The NFL midseason trade deadline tends to have little live action. This year, let’s hope a lot more buyers and sellers are looking to make deals before the clock hits 4 p.m. ET on Nov. 2.
Most of the big rumors are swirling around Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who already has played his last down for the team and remains tied most to the Dolphins. But Miami also is an obvious “seller” with the same 1-5 record of Houston with a third of 2021 NFL season finished.
Here’s going around to every team in the league and the one player they should think about targeting to trade or trade for most:
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Arizona Cardinals: Trade for OLB Trey Flowers
The Cardinals have revved up their pass rush with Chandler Jones back and J.J. Watt leading their front three. But it wouldn’t hurt to have a situational impact player knowing they’ll be often in tee-off mode to complement their offense. Flowers also can provide more help against the top QBs Arizona is bound to see in the playoffs.
Atlanta Falcons: Trade TE Hayden Hurst
Hurst is a 2022 free agent and the team invested a high draft pick in dynamic rookie Kyle Pitts. Although Arthur Smith is known for 12 personnel (two tight ends), his current team is better off using three wide receivers often.
Baltimore Ravens: Trade for RB Mark Ingram
The Ravens said goodbye to Ingram from their offense because they were looking for big things from now-injured youngsters J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. But they have slapped together a committee of veterans trying to make up for the production with limited success. Ingram would be a welcome return for more familiar stability in the running game with Lamar Jackson and a great locker-room presence, too.
Buffalo Bills: Trade for RB David Johnson
The combination of Zack Moss and Devin Singletary has been much better this season to complement Josh Allen in the prolific passing game. But the Bills could use a more dedicated receiver from the position to add more versatility to a creative attack.
Carolina Panthers: Trade WR Robby Anderson
The Panthers have already traded for cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and C.J. Henderson as GM Scott Fitterer seems to be more willing than most to make deals big and small. Now it’s time to move a player who hasn’t been happy about his role in the offense. Rookie Terrace Marshall Jr. needs a bigger role, upgrading from slot to perimeter threat opposite D.J. Moore. Unfortunately, the Anderson-Sam Darnold connection hasn’t reheated well.
Chicago Bears: Trade WR Allen Robinson
Quarterback Nick Foles also makes sense as a superfluous third-stringer in the passing game, but Robinson isn’t coming back as an unrestricted free agent in 2022 with his frustrating usage with either Andy Dalton or Justin Fields. The Bears need to shop Robinson harder given Darnell Mooney is ready to be the No. 1 ahead of next season.
Cincinnati Bengals: Trade for CB Kyle Fuller
The Bengals could use some back end help after upgrading their pass rush and linebacker corps nicely. They have had some corner injuries and ineffectiveness holding the defensive potential back. They have the offense to be taken seriously as AFC playoff contenders.
Cleveland Browns: Trade WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Jarvis Landry is back healthy and Donovan Peoples-Jones is looking better as an all-around playmaker. Rookie Anthony Schwartz provides a speed element and Rashard Higgins can help in possession situaitons. The numbers for a healthy Baker Mayfield without OBJ are well documented. The Browns need to expedite the breakup to improve their team.
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Dallas Cowboys: Trade for DE Emmanuel Ogbah
The Cowboys are looking like Super Bowl contenders because of their explosive offense and pretty solid run defense. But as good as they have been cleaning up with pass defense with takeaways from Trevon Diggs, they need some edge rush help with Demarcus Lawrence on the shelf. The Dolphins should considering moving Ogbah, a 2022 free agent.
Denver Broncos: Trade RB Melvin Gordon III
The Broncos love rookie Javonte Williams, but you wouldn’t know it from their straight-up split usage between him and the fading Gordon, who is unsigned for 2022. Gordon would have appeal to a contender looking for a reliable power back with good receiving skills.
Detroit Lions: Trade OLB Trey Flowers
Flowers, the former Patriot, hasn’t been able to do much of note for a bad overall defense, but he can still help a contender to pad its sack total and boost its pressure packages.
Green Bay Packers: Trade for WR Odell Beckham Jr.
The other NFC contenders are loaded at wide receiver — see the Buccaneers, Cowboys, Rams, Cardinals and more. At this point, the Packers need to be aggressive to get Aaron Rodgers a dangerous big-play complement to Davante Adams. OBJ might seem like a volatile option, but he could work out much the way Antonio Brown has with Tom Brady in Tampa.
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Houston Texans: Trade QB Deshaun Watson
Watson is the easy choice for the Texans when there’s a bit of uncertainty about his future, because he will be impossible to move should the off-field developments not go in a positive direction. The Texans are doing their best to drive up his price one last time before he likely ends up with the Dolphins, his initial top suitors.
Indianapolis Colts: Trade RB Marlon Mack
The Colts are caught in limbo between pushing for another AFC playoff berth despite being under .500 and needing to overhaul some things. Either way, they should go ahead and move Mack, as he’s otherwise just a limited backup to workhorse Jonathan Taylor.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Trade LT Cam Robinson
The Jaguars know they’re not bringing back Robinson in front of Trevor Lawerence in 2022, as they’re probably headed to landing Alabama’s Evan Neal in the draft to nail down their blindside pass protection. Robinson hasn’t been great, but it’s hard for another team to find a starting-caliber left tackle on the market.
