Analysis  

 

NFL trade deadline: One buy/sell proposal for each AFC team

Print

The NFL trade deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 29. What kind of action could occur before the deal-making clock runs out? Marc Sessler proposes one buy/sell move for each AFC team.

BALTIMORE RAVENS: Buy wide receiver DeVante Parker. Ravens play-caller Greg Roman landed on my list of candidates for Assistant Coach of the Year because of his next-level creativity and willingness to cut against the grain of today's pass-happy NFL. The Ravens are ripping through defenses with 200-plus ground yards per game, unleashing uber-athletic signal-caller Lamar Jackson and a flock of backs. With rookie deep-threat Marquise Brown in and out of the lineup, the Ravens could use another reliable wideout for those Sunday tussles that require more balance. Scouts honor: I originally had Emmanuel Sanders penciled in for the Ravens before his trade to San Francisco, but 26-year-old Parker would give Baltimore a 6-foot-3, 216-pound asset with potential. Potential compensation: 2020 fourth-round pick.

BUFFALO BILLS: Buy running back Melvin Gordon. The Chargers had months to peddle Gordon, but instead welcomed him back into the fold to awkwardly play out the final year of his rookie deal. Gordon could use a fresh start. The Bills, meanwhile, could use another weapon on offense while test-driving Gordon as a potential long-term solution in the backfield. The move would leave Buffalo in pole position to extend Gordon and seamlessly transition away from 36-year-old Frank Gore (who is just as likely to destroy defenses for another eight seasons). Potential compensation: 2020 third-round pick.

CINCINNATI BENGALS: Sell wide receiver A.J. Green. It's high time for the Bengals to shut the front door, close all the windows, flip off the boob tube and sit in silent meditation. An honest look inward is required. It's time to open the phone lines and think creatively about the future. The Bengals should listen to offers for Green, who holds zero incentive to waste another day in Cincinnati. Coming off ankle surgery, the Pro Bowl wideout has yet to dress in 2019, but would heal in a hurry, one imagines, if dealt to a contender. The Bengals would be wise to move Green for a valuable pick before he walks into the sunset for a song. Potential compensation: 2020 first-round draft pick.

CLEVELAND BROWNS: Buy left tackle Trent Williams. I don't need the Browns to rule the AFC North for this deal to check every box. A fully healthy Williams for a high draft pick makes sense because Cleveland, record aside, harbors no bigger need than finding Joe Thomas 2.0 to protect quarterback Baker Mayfield. This move should have happened three months ago. Potential compensation: 2020 first-round pick.

DENVER BRONCOS: Sell cornerback Chris Harris Jr. Moving Emmanuel Sanders was a not-so-obvious hint that Denver isn't done answering the phone. Harris and the team failed to strike a long-term deal before the season, an indicator that football czar John Elway is ready to move on from the 30-year-old cover man. Harris remains a top-tier performer and would bring immediate gravitas to his next employer. My guess? Don't be surprised if the Eagles come calling. Potential compensation: 2020 second-round pick.

HOUSTON TEXANS: Buy cornerback Desmond Trufant. Texans coach Bill O'Brien has made the most of his interim general manager duties, shipping away picks for bookend Laremy Tunsil and wideout Kenny Stills. BOB followed this up with a swap for Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley, but that hardly solved Houston's issues in the secondary. Rookie slot corner Lonnie Johnson is the team's lowest-graded defensive regular, per Pro Football Focus. With Bradley Roby banged up and Phillip Gaines shipped to injured reserve, the Texans still need plenty of help at CB. Trufant is under contract through 2022 and would give Houston a proven-if-not-spectacular piece to build around. Potential compensation: 2021 third-round pick.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Buy wide receiver Nelson Agholor. The Eagles loom as buyers on defense, especially in the secondary, but it wouldn't be a shock to see them part ways with Agholor. With one game all year of 60-plus receiving yards, Agholor has struggled to mesh inside an out-of-sync Philly offense. Indy would welcome the former first-rounder as needed help alongside T.Y. Hilton. With Zach Pascal, Parris Campbell and Chester Rogers behind the star pass-catcher, signal-caller Jacoby Brissett could use some veteran help. Potential compensation: 2020 fourth-round pick.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Buy cornerback Chris Harris Jr. -- and listen to offers for Nick Foles. With Jalen Ramsey out the door, the Jaguars could use a trustworthy, no-nonsense corner to fortify the back end of the defense. With Denver at 2-5 and already selling veteran assets, Harris is a sensible answer for Jacksonville in 2019 -- and beyond, if the Jags were to extend the versatile cover man. As for Foles, I'm not pushing for Jacksonville to part ways with the passer who landed a four-year, $88 million contract this past March. The Jaguars should listen to offers, though, as they ponder how to handle the future of exciting rookie Gardner Minshew. Potential compensation for Harris: 2020 second-round pick.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Buy cornerback Patrick Peterson. The Chiefs had eyes for star CB Jalen Ramsey, but the Jaguars refused to play ball with Kansas City, per The MMQB's Albert Breer. With the Chiefs still lodged in their Super Bowl window, why not swing for the fences? Peterson returned from his six-game suspension and looked the part right away in Week 7. If K.C. pondered Ramsey -- why not chase the next-best thing? At 29, Peterson is five years older than Ramsey, but still has plenty left in the tank. Potential compensation: 2020 first-round pick plus a 2021 second-rounder.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: Sell running back Melvin Gordon. Back to Gordon, who simply doesn't fit in this backfield anymore. Stealing valuable snaps from surging Austin Ekeler, Gordon has turned 36 carries into a measly 81 yards at 2.25 yards a pop. Handing him a massive extension makes zero sense for this franchise, which already houses a versatile lead man in Ekeler and a proven track record of finding backfield depth in the draft under Tom Telesco. The Bolts' front office folks should get what they can for a player they're bound to break up with. Potential compensation: 2020 third-round pick.

