In a world where the NFL trade deadline doesn't exist, fans might see league-altering moves as the playoffs loom.
The deadline passed Nov. 2, a quiet period headlined by Von Miller's trade to the Los Angeles Rams. The trade deadline's timing early in the season might explain the lack of blockbuster moves. In a bunched-up AFC this season, rebuilders hadn't come to terms with that fate, and key injuries or needs hadn't emerged for contenders.
But now? Contenders need help, and rebuilders are thinking about the long term. Some of the speculated trade candidates would make sense in packages, especially for contenders that seek the last piece of the championship puzzle.
While the following moves can't happen since the deadline has passed, they would make a ton of sense.
Dolphins Send Xavien Howard to Tennessee Titans
Xavier Howard was a constant in speculation after his trade request in July, but the Miami Dolphins didn't end up moving the star cornerback.
If they were to do it now, a trade partner like the Tennessee Titans would make loads of sense.
Miami sits at 4-7, and Howard's contract has an out this offseason. If the Dolphins want to avoid more drama, including a potential extension request after they made Byron Jones the team's highest-paid corner, moving Howard to a contender could be a solid exit plan.
He is 28 years old and has 31 passes defensed and 12 interceptions over the last two seasons. That would be appealing to a team like the 8-3 Titans, who lost first-round corner Caleb Farley to a torn ACL. Veteran Jackrabbit Jenkins has allowed 41 catches on 59 targets for a 67.7 Pro Football Focus grade, placing him in the "backup" grading range.
This hypothetical would make the AFC-leading Titans more formidable at a weak spot and help a rebuilding Miami team solve an issue while stockpiling assets.
Broncos Send Kyle Fuller to Buccaneers
Kyle Fuller has been something of an afterthought for the Denver Broncos after signing a one-year pact worth $9.5 million.
That's not a bad thing, though. Denver has an embarrassment of riches at cornerback thanks to the emergence of first-round pick Pat Surtain II and notable play from fellow free-agent addition Ronald Darby, never mind the strong presence of safeties Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson.
Fuller, who has only given up a 55.3 completion percentage over 38 targets and played 73 percent of the defensive snaps, would be a fun addition for a team like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.