NFL Trade Block Big Board Entering Week 4
The NFL wasn't chewed apart by the injury bug in Week 3 quite as badly as in Week 2, though notable players like Jamal Adams, Dallas Goedert and rookie pass-rusher Chase Young did go down. Perhaps the bigger story in Week 3 was that entire teams—like the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and New York Jets—appear to be falling apart.
Whether in need of injury replacements or better talent, several teams will be looking for reinforcements heading into Week 4. For many of them, the trade block will be an enticing avenue of approach. We're nearing the halfway point between the start of the season and the Oct. 29 trade deadline, so the activity on said market should start ramping up soon.
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 to guide us.
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. Teams that are already staring down lost seasons, for example, could be sellers before the deadline if their struggles continue.
With this in mind, we're adding Jets running back Le'Veon Bell back to the list, even though he remains on injured reserve with a pulled hamstring. Under 2020 league rules, an IR designation doesn't mean a player is out for the long term, and head coach Adam Gase initially gave Bell a two-week timetable for recovery.
If Bell is activated, the Jets would likely love to move him.
Coming off the list is Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles since he was just named the team's starter for Week 4.
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
- Le'Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets
10. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals wideout A.J. Green finally started to show some rapport with rookie quarterback Joe Burrow in Week 3. He caught five passes, albeit for just 36 yards. If the chemistry keeps building, Green will find himself off our big board.
For now, he still doesn't look like a No. 1 receiver worthy of the franchise tag. Through three games, he has just 13 catches on 28 targets for 116 yards.
Green gets bumped down a couple of spots from last week, but one would have to think that if the Bengals remain winless, they would love to get something in return for him while they can. He is playing on the franchise tag, after all, and will be a free agent next offseason.
9. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery also moves down, largely because the Eagles might need him sooner than later. Wideout DeSean Jackson missed the second half of Sunday's tie with the Bengals, and tight end Dallas Goedert could be out for some time.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Goedert has a "very small" fracture in his ankle that won't require surgery but will keep him out for a couple of weeks.
If the Eagles hope to get back in the NFC East race, they may want Jeffery in the lineup. However, they'd probably also be happy to part with him if they can get a team to pick up the entirety of his remaining contract. He has a cap hit of $15.4 million in 2020 with $26.1 million in dead money.
While Jeffery wouldn't provide a team with a new No. 1 receiver, he's a high-end possession man who had 843 yards and six touchdowns just two seasons ago.
8. Haason Reddick, LB, Arizona Cardinals
Haason Reddick, the 13th overall pick in 2017, hasn't developed into the sideline-to-sideline playmaker he was expected to be. He also continues to see a diminished role in the Arizona Cardinals defense. He's now played just 48 percent of the team's defensive snaps.
2020 first-round pick Isaiah Simmons is the Cardinals' linebacker of the future, so Reddick—who is set to be a free agent in 2021—is likely expendable.
He could still have value for a team that is looking to add a rotational player. Though he has seen limited playing time, he has produced nine tackles and two sacks through three games.
7. Trent Murphy, EDGE, Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills appear poised to go on a deep playoff run this season, so parting with a key role player like Trent Murphy probably isn't at the top of their to-do list. However, Murphy is part of a rotation that also features Quinton Jefferson, A.J. Epenesa, Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison. If the Bills are going to move one of them, Murphy is likely the guy.
He has a cap hit of $9.8 million this season, and moving him could provide a fair bit of cap relief. Buffalo doesn't need it right now, but if the Bills are forced to address another position before season's end, they might. They have just under $4.5 million in remaining cap room.
With Murphy in the final year of his contract, the Bills could get a two-for-one by recouping something of value in a trade. Teams in need of pass rush should be willing to pursue the 29-year-old, who had five sacks and 19 quarterback pressures last season.
6. Kenny Stills, WR, Houston Texans
The deeper we get into the 2020 season, the more apparent it becomes that Kenny Stills isn't going to be a focal point of the Houston Texans offense. While Houston is utilizing a committee approach at receiver, Will Fuller V, Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb are all bigger pieces of the puzzle.
Stills has been targeted just nine times and has five catches for 51 yards. Moving him would make sense, especially if a trade would net the Texans some much-needed defensive help.
Stills could be of value to another team. He served as the No. 3 option behind DeAndre Hopkins and Fuller last season and still managed to finish with 40 catches, 561 yards and four touchdowns. For a playoff-caliber team with a need at wideout, Stills could be a terrific trade target.
5. Le'Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets
Is Le'Veon Bell the same elite back he was earlier in his career? No. However, he was a serviceable starter in 2019—he had more than 1,200 scrimmage yards—and might be the most readily available starter when he is activated from IR.
The Jets have been a disaster through the first three weeks of the season, and they have a better chance of "winning" the No. 1 pick in next year's draft than reaching the playoffs. Head coach Adam Gase is almost certainly on his way out, and New York would probably love to unload Bell and the remainder of his $52.5 million contract.
With running backs like Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Phillip Lindsay and Raheem Mostert sidelined, there's probably a team that is willing to take a flier on Bell at a discounted price.
4. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns continue to insist they don't plan to trade wideout Odell Beckham Jr. As we get deeper into 2020, though, it feels increasingly likely that Cleveland could view Beckham as expendable.
We don't yet know how good the Browns are going to be this season, but we can surmise they'll be a running team. Through three weeks, Cleveland ranks 30th in passing attempts and fifth in rushing attempts. With a backfield that includes Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, that shouldn't come as a surprise.
This means, however, that the Browns don't need Beckham to follow their preferred game plan. He has caught just 11 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown.
Beckham is a legitimate No. 1-caliber receiver, and he can put up elite numbers in an offense that fully utilizes his skill set. While the Browns may not plan to trade him, they might consider a deal if a team makes a No. 1 receiver-caliber trade offer.
3. Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis Colts
After a rocky debut in Week 1, Philip Rivers has looked increasingly comfortable in the Indianapolis Colts offense. This suggests Indianapolis won't need to call on backup Jacoby Brissett any time soon, which makes him potentially available to any quarterback-needy team—at a price.
Potential savings could also sway Indianapolis, as Brissett carries a cap hit of $21.4 million.
While we haven't seen a ton of quarterback injuries yet this season—Jimmy Garoppolo and Drew Lock have been the big ones—one fluke play could bring down a playoff-caliber starter and set the quarterback market on fire.
Brissett, who has 32 starts on his resume, should be near the top of many trade-target lists if this occurs.
2. Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It's becoming increasingly clear that tight end Cameron Brate doesn't have a role in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense. While O.J. Howard remains the primary pass-catching tight end, Rob Gronkowski got in on the action in Week 3. He caught six passes for 48 yards in the win over the Denver Broncos.
Brate, meanwhile, has yet to catch a pass this season. In fact, he's only been targeted once while playing a mere 8 percent of the offensive snaps.
The Buccaneers would presumably be willing to take something in return for a player they aren't utilizing, and they could probably expect some value. Brate has been a high-end pass-catching tight end before. He caught 48 passes for 591 yards and six touchdowns in 2017 and had 24 touchdown catches over the past four seasons.
For a team in need of a receiving tight end, Brate should be a prime target.
1. Ryan Kerrigan, EDGE, Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team isn't going anywhere this season as long as quarterback Dwayne Haskins continues to struggle—he had three interceptions and a lost fumble in Week 3.
"There are a lot of guys that put their heart out on the field, and truthfully, they deserve better," head coach Ron Rivera told reporters. "Truthfully, they deserve better."
While Haskins has been abysmal, the Washington defensive front has been tremendous. Players like Montez Sweat, Daron Payne, Chase Young and Jonathan Allen provide the foundation of a potentially elite unit. They also make veteran pass-rusher Ryan Kerrigan relatively expendable.
Kerrigan is set to be a free agent next offseason, so it would make sense to get something in return if Washington can do so.
Pass-rushers are always going to have value, and Kerrigan—who has two sacks and four pressures this season—should be at the top of many wish lists.