The rumor carousel continues to spin as the NFL approaches its annual trade deadline, and as is the case every year, it's impossible to tell which teams are serious about making moves.
This year, a plethora of big names continue to pop up in a rampant case of rumors and speculation. Bad teams that seem set to rebuild want to dump talent, while surprise contenders that need one last piece to the puzzle are actively perusing the market—right?
We'll officially know soon enough with the deadline of 4 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 29 on the horizon. For now, here's a gander at some of the top names making the rounds and a prediction as to whether anything will actually come to fruition.
Fred Davis, TE, Washington Redskins
The writing is on the wall in Washington; Fred Davis is not in the future plans for the Redskins.
Last week, Davis was a healthy scratch as rookie tight end Jordan Reed went off for nine receptions for 134 yards and a score.
As NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Twitter, the Redskins are actively telling the rest of the league that Davis is on the block:
Prediction: Davis is as good as gone, but the avenue is difficult to determine.
Will a team trade for Fred Davis?
A free agent after the season, it's hard to see an NFL team willing to part with even a late draft pick for the oft-injured Davis, who has had questions about his work ethic, maturity and more as reported by ESPN.com's Mike Rodak.
Rodak speculates a team like the Bills may be interested, but Davis has done little on the field since 2011 and is inactive because he won't contribute on special teams. The safe bet is his journey in Washington ends at the end of the season via free agency, where teams can spend even less to acquire his services.
Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns
Perhaps the biggest name on the market, Cleveland's Josh Gordon is someone that most frequently pops up.
Why not? The Browns were perceived to have been throwing in the towel when they traded away Trent Richardson, and Gordon is a legit No. 1 receiver who has already racked up 582 yards and three scores in six games.
Thanks to the Richardson deal and the obvious talent Gordon possesses, several teams have asked about Gordon, per 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
Of course, CEO Joe Banner has denied any trade activity, as per NFL.com's Marc Sessler, but it's not a definitive retort.
Prediction: Gordon is not going anywhere, although a team with an offer they simply cannot refuse may come calling.
Still, the chances are minute. Gordon is a rare talent and a nice centerpiece to build around in what is surely a rebuilding effort. As Sessler also hints, Gordon is one more negative drug test away from a year-long suspension.
Cleveland won't find a price it likes with that hanging over Gordon's head.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
At 28 years of age on a winless team coming off an injury that cost him 10 games a year ago, Maurice Jones-Drew has been a disappointment and an obvious target of rampant trade speculation.
Jones-Drew has only carried the ball 122 times this season, which he has turned into a mediocre 391 yards and two touchdowns. Thus far, he has averaged over one yard less per carry than his career worst.
Regardless of his poor performance, the Jaguars may be interested in attempting to ship Jones-Drew out of town, according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio.
Prediction: Of course the Jaguars want to get something out of Jones-Drew. He's a free agent after the season, his body has been ravaged by over 1,600 carries and the franchise is in the infancy of a rebuild.
Will MJD remain in Jacksonville?
There's something to be said for the notion that Jones-Drew could be more productive on a better team. While that may be the case, draft picks are a valuable commodity, and the UCLA product will be available on the open market after the season.
Now a passing league, the running back position is a simple one to fill in 2013 with committees left and right. Jones-Drew will find one in 2014, but for now, he remains in Jacksonville—any draft pick is too pricey when a team can draft a young player with that late-round pick (Alfred Morris, anyone?) and get a decade of use rather than a few years from Jones-Drew.
Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants
Only 25 years old, New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks seems like the odd man out after the Giants extended Victor Cruz last year.
Nicks has had a down season, but the big-play ability is still there. Thirty-four receptions for 521 yards and countless drops is not a sexy line by any means, especially for a guy headed to free agency who is playing for a new contract, but that has not stopped the rumors making the rounds.
Per CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, several teams may look to make the Giants an offer. The ability to nab Nicks now before he hits the open market and can drive the price up is a nice thought, so the potential offers are in no way a shock.
Prediction: Nicks is a shell of his former self. He's on a bad team with a quarterback in Eli Manning who makes horrible decisions, but there's no excuse for a guy playing for a new contract to look this bad.
Nicks has dropped a variety of catchable passes this season, although as Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News speculates, his previously injured finger could be giving him some issues:
Hakeem Nicks lets another catchable pass go through his hands ... Wonder if that finger is still bothering him. #NYG— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) October 22, 2013
Regardless, another team making a move for Nicks at this point in the year does not make much sense as The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre points out:
Hakeem Nicks trades sound increasingly silly. Who is renting him for 9 games, giving up a pick & then paying him $9-10 mil per?— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) October 22, 2013
Nicks has been the definition of inconsistency. He'll be available after the season anyway with the Giants seemingly showing their hand via the Cruz extension. Teams will wait, especially as Nicks continues to drive down his price on the open market through poor play.
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling