Skip to main content

Buyers/sellers at 2023 NFL trade deadline: Will Chiefs target WR? Should Titans deal Derrick Henry?

Six weeks into the 2023 NFL season, the waters remain muddy.

No more unbeaten teams remain. One squad is winless, and just seven teams are more than a game out of a playoff spot. The tight nature of the NFL calendar doesn't portend to a ton of action ahead of the Oct. 31 trade deadline.

In recent years, there has been some discussion about pushing back the trade deadline, but it ultimately hasn't gone anywhere.

Part of the reason for the lack of a frenetic trade market is clubs' belief they can turn things around. Look no further than 2022, when the Lions were 1-6 before a late-season run had them at the precipice of a playoff game. Now Detroit is the darling of the NFL. Those types of turnarounds will make coaches and GMs pause before tearing things down so early.

However, there were 19 in-season trades made in 2022, which means clubs are willing to make moves -- even if they're rarely splashy.

With two weeks until the trade deadline, a lot can change, but let's look at who should be selling and who should be buying given where things currently stand.


Denver Broncos
1-5 · 4th in AFC West

Players who should be on the trade block:

Sean Payton has insisted the Broncos aren't actively shopping their assets despite their poor start. Whether or not Denver is going out of its way to sell, it should get what it can. The value might not be great for dwindling assets like Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, but sometimes you must cash out. It might be more difficult to part with key players under contract in 2024, like Justin Simmons or Garett Bolles, but they could offer the best returns. After trading away high draft picks the past two years (Russell Wilson and Payton), it's time for Denver to restock the coffers.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: The NFL has suspended Kareem Jackson four games without pay for violations of unnecessary roughness rules, the league announced on Monday.

Carolina Panthers
0-6 · 4th in NFC South

Players who should be on the trade block:

Change is already on its way in Carolina, with coach Frank Reich handing over play-calling duties to OC Thomas Brown. More could be coming for the winless Panthers heading toward the trade deadline. Without a first-round pick and currently holding just six total selections in 2024, Carolina should look to replenish now. Brian Burns, who is scheduled to become a free agent this offseason, would be the biggest trade chip. While moving the pass rusher would be a significant dent to the Panthers’ D, it could be their best way to recoup a high pick. Frankie Luvu and Jeremy Chinn also have expiring deals, although Chinn's reported injury likely kills his trade value. Terrace Marshall Jr., a 2021 second-round pick, has not been productive despite the Panthers’ limited receiver corps, catching just 16 passes entering Week 7.

New York Giants
1-5 · 4th in NFC East

Players who should be on the trade block:

After a surprise 2022 playoff run, the Giants have crashed back to earth. Perhaps they're not as far along in their rebuild as once thought. After a 1-5 start, GM Joe Schoen could stockpile for the future. Saquon Barkley is the sexiest trade piece. After the offseason drama surrounding the franchise tag, would Big Blue want a repeat of that discord? Trading the back would take the bite out of an already struggling offense, but if a club comes calling -- say, the Ravens, Bills or Rams -- with an offer, Schoen might finally have to move on. Sterling Shepard is out of the rotation (one snap in Week 6) and could be a cheap veteran add for another club. On defense, the Giants could part with several impending free agents. With secondary needs across the NFL, Xavier McKinney and Adoree’ Jackson could garner interest. If the Giants aren't willing to work out another big contract for Leonard Williams, the playmaking DT could help boost a contender.

Minnesota Vikings
2-4 · 3rd in NFC North

Players who should be on the trade block:

Minnesota moved to 2-4 with a Week 6 win in Chicago, but it certainly didn't offer any optimism that the team will contend over the long haul, especially with Justin Jefferson on the shelf. Let's not get into the Kirk Cousins trade gambit again. Instead, let's focus on Vikings players who don't have no-trade clauses. Danielle Hunter, headed toward free agency, could provide Minnesota a solid return in a trade with a contender looking for a pass rusher. D.J. Wonnum, also a free agent in 2024, would be a less-expensive option. Would the Vikings part with long-time safety Harrison Smith, who was a cut candidate this offseason before reworking his contract?

