The Player Every NFL Team Should Shop at the Trade Deadline

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2020

The Player Every NFL Team Should Shop at the Trade Deadline

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    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    Tuesday's NFL trade deadline is right around the corner. While a great number of teams might sit out the opportunity to make a midseason move, each front office should do its due diligence. 

    With a half season's worth of games to evaluate their rosters, general managers should have a sense of what the rest of the 2020 season could look like. For some, it means building a cache of future assets. For others, it means adding a missing piece. 

    Whether it's because their prime no longer fits the organization's contention window, poor performance or a bad scheme fit, every team has at least one player it should shop. Here's a look at those 32.

Arizona Cardinals: CB Patrick Peterson

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    There was buzz in 2019 that the Arizona Cardinals were approached by several teams about dealing star cornerback Patrick Peterson. The franchise was unwilling to part with the eight-time Pro Bowler, but maybe it should have. His value would have been high, considering the multiple suitors and his successful track record.

    Now, he's in the final year of his contract and is 30 years old. 

    Peterson hasn't bounced back from a down season either. He's shown some improvement with a 79.8 passer rating allowed, compared to 99.2 last year, but he still isn't the same dominant corner. 

    The Cardinals have a lot to be excited about. Budda Baker has emerged as a star defender and is the best player in the secondary. The offense is young and continues to improve with quarterback Kyler Murray (23) at the helm and DeAndre Hopkins (28) anchoring the receiving corps with Christian Kirk (23).

    Peterson won't be worth the money he'll likely ask for in the offseason. They would be better off getting what they can for him.

Atlanta Falcons: WR Julio Jones

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    Danny Karnik/Associated Press

    At 1-6 with the chance to get a top-10 draft pick for the third time since the team moved up in the 2011 draft to take Julio Jones, the Atlanta Falcons should bid farewell to the receiver. 

    He has been a lynchpin of the offense for nearly a decade. The team has made a Super Bowl and four playoff appearances during his tenure, but the firing of general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn signals a new era. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano reported both quarterback Matt Ryan and Jones could be dealt before the deadline. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that both Ryan and Jones will stay put. 

    Still, a Jones deal would make sense for Atlanta. His contract might make it difficult to deal him, with a $20.4 million cap hit in 2021, but he's one of few options who would give the Falcons the opportunity to net some serious draft capital. 

    The 31-year-old is already showing signs of regression, but he's still marketable as a top option. With the emergence of Calvin Ridley as a bona fide No. 1 receiver, Jones can be flipped for future assets. 

Baltimore Ravens: RB Mark Ingram II

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    As constructed, the 5-1 Baltimore Ravens deserve to be a Super Bowl favorite. The defense has been destructive, and as long as the offense still has quarterback Lamar Jackson at the helm, the upside is immense. 

    But the Ravens' cap situation is tight, and general manager Eric DeCosta wants to get aggressive, as The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec told Glenn Clark Radio.

    The Ravens rushing attack isn't as prolific as it was last season. That isn't necessarily Mark Ingram II's fault, but he only ranks 37th in yards after contact and will be 31 by season's end. An ankle injury that kept him out of Week 7's game against the Philadelphia Eagles doesn't bode well for his durability this season. 

    Rookie J.K. Dobbins was clearly brought in as his replacement. Gus Edwards has taken on a bigger role in the offense as well, seeing 48 carries to Ingram's 50 and rendering the veteran more dispensable. 

    Baltimore is in position to acquire a player who could help in a Super Bowl push, but if there is one guy the team should be willing to deal, it is Ingram.

Buffalo Bills: OT Ty Nsekhe

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Given their position atop the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills should be all-in on this season. After all, it would be the first time they've won the division in 25 years. 

    While Josh Allen may not be the perfect quarterback, he's good enough to get them to the playoffs. The team should be doing all it can to have success while he is still on his rookie deal. That leaves few players Buffalo can part with. 

    However, the Bills are one of the few teams with offensive line depth. Dion Dawkins got paid over the offseason at left tackle, and right tackle Daryl Williams has surrendered one sack this season, per Pro Football Focus. That leaves quality swing tackle Ty Nsekhe without much of a role, as he's played just 12 offensive snaps this year.

