The clock is ticking as the NFL trade deadline fast approaches. In recent times, we’ve seen running backs like Christian McCaffrey and James Robinson find new homes as contending squads look to bolster their roster prior to the second half of the season. There are a lot of rumours swirling around at this time of the year, and unlike the NBA, there doesn’t tend to be a lot of fireworks close to deadline day in the NFL. Still, if a few deals do come to fruition, these players are the most likely candidates to be on the move.
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Chase Claypool, WR, Steelers
Death, taxes and the Steelers finding a star receiver outside of the first round. In the last three drafts they’ve been able to add talented pass catchers such as George Pickens (52nd overall), Chase Claypool (49th overall) and Diontae Johnson (66th overall), however, Pittsburgh has an abundance of other concerns that continue to hold them back. So could we see the Steelers really pull the trigger on a Claypool trade? While it’s not a certainty, the 3rd year WR is underused in this current system and after flashing his elite potential, we may see a team eager to meet Pittsburgh’s high demands to take Claypool off their hands.
Robert Quinn, DE, Bears
Their win against the Patriots came as a huge surprise, but make no mistake, the Chicago Bears are a rebuilding football team. That means it would probably be wise to cash in their Robert Quinn chip for future assets; likely in the form of draft picks. Chicago GM Ryan Poles already dealt Khalil Mack away this offseason and with Quinn registering one measly sack through seven games, he could be next. There’s no reason why a fresh start won’t revitalise the 3x Pro Bowler with Quinn recording a Bears franchise record 18.5 sacks only last season. A trade makes sense for both parties.
Mike Gesicki, TE, Dolphins
Having been linked to a move for weeks now, Mike Gesicki is bound to generate some interest from rival teams. After the Dolphins placed the franchise tag on him last offseason, it’s now clear that the tight end isn’t a great fit in new coach Mike McDaniel’s offensive scheme. Gesicki only has 18 catches and 197 receiving yards on the season to date, currently playing the lowest snap percentage since his rookie season (54%). They’re probably going to lose him in the offseason at this current rate, so why not throw him on the block and see what you can fetch in a potential deal?
Image from nj.com
Ronald Jones, RB, Chiefs
While it makes sense to throw Ronald Jones’ name into the ring as a trade candidate there aren’t too many teams that are expected to chase the 25-year-old running back. He hasn’t seen the field yet while with the Kansas City Chiefs, finding himself surpassed on the depth chart by Jerrick McKinnon and now rookie tailback Isiah Pacheco. With no wear and tear from the 2022 season, Jones could be a welcome boost for a team’s backfield with the Chiefs in a position to part ways with him for hardly any compensation.
Johnathan Abram, SS, Raiders
After the Raiders declined Jonathan Abram’s fifth-year option, it became quite clear he was playing on borrowed time. While Las Vegas may not have much interest in keeping him around, there are enough suitors around the association that make a trade seem possible. GM Dave Ziegler continues to reshape the roster and even if they can only fetch a 5th-6th rounder for the 2019 draftee, don’t be shocked if Abram is one of the players dealt closer to the deadline.
Kareem Hunt, RB, Browns
Half of possibly the best one-two RB punch in the NFL, Cleveland is indifferent about parting ways with Kareem Hunt. The talented halfback has already requested a trade this season and currently sitting at 2-5, the Browns are watching their season slip away with the future around their pending free agent a popular talking point. Hunt has only chalked up nine rushing attempts in the last two contests and his ceiling is clearly capped while he shares a backfield with Nick Chubb. Recouping some draft picks by dealing away Kareem Hunt would make a lot of sense after they gave up a ton of capital to secure Deshaun Watson last offseason.
Image from yardbarker.com
Sidney Jones, CB, Seahawks
Stuck riding the bench right now, it’s clear that the Seahawks view Sidney Jones as expendable. Having found some defensive diamonds in the rough during the 2022 draft in the form of Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant, Jones has been forced to watch the majority of the defensive snaps from the bench this season. Eager to find a new home where he can play on a more consistent basis, there are also financial incentives at play that could motivate Seattle to find a trade partner.
Isaiah Wynn, OT, Patriots
Gone are the days of considering Isaiah Wynn a franchise calibre left tackle. When he was drafted back in 2018 there was a ton of optimism around his future, although, it’s clear that Bill Belichick would love to offload him prior to the deadline if possible. Wynn is currently the league leader in penalties and he found himself benched for the entire contest against Chicago on Monday following his disastrous start to the season. Talented offensive linemen are worth their weight in gold, but that won’t likely stop New England from accepting a lesser deal to flick Wynn to another club.
Brandin Cooks, WR, Texans
Houston’s talented receiver has already found himself traded three times in his NFL career, so why not make him relocate another time? The nine-year veteran has been a stable source of production wherever he goes, averaging a shade under 1,000 yards a season prior to this current campaign. Cooks could certainly help a sputtering offence and it’s clear that his talents are being wasted with the Texans right now. Residing on the right side of 30, there’s a world where the Texans are able to receive some decent picks in return for a Cooks trade.
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