The NFL trade deadline is quickly approaching. It’s been a more active part of the year since the league moved the deadline back to about mid season.
That’s not going to change ahead of Oct. 29. Multiple teams are already out of the playoff picture and are looking to sell off veterans for future draft pick assets.
Meanwhile, the wide open landscape of the NFL suggests that other teams will look to make that big move. This is not limited to the two undefeated squads in that of the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers.
It’s in this that we look at 10 NFL trades that make too much sense ahead of the deadline in about two weeks’ time.
Emmanuel Sanders to the New England Patriots
Broncos general manager John Elway might be looking to salvage the season after two consecutive wins. However, we’re not sure how realistic that is. With games coming up against the Chiefs, Colts, Browns, Vikings and Bills before December, any hope of contention will likely be thrown out the window. If Denver can get something of substance for this former Pro Bowler, the team should think long and hard about it.
Enter into the equation a Patriots team that is in the market for an upgrade at receiver after the entire Antonio Brown debacle. The rumblings coming out of Boston suggest that the organization is looking hard at adding a starter-caliber receiver. Sanders would provide that for the undefeated team moving forward.
Xavien Howard to the Philadelphia Eagles
Months removed from signing a then-record five-year, $75.25 million extension, this Pro Bowler is already feeling like the only man standing in South Beach. He was obviously not happy about the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade. As it relates to the Dolphins, they are in full-scale tank mode after being outscored a combined 180-42 over the first five games.
Miami could very well look to move the 26-year-old Howard. If so, an injury-depleted Eagles secondary would certainly welcome him with open arms. While Howard has struggled to an extent this season, he is coming off a seven-interception performance last season. Philadelphia was just torched by Kirk Cousins and the Vikings in a Week 6 blowout loss. It needs to fix these pass coverage issues to be taken seriously moving forward.
Trent Williams to the Cleveland Browns
No matter what embattled Redskins president Bruce Allen might want us to believe, they have to be seriously considering moving this holdout left tackle. The seven-time Pro Bowler has made it clear he doesn’t want to play for the Skins. What’s the point of dragging this on even further as Washington navigates through another lost and drama-filled season?
It goes without saying that Cleveland would be one of a number of teams interested in one of the game’s best left tackle. Current starter Greg Robinson has struggled something fierce this season. Acquiring a franchise blindside protector for struggling young quarterback Baker Mayfield has to be a priority. Offering up a first-round pick in 2020 and something else of consequence in 2021 could lead to Washington finally pulling the trigger.
Leonard Williams to the Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City can’t be taken seriously as a legit contender to oust the New England Patriots unless it fixes what has been an historically bad run defense. The Chiefs gave up 192 rushing yards in a Week 6 loss to the Houston Texans and are yielding and average of 162 rushing yards at a clip of 5.2 yards per attempt through six weeks.
In adding a player of Williams’ ilk from a Jets team that’s in sell-off mode, the Chiefs could fix these issues in one fell swoop. Williams has been tremendous against the run throughout his career and even adds a bit of a pass rush from the defensive line. As an impending free agent, Kansas City could probably add Williams for nothing more than a third-round pick in a trade.
Le’Veon Bell to the Chicago Bears
Bell’s marriage in New Jersey could ultimately be short-lived. We already know that embattled first-year head coach Adam Gase preferred Tevin Coleman over this Pro Bowler. Now, months after signing a lucrative four-year, $52.5 million deal, Bell seems like a shell of his former self. He’s averaging just 3.0 yards per attempt through five games. A change of scenery would do him well.
Enter into the equation a Bears team that has struggled replacing Jordan Howard at running back. Head coach Matt Nagy wanted more of a dual-threat in the backfield. Neither Tarik Cohen nor David Montgomery have provided that. Bell would instill a completely new dynamic into an offense that has been mired in a season-long slump. It just makes too much sense.
Geno Atkins to the Dallas Cowboys
It’s now officially time for the Bengals to find a new identity on defense. That starts with potentially moving on from lynchpin defensive linemen Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap. Of the two, Atkins would likely net the most in a trade this season. The seven-time Pro Bowler has recorded just three quarterback hits and a sack in six games. He’s in need of a change.
What better move for Atkins from a personal perspective than teaming up with DeMarcus Lawrence on a Cowboys defensive line in help of pressure from the interior. It would light a late-career fire under him. In turn, the always-active Cowboys could get a veteran presence on the relative cheap.
O.J. Howard to the New England Patriots
Not only is New England in the market for a starting receiver, the defending champs have been attempting to replace recently-retired tight end Rob Gronkowski. It has not gone too swimmingly with the team’s top players at this position recording nine catches in six games. In fact, New England just brought back 38-year-old tight end Benjamin Watson in a desperation move.
In a trade that could make some sense, Howard has not fit in well under first-year Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians. His offense does not cater to pass-catching tight ends. It never has. That could lead to Tampa Bay looking to move Howard as a way to add future draft pick assets. This would make too much sense for both sides.
A.J. Green to the San Francisco 49ers
It’s no secret that the 49ers have been in the market for a true No. 1 receiver. They bettered the Browns’ offer for Odell Beckham Jr. last offseason before it became clear that the Giants weren’t looking to move him within the NFC. San Francisco is also 5-0 on the season and a legit title contender. Adding someone of Green’s ilk to the mix would go a long way in competing in the NFC moving forward.
It’s an open question whether the injured Green is even available. What we do know is that the Cincinnati Bengals find themselves at 0-6 on the season and have to be thinking to the future with young head coach Zac Taylor. Picking up anything of substance for this veteran makes a ton of sense.
Eli Manning to the Tennessee Titans
Tennessee really is stuck between a rock and a hard place at quarterback. The team benched Marcus Mariota for Ryan Tannehill during a shutout loss to the Denver Broncos last week. Whoever is under center between the two moving forward, there’s not a lot of confidence that this team can get out from under its current 2-4 funk.
Enter into the equation a veteran quarterback who is riding the pine in Jersey. It would make perfect sense for Tennessee to offer up a mid-to-late round pick for Manning. He couldn’t possibly be worst than what we’ve seen from the quarterback position over the first six weeks of the season. If nothing else, it would potentially light a fire under Mariota. Something must be done here with the Titans’ season now on the brink.