What these five playoff teams from last season have in common is that they all possess compensatory picks next season. The Patriots, for example, will likely get two third-rounders and two sixths to go along with seven other choices in the 2020 draft, which makes sending a second-rounder to Atlanta for Sanu — a pick likely to be at or near the end of the round — a lot more tolerable.
While several big names have already been moved, don’t be surprised if more deals take place between now and Tuesday — in part due to the separation between the league’s best and worst teams. Entering Week 8, 14 teams have winning records, while 12 have two wins or fewer.
Let’s take a look at some of the struggling teams that could consider dealing away a key player, along with potential trade partners for each.
Potential trade: Running back Kenyan Drake to the Detroit Lions
The real question regarding Miami is what players it has left to deal, after having traded so many this year. Safety Rashad Jones is one of two Dolphins players who have been to the Pro Bowl, along with cornerback Xavien Howard, who might be too valuable to trade. That leaves Drake, who would be a useful back for a team that has had an injury at running back, like Detroit or perhaps the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Potential trade: Tight end Tyler Eifert to the Patriots
Even though they are 0-7, it’s not certain the Bengals will be sellers. The Brown family likes to keep their homegrown talent. If they were willing to, however, they could put out a pretty impressive list of trade offerings. It would be headed by wide receiver A.J. Green, but he’s not likely to be traded. Eifert, defensive lineman Carlos Dunlap, center-guard Billy Price and cornerback William Jackson could attract good values in trade.
Potential trade: Cornerback Josh Norman to the Kansas City Chiefs
The Redskins continue to say they won’t trade holdout left tackle Trent Williams. The Cleveland Browns have been interested, but they might opt to go after Nate Solder of the New York Giants.
Two veteran players who might draw interest from opposing teams are cornerback Josh Norman and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. Norman, who missed Sunday’s loss to the 49ers due to injury and is questionable for Thursday’s game at Minnesota, would be an interesting fit for a Chiefs team that still needs help at corner.
Potential trade: Edge rusher Vic Beasley to the Ravens
Sanu was the first to go, and Beasley could be next. Like Dante Fowler Jr. a year ago, who provided big plays for the Rams during their run to the Super Bowl, Beasley could be moved to a team like Baltimore that is need of a second pass rusher. You have to figure the Patriots asked about Austin Hooper when they dealt for Sanu, given their need at tight end, which would indicate Hooper is staying in Atlanta. Two other Falcons to watch are running back Devante Freeman and defensive end Adrian Clayborn.
New York Jets
Potential trade: Defensive end Leonard Williams to the Indianapolis Colts
After being the one of the most aggressive teams in unrestricted free agency, the Jets might not be sellers, despite their start. But that spending was under their former general manager, not the new man in charge, Joe Douglas. If the Jets were to enter the trade market, defensive lineman Leonard Williams would net at least a first-round pick. Would a playoff hopeful contender like the Colts be willing to make a big move for him? For much less, the Jets would trade cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who hasn’t been a great fit since joining the team.
Los Angeles Chargers
Potential trade: Running back Melvin Gordon to the Bucs
After a 12-win season, the Chargers are stunned they are 2-5. More than likely, they won’t be sellers unless they can get some value for running back Melvin Gordon, who admits holding out hurt his performance and vowed to never hold out again. Wide receiver Keenan Allen would fetch good value, but he’s a key piece of their offense and receiver-needy teams like the Patriots and Niners have already made moves.
Potential trade: Cornerback Chris Harris Jr. to the Philadelphia Eagles
The Broncos are reluctant sellers, but after starting 2-5, they moved Emmanuel Sanders to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for third- and fourth-round picks (they also sent a fifth-rounder to the Niners). Harris could be next. They won’t trade him to the Chiefs because they’re a division rival, but the Eagles would be a logical consideration for the right value. They need cornerback help and are still just a game back in the NFC East after Sunday’s blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Defensive lineman Derek Wolfe could draw some interest as well.
More NFL coverage: