Four deals that need to be made ahead of the NFL trade deadline

Dwayne Haskins playing against Giants
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Andrew Ortenberg

NFL

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I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

We’re almost halfway through the 2020 NFL season, and that means we’ve got a lot clearer of an idea of where things stand around the league. That also means the trade deadline is approaching, with the cutoff for deals being next Tuesday, November 3rd.

The NFL trade deadline usually doesn’t see quite as much action as that of the NBA and MLB, but as front offices gravitate more and more toward analytics we’ve seen things pick up in recent years with more trades being made. It’s unclear how the pandemic will affect things and whether it will hamper activity, but no matter what at least a few big-name guys will likely be on the move.

We’ve already seen a couple of teams make moves, with the Seahawks and Lions both adding pass-rush help by acquiring Carlos Dunlap and Everson Griffen respectively. Hopefully we get some big splashes, and with that in mind here are four moves teams should absolutely make.

The Packers adding receiving help

The Packers look like contenders in the NFC, but Aaron Rodgers could use a better second option beyond Davante Adams. Adams is fantastic, but Green Bay sometimes relies on him too heavily and it’s important not to get too one-dimensional. There was a report from The Athletic on Wednesday that the Packers had inquired with the Texans about Will Fuller, and that would make a lot of sense.

Fuller is set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, and the 1-6 Texans aren’t going anywhere, so it would make sense for them to deal him. Fuller would be an excellent complement to Adams, and he can take the top off any defense. More so than just his own production, Fuller opens so much up for everybody around him by forcing defenses to account for his speed.

If not Fuller, older seasoned vets like A.J. Green and Alshon Jeffery also make sense and should be available. Two contending teams in the AFC, the Browns (in the wake of Odell Beckham Jr.’s ACL tear) and the Colts, should also be looking for receiving help at the deadline as they make their playoff pushes.

The Titans need a pass-rusher

As I mentioned above, pass-rushers have been the first ones flying, and the Titans need to be the next team to make a move. Tennessee has started the season 5-1 but the defense has quietly been quite poor, and their inability to generate much of a pass-rush is a large reason why. The offseason signing of Jadeveon Clowney hasn’t worked quite like they hoped, and they need to add some more help quickly.

They only have seven total sacks through six games, just one ahead of the Jaguars who have the fewest in the league. Simply put, you aren’t going to have any success in the playoffs with arguably the NFL’s worst pass-rush. In today’s pass-happy league you have to be able to get after the quarterback, and someone like Washington’s Ryan Kerrigan could be a fit.

Kerrigan is also in the last year of his deal, and he already has four sacks this season. The Jets have now denied they’re shopping him, but if it’s true that Quinnen Williams is available then Tennessee should absolutely be calling on him since he can get them pressure up the middle. Takkarist McKinley of the Falcons is also reportedly being shopped and he’d be a decent low-risk flyer. The Titans aren’t the only team making a push that needs to add a pass-rusher, as the Raiders definitely need to as well.

The Eagles should add a corner

Philadelphia is 2-4-1, but they’re in the driver’s seat in the NFC East thanks to the pitiful state of the division. The secondary has been shaky outside of top corner Darius Slay, and they could use a better option next to him on the outside besides Avonte Maddox. If they really wanted to swing for the fences and go all in on this year, they’d call the Patriots about reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, who reportedly is available.

Gilmore would make this Philly defense suddenly one of the league’s better units, and if Carson Wentz snaps out of his funk this team could be back to being a real contender. If they want to go smaller they could look into Desmond King with the Chargers, who has been unhappy with his playing time in Los Angeles. King is a versatile player who can line up at safety or in the slot and really help this secondary.

Logan Ryan of the Giants could make sense too, as he’s another versatile guy playing on a team that’s going nowhere. The Eagles love to be aggressive as an organization, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they made a big move. The Titans desperately need to add help in their secondary as well.

Washington trading Dwayne Haskins

When Washington drafted Haskins with the 15th overall pick last year they never imagined they’d be trading him in his second season, but a lot has changed since then. The regime that drafted Haskins is long gone, and the Ohio State product looked lost the first few games of this season before getting benched. He’s had a very public falling out with the team, with things going south in a hurry.

As such, it makes sense for both sides to move on now. Washington can get maximum draft capital back, while Haskins can get the fresh start he desperately needs. The team has made it very clear they don’t believe in him, so there’s no point delaying the inevitable any further. The Cardinals made the difficult decision to pull the plug on Josh Rosen after just one year, and they were able to get a second-round pick for him. If they had waited much longer they would’ve got virtually nothing back, as Rosen was cut by Miami the following year and is now on a practice squad.

Washington could probably still get a relatively early pick for Haskins, but only if they move with haste and don’t wait until next season. There are a number of teams that likely were high on Haskins heading into last year’s draft, and it would be great if he could end up with a team looking for their quarterback of the future still.

He could go to a team like the Bears that needs a quarterback both now and in the future, or a team like the Falcons, Steelers, or Colts who have an established starter that might not be around too much longer that Haskins could one day take over for.

The bottom line

For entertainment’s sake, hopefully it’s a busy day. I’ll have my fingers crossed for as many big deals as possible, and this year is especially interesting because there are a bunch of teams with great records who still have gaping holes on the roster. We’ll know more in the coming days, but there could be a lot of action and will certainly be some big surprises.

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