Blockbuster Deals That Would Blow Up the 2020 NFL Trade Deadline
When it comes to massive deals and player movement, it feels like the NFL is only just getting started.
Antonio Brown recently joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, after all.
With the Nov. 3 trade deadline approaching, Brown's return to pair with Tom Brady feels like an appetizer. With a few head coach spots already vacant and the line clearly drawn for many contenders and pretenders, some blockbuster deals seem inevitable.
These are some blockbuster moves that could happen at the deadline and help reshape the league's current playoff picture, if not long-term future.
Washington Trades Ryan Kerrigan to Seahawks for 2022 Third-Round Pick
The Seattle Seahawks always seem linked to edge defenders.
So why not make one more link? Seattle has tallied just nine sacks through six games, with two of those belonging to elite safety Jamal Adams. Poaching a rental from a pretender to keep things rolling right along at 5-1 in the brutal NFC West would be ideal, provided the team can get creative with shifting available cap space around to make an addition work.
And Washington comes to mind as a pretender and one with an excess of pass-rushers, too. The rebuilding Ron Rivera-led team is 2-5 and has invested heavily in the position lately as it preps for a passing-of-the-torch moment, hence first-round investments in Montez Sweat and Chase Young.
Kerrigan, owner of four sacks already, is 32 years old and on the final year of his deal that has an $11.7 million cap hit. Washington probably wouldn't mind getting something in return for his eventual departure, and the Seahawks need all the help they can get to win the division.
Texans Trade Kenny Stills to Packers for 2021 Third-Round Pick
The Houston Texans are prime targets to start at least a mini-rebuild in the wake of firing head coach Bill O'Brien, whose tenure as general manager never panned out and is a big reason the team started 1-6 and only has roughly $7.7 million in cap space.
Wide receiver is a big focus now after O'Brien let DeAndre Hopkins slip away and acquired an odd cast of players to join Will Fuller V, including Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb. In fact, those three, plus Kenny Stills, rank among the team's top 11 cap hits this season.
Stills is on the last year of his deal, so the Texans could always seek out a trade partner to get something in return for his likely departure as the wideout room undergoes massive change again. He's 28 and still plenty capable, but been a non-factor with just 18 targets.
A team like the Green Bay Packers might have plenty of interest in a half-season rental considering its top two wideouts, Davante Adams and Allen Lazard, haven't been able to stay on the field. Aaron Rodgers continues to feast regardless with his team at 5-1, but adding a guy who averages 15.7 yards per catch for his career and has 500-plus yards in six of his seven seasons would be a savvy win-now move.
Jets Trade Quinnen Williams to 49ers for 2021 Second-Round Pick
As one of four teams with at least four wins already in the NFC West, the San Francisco 49ers will have to decide whether to be buyers at the deadline.
With Nick Bosa, Dee Ford and Solomon Thomas on injured reserve, help for the front seven would figure to be the move if they buy.
Luckily for the 49ers, the New York Jets might just have some help for sale. According to The Athletic's Connor Hughes Quinnen Williams could be available for the right price.
Williams, drafted third overall in 2019 by a different regime, hasn't met expectations but probably shouldn't be expected to on an 0-7 roller coaster only headed down. Should the 49ers pick up the phone and make an offer (and be willing to get creative to make sure they keep respectable cap wiggle room on the books this year), they'd land a short-term bit of instant help via a budding top-five prospect, never mind an affordable rookie contract with a fifth-year option still available to build around for the long term.
Bengals Trade A.J. Green to Patriots for 2021 Third-Round Pick
The Cincinnati Bengals have a well-established stubborn reputation when it comes to hanging onto their own, something they again showcased last year while refusing to trade A.J. Green during a two-win season.
Now the Bengals are 1-5-1 and still in the first stage of rebuilding, so selling off Green to the highest bidder while his stock is actually high makes sense. Over his last two games, the 32-year-old wide receiver has enjoyed his most productive outings since mid-2018, totaling 178 yards on 15 catches.
That brief glimpse of something resembling the old Green might just get a team like the New England Patriots to bite. Bill Belichick and Bengals president Mike Brown have a well-established trading relationship, and the former's team is 2-4 and struggling with Cam Newton under center while wideouts around the quarterback aren't doing much.
Green, playing on the franchise tag this year, doesn't seem long for Cincinnati. Trading for Green would be a low-risk move with plenty of upside in an AFC East that could still be up for grabs.
Texans Trade J.J. Watt to Saints for 2021 Second-Round Pick
As mentioned already, the Texans figure to look toward the future.
Granted, it would take a desperate team to take on Watt at this stage of his career, but the New Orleans Saints have shown time and again they're all-in on winning now as the Drew Brees era nears an end, even if it means creatively shifting around some cap allocations to make a big addition work.
Watt is a major risk mostly because he's played more than eight games in a season just once dating back to 2015. But putting him on a front seven with Cameron Jordan and others would make for one of the scariest units in the NFL.
The Saints are in an arms race with Tampa Bay in the NFC South after Antonio Brown landed there, and Houston is desperate to start cleaning up the mess left by a fired head coach and doesn't pick earlier in the 2021 draft than the third round. It's a stars-aligning moment that could make for a surprise blockbuster.
Salary and cap information via Spotrac.