NFL Trade Deadline 2021: Rumors, Predictions on Kyle Fuller, Brandin Cooks, More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistOctober 18, 2021

NFL Trade Deadline 2021: Rumors, Predictions on Kyle Fuller, Brandin Cooks, More

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    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    The NFL's 2021 trade deadline is approaching on Nov. 2, and we're likely to see multiple notable names on the move in the coming weeks. We've already seen CJ Henderson, Stephon Gilmore and Zach Ertz traded, and with injuries mounting around the league, the trade market is probably just heating up.

    As we inch closer to the deadline, the league's list of potential buyers and sellers will become clearer. For now, though, there is plenty of speculation floating around the football world.

    Here, we'll examine some of the latest trade buzz and make some predictions about the futures of some of this year's biggest trade candidates.

CB Kyle Fuller

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    Denver Broncos cornerback Kyle Fuller has been on the radar of other teams since before the regular season even began.

    "The Denver Broncos, armed with four good cornerbacks, received calls on Kyle Fuller and Bryce Callahan in the preseason," ESPN's Jeremy Fowler wrote. "What they wanted in return wasn't cheap: roughly a third- or fourth-rounder, multiple teams told me."

    Fuller, a two-time Pro Bowler, shouldn't come cheaply. And it wouldn't be a surprise if the Broncos don't want to move him at all. However, Denver has now lost three in a row and may look to cash in on a player who is only playing on a one-year deal.

    "Fuller would be someone to keep in mind," one executive told The Athletic's Mike Sando. "The Broncos are loaded at corner, so they can stomach taking something less for Fuller than, say, the Dolphins with Xavien Howard."

    According to Sando, one executive suggested that Broncos coach Vic Fangio wouldn't be willing to part with players he values—which is why Von Miller may be off the table. However, Denver is deep at corner and currently sitting in the AFC West basement.

    Unless Denver dramatically turns things around over the next two weeks—they have winnable games against the Cleveland Browns and Washington Football Team—moving Fuller would make sense.

    Prediction: Fuller is traded at the deadline.

WR Brandin Cooks

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    While there aren't any defined rumors about the Houston Texans trading wide receiver Brandin Cooks, the move does seem logical. The Texans are 1-5 and unlikely to get back into the playoff mix this season—though the pending return of quarterback Tyrod Taylor could change things.

    Cooks, a five-time 1,000-yard receiver, doesn't sound particularly thrilled about Houston's early-season struggles either.

    "We're an undisciplined team," Cooks said, per Aaron Wilson of FanNation. " ... I'm not surprised as far as why it's been going on. It's been going on since Game 1, and we still haven't fixed it."

    One executive suggested to Sando that Cooks would be a good target for the New Orleans Saints. The Saints, of course, drafted Cooks in the first round of the 2014 draft. The Oregon State product has been traded three times since then—to the New England Patriots, to the Los Angeles Rams and to Houston.

    If the Texans continue losing and Cooks remains unhappy, expect him to be moved a fourth time in six years.

    Prediction: Cooks is traded at the deadline.

WR Odell Beckham Jr.

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    David Richard/Associated Press

    Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr. is likely to have his name come up often in the coming weeks. A three-time Pro Bowler with the New York Giants, Beckham simply hasn't had the same success in Cleveland. With the Browns sitting at 3-3 and dealing with myriad injuries—quarterback Baker Mayfield and running back Kareem Hunt were injured Sunday—the Browns could look to move on.

    However, recent buzz suggests that Cleveland isn't looking to trade Beckham this season.

    "Sources familiar with the Cleveland Browns' thinking suggested this could be the wide receiver's final season with the team. Beckham is under contract through 2023," The Athletic's Jeff Howe wrote.

    While Beckham hasn't been shining in Cleveland's offense—he has 14 catches for 203 yards in four games—the Browns may need him to turn their season around.

    "The issue is, they need the talent,” one executive told Sando. "I don't think you get rid of Odell just to get a pick."

    Cleveland's stance always could change once wideout Jarvis Landry returns from his knee injury. Right now, though, Beckham is an important piece of the Browns offense, despite what his production might suggest.

    Prediction: Beckham is not traded at the deadline and is moved in 2022.


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