The 2022 NFL trade deadline came and went on Nov. 1, and player movement is now limited to free-agent signings and practice-squad elevations. That means that many contenders are practically out of luck when it comes to filling late-season holes.
This is a problem that NFL franchises are hoping to fix, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
"Multiple teams reached out to the NFL office this past week to inquire about pushing back the trade deadline from its current spot after Week 8 to after either Week 10 or Week 12, league sources told ESPN," Schefter wrote.
A later trade deadline would make a ton of sense. With 10 full weeks remaining after the current deadline, it's impossible for some teams to know whether they can make a run or are playing for next season. At the same time, injuries aren't limited to the first half of the season.
It would likely make the trade market a whole lot more active and interesting too.
How might a Week 12 deadline look? That's exactly what we're here to examine. We'll dive into six purely hypothetical trades that we wish we could see coming out of Sunday's games. Factors like team records, team needs, future free-agent status, player production and any relevant in-season trade buzz were all considered here.
Contracts and cap space were not largely considered here. As we saw with the Robert Quinn trade, franchises will usually find ways to make it work financially when they're motivated to make an in-season trade.
Perhaps in a year or two, we'll be able to see late-season deals just like these come to fruition.
Kareem Hunt to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buccaneers Get: RB Kareem Hunt
Browns Get: 2023 fifth-round pick
The Cleveland Browns weren't too motivated to move players at the trade deadline, largely because the team was sitting at 3-5 and still holding out hope for a playoff run. Things have gone downhill since then, and Cleveland may make a stronger push to move running back Kareem Hunt now if it were possible. Though, at 4-7, the Browns are technically still alive in the AFC playoff race.
Hunt was on the trade block at the deadline, and he was open to leaving Cleveland.
"I'm down for whatever, man," Hunt said, per NFL Media's Nick Shook. "I'm a football player and this is a business."
Hunt is also set to be a free agent in 2023, so getting something in return for him now would be logical.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers—who just so happened to lose to Cleveland on Sunday—could use a dual-threat back like Hunt. Tampa is getting solid production from rookie Rachaad White, but with Leonard Fournette nursing a hip injury, Hunt could fill a valuable role in the rotation.
Given that this would be a short-term rental for an impending free agent, a Day 3 pick would hypothetically get a deal done. The Miami Dolphins gave up a fifth-round pick for running back Jeff Wilson Jr. at the deadline, and that could serve as the baseline for this trade.
Brandin Cooks to the Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys Get: WR Brandin Cooks
Texans Get: 2023 second-round pick
The Dallas Cowboys are sitting at 8-3 and are in a good position to make a run in the NFC postseason. They're also clearly interested in adding to their receiving corps ahead of the playoffs.
According to The Athletic's Jon Machota, Dallas has been in constant contact with free-agent wideout Odell Beckham Jr.
If the trade window were still open, the Cowboys could target a healthy and productive receiver instead of one coming off of a torn ACL suffered in February. Houston Texans receiver Brandin Cooks would be an ideal candidate.
According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, Dallas and Houston discussed a Cooks deal at the deadline, but Cooks' $18 million guaranteed 2023 salary was a sticking point.
In this hypothetical scenario, the Texans agree to pay a large chunk of Cooks' 2023 salary in exchange for a premium draft pick.
The Texans add to their 2023 arsenal of draft picks—that may well include the first overall selection—while Cooks gets to go to a contender. Dallas, meanwhile, adds a savvy veteran receiver who posted back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns before this season.
Everybody would win in this trade, and who wouldn't love to see that?