The NFL trade deadline is fast approaching, with all 32 teams having until Nov. 3 to strike deals that can improve their rosters or add draft picks that can help build for the future. As we look ahead to the deadline, several teams could be busy over the next month.
As we examine the NFL standings, there are obvious teams that should be sellers. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Football Team and New York Giants would all benefit from moving win-now talent to land draft picks.
The NFL trade deadline could be even more fun this season if a few other teams shop big names around the league. Contenders need difference-makers on both sides of the ball, which teams like the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans can offer.
As the days and hours tick down, let’s examine five teams that should be sellers at the NFL trade deadline.
The Texans took a step in the right direction by firing Bill O’Brien. Not only can they find an upgrade at head coach, with several top candidates available, but Houston could uncover a competent general manager. It can be the start of turning this organization around, but the Texans must now address all the draft picks O’Brien traded away.
If the organization is willing to completely reset and recoup some high-end picks, trading J.J. Watt could be an option. However, he is beloved by the entire city, and trading the star away could damage fan attendance and interest. However, wide receivers Kenny Stills, Will Fuller and running back Duke Johnson could be shopped. If the Texans want to bring back a haul, accounting for the absence of first- and second-round picks this year, trading Watt is the only way.
The Falcons are a dumpster fire. While it’s a matter of time until Dan Quinn is fired, that decision might not come during the season. Atlanta can try to stay alive in the playoff picture, but a humiliating Week 4 loss to the Green Bay Packers showed where things stand. With the NFL trade deadline approaching, this team needs to sell.
Similar to Houston, it might start with a difficult decision. For as much as the fans and city love Julio Jones, the 31-year-old is on the wrong side of 40, and Calvin Ridley is emerging as the No. 1 receiver. Jones could net a strong return for the Falcons. In addition, center Alex Mack could be an attractive option to contenders in need of help, and moving him now would be better than losing him in free agency. It might only be a few moves, but anything to help restock the draft board helps.
This isn’t where the Cowboys imagined they would be. A 1-3 record and Atlanta’s epic collapse away from four consecutive losses. In normal circumstances, Dallas could try to turn things around over the next 12 games. With Tyron Smith and La’el Collins done for the year, things are about to get even worse.
Dallas will keep Prescott and make signing him its top priority this offseason. With so much money dedicated to Dak, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper, that makes someone like Michael Gallup a trade asset. He can be a great No. 2 receiver and is under contract through 2021, which means Dallas can net a high pick in return. In addition, defensive end Everson Griffen could be shopped for a late-round pick. Even Andy Dalton might have trade value, in a season where a starting quarterback could be sidelined at any moment with COVID-19. This wouldn’t be the outcome the Cowboys wanted, but it’s in their best long-term interest.
Matt Patricia will likely be fired during the 2020 season, but there is far more work that needs to be done in Detroit. Fortunately, if the Lions are willing to hit the reset button, there are plenty of players for the front office to shop around the league before the trade deadline.
Duron Harmon, in the final year of his contract, is a versatile safety who any defensive coordinator would be lucky to add. He could even be an option for the New England Patriots, who sent him to Detroit this offseason. Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola, upcoming free agents, would also be starting-caliber receivers for several clubs in the playoff picture. Another option, trading linebacker Jarrad Davis to another team who can take advantage of the former first-round pick’s talents before he hits free agency. The name of the game should be stockpiling picks for the Lions.
Outside of Mekhi Becton and Quinnen Williams, New York should listen to calls on every player. If any NFL team is willing to give up a draft pick for Le’Veon Bell, take it. While tight end Chris Herndon could become a playmaker, it seems unlikely to happen in New York, and he would generate tons of interest across the league.
We all know depth in the secondary is crucial, so the likes of Pierre Desir, Brian Poole and Bradley McDougald will also generate calls. Yes, New York should even listen to offers on Sam Darnold. A top-two pick this year feels inevitable, and that means a shot at Justin Fields or Trevor Lawrence. Given both would be at the start of their rookie contracts, while Darnold will be in his fourth season, moving on feels inevitable. If the Jets aren’t actively selling at the trade deadline, it will be another loss in a season filled with them.