The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET. Christian McCaffrey, James Robinson, Robert Quinn and Kadarius Toney are a few of the notable names who already have been moved, but deadlines spur action. Who should be moved prior to the window closing? Here are 10 players who are in need of a change of scenery:
WR Brandin Cooks, Texans
Short of a renegotiated contract, it is difficult to envision Cooks being moved before the deadline. His cap hits over the next two years are insanely high for a 29-year-old wide receiver. He is a productive player and the ideal candidate for a team looking for a veteran addition at the position. In eight seasons, he has had at least 42 receptions and is averaging 73 receptions per season. Through six games this season, Cooks has 28 receptions for 281 yards and one touchdown.
TE Mike Gesicki, Dolphins
There were murmurings that Gesicki may not be a good fit for what new head coach Mike McDaniel was wanting to do on offense shortly after the latter took the job. Those murmurings still exist and that is why fans are hearing Gesicki's name bandied about in the media. Through seven games, he has amassed 18 receptions for 197 yards and three touchdowns. The Penn State product is on pace for the fewest receptions that he has recorded since his rookie season but is in line to be in the end zone more than any other season. Miami could look to move Gesicki to a team in the market to fill a more predominant pass-catching role.
RB Kareem Hunt, Browns
Cleveland is unlikely to reach the postseason after displaying an inability to close games early in 2022. Hunt is a free agent this offseason and it is essentially a foregone conclusion that the Browns will not be looking to match his demands as Nick Chubb's backup. The team has 2022 fifth-round draft pick Jerome Ford, 2021 sixth-round pick Demetric Felton Jr. and last year's darling D'Ernest Johnson waiting in the wings.
From an efficiency standpoint, Hunt's numbers are down this season and yet he has still managed four touchdowns. The running back missed eight games last season; the only games he has missed since serving his suspension in 2019. Since the conclusion of the 2018 season, he has accumulated 385 carries, nearly the equivalent of Derrick Henry's 2020 season.
DT Matthew Ioannidis, Panthers
Ioannidis has been one of the more underrated players throughout his career. The 28-year-old recorded 4.5 sacks or more in three of his first four seasons. Ioannidis was another one of the Temple products who former head coach Matt Rhule had collected and is playing out the final year of his contract with the organization. As the Panthers turn their eyes to the future, it would make sense for them to move on from Ioannidis if the price is right. There is a shortage of quality interior defenders around the league so there should be a market for the veteran.
Wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. could also be on the chopping block.
CB William Jackson III, Commanders
Once a prized free agent signing, Jackson has not been a fit for what Washington wants to do on defense. The 30-year-old essentially has one more year left on his deal that carries a cap hit of $13.8 million, which is probably the reason it is taking so long to find a suitable partner. A report surfaced stating that the cornerback was seeking a trade but he has publicly refuted that report. He is a name to know as teams explore cornerback options.
WR Jerry Jeudy, Broncos
Jeudy is having his best season since joining the Broncos but it comes during the offensive depression of 2022. He is tied for the sixth most drops (4) in the NFL this season. The former No. 15 overall selection has two full years remaining on his rookie contract. A team will be interested in Jeudy because of the potential and reasonable financial control. Is Denver, though, motivated to move him?
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WR Denzel Mims, Jets
New York likely fielded several calls about the potential availability of second-year wide receiver Elijah Moore before declaring that he was unavailable. After years of player empowerment, some organizations have learned that they do have leverage and it is not always in the best interest of the team to move on from the player. Moore has been productive and his contract is very appealing each of the next two years relative to the rising wide receiver market.
The idea of moving on from Mims could be mutually beneficial given he has just nine receptions since making 23 catches for 357 yards as a rookie. The former second-round pick may not bring much value in return but that could be more of a reason to move him now while he does have value. New York is already investing a large percentage of its repetitions to Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis and Moore.
DT David Onyemata, Saints
The 29-year-old is in the final year of his contract. He has been effective since joining the team as a fourth-round pick in 2016 but his value may be higher elsewhere than it is on a 2-5 Saints team. On the other hand, New Orleans is still in the running in the mediocre NFC South. Would it be worth it to keep Onyemata to compete for the division knowing that there is no hope of winning a Super Bowl? The Saints are now faced with that decision on Onyemata and others, like wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
DT Daron Payne, Commanders
Payne is in the final year of his rookie contract so he is due to be a free agent after the season. Washington has some big upcoming decisions along its defensive line. Defensive tackle Jonathan Allen has already received a big contract extension, edge rusher Montez Sweat is due soon and edge rusher Chase Young is not far behind. Two draft picks were spent on the interior defensive line as part of the 2022 class. In a way, it felt as though the franchise was planning for the inevitability of moving on from Payne, who at 25 is a good player and a valuable commodity in the trade market.
EDGE J.J. Watt, Cardinals
Watt is in the final year of his deal with Arizona. Similar to the Saints, the Cardinals are in the running in the NFC West so they may not be motivated to deal. However, it would be entertaining to see him play for a frontline contender like Kansas City before his career comes to an end. The Wisconsin product has 2.5 sacks this season.