32 players to watch at the NFL trade deadline: New homes for Kareem Hunt, Mike Gesicki, Robert Quinn?

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While the NFL trade deadline doesn’t get the hype of its MLB, NBA or even NHL counterparts, it has become a bigger deal on the league calendar in recent years. And trade rumors are flying as the Nov. 1 deadline approaches.

We’ve already seen some deals happen, with the Carolina Panthers trading running back Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers days after sending receiver Robbie Anderson to the Arizona Cardinals. The New York Jets made noise Monday, dealing for Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson. So with a week left, we asked our trusted NFL Nation reporters to identify one player on the team they cover who could be pursued or dealt before the deadline.

There are former first-round draft picks, former Pro Bowlers and a former rushing champion on this list, along with a guy who had 18.5 sacks last year. We’ve graded the handful of trades that already have been completed, and ESPN reporter Jeremy Fowler last week went through the early buzz on players who were brought up in discussions.

Jump to:
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LAC | LAR | LV | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF
SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

AFC EAST

RB Zack Moss

With the best record in the AFC, the Bills aren’t in big-time trading mode — this is one of the best rosters in the league. But if there were a candidate for the Bills to trade it would be Moss, who was a healthy scratch in Week 6 against the Chiefs. The 2020 third-round pick has the fewest yards and carries among the team’s three backs and is a healthy scratch candidate as the season continues, since pass protection and special teams play are the priorities for the final active offensive roster spots on game day. A potential trade would likely include late draft picks. — Alaina Getzenberg


TE Mike Gesicki

He has been the rumored trade candidate since the offseason, when it was speculated that his skill set as a receiving tight end wouldn’t mesh with the blocking required in new coach Mike McDaniel’s offensive scheme. The targets are down for Gesicki this season, and he’s on pace for the fewest targets, receptions and yards since his rookie year after setting career highs in all three categories in 2021. In his defense, Gesicki has repeatedly stated that he’d like to remain with the Dolphins after signing his franchise tag this offseason — but he is their most valuable trade target at the moment. — Marcel Louis-Jacques


OT Isaiah Wynn

When the Patriots selected Wynn in the first round of the 2018 draft, they hoped they had landed a franchise left tackle. It hasn’t worked out that way, and Wynn, playing right tackle this season, is among the league leaders in penalties and was inactive for Monday night’s game against the Bears. Trading a starting offensive tackle is risky given the value of the position, so the Patriots would have to feel comfortable turning to veteran Marcus Cannon at right tackle and Yodny Cajuste as the swing tackle. Positives for the team would be clearing salary-cap space and gaining future draft capital for a player who will be a free agent after the season. — Mike Reiss


play

1:05

Adam Schefter joins the NFL Countdown crew to report the Jets trading for Jaguars RB James Robinson.

WR Denzel Mims

The Jets are willing to listen to offers for Mims, who requested a trade in the preseason and was a healthy scratch for the first six games. Clearly, this coaching staff doesn’t have high regard for Mims, a 2020 second-round pick, even though coach Robert Saleh said after Sunday’s win that Mims, who made his 2022 debut, “will be a big part of this.” Uncertainty surrounding Elijah Moore, who requested a trade, and a knee injury to Corey Davis likely will prompt the Jets to keep Mims for depth purposes. — Rich Cimini

AFC NORTH

G Ben Cleveland

A third-round pick from 2021, Cleveland started the last four games of his rookie season but has struggled to get on the field this year. He has yet to play an offensive snap in seven games this season after being one of John Harbaugh’s favorite prospects in last year’s draft. The Ravens, though, might not want to part this quickly with Cleveland. Starting left guard Ben Powers is a free agent at the end of the season, and Cleveland could fill that void if Powers isn’t re-signed. — Jamison Hensley


S Jessie Bates III

It’s hard to imagine the Bengals making any moves. But after extended contract discussions that dissipated, Bates received the one-year franchise tag for 2022. With his replacement seemingly on the roster in rookie Dax Hill, Bates is the most logical option to be dealt at the trade deadline. He has been one of the best free safeties in the league, and his services should command a high price tag on the open market. However, with the Bengals in contention for another playoff berth, it might make more sense for Bates to stay. — Ben Baby


play

0:17

Kareem Hunt side steps a defender and finds his way into the end zone for a touchdown.

RB Kareem Hunt

At 2-5, Cleveland’s season is already slipping away. Hunt, in the last year of his deal, requested a trade or extension during training camp and got neither. Nick Chubb is obviously Cleveland’s primary running back, and Hunt’s role is becoming limited, with only nine carries for 16 yards in the past two games combined. The Browns probably won’t be able to get what Carolina got in the Christian McCaffrey trade. But Hunt is a quality back with value, and the Browns will have to start thinking about the future — and recouping draft picks — after giving up that haul in the Deshaun Watson trade. — Jake Trotter


WR Chase Claypool

The Steelers aren’t usually an organization involved in midseason trades — especially not with significant players. There are several teams in need of a boost at wide receiver, and Claypool has been inconsistent and underutilized in the Steelers’ conservative system. The third-year receiver, who moved to the slot this season, had his best game against Tampa Bay in Week 6, with seven catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. But in the loss to the Dolphins, he had five catches for 41 yards and fell down running for the lone deep shot that came his way. After the game, Claypool said the offense needs more go balls and to make more splash plays. — Brooke Pryor

AFC SOUTH

WR Brandin Cooks

Teams could be interested in the nine-year veteran — who has been traded three times since entering the league as a first-round draft pick by the Saints in 2014 — in large part because he has registered more than 1,000 yards in a season six times in his career. He’s having a down year, averaging 46 yards per game, the second lowest of his career. But maybe another change of scenery could bolster his production. — DJ Bien-Aime


CB Kenny Moore II

Moore hasn’t asked for a trade, nor do the Colts seem particularly likely to deal him. But Moore is a unique player whose request for a new contract was rebuffed by the team during the offseason despite his decision to sit out voluntary workouts. He has one year remaining on his deal at a base salary of $6.795 million — a very reasonable salary for a proven starting cornerback who made the Pro Bowl last season. — Stephen Holder


OT Walker Little

Jawaan Taylor beat out Little for the starting right tackle spot and is playing the best football of his career. One thing that could complicate things is that Taylor is in the final year of his rookie contract and really struggled in his first three seasons: He led the NFL in penalties and gave up 40 sacks from 2019 to 2021. The Jaguars drafted Little in the second round in 2021 and viewed him as their right tackle of the future, but if they believe Taylor has turned a corner they might be willing to extend him, which could make Little available. — Michael DiRocco


CB Caleb Farley

The Titans seem to have soured on Farley, last year’s first-round pick, quickly after a tough start to the season. Farley was once considered to be a lock as a starter opposite Kristian Fulton, but rookie second-round pick Roger McCreary and newcomer Terrance Mitchell have replaced him in the lineup. The second-year pro still has plenty of potential and the first-round sticker, so he should draw interest. — Turron Davenport

AFC WEST

TE Albert Okwuegbunam

Okwuegbunam has played 16 snaps the past four games, 15 coming in the Oct. 6 loss to the Colts, and has been a game-day inactive the past two weeks. A fourth-round pick in 2020 — John Elway’s last draft as the top football decision-maker — Okwuegbunam has five catches this season. Rookie Greg Dulcich, a third-round pick this past April, has returned from a training camp hamstring injury and has become the top receiving choice at the position. But Okwuegbunam ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at the scouting combine at 258 pounds, and there are many in the league still intrigued by his potential. — Jeff Legwold


RB Ronald Jones

Jones, whom the Chiefs signed in the offseason, has been healthy but has yet to suit up for a game this season. He is a clear fourth among four on the running back depth chart behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jerick McKinnon and rookie Isiah Pacheco, making Jones someone the Chiefs can afford to part with. He could be attractive to a team looking for a back who might be available for a modest outlay and who has little or no wear and tear from the current season. — Adam Teicher


