Before the kids can get out the door this Halloween, your favorite NFL team may have just engaged in some trick-or-treating of their own. Now to be fair, usually there is not a ton of action as the NFL trade deadline approaches. Most years, it comes and goes with very little fanfare. But where’s the fun in that?
So, let’s have some fun!
Marcell Dareus, Buffalo, DT
Yes, the Bills are 4-2 through 7 weeks and you may ask why they’d try to trade away a former 2-time Pro Bowler. The reality is that the Alabama product has only made 5 appearances this season and has played no role in the success the team has experienced so far.
The Bills front office tried dealing Dareus over the summer, and they appear to be shopping him now, as well. A contender who wants to tighten up their run defense may be interested.
Possible trade partner: Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have exceeded all expectations midway through the year. But that’s no reason to rest on your laurels. The Rams are playing as well as anyone in the NFC, and the fact that the conference is having a down year could mean even more success is coming L.A.’s way. One weak spot for the Rams is their rush defense — 24th in the league. Add Dareus to that line with Aaron Donald already there — that could make a world of difference come December when stopping the run becomes all that more important.
Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati, RB
The Cincinnati backfield is too full. It’s only a matter of time before Joe Mixon takes full control. Jeremy Hill looks to be the odd man out — he’s been on the field for less than 20% of the Bengals offensive snaps. Hill is a tough runner, who when given the bulk of the carries, has produced in the past.
Possible Trade Partner: Oakland Raiders
The Raiders have the third fewest rushing attempts per game in the NFL. If the Raiders have designs on making the playoffs — and they should in a division that looks pretty wide open, they’ll need to be more committed to the run as the winter months approach. Putting all your eggs in the Marshawn Lynch basket and his 31-year old legs seems a bit irresponsible.
Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh, WR
The disgruntled wide receiver has made his desires perfectly clear — and he’s not worried about how tactfully it comes across. Bryant wants out of the Steel City. And it would seem to be in Pittsburgh’s best interests to ship him out. The last thing the Steelers need is another soap opera playing out on or off the field. The Le’Veon Bell contract situation along with Antonio Brown’s occasional on the field antics should be enough for the Steelers to deal with while also trying to win a championship.
Possible Trade Partner: Detroit Lions
The Lions rank 24th in offensive plays resulting in 20 or more yards and rank 25th in those netting 40 or more yards. Bottom line — the Lions don’t have those deep threat receivers or those playmakers that stretch the field. Bryant could be that guy the blows the top off of defenses. If Detroit is serious about winning the NFC North, a move like this is a must. And remember that GM Bob Quinn cut his teeth in a Patriots organization that never shied away from making the high-risk/high-reward deal for controversial playmakers.
Hau’oli Kikaha, New Orleans, LB
The versatile former second round pick of 2015 is definitely on the “outs” in New Orleans. After a knee injury ended his 2016 season before it even started, Kikaha looked primed to be an impact player on a below-average Saints team. Fast forward to week 7 and the linebacker has only 2 sacks; and to make matters worse, he was a health inactive for the Saints game in Green Bay in week 7.
Possible Trade Partner: New England Patriots
Kikaha can play linebacker but has also played at defensive end — something Bill Belichick values in his defensive players. New England’s defense has dealt with it’s share of mistakes so far this season and Kikaha could add a playmaking element that they lack. Add to the equation that Dont’a Hightower is out for the season with a torn pectoral, and it seems most likely Belichick will look to add an element of pash-rushing to the unit. The Saints and Pats have a history of making deals, and Belichick and Sean Payton enjoy a friendship that on a number of occasions has led them into reasonable trades that work out for both parties.
Eli Manning, Giants, QB
Ok, this one seems too easy. The Giants are bad. And I mean the product on the field is bad — injured star WR and an aging QB — and the outlook isn’t pretty either. The Giants are in salary cap hell. Even the Browns and 49ers are in a better spot moving forward.
So even though Manning comfortably dismisses trade rumors, it makes a great deal of sense for the franchise to move on and commit to drafting and playing their quarterback of the future. And the G-Men are in line for a top-3 pick which would certainly land them one of the top QBs in the draft.
Now the big question: are Jerry Reese and the Giants front office willing to pull the trigger on such a deal, effectively ending an era in Giants football?
Possible Trade Partner: Jacksonville Jaguars
If a deal sends Eli Manning anywhere, the easy guess is to Jacksonville, where he’d reunite with former coach Tom Coughlin. Coughlin’s love for Eli is well-documented, and the Jags look like they are primed for a run at the AFC South division crown. Can they sustain any sort of season-long success with the inconsistent play of Blake Bortles at quarterback? If the answer is no, the Jags should make a move.
Cordy Glenn, Buffalo, OT
The Bills have been interested in dealing their tackle, but just haven’t gotten the right offer. Hard to say if that offer comes along now, but when contenders start to see how close one addition can put their squad over the top, the offers sometimes start flying.
Possible Trade Partner: Philadelphia Eagles
When Jason Peters went down in week 7, the Eagles immediately became that team who’d have to at least consider a deal for Glenn. But the more I read, the more it looks like Philly is comfortable adjusting their offensive line around the pieces they already have in place.
But as the deadline nears, maybe that feeling changes. Like I’ve said multiple times, the NFC is up-for-grabs, and if Philly wants to take a stranglehold on it, a deal like this is one they might want to make.
Feedback is always welcome through the website in the comments box or on my Twitter feed, @brian22goodwin.