New England Patriots
1-5 · 4th in AFC East

Players who should be on the trade block:

Bill Belichick's plan to "start all over" in Week 6 didn't work. The loss to the Raiders, pushing New England to 1-5, signals it's time to blow it up. The Pats should consider shedding impending free agents (all the players on the list above). Hunter Henry and Kendrick Bourne are wasted in an offense that can't move the ball more than millimeters at a time. Trent Brown has been New England’s top blocker and could bring the best return from a contender looking for aid. Trading Kyle Dugger or Josh Uche would be big blows to the defense, but at this point, no one should be off limits if Belichick gets the right offer.

Tennessee Titans
2-4 · 4th in AFC South

Player who should be on the trade block:

Never count out a Mike Vrabel club from gritting out enough wins to cling to relevance and give itself a shot to make a late-season run. But if Ryan Tannehill is on the shelf for a spell with his ankle injury, can they get enough production to compete in the short term? I'm not suggesting Tennessee strip the roster, but it should consider the future without Derrick Henry if things continue to go sideways after the Week 7 bye. The King is playing out the final year of his contract, and if he's not in the long-term plans, moving on now makes sense. Tyjae Spears has seen an uptick in production in recent weeks and could take the baton from Henry. The Titans also currently have only three draft selections before the seventh round in 2024, so adding picks would be sensible for GM Ran Carthon.

Arizona Cardinals
1-5 · 4th in NFC West

Players who should be on the trade block:

Credit the Cardinals for being a more competitive team than many expected entering the 2023 season, but it was always about 2024 here. With six picks in the first three rounds of next year’s draft, GM Monti Ossenfort doesn't have a glaring need for more selections, but why not continue to add assets? He has shed players from the previous regime at a staggering rate. No need to stop now. Marquise Brown is set to become a free agent. Zach Ertz was inked by the previous GM and has no guaranteed money on his deal after this season. If Arizona plans on moving on in the offseason, trading one or both before the deadline is logical. Budda Baker could be a wild card. He requested a trade in the offseason before getting a reworked contract, settling the matter for now. He played only one game before landing on injured reserve, but he could be a game-changing player for a contender if he returns healthy in the coming weeks.


Kansas City Chiefs
5-1 · 1st in AFC West

Positions to target:

  • WR
  • Edge

Kansas City continues to compile wins thanks to a stellar defense and the other-worldly Patrick Mahomes-Travis Kelce connection, but the offense sorely needs help. Through six weeks, the Chiefs don't have a wideout sniffing the top 50 in receiving yards. Rashee Rice is No. 59 with 245 in six games. Justin Watson, who injured his elbow last week, is next at No. 68 with 219. Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore have been supreme disappointments. Rice has the talent to improve as a go-to target, but it's a group that needs to get better if the Chiefs are going to repeat as Super Bowl champs. It likely wouldn't be cheap to acquire him, but Marquise Brown would look awful nice catching deep balls from Mahomes. On the less-expensive side, someone like Kendrick Bourne would be a boost. Kansas City could also use depth in the pass rush, but perhaps a potential reunion with the recently released Frank Clark would fit that bill.

EDITOR’S UPDATE: The New York Jets have traded wide receiver Mecole Hardman to the Kansas City Chiefs, a team he played with from 2019 through 2022, NFL Network’s James Palmer reported Wednesday.

Philadelphia Eagles
5-1 · 1st in NFC East

Position to target:

  • Secondary

Never ever, ever count out Howie Roseman from making a move to better his club. The Eagles are 5-1, but it hasn't been pretty. The secondary has been riddled with injuries and the defense ranks 20th in passing yards allowed per game. Most recently, Reed Blankenship suffered a ribs injury in Week 6. Roseman should look to the trade market to bolster the back end of a Super Bowl contender. Kyler Dugger would be a splashy addition if the Pats decide to move on. Or perhaps Roseman goes bolder and convinces the Broncos to part with Justin Simmons.

