The NFL Trade Deadline is less than 24 hours away and rumors are starting to speculate on potential star players that could get moved. In the next few days teams have to decide whether they should buy, sell, or stand pat at the deadline. The deadline is November 3 at 4pm Eastern time. There has already been two major trades where the Minnesota Vikings sent Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys sent Everson Griffen to the Detroit Lions, San Fransisco sent Kwon Alexander to the New Orleans Saints, and Los Angeles Chargers sent Desmond King to the Tennessee Titans. These teams may not be done trading their veterans this season as both are rumored to want to move a few more veterans. Here are deals that teams in the AFC North should do before the trade deadline.
Baltimore Ravens complete their defense
Baltimore Ravens receive: Keanu Neal
Atlanta Falcons receive: 5th round pick
This season the Baltimore Ravens are once again one of the elite teams in the league. However this year it has more to do with their defense than their offense. Lamar Jackson has regressed as a passer one season after leading the league in touchdown passes. But their defense has played at an elite level. After adding Yannick Ngakoue, the Ravens only have one small void on this defense and could fill it by the deadline.
The Atlanta Falcons seemingly gave up on the year when they fired Dan Quinn after five games. Regardless of how they finish the year, since they fired both Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff, the Falcons will be rebuilding the team. This means the Falcons may have to part ways with a lot of talented veterans. Three major free agents for Atlanta who may not return to this team are Todd Gurley, Alex Mack, and Keanu Neal. Neal is arguably the most talented of the group, but has dealt with injuries over the last two seasons. If he stays healthy this year he is one of the best safeties in the league and there is no reason for him to stick around a rebuilding team in Atlanta with limited cap space.
If Atlanta has a feeling that Neal will likely be moving on, they should try and shop him before the deadline. One of the best destinations for Neal is in Baltimore because of the void left by the Earl Thomas release. Despite DeShon Elliot playing well in Thomas’ abrupt leave from the team. But the Ravens could upgrade the position to give themselves a defense comparable with division rival Pittsburgh. Adding Neal would do just that.
Cincinnati Bengals trade a fan favorite for a major need
Cincinnati Bengals receive: Joe Thuney
New England Patriots receive: A.J. Green
The Cincinnati Bengals number one goal this offseason should be to get Joe Burrow everything he needs to succeed. With essentially the same roster last year that earned the team the first overall pick he has looked nothing short of outstanding. In a short period of time he has shown that he is the franchise quarterback the team needs to potentially get them to the next level. That being said, Burrow has taken a lot of hits this season which was a fear by most coming into the year. Despite their history of being unwilling to pay for premium players, the Bengals should continue what they did offseason and add high end talent to get this team to the playoffs in the near future.
It appears that New England has basically waived the white flag on the year. Being three games under .500 is a strange place to be for the Patriots and maybe it is just weird to see the team talk so negatively about their performance on a weekly basis, but this team needs a spark. That spark is an offensive playmaker who can help Cam Newton and the offense play at a competent level because right now they are one of the worst offenses in football.
Both Joe Thuney and A.J. Green are on franchise tags so in hindsight trading them makes sense for both teams to move them with no guarantee they will return. But trading them for each other makes even more sense. Joe Thuney is considered one of the better interior offensive lineman in the league, but the Patriots are lacking the cap space to resign him long term to the contract he deserves. Plus the emergence of sixth round pick Michael Onwenu as a starting caliber interior offensive lineman makes Thuney tradable.
A.J. Green’s fate was sealed when the team took wide receive Tee Higgins with the 33rd pick in the draft last season. The team is looking to get younger and Green does not fit into their plans. Green has played solid this year. But the only way Green returns next season was if he played outstanding and was a Pro Bowl and All-Pro wide receiver that he was in his prime. Since the Bengals have crazy amount of depth at wide receiver they could move Green without major repercussion to the offense.
