NFL Trade Block Big Board Entering Week 3
Injuries are an unfortunate but regular part of the NFL, and Week 2 was littered with big ones. Saquon Barkley, Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas are done for the year with torn ACLs. Christian McCaffrey is out for an extended period with a high ankle sprain. Drew Lock is set to miss a couple of weeks with a shoulder issue, while his top receiver, Courtland Sutton, is also done with an ACL tear.
Many teams will be looking for reinforcements in the coming days, and the trade block is likely to be the go-to avenue for some of them.
The question is: Who are the top players potentially on the market? That's what we'll determine here, using factors such as roster makeup, cap space and the likelihood of player movement as a guide.
The Selection Process
To get to our top 10, we first rounded up 15 likely trade candidates based on prior speculation and a little bit of common sense. Cleveland Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr., for example, has been the subject of trade rumors dating back to last season.
"During the offseason, there were definitely serious conversations in the organization about perhaps looking at the option of trading Odell Beckham Jr.," ESPN's Dianna Russini said on Get Up.
This doesn't mean the Browns are actively shopping Beckham—or backup running back Kareem Hunt, who is being added to the list because of the rash of running back injuries. Allen Robinson is coming off the list, as the Chicago Bears have pushed back against his trade request and have plenty to play for at 2-0.
Bears backup quarterback Nick Foles joins the list, however, as quite a few quarterback-needy teams could be eager to deal for the Super Bowl MVP. New England Patriots corner Stephon Gilmore is off, as it's becoming clear New England's defense is good enough to push for a playoff spot. Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard is being replaced by teammate Cameron Brate, for reasons we'll get into shortly.
The new initial list, in no particular order, is as follows:
- Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
- Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns
- Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns
- Joe Thuney, LG, New England Patriots
- Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
- Ryan Kerrigan, EDGE, Washington Football Team
- Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis Colts
- DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Denver Broncos
- Denzel Perryman, LB, Los Angeles Chargers
- Kenny Stills, WR, Houston Texans
- Haason Reddick, LB, Arizona Cardinals
- Trent Murphy, EDGE, Buffalo Bills
- Vic Beasley Jr., EDGE, Tennessee Titans
- Nick Foles, QB, Chicago Bears
10. Kareem Hunt, RB, Cleveland Browns
As was the case with Stephon Gilmore last week, Browns running back Kareem Hunt is low on this list because Cleveland is unlikely to trade him. Hunt was recently given a contract extension that runs through 2022 and is relatively team-friendly in terms of guarantees.
Still, one would have to think Hunt is high on the list of running-back-needy teams—especially a potential contender like the San Francisco 49ers, who watched Raheem Mostert suffer an MCL sprain Sunday. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the 49ers are also concerned about Tevin Coleman, who suffered a knee injury of his own.
In terms of raw talent, it's hard not to like what Hunt brings to the table. A complete back, he led the NFL in rushing in 2017 and has 122 receptions in 37 career games. Seeing as how Cleveland already has an elite back in Nick Chubb, it's not outlandish to think a team could acquire Hunt with a strong enough offer.
9. Kenny Stills, WR, Houston Texans
Wideout Kenny Stills continues to be an afterthought in the Houston Texans offense. Though Houston has been forced to play catch-up in each of its first two games, Stills has been targeted just five times and has a mere two receptions for 16 yards.
In terms of the wideouts on this list, Stills might just be the most readily available.
While Stills has never been a No. 1 receiving option, he's still a solid pass-catcher who could immediately help a receiver-needy team. He was largely the No. 3 option behind DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller last season and still managed to finish with 40 catches, 561 yards and four touchdowns.
8. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Whether it's due to age, not playing in 2019 or a simple lack of chemistry with quarterback Joe Burrow, it's clear A.J. Green is no longer the primary weapon in the Cincinnati Bengals offense. He's shown that he's healthy, but he hasn't been efficient. Through two games, he's caught just eight passes for 80 yards on 22 targets.
Burrow hasn't looked overwhelmed, and while it's probably been nice to have Green's veteran leadership, he hasn't had to lean on Green's production. Therefore, it shouldn't be a shock if Cincinnati is open to moving the 32-year-old before the trade deadline.
Green is playing on the franchise tag and will be a free agent in 2021. Cincinnati would be wise to get something for him while it can. The seven-time Pro Bowler has dropped a bit on our list, as he's lost some luster after coming out flat in the first two weeks.
7. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
If the Philadelphia Eagles can convince a team to pick up some of the dead money on Alshon Jeffery's contract—Jeffery has a cap hit of $15.4 million in 2020 with $26.1 million in dead money—they might be thrilled to move the wideout.
Jeffery has been a solid possession receiver but not a true difference-maker for the Eagles. He's also been sidelined for the first two weeks of the season while Philadelphia has stumbled to a disappointing 0-2 record.