    Nsekhe doesn't carry a ton of value as a 35-year-old whose contract expires at the end of the season, but he's a reasonable option for any team looking to shore up its line depth.

    Dealing him could clear cap space to pursue an edge-rusher.   

Carolina Panthers: WR Curtis Samuel

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    Peter Joneleit/Associated Press

    A Curtis Samuel breakout won't happen with the Carolina Panthers. His tantalizing versatility, athleticism and big-play ability has never materialized in the NFL, and with head coach Matt Rhule taking the reins, the Ohio State product hasn't gotten a bigger role. 

    In 2019, the wide receiver saw over 100 targets and was the clear-cut third option in the passing game behind Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore. 

    This year, he's on pace for 77 targets and has taken a back seat to not only Moore but also Robby Anderson and Mike Davis, even with McCaffrey sitting because of an ankle injury. It's clear that Rhule isn't inclined to scheme touches for Samuel.  

    There's still reason to believe teams would want to take a shot on him, though. He's just 24 years old and in his fourth year. His contract expires after the season, which means his new team would have the first chance to make a good impression and re-sign him to a deal that isn't likely to break the bank. 

    For the Panthers, he's their best chance at getting value back and continuing to build this team the way Rhule sees fit.

Chicago Bears: QB Mitchell Trubisky

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    With a chance to compete with the Packers for the NFC North crown, the 5-2 Chicago Bears should be buyers. They should also not be afraid to pick up the phone if any team calls about quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. 

    The 26-year-old's days in Chicago are clearly numbered. With his contract expiring at the end of the season and Nick Foles taking over as the starter, there's little chance he'll stay in the Windy City. But it isn't a wild idea to think there's a team that believes it could get something out of him.

    He's 26-18 as the starter in Chicago with 54 touchdowns and 32 interceptions. This season, he's gone 3-0 as the starter with six touchdown passes and three interceptions. 

    Trubisky has value as a backup for the rest of the year. He held off Foles as the starter in the preseason and obviously knows the offense better than any other possible backup.

    But if a team is willing to part with an asset for Trubisky, the Bears should listen.

Cincinnati Bengals: DE Carlos Dunlap

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    If it's head coach Zac Taylor's mission to establish a new culture with the Cincinnati Bengals, then it's imperative Carlos Dunlap is playing for another team by November 4. 

    After all, it's hard to justify not sending a message when a player takes to social media to put his house up for sale, as Dunlap did after failing to record a tackle against the Browns in Week 7. The defensive end isn't playing big enough a role to be this much of a distraction. 

    Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported that wide receiver John Ross III has requested a trade. They may find a team that wants to take a shot on the speedster, but Dunlap's proven pass-rushing ability provides a bit more value, and dealing him may be addition by subtraction for the Bengals. 

    The team should be happy to take just about anything for the 31-year-old, especially if it could clear his $13.5 million cap hit for 2021. 

    The Bengals aren't traditionally active at the deadline, but this is their last opportunity to get value for a player who clearly doesn't fit their timetable.

Cleveland Browns: TE David Njoku

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    The Cleveland Browns have been down this road. David Njoku has gone back and forth between wanting out and deciding to stay. 

    But Mary Kay Cabot of reported the 2017 first-round pick has once again requested a trade. 

    Before the season, it made sense the Browns would be hesitant to deal him. New head coach Kevin Stefanski has an affinity for 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends), and Njoku has considerable athleticism and upside as a receiving threat. But he's been nearly nonexistent in the offense, and rookie tight end Harrison Bryant has paired well with Austin Hooper this season. 

    A touchdown last week against the Bengals with Hooper out of the lineup (appendicitis) did more to show Njoku's value to another team than it did any fit with Cleveland. 

    Njoku has always been an athletic marvel and compares to Travis Kelce by Player Profiler's metrics. It wouldn't be surprising if the Browns found a team interested in his services.

Dallas Cowboys: WR Michael Gallup

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    Daniel Kucin Jr./Associated Press

    With Dak Prescott out for the rest of the year because of an ankle injury and still waiting to secure a long-term contract, the Dallas Cowboys shouldn't make moves with the 2020 season in mind. 