Thuney would immediately become the Bengals best offensive lineman and could easily become a part of the Bengals long term future. Despite being known as a franchise who won’t sign big checks, the Bengals would give Thuney a deal making him the highest paid interior offensive lineman in the league. A.J. Green would be the Patriots number one deep threat. Even though the Patriots desperately need a young receiver, Green is still an upgrade over what they have right now. After the season Green could potentially move on and attempt to be a complimentary receiver for another team or he can sign an affordable contact with the Patriots and be a part of a team who could be good enough to make the playoffs next season depending on what they do during the offseason.
Cleveland finds a replacement deep threat
Cleveland Browns receive: Kenny Stills
Houston Texans receive: Conditional 5th round pick
Despite how hard the media presses Cleveland and Baker Mayfield, the Browns look like a playoff team this season. They are 5-3 and one game back from the Baltimore Ravens for second place in the AFC North. Under new head coach Kevin Stefanski the Browns offense looks more organized and have fully committed to running the ball. Baker Mayfield’s job is to compliment the backfield of Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb. While the teams defense has been playing solid enough to keep them in games. But two weeks ago the Browns lost wideout Odell Beckham Jr. to a torn ACL. Even though Beckham’s role on the team wasn’t to be the best offensive player on the field, he loss is still a major one to cope with and the Browns should explore options to fill the void.
The Houston Texans are lacking draft picks to rebuild this team and have multiple wide receivers that are on movable contract and are not true number one receivers. The Texans should move at least one of their receivers. Will Fuller is arguably the most talented and would be a perfect complimentary receiver on any offense. Brandin Cooks was one of the league best receivers a short time ago, even though he has been traded and injured a bunch recently the right location could return him to form. Despite his age Randall Cobb is a great slot receiver who is capable of taking over a game on any given Sunday. While Kenny Stills has made a career being a great number two or three option on offense, but finds himself being the fourth receiver in this offense.
Kenny Stills would be a perfect addition for Cleveland for replace Odell Beckham Jr. Stills can stretch the field better than any of the players the Browns have replacing Beckham. They can also get him for a day three pick because not even Houston values him the way they did when they traded for him a year ago. Also Stills is on the last year of his contract so he could be a rental for the rest of the season to fill Beckhams void until he is healthy next year. That is if Beckham returns, but that is a story for the offseason. For now the Browns should throw a late round pick for Stills.
Pittsburgh looks towards the future
Pittsburgh Steelers receive: Dwayne Haskins
Washington Football Team receive: Conditional 2022 3rd round pick
The Pittsburgh Steelers have already made the perfect trade at the deadline making a move for Avery Williamson. After Devin Bush tore his ACL, Robert Spillane has played well filling in for him. But Williamson when healthy is a top-15 inside linebacker in the league. His addition to the league best defense and this outstanding team in phenomenal. However as important as this year is for Pittsburgh because they are the last undefeated team in the league, planning for the future should be in the minds of the executives in Pittsburgh.
Ron Rivera is getting a grasp of what he has in Washington and he finally realized that he is going to want his quarterback running the offense. Even earlier in the year it seemed like Rivera was not sold on 2019 first round pick Dwayne Haskins and could look to replace him quickly. Now his former quarterback in Kyle Allen is starting for the team and likely for rest of the year. But Allen is not a franchise quarterback. Rivera will be scouting quarterbacks this year int he draft despite still potentially having a shot of winning the division.
Haskins seems like a perfect fit for Pittsburgh. He would have an opportunity to learn from a two time Super Bowl Champion in Ben Roethlisberger. Haskins would also be an immediate upgrade over Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs the Steelers current backup quarterbacks. What made Haskins so attractive at Ohio State is how he thrived in an explosive offense, he wasn’t the reason why the offense was outstanding. But if he surrounded with the right pieces he can play very well. Pittsburgh has a better receiving group, running back, and offensive line than Washington. Also Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert love players out of Ohio State if you look at their draft history. He might not be more than an average quarterback as a starter once he would take over for the Steelers. But he is better than who the Steelers could get this year if Roethlisberger does retire and the team has a first round pick in the late twenties or thirties.