It may not be long before the Eagles determine they're not a title contender this year and start looking to free up cap space. Moving Jeffery would do just that, though it's unlikely he'd bring much in trade capital if a team does take on his contract.
Jeffery does have trade value—he had 843 yards and six touchdowns just two seasons ago—but he's probably not at the top of many wish lists.
6. Haason Reddick, LB, Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Haason Reddick has not developed into the versatile difference-maker he was expected to be when he was drafted 13th overall in 2017. Seeing as how the Cardinals declined his fifth-year option and drafted a similar prospect in Isaiah Simmons this year, Reddick should be available for the right price.
However, while Reddick hasn't been able to excel at any one position, Arizona's attempts to find his fit may have actually increased his potential value to a new team. Reddick figures to be a versatile linebacker option, if not an elite one.
With linebackers like Leighton Vander Esch and Anthony Barr getting injured around the league, Reddick could have a fair bit of trade value ahead of the deadline. The Cardinals might be thrilled to get something of value in return for a player who has seen just 46 percent of the defensive snaps this season.
5. Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A week ago, Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard was on this list, though his presence was largely due to the team's reported interest in trading him. As we noted, there was a chance fellow tight end Cameron Brate could replace him before long.
It makes sense to make the switch now, as Brate appears to be the odd man out in the Tampa offense. He's been targeted just once in two games and has yet to log a reception. While Howard hasn't been especially productive (five receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown), he appears to be Tom Brady's most trusted tight end.
Rob Gronkowski has just two catches for 11 yards.
This isn't to suggest Brate doesn't have a fair amount of trade value. He should. Despite splitting time with Howard, he amassed 66 catches, 600 yards and 10 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He'd be a valuable pickup for a team seeking a pass-catching tight end.
4. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns
Despite there being rumors to the contrary, the Cleveland Browns insist they're not looking to move Odell Beckham Jr.
"It's totally not true," one source said, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Of course, this doesn't mean the Browns won't consider dealing him if a strong offer does come along. While Beckham has shown flashes in the Cleveland offense, it's obvious he doesn't have the same chemistry he once did with Eli Manning.
Beckham has been targeted 16 times and has just seven receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown this season.
While Beckham might not be the most easily obtainable receiver this season, he's one of the few potentially available pass-catchers that could again be an elite No. 1 option with a change of scenery.
3. Trent Murphy, EDGE, Buffalo Bills
With pass-rushers like Von Miller and Nick Bosa lost for the season, guys like Buffalo Bills edge-defender Trent Murphy should be very attractive trade targets. While Murphy has never been an elite edge-defender, he's been serviceable. He's averaged roughly five sacks per season as a pro.
However, Murphy probably isn't a major piece of Buffalo's defensive future—or potentially, the present. He has a cap hit of $9.8 million this season and is part of a deep pass-rushing rotation that includes the likes of Quinton Jefferson, A.J. Epenesa, Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison.
With Murphy in the final year of his contract, the Bills could look to get something in return while they can. They also might be eager to expand on their $4.6 million in available cap space.
Buffalo has a real shot at making a postseason run, and at some point, that cap space could be needed for valuable reinforcements.
2. Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers fared better in Week 2 than he did in his Colts debut, throwing for 214 yards with a touchdown and an interception (he had two picks in Week 1). Perhaps more importantly, Rivers has been remarkably efficient, completing 77.5 percent of his passes through two weeks.
As Rivers becomes more comfortable with his surrounding talent, it becomes more likely he'll quiet those wondering if he'll end up on the hot seat. Progress from Rivers could also increase the likelihood that Indianapolis is willing to move on from backup Jacoby Brissett.
In 2020, the final year of his contract, Brissett is carrying a cap hit of $21.4 million. That's a lot of cash, and it represents big potential savings if Indianapolis is willing to part with a player who may not be around next year anyway.
Should quarterback injuries persist around the league, the Colts could receive a sizable amount of trade compensation, too. Brissett has 32 starts under his belt and would be a better option than most backups in the NFL.
1. Ryan Kerrigan, EDGE, Washington Football Team
With a premium on pass-rushers—and with pass-rushers continuing to drop like flies—Ryan Kerrigan becomes arguably the Washington Football Team's biggest trade chip. The 32-year-old proved he can still get after the quarterback in Week 1, logging 2.0 sacks against the Philadelphia Eagles (though he didn't record a tackle in Week 2).
Kerrigan, who is in the final year of his contract, could be considered expendable by a Washington team that also features Montez Sweat, Daron Payne, Chase Young and Jonathan Allen along its defensive front.
Washington can pressure the quarterback without Kerrigan, and with a title run unlikely, he may have more value to the franchise in a trade than on the field. Teams like the San Francisco 49ers,—who have lost both Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas to knee injuries and since signed Ziggy Ansah—could be very interested in making a deal as they chase a postseason berth.
In fact, expect every team with questions in the pass-rushing department to have some interest in Kerrigan ahead of the trade deadline.