NFL Trade Block Big Board After Week 7
The trade chatter surrounding pretenders and contenders alike will only increase in the coming weeks ahead of the Oct. 29 deadline.
For pretenders, a chance to build for the future presents itself via the trade block, provided those front offices are comfortable offloading talent.
For contenders, sacrificing long-term assets for a chance to win it all is always a tricky idea, though one that a "what have you done for me lately?" league is often willing to take.
Let's look at a list of players seemingly available on the trade block or headed in that direction as the pressure of the deadline looms.
The Selection Process
For this trade block analysis, we assembled the 15 players who seem to be on the block or on their way, and narrowed the list to 10. Most teams, by now, have been rightfully sorted into "buyer" or "seller" categories courtesy of the standings so far. More weight has been given to realistic scenarios involving the bigger names.
For example, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson re-enters the fray now that he's back in the mix and the team isn't looking to contend.
On the other end of the spectrum, we bounced Philadelphia quarterback Nate Sudfeld as demand for a passer figures to be down given unexpected sold performances by backups in New Orleans and Carolina.
Here's the initial list of 15 in no particular order:
- Melvin Gordon III, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
- Trent Williams, OT, Washington Redskins
- Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
- Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Redskins
- Joe Looney, C, Dallas Cowboys
- Leonard Williams, DE, New York Jets
- Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins
- Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
- DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
- Patrick Peterson, CB, Arizona Cardinals
- Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
- Solomon Thomas, DE, San Francisco 49ers
- Artie Burns, CB, Pittsburgh Steelers
- A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
- C.J. Beathard, QB, San Francisco 49ers
10. Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins
If the Miami Dolphins want to keep selling and stockpiling assets, Kenyan Drake is another talent who comes to mind as potentially alluring for other franchises.
Drake has been a sour "usage" point for fantasy football talking heads for years, basically since he arrived in Miami via the third round of the 2016 draft. It's not hard to see why. Through four years, he's averaged 4.6 yards per carry with nine scores and 8.0 yards per catch with six more touchdowns.
This year, Drake has lost goal-line work to Kalen Ballage and has carried the ball 10 or more times just twice. His average has dipped to 3.7 yards per game, but his burst on film and career numbers still speak for themselves given the tank job around him.
Drake is a half-season rental at this stage, as he's in the last year of his rookie deal. But he could be primed for a breakout if a contender wants to roll the dice. Think the Los Angeles Rams or even the New Orleans Saints for insurance behind Alvin Kamara.
Potential Destinations: Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints
9. Patrick Peterson, CB, Arizona Cardinals
Patrick Peterson has been reinstated with the Arizona Cardinals after his six-game suspension, and it didn't take long for trade rumors to follow.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the phones continue to ring: "In recent weeks, the Cardinals have gotten calls from at least three teams interested in trying to trade for Peterson, a league source told ESPN."
And while the report states the Cardinals have turned down calls in the past, anything can truly happen at the deadline as bidding wars break out. It wasn't long ago a front office in New York was saying it wouldn't move Odell Beckham Jr.
Peterson, 29, hadn't missed a game until this season. This isn't the first year trade speculation has surrounded him and a five-year deal worth $70 million that has just one year left. If the Cardinals want to avoid doling out a gargantuan extension to a 30-year-old corner, contenders like Philadelphia or Kansas City would probably love a chance to grab him.
Potential destinations: Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles
8. DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
As long as the Miami Dolphins are still on track for the top overall pick in the 2020 draft, speculation will surround the roster's few remaining talented trade chips such as wideout DeVante Parker.
Parker is up to 229 yards and two touchdowns so far yet still isn't the first option behind Preston Williams. He scored in Week 6, but a touchdown against a previously winless Washington team isn't going to deter a front office if a great offer arrives.
A first-round pick in 2015, Parker is still 26, and a change of scenery could do him some good. And for the Dolphins, it might be better than losing him for nothing, which is what has happened elsewhere with the likes of Josh Doctson.
A contender like New England or even a rebuilder like Washington might have some interest closer to the deadline.
Potential destinations: New England Patriots, Washington Redskins
7. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Stefon Diggs takes a massive drop in the rankings this week because the Minnesota Vikings made a point to prioritize him in the attack during a Week 6 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins targeted Diggs a season-high 11 times, which Diggs turned into seven catches for 167 yards and three touchdowns. Those Eagles have been bad against the pass all year, so the Vikings were adamant to get Diggs involved.
Despite the outburst of production, other teams aren't likely to stop sniffing around the idea of a move, and Minnesota can only deny so much return while unloading a $72 million contract. Keep in mind contenders fancying themselves one chip away such as the New England Patriots or Indianapolis Colts.