EDITOR’S UPDATE: The Tennessee Titans are trading safety Kevin Byard to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for safety Terrell Edmunds and fifth- and sixth-round draft picks, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday.

Los Angeles Rams
3-3 · 3rd in NFC West

Positions to target:

  • Edge
  • RB
  • OL

Maybe Les Snead really is done playing the "F them picks" game, but a leopard can't change its spots. So, until the Rams go multiple cycles without making a splash, they'll remain a mainstay on lists like this one. The question is whether Sean McVay and Snead believe they're closer to contending than bottoming out after a 3-3 start to the season. Currently, they sit in the No. 7 seed in the NFC, bunched with three other .500 clubs. After a similar 3-3 start last year, the Rams reportedly went after Panthers edge rusher Brian Burns. Might Snead make another call to Carolina? Kyren Williams has been a sensation but he’s dealing with an ankle sprain. We know what McVay's offense looks like without a run game, and it's not pretty. If Williams' injury persists, adding a back could be a need. It might be a pipedream, but I would love to see what Saquon Barkley would do in McVay's system, even if just for a few months.

Detroit Lions
5-1 · 1st in NFC North

Position to target:

  • DB

Detroit is off to a stellar start, and the defense has shown major improvement. However, there are injury issues on the back end. C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Emmanuel Moseley are on injured reserve. And sensational rookie Brian Branch continues to deal with an ankle issue. Cameron Sutton has been as advertised, and Jerry Jacobs is solid at the opposite CB spot, but depth is needed on the back end. Adding a versatile safety like Jalen Mills or Kareem Jackson would solidify the unit. Or maybe with the team riding high, GM Brad Holmes could make a splashier move and chase someone like Budda Baker.

Buffalo Bills
4-2 · 2nd in AFC East

Position to target:

  • CB

The Bills' defense has suffered brutal injuries recently, losing Tre'Davious White, Matt Milano and DaQuan Jones. White’s injury in Week 4 thrust former first-round pick Kaiir Elam, a healthy scratch through four games, into the spotlight. The corner has struggled, getting picked on in each of the past two weeks. He was benched at the end of the Week 5 loss to Jacksonville, and Tyrod Taylor continually threw his way on Sunday night. Expect opponents to go after No. 24 a lot if things don't change. A veteran like Adoree’ Jackson or Jaylon Johnson could help solidify the back end of Sean McDermott's defense. Given the Bills’ rollercoaster play this season, GM Brandon Beane shouldn't sit on his hands hoping Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs can bail them out of every situation.

Los Angeles Chargers
2-3 · 3rd in AFC West

Position to target:

  • WR

Monday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys highlighted a key need for the Chargers. If they're going to turn their season around after a 2-3 start, they need someone to help Keenan Allen. With Mike Williams lost for the season, the Los Angeles offense is overly reliant on Allen to make plays. They miss Williams' ability to stretch the field and threaten defenses in the red zone. First-round rookie Quentin Johnston has struggled, catching six balls for 44 yards in five games -- and he was out-muscled for a game-sealing pick on Monday. Adding someone like Darnell Mooney, who could use a fresh start, would boost L.A.

Baltimore Ravens
4-2 · 1st in AFC North

Position to target:

  • Edge

The addition of Jadeveon Clowney has worked out well for Baltimore, but the rest of the edge-rush crew has been injured or ineffective. David Ojabo (ankle/knee) is on injured reserve, and Odafe Oweh has been dealing with an ankle injury. The Ravens are tied for the NFL lead with 24 sacks, but many of those have come from blitzes. We know GM Eric DeCosta isn't afraid to make a splash move, trading for linebacker Roquan Smith last year. He could look to make a similar move in 2023. A big-time acquisition like Brian Burns or Chase Young, both in contract years, would make Baltimore's D more menacing down the stretch.

Related Content