    Instead, they should shed salary and put themselves in a better position to extend their star quarterback. If they can get some draft picks to build depth, that would be icing on the cake. 

    The Cowboys have already shown they are sellers. They traded Everson Griffen to the Detroit Lions for a conditional Day 3 pick, per Michael Rothstein of ESPN.

    The selling shouldn't stop there, though. They have one major chip who could bring something more substantial back in Michael Gallup.

    The third-year receiver showed the ability to put up big numbers in the right situation last season when he had 1,107 yards. Now he's being outpaced in targets, yards and touchdowns by CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper. It's a luxury for the Cowboys to have this much firepower at receiver, but it isn't doing them much good. 

    With one more year on his rookie deal, he would be among the most desirable targets if the Cowboys were to make him available. 

Denver Broncos: S Justin Simmons

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    Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

    When the Denver Broncos applied the franchise tag to Justin Simmons in the offseason, it likely wasn't with the belief they would be sitting at 2-4. They also had no way of knowing quarterback Drew Lock would miss three games before Week 8 with a shoulder injury.

    Still, the Broncos face an uphill climb in 2020. And if the team doesn't view Simmons as a cornerstone—and the fact that Denver didn't lock him up for the long term points to that—then it's time to see what the market will bear. 

    Plenty of teams could use him to bolster their secondary. Simmons isn't a Jamal Adams-level talent, but we did just see the Seattle Seahawks give up two first-rounders and a third-rounder plus a player for Adams and a fourth-rounder. The Broncos shouldn't expect that kind of haul, but even netting a first-round pick would be a huge coup.

Detroit Lions: WR Marvin Jones Jr.

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    Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

    The Detroit Lions pulled off a midseason trade in 2018 when they sent Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles for a third-round pick. 

    The selection turned into Will Harris, who has been a significant part of the secondary over the last two seasons. Meanwhile, Tate signed with the Giants after eight games in Philadelphia. While Harris might not work out, the Lions got at least a rotational safety for a half season from Tate.  

    Detroit finds itself in a similar situation with Marvin Jones Jr. Kenny Golladay is the most dangerous receiver in the offense; tight end T.J. Hockenson and running back D'Andre Swift are taking larger roles every week; and Jones is 30 years old in the final season of a contract that paid him $40 million over five years

    The Lions shouldn't bring him back, as they've surrounded Stafford with much younger weapons. After spending the prime years of his career in Cincinnati and Detroit, Jones would likely rather go to a contender. The Lions would be wise to see if they can once again turn a veteran receiver into a prospect.

Green Bay Packers: CB Josh Jackson

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    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst should spend more time finding a weapon for Aaron Rodgers or beefing up the defensive line, but if he can find a new home for cornerback Josh Jackson, that would be a win. 

    The team used a second-round pick on the corner out of Iowa in 2018 and hasn't gotten anything close to a return on its investment. Jackson played the most in his rookie season but has been used more sparingly since (45 percent of defensive snaps in 2020). The 24-year-old has given up a passer rating over 100 in each of his three seasons and is set up to play the final year of his rookie contract in 2021. 

    The 5-1 Packers aren't likely to get much for him, but he's one of the few players they can deal without losing anything from a contending team. 

    Even though he hasn't played like it, the fact that Jackson was once a second-round pick might be enough to entice a team that is desperate for secondary help or willing to take on a reclamation project.

Houston Texans: WR Will Fuller V

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    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    The Houston Texans made the most-criticized move of the offseason by dealing DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals, but it might take moving another No. 1 receiver to fix the team. 

    Will Fuller V is playing on the fifth and final year of his rookie contract. That means since-fired head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien was willing to pay Randall Cobb this season and give up a second-rounder to acquire Brandin Cooks but wasn't into Fuller enough to commit to an extension. 

    The Texans have $22.6 million wrapped up in Cobb and Cooks alone next year. Committing more money to the receiver position while the defense is giving up 31 points per game would be negligent. 

    Receiver Kenny Stills is another candidate, but the 28-year-old doesn't have the same allure as Fuller. The 26-year-old's injury history raises questions about his value, but Spotrac projects him to earn $13.1 million annually on a new deal. If the Texans aren't interested in paying that kind of cash, they should find out what they can get for him. 

