Trades in the NFL don't always come when you expect. Last year, I wrote a column pitching 13 trades. The first deal on that list was a swap between the Eagles and Cardinals, with veteran tight end Zach Ertz making his way to Arizona. It might have taken a year, but Ertz eventually made his way to the Cards last week.
I'd love to take credit for being a genius, but being off by a full year means I don't get any. On top of that, in my deal, the Cardinals were sending Haason Reddick to the Eagles. At the time, Reddick was a disappointing former first-round pick who had spent most of his time playing linebacker. Right around the time I wrote that column, the Cardinals lost Chandler Jones and moved Reddick to edge rusher, where he launched an entirely new career. He has 17 sacks in his last 17 games with the Cardinals and Panthers (where he signed in free agency). If the Eagles had seen that coming, they would have happily rushed Ertz out the door in 2020.
I'm going to propose 10 more deals that make sense for both sides. The goal is to be realistic, so while there's at least one trade with a big name attached, most see players on the back of competitive rosters moving around or starters on bad teams changing hands for draft picks. I'd set the over/under on any of them happening at 0.5, but I hope they contextualize what the league's top teams might try to do before the trade deadline strikes on November 2.
Browns add O-line help, Cowboys boost depth
Browns get: OT Ty Nsekhe
Cowboys get: LB Mack Wilson
After enjoying one of the healthiest offensive lines in football a year ago, the Browns have to be nervously eyeing their trainer's room each week. Left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. and right tackle Jack Conklin both missed Sunday's ugly loss against the Cardinals with injuries. Swing tackle Chris Hubbard would have been first in line to replace Wills or Conklin, but he just underwent triceps surgery and is expected to be done for the season. The Browns aren't going to get anyone as good as Wills or Conklin on the open market, but adding a veteran tackle is something they would likely love to do if the right opportunity arises.
At 35, Nsekhe certainly qualifies as a veteran. Crucially, he has experience playing under Browns offensive line wizard Bill Callahan during their shared time in Washington. The Cowboys signed Nsekhe after their line went to pieces last season, but he hadn't played an offensive snap all season before Sunday's win over the Patriots. If Tyron Smith's neck injury isn't serious, Nsekhe could be expendable.
Dallas would get back linebacker depth in Wilson, whose role in the defense has declined throughout the season. The 2019 fifth-rounder would be an indirect replacement for Jaylon Smith, who was released earlier this month.
Ravens trade for an offensive tackle
Ravens get: OT Morgan Moses, 2023 sixth-round pick
Jets get: 2022 fourth-round pick
The Ravens are 5-1, but things haven't gone as planned up front. At tackle, they were planning on welcoming back superstar Ronnie Stanley from an serious left ankle injury on the left side, then imported Alejandro Villanueva from the Steelers to play on the right side. That lasted one game. Stanley hasn't played since Week 1, and the team announced Tuesday that he will undergo season-ending surgery. Villanueva wasn't playing well on the right side, but he has looked much better since moving to Stanley's former spot, where he played in Pittsburgh.
Baltimore general manager Eric DeCosta probably needs to add a tackle in the weeks to come. If the Ravens want to move Villanueva back to the right side, they could pursue Seahawks left tackle Duane Brown. It would likely be easier to keep Villanueva on the left side, which would mean targeting a right tackle. Moses, signed to a one-year deal by the Jets, is a capable right tackle with a track record of staying healthy. The Ravens might value availability more than ability at this point.