NFL Trade Deadline Sellers: 5 Teams That Should Deal Top Talent

NFL Trade Deadline Sellers: 5 Teams That Should Deal Top Talent

Sending away an established veteran before the NFL’s trade deadline can be a tough decision for any general manager to make. With the league’s cutoff date falling on Oct. 31, just before the midseason mark, few teams want to send any signals that the ongoing campaign is already a lost cause. And for any franchise in turmoil, the top decision-makers might be reticent to take a short-term hit unless they have full confidence they won’t land on the hot seat in the coming weeks and months.

But last year’s flurry of deals that featured Pro Bowl-caliber players served as a reminder that not every team is delusional about its status in late October. And the Tennessee Titans’ decision to trade standout safety Kevin Byard to the Philadelphia Eagles reinforced that more notable deals are feasible this year.

Not all of these teams will embrace shifting their attention to 2024 and beyond, but regardless of what they actually decide to do, here are five franchises that would benefit from deciding to be sellers at this year’s trade deadline:

Denver Broncos:

From saying this offseason he would be “pissed” if the Broncos aren’t a playoff team to shooting down speculation of a fire sale two weeks ago, Sean Payton sure seems resistant to discard any valuable players. But despite winning two of their last three games, the Broncos look due for a refresher of where they truly stand before the deadline, with the Kansas City Chiefs heavy favorites to extend their NFL-best 16-game winning streak over their 2-5 rivals. For the Broncos to find any semblance of long-term success and eventually end the NFL’s second-longest active playoff drought, Payton and general manager George Paton might need to endure some additional pain this year.

Having emptied its draft coffers to land Payton and Russell Wilson, the franchise is short on young talent. Denver has plenty of desirable veterans, however, who could be flipped in an attempt to recalibrate the roster. Mercurial wide receiver Jerry Jeudy is likely the most eminently movable piece, as any outfit in search of added juice for its passing game might focus on the former first-rounder’s abilities rather than his underwhelming production. If Jeudy is traded, second-round rookie receiver Marvin Mims Jr. could take on a larger role in the offense and take over as a fitting complement to Courtland Sutton.

While sending safety Justin Simmons away would no doubt sting, a change of scenery amid a trying year could be a welcome development for the team captain. Left tackle Garett Bolles might be amenable to a new setting, too, after he lashed out about the Broncos’ persistent losing following the team’s 70-20 thrashing at the hands of the Miami Dolphins. Linebacker Josey Jewell and safety Kareem Jackson are lower-cost options to monitor.

New England Patriots:

Weighing whether to gear up for next year is a foreign concept to Bill Belichick, who has parted with plenty of key contributors over the years but has never fully punted on a season. And while this is a season of unfortunate firsts – the 1-5 start marking the worst of Belichick’s career – don’t expect him to change his ways. Still, there are moves that the Patriots could make to better position themselves for an offseason reset without completely undermining the current group.

Outside linebacker Josh Uche recorded 11½ sacks a year ago but has remained relegated to a sub-package role. A 25-year-old with his pass-rushing skills likely would fetch a nice return for New England, especially given that Uche is a good bet to head elsewhere after this season. Safety Kyle Dugger is also on the final year of his deal and might provide the best return of any potential trade candidate. New England also has several intriguing offensive starters who could help out other teams – wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, tight end Hunter Henry and offensive linemen Trent Brown and right guard Mike Onwenu – but dealing any would hinder the already dubious development of quarterback Mac Jones.

Carolina Panthers:

As the NFL’s last winless team, Frank Reich’s crew hasn’t been able to muster much support for struggling rookie quarterback Bryce Young. Even more foreboding for the 2023 No. 1 pick: Carolina is without its first-rounder thanks to its deal with the Chicago Bears to position itself for Young. If ever there were a team that should be selling off veterans to accrue draft capital, this is it.

Given that the Panthers nixed the Los Angeles Rams’ offer of two-first round picks and a second-rounder for Brian Burns at last year’s trade deadline, per multiple reports, the two-time Pro Bowl pass rusher might be essentially untouchable, even though the front office has not budged on a contract extension. But he’s by far the team’s most valuable asset and would become the marquee player on the market if made available, so Carolina should consider its options, even if the best offer comes up short of what was previously on the table.

Any team looking to fortify the second level of its defense would be wise to inquire about linebacker Frankie Luvu, who is on the final year of his contract. Versatile safety Jeremy Chinn might have been an attractive option for several contenders were it not for a quad injury that could sideline him until December, but completing a deal now might require a significant leap of faith. Cornerback Donte Jackson could draw interest from a team needing depth in the secondary, while speedy receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. has already been granted permission to seek a trade.

Washington Commanders:

For three-plus years under Ron Rivera, Washington has thrashed its way into the middle of the pack. Parting with any important pieces now might seem strange, especially with Rivera having acknowledged this offseason that he could be

on the hot seat with new ownership coming in. But having face-planted against the lowly Chicago Bears and New York Giants in recent weeks, the Commanders should capitalize on a prime opportunity to better position themselves for the long term.

In a league consistently starved for high-impact edge rushers, the Commanders have two who could be trade deadline considerations: Montez Sweat and Chase Young. Both are set to be free agents this offseason, and keeping the two beyond 2024 would be difficult for Washington given the money the franchise has already committed to defensive tackles Daron Payne (four years, $90 million) and Jonathan Allen (four years, $72 million). Trading one could afford the Commanders enhanced flexibility to address their pressing problems along the offensive line, as well as the uncertainty at quarterback amid Sam Howell’s rocky debut season as a starter.

Safety Kamren Curl and cornerback Kendall Fuller also are on expiring contracts, and it might be time to clear the way for top draft picks Emmanuel Forbes and Jartavius Martin to receive more work. Wide receiver Curtis Samuel, running back Antonio Gibson, left tackle Charles Leno Jr. and tight end Logan Thomas all are affordable options for any cost-conscious buyer. And with Washington seemingly intent on riding out any issues with Howell, there’s little point in hanging on to backup Jacoby Brissett, who could be a valuable insurance policy elsewhere.

Tennessee Titans:

The Byard trade – more specifically, the relatively modest return for a key starter – appears telling of general manager Ran Carthon’s intentions. Even if Tennessee doesn’t go into full-blown teardown mode, this has all the markings of a franchise with its focus on the future, which could mean more veteran-for-pick swaps.

Most fan interest will be centered on the Titans’ offensive standouts: quarterback Ryan Tannehill, running back Derrick Henry and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Tannehill and Henry look like long shots to be dealt, but Hopkins could be one of the few starting-caliber pass catchers who would be obtainable. More interesting, however, might be the options on the defensive side. There’s little reason for Tennessee to cling to 33-year-old defensive lineman Denico Autry, who remains a disruptive force as he enters the last year of his deal. Cornerback Kristian Fulton has allowed an 81% completion rate and 110.5 passer rating this season, but perhaps a team would buy low on a second-round pick who likely doesn’t figure into the Titans’ long-term plans.

About Author

Maria Silva

Maria Silva, a graduate of UCLA in Journalism, is the voice for the voiceless. Her dedication to investigative reporting and her ability to uncover hidden truths make her an asset to the team. Maria's articles often shed light on critical social issues, providing a platform for change. Her well-crafted narratives keep you engaged and informed on the trending news of the day.

1 Comment

  • I don’t think the title of your article matches the content lol. Just kidding, mainly because I had some doubts after reading the article.

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