With the annual NFL Trade Deadline just over a week out, John Lynch and the San Fransico 49ers kicked things off with a bang around midnight EST after Thursday Night Football. In an unprecedented move for a running back, he traded a second, third and fourth-round draft pick in 2023, along with a 2024 fifth-round pick to the Carolina Panthers for Christian McCaffery. With that transaction setting the table, there will certainly be other moves made between now and 4 pm EST on November 1st. Here are seven hypothetical deals that I think have a realistic chance of going down on or before then.
Trade Proposal No. 1
Los Angeles Rams Receive: Offensive Tackle Isaiah Wynn and 2023 6th Round Draft Pick (via Las Vegas Raiders)
New England Patriots Receive: 2023 3rd Round Draft Pick
Someone has to say it, and if that must be me then so be it. The Rams' offensive line is not great, and they should probably do something to remedy that. Losing draft capital has never stopped Les Snead before and likely won't now. The good news for the Rams is that a team that they’ve made a number of trades with in the past might have a tackle up for grabs, the New England Patriots.
Isaiah Wynn has not had a good start to 2022, but to his defense, he’s not a primary right tackle either, which is where he's been all season. Based on his Instagram page being scrubbed of any ties to the Patriots, you know the best way to figure out if someone wants out of a team. A move to the Rams would put him at left tackle, filling in for Joseph Noteboom whos out for the year with an Achilles issue. Wynn would also give Snead a potentially more cost-effective long-term option at the blindside tackle spot. Noteboom’s cap jump takes a big hike next year, making him a likely cap casualty. A third for Wynn could be considered a high-risk high-reward move for Los Angeles, but they can't keep going with their offensive line in the state it's in.
Trade Proposal No. 2
Buffalo Bills Receive: Running Back David Montgomery
Chicago Bears Receive: 2023 4th Round Draft Pick and 2024 6th Round Draft Pick
Wouldn’t exactly say it’s a secret that the Bills' usage of Josh Allen in the running game isn’t sustainable long term. More concerning is that his 257 yards and 5.5 yards per carry both lead Buffalo through six games (minimum of six carries). Devin Singletary has been ok to this point, with 256 yards to his credit, but the Bills are going to need another piece to complete this running attack if they want to compete deep into January.
No CMC by any stretch, but David Montgomery would be a solid addition for the Bills at a fraction of the cost John Lynch paid to get the now former Carolina Panther. His numbers to this point in the year are comparable to Singletary. Montgomery however, to this point, is doing so on a worse Chicago Bears team with a significantly worse offensive line. A new lease on life and championship aspirations could be just what the doctor ordered for him. A fourth-rounder for a potential rental piece, and a running back at that, could be steep, but if Allen and co. are hoisting a Lombardi Trophy in February, I don’t think many in Western New York would mind. Especially if Montgomery becomes a quality contributor.
The upside for Chicago in this deal is this all the meanwhile. Should Montgomery walk as an impending free agent, the odds of him netting the Bears a high-end compensatory draft pick for 2024 are slim to none. This trade would ensure the Bears get something for a flight risk while speeding up the timeline of when they get to use said pick. Additionally, this is the inverse order of what the Los Angeles Rams gave up to get Sony Michel a season ago.
Trade Proposal No. 3
Chicago Bears Receive: Wide Receiver D.J. Moore
Carolina Panthers Receive: 2023 1st Round Draft Pick
Sticking with Da Burs, a potential trade with D.J. Moore has been one of the more prevalent talked about hypotheticals on social media. It is also the one I think makes the most sense of the bunch. A trend with most recent quarterbacks on rookie deals is to get them a big-name wideout right around year three. The Bears have the opportunity to speed up that timetable withMoore, who is also looking for a big-time extension this offseason.
Stefon Diggs’ situation at the end of his tenure with the Vikings could be the perfect mirror image for Moore here. On top of the fact that both went to the University of Maryland, the pair have put up very similar numbers in their first four seasons in the league. Moore however has had three consecutive 1000-plus-yard seasons going into 2022. Diggs meanwhile never hit the 1000-yard plateau until year four. All the meanwhile, Moore hasn’t had great quarterback play, save for the first 10 or so games of 2018 with Cam Newton.
Another reason this works for Chicago is that they’ll have more than enough money to spend. Using a first-rounder on a proven commodity like Moore and then giving him a new deal feels like a no-brainer given their situation. Just ask the Bills with Diggs, the Eagles with A.J. Brown, or the Cardinals with DeAndre Hopkins. Giving Justin Fields Moore and Darnell Mooney as a starting point for the long run would be massive. Carolina will certainly be able to get one of the 2023 draft’s premier receivers with that Bears pick on the other end. Jaxon Smith-Njigba or Jordan Addison specifically would be the best-case scenario.
