With the NFL Trade Deadline just a few weeks away, the rumor mill is going to start spinning faster and faster. There’s already been one trade made, and in years past we’ve seen an increased number of big name players get dealt at the deadline.
Atlanta broke the seal the other week by trading for Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson, but there have been rumors of players like Kirk Cousins and Davante Adams being traded as well. Whether that ends up happening is yet to be seen, but there’s certainly smoke billowing from the rumor mill.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been tossed into that fire in recent weeks, albeit differently than they were this offseason. We were inundated with Mike Evans trade rumors when Bucs were being written off a few months ago, but things have now shifted to them being buyers in the eyes of NFL experts.
One name that has been tossed out alongside other big name players is Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry. He probably won’t end up getting traded but CBS Sports thinks that the Bucs could be a good landing spot if he does.
CBS makes no-brainer trade proposal for Buccaneers and Derrick Henry
In a recent piece breaking down NFL trade deadline deals, CBS Sports proposed one that would send King Henry to Tampa Bay for a pretty reasonable price. It’s hard to determine if this deal would actually get accepted, but it feels like a no-brainer for the Bucs.
"The Buccaneers are feisty this year, but they're also one of the game's worst rushing teams, which is a problem when you lean so much on ball control and defense. The bulldozing Henry is on an expiring deal for a stumbling Titans franchise half-committed to a rebuild, and he might welcome a sunnier change of scenery before a return to the open market in 2024," CBS wrote.
Getting Derrick Henry for a third round pick is a steal, especially since the Bucs could then be in a position to offer him a contract extension. He instantly improves the run game and gives Tampa Bay the bug burly back they currently are missing.
That being said, all conversations likely pause on the contract negotiation front. Jason Licht loves his draft picks and has used them well over the years, and parting with a third round pick is a steeper price than it seems on paper. Over the years Licht has used third round picks on guys like Chris Godwin, Alex Cappa, and YayYa Diaby, so that’s the potential value the Bucs are sending back to Tennessee for Henry.
If the Bucs are going to trade that sort of capital, they’d probably want to use it on something more than just a half-year rental. That’s never been the Bucs style, and while Henry is a generational talent his days of reigning over the running back kingdom are numbered — if not completely over.
Tampa Bay has a long line of valuable core player due for new contract this year, from Tristan Wirfs to Antoine Winfield Jr., and Devin White. There’s also the pending free agency of Mike Evans looming on the horizon, plus whatever ends up happening with Baker Mayfield.
Adding Henry to that list doesn’t make a ton of long-term sense.
There’s no doubt that trading for him would make the Bucs an infinitely better team and potentially solidify them as a playoff team. Making this sort of deal — or any big trade — needs to turn the Bucs into Super Bowl contenders and not merely a playoff team. It’s an nice idea, and seems like a fair price, but this is better suited for Madden than reality.