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3 Best Trade Destinations for Leighton Vander Esch

Devon Platana
A look at three of the most likely trade destinations for Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.
A look at three of the most likely trade destinations for Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. / Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Over the last three seasons, Leighton Vander Esch has been a big part of the Dallas Cowboys defense. The 25-year-old linebacker is already a Pro-Bowler and second-team All-Pro talent at this stage in his career. However, injuries have limited him to just 19 games between the last two seasons.

Vander Esch recorded 60 total tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in 10 games during the 2020 campaign. These stats are a far cry from what he was capable of in his rookie year, meaning that injuries are hampering his potential.

With 2021 first-round linebacker Micah Parson on the roster, along with talents like Jabril Cox and Jaylon Smith, Vander Esch isn't needed as much as before in Dallas. With that being said, here's a look at three of the best trade destinations if the Cowboys choose to move him.

Leighton Vander Esch Trade Rumors

3. Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers have been trying to build up their linebacker depth all season, even bringing in undrafted free agents now that the draft is over. Still, you can never have too much reliable depth. Vander Esch would just add on to that. He's also young enough that he fits in with the Panthers' current core. Plus, with him being on an expiring deal, it won't be a major loss for Carolina (due to his tanked stock) if he doesn't work out.

2. Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks have yet to re-sign linebacker K.J. Wright, which means they have a hole to fill. If they decide to not bring him back, the Seahawks could target Vander Esch via trade. The Cowboys linebacker's value is at an all-time low because of his injury history and the fact that he's on the final year of his deal. It likely wouldn't cost Seattle too much, so it's an option worth investigating.

1. Green Bay Packers

It took until the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft for the Green Bay Packers to draft a linebacker. If the organization wants to continue their NFC dominance, it should consider trading for Vander Esch. Even with his injury history, he'd be an upgrade over guys like Ty Summers and Krys Barnes. Yes: Vander Esch's injury history is worrying, but one of the most respected franchises in the league can't afford to enter the new season with linebacker depth shallower than a kiddie pool.

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