Proposing 5 NFL deadline deals: RBs Henry, Barkley on the move

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley talks to Lions legend Barry Sanders after the joint practice at Detroit Lions headquarters and training facility in Allen Park on Tuesday, August 8, 2023.

With six weeks in the books, most teams are more than one-third of their way through the 17-game regular season schedule with two weeks left to evaluate their direction before the Oct. 31 trade deadline.

The 2022 trade deadline was very active by NFL standards, and big names weren’t off limits.

Running back Christian McCaffrey was dealt to the San Francisco 49ers from the Carolina Panthers, outside linebacker Bradley Chubb landed with the Miami Dolphins from the Denver Broncos, and the Chicago Bears traded defensive end Robert Quinn (Philadelphia Eagles) and linebacker Roquan Smith (Baltimore Ravens).

There are a handful of teams distanced from playoff contention already, and the picture separating contenders from the pack should only be clearer after Week 8, which is the springboard in the schedule into the NFL deadline on Halloween.

Here are five trades contenders should consider before Oct. 31:

–Washington Commanders DE Chase Young to the Dolphins: It’s a contract year for Young, the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he’d be a perfect piece for Vic Fangio to pair with Chubb to hike up the heat on opposing quarterbacks already pressed to keep pace with the high-scoring Dolphins. Washington gets needed draft, and Young has a chance for a career relaunch after largely being unavailable to the Commanders.

–New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas to the Chiefs: Thomas has 31 receptions this season and would give Kansas City needed options beyond Travis Kelce and rising rookie Rashee Rice. The meat of his contract is gone this season, making it easier for the Chiefs to pay him — or move on — before his age 31 season in 2024. Only $3.74 million is guaranteed in a the form of a 2024 roster bonus.

–Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy to the Eagles: Jeudy has only the fifth-year option bonus season of 2024 remaining on his contract, a palatable deal for almost any team to absorb with some cap gymnastics. The Eagles are being stonewalled by teams challenging Jalen Hurts to make more plays with his arm. Jeudy and Hurts were teammates at Alabama.

–Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry to the Bills: Improved run-pass balance is evident in Buffalo, where James Cook is averaging 4.8 yards per carry and leading the Bills in rushing. But he has just 75 carries and has never been a featured back late in the season. There are no such concerns with Henry, a veritable plowhorse who could wreck the competition in the AFC down the stretch by forcing defenses to play a light box or take their chances one-on-one with WR Stefon Diggs.

–New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley to the Lions: David Montgomery (ribs) is hurt and out possibly until after the deadline, and rookie first-round pick Jahmyr Gibbs (hamstring) is just returning from an injury with no real sign he’s ready to carry the load in Detroit. Barkley would bring a dynamic presence to the backfield, including skill as a receiver, while a timeshare role might be just what Barkley needs to fend off his own health history woes.

–Field Level Media

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