    When healthy, he's one of the best deep threats in the league. If the Texans shop him, he'll become one of the most dangerous weapons available, and Houston could benefit from a bidding war.

Indianapolis Colts: DT Tyquan Lewis

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    Zach Bolinger/Associated Press

    This is more about an embarrassment of riches for the Indianapolis Colts than it is an indictment of Tyquan Lewis' play. 

    Indianapolis (No. 2 in total yards allowed) is among the top defenses by just about any metric. At the heart of that success is a stifling front. Opposing offenses are only rushing for 3.5 yards per attempt and face pressure on 21.6 percent of dropbacks.

    Lewis has not been a major contributor to those numbers. He has played just 23 percent of the team's defensive snaps and chipped in 1.5 sacks, but his three pressures paint a more accurate picture of his play. 

    Grover Stewart and DeForest Buckner—for whom the team traded a first-round pick to acquire this offseason—take the lion's share of the snaps on the interior. The Colts could still lean on Sheldon Day and Taylor Stallworth if they wanted to deal some of the abundance of talent at the position. 

    Lewis would be enticing for other teams. He's under contract for a reasonable $1.3 million next season and is just 25 years old. If the Colts can use him to get a draft pick or as part of a package to bring in another wide receiver, it's worth looking into.

Jacksonville Jaguars: DT Taven Bryan

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    Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

    Finding an asset who fits the parameters here is difficult when looking at the Jacksonville Jaguars roster. Just about any veteran who would provide value to another team has already been shipped out.

    Since the 2019 season, this franchise has traded Nick Foles, Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye and Yannick Ngakoue while releasing Leonard Fournette. The Jags don't have many assets left to sell. They already held their firesale and are well positioned for a top draft choice in 2021. 

    So that leaves them selling off potential projects if they really want to continue tearing down the roster.

    Taven Bryan, a first-round pick in 2018 thanks to his quick first step and athletic profile, is a player who might interest some teams. He hasn't quite materialized into the disruptor Jacksonville envisioned along the defensive line, though. This season, he has earned more playing time than ever (64 percent of the snaps), yet he's only put up half a sack and six pressures.

    That's nothing for the Jaguars to get excited about. But he's about all they have left in terms of realistic trade ammo. 

Kansas City Chiefs: RB Darwin Thompson

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    As the Kansas City Chiefs attempt to repeat as Super Bowl champions, there aren't a whole lot of players they should look to deal. After all, there's a reason they are in a great position to defend their title. 

    Some would say linebacker—which has been the defense's weakness—could be a place they look to trade a player, but that wouldn't improve the group.

    Instead, if they really wanted to make a swap, they should deal from a position of depth. After the Le'Veon Bell signing, that's running back. 

    Darwin Thompson was a healthy scratch in Week 7 for the Chiefs. The Utah State product was a solid receiver out of the backfield in college and caught nine of 10 targets in his rookie season last year.

    Considering the talent in the backfield, which includes starter Clyde Edwards-Helaire, a lesser team would be wise to give Thompson a chance to prove he could be its change-of-pace back. 

Las Vegas Raiders: DB Lamarcus Joyner

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    Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

    The Lamarcus Joyner experiment has not worked out for the Las Vegas Raiders.

    They brought in the former Ram in 2019, but he gave up a passer rating of 109.8 in his first year in the Silver and Black. This season hasn't been much better, as his working in the slot has helped cut that number to 99.3. 

    If the Raiders are going to settle for that kind of play at the position, they'd be better off dealing Joyner for whatever they can get and rolling with rookie fourth-rounder Amik Robertson. 

    It would also be smart to avoid Joyner's $11.2 million cap hit for 2021.

Los Angeles Chargers: DB Desmond King II

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    Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

    Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Desmond King II has made no bones about his dissatisfaction with his playing time. The 2017 fifth-round draft pick has seen just 63 percent of the defensive snaps this season. 

    Nearly midway through his fourth year, King has played fairly well. He's allowing just 4.5 yards per target, and quarterbacks have just a 74.9 rating when targeting him. 

    King has versatility too. He can play in the slot or free safety, which a lot of teams covet. 