Possible Destinations: New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts
6. Melvin Gordon III, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Melvin Gordon is a few weeks back into the swing of things with the Los Angeles Chargers after his contract holdout ended.
Yet, it still feels like a trade could be on the way.
Gordon is a little phased out in the game plan at this point, largely because the team is more comfortable with versatile weapons like Austin Ekeler when it falls behind—which is happening quite often. The Chargers are 2-4 and can't beat struggling Denver or Pittsburgh teams.
Gordon had just eight carries and four targets in a Week 6 loss to Pittsburgh, which only ended up as a seven-point game. With the season headed toward "lost" territory, the Chargers might change their stance a bit and take the best offer on Gordon.
A potential playoff contender looking to make a splash at a reasonable cost such as the Detroit Lions or even Oakland Raiders might circle the Chargers on the whiteboard and throw out offers to see if the front office wants to sell.
Potential Destinations: Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders
5. Leonard Williams, DL, New York Jets
Leonard Williams' name was never going to go away until after the deadline.
The New York Jets are a one-win team, and Williams has always seemed like the odd guy out. Before Week 6 play, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported he "has been garnering interest from multiple teams around the league."
Williams seemed like a point of speculation before the Jets went out and drafted Quinnen Williams at third overall, which has made a trade seem like only a matter of time.
A former first-round pick with a fifth-year option is an attractive piece for any team to gun after, and the Jets might like the idea of dishing him for a draft pick as opposed to coughing up a big extension.
Looking at it broadly, the Los Angeles Rams could use some help on the interior, and any rebuilder, such as Tampa Bay, wouldn't mind an infusion of guaranteed talent if the cost is only something like a mid-round pick.
Potential Destinations: Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4. Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Redskins
A win and a more run-oriented approach for the Washington Redskins under interim head coach Bill Callahan shouldn't move the needle much on Adrian Peterson.
The Redskins are a 1-5 team and, even with the new run-based approach, only escaped with a one-point win over the tanking Miami Dolphins in Week 6.
Granted, Peterson looked good on 23 carries for 118 yards on a 5.1 per-carry average. But he's still only up to 226 yards on a 3.6 average for the season—and let's see those sort of numbers keep coming against better opponents.
Teams with better offensive lines and overall offenses might have an interest in dangling a mid-round pick for Peterson's services in the hopes of adding a sledgehammer who is good for 100-plus every now and then. All-in teams such as the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers come to mind as front offices perhaps willing to take the risk.
Potential destinations: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers
3. Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
There hasn't been any major meaningful traction on Tyler Eifert speculation.
Yet given his talent and the putrid situation surrounding the Cincinnati Bengals, it might make some sense.
Those Bengals are one of two winless teams heading into Week 7, and they are on a crash course for a possible top pick. The new offensive-minded staff simply hasn't matched expectations yet for one reason or another, leaving a big-play weapon like Eifert with just 15 catches on 22 targets for 108 yards and a score.
Eifert is the big target who once scored 13 touchdowns over 13 games before a slew of injuries. He's on a small prove-it deal and still on the right side of 30 years old, so if the Bengals open up the fire sale doors, would-be contenders who can deploy Eifert all over the field as a mismatch option instead of an extra offensive lineman such as the Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints could make a move.
Potential destinations: Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints
2. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Tyler Eifert is far from the biggest prize when it comes to a potential selling turn for the Cincinnati Bengals.
That would be star wideout A.J. Green, who seems close to a return from injury after suffering a setback on the first day of training camp.
Recently, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor has outright said the team won't trade Green. But what teams say and do can often be polar opposite (remember the Odell Beckham Jr. deal?), and that could be the case here.
The Bengals are staring a top-five pick in the face and might shy away from paying a big extension to an oft-injured wideout when the roster has so many other problems. And if this develops, the obvious names will emerge and likely serve as the highest bidders.
Potential destinations: New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers
1. Trent Williams, OT, Washington Redskins
The Trent Williams situation in Washington has often felt like the star left tackle simply wouldn't come back no matter what.
So far, a June report from Jason La Canfora that said Williams "has vowed not to play for them" has held true, even to the tune of millions of dollars in fines.
With the Redskins under the supervision of a new head coach and winners for the first time in six weeks, Williams' continued absence speaks volumes about his commitment to the holdout.
And for a team that needs to put as much talent as possible around rookie passer Dwayne Haskins, the Redskins can't afford to keep sitting on such a talented left tackle. Stirring up a bidding war between teams like New England and Cincinnati that have problems up front could yield a massive return to fuel a rebuild.
Potential destinations: Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots