NFL Trade Deadline: Kendrick Bourne to Packers, Albert Okwuegbunam to Giants, and More Deals That Make Sense Before Nov. 1

NFL trade deadline action is already underway. Here are 10 more deals that make sense before the Nov. 1 deadline.

The NFL trade deadline is just days away, and we’ve already seen plenty of player movement. Deion Jones, Robbie Anderson, Christian McCaffrey, James Robinson, Johnathan Hankins, and Robert Quinn were all dealt in the past two weeks or so.

There should be more action before the Nov. 1 deadline, so let’s have some fun and project 10 trades that could go down in the coming days.

NFL Trade Deadline Proposals

The NFL may never achieve the trade deadline frenzy that occurs in the NBA or MLB, but there has been a consistent uptick in swaps over the past decade. Whether it’s due to younger general managers who are more comfortable with trades or because teams are more willing to take on salary (or dead money in the case of clubs trading players away), midseason deals are on the rise.

Here are the number of trades that took place after Oct. 1 in each season over the past decade:

  • 2021: 12
  • 2020: 13
  • 2019: 14
  • 2018: 9
  • 2017: 8
  • 2016: 5
  • 2015: 3
  • 2014: 4
  • 2013: 4
  • 2012: 1

Trade quantity has increased, and so has trade magnitude. In 2012, the only deal that went down after Oct. 1 involved the Lions acquiring wide receiver Mike Thomas — the 2009 draft pick from Arizona, not one of the two Mike Thomas’ currently playing in the NFL — from the Jaguars for a fourth-round pick.

In contrast, the Rams acquired future Hall of Famer Von Miller last season from the Broncos in an effort to boost their Super Bowl hopes. This week, the 49ers gave up the equivalent of a first-round pick to bring in McCaffrey.

Let’s go around the league and predict 10 trades that could make sense for all parties. We’ll start in Los Angeles, where the Rams could make a deal eerily similar to the move they made for Miller.

Rams Add a Broncos Pass Rusher for Second Consecutive Year

Rams acquire: EDGE Bradley Chubb
Broncos acquire: 2023 second-round pick, 2023 third-round pick

A year after winning the Lombardi, the Rams have a lot of problems. Their offense looks dead on arrival in nearly every game. Their running game is going nowhere, and they’ve given up on Cam Akers. And no team has suffered as many injuries along the offensive line.

Still, there are potential solutions to those offensive problems. Rookie RB Kyren Williams could soon return from injury and become a real contributor in the backfield. Center Brian Allen is due back in Week 8 and will help Los Angeles reorganize their front five. And re-signing Odell Beckham Jr. (when he’s healthy) could boost the Rams’ receiving corps.

Instead, we’ll turn our attention to the defense. LA ranks ninth in defensive efficiency and is middle of the pack in points allowed, but they’re second-to-last in pressure rate. Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd can only do so much on their own.

The Rams gave up second and third-rounders in exchange for Miller last season, and in this trade, they’ll sacrifice the same package for Bradley Chubb. The 26-year-old Denver Bronco may not be a generational talent like Miller, but he’s six years younger than Miller was at the time of last year’s trade.

The fifth overall pick in the 2018 draft, Chubb has been hampered by injuries throughout his career, and he missed at least half the season in 2019 and 2021. He’s stayed healthy this year — with 5.5 sacks through seven games, he’s on pace for his best output since his rookie campaign.

Chubb is playing on his fifth-year option and will hit the free agent market in March. The Broncos could franchise tag him, but Denver is in a total state of flux. They have new ownership and could have a new head coach by next spring. If a team offers them this sort of package for a pending free agent, I think they’ll have to accept it.

Broncos general manager George Paton agreed to eat $9 million of Miller’s salary when he traded him to the Rams last year. Los Angeles should expect the same treatment for Chubb, who has roughly $7.065 million remaining on his contract. The Broncos can take his salary down to the league minimum and save the Rams about $6 million.

The main question involving this trade is how “all in” Los Angeles currently is. When they acquired Miller in 2021, the Rams were 7-1, tied for first place in the NFC West, and essentially assured of a playoff spot.

This year, LA is 3-3. They’re in a virtual four-way tie for the division lead, and FiveThirtyEight’s prediction model gives them just a 44% chance of making the postseason. Given his team’s standing, will Rams GM Les Snead still decide to “F Them Picks”?

