As we enter the NFL’s second week of games in October, talk surrounding the end-of-month trade deadline is heating up. We’ve seen big NFL trades the last few years, and there could be more ahead of this year’s October 30th deadline. A group of four star-caliber running backs headline the group of potential trade candidates, but some players probably aren’t really available despite the rumors.
Le’Veon Bell, running back, Steelers
Given the emergence of second-year running back James Conner, Le’Veon Bell is a player that should certainly be available ahead of the deadline. The All-Pro is set to report to the team next week during their bye week, but it’s unclear how receptive the team will be to his return. The Steelers have eliminated Bell from the listed roster, and Bell’s own offensive linemen came out and criticized him when he didn’t report for the start of the regular season. The team isn’t going to give him away for nothing, but they’d likely be happy to trade him—especially to the NFC—if someone comes in with a good enough offer. I think Bell will end up on the Eagles before the deadline and perhaps as early as tomorrow or the beginning of next week, and Eagles head coach Doug Pederson seemed to indicate they are going to make some type of move, saying that they are confident with their running back group “in the short term.” Maybe short-term means the rest of the season, but I highly doubt it.
LeSean McCoy, running back, Bills
Reports have been swirling about the Eagles potentially making a move to have a reunion between the franchise and the franchise’s all-time leading rusher. The Bills themselves didn’t deny teams make trade calls to them or that LeSean McCoy was off-limits, and McCoy himself sounded like he wouldn’t mind returning to Philadelphia. The bottom line is McCoy, like most players in the NFL, can be had at the right price. I think he’ll be the Eagles’ target if they cannot work out a deal with the Steelers for Bell, but I don’t think it’s a smart move to bring McCoy back. Frankly, the Eagles probably wouldn’t have won a Super Bowl without jettisoning McCoy in a 2015 culture shift.
Tevin Coleman, running back, Falcons
Earlier this year, the Falcons said they do not want to trade Tevin Coleman and said that they believe they can keep him past this season. But if things get any worse after this 1-4 start and the team isn’t sure they’ll be able to re-sign Coleman in the offseason, they might decide to deal the free-agent-to-be before the deadline. A team like the Bills (especially if they trade McCoy) comes to mind, as they could move forward with Coleman as their top guy in the backfield for the next few years. I think Coleman would only be available if the Falcons are clearly out of contention later this month.
Jordan Howard, running back, Bears
Because Jordan Howard wasn’t a huge part of the gameplan in Chicago’s big blowout win against Tampa Bay a couple weeks ago, people are speculating that the two-time 1,100-yard rusher might be available in a trade. The problem is the Bears sit at 3-1 and could be legitimate NFC contenders, so trading their top running back doesn’t make any sense. Perhaps something will happen in the offseason, but I would be shocked if Howard is traded this season. As for another top running back people have inserted into trade discussions, David Johnson, I don’t want to entertain that despite my thoughts on the Cardinals this year. They aren’t going to trade Johnson weeks after giving him a long-term extension.
DeVante Parker, wide receiver, Dolphins
2015 first-round pick DeVante Parker has dealt with injuries throughout his career, and 2018 has been no different. The six-foot-three receiver has appeared in just one game this season while dealing with finger and quadricep injuries, and other Dolphins receivers have played well in his absence. Miami signed receivers Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson in the offseason, so they might consider Parker more of a luxury at this point. Teams like the Cowboys, Titans, and Cardinals should at least inquire about Parker, and something might come together if the Dolphins want to part ways and not have to worry about Parker’s 2019 salary becoming guaranteed due to injury.
Deone Bucannon, linebacker/safety, Cardinals
Through his first four NFL seasons, Deone Buchanon was a highly-productive player in Arizona’s previous 3-4 scheme, but he’s now barely getting any playing time in new head coach Steve Wilks’ 4-3 defense. A trade would be best for both sides, and there should be interest around the league, particularly from 3-4 teams that would allow Buchanan to run around as an inside linebacker. I believe Buchanan is definitely available.
Haason Reddick, linebacker, Cardinals
Haason Reddick has recorded a sack in each of the last two games for the Cardinals, but he’s another player the new Cardinals coaching staff doesn’t seem to believe is a great fit for their defense. The 13th overall pick in last year’s draft was a very exciting prospect, and plenty of teams are likely to be interested if he’s available. The Patriots seem like the perfect fit, as Bill Belichick and his staff would know how to use Reddick to improve a defense that at times has struggled to rush the passer and looked slow this season.
Karl Joseph, safety, Raiders
The Raiders have veterans Marcus Gilchrist and Reggie Nelson starting at safety, and there just might not be room for former first-rounder Karl Joseph, who didn’t play much to start the season, when he gets healthy and back on the field. Jon Gruden’s comments about not drafting former Florida State safety Derwin James in the first round because they drafted safeties in the first round the last two years could indicate he still has hope for Joseph developing into a great player, but Joseph can probably be had if another team comes in with a solid trade offer.
DeSean Jackson, wide receiver, Buccaneers
He doesn’t look like he’s lost much speed at 31 years old, and he’s off to a very good start to the season, but I think DeSean Jackson could be a trade candidate before October 30th. With 100 yards in three of his four games this season, his trade value won’t get any higher than it is now; and the Buccaneers are basically stacked at receiver, so maybe Jackson could be traded for a cornerback as the Bucs look to get the backend of their defense straightened out for a playoff push. It’d probably be a mistake, but the Eagles might be interested in Jackson along with his old teammate LeSean McCoy.
Ameer Abdullah, running back, Lions
LeGarrette Blount, Kerryon Johnson, and Theo Riddick are handling all the backfield work for the Lions as Ameer Abdullah has been unable to get on the field for the team. Detroit might want to keep Abdullah as insurance at both running back and kick returner, but teams can still check in on the former second-round pick. Unfortunately, injuries to other teams could happen, which could open up a need at running back that Abdullah could help fill. The Nebraska product should be available if teams call about him.