NFL trade deadline: Each contender must make one move to get over hump; The Bills go all-in for Kareem Hunt

Eric Dickerson was on his way to a Halloween party when sportscaster Jim Gray informed the Rams star that he had been traded to the Colts. Dickerson, shocked by the news, agreed to do an impromptu interview with Gray, which was immediately broadcast.

It’s not known if Dickerson was ever involved in his party, but one thing we do know is that trades before the deadline have become much more common since 1987. That was made clear last Thursday night when the 49ers acquired former Panthers star halfback Christian McCaffrey. The Jets followed suit Monday night when they acquired James Robinson from the Jaguars following Brees Hall’s season-ending injury.

Rest assured, these won’t be the only notable trades taking place between now and Nov. 1, the NFL trade deadline. Here’s a look at what the other top teams in the NFL need to do before the deadline to increase their chances of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in Arizona on Feb. 12.

Receiving: LB Roquan Smith
Trade: 2023 second round pick

Adding depth to the offensive line was also considered, but adding a Pro Bowl-caliber player in the middle of Philadelphia’s defense would make a very good defense even better. It would also help solve the Eagles’ somewhat questionable run defense, which is currently averaging 5 yards per carry.

If the Bears field offers, the Eagles should try to acquire Roquan Smith, a tackling machine who led the NFL in tackles through six weeks. Along with being a solid player, Smith can also help Philadelphia pass while being a constant presence in the opposing backfield. Acquiring Smith will pay dividends for years to come considering he is only 25 years old.

Receiving: CB Greedy Williams, 2023 sixth-round pick
Trade: 2023 fourth-round pick

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Along with RB Kareem Hunt, the Browns are also reportedly open to calls for cornerback Greedy Williams. A 2019 second-round pick out of LSU, Williams has appeared in just two games this year after getting 20 starts in his first two seasons in Cleveland. He missed the entire 2020 season after suffering an injury in training camp.

The 24-year-old cornerback still has plenty of upside. At the very least, he can provide some plays and quality depth for a defense that is 28th in passing yards allowed and last in red zone efficiency. At best, Williams could have a career rebirth as he elevates a Vikings team already in the driver’s seat in the NFC North.

Receiving: RB Kareem Hunt
Trade: 2023 third-round pick, 2023 fifth-round pick

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Buffalo reportedly swung and passed on the chance to acquire McCaffrey, but they still have a chance to get another versatile running back back before the deadline. The Browns reportedly will listen to commercial offers for multiple players before the deadline, including running back Kareem Hunt.

Hunt is a former NFL rushing champion who spent the last three-plus seasons sharing a backfield with Nick Chubb. He has been one of the top receiving backs in the NFL since entering the league in 2017, racking up 191 receptions and 17 touchdowns in that span.

Receiving: TE Mike Gesicki
Trade: 2023 second round pick

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Acquiring Gesicki makes a lot of sense, especially considering Daniel Bellinger’s recent eye injury, which is expected to sideline him indefinitely. A native of New Jersey, Gesicki has proven to be an extremely productive player when given the opportunity. The five-year veteran caught 13 touchdowns over a three-year span while eclipsing the 700-yard receiving mark in consecutive seasons.

Once considered a likely trade target, Gesicki’s increased role in Mike McDaniel’s offense over the past two games (he had 14 targets in that span after having 12 in the first five games of the season) could suggest that Gesicki will remain in Miami at least through the 2022 season. At the very least, Gesicki’s recent spike in production is sure to raise the Dolphins’ asking price if they decide to land him.

Receiving: CB William Jackson
Trade: 2023 fourth-round pick

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Receiving: CB Sidney Jones
Trade: 2023 third-round pick

Kansas City could need some help on defense as it is 25th in the league in scoring, 30th in passing yards allowed and last in touchdown passes allowed through seven weeks. Possible trade options here include Washington’s William Jackson III and Seattle’s Sidney Jones.

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A former first-round pick, Jackson would bring significant experience to the Chiefs defensive backfield. He has 65 career starts between his stints with the Bengals and Commanders. Jackson was also a productive player, with 51 career passes defended. Jackson is more proven, but the younger Jones may have more upside. He is coming off the most productive season of his career, when he had 66 tackles and 10 passes defensed.

Sign: WR Odell Beckham Jr

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It’s not a deal, but it’s a move the Cowboys need to make. From the outside, you’d think the Cowboys would want to make upgrades at tight end and cornerback after injuries to Dalton Schultz and Jourdan Lewis. But the Cowboys are comfortable with their backups at both positions, meaning they will likely turn to their receiving corps if they seek outside help.

