The NFL's trading deadline is rapidly approaching. This year's trading period ends Oct. 31 at 4 p.m. ET. Afterward, trades can't be executed again until the 2018 league year begins on March 14 at 4 p.m. ET.
Bold moves or blockbuster deals are virtually nonexistent at the trading deadline. The biggest move since the 2011 lockout ended has been the Raiders giving the Bengals a 2012 first-round pick and a 2013 second-round pick for quarterback Carson Palmer in 2011. It's the only time a first- or second-round pick has been given up in a post-lockout deal at the trading deadline. This means the Giants aren't going into full rebuilding mode by reuniting Eli Manning with his former head coach Tom Coughlin, the Jaguars' executive vice president of football operations, in Jacksonville.
Fourteen deals have been made in the days leading up to the expiration of the trading period over the past six years. The mid-September trade of linebacker Stephone Anthony, a 2015 first-round pick, from the Saints to the Dolphins for a 2018 fifth-round pick is indicative of the types of deals that are typically made as the trading deadline nears.
The Patriots have been the most active team. Out of the 11 trades made over the past five years at or near the trading deadline, six involved the Patriots. Surprisingly, Jamie Collins, who turned down a lucrative extension from the Patriots during training camp last year, was dealt to the Browns for a 2017 third-round pick at the 2016 deadline. The speculation that New England would move cornerback Malcolm Butler, who is likely to leave in free agency after this season, before the deadline has died down because of injuries to cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe.
There's optimism that this year's deadline will be different because of the flurry of trades surrounding the early September roster cutdown. The lack of a dominant team or two emerging might be an impetus for increased deadline activity. Over three-fourths of the NFL has between three and five wins after seven weeks of the season.
Below are five trades keeping in the spirit of the deals traditionally made as the trading deadline approaches. A team acquiring a player will only be responsible for 9/17th of his 2017 base salary and any other applicable salary components in his contract. A trade wasn't proposed unless the acquiring team had the requisite salary cap room to complete the transaction.
It was very tempting to suggest a scenario where Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, who has been shopped, is dealt because he got off on the wrong foot with the new regime of head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane. Other major pieces from former general manager Doug Whaley's tenure have already been moved.
Teams are reluctant to absorb the almost $5.2 million left of Dareus' 2017 base salary and an additional four contract years worth $50.01 million, which include a $7.35 million 2018 salary guarantee, while giving up substantial draft picks for a player with character concerns who gives inconsistent effort. It would be hard to fault the Bills for insisting on compensation similar to what the Jets received for defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, whose off-field issues are well-documented. Seattle essentially gave up a 2018 second-round pick and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who immediately became a starter with Jets, for Richardson at roster cutdowns.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has a high tolerance for character concerns and off-field transgressions. Although the Jaguars defense is tremendous against the pass and on pace to set an NFL single-season record for sacks, it ranks 30th against the run (138.6 yards per game) and last with 5.2 yards per rushing attempt. Dareus' best football was in 2013 and '14 when current Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone was in charge of the Bills.
Here's a list of trades that would make sense at the trading deadline:
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Giants
Potential landing spot: Raiders
Trade compensation: 2018 fifth-round pick
Rodgers-Cromartie served a one-game suspension because of a dispute with head coach Ben McAdoo over his playing time. The Giants' lone win of the season came in Week 6 against the Broncos during his suspension. Upon return in Week 7, Rodgers-Cromartie saw a reduced role. He was only on the field for 16 of New York's 76 defensive snaps against the Seahawks. Four Giants cornerbacks played more than Rodgers-Cromartie.
Cornerback has been a glaring weakness for the Raiders, who were a preseason favorite to win the AFC. Sean Smith fell out of favor during the preseason. 2017 first-round pick Gareon Conley has been plagued by shin problems. David Amerson's breakout 2015 season seems like an aberration for him. T.J. Carrie, who is in a contract year, has been Oakland's most consistent cornerback.
Opposing quarterbacks are completing 69 percent of their passes against the Raiders (29th in the NFL) to post a league high 109 passer rating. The Raiders are allowing 8.2 yards per pass play, which is third worst in the NFL. The only team that hasn't intercepted any passes is Oakland.
Rodgers-Cromartie is under contract in 2018 for $6.5 million. The 31 year old makes $2 million less than 30 year old Sean Smith next season, who is expected to be released in the offseason.
