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Headline at the Deadline: A Look at Potential Deadline Trades

By Brendan Taffe

Todd Gurley, RB Atlanta Falcons

Gurley signed a one year contract with Atlanta over the offseason while it still looked like they would be able to compete in the NFC.  Fast forward to now, and the Falcons are in contention for the #1 pick in the draft.  No team drafting that high has a need for a 26 year old running back with knee problems, and if they can get a draft pick in exchange for Gurley, it would be a good step towards the future.

Potential Destination: Buffalo Bills  

The Bills were a top 3 finalist in the Le’Veon Bell sweepstakes, so they seem to believe that they need RB help.  Devin Singletary and Zack Moss have been serviceable but far from outstanding.  It looks like this will be the Patriots’ worst year of the last 2 decades, and the Dolphins are still a year away, so the time to strike is now.  If they want to compete in the AFC, they will need more firepower than what they currently have.  

Devin Singletary and Zack Moss: Stock Down

Todd Gurley: Stock Down

Josh Allen: Stock Up

Brian Hill: Stock Up

Potential Destination: Seattle Seahawks

In last year’s Wild Card game the Seahawks gave Travis Homer the most rushing attempts with 11.  He was able to run for 12 yards.  The second most rushing attempts went to Russell Wilson, who ran 9 times for 45 yards.  Now, Chris Carson is hurt again.  The Seahawks already know they will not be able to stop the Bucs, Packers, Rams, or Saints offenses in the playoffs, so their only hope of beating them will be in a shootout.  

Chris Carson: Stock Down

Todd Gurley: Stock Down

Brian Hill: Stock Up

AJ Green, WR Cincinnati Bengals

AJ Green and the Bengals are going in opposite directions.  Zac Taylor is ready to lead Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins for the next decade and Green is not part of those plans.  He is only signed through this year, but he brings a big cap hit along with him.  If Cincy is willing to eat some of his salary, they could get a decent draft pick back from a WR-needy team.

Potential Destination: Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are not a great team, but even 5 or 6 wins could be enough to win the NFC East.  Once they get to the playoffs, they would likely be underdogs against any team they face, but hey, anything can happen in the playoffs.  None of Travis Fulgham, John Hightower, or Greg Ward will keep opposing defensive coordinators up at night, and Jalen Reagor will be a rookie coming off an injury.  This makes too much sense.

Tyler Boyd & Tee Higgins: Stock Up

Eagles WRs: Stock Unchanged

AJ Green: Stock Up

Carson Wentz: Stock Up

Potential Destination: Indianapolis Colts

This one makes sense on the surface.  When you think of AFC contenders, the Colts are not the first team that comes to mind.  I found the Rivers signing strange, and thought they should have gone for a younger QB.  But this is where they are, and they might as well try to make a run while Rivers’ arm still (somewhat) works.  Also, Indy has a top 5 defensive DVOA, and it was just two years ago when the Patriots won a Super Bowl 13-3.

Tyler Boyd & Tee Higgins: Stock Up

TY Hilton: Stock Down

Michael Pittman: Stock Up

Phillip Rivers: Stock Up

Adam Thielen, WR Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are similar to the Falcons in the sense that most people expected them to be much better than they turned out to be this year.  Justin Jefferson is the WR1 of the future, and Adam Thielen is not.  There is a potential out of his contract after this year, so whoever trades for him would not be tied down to a 30+ year old WR for a long time.      

Potential Destination: Cleveland Browns

Odell Beckham is now out for the season, which means Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones will be lining up opposite Jarvis Landry.  The Browns are 5-2, and while they are sitting in third place in their division, they still have their eyes on the playoffs.  The Ravens and Steelers have two of the best defenses in the league, so if they truly want to compete, they will need to add another outside threat.

Adam Thielen: Stock Down

Jarvis Landry: Stock Up

Baker Mayfield: Stock Up

Rashard Higgins & DPJ: Stock Down  

Kirk Cousins: Stock Down

Potential Destination: Detroit Lions

The Lions are not typically buyers at the deadline, and they are at least a tier or two below the class of the NFC.  They did however just acquire DE Everson Griffin, which tells us that they like where their team stands and they want to win games this year.  Similar to the AJ Green to Indy idea, they would be able to cut ties after the year.  The addition of Thielen to Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Amendola would cause problems for opposing defenses.  

Kenny Golladay: Stock Down

Jones & Amendola: Stock Down

Adam Thielen: Stock Down

Matthew Stafford: Stock Up

TJ Hockenson: Stock Down

Curtis Samuel, WR Carolina Panthers

To me, Curtis Samuel is a talented player who has never been able to unlock his true potential.  After spending his entire rookie contract in Carolina, he will be a free agent this offseason.  The Panthers are not a contending team yet, and with a seven year contract, new HC Matt Rhule will have plenty of time to bring in his own players to see what works.  Carolina is an up and coming team, but right now a future draft pick is more valuable to them than their WR3.

Potential Destination: New York Jets

The Jets are at a point where they need to acquire any sort of talent to see what works.  New GM Joe Douglas is doing a good job of loading up on draft picks, but there is absolutely some benefit in getting a guy in the building for the last half of the season before you decide if you want to give him a new contract.  With presumably a new head coach running the show next year, Samuel could be a good swiss army knife for Sam Darnold, Trevor Lawrence, or whoever they have under center next year.

Sam Darnold: Stock Up

Curtis Samuel: Stock Down

Jamison Crowder: Stock Down

Potential Destination: New England Patriots

The Patriots are in limbo right now.  Cam Newton is probably not the answer at quarterback.  Julian Edelman is 34 years old.  N’Keal Harry has not produced what you would expect out of a first round pick.  They have some of the worst offensive pieces in the league, and Samuel would certainly help.  Josh McDaniels like to get creative with his offense and he would have even more options with Samuel at his disposal.

Julian Edelman: Stock Down

Curtis Samuel: Stock Down

N’Keal Harry: Stock Down

James White: Stock Down

Cam Newton: Stock Up

Will Fuller, WR Houston Texans

Add the Texans to the Falcons and Vikings group of teams that thought they would be better this season.  As of right now, the Texans are projected to have the 5th pick in the draft.  Unfortunately for them, the Dolphins own their pick.  The Dolphins also own their 2nd round pick.  Yikes.  Bill O’Brien left them in a deep hole, and they need to recoup any sort of draft picks they can get their hands on.  

Potential Destination: Green Bay Packers

The Bucs made the first move by adding Antonio Brown.  The Packers need to counter it by adding Fuller.  Aaron Rodgers and company are already the 2nd best offense in the NFL, but the 1st is the Seahawks and the 3rd is the Buccaneers.  Adding Fuller to this offense does not necessarily mean Adams would get less targets, but it does mean he will get more targets against single coverage.

Will Fuller: Stock Unchanged

Aaron Rodgers: Stock Up

Davante Adams: Stock Unchanged

Brandin Cooks: Stock Up

Potential Destination: Chicago Bears

The Bears are probably the worst 5-2 team in the league.  If Tom Brady remembers you only get 4 downs in football, they’re probably 4-3, but, they are 5-2.  Anything can happen any given week, so why not make a push and go for it?  Allen Robinson is a stud, and Darnell Mooney has shown flashes, but Fuller would add a new dimension to this offense… even if Nick Foles will overthrow him 20 yards downfield.  

Will Fuller: Stock Down

Allen Robinson: Stock Unchanged

Brandin Cooks: Stock Up  

Mooney & Anthony Miller: Stock Down

Evan Engram, TE New York Giants

Engram is a player similar to Curtis Samuel in my mind because he is a talented player who has not been able to reach his full potential.  A change of scenery could benefit Engram greatly, as the Giants are currently only scoring 17.4 points per game, 2nd worst in the league.  Engram has one year remaining on his deal, and because of his poor production, should not cost too much.

Potential Destination: Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals score the 9th most points per game, which is good but likely not good enough.  The NFC West is by far the best division in football, with last year’s NFC Champion sitting in 4th at 4-3.  Kliff Kingsbury has a lot of different weapons at his disposal, but none quite like Engram.  The 6 foot 3 inch, 240 pound TE runs a 4.42 and would be an instant upgrade over Dan Arnold, who is 6th on the team with 11 receptions through 7 games.

Evan Engram: Stock Up

Kyler Murray: Stock Up

DeAndre Hopkins: Stock Unchanged

Other Cardinals WRs: Stock Down

Potential Destination: Carolina Panthers

I know I have the Panthers as sellers with Curtis Samuel, but they are much deeper at the WR position than at TE.  The next great Panthers team could be here sooner rather than later, and Brees and Brady will retire out of their division soon.  Ian Thomas has not worked out, and pairing Engram with Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, and Robby Anderson would have Matt Rhule in mismatch heaven.  

Evan Engram: Stock Up

Teddy Bridgewater: Stock Up

Moore & Anderson: Stock Unchanged

Bonus IDP: JJ Watt, DE Houston Texans

The Texans are a mess right now.  Bill O’Brien was relieved of his head coach and GM duties.  They are in the red for cap space for 2021, and opposing teams are averaging 31 points per game against them.  Hopefully you weren’t playing against Davante Adams last Sunday.  Watt is now 31 years old and has just one year left on his contract.  He unfortunately has not been able to avoid the injury bug, but when he is out there, he is still an above-average pass rusher at worst.  

Potential Destination: Buffalo Bills

What happened to that bend-don’t-break Bills defense from last year?  The team has dropped from the #2 best defense to the 15th best.  The Bills still have some pieces on their line, so they will not need Watt to play every down, but 3rd down is more important than the others.  The Bills rank 30th in the league at opponent 3rd down conversion percentage.  With Josh Allen still on his rookie deal, now is the time to make a splash at the trade deadline and acquire an impact guy like Watt. 

Mario Addison & Jerry Hughes: Stock Down

AJ Epenesa: Stock Up

JJ Watt: Stock Unchanged

Potential Destination: Tennessee Titans

The only other contending team (sorry Carolina) that is worse than the Bills on 3rd down defense is the Titans.  Ryan Tannehill is still probably underrated and Mike Vrabel has been coaching as well as anybody in the league.  They will have no shot at beating the Chiefs, Steelers, or other AFC contenders if their defense can’t get 3rd down stops.  

Harold Landry: Stock Unchanged

Jadaveon Clowney: Stock Down

JJ Watt: Stock Unchanged

Brendan Taffe – Co-Host of Cover 3 Podcast, Writer

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