As the NFL Trade Deadline approaches in this unorthodox season, some teams are gearing up for a playoff push while others are looking to start a fire sale.
Here are eight trades that I believe could happen before the November 3rd deadline:
Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore to the Titans
Compensation: Patriots get 2021 First-round pick
Gilmore being available is a recent development, but as a Patriots fan it’s not as outlandish as its face value says it is. It’s no secret that the Patriots are on a crash-course to miss the playoffs for the first time in years, and even if they turn it around I don’t think they are well-rounded enough to make a run in the playoffs. With Cam Newton’s future up in the air it wouldn’t hurt to accrue an extra first round pick in next year’s draft with a heap of quarterback talent.
On the Titan’s side, they have one of the best offenses in football but their downfall is most certainly their defense; more specifically their cornerback play. Adding the reigning Defensive Player of the Year to a secondary with some talent in place exponentially increases their chances to make a run at the Super Bowl this year. If I’m the Patriots, I don’t settle for anything less than a first-round pick.
Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to the Cowboys
Compensation: Dolphins get 2021 fourth-round pick
It’s Tua time in Miami as of this week, meaning Fitzpatrick is no longer the starter. From what I have seen so far this season, Fitzpatrick is still more than capable of being a starting NFL quarterback. After the horrific Dak Prescott season-ending injury and the cheap-shot to Andy Dalton last week, the Cowboys are left with 7th-round quarterback Ben DiNucci as their starter. The Cowboys have a plethora of weapons available to them on offense, and it would frankly be a shame to see them waste away with middling QB play for the last nine games of their season. The Cowboys desperately need a fearless leader in that locker room right now, and Fitzpatrick absolutely fits the bill. Sure, Fitzpatrick will make some decisions that cost you some games, but in a wide open NFC East division right now that is a risk Dallas should absolutely be willing to take.
Make it happen, Jerry.
Bengals WR A.J. Green to the Packers
Compensation: Packers get a fifth-round pick
Green is in the latter years of his career, but if the last few weeks are any indication he definitely has something left in the tank. He looks like the odd-man out in a Cincinnati WR corps featuring Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins. The Bengals would love to get his massive contract off the books.
For as good as the Packers are on offense, Davante Adams being the only guy isn’t sustainable over the course of a 16-game season. Allen Lazard showed promise, but after being placed on IR earlier this year they can’t rely on him coming back. Green fits the mold of an Aaron Rodgers receiver to a tee and seeing him finish his career with competent QB play and push for a Super Bowl could be the cherry on top to his Hall of Fame resumé.
Saints QB Jameis Winston to the Bears
Compensation: Saints get a 2021 fourth-round pick
The Bears have arguably the best defense in football that has more or less fueled them to a 5-2 start. If not for horrendous quarterback play from the dynamic duo of Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles, they could very well be undefeated. Now, this is not me saying that Jameis Winston can make this offense much better, but the quarterback situation literally can not get any worse than it is right now. With the Bears’ 2021 first round pick belonging to the Las Vegas Raiders courtesy of the Khalil Mack trade it’s safe to say that they probably won’t be landing one of the top five quarterbacks in this years draft class.
Winston has shown flashes of great quarterback play as well as terrible quarterback play, but if the Bears can harness some magic at the expense of a fourth-round draft pick they can easily make a playoff push behind that stone wall of a defense. With head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace on the metaphorical hot seat, it makes too much sense for them to make one final push to salvage this season while they still have a chance.
Jets DT Quinnen Williams literally anywhere
Compensation: 2021 first-round pick
There have been multiple conflicting reports on whether or not Quinnen Williams is being shopped by the Jets (which frankly makes no sense to me). However, if this is true I hope he can get out of New York as soon as possible.
When I scouted Williams for the 2019 NFL Draft, he stood out to me as a generational talent. While his rookie year performance didn’t quite live up to those expectations he has absolutely shown flashes of greatness this season. If a player of Williams’ caliber (who is on a team-friendly rookie contract for the next two years) is on the market, all 31 other teams should be making calls to Jets GM Joe Douglas right now. I don’t know why the Jets would trade him to begin with, but the Jets are… well, they’re the Jets.
Teams I can see making a strong push: Seahawks, Cardinals, Chargers, Bills, Browns
Browns TE David Njoku to the Arizona Cardinals
Compensation: Browns get a 2021 seventh-round pick
It has been rumored for basically a year now that Njoku is unhappy in Cleveland and I don’t really blame him. The Browns signed Austin Hooper to a huge deal this offseason and drafted Harrison Bryant in the fourth round of last years draft. With those two in, Njoku is the odd man out. The Cardinals have a great passing attack led by DeAndre Hopkins, but adding an athletic specimen like Njoku at TE just makes them even deadlier. The Browns don’t need him, and I genuinely don’t even know if they want him. Low-risk, high-reward scenario for the Cardinals who can certainly afford to beef up that TE room at the deadline.
Football Team DE Ryan Kerrigan to the Seattle Seahawks
Compensation: Football Team gets a 2021 fourth-round pick
After adding two first-round DE’s in Montez Sweat and Chase Young over the past two years, the Washington Football Team no longer needs Ryan Kerrigan’s services after this season. Seattle needs to be able to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks if they want to compete for a Super Bowl and right now they simply can’t. They are in win-now mode with Russell Wilson finally cooking and enough pieces on both sides of the ball to be a top team in the league. Adding Kerrigan’s pass-rushing prowess gives Pete Carroll a new dimension on defense at the expenses of a fourth round pick? You make that deal 10 times out of 10.
Vikings S Anthony Harris to the Cleveland Browns
Compensation: Vikings get a 2021 sixth-round pick
The Vikings look to be one team ready to “blow it all up” after this season is over. They have a massive amount of money dedicated to only a few players, Anthony Harris being one of them. The 29-year old will be a free agent after this year regardless and the Vikings simply can’t afford him. The Browns offense is more than solid, but their defense has some major issues. Much like the Titans, they are looking for one or two more pieces to add to that defense with a good amount of talent. Anthony Harris only makes them better. Sure, it would likely be a one-year rental, but at 5-2 I think it is time for the Browns to go all in on this season to make a run. Both sides win, I hope it happens.