The NFL Trade Deadline is less than a week 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 and Dallas Cowboys sent Everson Griffen to the Detroit Lions.
Both the Cowboys and Vikings 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 NFC West should do before the trade deadline.
Arizona grabs a struggling offensive player at the deadline for the second year in a row
Arizona Cardinals receive: Evan Engram, 6th round pick
New York Giants receive: 4th round pick
A season ago the Cardinals traded a sixth round pick for Kenyan Drake. At the time Drake was struggling to emerge as the Dolphins lead back and since they were looking to rebuild during the 2020 Draft they were willing to part with veterans in order to gain as much draft possible as possible. On the other hand David Johnson was really struggling to preform well in Kliff Kingsbury‘s offense in Arizona. So the Cardinals took chance on Drake to see if he could bring a different element to the teams backfield. Drake was one of the leagues best running backs for the rest of the season in Arizona’s offense for the last eight games of the 2019-20 season. He had three 100 yard rushing games and eight touchdowns. His career game with 22 rushes for 137 yards and four touchdowns cemented his status at the Cardinals workhorse running back.
Though the New York Giants seem to be playing better every week, it likely will not stop them from shopping their veterans at the deadline. One veteran that they have been actively trying to move is tight end Evan Engram. Engram was a first round pick by the team in 2017, but has not played up to his draft selection after an inspiring rookie season. He has had struggles staying healthy and hasn’t been able to develop a great relationship with quarterback Daniel Jones. It might be time for the Giants to move off him so they don’t have to pay his $6 million fifth year option next season.
The Cardinals have the opportunity to get a similar impact player now. A majority of people could not tell you who the Cardinals starting tight end is. The Cardinals starting tight end is Dan Arnold, who only has 11 receptions for 154 yards and zero touchdowns on the season. The reason for lack of usage is because Kingsbury’s air raid offense usually runs four receiver sets and uses tight ends a lot less than the average team. What makes Engram a perfect fit is that he is a tight end with the skill set of a wide reciever. Despite his recent struggles, he would be a perfect fit in this offense and another weapon for Kyler Murray and this extremely young and explosive offense. What makes Engram attractive too is the fact that he has two years left on his contact and will be more than a rental.
The Rams make a deal with their neighbor
Los Angeles Rams receive: Denzel Perryman
Los Angeles Chargers receive: 6th round pick
The Los Angeles Rams appear to a contender again after the hiccup they had last season. The team is 5-2 and as Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports says it “Is one bad call away rom being six and one”. They are a powerhouse in the NFC despite not being consistently as explosive as they were during the year they went to their Super Bowl. This Rams team has the power to compete in a shootout, but can ground and pound their way to a victory in a low scoring game as well. It makes sense for them to make a deal for a rental player to give themselves the talent that the team needs to compete the rest of the way and potentially win the NFC West.
The other Los Angeles football team on paper is having a bad year, but is playing some inspiring football. Despite their 2-4 record, the Chargers are an extremely competitive football team and could potentially finish with a .500 record and get close to a playoff birth. However the Chargers have extra depth at linebacker that they aren’t using. Denzel Perryman has been a solid linebacker for the Chargers for a couple of seasons, but hasn’t played as much as his talent say he should because the team plays a lot of nickel with only two linebackers and multiple defensive backs. First round pick Kenneth Murray and Kyzir White are the teams starters. Perryman is a free agent after this year and the team should explore trading him for an extra draft pick.
The Los Angeles Rams defense is loaded with talent. They have arguably two of the best players at their positions in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. But because the team has decided to pay so much premier talent they are thin in other positions. One of those thin positions is inside linebacker. The Rams starting inside linebackers are Micah Kiser, Kenny Young, and Troy Reeder. Kiser is starting to play like a starting inside linebacker. But Reeder and Young have played below average at the position. At the expense of a Day 3 pick the Rams could add a starting caliber inside linebacker who can be plugged in and play right away. Perryman will only be a rental which would help the Rams with their congested salary cap.
San Fransisco adds another former first round pick to their defensive line
San Fransisco 49ers receive: Takkarsist McKinnley
Atlanta Falcons receive: 6th round pick
The San Fransisco 49ers have been decimated with injuries on both sides of the ball. But despite all of the injuries, the team is on pace to make the playoffs. After losing Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas to torn ACL’s they have relied on the like of Arik Armstead, Kerry Hyder, Ziggy Ansah, Dion Jordan, and Jordan Willis off the edge. However what the 49ers are lacking that made them so dominant last year was a plethora of talented edge rushers. They have had success with the players on their roster, but if they could add another former first round pick on Takkarist McKinnley to that deep group of pass rushers it would be be worth a late draft pick.
The Atlanta Falcons should blow up their defense in their rebuild. Despite all the notable names they have, the defense hasn’t played well in a few seasons. Former first round pick Takkarist McKinley has not played up to his draft selection. Since he is also on the last year of his deal he becomes the perfect candidate to get moved at the deadline.
McKinley is on the last year of his deal so it wouldn’t be a high risk move for the 49ers to trade a pick for him. Also getting moved to a contending team could like a spark for McKinley to play better to potentially earn himself a roster spot next season. If he were able to have between 3-5 sacks by the end of the season that should be enough to get him into someone’s camp next season. Surrounded by the talent in San Fransisco and playing for Robert Saleh may be enough to get that out of McKinley.
Seattle adds an extremely talented defensive back
Seattle Seahawks receive: Brian Poole
New York Jets receive: 5th round pick
The Seattle Seahawks may already be done making trades after moving B.J. Finney and a seventh-round pick. But if Seattle wants to go for it all this season they should consider making one more deal. The Seahawks are 5-1 and are legitimately in the conversation for best team in the NFC and for the Super Bowl. Russell Wilson is playing at a level comparable to Peyton Manning during his MVP season in 2015. Wilson has played near perfect, but the defense is ranked the worst in the league. They cannot generate a pass rush and their cornerbacks have struggled in coverage.
The New York Jets started their fire sale during the summer when they traded Jamal Adams to Seattle. They have traded multiple veterans since then and an intriguing one that could be moved is cornerback Brian Poole. Poole is a veteran cornerback who is one of the best in the league at covering in the slot. Modern day defenses see a lot of value in a cornerback like Poole who can lock down slot receivers and throws over the middle.
After acquiring Dunlap, the Seahawks biggest weakness is their secondary. Inserting Brian Poole into their lineup could be a step in the right direction. Tre Flowers has struggled to cover in the slot this season. Though there are higher profile cornerbacks available, Poole is the best cornerback they can acquire with their current salary cap. But this isn’t a knock on Poole. He would immediately become a starter in Seattle and could be argued as high as their number two cornerback in their lineup.