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NFL Draft

3 Potential Trade Destinations For Bryce Callahan

  • The Draft Network
  • September 7, 2021
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In a pass-happy AFC West, headlined by the quarterback talent in Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert, the depth and production at corner and safety has become an ever-pressing need for teams looking to dethrone the dynasty that has become the group out of Kansas City.

In Denver, there’s no shortage of expertise on the boundary to counter the ensuing barrage of aerial attacks. With capable starters in Kyle Fuller, Ronald Darby, Patrick Surtain II, and Michael Ojumedia, who will return off injured reserve in three weeks’ time, the Broncos have established one of the league’s most stout secondary units.

However, with the aforementioned depth has come talk of using that depth to acquire talent elsewhere on the roster. Slot corner Bryce Callahan has become the popular name within Denver’s inner circles, and while a trade of a soon-to-be 30-year old free agent wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, his presence within Denver’s defense has been paramount to the progression and production of the Broncos’ secondary.

“You just look at the division we play in—Kansas City, Vegas, and the Chargers… You need corners, you need safeties,” general manager George Paton said. “It’s a pressure and cover league, and I just don’t think you can have enough.”

While actions speak louder than words, entertaining a trade for Callahan would inherently open up a can of worms to the amount of potentially interested teams in search of secondary help. Here are a few teams that could be the first to light up Paton’s phone if he were to move on from the sixth-year corner.

Dallas Cowboys

A unit that gave up 16 passing touchdowns of 15-plus-yards (tied for third-most) made little high-quality adjustments to a depleted secondary this spring. Following the firing of defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, the team introduced Dan Quinn as the new leader on defense, only to add Micah Parsons to a group sorely lacking in talent within the trenches and ceiling of his 4-3 scheme. 

Trevon Diggs, as he did in 2020, will line up across teams’ WR1. Anthony Brown, an undersized talent with weak fundamental cover skills will slot opposite. Do-it-all team executive Jerry Jones added Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright via the draft, but the former is now on injured reserve and while Wright has outstanding length with nearly 33-inch arms, he’s extremely raw as a prospect and I wouldn’t envision Quinn throwing him to the wolves as Dallas begins their hunt for a division crown.

Callahan’s insertion could be seamless. While he’s been primarily dominant on the inside for the majority of his career, a move outside could be asked of him to take the pressure off of Brown, presenting the Cowboys with enhanced customization of their secondary deployment with box-heavy safety Damontae Kazee now in place. 

Jones drools over splash moves, and a trade for Callahan could drastically boost one of football’s most underwhelming secondary units.

Chicago Bears

A return to the Bears shouldn’t be ruled out, and according to reports, Ryan Pace has kicked the tires on Callahan returning to shore up a depleted Bears back end. 

Following the loss of Kyle Fuller this offseason, the Bears enter the fall without a true CB1. While their front seven challenges the best in football, and you could argue Chicago’s pass rush could mask any potential secondary failures, a return to his roots could present the Bears with a sliver of optimism when scoping their overall secondary success. A trio of Kindle Vildor, Jaylon Johnson, and Artie Burns is flat-out ugly, and if Ryan Pace wants to keep his key card active, a move for the Bears’ former UDFA signee, among other things, could help in producing a successful season in Chicago.

Arizona Cardinals

With Malcolm Butler’s sudden retirement, the Cardinals have found themselves in desperation mode on the outside. With a visit to the Tennessee Titans this weekend, first-year corner Marco Wilson looks set to earn the nod opposite Tay Gowan with Byron Murphy lining up inside. While it’s only Week 1, may I remind you of the current offensive highlight-reels that are Julio Jones and A.J. Brown lying in wait? Wilson will be tasked with lining up opposite one of them on every down, and if you ask me… Jesus take the wheel.  

I was impressed with Wilson out of Florida, and his preseason resume backed up his talent, but Jones and Brown are different beasts, which could lead to Cardinals general manager Steve Keim jumping the gun on a move for Callahan if the Titans’ duo of wideouts run wild on Arizona’s secondary this Sunday. Wilson and Gowan could progress into serviceable cover corners over time, but in what has progressed into a crucial campaign for Kliff Kingsbury, Keim’s ability to acquire talent during the year could be decisive in the Cardinals’ search for their first playoff appearance since 2015.

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