What worries me as the trade deadline approaches

So, you've probably heard me bemoan the losses along the LOS a million times. To summarize, we should never have let Markus, Kevin, Dalvin or BJ go! I would take those 4 over L-Will + Evan in a minute (that's roughly an equal swap of salaries). But it is what it is.

What I definitely don't want to do now is:

1) Further deplete the IDL by trading Austin Johnson. Did y'all not see how many yards rushing Dallas & the Rams got on us? And you want to deplete that formerly-dominant position group further? Why?

2) Make the same mistake (depleting a strength for no return) at WR.

I think we have as good a set of 6-7 WRs as anyone in the league. They can't seem to stay on the field at the same time--which is a reason NOT to trade any of them, IMO--but when (if?) healthy, we can go 6-deep with anyone. Would it be so bad to run Ross deep every 1st down, and Slayton deep every 2nd down until a team's CB2 is dragging his feet in the 4th quarter and one of them gets loose for a 50 yarder? Would it be terrible to have Shep & Toney alternate snaps in the slot, always rested & fresh, so that their slot corners suffer the same eventual fatigue? And is having an even taller version of Golladay such a bad idea for the Red Zone Fades that I've been asking Santa to put under my tree? (Instead of constantly running up the middle on the 1st & goal from the 2, behind the worst O-line in the league?)

But if we are gonna trade one (Shep, most likely, who I will miss terribly), can we at least make it worth something?! Not for a 6th rd pick that may never see the active 53. No more BJ Hill's-for-backup-Guards. If we're weakening a strength, we'd better be strengthening a weakness. So yeah, I get that trading we may be trading Shep. But IMO, it should be Shep & Engram in a package and maybe a 4th rd pick as well, for an established starter at one of our serious weak spots: O-line, IDL, Edge, RB2 or ILB (yes, in that order).

I see hope & maybe even promise in Roche, "New-McKinney," Elerson, & Aaron. If even one of them is a decent upgrade over a current starter (which is not a given, I know), we could be looking at one (or more) less need next off-season. Nice. Keep Austin, add that new piece, and maybe our Defense won't struggle as much as it has in a few games so far. Maybe our DBs won't have to cover people for 4-5 seconds on 2nd & 5 in a game we're trailing quite so often. Maybe we can get away with actually working on the O-line in next year's draft.

So, sure, trade Evan & Shep if you must. It does free up some cap space in Shep's case. But please, let's not waste trading them on JAGs. Teams will have a hard time dealing with the WR group we potentially can field. Make someone pay handsomely for breaking that band up...

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