It seemed for a minute on Tuesday like an otherwise-bland buildup to Saturday's roster-cut deadline was finally going to be injected with a bit of spice.
With negotiations for a contract extension between Alvin Kamara and the Saints going "sideways," per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, multiple reports emerged that the team was open to dealing the running back, who had missed several days of practice. Kamara and his agent responded to these reports, which could be read as a veiled threat, by telling NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on Tuesday that he hadn't made any trade requests.
This mini-drama had promise -- except the trade chatter was quickly deflated, with Rapoport indicating that Kamara is likely to wind up staying in New Orleans on a new contract after "cooler heads" prevailed Tuesday night.
So, with that apparently settled, are there any other big names who could be dealt or lose their jobs before teams have to reduce their rosters to 53 players? Who knows! This is traditionally a time of year with surprise moves aplenty, but with no preseason games being played because of the COVID-19 pandemic, teams are holding their cards closer to the vest than ever. The reduced access to practice and game tape has created an information vacuum.
It's possible that the Jaguars' already-completed trade of pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue to the Vikings and release of running back Leonard Fournette could wind up being the most notable moves of the week, although things have rarely been so simple in 2020.
Here's my best crack at compiling a list of some other potential surprise trade candidates/roster cuts to keep an eye on in the coming days.
Coach Anthony Lynn held Perryman out of the team's recent scrimmage after demoting him from the starting lineup, behind first-round pick Kenneth Murray. That is absolutely the kind of move teams pull before attempting to trade a veteran. A big hitter with a big injury history, Perryman is only due $2 million this season in total pay and probably wouldn't cost much in draft compensation.
It would be a big surprise to see the Bucs take a weapon away from Tom Brady, especially after Brate and Howard put in strong training camps. But the team was reportedly open to listening on draft day, and a veteran-for-veteran offer for Brate could be tempting if the Bucs want to shore up a position group where they currently have less depth.
It's hard to imagine Bell, two years removed from his last productive season, inspiring much more than a mid-to-late-round pick swap at this stage, but his marriage with head coach Adam Gase has been rocky since Day 1.
Williams is better than plenty of backup running backs out there, and he looks superfluous in Green Bay following the drafting of AJ Dillon in the second round.
We know the Dolphins love draft picks, and we know they don't have much use for Rosen, even if the former No. 10 overall pick may only be worth a late-round pick in a trade.
UPDATE: The Dolphins are releasing the former first-round pick after unsuccessful attempts to trade him the past few days, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
With Reddick now moved to the edge, there's a chance that a team outside of Arizona still trusts the pre-draft scouting report they had for the 2017 first-round pick, who has made just 20 career starts.
Harrison earned over 800 snaps last season, which included a number of mental errors. He may be a victim of the team's overhaul.
UPDATE: The Cleveland Browns have agreed to a trade with the Jaguars to acquire Harrison in exchange for a 2021 fifth-round draft pick, the Browns announced.
POTENTIAL SURPRISE CUTS
If these cuts were routine, they wouldn't have the word surprise in front of them. Norman hurt his hamstring early in camp and hasn't been seen since. The team has a competent replacement (Levi Wallace) in position. Even though the Bills guaranteed Norman $3 million when they signed him this offseason, they would save nearly $3 million more if they let him go. The team is tight on cap space, and perhaps Buffalo would rather save the money to keep ...
Speculation about Murphy's spot on the team started after the Bills signed Mario Addison and drafted A.J. Epenesa. Murphy has reportedly looked solid in camp, but a $9.775 million cap number is aggressive for a rotational player.
Cutting Beasley, who was signed this offseason, would be a shock and possibly complicated, if the team decided to go after his money. It's not like the Titans have a replacement for the former first-round pick. Beasley's hefty guaranteed salary -- nearly $10 million -- would seem to put him on the team, but Beasley's status has been shrouded in mystery since he showed up to camp late and was placed on the non-football injury list. He essentially hasn't been seen since, and there are a lot of questions about what exactly is going on here.
UPDATE: Beasley was activated off the NFI list on Saturday, the team announced.
A favorite of Draft Twitter a year ago, the 2019 fourth-round pick looks to be no higher than sixth on the team's depth chart.
UPDATE: The Cardinals released Butler on Friday.
The Eagles keep trotting out the same cornerbacks and not liking the results. It appears they might have one too many familiar names to keep around this year.
UPDATE: The Eagles released both Douglas and Jones.
Fantasy leaguers were excited about Washington's potential, but he lost the backup job to Darrel Williams.
UPDATE: Washington was released Saturday, the Chiefs announced.
Getting beaten out by Devlin Hodges could prove to be the end of the road for the former apple of John Elway's eye.
UPDATE: Lynch was released Saturday, the Steelers announced.
Just activated off the PUP list this week, Miller could be running out of time to make his claim for a roster spot in a crowded backfield.
UPDATE: The Patriots are releasing Miller, Rapoport reported.
Coming off a torn ACL, Foster reportedly didn't look fully healthy while working with backups in training camp. Injured reserve is a possibility.
UPDATE: Washington placed Foster on injured reserve Saturday, Rapoport reported.