The clock is ticking for 32 NFL general managers to execute trades. On Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 4 p.m. ET, the trade deadline will pass and the time for last-minute alterations will disappear with it.
Rumors have been spreading across the league, but to date, nothing seems to be imminent. As the trade deadline grows near, that will change, as the desperation each ballclub possesses to make improvements will be placed on display.
Here are the potential moves that you need to know about.
Hakeem Nicks: Trade or No Trade?
Since the beginning of the 2013 regular season, a case could be made that New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has been at the heart of the most trade rumors. As the Giants have fallen to 1-6 and Nicks has underwhelmed with his production, the former ACC star is becoming a hot commodity.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the rumor mill should shut down in New York, because the Giants aren't trading Nicks:
@jasonrmcintyre Also, Giants aren’t trading him.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 22, 2013
@jasonrmcintyre Couple things: They like the player. Want to extend him. Don’t wanna give up on the season. Get a comp. pick if he leaves— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 22, 2013
So much for that.
For all that's been made about Nicks' lack of production and the rise of Rueben Randle, Eli Manning seems to have more trust in the former UNC Tar Heel. Nicks has 56 targets through seven games, while Randle has 46 in the same span.
Furthermore, Nicks had more targets during Week 7 (10) than Randle has received over the past two weeks combined (eight).
There's no question that Randle, 22, has upside, but he's also made some key mistakes as a route-runner that have led to some of Manning's turnovers. Nicks isn't flawless, but his health is far more of a concern than his on-field ability.
Contrary to popular belief, the Giants are intent on keeping him and will tough out what has been a difficult season.
Fred Davis to Be Moved?
As the Dallas Cowboys begin to display signs of consistency, the rest of the NFC East appears to be in a state of disarray. The Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins are all below .500, and as the trade deadline approaches, all figure to be players.
Stop me if you've heard this before: Washington is entering the conversation by shopping tight end Fred Davis, per Pro Football Talk:
Redskins are trying to trade TE Fred Davis, per league source.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 21, 2013
You shouldn't be surprised.
During his time with the Redskins, Davis has been a productive player that can't seem to overcome injuries. In 2013, that's led to Washington using Davis in limited situations and turning to Jordan Reed to step up as the future at tight end.
So far, so good.
Reed has an incredibly efficient 26 catches on 30 targets for 298 yards and two touchdowns in five appearances. In Washington's most recent game, the 23-year-old caught nine passes on nine targets for 134 yards and a score.
That's what you call developing chemistry with the quarterback.
Davis, meanwhile, has just three receptions on seven targets in four games played. He's clearly fallen out of favor as a go-to receiver, and that has Washington searching for a potential trade.
It's unclear which teams will bite, but quality tight ends are tough to come by. Look for a team to take a chance on the former USC star.
Josh Gordon Drawing Interest
During the 2013 regular season, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been one of the most productive players at his position. Unfortunately, Gordon is also one league violation away from a yearlong ban, which has Cleveland and many other teams skeptical about his future.
Even still, Gordon is generating interest from across the NFL, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter:
At least 3 teams have contacted Browns about deal for WR Josh Gordon; two have standing offers of a high pick and a player. Browns balking.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 21, 2013
This is a case of teams needing to determine whether or not the reward outweighs the risk.
In five appearances, Gordon has 27 receptions for 450 yards and two touchdowns with one of the league's most inconsistent quarterback situations. Still just 22, there's no way around Gordon's elite upside as a 6'3" and 222-pound receiving machine.
Should the Cleveland Browns trade Josh Gordon?
The only question at this point is where he'll end up.
Based off of speculation alone, the most intriguing options would be the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots. All three teams are in the hunt for the postseason, and all three need a star wide receiver.
Carolina has Steve Smith but a lackluster supporting cast; Indianapolis lost Reggie Wayne for the season; and New England's receiving corps has been wildly inconsistent.
Schefter previously reported that the San Francisco 49ers were interested in acquiring Gordon, but the deal never came to fruition. This all adds up to Cleveland holding on to one of the few stars that remain on the offensive side of the football.
One way or another, this mercurial star will see his future altered in a major way.