Packers Give Aaron Rodgers a New Weapon

Packers acquire: WR Kendrick Bourne
Patriots acquire: WR Amari Rodgers, 2023 sixth-round pick

The Davante Adams-less Packers receiving corps hasn’t been very effective this season, and they’re also banged up. Randall Cobb, the only Green Bay receiver with more than two yards per route run, is on injured reserve. Christian Watson and Sammy Watkins both have hamstring injuries, while a shoulder issue could keep Allen Lazard out of Week 8 and beyond.

Then there’s this week’s quote from Aaron Rodgers, where he criticized the Packers’ receiving unit:

“It’s definitely not just one play here or there,” Rodgers said. “It’s 20% of the time. If we have 50 plays and we have 10 missed assignments or mental errors, that’s 20% of the time. So that’s way too high. In the past, we were looking more like, less than 10%, so that gives us a really good chance to be successful. 20%, that’s way too high.

“That’s one play a series where you’re really making it tough on yourself. So we’ve got to fix that. I think guys who are making too many mistakes shouldn’t be playing. Gotta start cutting some reps. And maybe guys who aren’t playing, give them a chance.”

Let’s give Rodgers a new wideout to work with. Kendrick Bourne is dealing with a toe injury that limited him in Week 6 and kept him out of Week 7, but the ailment isn’t considered serious. He’d been tumbling down New England’s depth chart even before that injury popped up.

Bourne posted a 667-yard campaign with the 49ers in 2020, and after inking a three-year, $15 million deal with the Patriots last spring, put up 800 yards in his first season in New England. But he hasn’t been a focal point of New England’s offensive attack.

Bourne played just four snaps in Week 1 and hasn’t topped a 60% playtime rate this season. He’s averaging only 2.33 targets per game. Jakobi Meyers, DeVante Parker, and Nelson Agholor are playing ahead of him, and rookie Tyquan Thornton has just one fewer target than Bourne in half the number of games.

In exchange for Bourne, the Packers will send Amari Rodgers and a late-round pick to the Patriots. Like Bourne in New England, Rodgers had been totally removed from Green Bay’s game plan — that is, until the past two weeks when he hit 30% playtime in each game.

Rodgers is four years younger than Bourne and under contract at cheap rates through 2024, so he’ll become a youthful lottery ticket for the Patriots.

Titans Fortify Offensive Line at Affordable Cost

Titans acquire: OT Isaiah Wynn, 2023 seventh-round pick
Patriots acquire: 2023 fifth-round pick

Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan went down with a season-ending injury one snap into Tennessee’s Week 1 loss to the Bills. Since then, replacement Dennis Daley has been one of the worst tackles in the NFL. Per PFF, he’s allowed 20 pressures, third-worst in the league behind only Matt Pryor and Greg Little.

That type of performance isn’t sustainable for the Titans, who look like the favorites to win the AFC South. Instead, they could target Isaiah Wynn, who has fallen out of favor in New England after being selected in the first round of the 2018 draft.

The Patriots shifted Wynn from left to right tackle over the offseason, and he’s been benched at various times throughout the year. A shoulder injury kept him out of Monday night’s game against the Bears, so the Titans would have to investigate his health to make this trade work.

Wynn has certainly had his struggles this year. He’s allowed consistent pressure and committed more penalties than any player in the NFL. Still, he comes with more upside than Daley, and he’s a better run blocker, making him a good fit in Tennessee.

General manager Jon Robinson and head coach Mike Vrabel both have Patriots roots, which could make trade negotiations stress-free. Given Wynn’s current standing in New England, it shouldn’t take more than a late-round pick swap to get a deal done.

The Titans don’t have much cap space remaining ($1.595 million), and Wynn will have about $2.375 million remaining on his deal after this week. Tennessee could ask New England to pay down some of that cost, but the Patriots don’t have extra cap space, either. Instead, the Titans could restructure a veteran contract (perhaps Denico Autry) to make Wynn’s salary work.

Giants Fill Their Tight End Vacancy

Giants acquire: TE Albert Okwuegbunam
Broncos acquire: RB Gary Brightwell, 2023 fifth-round pick

Giants starting tight end Daniel Bellinger suffered a scary eye injury on Sunday when he was hit in the face by Jaguars linebacker Devin Lloyd. He fractured the area surrounding his eye socket and is expected to undergo surgery.

Tight end is a notoriously difficult position for rookies, but Bellinger — the 112th overall pick in April — had been a key part of New York’s offense. He’s third on the club in receptions and fifth in yardage despite not crossing the 50% playtime threshold until Week 3.

