Trade deadlines are always fun in professional sports. Unlike in some other leagues, though, the NFL's in-season deadline doesn't yield much activity.
There are exceptions: The New England Patriots, for example, dealt tight end A.J. Derby to the Denver Broncos on Tuesday. Midseason NFL trades, however, are rarely of the blockbuster variety.
Still, this doesn't prevent the trade rumors from swirling. There are plenty of potential contenders in need of extra pieces, and there are numerous rebuilding teams whose 2016 seasons are all but over.
There are even more fans and media members chomping at the bit to see some juicy moves come to fruition.
There have been a number of intriguing rumors floating about as we draw closer to the Nov. 1 trade deadline. Today, we're going to examine the latest developments.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears
Some rumors surfaced earlier this week suggesting the Philadelphia Eagles were interested in acquiring wide receiver Alshon Jeffery from the Chicago Bears, as reported by Denver radio host Benjamin Allbright.
On one hand, the Eagles—who rank 17th in receiving, per Pro Football Focus—could use a receiver of Jeffery's caliber. Despite dealing with injuries at the quarterback position, Jeffery has managed to haul in 32 passes for 520 yards this season.
The Bears, meanwhile, are spinning the proverbial tires at 1-6 and appear to be building for the future. Since Jeffery is playing on the franchise tag, it could be smart for Chicago to get what it can while a trade is possible.
On the other hand, the move doesn't make much sense. The Eagles wouldn't be able to extend Jeffery before the end of the season because such a move is not permitted by the collective bargaining agreement, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer pointed out:
Well, it looks like the supposed trade interest was little more than a rumor.
On Wednesday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported there have been no discussions about trading Jeffery.
The thinking here is that if the Bears allow Jeffery to walk in the offseason, they'll end up with a mid-round compensatory pick down the line. Given the fact that the Eagles wouldn't be able to negotiate a contract with Jeffery until the offseason, a mid-round pick is probably the best the Bears could hope to gain in a trade.
Alterraun Verner, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If the Bears do decide to move Jeffery, it appears the Eagles wouldn't be the only team interested. CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora reported the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to add a veteran pass-catcher before the trade deadline:
According to La Canfora, the Buccaneers are willing to move veteran cornerbacks Alterraun Verner and Johnthan Banks.
Verner, who was a Pro Bowler in 2013, is the guy teams would be most interested in. He is still just 27 years old and could be an intriguing reclamation project for the right franchise. He has been relegated to a supporting role this season, but Pro Football Focus still ranks him among the top-60 cornerbacks in the league.
The trouble with trying to move Verner is that he is still in the third year of a four-year, $25.75 million contract. Tampa Bay may have an easier time trading a draft pick than finding a team willing to take on Verner's salary.
It does make sense for the Buccaneers to want a veteran pass-catcher, though. At 3-3, the team is in play for the NFC South title, but it placed wideout Vincent Jackson on injured reserve with an ACL injury Oct. 18.
Torrey Smith, WR, San Francisco 49ers
If Jeffery isn't available, the Buccaneers and Eagles—and of course, other interested franchises—might look at San Francisco 49ers wideout Torrey Smith.
Bleacher Report's Jason Cole has reported the 1-6 49ers are open to dealing veteran players:
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Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk also reported the Eagles and 49ers were in talks regarding a deal that would send Smith to Philadelphia:
If Smith is available, though, it doesn't appear that the Eagles have actively inquired about him. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson recently denied that the team in interested in acquiring either Smith or Jeffery.
“There’s no legitimacy to that,” Pederson said, per Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com. “And I’m thrilled with the guys we have and going to work with them every day.”
With the trade deadline less than a week away, we should find out soon whether the Eagles are happy with what they have or Pederson is just playing coy during behind-the-scenes negotiations.