Trade Proposal No. 4
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Receive: Running Back Cam Akers
Las Angeles Rams Receive: 2023 6th Round Draft Pick
The Los Angeles Rams seem all but certain to move on from Cam Akers within the next week and a half. The only rush offense ranking worse than theirs is none other than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While Lombardi Lenny is having a strong year so far, there’s absolutely nothing behind him. No other player for Tampa has over 50 rushing yards for the season. Tom Brady is still Tom Brady, but him throwing 40-plus times a game for the whole season isn’t sustainable. Akers’ whole situation being public at this stage likely drives his price down, as his injury risk.
Trade Proposal No. 5
New England Patriots Receive: Linebacker Roquan Smith
Chicago Bears Receive: 2023 2nd Round Draft Pick and 2024 3rd and 5th Round Draft Pick
The Bears have still yet to give Roquan Smith any form of an extension after his holdout/in earlier in the year. That would lead me to believe either Chicago thinks his potential free agent market isn’t as big as he thinks, and that they can retain him for the long run on their terms. Or simply, Ryan Poles and co. don’t factor Smith into their long-term plans. If the latter is the case, and that is what I’d lean towards, Smith’s days with Da Burs are numbered.
Although not one of the teams being mentioned in the hunt, the Patriots would be quite the intriguing landing spot. They’ve tried to get younger and faster at linebacker this offseason, and Smith would be the final piece on the chess board, that would turn the Patriots from a pretty good defense into a great one. Great linebacking play has been at the heart of the success of the Patriots for the better part of two decades. Teddy Bruschi and Dont'a Hightower specifically Bill Belichick hasn’t made a true inbound deadline splash since Aqib Talib in 2012, and this would 100 percent end that drought.
Assuming this does happen, the Patriots would certainly have to extend him right away and move money around to get under the cap. Currently, New England is just a million dollars and change clear, but they have more than enough room for the coming years to make things work. As far as the return for Chicago goes, a trade for an off-ball linebacker this young and good hasn’t happened in quite some time. Granted the Bears should be compensated well in any event for the two-time second-team All-Pro defender.
Trade Proposal No. 6
Seattle Seahawks Receive: Defensive Tackle Daron Payne
Washington Commanders Receive: 2023 2nd Round Pick (via Denver Broncos) and 2024 2nd Round Pick
Pete Carrol’s run defense has been nothing short of atrocious nearly two months into the season. Especially now with CMC officially in the Bay Area, getting better up front should be priority one both at the deadline and next offseason. A great start would be prying Daron Payne away from Washington, and that may not be a massive issue on the latter’s end. The Commanders have a ton of mouths to feed on the defensive front moving forward, and Payne could be the odd guy out on a loaded front seven.
So far this year, the Alabama product is well on his way to hitting career highs in sacks, tackles for loss, and quarterback hits, and will be close on the outright tackles front. Did I also mention that Payne is only 25 years old currently as well? The Seahawks would also have no issue paying for him to stay in Seattle for the long term either. As for the Commanders, they still would have Johnathan Allen, Chase Young, and Montez Sweat up front, which is far from a bad situation.
Trade Proposal No. 7
Kansas City Chiefs Receive: Edge Rusher Cameron Jordan
New Orleans Saints Receive: 2023 2nd and 4th Round Draft Pick, plus Frank Clark
Unless something changes and quickly, the Saints are going to be residing in the seventh circle of salary cap hell. On top of the fact that the Philadelphia Eagles (the current NFC Championship odds on favorite) own their first-round pick as a result of the move that effectively netted New Orleans Chris Olave, Trevor Penning, and Jordan Jackson this year. Although you’d rather not be in this position, the Saints are going to have to send someone packing sooner or later. That could very well be Cam Jordan, who might be one of the five best Saints since the turn of the millennium.
Although they don’t get a first-round pick here, they get a similar return to what the Denver Broncos got for Von Miller last year. Additionally, they get Frank Clark for the year, who will certainly be cut next offseason regardless in a cap-saving move. This also keeps both teams under the cap for the time being.
As for what Jordan can bring to Kansas City, well, hopefully, the exact same as what Miller brought to the Rams, right now, he would be the Chiefs' top sack-getter, ahead of the great Chris Jones and cornerback L'Jarius Sneed, who each have three a pop. Pairing the former with Jones, with George Karlaftis getting mixed in, has scary potential. Would also certainly turn Kansas City into one of the more formidable pass-rushing units in the entire league.