With Bellinger sidelined indefinitely, the Giants need to add another tight end. Luckily for them, there’s a 24-year-old TE who’s been ostracized from his club’s offense and should be available via trade.

Albert Okwuegbunam is an extremely athletic receiving weapon who ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at 6-foot-5, 258 pounds. When given the opportunity in the NFL, he’s flashed. Playing behind Noah Fant in 2021, Albert O posted 33 receptions for 330 yards and two touchdowns.

However, even after trading Noah Fant to the Seahawks as part of the Russell Wilson package, Denver’s new coaching staff hasn’t seen fit to get Okwuegbunam on the field. After a six-target effort in Week 1, Okwuegbunam’s playtime has rapidly declined, and he was inactive in Weeks 5 and 6.

It’s not as if the Broncos have elite tight ends playing in front of him. Eric Saubert and Eric Tomlinson, known more for their blocking skills than their receiving aptitude, have been handed more snaps than Okwuegbunam. Third-round pick Greg Dulcich returned from injury in Week 5 and has dominated snaps over the last two weeks.

The Giants can send a draft pick plus second-year running back Gary Brightwell to Denver in exchange for Albert O. Brightwell only has four carries on the year and is behind Saquon Barkley and Matt Breida on Big Blue’s depth chart. New York could promote practice squad RB Jashaun Corbin — whom they guaranteed $110K as an undrafted free agent — to replace Brightwell.

With Javonte Williams and Mike Boone on IR, the Broncos are relying on Melvin Gordon III and Latavius Murray in the backfield. Brightwell wouldn’t come in and immediately take over as the starter, but he’d be an injection of youth and a potential long-term backup to Williams.

Ravens Grab an Extra Cornerback

Ravens acquire: CB Steven Nelson
Texans acquire: WR Tylan Wallace

The Ravens intended to spend the 2022 season with Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, and free agent addition Kyle Fuller as their primary corners in nickel packages. But that plan went out the window when Fuller tore his ACL in Week 1.

Since then, Baltimore has used various players in the slot, with Humphrey and Peters on the outside. In Week 7, fourth-round rookie Damarion Williams saw the lion’s share of the action inside.

In an ideal world, the Ravens want Humphrey playing the slot against three-WR sets, but they don’t have another cornerback they’re comfortable playing outside. That’s where Steven Nelson comes in.

The 29-year-old Nelson, on his third team in three seasons, has always been a league-average corner, an incredibly valuable skill in today’s NFL. He’s scheme versatile and has the ability to play the slot. For Baltimore, though, Nelson would settle in at outside corner and let Humphrey move inside in nickel.

To land Nelson, the Ravens would engage in a rare player-for-player trade with the Texans. Baltimore always seems to be in need of receivers, but Tylan Wallace still isn’t able to get on the field. He’s played just 56 offensive snaps this year and has only 12 targets over his first two NFL campaigns.

The Texans are in the early stages of a rebuild, so they should take all the chances on young talent that they can afford. Houston made a similar bet by claiming former Bucs receiver Tyler Johnson off waivers in the preseason, but they just cut ties with him. Wallace gives the Texans another receiver with upside.

Chiefs Locate a Pass Rusher

Chiefs acquire: EDGE Lorenzo Carter
Falcons acquire: 2023 sixth-round pick

The Chiefs don’t really need help anywhere. They just added former Giant Kadarius Toney to their receiving corps, and Trent McDuffie and Rashad Fenton should return soon to shore up their secondary.

So let’s give them a luxury item. In Frank Clark, George Karlaftis, and Carlos Dunlap, Kansas City has three capable edge rushers, but they’ll want to keep that group fresh down the stretch and into the playoffs.

MORE: The Biggest Weakness for Every Contender Heading Into the NFL Trade Deadline

Lorenzo Carter isn’t a superstar, but he recorded at least four sacks in three of his first four NFL campaigns and is on pace to do so again in his first season with the Falcons. Carter is seeing more action this year than he ever did during his stint with the Giants, and he might be playing the best football of his career.

Carter would be a pure rental for the Chiefs and cost less than $1 million for the rest of the season. Atlanta doesn’t have a reason to keep him, and moving Carter would open up more playing time for rookies Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone.

Dolphins Get Help for Injured Secondary

Dolphins acquire: S Ronnie Harrison, 2023 seventh-round pick
Browns acquire: 2023 sixth-round pick

As my colleague Adam Beasley wrote earlier this week, mounting injuries in the defensive backfield may essentially force the Dolphins to make a trade.