Kansas City Chiefs: Trade for WR Brandin Cooks
The Chiefs are trying hard to find the ideal complementary wide receiver to Tyreek Hill between Mecole Hardman and Josh Gordon. Cooks, with his speed, quickness, hands, route-running and versatility, has produced on all four of his teams for a reason. He’s even getting it done with a bad QB situation in Houston.
Las Vegas Raiders: Trade DE Clelin Ferrell
The Raiders are caught in the middle of contention and rebuilding. But it’s clear one defensive piece who doesn’t fit either scenario is Ferrell, a first-round pick who’s now not doing much on the bench behind Maxx Crosby, Yannick Ngakoue and Carl Nassib. Some other team should be willing to deal for a cheap reclamation project.
Los Angeles Chargers: Trade for OLB Trey Flowers
The Chargers could also use Flowers in their 3-4 to get better complementary production opposite Joey Bosa before finding a more regular option in the 2022 draft.
Los Angeles Rams: Trade for CB Kyle Fuller
The Rams could use an upgrade away from Jalen Ramsey in coverage as rookie Robert Rochell has been pressed into action with Darious Williams injured. Fuller could make a lot of plays to complement Ramsey’s shutdown skills.
Miami Dolphins: Trade DE Emmanuel Ogbah
Xavien Howard and Byron Jones are expensive disappointments at cornerback but their contracts make them very hard to move .Ogbah is their most valuable piece to move ahead of him cashing in elsewhere as a blossoming pass rusher in free agency.
Minnesota Vikings: Trade OLB Anthony Barr
Barr has had a good run as the Vikings’ versatile second-level defender for Mike Zimmer but the pending 2022 free agent should be shopped hard to help another team as he’s still only 29.
New England Patriots: Trade WR N’Keal Harry
It’s over for the first-rounder given all the upgrades the team made at wide receiver and tight end ahead of drarting Mac Jones. Like Ferrell, he should have some cheap reclamation appeal elsewhere.
New Orleans Saints: Trade for TE Mike Gesicki
The Saints look like they might be a lot better than expected and stay in the playoff mix because of their defense and the offense responding well to Jameis Winston. But Winston loves throwing to a reliable all-around tight end, and Adam Trautmen and Juwan Johnson, despite their promise, haven’t been as productive as the slot wide receiver-like Gesicki, who will be a free agent in 2022.
New York Giants: Trade WR Sterling Shepard
The Giants signed Kenny Golladay and drafted Kadarus Toney, but unfortunately, their projected new 1-2 punch hasn’t been able to shake off injuries. They also have Darius Slayton, who has good chemistry with Daniel Jones. Shepard is the only moveable piece in the group because he’s on the field. Shopping tight end Evan Engram also makes sense for a 1-5 team.
New York Jets: Trade WR Jamison Crowder
Crowder can be a key second-half cog for QB Zach Wilson, but the team also has veteran Keelan Cole, who can play the slot and promising second-round rookie Elijah Moore to support Corey Davis. But the pending 2022 free agent has good veteran value for anotheer team. Safety Marcus Maye would be No. 1 had he not had injury issues.
Philadelphia Eagles: Trade DE Derek Barnett
Here’s another first-rounder pass rusher fading. Barnett is heading into 2022 free agency and hasn’t shown much in 2021 with zero sacks. The Eagles shouldn’t re-sign him, so trying to move him for what they can makes sense.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Trade for LT Duane Brown
The Steelers just played the Seahawks and saw what a rock Brown has been for that team. But he’s an old free agent to be in 2022 and the Steelers could desperately use his services in the short term to boost a struggling transitional offensive line.
San Francisco 49ers: Trade QB Jimmy Garoppolo
The 49ers acquired Garoppolo from the Patriots on Halloween five years ago. San Francisco has been playing him too many games at quarterback when Trey Lance is the clear future and there’s more uncertainty about the team returnig to playoff contention. Free Lance, and hope that some QB-needy team wants JImmy G as a potential solution for 2022.
Seattle Seahawks: Trade for RB Melvin Gordon
The Seahawks cannot keep running backs healthy and will be even more dependent on the rushing attack to stay alive in the NFC playoff race until Russell Wilson can return. Gordon would be a plug-and-play to help them in both power/red zone and receiving/third-down situaitons.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trade for CB Kyle Fuller
The Buccaneers cannot keep cornerbacks healthy so they should also be in the mix for secondary help just in case everyone doesn’t come back healthy and effective in time for the playoffs.
Tennessee Titans: Trade for CB William Jackson III
The Titans need help at cornerback badly given their inexperience there and now injuries, too. Jackson has not been helped after signing his big contract by a bad Washington pass defense overall led by a sagging pass rush. The Titans, who should have gone after him on the open market, could use him to shore up one half of the back end.
Washington Football Team: Trade for QB Jordan Love
Washington will get a closer look at Love on the Packers’ sideline in Week 7 at Lambeau Field. It may not be well positioned for a first-round QB of choice in 2022. Let’s let WFT solve its post Taylor Heinicke-Ryan Fitzpsatrick QB problem while ensuring Green Bay locks into Rodgers for a lot longer as it should.