It has begun, with NFL teams beginning to fire up the motor on potential trades they hope will benefit them respectively, as the league deadline of Oct. 29 rapidly approaches. The first to draw real blood were the Baltimore Ravens, who landed cornerback Marcus Peters from the Los Angeles Rams, the latter in turn trading with the Jacksonville Jaguars to acquire All-Pro, and disgruntled, talent Jalen Ramsey.
The number of moves were/are expected to ratchet up around the league following those moves, as evidenced in the New England Patriots sending a second-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons for wideout Mohamed Sanu -- leading to the San Francisco 49ers accepting the consolation prize of Emmanuel Sanders -- and with many more likely to happen in the next few days.
Let's take a look at some that would make a lot of sense for teams who have a genuine chance at making the playoffs and a run at Super Bowl 54. Sometimes, all it takes is one more meaningful addition to take a club over the top, and these players could have such an impact.
Also, keep up with all the latest trades and rumors with our NFL deadline trade tracker.
1. A.J. Green to the Packers
It's time for a fresh start here and Green likely knows it, which is why I've laid out five potential landing spots for him via trade in a separate column, but let's talk about this one. He's now in a contract year but hasn't stepped foot on the field yet this season, and not by any fault of his own. He's been sidelined with an ankle injury that required surgery to repair, suffered during a summer practice on a field at the University of Dayton that players deemed awful, but one the Bengals opted to use anyway. Green was hoping to make this another dynamic season after missing much of 2018 (injury-related), and doesn't seem interested in signing an extension with a Bengals team that has wasted much of his career with poor coaching in the postseason -- and mostly regular season, and as of late -- poor performances from quarterback Andy Dalton. The Packers have been able to manage in the absence of Adams due to turf toe, but he'll return soon, and the Packers passing attack could go from questionable behind Adams to potentially terrifying for opposing defenses if a talent like Rodgers is giving two weapons to use in the aerial attack. Rodgers with Adams and Green? Easy money.
2. Trent Williams to the Browns
Believe it or not, but the Browns still have a chance to make the playoffs and potentially some noise once there. Loaded with talent on both sides of the ball, the biggest issue has been the mostly poor play of quarterback Baker Mayfield, but he's only part of the reason for his struggles. Fact is, the Browns offensive line couldn't protect a sack lunch from a hungry toddler, let alone an NFL quarterback, and Williams could help in a big way -- to say the least. Having still not reported to the Washington Redskins due to distrust of the organization and their medical staff, Williams' bluff has been called and he's not backed down. The Redskins are firm in not wanting to trade him, but it's nonsensical at this point, and especially with the Browns reportedly hounding them to make the deal. All the Redskins have to do is the smart thing, for once, which is take assets for a premium player that will never suit up for them again. Earlier, CBS Sports writer Josh Edwards broke down Williams' current trade market, the six most likely suitors, including the Browns, and what a trade might return for the Redskins.
3. Gerald McCoy to the Cowboys
And just like that, the Cowboys are back on track after suffering a three-game slide that was promptly ended when they took the Philadelphia Eagles out back and plucked them like a Thanksgiving bird in Week 7. That put them back above .500 and in sole possession of the top spot in the NFC East, but their masterful display on Sunday Night Football doesn't change the fact they need to figure out their defensive interior. With veteran lineman Tyrone Crawford now on injured reserve following hip surgery, they've put a lot of pressure on rotational players like Christian Covington and second-round pick Trysten Hill to get the job done. Covington has played admirably but Hill is still finding his way after being inactive several games, but the bottom line is there isn't an interior lineman on the roster comparable to what McCoy can do in an NFL game.
A tandem of McCoy, Antwaun Woods, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Robert Quinn would be destructive to opposing offenses, and that includes instantly shoring up the questionable run defense. It's doubtful the Cowboys would fork over a premium pick to land him, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't, and that's what this column is all about. Earlier, I broke down three other players the Cowboys should target in a trade prior to the deadline in addition to five players they can trade away and return solid value for.
4. Chris Harris to the Seahawks
A contender with an MVP candidate at quarterback, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks took a step back when they went up against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. It served as a reminder they still have issues on defense, one of which being their struggle to stop the pass. They're one of the worst teams in the NFL in that category, and the Broncos are taking calls on players not named Von Miller, as evidenced in the move to send Sanders to San Francisco. If there's a fire sale in Denver, the Seahawks would be smart to pick up the phone and find out the asking price for Harris. He'd help give their secondary a jolt and could be the missing piece when the playoffs roll around and they're facing a team like the Cowboys or New Orleans Saints.
