The 2020 NFL trade deadline is less than a month away. The common theme around the NFL right now is that said trade deadline will be more active than in the past. This is interesting given that recent years have seen a bevy of trade activity around Halloween.
A total of four teams find themselves without a win at the quarter pole of the season. Another six teams are undefeated. These are among those we expect to be most active.
From a future Hall of Fame wide receiver in Ohio to a Super Bowl quarterback in Georgia, here’s a look at some NFL stars who we would love to see traded ahead of the Nov. 3 deadline. We also check in on the best potential trade destination for each player.
Cincinnati Bengals trade A.J. Green to the Philadelphia Eagles
Despite their success and ability to be competitive under rookie quarterback Joe Burrow this year, the Bengals have not gotten much from seven-time Pro Bowler A.J. Green. The future Hall of Famer has tallied a mere 14 receptions for 119 yards and zero touchdowns in four games this season. That’s not what Cincinnati had envisioned when it placed the expensive $18.17 million franchise tag on the 32-year-old receiver during the spring.
It seems pretty clear that Green’s long tenure with Cincinnati will come to an end following the 2020 season. If so, the team might want to capitalize on any remaining trade value. That’s where the Eagles could make some sense. We previously focused on general manager Howie Roseman having to look at the trade market to upgrade a team’s roster that heads into Week 5 with a 1-2-1 record. That starts at wide receiver with both Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson sidelined to injuries. The money might be an issue here, but teams can find a way to make a trade of this ilk work under the salary cap. It just takes some imagination.
Houston Texans trade J.J. Watt to the Pittsburgh Steelers
Fresh off firing head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien, it would not be a surprise if new front office head Jack Easterby looked to work out a trade or two. Remember, Houston sits at 0-4 on the season. Both its first and second-round selections in the 2021 NFL Draft are already owned by the Miami Dolphins. That’s no way to go about roster building in today’s NFL. By moving this three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year in a trade, the Texans would be able to recoup some of that draft capital.
Much like the Eagles above, this could be an issue from a financial perspective for Pittsburgh. It still has to retain Watt’s younger brother, T.J., on a long-term deal. The Steelers also just handed longtime defensive tackle Cameron Heyward a massive four-year, $65.6 million extension back in September. Even then, the idea of teaming the Watt brothers up on a defense that has already recorded 15 sacks in three games might be too hard for general manager Kevin Colbert to pass up on. He’s also pulled off recent blockbuster trades, including the move for safety Minkah Fitzpatrick early last year.
Miami Dolphins trade DeVante Parker to the Green Bay Packers
Draft picks. Draft picks. More draft picks. That’s been the MO of bright young Dolphins general manager Chris Grier over the past couple seasons. Miami selected three times in the first round this past April, picking up future franchise quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the process. The Fins also have multiple first and second-round picks in next year’s draft from the above-mentioned Texans. The theme? Don’t be surprised if Miami decides to trade a core player or two for more draft picks ahead of the Nov. 3 NFL trade deadline.
It’s in this that the Packers could come calling. Aaron Rodgers is playing at an MVP level despite myriad injuries the team has dealt with at wide receiver. Both Davante Adams and Allen Lazard missed Monday’s win over the Falcons to injuries. In making a trade for Parker, the undefeated Packers could be adding yet another weapon for Rodgers. It would likely take a second-round pick and more given Parker’s recent success. The former first-round selection has tallied 96 receptions for 1,481 yards and 10 touchdowns in 20 games since the start of the 2019 campaign. He won’t come cheap.
Atlanta Falcons trade Matt Ryan to the New England Patriots
Blow it up. That has to be the thinking of Falcons owner Arthur Blank following an humiliating 0-4 start to the 2020 NFL season. It could lead to head coach Dan Quinn being fired. After all, everything is a dumpster fire in Atlanta right now. The Falcons’ defense is giving up 34.5 points per game and has allowed opposing teams to come back from multiple double-digit deficits late in games this season.
The end result is Atlanta wasting the back end of Ryan’s prime. Why not trade the veteran signal caller and start anew? As for the Patriots, they do have Cam Newton on the roster on a short-term deal. He also played well prior to a recent COVID-19 diagnosis. Even then, it would make perfect sense for New England to add Ryan in a trade. The team can offer up its first-round pick in 2021, future draft capital and potentially even Jarrett Stidham in a trade with Atlanta. Imagine how good of a fit Ryan would be in New England after Tom Brady dominated the NFL playing for the Pats over the past two decades.