    He had a rough 2019, and there appears to be some carryover in the way the coaching staff views him. If the 25-year-old can't earn that trust back, then there's sure to be a market for the impending free agent.

Los Angeles Rams: TE Gerald Everett

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    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    After the struggle that was the 2019 season for the Los Angeles Rams, head coach Sean McVay is once again a genius as the Rams sit 5-2. 

    Running back Todd Gurley and receiver Brandin Cooks departed in the offseason, but the offense has been fine without them. Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee give quarterback Jared Goff more than enough ammo. The offensive line has been much improved too. 

    All of these things can still be true if the Rams part ways with tight end Gerald Everett. He's played well in his limited role, catching 15 of 18 targets for 196 yards, with two catches of over 20 yards. 

    But that's just evidence that he's in line for more playing time, which is something the Rams aren't in a good position to give him. Not only is Higbee producing, but the team also drafted Brycen Hopkins in the fourth round. 

    The Rams only have six picks in the 2021 draft. Getting something for Everett would help bump that number up while giving him the opportunity to thrive somewhere else.

Miami Dolphins: RB Jordan Howard

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported the Miami Dolphins "are willing" to move running back Jordan Howard at the deadline. Given the backfield situation and the emergence of Myles Gaskin, this is a no-brainer. 

    Howard's numbers look bad, but they are more a reflection of his role. He has just 14 yards on 18 carries with three touchdowns in mostly goal-line work. He averages minus-0.3 yards before contact per carry. 

    Gaskin and Matt Breida—who both carry a much bigger workload—average 1.8 and 1.6, respectively. 

    Howard is still just 25 years old and is effective in short-yardage situations. If there's a suitor who wants to expand his role, the Dolphins should talk shop even if they are already set with draft picks in 2021 and probably aren't looking to contend this season.

Minnesota Vikings: TE Kyle Rudolph

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    Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

    The Minnesota Vikings' cap situation is a mess. 

    They are committed to over $184 million for 2021, which already puts them in the red. The financial strain hasn't even been worth it this season. They are last in the NFC North with a 1-5 record and showed few signs of life in a 40-23 loss to the Falcons.  

    If anyone should be a deadline seller, it's the Vikings. They already made one big move when they sent Yannick Ngakoue to the Ravens, but they still have work to do to remedy the cap situation. 

    Trading veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph would be another step in that direction. His contract has some dead money attached to it, but they would still save $8 million in 2021. 

    This is where general manager Rick Spielman should trust his drafting. He took Irv Smith Jr. in the second round in 2019. It's time for them to see what he can do as the lead tight end and start trying to claw back to financial solvency.

New England Patriots: G Joe Thuney

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    Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

    After a 33-6 Week 7 beatdown from the San Francisco 49ers, the New England Patriots are trending downward. For the first time in over two decades, Bill Belichick and Co. could be in rebuilding mode. 

    Last offseason, that wasn't clear. Tom Brady left, and signing Cam Newton rather than letting things play out with Jarrett Stidham put the franchise in limbo. 

    The decision to use the franchise tag on Joe Thuney was also noncommittal on the team's direction. Now that the Patriots are 2-4, they should get what they can for the guard. 

    Thuney is one of the league's top players at his position, is consistently ranked highly by PFF, excels in pass blocking and is in his prime at 27. But the team wasn't willing to give him a long-term deal over the offseason and should be even more hesitant given its more pressing needs. 

    Thuney is an elite presence on the interior and has the best chance outside Stephon Gilmore to bring a worthwhile return to New England.

New Orleans Saints: DT Sheldon Rankins

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    David Grunfeld/Associated Press

    The New Orleans Saints are in a tight financial spot as they're scheduled to be $81.5 million over the cap in 2021. 

    That means tough decisions are coming. Yet, the 4-2 Saints can't sell too much because they are looking at a closing window on the Drew Brees era.

    That's why Sheldon Rankins is a perfect trade chip heading into the deadline. 

    The 26-year-old run-stuffing defensive tackle's numbers don't grab you (he's topped four sacks and 20 tackles in a season just once). But he does have a first-round pedigree and pass-rushing potential (eight sacks in 2018), and he's in just his fifth year in the league.