SS Johnathan Abram or DE Clelin Ferrell

Per ESPN NFL Insider Jeremy Fowler, two of the Raiders’ three first-round selections from the 2019 draft, are available, with Abram’s name “circulating a lot” as a potential trade target. Like Abram, Ferrell — the No. 4 overall pick in 2019 — did not have his fifth-year option picked up this offseason (nor did RB Josh Jacobs, who is playing at an All-Pro level the past month), but he did collect his first half-sack Sunday against Houston, splitting it with Chandler Jones. — Paul Gutierrez


DT Jerry Tillery

Depth is not a luxury the Chargers have enjoyed at most position groups this season because of an overwhelming number of injuries, and if they’re going to make a move at the trade deadline, they’re more likely to add rather than subtract. However, if the Bolts need to package a player to send away, Tillery is a candidate. The interior of the defensive line has remained mostly healthy, and they invested in the position group over the offseason via free agency and the draft. So Tillery, playing in the fourth and final season of his rookie contract after the Chargers declined a fifth-year option, could be part of a deal. — Lindsey Thiry

NFC EAST

DE Tarell Basham

Basham is close to returning from injured reserve after suffering a quadriceps bruise in the season opener. The Cowboys have a deep pass-rush rotation, so Basham might have a difficult time finding playing time, given the way Sam Williams, Dante Fowler Jr. and Chauncey Golston have played. The return might not be great, but Basham, who is in the final year of his contract, can help a team in need of a pass rush. — Todd Archer


WR Kadarius Toney

It’s hard to come up with a potential trade for the Giants right now. They need Toney and his playmaking ability, but he’s also hurt. Who wants to trade for a player who is currently dealing with hamstring injuries and has missed 12 of 24 career games, even if he was a first-round pick last year? While on the trade topic, running back Saquon Barkley is not going anywhere right now when leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage and with the Giants 6-1. — Jordan Raanan


OT Andre Dillard

Dillard is now recovered from a fractured forearm and would be appealing to teams looking to upgrade at left tackle. The 2019 first-round pick is in the final year of his rookie contract and has no clear path to the starting job in Philadelphia, barring injury, with Jordan Mailata locked up long-term. The question is whether an Eagles team with championship aspirations would trade away a key reserve, especially with Mailata still battling through a banged-up right shoulder. The offer would have to be considerable for Philly to weaken its depth at a key position. — Tim McManus


CB William Jackson III

Jackson has been a poor fit since Washington signed him in the 2021 offseason, and there’s no doubt the Commanders have talked to teams about him. Jackson has struggled in their zone coverage scheme and would do well by playing for a team that not only plays more man but more single-high Cover 3 zone, allowing him to play more at the line. But Jackson has a bulging disk in his back, as well as a base salary of $5 million. At most, he’d fetch a late-round pick. If Washington doesn’t trade him, it could put him on injured reserve and cut him in the offseason; that’s probably more realistic than cutting him after the trade deadline. — John Keim

NFC NORTH

DE Robert Quinn

The Bears might look back and wish they had traded Quinn when his value was higher (during the draft or preseason) coming off an 18.5-sack season in 2021. If Chicago wants to move on from Quinn, a contending team that feels it’s a pass-rusher away (such as the Rams with Von Miller last year) could be where he ends up. The 32-year-old has one sack and two QB hits in six games, so the returning draft capital might not be worth it for Chicago. But not having Quinn’s $18.2 million cap hit on the books for 2023 might entice general manager Ryan Poles to take what he can get. — Courtney Cronin


CB Amani Oruwariye

Oruwariye experienced a breakout season in 2021, ending with a career-high six interceptions — the third most in the league — but was a healthy scratch for Week 5 in New England and has struggled to find a groove this year. Detroit’s defense has struggled as a whole, and although Oruwariye has kept a positive outlook, a different destination could bring the best out of him while he plays the final year of his rookie contract. — Eric Woodyard


WR/KR Amari Rodgers

Maybe there’s a team that liked Rodgers coming out of college in 2021, but the Packers beat it to drafting him when they traded up to take Rodgers in the third round (at No. 85 overall). However, it hasn’t worked for Rodgers on offense, where his quarterback has seemingly been lukewarm about him. And it hasn’t worked for him as a kick returner, where he fumbled again on Sunday at Washington. — Rob Demovsky


RB Alexander Mattison

Mattison is now in his fourth season as Dalvin Cook’s backup. He has been valuable during Cook’s various injury absences, but their skills are similar, and Cook hasn’t missed a game in 2022. Mattison has gotten 30 carries on 117 snaps, and it’s possible that a team who needs an off-tackle runner with receiving skills would inquire about his availability. He is in the final year of his contract, but it’s uncertain if the Vikings would want to part ways, given Cook’s injury history and the lack of an every-down back behind the duo. Rookie Ty Chandler is on injured reserve because of a broken thumb, while Kene Nwangwu has been used exclusively as a kickoff returner. — Kevin Seifert

NFC SOUTH

DL Marlon Davidson

Atlanta’s second-round pick in 2020 has been on injured reserve since the start of the season — he had knee surgery after an injury during training camp — but at this point, it’s tough to see a role for him with the Falcons in the future. The Falcons already traded one player on injured reserve away — linebacker Deion Jones went to Cleveland earlier this month — so there is no reason to think they wouldn’t do it again. While Davidson has started 19 career games for the Falcons, he has only 29 career tackles, so a change of scenery could be helpful if someone were interested in him. — Michael Rothstein


OT Cameron Erving

The team already traded wide receiver Robbie Anderson to Arizona, running back Christian McCaffrey to San Francisco, and turned down an offer of two first-round picks for defensive end Brian Burns. So GM Scott Fitterer is likely done dealing. Erving gets the nod here because he’s a backup with starting experience and some value. — David Newton


TE Nick Vannett

Between injuries and contract restructures, the number of viable trade candidates on the Saints is pretty small. While the Saints won’t get any salary-cap savings by moving Vannett, they could try to get a late Day 3 pick for a player who is now usually a healthy scratch and not factoring into the tight end rotation. The Saints could also try to move 2021 first-round pick Payton Turner, but since he has barely played, he, like Vannett, might not draw much interest. — Katherine Terrell


RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn

The Bucs are in a really weird place right now. They’re in “win now” mode with quarterback Tom Brady in his last year under contract, but they’re not winning, having dropped four out of their past five games. What is interesting, though, is that despite the Bucs’ struggles to get anything going on the ground, Vaughn has yet to play a single offensive snap. — Jenna Laine

NFC WEST

WR A.J. Green

It’s clear by now that Green doesn’t have a role in the Cardinals’ offense. He has just 10 catches for 56 yards in a scheme that’s favoring receivers such as DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and even tight end Zach Ertz. Green could fit a specific role for another team, especially one that needs some veteran leadership in its receiver room. — Josh Weinfuss


RB Cam Akers

This is a trade head coach Sean McVay has already said the Rams are exploring. Akers did not play in Los Angeles’ Week 6 game against the Panthers, as McVay said the Rams are trying to help Akers find “a fresh new start with another team.” Akers has 151 rushing yards and a touchdown on 51 carries this season and has fallen behind running backs such as Darrell Henderson Jr. and Malcolm Brown on the depth chart. — Sarah Barshop


play

0:58

Stephen A. Smith explains why Christian McCaffrey will give the 49ers’ offense a huge boost.

Nobody

Under normal circumstances, the Niners would undoubtedly field inquiries on players at some of their deeper positions, such as defensive line. But San Francisco isn’t in a position to deal from its depth because injuries have forced much of the Niners’ backups into bigger roles. That’s not to say they wouldn’t listen to offers if teams approached, but it’s hard to envision them making available anyone on the roster who is both healthy and desirable to other teams. — Nick Wagoner


CB Sidney Jones IV

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported recently that the Seahawks have made Jones available, which makes sense given that he’s a former starter who’s now stuck on the bench behind rookie Tariq Woolen and Mike Jackson. Jones might fetch only a late-round pick, but the other benefit to trading him would be shedding what remains of the $2.3 million he’s making this season in base salary and per-game roster bonuses. That might be necessary for the Seahawks to add anyone before the deadline, given their cap constraints. — Brady Henderson

Source: ESPN


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