
Henry is now a receivers coach with the Buffalo Bills as they try to make their passing attack more dynamic.
Stefon Diggs is the top target in the offense and the coaching staff is giving Gabe Davis every chance to be No. 2, but Wilson could compete with Khalil Shakir and Deonte Harty to be the Bills' WR3.
It's always a little nerve-racking to give up on a second-round pick after just one season. The Minnesota Vikings took Andrew Booth Jr. in the 2022 draft, and he was only able to play in six games as a rookie due to a torn meniscus.
On one hand, injuries are an uncontrollable variable. On the other, Booth had medical concerns coming out of Clemson and said he played through injuries since high school.
Booth has already missed time with an undisclosed injury during training camp. He returned, but it's emblematic of his questionable health moving forward.
Some on the Vikings beat have noted that Booth has struggled in camp. The injuries could be playing a role, but the switch from Ed Donatell to Brian Flores as defensive coordinator could be playing a role too.
Donatell is a Vic Fangio disciple with a bend-don't-break philosophy when it comes to defense. Flores is an amped-up blitzer who wants to live and die with pressure. That puts a lot on cornerbacks and doesn't necessarily suit Booth.
As Cory Giddings of B/R noted in his scouting report for Booth, "though he has good press-man skills, Booth works best when he can see routes develop in front of him."
Perhaps going to Miami, where Fangio has become the defensive coordinator, would be a better environment for him to find his footing in the league. With Jalen Ramsey suffering a knee injury that could have him out until December, they could use the depth.
The New England Patriots could have one of the best defenses in the league this season. There's talent at all three levels of the unit, and that includes a secondary that has quite a bit of depth.
Jalen Mills is a part of that depth, but it's hard to envision him playing a huge role. The Patriots moved the former corner to the safety room, but Kyle Dugger, Adrian Phillips and Jabrill Peppers all appear to be ahead of him.
Then there's rookie Marte Mapu. He's played at linebacker, but he's also taken snaps in safety alignments.
The Patriots were reportedly going to cut Mills this offseason. They changed their mind, moved him to safety and signed him to a one-year deal.
The only problem is that the Patriots have answers there too. The Packers have a few questions on defense. Depth at corner and the starting safety situation are two of the biggest ones.
Mills could be an answer on both fronts. If the starting trio of Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes and Rasul Douglas have an injury, Mills would be versatile enough to replace any of them. If they remain healthy, he could be a threat in their starting safety race.
The New Orleans Saints traded up in the 2020 draft to select linebacker/edge-rusher Zack Baun. Through three years of his career, that trade has yet to pay off in a meaningful way.
Baun has been a reliable special teams player, but he's never quite caught on in the New Orleans defense. In 2022 he played just 83 defensive snaps, down from 194 in 2021.
The former Wisconsin Badger is in the final year of his rookie deal, which means he's likely headed toward free agency at the end of the season.
There are several other off-ball linebackers gunning for the same roster spot Baun is competing for. They brought in Jaylon Smith. He should be the third linebacker with Demario Davis and Pete Werner.
Perhaps Sean Payton, who was with the Saints when they traded up for Baun, would like to see what he could get out of his old draftee. He obviously saw something he liked in Baun to draft him so aggressively, and the Broncos could use some off-ball linebacker depth.
The New York Giants signed Bobby McCain to a one-year deal this offseason. The plan was most likely to have McCain replace Julian Love, who left for the Seattle Seahawks in free agency.
But plans change, and McCain might have to sweat out making the roster if he remains with the Giants. That's because of the play of seventh-round rookie pick Gervarrius Owens.
Owens has attracted a lot of attention throughout camp and the preseason. He was all over the field in their second preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, finishing with seven tackles and a pass defended.
He also had a pass breakup in the first preseason game.
Having a Day 3 pick look like that is always a pleasant surprise in camp, but it usually means they are bumping someone off the roster. In this case, it would make sense for that player to be McCain.
He's a veteran who could help someone as a rotational safety, but with Xavier McKinney, Jason Pinnock and Dane Belton forming a fine trio, it's hard to see a role for McCain.
The Raiders, on the other hand, could use an insurance policy if Tre'Von Moehrig can't step up in Year 3. McCain could slot in alongside free-agent addition Marcus Epps.
Corey Davis was a great trade candidate but announced that he is "stepping away from football" on Wednesday, ending his run with the Jets.
But Davis isn't the only skill player who has been made obsolete by the Jets' moves this offseason. They also revamped the running back room.
Breece Hall should be back to full speed sometime early in the 2023 season. He's still working back to 100 percent after tearing his ACL last season but he's a special back when healthy. Pairing him with Dalvin Cook should give the Jets one of the best one-two punches in the league.
Michael Carter is probably the best back behind them. He's had 1,654 yards from scrimmage over the past two seasons and can do a little bit of everything.
But that doesn't leave room for Israel Abanikanda. The fifth-round pick looked great in the preseason before suffering a thigh contusion. He's the kind of explosive player the Jets should want to keep around on a rookie contract.
The running back market is obviously dicey, but the Colts might be interested in Carter. They have given running back Jonathan Taylor permission to seek a trade and could be in the market for someone to pair with Zack Moss if he gets his wish.
Despite losing Javon Hargrave, the Philadelphia Eagles still have a logjam on the defensive line.
The Eagles have made a concerted effort to build their Super Bowl-contending roster through the offensive and defensive lines. The result is one of the deepest D-lines in the league.
That means a player like Milton Williams, a third-round pick in the 2021 draft, is an expendable asset despite flashing potential in his first two seasons with the Eagles. He had four sacks and six quarterback hits while playing 36 percent of the defensive snaps last season.
But with the Eagles drafting Jalen Carter to replace Hargrave, it's hard to see Williams' role getting any bigger.
New Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon knows exactly what Williams is capable of. He'll be looking to install his defense in the desert and doesn't have the same depth of his former employer yet.
Williams would be a much bigger part of the plan in Arizona, and the Eagles would be another draft pick richer.
After a few lean years along the offensive line, the Pittsburgh Steelers have built some depth. The fact that Kevin Dotson is no longer a starter is a great example of how the franchise has really invested in the offensive line.
James Daniels and Isaac Seumalo figure to be the starting guards. Nate Herbig is a good swing guard who could fill in at either spot in the event of injury. Tackle depth is there too with Dan Moore Jr., Chukwuma Okorafor and first-round pick Broderick Jones forming a solid trio.
That leaves Dotson as a player without a clearly defined role. The 26-year-old started all 17 games for the Steelers last season and has made 30 starts over the last three seasons.
He is not elite by any means, but he could be a more valuable depth player for a team like the Los Angeles Rams. The young Rams could be starting rookie Steve Avila at left guard with Coleman Shelton sliding over to right guard from center.
The Rams need a functional unit in front of Matthew Stafford. They might be willing to part with a draft pick to add another possible starter.
It's beginning to look a lot like the Trey Lance era is never going to materialize in San Francisco.
The 49ers gave up a lot of draft capital to trade up for the former North Dakota State passer, but injuries and unfulfilled expectations have brought him to the point where he's not expected to be the starter.
At this point, it's not even clear he's the backup. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has indicated that the battle between Lance and Sam Darnold is ongoing and might not even reach a conclusion when camp is over.
It made sense for the Niners to hold on to Lance when it was unclear how quickly Brock Purdy would recover from elbow surgery. But Purdy has been cleared and playing for a while now.
Darnold is a perfectly suitable backup and Lance could have some trade value if another team's quarterback goes down. Right now, the Minnesota Vikings would be the best trade destination.
They don't have a clear exit strategy from Kirk Cousins, who is 35 years old. Trading for Lance now would give them a young backup who could be the heir apparent.
D'Wayne Eskridge has been flirting with bust status since the Seattle Seahawks took him with a second-round pick in 2021. He has just 17 receptions in two years, and his play hasn't matched the physical gifts that made him an enticing prospect.
To make matters worse, Eskridge was suspended for the first six games of the season following an incident involving the mother of his child. He entered a plea agreement where the original misdemeanor charges brought against him "will be dismissed in 12 months when he completes domestic violence moral recognition therapy," per his representative.
The Seahawks' decision to draft Jaxon Smith-Njigba this year should be the final indication that they've given up on Eskridge. Even getting back a late Day 3 pick would allow them to move on and get something in return.
As far as teams that may be interested, the Eagles would be worth a call. Bo Wulf of The Athletic connected the reigning NFC Champions with the speedy receiver earlier this summer.
DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown obviously dominate the receiving targets, but Quez Watkins has been underwhelming and Olamide Zaccheaus isn't really a speed threat.
The Eagles can afford to bring Eskridge along slowly and potentially turn him into something by the time the playoffs roll around.
The smoke around a Devin White trade in Tampa Bay has seemed to clear. After requesting a trade this summer, the 25-year-old walked it back and told reporters it was "a little selfish" on his part.
The team and player still didn't come to an agreement on a contract extension, though. So while it might be business as usual now, his contract situation is not resolved. In other words, White could be getting frustrated all over again as he's playing out the final year of his rookie contract.
The reality is that the Bucs are in the middle of a quasi-rebuild. They still have a number of veterans, but without Tom Brady, they aren't a contender. It's fair to wonder if they want to shell out a top-of-the-market deal to someone who doesn't play a premium position.
If they don't, it would be wise to see what they could get for him in a trade now so they can use the pick next spring.
The Titans are a team still searching for the answer at linebacker. They brought in Azeez Al-Shaair this offseason, but they could be counting on undrafted free-agent linebacker Jack Gibbens to start beside him.
White could give them a long-term solution at a position of need.
Malik Willis has looked like a much-improved quarterback through two weeks of the preseason. Last year, he was hesitant to throw the ball and couldn't develop the timing necessary to be an NFL quarterback.
The result was a signal-caller who couldn't pull the trigger on throws and spent way too much time running around and trying to create rather than play within structure.
A lot of that seems to be ironed out. He threw for 189 yards in the first preseason game and had 17 pass attempts in the second one.
The development is nice, but the writing is already on the wall for Willis in Tennessee.
Willis might be QB2 now, but the Titans didn't trade up for Will Levis in Round 2 to not be the heir apparent to Ryan Tannehill.
Instead, the Titans should be willing to ship him off to a place where he has a shot to be the future quarterback or at least the backup.
The Giants have Tyrod Taylor backing up Daniel Jones, but he's 34 years old. Brian Daboll might be able to bring the best out in Willis, and he would give them added juice in the run game if Jones were to be out for any time.
Chase Young still has sky-high potential if he can stay healthy and put everything together. The Commanders should only be willing to part with the former No. 2 pick if they can get real compensation in return.
But the Commanders also have to be realistic with what they can do with Young financially. They have made huge investments in the defensive line. Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen have received huge contracts that will cost over $20 million apiece in 2024.
They also have Montez Sweat, who is due for a big-money contract. He's earned it by being much more healthy and productive than Young.
So even if Young can return to form after playing in just 12 games with 1.5 sacks over the last two years, the Commanders might not be able to pay him.
The Falcons are the kind of team that should be willing to give up real draft capital for him. They were one of the worst pass-rushing teams in the league last season. Young would instantly become the most talented edge-rusher on the roster, and he would be getting help from an interior that includes Grady Jarrett and Calais Campbell.
Salary-cap information via Spotrac unless otherwise noted.