With five days remaining before the 2018 NFL trade deadline on Oct. 30, teams must decide whether they’re playoff contenders or pretenders. Twelve trades make too much sense for both teams, and should happen by the deadline.
The NFL’s trade season is usually a quiet one as teams are conservative with holding assets and players despite being in a position to upgrade their short- or long-term outlook. Even as the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams have looked like the two best teams in the league, there’s over half the season left for things to change.
Being aggressive at the deadline can swing a playoff race or game. The right acquisition might be costly, but late-picking draft picks tend to be overrated. Day 3 picks should be treated as fliers, and even more valuable picks should be movable for the right talent.
I assembled 12 deals that made sense for both teams involved. Some teams should start shedding salary and acquiring picks, even if they’re getting just late-rounders back to gain future flexibility. Contenders should maximize their window in the next two years if they can address their biggest weakness for a moderate price.
It’s difficult and subjective to predict value. Damon Harrison was moved for a fifth-round pick to Detroit, but Amari Cooper cost a first-rounder for Dallas. Few trades are equal due to factors such as salary, age, personalities, and positional values.
Let’s have fun and predict some trades. I didn’t include anything with Le’Veon Bell or Derek Carr because of their unique situations. Bell is more valuable to the Steelers than a possible third-round pick, and it makes more sense for the Raiders to wait until the off-season on Carr when teams have more money to swallow his massive salary.
Giants trade Janoris Jenkins to Chiefs
The cornerback market looks quite bare, with few options serving as expiring contracts and a dearth of depth across the league. The Chiefs could go after a young outcast like Cordrea Tankersley from Miami or a rotational corner like Rashaan Melvin, but they should swing higher.
It was a tough blow to the market when Adam Schefter reported that Patrick Peterson would stay in Arizona, since Peterson would’ve been perfect despite what was presumably a high sticker price. With the Giants selling off veterans, corner Janoris Jenkins is the next-best option.
Jenkins had a down season in 2017 as he dealt with an ankle injury that required surgery, but has been better this year. The 30-year-old will likely never replicate his All-Pro caliber season of 2016, but he’d be a much better No. 2 corner in Kansas City than Steven Nelson. He has about $5 million in game checks left this season, so the Chiefs would only have to do one small restructure or release to fit him into their space.
Like the Giants took for Damon Harrison, the return would be low. Jenkins’ contract bloats after the year to $14.75 million per-year, and they should release him before paying that to a 31-year-old corner. Moving him should garner a Day 3 pick and clear up more cap room to rollover into the off-season for a replacement.