The 2021 NFL Trade Dealine
The NFL trade deadline always leads to an influx of rumors regarding players getting moved around the league. That date marks the final day that teams can acquire an individual from another team without the risk of losing the athlete to another club. This year it happens to fall on November 2 at 4 PM EST. That is just under two weeks away from now, but a lot has happened already.
Former DPOY Stephon Gilmore was traded to the Carolina Panthers from New England. This occurred after the Patriots announced their intention to release the cornerback. Tight end Zach Ertz was finally traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Arizona Cardinals. Ertz had been the subject of rumors for a couple of years at this point. This deadline is looking like it might be one of the most eventful ones in league history. Let us look at some more players that could be moved before then.
Trade Candidiate: Deshaun Watson
I was originally going to save Deshaun Watson for a surprise ending to this list. Then the rumor mill started up again bringing him back into the spotlight. The news just could not wait one more day for me to deliver a great finish like that, could it?
The Texans quarterback has had an eventful year, to say the least. Watson has been formally charged with over 20 cases of sexual assault. He could face a suspension even if he is cleared of all allegations. That was part of the reason teams were hesitant to inquire about the player.
Watson is an elite athlete when on the field as a dual-threat quarterback. Houston’s original asking price was quite high with all this considered. The team wanted a combination of six players and high draft picks for the quarterback. Those selections would not be conditional either. That means the Texans would be guaranteed the picks even if he were to be suspended by the NFL. This fact, understandably, scared away many teams. The only franchise that is still interested is the Miami Dolphins. Miami is reportedly in discussions with Houston looking for a way to ship Watson down to South Beach.
Trade Candidate: Marlon Mack
Marlon Mack is in a crowded running back room for the Indianapolis Colts. Jonathon Taylor has taken over the bulk of the carries in his second year in the NFL. Nyheim Hines is his primary backup right now leaving Mack as the number three back. Mack still has some value though. He had over 1.000 yards on the ground in 2019.
The Colts are still in the playoff hunt right now at 2-4. If they win this week versus the 49ers and then the weekend before the deadline against the Titans, they may look to add depth somewhere on the roster. If they do not win, they may have to settle for future draft compensation to build the franchise.
Trade Candidate: Joe Haden
Haden may not be a big name to many, but he remains reliable in the secondary. The Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback is currently 32 and in the last year of his contract. It is unlikely he will get a new one at this point. The team recently signed pass-rusher T.J. Watt to an extension. They are also looking to sign safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to one as well. Pittsburgh has been known to keep their talent around, but it may not be possible with their cap situation.
Pittsburgh is still in the postseason race as well. They are in a much tougher division than the Colts though. A team that needs help at cornerback may make a move for him. Tampa Bay is the obvious choice. They have been decimated in the secondary and could use more veteran leadership as well. The Ravens are also an option, but the Steelers would never trade him to a team in their division.
Trade Candidate: Xavien Howard
The season is over for the Miami Dolphins. Having a record of 1-5 in the AFC almost seals their fate of missing the playoffs. I could have chosen Howard or Byron Jones here, but the former has more value currently. He could go to either of the teams I mentioned in the Haden section. Howard could also be part of a deal for Watson. The Texans may be willing to lower their asking price for the quarterback if they are getting a defensive back like Howard in return.
Trade Candidate: Marcus Maye
The New York Jets are in a similar situation as the Dolphins. They should take the same route as Miami and unload their talent as well. Safety Marcus Maye comes to mind immediately. The two sides attempted to get a long-term deal done this last offseason, but that ultimately did not happen. He is playing on the franchise tag right now and a future contract is unlikely.
Kansas City and Dallas are both good destinations for Maye. The Cowboys in particular are looking for help at safety. Damontae Kazee, who plays the same position, was arrested for DUI Tuesday morning. The problem with Maye is he is facing suspension for similar charges as well. Dallas may have to look elsewhere or in-house for a replacement to Kazee.
This article was published on the Belly Up Sports website and specifically its NFL page. Belly Up Sports also has a Twitter page where you can interact with the network. I also have written for this outlet before so see my most recent story if you would like. If you would like to talk to me directly, feel free to chat with me on my Twitter as well. Try to keep it clean and proper. If you are incapable of doing so, ignore that completely and battle it out with me. Just a few warnings for those who dare challenge me. I am highly competitive and hate to admit when I am wrong. So be prepared for a war of words.