NFL Trade Block Big Board Entering Week 7

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2020

NFL Trade Block Big Board Entering Week 7

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    Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press

    Injuries continue to pile up around the NFL, with Philadelphia Eagles star tight end Zach Ertz the latest to suffer a long-term ailment.

    Injuries often prompt contenders to make moves ahead of the trade deadline, while irrelevance often leads rebuilding teams to do the same. With several playoff-caliber teams missing key personnel and 10 teams sitting at one win of fewer, this year's deadline could be as active as it's ever been.

    With the Nov. 3 deadline fast approaching, the flurry of activity should soon be upon us.

    Who are the top players likely to be available at the deadline? 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

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    To get our top 10, we first determined 15 likely trade candidates based on prior speculation and common sense. Losing teams like the 0-6 New York Jets, for example, could look to dump salaries and gain draft picks before the deadline.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate is coming off the list this week, as the 4-2 Buccaneers are likely to keep all of their pieces in place for a potential Super Bowl run. Brate hasn't been a huge piece of the offensive game plan, but with O.J. Howard out for the season, the depth he provides could be invaluable.

    Replacing Brate is New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon, who racked up 502 yards and four touchdowns on 39 catches as a rookie back in 2018. However, he's been an afterthought in the Jets' game plan this season, and he wasn't even targeted in Week 6. With the Jets bottoming out, they might decide to flip Herndon for future draft capital.

    The new initial list, in no particular order, is as follows:    

    • Chris Herndon, TE, New York Jets
    • A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
    • David Johnson, RB, Houston Texans
    • Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns
    • Dwayne Haskins Jr., QB, Washington Football Team
    • 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
    • Golden Tate, WR, New York Giants

10. Haason Reddick, LB, Arizona Cardinals

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    After Monday's two-sack game against the Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals linebacker Haason Reddick may not be as readily available as he might have been earlier in the season. The 4-2 Cardinals could be inclined to keep him around for a potential playoff run.

    As a result, he's fallen considerably on our big board. Still, it's hard to believe that Arizona wouldn't entertain trade offers at the deadline.

    The Cardinals declined Reddick's fifth-year option in May, and he is set to be a free agent in the offseason. If they don't view him as a long-term piece of their future, it would be worth flipping him for value now.

    Given Reddick's ability to pressure opposing quarterbacks, getting something of value shouldn't be difficult.

9, A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    The Cincinnati Bengals are in a similar situation with wideout A.J. Green.

    Green was a complete non-factor through the first five weeks of the season, but he finally had a breakout game in Week 6. He finished with a season-high eight catches on 11 targets for 96 yards.

    "It felt good to feel like my old self again," Green said afterward, per ESPN's Ben Baby.

    The Bengals may want to keep Green around for the remainder of the year to help rookie quarterback Joe Burrow. However, they could also use this breakout performance to get more value out of Green in a trade.

    Young receivers like Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins are far more likely to be a long-term part of Cincinnati's rebuilding process. Meanwhile, Green showed Sunday that he does have enough left in the tank to help a team that is ready to win now.

8. Golden Tate, WR, New York Giants

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    After getting their first win of the season Sunday, the New York Giants are right back in the thick of the NFC East race. As a result, they may not be eager to move on from veteran receiver Golden Tate.

    However, Tate hasn't been a significant piece of the game plan and could be available for a price.

    Tate has only 19 catches on 24 targets for 156 yards and zero touchdowns this season. His role could be diminished even further once Sterling Shepard returns from his turf toe injury, which could happen as early as Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

    A receiver-needy team could be intrigued by Tate's potential as a third or fourth wideout for the second half of the season. During his final full season with the Detroit Lions in 2017, he hauled in 92 catches for 1,003 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Last season—his first with the Giants—he caught 49 passes for 676 yards and six touchdowns.

7. David Johnson, RB, Houston Texans

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    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    As the Houston Texans continue to slip further away from playoff contention, the likelihood of them parting with veteran players increases.

    Running back David Johnson could be one of the Texans' most valuable trade chips heading into the deadline.

    While Johnson hasn't been the bell-cow back former coach/GM Bill O'Brien was hoping to land in the DeAndre Hopkins trade, Johnson has strung a few quality games together. The 28-year-old rushed for 96 yards in Week 5 and logged 69 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in Week 6.

    While Johnson is a central piece of Houston's offense for now, the Texans could look to get out from under his three-year, $39 million contract if a running-back needy team comes calling with a noteworthy offer.

6. Dwayne Haskins Jr., QB, Washington Football Team

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    Steve Helber/Associated Press

    Like the Giants, the one-win Washington Football Team is still relevant in the NFC East race. Therefore, it makes sense that Kyle Allen has replaced 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins as the team's starting quarterback. Allen is more familiar with offensive coordinator Scott Turner's system and seems to operate the offense more smoothly than Haskins can.