    That's the kind of production they could get from David Onyemata if he were to slide into Rankins' role. He has spent five seasons with the Saints and has posted two sacks and an 86.4 grade from Pro Football Focus while only playing 47 percent of the defensive snaps this season.

    The Saints won't have the cash to re-sign him. Instead, the team would be wise to get what it can for him, as his absence won't alter New Orleans' chances of contending this season.

New York Giants: OG Kevin Zeitler

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    The New York Giants have already been active sellers. They shipped Markus Golden to Arizona for a sixth-round selection last week. The Giants should still sell off other veterans, and guard Kevin Zeitler is one of them. 

    At 30 years old with one more year left on his deal, Zeitler doesn't fit the franchise's long-term future. The NFC East is in such disarray that the 1-6 Giants could contend in the division, but they should still have their eyes on the future. 

    Zeitler has a lot of value. He's strong in pass protection, where he has yet to give up a sack this season and only gave up three in 2019, per PFF.

    New York should also shop Tate, but there's less allure to the 32-year-old receiver, given how many could be available at the position. There aren't many teams willing to part with competent offensive linemen.

New York Jets: QB Sam Darnold

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    Ian Rapoport of NFL Network has reported that the New York Jets do not intend to trade quarterback Sam Darnold at the deadline. 

    If that remains true, it's a mistake for the Jets. 

    The Adam Gase-led team is 0-7 and cruising toward a prime position to draft Clemson's Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 pick. Ohio State's Justin Fields or North Dakota State's Trey Lance could be a nice consolation prize if the team falls in the draft order. 

    What good does it do to keep Darnold then? The 2018 No. 3 pick has flashed enough potential that some team would believe he could be salvaged. Why not see what draft capital they can get for the 23-year-old?

    It isn't as though the backup, Joe Flacco, will ruin their chances at the top pick. In the two games he stepped in for an injured Darnold, they scored 10 points against the Cardinals and were shut out by the Dolphins. 

    It's time to send Darnold somewhere he'll have a chance to succeed, and fully embrace the tank in New York.

Philadelphia Eagles: WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    Of any possibly available high-profile player, a Zach Ertz deadline trade made the most sense, but his recent trip to the IR for an ankle injury eliminated that avenue for the Philadelphia Eagles. 

    They'd probably love to get rid of Alshon Jeffery and his onerous contract, but the 30-year-old receiver hasn't been healthy all season (foot) and is likely immovable. 

    That leaves few big names that would make sense to unload—and teams would want—but perhaps they could interest a team in J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Fantasy football Arcega-Whiteside truthers are still waiting for a breakout that is never going to come in Philadelphia.

    Even with numerous receiver injuries, he hasn't taken on a large role in the offense. The 6'2", 225-pounder out of Stanford has just five targets, and the Eagles have plenty of youth in the receiver room without him. Jalen Reagor (when he returns from a thumb injury), Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward and John Hightower have all surpassed him. 

    Arcega-Whiteside was a second-round pick in 2019. There has to be a team that liked him during the draft process that would be willing to part with a Day 3 pick to give him a chance. 

Pittsburgh Steelers: RB Jaylen Samuels

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    A 6-0 start has the Pittsburgh Steelers eyeing a Super Bowl appearance and squarely in the buyers category, but if there is anyone on the team who is expendable but potentially valuable elsewhere, it's running back Jaylen Samuels. 

    The third-year back played a notable role in the Pittsburgh offense last season. He was the team's fourth-most targeted player, reeling in 47 of his 57 chances for 305 yards and a score while rushing for an additional 175 yards and a touchdown. 

    This season, he has been relegated to the Steelers' No. 4 back. James Conner is carrying the brunt of the load, but Benny Snell Jr. and Anthony McFarland Jr. have both outpaced him in touches as well. 

    Just 24 years old, Samuels should still have some draw as a pass-catching back. And since he's making less than $1 million this year and next, he's a cheap option for teams looking to spruce up their backfield or fill an injury void.

    The Steelers won't get much in return, but they don't have many other assets they should part with.

San Francisco 49ers: WR Dante Pettis

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Head coach Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers have clearly moved on from wide receiver Dante Pettis. The trade deadline is a perfect time to make it official. 

