The NFL's Oct. 31 trade deadline is rapidly approaching, and several teams are rapidly solidifying their status as 'sellers' with each passing week.
Teams that are long shots to make the postseason, teams that don't have a long-term solution at quarterback, and teams that have sunk to the bottom of their respective division standings should strongly consider selling off at the deadline.
Here's a look at four teams that would be wise to be sellers ahead of the trade deadline, both to clear high-priced veterans off the books and accumulate draft capital to ignite roster overhauls next spring, and which players from those rosters who could be moved:
New England Patriots
Granted, the Patriots have been banged up up front this season, but it is wholly obvious that Mac Jones is not going to lead New England to any sort of resurgent prominence. Likewise, the Patriots have fallen woefully behind the personnel that's been assembled by the division rival Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and now, the New York Jets, even without Aaron Rodgers.
This has been the most disappointing stretch of Bill Belichick's Hall of Fame career, to the point that it has raised questions over just how instrumental the legendary head coach was to the Patriots' dynasty given a 26-30 record since Tom Brady's departure for Tampa Bay in 2020.
If the season ended today, the Patriots would be picking fifth in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Given the lack of breadth and depth of talent on this roster, and the need to come out of the forthcoming offseason with a franchise quarterback of the future, the Patriots would be wise to hold a full-fledged fire sale.
Possible players who could be traded: DB Jalen Mills, WR Kendrick Bourne, OT Trent Brown, QB Mac Jones, QB Bailey Zappe
The Minnesota Vikings entered the 2023 season straddling the line between trying to rebuild, and remaining committed to trying to win with Kirk Cousins at quarterback. It's gone about as well as one would expect.
While some sources inside the league are skeptical that the Vikings should begin a full-fledged tear down at the trade deadline, this doesn't have the look of an offense that can be consistently prolific enough to make a push in the NFC Wild Card race.
Sitting at 2-4, it might be time for the rubber to meet the road for general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, especially when it comes to edge rusher Danielle Hunter. Hunter currently has 8.0 sacks with 21 total pressures. Similar to quarterback Kirk Cousins, Hunter simultaneously would be instrumental to the Vikings making a postseason push in 2023 and 2024, but might fetch the largest haul in a deadline deal to jumpstart a potential rebuild.
Cousins and Hunter might fetch premium draft capital, but there are several other players on the roster who could add picks to Adofo-Mensah's war-chest, if the Vikings aim to get younger and rebuild a roster capable of making legitimate Super Bowl runs in the future.
Possible players who could be traded: EDGE Danielle Hunter, QB Kirk Cousins, LB Jordan Hicks, WR K.J. Osborn
The Commanders have new ownership, an uncertain future at quarterback, and a roster that is probably capable of teetering around .500 the rest of this season, as it's currently constructed.
Beyond whether Washington has the pieces in place to compete with the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys at the top of the NFC East — conceivably their only path to the postseason, the Commanders have a glut of talented pass-rushers with only one franchise tag to use on the, which could make both Montez Sweat and Chase Young expendable.
There was a feeling among several league sources that had the Commanders lost to the Falcons in Week 6 that the new owners might step in and push for a sell-off, to better position Washington in next spring's NFL Draft. However, quarterback Sam Howell did just enough to get past Atlanta, so the Commanders sit just two games back of the division lead.
Still, there is plenty of attractive talent that could fetch early-round draft picks if the organization is more interested in building a sustained winner than attempting to sneak into the playoffs this season.
Possible players who could be traded: EDGE Montez Sweat, EDGE Chase Young, OL Andrew Wylie
Sean Payton's first season as the Denver Broncos' head coach has been an abject disaster.
Randy Gregory has already been traded, Frank Clark has been released, Jerry Jeudy is very much available, and with the Broncos sitting at 1-5 entrenched in the AFC West basement, outside of a couple young difference-makers on defense, everything else should be available in a full-fledged fire sale.
Given Russell Wilson's colossally disappointing performance over the past two seasons, the Broncos would be wise to position themselves, as best as they can, to select at the top of next spring's draft in order to mine a potential franchise quarterback. If the season ended today, Denver would be picking No. 3 overall, behind the Bears' pair of first-round selections. Hanging an 'everything must go' sign outside the facility would certainly increase the likelihood that Denver has a chance to select either USC's Caleb Williams or North Carolina's Drake Maye next April.
Possible Players who could be traded: WR Jerry Jeudy, WR Courtland Sutton, OT Garrett Bolles, LB Alex Singleton
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