NFL Trade Rumors: 5 Teams That Should Be Buyers at the NFL Trade Deadline

Which teams should look to buy ahead of November's NFL trade deadline? Brett Oswalt takes a look and makes predictions for which squads will go all-in in 2021.
Brett Oswalt |
Mon, October 25, 3:50 PM EDT | 4 min read
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NFL Trade Rumors: 5 Teams That Should Be Buyers at the NFL Trade Deadline

Kansas City Chiefs

As is the case with most contenders, the Chiefs need help on the defensive side of the ball. They check in second in the league in Football Outsiders’ offense DVOA, however, their defense is next-to-last, allowing 29.3 points per game – or just 1.5 fewer than what Patrick Mahomes and the offense dish out on a weekly basis.

The question is, where do they need it most? But the answer is everywhere. They are 31st defending both the pass and rush, and rank fourth-worst in terms of yards after catch. Yes, they could always boost their middle-of-the-pack pressure rate with an addition on the outside, in the form of a Dante Fowler or Emmanuel Ogbah, but the secondary is where they need reliability. They could be in the market for Broncos corner Kyle Fuller or a strong safety to replace Daniel Sorenson, who is tied for fifth among safeties having allowed 17 receptions (on 22 targets) on the year, according to Pro Football Focus.

Baltimore Ravens

Much like K.C., Baltimore is a team that finds themselves with a top-10 offense but also a very average defense that is slightly below average against the pass. In a conference that will in all likelihood have them go head-to-head with Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen in the playoffs, it would help to keep Lamar Jackson on an even playing field.

The Ravens’ top priority should be the secondary, where they have a massive hole left by Marcus Peters opposite fellow corner Marlon Humphrey. Fuller, in addition to Byron Jones or Xavien Howard from Miami, are in consideration. Beyond that, they could use some help at left tackle following Ronnie Stanley being placed on IR.

Green Bay Packers

No Jaire Alexander? A hobbled Kevin King? You guessed it – the Pack need corners on the outside, too. If they remain on track to compete for not only a playoff spot but a Super Bowl bid, potentially in the last year of Aaron Rodgers’ reign, the front office might as well go all in and improve where they need it most.

Both Byron Jones and Xavien Howard carry cap hits north of $14 million moving forward, but with some maneuvering now they could accommodate one of them with their roughly $6.2 million in cap space. Desperate times call for desperate measures in Green Bay.

Indianapolis Colts

The good news? The Colts are number one against the run. The bad news? They’re also 29th against the pass. Through a half-dozen games, they have given up the fifth-most adjusted yards per attempt and second-most scores through the air. For that same reason, they’re only 2-4 to this point, but there are winnable games – against the 49ers, Titans, Jets and Jaguars – on the horizon so they could find themselves in the thick of things for a wild card spot.

If Indy is active in the market, they’ll most likely turn their attention to safety. Julian Blackmon is out for the year after suffering an Achilles injury, vacating his starting spot in the process. The issue is that the Colts are short on cap space, meaning they’ll probably be out on Marcus Maye and into the second tier which includes the Lions' Tracy Walker and Giants’ Jabrill Peppers.

New Orleans Saints

Don’t look now, but the Saints are a comfortable 3-2 and own the NFL’s third-best defense by DVOA. The problem is their bland and inconsistent offense. With Drew Brees no longer at the helm, Sean Payton and his crew rate 17th offensively with Jameis Winston throwing to no one even near the caliber of the recovering Michael Thomas. And even if the All-Pro wideout is back in the short term there’s no telling if he’ll immediately – or ever – return to form.

New Orleans does have long-ball threats in Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harris, but they are in dire need of more consistent weapons outside of Alvin Kamara. A guy like Brandin Cooks could make a potent 1-2 combo with Thomas, but if his next-year cap hit of $15.5 million scares them off, there are lesser alternatives like N’Keal Harry, Josh Reynolds or even Keelan Cole – the latter two operating on expiring deals for their respective teams.

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