Starting safety Brandon Jones, one of the more underrated players in the league, is out for the rest of the season after suffering a torn ACL on Sunday Night Football. Miami’s CB situation is dicey, too. But even if Byron Jones doesn’t come back anytime soon, Kader Kodou and Keion Crossen should return from injury shortly to help stop the bleeding.

So let’s address the need at safety. For now, the Dolphins will usher Eric Rowe or Clayton Fejedelem into the starting lineup opposite Jevon Holland. Yet, they may want to add another veteran to the secondary before the trade deadline.

Ronnie Harrison makes a lot of sense for Miami. Even at 2-5, the Browns probably won’t start selling off assets, but Harrison doesn’t seem to be in their plans. After playing 75% of Cleveland’s defensive snaps a year ago, he’s seen action on just 27% this year while taking a backseat to John Johnson III and Grant Delpit.

Harrison is capable of lining up in the box or deep, but he’s probably best as a strong safety. That makes him a perfect complement to Holland, who can continue to roam the back end. A late-round pick swap should get this trade done.

Bengals Augment Interior Defensive Line

Bengals acquire: DT Mike Purcell
Broncos acquire: 2024 sixth-round pick

Mike Purcell is the third Bronco we project to be traded before next week’s deadline, so suffice it to say we think Denver will be a seller. He’s playing just under half of the Broncos’ defensive snaps this season, but he’s also 31 years old. If Denver plans to do a mini-reset, Purcell should be on the block.

The Bengals needed defensive tackle depth even before DJ Reader went down with an MCL injury in Week 3. Cincinnati’s defense includes a lot of talented players, but Reader might be the best nose tackle in football. It was evident how much the Bengals missed him in Weeks 5 and 6, when they gave up a combined 383 rushing yards to the Ravens and Saints.

Reader won’t play on Monday Night Football, but he could come back for Week 9 (although Cincinnati might be wise to hold him out through their Week 10 bye). Waiver wire pickup Jay Tufele has been a revelation as a fill-in, but he’s probably better as a 3-technique than as a nose tackle.

If the Bengals acquire Purcell, he’d be the direct backup to Reader upon his return. Tufele would back up BJ Hill as a penetrating DT, and the Bengals could shift rookie Zachary Carter (who’s struggled) further down the depth chart.

Buccaneers Add Veteran OL Depth

Buccaneers acquire: OT Riley Reiff
Bears acquire: 2024 sixth-round pick

The Buccaneers have injuries everywhere on their roster, so they could look in a few different directions in advance of the trade deadline. Tampa Bay’s OL injuries have somewhat cleared up, but they could desperately use a veteran on the bench.

Riley Reiff is capable of playing guard and tackle, so he’d become the perfect utility lineman for the Bucs. He could theoretically slot in as the team’s top reserve at every position except center.

Tampa Bay could even consider using Reiff as a starter at left guard. Rookie Luke Goedeke has been the Buccaneers’ primary starter at LG, but he’s struggled so much that the club has started to rotate Nick Leverett in. Goedeke is injured and won’t play on Thursday night, so Leverett will see a full complement of snaps against the Ravens.

The Bears signed Reiff as an insurance policy in July, but they don’t seem to have any use for him now. He couldn’t win one of Chicago’s tackle jobs, and even now that the Bears have a vacancy at left guard, they’ve chosen to play Michael Schofield over Reiff.

Chargers Find a Run-Stuffer

Chargers acquire: DT Michael Brockers
Lions acquire: 2025 seventh-round pick

After ranking as one of the league’s worst run defenses in 2021, the Chargers made free agent investments at defensive tackle. They signed Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson to multi-year contracts, but they can’t be happy with the performances they’ve received thus far.

Through seven weeks, Los Angeles is 29th in expected points added against the run and 25th in run defense DVOA. They’ve allowed at least 130 rushing yards in four of their last five games, including 200+ in two of their last three.

Let’s get the Chargers some help by bringing former Rams DT Michael Brockers back to LA. The 31-year-old’s snaps had been dwindling in Detroit in recent weeks, and he was made a healthy scratch against the Cowboys in Week 7.

At this point, it seems inevitable the Lions will release Brockers after the season. They could even cut him before the year is out. As such, they should be willing to trade him to the Chargers for nearly anything.

Brockers played under Chargers head coach Brandon Staley and defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill with the Rams in 2020, so he’s already familiar with LA’s scheme. It’s not unreasonable to think Brockers could feel revitalized by moving from a 1-5 Lions team to a Chargers squad that’s in the playoff race.

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