MIAMI DOLPHINS: Sell running back Kenyan Drake. Our very own Ian Rapoport reported Drake has been dangled in trade talks by the Fins, who have no plans to extend him. Sitting in the final year of his rookie deal, Drake "would welcome a new opportunity," per RapSheet, which is likely true of multiple Miami-housed players. Drake is a quality runner whom the Dolphins never really committed to as THE GUY. Potential compensation: 2020 fourth-round pick with incentives to make it a 2020 third-rounder.

UPDATE: The Dolphins are trading Drake to the Arizona Cardinals, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Buy defensive end Carlos Dunlap. Given the track record of Mike Brown's organization in Cincinnati, the Bengals are bound to let the trade deadline come and go without a single transaction, but listening to offers makes sense. Dunlap would give New England an added dose of pass-rushing prowess and potentially pave the way for Michael Bennett's exit. The underrated Dunlap offers consistent production and versatility. He's quietly one of the hardest-working defenders in the AFC and would fit like a glove inside Patriot Place. Potential compensation: 2020 third-round pick.

UPDATE: The Patriots are trading Michael Bennett to the Dallas Cowboys, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

NEW YORK JETS: Sell defensive lineman Leonard Williams. First-year general manager Joe Douglas inherited a roster in transition. The defense boasts a generational star in safety Jamal Adams and a cross-your-fingers franchise passer in Sam Darnold. The sun no longer orbits around big-bodied behemoth Leonard Williams, who has yet to record a sack all season. The 2015 first-rounder sits in a contract year on a club that just used the No. 3 overall pick on fellow D-lineman Quinnen Williams. Here's where we mention that big Leonard was also named by Rapoport as a player "teams are calling" about. How many more dots must we connect? Potential compensation: 2020 second-round pick.

UPDATE: The Jets are trading Williams to the New York Giants, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

OAKLAND RAIDERS: Buy defensive lineman Leonard Williams. The Raiders did most of their "selling" a year ago. Midway through Jon Gruden's second season, Oakland has emerged as a well-coached squad held back by a lack of talent. The absence of a pass rush is dire, with first-rounder Clelin Ferrell registering but one QB takedown thus far. Only four teams have fewer sacks on the year than Oakland's 10, but Williams -- traded for and then inked to a long-term deal in this hypothetical move -- would give the Vegas-bound Silver and Black a nasty presence up front. He certainly feels like a Gruden-esque centerpiece. Now, Oakland doesn't have a 2020 second-round pick -- my potential compensation for Williams listed in the Jets blurb just above -- but the Raiders do have three third-rounders in the 2020 draft. So ... Potential compensation: Two 2020 third-round picks.

UPDATE: The Jets are trading Williams to the New York Giants, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Sell cornerback Artie Burns. Whispered about as a candidate for release in training camp, Burns has comprehensively failed to live up to his first-round pedigree. Logging just 64 snaps this autumn, the limited-snaps cover man is no longer in the picture for a Steelers front office that just extended veteran corner Joe Haden. Someone somewhere will take a shot on authoring the Artie Burns comeback story. Potential compensation: 2020 sixth-round pick.

TENNESSEE TITANS: Sell quarterback Marcus Mariota. Why not? His Titans career is essentially curtains after being benched for Ryan Tannehill. With zero leverage inside the organization, Mariota could use a fresh start. What if a team like the Bears came calling? Chicago should feel equally suspicious of Mitchell Trubisky, so why not get frisky and throw a pick Tennessee's way to find out if Mariota might loom as a veteran fit? The odds of this happening are low, but the alternative is watching Mariota walk out the door for nothing mere months from now. Potential compensation: 2020 Day 3 pick.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSessler.

Print

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop