The NFL trade deadline is right around the corner, and we have actually take place. The San Francisco 49ers grabbed Randy Gregory from the Denver Broncos, the Miami Dolphins took a flier on Chase Claypool, and Van Jefferson got a fresh start with the Atlanta Falcons.
Usually, the NFL trade deadline has a lot more bark than bite, but there will be moves that are made. Last year's trade deadline was actually fairly entertaining, as the Dolphins traded for Bradley Chubb, the Jacksonville Jaguars surprised everyone by acquiring the suspended Calvin Ridley, and the Pittsburgh Steelers sent Claypool to the Chicago Bears. Could we see some big moves later this month?
Below, we will break down five NFL teams that should be buyers at the trade deadline, as well as specific players they should target.
The Jets are sitting at 2-3 through five weeks, in third place in the division behind two of the best teams in the league in the Dolphins and Buffalo Bills. I thought the Jets would be better off trading for another quarterback when Aaron Rodgers went down with his season-ending Achilles injury, and my mind hasn't changed.
Zach Wilson has been more efficient over the past two weeks, but still hasn't been good enough. Justin Fields threw three touchdowns in the first half versus the terrible Broncos defense; Wilson finished with a stat line of 199 passing yards, zero touchdowns and one interception against Denver, while the Jets went a shocking 0-for-5 in the red zone. They still got the win, but it was their first since the season opener.
As the Minnesota Vikings continue to lose games, Kirk Cousins could become more and more available. He just lost wide receiver Justin Jefferson to injury, so it wouldn't hurt to reach out. Another starting quarterback to consider is Ryan Tannehill of the Tennessee Titans. I'm not sure if the Titans parting ways with Tannehill is less likely given that Tennessee is in the mix in a subpar division, and we don't know how the front office views Will Levis or Malik Willis as potential full-time replacements, but he's a name to at least look at. Washington Commanders backup Jacoby Brissett is another trade option that likely won't cost too much.
It's understandable if general manager Joe Douglas isn't excited to be giving up more draft capital after doing so for a quarterback six months ago, but it all comes down to if he wants to compete this year with talented playmakers and a strong defense. Are we just going to waste a year of Sauce Gardner, Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson on their rookie contracts? And I guess Dalvin Cook could be gone next season after signing a one-year deal.
Quarterback is an issue for the Jets, but it's not the only one. New York has been decimated by injuries on the offensive line. Adding to that position would be smart as well. If the Jets want to compete, they should be buyers at the trade deadline.
The Eagles improved to 5-0 for the fourth time in franchise history this past week, but that doesn't mean all is right in Philly. The Eagles have the eighth-worst pass defense in the NFL this season (247.6 passing yards allowed per game) and watched as Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua combined for 189 yards and a touchdown last week. Despite being undefeated, the Eagles haven't locked down the passing attacks of opponents, and that's something general manager Howie Roseman could look to address.
There are some big names to chase such as Budda Baker of the Arizona Cardinals or Justin Simmons of the Broncos, but the Eagles don't have to make a move that would dominate headlines. They could just add a versatile veteran that could come in and contribute immediately.
The Eagles have the 14th-worst point differential (+37) among the 133 5-0 starts in NFL history. The defense has not been as dominant as last year, and while it's true that Philly lost several pieces at all three levels on that side of the ball, adding to the secondary will fix some of the problems. In fact, I think it's important if the Eagles want to make it back to the Super Bowl.
You never know what Roseman is going to pull off at the trade deadline, but expect him to be active.
The Chiefs rebounded from their season-opening loss to the Detroit Lions to win five straight games, and that's in large part because Travis Kelce and Chris Jones returned to the fold. Kansas City's offense looked lost without Kelce in the lineup Week 1 -- more lost than probably anyone anticipated.
Through five weeks, the Chiefs do not have anyone in the top 50 of receiving yards. Justin Watson is at No. 55 with 219 receiving yards, and Rashee Rice is No. 72 with 173 yards. How long are fans going to hold out hope for Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney? The Chiefs could absolutely upgrade their wide receiving corps.
When it comes to wide receivers that could potentially be on the move at the trade deadline, most people will immediately turn their attention to the Broncos. It's already been rumored that they will be sellers at the trade deadline, but it's hard to imagine Denver shipping Jerry Jeudy or Courtland Sutton to the team it hasn't beaten since 2015. Still, there are options out there.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are better than expected, and likely aren't actively shopping franchise legend Mike Evans, but he's still a name to consider. Then there are other sneaky additions to be made like Terrace Marshall Jr. of the Carolina Panthers, or even Curtis Samuel of the Commanders. The Chiefs should add another wideout before November.
The Lions have lived up the 2023 hype thus far, sitting atop the NFC North at 4-1. However, that improved defense has suffered a large amount of injuries. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is out indefinitely with a torn pectoral, Emmanuel Moseley is out for the year with a torn ACL, and the versatile rookie Brian Branch is dealing with an ankle injury. If the Lions want to compete into 2024, they would be smart to add on the defensive side of the ball.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell has said that he's confident in his team's depth in the secondary, but it ranks No. 17 in pass defense this year (224.4 passing yards per game). Detroit should look to add a cornerback or safety before the trade deadline -- someone who can play immediately.
The Cowboys' Sunday night loss to the 49ers was devastating Leighton Vander Esch to a neck injury, KaVontae Turpin to a high-ankle sprain, C.J. Goodwin to a torn pectoral. Defensive backs Jourdan Lewis and DaRon Bland were banged-up, too. The Cowboys could stand to boost their defense before the trade deadline.. Despite losing to an NFC rival by 32 points, Dallas also lost linebacker
It's possible Dallas could add a veteran on the defensive interior. With LVE down, the Cowboys could peruse the linebacker market. I think the secondary could be in play, too. When Trevon Diggs went down with his torn ACL, the Cowboys weren't quick to hit the market for a new cornerback. After the 49ers loss and with more injuries, maybe the front office reconsiders.
The Week 5 loss was a wake-up call for Dallas, but the Cowboys are still one of the best teams in the NFC. Jerry Jones is going to explore every opportunity when it comes to finalizing and fortifying his roster before the trade deadline, which is why Dallas should be buyers this month.