    However, Haskins' demotion to the third string provides some insight into how Washington views him. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported last week that other teams believe he could be dealt before the deadline.

    That would make sense if head coach Ron Rivera doesn't view Haskins as a long-term starting option. While the former Buckeye might not have a ton of trade value, the intrigue of the unknown could net Washington a notable draft pick, much like the Cardinals got for Josh Rosen during the 2019 offseason.

    Haskins could be an ideal target for a team looking to groom a young signal-caller for the future.

5. Chris Herndon, TE, New York Jets

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    Zach Bolinger/Associated Press

    Heading into the season, Chris Herndon appeared poised to be a huge part of the New York Jets' offensive game plan. However, that has yet to come to fruition, as he has only 13 catches on 22 targets for 98 yards and zero touchdowns across his first six games.

    Herndon missed most of the 2019 season because of a suspension and injuries, so he may still be getting back up to game speed. His slow start may also be attributable to head coach Adam Gase, whose offense ranks last in points scored and third-to-last in total yardage.

    Regardless of the reason, Herndon is an afterthought in New York and is set to carry a cap hit of more than $1 million in 2021. That isn't an overwhelming cap hit, but it's a big one for a player who's currently on pace for 261 receiving yards.

    Herndon put his potential on film as a rookie, catching 39 passes for 502 yards and four touchdowns. A contender in need of tight end depth should be willing to take a flier on him.

    Meanwhile, the Jets are likely headed toward yet another rebuild in the offseason. Any draft capital they can get for Herndon may prove more valuable than the player himself.

4. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    The Philadelphia Eagles appear close to finally getting wideout Alshon Jeffery back in the lineup. In fact, he could return this week against the Giants.

    According to Dave Spadaro of the team website, head coach Doug Pederson is "optimistic" that Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Lane Johnson can play on Thursday.

    Getting Jeffery back could put the Eagles one step closer to being able to deal him. With younger receivers like Greg Ward, Travis Fulgham and Jalen Reagor on the roster, Philadelphia would assuredly love to escape from the $18.5 million cap hit Jeffery is set to carry next season.

    A receiver-needy team with cap space should be willing to take a chance on Jeffery, who's proved to be a productive possession receiver. He had 65 catches for 843 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games during the 2018 season.

3. Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis Colts

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Indianapolis Colts starting quarterback Philip Rivers had a bit of a bounce-back game in Week 6, tossing three touchdown passes and leading Indy back from a 21-point deficit. However, the Colts are still smart to have an experienced backup in Jacoby Brissett on the roster. Rivers has had his fair share of ups and downs through the first six weeks of the season.

    But that doesn't mean the Colts won't consider trading Brissett.

    Indy's backup could be a valuable trade chip at the deadline. A lot will hinge on the health of other quarterbacks around the league. Should a starter on a contender go down, Brissett could rocket to the top of the trade wish list.

    Brissett has 32 career starts under his belt and could be a tremendous midseason addition for a quarterback-needy team.

    With Brissett in the final year of his contract, Indianapolis could be quick to pull the trigger on a trade if a strong offer comes down the pike.

2. Kenny Stills, WR, Houston Texans

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    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    While David Johnson is a potential trade candidate, the Texans might actively shop wideout Kenny Stills. He continues to be a complete afterthought in their passing attack, and he's in the final year of his contract.

    Still has a mere eight receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown through six weeks, and he wasn't even targeted Sunday. He played only 22 percent of the offensive snaps against the Tennessee Titans and is almost certainly not a piece of the franchise's future.

    However, Stills could be quite valuable to a team that is more willing to utilize him.

    He served as the No. 3 option behind DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V last season and finished with 40 catches, 561 yards and four touchdowns. In 2018 with the Miami Dolphins, he caught 37 passes for 553 yards and six scores.

1. Ryan Kerrigan, Edge, Washington Football Team

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    Daniel Kucin Jr./Associated Press

    Washington pass-rusher Ryan Kerrigan reclaims the top spot on our big board after logging his third sack of the season Sunday. He now has five quarterback pressures to go with 3.0 sacks and six tackles, and he continues to be a valuable veteran presence.

    "He's a guy that our young guys can learn from," head coach Ron Rivera told NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay. "He's a pro and guys like that ... are very valuable because they can show the young guys how to do things the right way."

    Still, it's hard to believe Kerrigan wouldn't be available for the right price. He is in the final year of his contract, and Washington is clearly playing for the future, not now.

    A contender looking to reload its pass rush could obtain a ton of value by adding a veteran like Kerrigan at the deadline.


    Cap and contract information via Spotrac. Advanced statistics from Pro Football Reference.