In Dallas, Beckham will essentially be asked to do what he did last year to help the Rams win the Super Bowl. The former Pro Bowler will be asked to complement a receiving corps led by CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Noah Brown. Beckham would make the Cowboys’ already explosive offense even more difficult to stop.

Receiving: WR Brandin Cooks, 2023 sixth-round pick
Trade: 2023 fifth-round pick, 2024 sixth-round pick

Tennessee needs an upgrade here if they want to be a serious contender. The Titans changed course after last season, trading AJ Brown and parting ways with Julio Jones. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine is struggling to be a consistent target for Ryan Tannehill. Traylon Burks, the Titans’ first-round pick, has struggled to stay healthy. Veteran Robert Woods has also been unable to be a reliable force on offense, recording just 204 yards and one touchdown on 20 receptions this season.

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Fortunately for the Titans, there are several receivers whose names have been linked to possible trades, including Cooks, who could likely be acquired without giving up too much capital. Even though he’s already been traded three times, the journeyman Cooks is still on the right side of 30. He’s still a productive receiver who would help open things up for Tannehill and the passing game.

Dolphins (4-3)

Receiving: S Tarvarius Moore
Trade: 2023 fifth-round pick

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It’s easy to forget that the Dolphins were up 3-0 before Tua Tagovailoa missed two and a half games. Miami isn’t a perfect team, but they are 4-0 in the games Tua has completed this season. One position on the Dolphins roster that has recently become a question mark is safety after starter Brandon Jones suffered a knee injury in Sunday night’s win over Pittsburgh that will put him on injured reserve.

A five-year veteran, Moore will bring versatility to the Dolphins’ secondary, having previously seen time at free and strong safety as well as cornerback since coming to the NFL in 2018. Making things more enticing is the fact that Moore has cap friendly salary of $1.035 million.

Receiving: DE Robert Quinn, 2023 sixth-round pick
Trade: 2023 third-round pick

The defending AFC champions don’t appear to have too many needs after recording their fourth win in their last five games following Sunday’s rout of Atlanta. The Bengals might consider adding a pass rusher to the team as they have just 12 sacks in seven games. Robert Quinn, who recorded a career-high 18.5 sacks last season, could be brought in to serve as valuable depth behind Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson.

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Despite coming off a Pro Bowl season, Quinn only has one sack this year, which could make him a bargain at the deadline. Quinn is also 32 and in his 12th season, which is both a positive for the Bengals in terms of possible trade compensation and Quinn’s possible desire to play for a legitimate Super Bowl contender at this point in his career.

Receiving: WR KJ Hamler, 2023 fifth-round pick
Trade: Tutu Atwell, 2023 third-round pick

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Like several other teams, the Rams are in desperate need of another receiver. Los Angeles doesn’t need a stud, but someone who can be found while opening things up for Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp. The Rams also don’t have much to offer in the way of draft picks, which brings us to Hamler, a fine receiver who could be had for less than some of his contemporaries.

The former second rounder needs a fresh start like a marathon runner needs water. Hamler has been targeted just 11 times this season and has become an afterthought in the Broncos offense. Denver could also trade him for future stock, while giving Hamler a chance to revive his career.

Hamler could be the spark the Rams offense needs. He has big-play ability, as evidenced by his 55-yard catch in Denver’s loss to the Raiders in Week 4. The former Penn State standout made several big plays as a rookie before injuries wiped out most of his second season.

The Rams may be willing to part ways with Atwell, a 2021 second-round pick who caught just one pass in 13 regular-season games. In Atwell, the Broncos would get young, speedy players who could make an impact on the field and on special teams.

Receiving: WR Jerry Judy, 2023 sixth-round pick
Trade: WR Amari Rogers, 2023 second pick

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Really, the Packers just need a receiver, any kind a receiver who can help Aaron Rodgers. But they can also choose the best receiver that can be offered in Jeudy. Ironically, the former 15th overall pick tied his season high in receptions last Sunday with Brett Rypien throwing him the ball. Imagine the numbers Judy — who caught seven passes for 96 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Jets — would have put up with the league’s reigning two-time MVP throwing him the ball.

Acquiring him would be a steep price, but the price will be worth it if Jeudy can help the Packers right the ship after a rough start. In the process, Rodgers would also get a fresh start in Denver after struggling to make progress in Green Bay.

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