5. Nelson Agholor to the Colts
Is Agholor simply not talented enough, or does he lack focus at times? The answer is likely the latter, considering he's shown a sizable progression recently when he was moved to mostly slot duty, but his time in Philadelphia might and should be over. His dropped pass in Atlanta cost them a potential victory over the lowly Falcons, and he short-armed what might've been a big play in Dallas on Sunday Night Football when Carson Wentz was doing his best to mount an unlikely comeback. A split could benefit the Colts, though, because they'd love to get a talent like Agholor to bolster the wide receiving corps led by T.Y. Hilton and tight end Eric Ebron. If Agholor can get to Indy and become a more locked-in receiver, it would've been worth making the trade, and especially since it's one that shouldn't cost more than a late-round pick at this point -- when also considering how the team views him.
6. Patrick Peterson to the Eagles
The WR position isn't the only the thing the Eagles need to address, and honestly not the most important, as odd as they might sound after seeing the regression on Nelson Agholor. They've been obliterated at the defensive back position by both injury and poor play, and failed in their attempt to land Ramsey after offering a first- and second-round pick -- in 2020 and 2021, respectively -- only to lose him to the Rams bigger offer. The egg on the face of Howie Roseman is still present and accounted for, and the way he can win fans back would be to woo the Arizona Cardinals into dealing All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson to them. Peterson is instantly better than any cornerback they have now or have had in a very, very long time, and they're not out of the NFC East race, even after being humiliated by the Cowboys in Week 7. They're still in second place, and need cornerback help to stop the potent receiver corps of the first-place Cowboys, along with all others they'll come up against in 2019. Earlier, CBS Sports writer Jeff Kerr broke down nine players the Eagles need to target prior to the trade deadline -- Peterson topped the list.
7. Karl Joseph to the Chiefs
This would be more of an insurance move for the Chiefs, but one they should consider doing. There isn't a long-term deal in place for Tyrann Mathieu and it could be argued Joseph is better and/or has more potential than any safety in Kansas City not named Mathieu or Juan Thornhill. If they can convince the Raiders to trade within the division -- an admittedly tall ask, but not impossible -- they could theoretically send a fifth-round pick to land Joseph, considering the Raiders don't truly need him after 2019 if first-round pick Jonathan Abram returns fine from injury. The trade would ensure even if there's an injury at the position in the second half of the year, there wouldn't be a definitive drop off at the third defensive level, and one Tom Brady and the Patriots could exploit in January.
8. Vic Beasley to the Raiders
It's odd to consider, but the reality is the Raiders are still relevant in late October, sitting at .500 and in second place in the AFC West behind the aforementioned Chiefs. They are also in the thick of the wildcard race. Their attempts to chase down Kansas City makes them sending Joseph improbable, but not impossible, but a player-to-player swap might sweeten that deal. It's not as if the Raiders can't use help both now and later, and they've made sure to stack draft picks like Jenga pieces to help build their future. They still need something potent right now, though, and Beasley could be that something, especially since the hapless 1-6 Falcons don't have much to play for going forward. Since making the mistake of dealing away Khalil Mack to the Bears, there hasn't been much of a pass rush to speak of in Oakland. Head coach Jon Gruden famously noted following the Mack trade that pass rushers are difficult to find. Well, Beasley is one, and would love to be saved from a drowning boat in Atlanta.
9. Kenyan Drake to the Buccaneers
Speaking of boats smashing into icebergs, the Miami Dolphins are the epitome of the Titanic, only they seemingly have no want of avoiding the collision. Having already traded away safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers a few weeks ago, they're clearly open for business. That business now includes seeing what they can get for running back Kenyan Drake, and they may not have to look far for a potential buyer. Not far away in Central Florida lies the Buccaneers, who are 2-4 right now, but only two games back of the second-place Carolina Panthers, who face the undefeated 49ers -- now equipped with Emmanuel Sanders -- after the bye week. There's still time for the Buccaneers to go all-in and make a run at a Wild Card spot in the NFC, having already defeated the Los Angeles Rams to prove they can make some noise. Jameis Winston would love to have another impact running back behind him to make his job easier, and Drake proved he can produce before things fell off the rails in 2019 amid coaching changes and a tank-driven offense that keeps switching quarterbacks.
10. Demaryius Thomas to the Jaguars
It's been a rough 2019 for Thomas, who was excited to join the Patriots this year before ultimately being traded away to the New York Jets after Bill Belichick mistakenly believed Antonio Brown had his act together. Things haven't fared well for him in New York, but maybe the answer is to remove the pressure of him being a top-2 target. The Jaguars would love to have him in the mix as they attempt to chase the Colts and Houston Texans in the AFC South, and the fact D.J. Chark is having a breakout season means Thomas won't have to carry the wide receiver corps. If anything, he'd add immediate depth and veteran savvy to the room and could be an impact rotational piece alongside Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley. Injuries have been an issue for Marqise Lee, and that only serves to make any interest in Thomas more justifiable. At this point, a late-round pick could make this deal happen, but also give Gardner Minshew, and Nick Foles (?), another weapon as they mount their rally in the second half of the season for either the division crown or an AFC Wild Card slot.