Trade compensation: Player swap
Cincinnati selected Joe Mixon in the second round of this year's draft to be the future at running back. Mixon supplanting Hill, whose rookie contract expires after the season, as the primary ball carrier ensures he will not return to the Bengals in 2018. Surprisingly, tight end has become a timeshare in Detroit because Ebron has largely been missing in action. Low cost free agent pick up Darren Fells has been getting more playing time. Michael Roberts, a 2017 fourth round pick, would see his role increase dramatically if Ebron departs.
Although Ameer Abdullah is healthy this year, Detroit's 84 rushing yards per game are 26th in the NFL. The Lions rank one spot lower with 3.5 yards per carry. Hill coming remotely close to his performance during the second half of his rookie season in 2014 where he gained 775 yards while averaging 5.1 yards per carry would be a tremendous boost to a stagnant rushing attack.
The injury bug has bitten Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert again. Eifert, who is also headed towards free agency, recently underwent season ending back surgery. Ebron would have half a season to impress Cincinnati enough to commit to his $8.25 million fifth year option for 2018. The Lions are likely to release Ebron next offseason before this amount becomes fully guaranteed in March with the way things are going for him.
Potential landing spot: Chiefs
Trade compensation: 2018 fourth-round pick
Reid already switched from free safety, which he played in 2016, to strong safety this season. After a minor knee injury kept Reid out of action for three games, he didn't return to strong safety because of Jaquiski Tartt's play during his absence. Reid, who is playing under a $5.676 million fifth-year option, doesn't seem thrilled about his latest move to a hybrid linebacker/safety role where he is rotating with linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong.
Losing All-Pro safety Eric Berry to a season ending achilles injury in the first game against the Patriots is starting to catch up to the Chiefs. During Kansas City's current two game losing streak, the defense has given up 944 yards to the Steelers and Raiders. Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell gained 179 yards on the ground in Week 6 while quarterback Raiders Derek Carr threw for 417 yards the following game. Starting cornerback Steven Nelson, who was placed on injured reserve at the beginning of the season with a core muscle injury, could return as early as Week 9's contest against the Cowboys.
Fitting the $3,004,941 remaining balance of Reid's $5.676 million base salary could be problematic because the move would leave the Chiefs with right around $600,000 of salary cap room. San Francisco converting some portion Reid's' salary into signing bonus prior to the trade might be necessary so Kansas City would only be responsible for paying Reid $1.5 million to $2 million for the rest of the season.
The Chiefs' ammunition to build the roster through the draft would be further depleted but Kansas City is a Super Bowl contender having already beaten the defending champion Patriots and given the Eagles their only loss of the season. The Bills got Kansas City's 2018 first round pick in a trade which led to the selection of quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the first round of this year's draft. The Chiefs don't have a 2018 fifth round pick because of a preseason trade with the Browns for offensive lineman Cameron Erving.
Seantrel Henderson, OT, Bills
Potential landing spot: Eagles
Trade compensation: Conditional 2019 seventh-round pick
The Bills have a surplus of offensive tackles. Moving one makes sense especially with Henderson just finishing the 10 game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy he started serving last season. A trade centered around Bills offensive tackle Cordy Glenn and Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham was an alternative. The Bills dealing a Pro Bowl caliber offensive tackle in his prime for a tight end on an expiring contract and draft picks seemed less plausible. It may have been a different story if Bills tight end Charles Clay wasn't expected to return later in the season from the knee injury he suffered in early October.
The Eagles and Bills have already demonstrated they can work together this year with the preseason trade involving cornerback Ronald Darby and wide receiver Jordan Matthews. Losing left tackle Jason Peters for the season on Monday night to a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee is a big blow. Halapoulivaati Vaitai wasn't up to the task after Peters got hurt or filling in for right tackle Lane Johnson earlier this season or last year. Henderson started 26 games for the Bills during the 2014 and 2015 seasons prior to his battle with Crohn's disease and two substance abuse suspensions. The 2019 seventh-round pick could be as high as a 2019 fifth-round pick depending on Henderson's playtime with the Eagles after being acquired.
Landing spot: Chicago Bears
Trade compensation: 2018 sixth-round pick
Editor's note: This proposed trade actually happened on Wednesday, with the.
Mitchell Trubisky, the second overall pick in April, hasn't been left with many weapons to throw to because of a rash of injuries at wide receiver. Keenan Allen's successful return from an ACL tear that cost him most of last season and 2017 seventh overall pick Mike Williams' return from a back injury have made Inman an afterthought. The restricted free agent was the Chargers' second leading receiver in 2016 with 58 catches for 810 yards and four touchdowns.