With several mid-level names reportedly floating around the trade market, all 32 NFL teams have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET to pull off a deal or will have to wait until the end of the regular season before the market reopens.
Typically the NFL trade deadline comes and goes with little to no movement, which largely stems from teams having the option to hold on to players they could lose in free agency but who may afford them compensatory draft picks if they do leave. That’s a far cry from the other major sports like the NBA, where expiring contracts are highly coveted.
However, over the first eight weeks of the regular season, several household-name players have been linked to trades and some are either playing out the final year of their deal or could be viewed as too expensive by their current teams.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, some of the newest names on the trade market include Cleveland Browns linebacker Paul Kruger, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Vinny Curry, and St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook.
Kruger, who signed a five-year $40.5 million deal with Cleveland in 2013, has had a lackluster year and he’s owed $7.7 million in 2016 and $8.2 million in 2017, but his dead cap total drops to only $2.4 million next season.
A former second-round pick in 2012, Curry’s spent the last seasons with Philadelphia but his rookie deal is up in the offseason and his play has slipped of late. He’s recorded 1.0 sack in seven games after picking up 9.0 sacks in 16 contests last season.
Meanwhile Cook’s dealt with trade speculation for the better part of the last three weeks. CBS Sports indicated on Oct. 18 that teams were actively calling St. Louis to inquire about Cooks, who’s second on the team with 245 yards off 19 receptions this season, but ProFootballTalk reported the calls are actually outgoing not incoming.
While St. Louis has rebuilt under head coach Jeff Fisher Cook’s been one of the offense’s most reliable players with eight combined touchdowns since 2013 and better than 50 receptions per season in the same span.
But Cook is scheduled to make $8.3 million next season, and $8.4 million in 2017, and like Kruger his dead cap number declines to $1.3 million in the final year of his contract.
ProFootBallTalk also cited sources on Monday that say San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, San Diego Chargers running back Donald Brown, and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Arthur Brown are all at the heart of potential trade discussions.
The 49ers offense has plodded along to post an NFL-worst 13.6 points per game this season, and Davis is third on the team with 18 receptions for 194 yards in the final year of the 5-year, $36.8 million extension he agreed to 2010.
San Diego fell to 2-6 after losing to Baltimore on Sunday, and it’s possible the team is looking ahead to next year already, hence Donald Brown’s possible move. However, he has yet to appear in a game this season, trapped behind rookie Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead, and Branden Oliver. PFT pointed out the Chargers actually released Brown over the weekend to free up a roster spot and no other team called while he was technically a free agent.
Baltimore, also 2-6, is quickly falling out of playoff contention and could be looking to hoard picks from a team in need of a young middle linebacker like Arthur Brown, who’s owed only $1.1 million next season. However, he has barely seen the field or done much this season, recording one tackle in eight games and it’s unclear if he’s still on the market.