    After flashing potential with 27 catches, 467 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie in 2018, he's been a non-factor for the last two campaigns. In 2019, he was targeted just 24 times in 11 games but only came down with 11 receptions. 

    This season he's been a healthy scratch at times and has one target with no catches. 

    The return will be next to nothing if San Francisco can find a suitor, but that's more than what it is getting out of the 25-year-old, who has one year left on his rookie deal

Seattle Seahawks: TE Jacob Hollister

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Last season, the Seattle Seahawks shipped tight end Nick Vannett to Pittsburgh for a fifth-round pick. If they are going to make a deadline move this year, we could see something similar with Jacob Hollister. 

    Like Vannett in 2019, Hollister isn't the team's top option at the position. He isn't even the second. Both Greg Olsen and Will Dissly have significantly more snaps and targets. 

    But his 2019 campaign showed his potential. He caught 41 passes for 349 yards while showing some scoring acumen with three touchdowns. Most importantly, he's a good blocker in the run game. 

    Olsen and Dissly are already giving head coach Pete Carroll all the production he needs from the position. The Seahawks are also in dire need of more ammo in the 2021 draft, in which they only own four picks (a second, fourth, fifth and seventh). 

    If they can get any pick for their third tight end, they should pull the trigger.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DB Mike Edwards

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    Justin Edmonds/Associated Press

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been buying all season like they are run by Jim Cramer himself. But the name of the game here is to find someone they should shop.

    And they can afford to lose a running back. But Ronald Jones II is playing too well to deal; you can ask the Jaguars what it's like to try to trade Leonard Fournette; and rookie Ke'Shawn Vaughn hasn't been around long enough to be shipped off. He could still be the lead back in 2021. 

    Tight end would have been another position with a surplus, but O.J. Howard's Achilles injury took care of that. The team will need both Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate to man one of Tom Brady's favorite positions. 

    So that leaves Tampa's No. 1-ranked defense and its surplus of strong defensive backs. Mike Edwards, a 2019 third-round pick, is only getting 15 percent of the defensive snaps. Yet he has two interceptions. 

    The Bucs really have no impetus to do so, but if they wanted to add another veteran or get a decent draft pick back, there is probably a team or two that would like to add a promising young defensive back.

Tennessee Titans: OLB Vic Beasley Jr.

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    Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

    The Tennessee Titans knew they needed to improve their pass rush going into the offseason, so they took a chance on Vic Beasley Jr.

    The Titans are in a good position at 5-1, but it isn't because they've been adept at getting to the quarterback. They are near the bottom of the league in sacks (seven), pressure percentage (19.1) and hurry percentage (6.6).

    Beasley had 15.5 sacks in 2016 to lead the league in his second season. Since then he's only had 18 in three-plus campaigns—none of which have come since he joined the Titans. He has just three tackles this year and has played only 21 percent of the team's defensive snaps. 

    The franchise also brought in defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who hasn't produced much either but is taking a majority of the defensive snaps. 

    The Titans aren't heavily invested in Beasley. He's on a one-year, $3.5 million prove-it deal, but he may have a better opportunity to "prove it" with another team.

Washington Football Team: QB Dwayne Haskins Jr.

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    David Richard/Associated Press

    The Dwayne Haskins Jr. era appears over in Washington before it ever really got started. The 2019 first-round pick followed a seven-touchdown, seven-interception rookie season with four touchdowns and three interceptions this year in four starts before head coach Ron Rivera benched him for Kyle Allen. 

    The coaching staff seems committed to Allen, who had experience with Rivera in Carolina.

    Wide receiver Terry McLaurin also had positive things to say about the quarterback who was at the helm for his seven-catch, 90-yard performance against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7: "I can't say enough about him and I feel like the chemistry that we're building, him and I, and how we're being as an offense, is only going to continue."

    Haskins has his flaws, but the raw tools that made him a first-round pick are still there. Still, he needs time to develop, and Washington didn't sit him for an established star. That doesn't bode well for its belief in him. 

    Haskins' value is in his ability to develop into a starting quarterback. Washington should move him now to whatever team is interested in taking on that project.


    Salary-cap info via Spotrac. Stats via Pro Football Reference unless otherwise noted. 


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