The NFL trade deadline is next Tuesday, so decision-makers will be watching closely this weekend as they determine which direction to go with their teams. It’s not a black-and-white situation, but depending on what happens this weekend, which result (a win or a loss) is most likely to force these potential on-the-fence teams to become buyers?
Philadelphia Eagles: loss
If the Eagles are able to get a road win against a tough 5-1 Bills team this weekend, it’s easy to see them just standing pat and hoping to catch fire with what they have as guys continue to get healthier. But a loss pushing them to 3-5 would likely spark aggressive general manager Howie Roseman, who has been under some intense criticism as of late, to make a move. It may be a smaller level deal that includes a mid-round draft pick (similar to the Golden Tate trade last season), but a loss would likely lead to some type of trade.
Oakland Raiders: win
There have been rumblings that the Raiders are looking to buy ahead of the trade deadline, and they’ve already traded for receivers Zay Jones and Trevor Davis this season. A victory at a playoff-caliber Houston squad this weekend might give Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock the confident to cut a deal with another team, as they’d be 4-3 and potentially just one game out of first place in the AFC West depending on the results of Kansas City’s Sunday night game against the Packers.
Chicago Bears: loss
The Bears entered this season with humongous expectations, but they’re in danger of falling to last place in the NFC North after this week. Chicago already gave up premium draft capital in the Khalil Mack trade last year, so it’ll likely be difficult (or unwise) to pull off a huge move that’ll involved giving up another high draft pick. A trade for a quarterback (like Teddy Bridgewater or Nick Foles) in middle of the season seems improbable, so a more likely scenario might be a trade for defensive line help if they struggle stopping the run again this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: win
A win over the Titans this weekend would put the Buccaneers at 3-4 and in the mix in the NFC playoff picture—and remember, they own a tiebreaker over the wild-card contending Rams if it comes down to them for a spot. But Tampa Bay would likely need to add to their roster to really have a decent shot to climb up the standings. A trade for a running back such as David Johnson, who played at an extremely high level for Bruce Arians in Arizona, would be intriguing.
Cleveland Browns: loss
If the Browns upset the Patriots in Foxboro, you would think they’ll feel great about where they are at and could take that momentum into the second half of the season. However, a loss (which is very likely) could lead to general manager John Dorsey making a big move at the deadline. The Redskins continue to maintain that left tackle Trent Williams is not available for trade, but they would be foolish not to accept a high draft pick for a player holding out and unwilling to play for the franchise anymore. A second-rounder for Williams might get it done as Cleveland looks to turn things around in both the short and long term.
Arizona Cardinals: win
Finally, if the Cardinals are able to get a win in the Superdome this Sunday, they would certainly have to look at themselves as legitimate contenders in Kyler Murray’s first season. Arizona has been looking for outside help at receiver, including bringing in veteran Michael Crabtree for a brief stint, so wideout could be their target if they’re sitting at 4-3-1 after Week 8.