The NFL trade deadline is a little over two weeks away, with teams needing to make any trades by Oct. 30. A number of big names around the NFL have found their way into trade rumors, and below we'll take a look at the latest buzz making the rounds.
Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders
First it was Khalil Mack. Now, the Oakland Raiders are also considering their options with Amari Cooper and have been shopping him around the league, as Jay Glazer reported on Fox NFL Sunday:
It leaves open the question: Is anybody safe on Oakland's roster?
The Raiders are 1-5 and have a new head coach in Jon Gruden, who seems interested in getting his own guys into his program. Plus, Cooper can hit free agency after the 2019 season, meaning he and the Raiders could be heading to a contract standoff.
Unloading him now could nip that possibility in the bud.
Still, it seems risky for a team to continue trading away its best players. Mack is tearing it up for the Chicago Bears, giving them one of the league's more explosive defenses, while Cooper has the talent to be a true difference-maker at wide receiver.
Maybe he'll never be a truly elite player at the position, but he already has two 1,000-yard receiving seasons under his belt, and he's only 24. It seems early to give up on Cooper, but if the Raiders are going to burn the house down and build one from scratch, he'd be a logical trade chip to dangle.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
The Philadelphia Eagles have reportedly been in the market for a running back since Jay Ajayi was lost for the season with a torn ACL, but the Buffalo Bills aren't inclined to trade LeSean McCoy back to Philly, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com:
"One key source believes McCoy stays in Buffalo not just for this year, but also for the 2019 season. There was no talk of compensation during the conversation between the Bills and the Eagles this week, and the call was described as more feeling out than anything.
"But the belief is a trade for McCoy would be expensive, perhaps as much as the Seahawks were asking for Pro Bowler Earl Thomas before his injury. And the Eagles don't seem ready to pay a second-round pick and more for McCoy, even though they have two of them in the 2019 draft."
While McCoy has potential legal issues, Rapoport added that he's well-liked in the locker room by his teammates and has emerged as a veteran leader for the team, another reason Buffalo is reportedly leaning toward keeping him.
The Bills may want to keep him and will likely set the price high on him. But what if a team meets that price? Are the 2-4 Bills going to turn down a collection of draft picks for a player who is averaging 34 rushing yards per game this season and has yet to score a touchdown? Is McCoy really that valuable to Buffalo?
If the price is set high, teams like the Eagles likely will balk on matching it for a player in McCoy who hasn't been all that good this year. It's hard to imagine the Eagles dangling a second-round pick and change for McCoy, especially considering they also have needs at wide receiver and free safety.
Patrick Peterson, CB, Arizona Cardinals
Patrick Peterson remains one of the top corners in football, but with the Arizona Cardinals stumbling to a 1-5 record, Peterson is one of the players the Cardinals are willing to shop—alongside players like Deone Bucannon, Haason Reddick and perhaps even Larry Fitzgerald—according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
Peterson would fetch the greatest return for the Cardinals, however, as La Canfora wrote:
"Peterson could be a potential blockbuster that would put the Cardinals in position to make significant noise in the next few drafts. He continues to play at a truly elite level, he is incredibly versatile, and, with the corner market exploding since his last contract, his salaries of $11 million in 2019 and $12 million in 2020 (when he turns 30) significantly increase his trade value as well."
Contending teams will surely come calling for the seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro. His 22 career receptions don't tell the full story of Peterson's career dominance, as opposing quarterbacks often ignore his side of the field altogether. While he may not be at that level of elite player any longer—he didn't rank as one of Pro Football Focus' top 101 players in the 2017 season—he'd still be an upgrade for most teams.
It remains to be seen if the Cardinals would actually pull the trigger on dealing him, however. Head coach Steve Wilks was asked about the rumor on Sunday after the team's 27-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, and he shot down any possibility of a Peterson trade.
"I don't respond to things that are ludicrous," he told reporters.
Peterson also spoke on the trade rumors.
"That's something that's out of my control," he said. "I want to continue doing what I have to do to help this team win ballgames. That's what I can control, and that's what I want to do each and every week."