With the 2021 NFL trade deadline looming and rumors swirling, it’s almost time for general managers to show their cards. No more strategic leaks. No more overheated speculation. It’s time to put up or shut up.
Update: For the most recent NFL trade rumors, check out our up-to-date storylines and information.
NFL Trade Rumors | Biggest storylines to watch
Will Deshaun Watson actually get moved? Will the Saints make a play for a quarterback? Is Brandin Cooks on the move again? Will the Rams be able to unload DeSean Jackson?
With many potential questions still outstanding heading into the start of trade deadline week, we could be set for an intriguing couple of days. Here’s the latest on the biggest names to watch ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.
Von Miller traded to Los Angeles Rams
It’s Super Bowl or bust for the Los Angeles Rams. They boldest team in the NFL pulled off another blockbuster Monday, trading for eight-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Von Miller. The price? ESPN reports that Los Angeles is sending two second-day picks in 2022 to Denver in exchange for Miller, who has 110.5 sacks in 12 NFL seasons.
The move makes the Rams the team to beat in the NFL. The offense is electric with Matthew Stafford at quarterback. And now the defense has the chance to be suffocating with Miller paired with defensive tackle Aaron Donald. The Rams have now traded their first, second, third, fourth and sixth-round picks in next year’s draft.
Meanwhile, the Broncos seem to be punting on 2021 even though they’re just a half-game out of the seventh seed after Sunday’s win over the Washington Football Team.
Does Deshaun Watson finally get moved?
Something very strange is going on in Miami — beyond the normal awkwardness that accompanies a seven-game losing streak. Brian Flores was nearly an hour late to his postgame news conference. His explanation?
“Today I really just kind of sat there,” Flores said. “Sitting there, it’s a tough loss, it’s a number of losses in a row so I just figured we’d let the players go [first].”
That very well could be the case. But when a creature of habit like Flores breaks his routine at such a delicate time, the conspiracy theories can run wild. Throw in the fact that there’s largely radio silence on this and all matters coming out the building Sunday, and it’s reasonable to ask what’s going on.
One theory (and this is just a theory): Stephen Ross finally realized that Tua Tagovailoa is not the guy, and is now willing to meet the Texans’ asking price. Flores did acknowledge he met with Ross and Chris Grier after the game, but told reporters “those conversations are between them and I.”
Derrick Henry news scrambles Titans’ plans
What awful news out of Nashville. ESPN first reported that the Titans fear Derrick Henry is lost for the season with a foot injury. Titans coach Mike Vrabel told reporters Monday that Henry will undergo surgery but had no timetable to return.
Until he does, there’s simply no replacing Henry, who has rushed for 937 yards and 10 touchdowns for the 6-2 Titans. No non-quarterback is more important to his team than Henry.
But the Titans are still the AFC’s No. 1 seed and are a near-lock to win the AFC South. They needed help at the position, even if Henry does eventually return, with Jeremy McNichols, Khari Blasingame, and Mekhi Sargent as the only other backs on their active roster.
That’s why the team signed Adrian Peterson Monday, who has been keeping in shape and waiting for such a moment. But more moves could be in store. Possible trade targets include the Jets’ Tevin Coleman, the Ravens’ Ty’Son Williams, and the Colts’ Marlon Mack.
New Orleans Saints’ life after Jameis Winston
Sean Payton was emotional last night when he announced Jameis Winston suffered what appears to be a season-ending knee injury. (An MRI Monday confirmed he tore his ACL and is out for the year.)
But will he make an emotional decision by Tuesday and trade for a quarterback to save his season? Jordan Love would make the most sense, given he would cost the Saints just over $600,000 in cap space to carry him for the rest of 2021.
Taysom Hill should be back from a concussion by Week 9, so the most likely end game here is Payton rolls with Hill and Trevor Siemian the rest of the way. But if he’s enamored with Love, maybe this is how the Saints land their quarterback of the future.
The Saints will likely be picking in the second half of the first round, so a late first-round pick for Love seems like a fair swap.
“We’re satisfied with the quarterback room,” Payton told reporters Monday.
NFL Trade Rumors | Will there be a run on wide receivers?
Four significant wide receiver names to watch this week: Brandin Cooks (Houston Texans), DeVante Parker (Miami Dolphins), DeSean Jackson (Los Angeles Rams), and Andy Isabella (Arizona Cardinals). All four of them have been the subject of rumors regarding a potential trade ahead of the deadline.
Cooks went for 83 yards on six catches against the Rams Sunday, but even though he called the team’s decision to trade Mark Ingram “bulls—,” it doesn’t appear that Cooks will be on the move for a fourth time in his eight-year NFL career.
NFL Network reported Sunday that the Texans want to build around Cooks instead of deal him (which is a strange philosophy, given Cooks is 28 years old and the Texans are at least two more offseasons away from being competitive).
There’s no mystery, however, about Jackson and Isabella. Both are being shopped and teams in the hunt that need receiver help should pick up the phone. As for Parker, it wouldn’t surprise us if the Dolphins shopped him — and considering he’s finally back from a hamstring injury and coming off his best game of the season, they might be able to move him.