In a way, the NFL trade deadline this year is like any other — you’ll hear a lot of names without moving many players before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET cutoff.
In another way, it is different.
This year, for one reason or another, the focus among buyers is on premium pass rushers. With the deadline three days away, it’s hard to say whether anyone can land Brian Burns from the Panthers, Bradley Chubb from the Broncos or Josh Allen from the Jaguars. But two things are certain—teams will try, and landing one of them won’t be easy.
Chubb, 26, has 5.5 sacks in seven games and is in a contract year. Allen, 25, had just three sacks in seven games but played well and has an option for this year and next year in his new contract. And Burns, 25, is the best of the bunch, with five sacks, and, like Allen, is under contract through the 2022 season.
The usual suspects have followed. They got first-rounders in 2024 and ’25 to replace the production they lost with Von Miller’s departure, and have already made a substantial offer to Burns. The Chiefs have verified Allen’s availability and are looking for another edge rusher as well, though they may be a little more reluctant to part with the 2023 first-rounder. The Titans also need pass-rush help. Sub would be a good fit, but they are very conservative in their choices.
Then you have eagles, and when They bought Robert QuinnAnd don’t required With a ton more up front, it’s always hard to rule out GM Howie Roseman making another move.
Why are teams so hot to get pass rushers? There’s always a premium for guys who can move to quarterback (so contracts for those players approach $30 million per year). But, of late, those investments also pay off when it matters most. Its Aaron Donald’s game to close out the Super Bowl against Bengal. Miller’s play set up the Bills’ game-winning drive earlier this month in Kansas City. In an era marked by bloated scoreboards, these are the men who serve as tiebreakers.
That’s why the Panthers, Jaguars and Broncos would be too expensive to consider dealing their star pass rushers. That’s why someone might be willing to go the distance to get one of them.
That too will make the next few days interesting.
Here are a few more tidbits ahead of the deadline…
• Since Denver has the rights tag to keep Chub and two-plus years of control over receiver Jerry Judy, I don’t think GM George Patton will be forced to deal with those two, without a big offer, and London regardless of Sunday’s outcome. One interesting, less important name to watch over the next few days is third-year tight end Albert Okwuekbunam. But Broncos teams have said they won’t hold a fire sale.
• The Rams’ radar, again, is for pass-rush help and offensive line help. But there may also be outliers. Safeties Terrell Burgess and Taylor Robb, and running back Cam Akers, and corner David Long are another name to watch.
• The Katarious Tony is the first to land Not to admit that the Chiefs are out of Odell Beckham Jr., but I think their highest priority at this point is to find another pass rusher. For a team not working with a ton of cap space, Toney represents a very affordable way to add to Patrick Mahomes’ arsenal.
• The Packers have asked about receivers, and yes, the Steelers’ Chase Claypool is one of the available. Other teams think a third-rounder could get it done. Offloading Claypool would create more opportunity for newbie George Pickens in the Steelers offense.
• There are conflicting reports about Alvin Kamara, but one GM told me he thought the Saints would consider trading him to the Eagles if Philadelphia gave them back the first-rounder they traded for in April.
• The Saints are in an interesting spot, with a very talented roster and a record that doesn’t reflect it. And so Mickey Loomis gets the calls. Whether he’ll actually be willing to listen to Kamara or Michael Thomas remains to be seen. But there are some secondary types like Nick Vannett and Marquez Callaway.
• The Patriots are another team that could add or subtract an off-ball linebacker or active linebacker ahead of the deadline. They’ve certainly shown openness in moving Nelson Agholor and Isaiah Wynn, both of whom are in contract years and have a lot of money coming their way through the balance of the season.
• The Bengals and Bills are in contention, but the trades could include Isaiah Prince and Brandon Wilson for Cincinnati and Zach Moss for Buffalo. The Cowboys also have Tristan Hill and Darrell Basham available for teams in need of defensive line help.
• The Browns have received calls for running backs Kareem Hunt and cornerback Greedy Williams and are willing to discuss them. The Jets were the team that previously investigated Hunt Landing James Robinson. Hunt would cost around a fourth rounder in my opinion.
• The Jets have shown interest in adding, but they also have some pieces that could be moved—receiver Denzel Mims, defensive end Jacob Martin and corner Bryce Hall are among those groups.
• The Raiders, with a new regime, have a pair of former first-rounders from the old regime in contract years, available in Jonathan Abram and Clelin Ferrell.
• Thanks to the progress of rookies Tarik Woolen and Kobe Bryant, the Seahawks explored dealing veteran Sidney Jones.
• Also available is Commander Williams Jackson. Washington has been trying to deal with him, and some groups believe the generals will cut him if he can’t be moved.
• The Texans have held talks about moving receiver Brandon Cooks, but Houston’s asking price (a second-rounder and a Day 3 pick) and Cooks’ $18 million guaranteed through 2023 have kept anything from happening until now. They’re also likely to get call-ups for Laremy Tunsil in the next few days, a ’23 contract year at left tackle, but it will come at a cost. A lot Assuming the Texans will ask for these offers early in order to get him out of Houston.
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