5 Players Who Could Be on the Move Before the NFL Trade Deadline
Unlike in other sports, midseason trades are relatively rare in the National Football League.
This is primarily because the NFL trade deadline comes after Week 8, a point in the season when most teams still feel that they have a shot at a postseason run.
However, such trades do occur.
In a similar move, the 0-4 Pittsburgh Steelers traded for Arizona Cardinals tackle Levi Brown in an effort to help turn their season around.
The Steelers and Jaguars are currently winless, as are the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As the Oct. 29 trade deadline approaches, several more teams are likely to find themselves well below .500 and pondering their trade possibilities.
This means that more trades are likely to come this season, and some will be bigger than others.
Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns
A few short weeks ago, the Browns were winless, had just traded their star running back and had supposedly thrown in the towel on their 2013 season.
Now, Cleveland is 3-2 and has a realistic chance to make a push for relevance in the AFC North. However, that doesn't mean the Browns have completely shut the door on moving a talented player like Gordon.
According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the Browns have spoken to teams like the San Francisco 49ers about trading for the former Baylor star.
Browns aren't shopping their stars. But they have talked to teams about Josh Gordon, including #49ers. They'd like a 2nd rounder in return— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 7, 2013
Even if Cleveland sees itself as a contender, moving Gordon for a second-round pick now could make some sense. The talented receiver is believed to be one drug violation away from a year-long suspension, and Browns general manager Mike Lombardi might see that as too much of a risk.
In addition to the 49ers, contending teams like the Chicago Bears or Detroit Lions might show some interest in acquiring another top-tier receiver.
Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants
Gordon isn't the only wideout who could pique the interest of teams like San Francisco, Detroit or Atlanta.
The Giants' season is essentially over at 0-5 and, according to CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora, it is time for them to move some players while they can.
Nicks, who is in the final year of his contract, could command a high draft pick for a Giants team that clearly needs to rebuild sooner than later.
The fifth-year pro has already amassed 372 yards on 21 receptions this season, though his efforts obviously aren't enough to help the Giants land a victory.
With Nicks set to hit the free agent market next March (and certainly not a lock to re-sign), the Giants could be very interested in getting something in return for him rather than allowing him to walk on his own.
Justin Tuck, DE, New York Giants
Tuck is another player the Giants could consider moving before the trade deadline.
Like Nicks, Tuck is in the final year of his contract, and New York will risk losing him in free agency anyway once the season is over.
Also like Nicks, Tuck's skills should be in demand by contending teams. Talented pass-rushers usually are.
Tuck has registered 50 career sacks and is likely to draw attention, either in trade talks or as a free agent next March.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
At just 28-years-old and with a steady 4.5 yards per carry average, Jones-Drew is the type of runner any contending team would be happy to add.
Heck, he is the type of back any team would love to have. However, he simply seems to be wasting away with a Jaguars team that has a real chance of finishing the season 0-16.
Like the two Giants stars mentioned above, Jones-Drew is in the final year of his contract and is unlikely to stick around in free agency unless owner Shad Khan can somehow convince him that a quick turnaround is in the works.
If Jacksonville is going to trade players in last year of their deal for picks, might as well get what it can for RB Maurice Jones-Drew.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 2, 2013
The San Diego Chargers are one team that could show interest in acquiring Jones-Drew, as their starting running back, Ryan Mathews, suffered yet another injury in last week's loss to the Oakland Raiders.
The Chargers currently hold a 2-3 record, but have played well this season and still have an opportunity to contend for a playoff spot, though overtaking the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos in the AFC West seems unlikely.
Other teams could be interested at the right price, and the Jaguars should consider getting what they can for Jones-Drew before he leaves Jacksonville for good.
Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee Titans
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Titans are open to trading the former Rutgers standout, though it will be interesting to see if any teams are actually drawn to the possibility.
Britt has a history of off-field issues and his production this season (six receptions for 52 yards) isn't likely to send teams scrambling for his services.
However, Britt will be a free agent after this season and even the wide receiver himself appears to realize that he probably won't be back in Tennessee in 2014, so a deal is entirely possible if someone comes calling.
Looks like the Titans pullin that Jared Cook card .. Looking like this the last year ill be sayin #TitanUp .. So lets make it a Great year— Kenny Britt (@KennyBritt_18) September 17, 2013
The New England Patriots are one team to keep an eye on. Head coach Bill Belichick loves to buy low on talented players with potential and the Titans would probably accept a late-round pick in return for the former first-round selection.
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