The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, October 31 at 4 p.m. ET. Here’s a look at the 25 most-interesting names potentially available.
Kirk Cousins, QB
The Vikings should absolutely be looking to move Kirk Cousins – this is a lost season, he’s almost certain to walk as a free agent, and the return would be substantial. A no-trade clause may make this one unlikely, but Cousins remains the top player available nonetheless. There are a few teams that could become contenders with a quarterback of his caliber.
Brian Burns, DE
Elite pass-rushers are tough to find. The Panthers know this, and it’s fair to assume they’re planning to use the franchise tag on Burns as a result. But what if an offer they receive gets Bryce Young the help he needs on offense? Given the lack of progress on a new contract for Burns, it seems possible Carolina is tempted to move on at the deadline.
Budda Baker, S
The Cardinals have been far more competitive than anyone could have expected, but this season is still more about building for the future than anything else. Baker remains their top trade chip, and he recently returned to practice after missing time with a hamstring injury. The five-time Pro Bowler was trying to force his way out of Arizona before receiving a revised contract at the start of training camp.
Saquon Barkley, RB
It’s difficult to imagine Barkley getting a long-term deal in New York. It’s even more difficult to imagine the Giants finding a way to be competitive down the stretch this year. With that in mind, a trade would probably be best for everyone. The only question is whether the Giants will have the courage to be sellers after heading into this season with so much excitement.
Derrick Henry, RB
Third-round rookie Tyjae Spears is already eating into Henry’s workload and looks capable of taking on more. With Henry heading for free agency at season’s end, and the Titans seemingly in no position to compete this year, a trade makes sense for all. The two-time rushing champ might have lost a step, but he’d still be a valuable early-down runner for a contending team in January.
Danielle Hunter, DE
Hunter’s been a rumored trade candidate for years. Nothing materialized in the past, but the Vikings haven’t been this bad during his tenure, either. It’s time for Minnesota to sell, and its star pass-rusher should probably be considered the most likely to go. Teams are always willing to pay up for star talent on the edge, and Hunter is tied for the league lead with eight sacks.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR
Hopkins ending up in Tennessee this offseason was always a bit of a weird fit. His production despite a lack of team success gives the Titans a unique opportunity to flip the free-agent acquisition for draft capital. There are several contenders that could use his big-play ability at receiver, and a minimal remaining base salary for this year would make a trade fairly easy to work out.
Darren Waller, TE
The Giants punting on the Waller trade after two months seems unlikely, at best. But we shouldn’t rule it out entirely. Waller has a $14.4-million cap hit in his age-32 season next year, and it only goes up from there. The blockbuster acquisition hasn’t helped push this offense over the top, so turning to the trade market wouldn’t be the worst idea. Contending teams would certainly be interested in the supremely talented tight end.
Chase Young, DE
The Commanders can’t pay everyone on that star-studded defensive line. Choosing between Young and Montez Sweat won’t be easy, but Sweat’s consistent availability could be the tiebreaker here. And it’s possible Young’s draft pedigree as a former No. 2 overall pick yields a more significant trade return. The Ohio State product still has star potential.
Derrick Brown, DL
Brown is another young defensive player who could net Carolina solid draft capital. The impact of losing a foundational piece will be a factor, of course, but it’s unclear whether the Panthers plan on paying Brown his market value. Moving on from the former first-round pick could be yet another way to stockpile assets that can help rebuild the offense around its franchise QB.
Justin Simmons, S
The Broncos have been a disaster and Simmons is one of many players who should be put on the block in the hopes of collecting draft picks and rebuilding. The veteran safety is signed through next season with a base salary topping $14 million, so Denver may have to eat some money, but he could be an important addition on the back end for a team looking to make a playoff run.
Trent Brown, OT
The Patriots as sellers? Yeah, it’s weird. But there’s little left to gain from this season, and New England needs all the draft picks it can get. Brown plays a premium position, and does it quite well; the veteran left tackle is one of the few bright spots for a terrible Patriots offense. A playoff team needing help up front could justify offering a mid-round pick.
Leonard Williams, DL
Williams is in the last year of a big-money extension he signed in 2021. The Giants will likely have to absorb a good chunk of what remains on his prorated $18-million base salary, but if it helps them get a better return, why not? Williams is an every-down interior lineman who can make an impact against the run and as a pass-rusher.
Jerry Jeudy, WR
Jeudy has been a major disappointment since joining the Broncos as a first-round pick in 2020. The former Alabama star is yet to top 1,000 yards in a season, and he’s managed only 286 yards and no touchdowns this year. In fairness, though, the Broncos offense rarely sets him up for success. A fresh start may allow him to realize his potential.
Courtland Sutton, WR
The Broncos trading both their top receivers seems unlikely – but what’s the point in delaying the inevitable? Sutton’s been unable to make good on the flashes he showed early in his career. It’s no sure thing a new environment helps get him there, but he’s worth a shot for a team desperate for receiver help.
Jaylon Johnson, CB
Johnson’s one of the NFL’s most underrated defensive backs. The Bears should have no problem paying to keep him off the free-agent market, but the opportunity to flip him for some sort of draft compensation beforehand may change their plans. The former second-round pick is only 24 and could be much more than a deadline rental.
Harrison Smith, S
Smith has played his entire 12-year career in Minnesota, and moving on from such a player is easier said than done, but the Vikings have to consider it with this season going down the drain. The six-time Pro Bowler is the type of player who can be counted on to make an immediate impact with a new defense down the stretch.
Carl Lawson, DE
Lawson being buried on the Jets’ depth chart says more about their ridiculous defensive line depth than it does his ability. The 28-year-old remains an explosive edge rusher who can contribute in an every-down role, and should generate plenty of interest. Perhaps the Jets dangle him in trade talks to upgrade at a position of need.
Adoree’ Jackson, CB
Starting-caliber cornerbacks are tough to come by. Jackson hasn’t been his usual self this season, but nothing’s truly going right for the Giants. He could be a deadline steal for a contending team with a better supporting cast.
Xavier McKinney, S
McKinney is a smart, versatile Giants defender. An extension makes sense for both sides, but there’s been no momentum on a deal. A trade shouldn’t be ruled out with the 24-year-old slated for free agency at season’s end.
Hunter Henry, TE
Henry’s remained a remarkably consistent possession target since joining New England on a big-money deal in 2021. He’s scheduled for free agency in March, though, so it makes sense for the Patriots to collect as many draft picks as they can.
Preston Smith, DE
Smith remains a reliable contributor for Green Bay, but Rashan Gary and Lukas Van Ness are the future on the edge. There should be plenty of interest in the veteran pass-rusher coming off an 8.5-sack season, especially considering the minimal base salary a new team would absorb.
Kendrick Bourne, WR
Another member of New England’s massive 2021 free-agent class, Bourne is headed back to the open market in March. He’s had some ups and downs with the Patriots, but he’s still been their most reliable receiver. Bourne could be a valuable depth addition for a team with playoff hopes.
Hunter Renfrow, WR
Renfrow has been a non-factor in Josh McDaniels’ offense after establishing himself as one of the league’s premier slot specialists in 2021. The Raiders likely can’t expect much of a return at this point, but a fresh start would be best for all parties.
Zach Ertz, TE
Ertz is no stranger to deadline deals and should once again be available for the right price. He can still be a reliable underneath target, even if his playmaking ability isn’t what it used to be.