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NFL Trade Rumors: One Player Each Super Bowl Contender Should Target Ahead of the Deadline

Taking a look at the NFL Super Bowl contenders and what they should be looking to add at the trade deadline.
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NFL Trade Rumors: One Player Each Super Bowl Contender Should Target Ahead of the Deadline

Buffalo Bills

The Bills are a very well-rounded team, and the numbers back that up. They rank first in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, consisting of the league’s 10th-best offense and top overall defense. But still, they could improve in the secondary opposite top corner Tre’Davious White.

With Taron Johnson locking down opposing slot receivers, Levi Wallace has been called upon to take on teams’ secondary options on the outside, and for his efforts he has a 58.9 PFF grade on the season. Buffalo could go out and obtain an instant upgrade from the Denver Broncos, either in the form of Kyle Fuller or Bryce Callahan. Callahan possesses a 67.5 PFF grade in two starts and seven games compared to Fuller’s 44.8 grade through five starts and six games.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The rumors are that Tampa Bay is looking for help in the secondary – and rightfully so. While their defense rates 4th overall in rush DVOA, it’s also 11th in pass DVOA. That may not seem too bad since they’re just outside the top 10, but they’re a clear pass-funnel defense and have been hit by injury after injury in the face of their team success.

It’s tough to say who would be the best fit by scheme, but the most exciting addition would be another cornerback in the Steelers’ Joe Haden. Though Pittsburgh isn’t out of the hunt in the AFC North, they likely realize that Haden could walk right into free agency following this season. They could get something in return if they are, in fact, OK with parting ways with a key defender in what might be Ben Roethlisberger’s last season. Haden sports just a 60.1 PFF grade this year, but he has three Pro Bowl seasons under his belt. Undoubtedly, he’d love to add a Super Bowl win to his accolades.

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams feel like the most complete team in the NFL on both sides of the ball. They have a new and improved quarterback to go with two stud receivers, and defensively they boast a Defensive Player of the Year in Aaron Donald. In route to their 6-1 record, they are second and fourth in offense and defensive DVOA, respectively. What could they possibly use?

LA checks in 16th against the rush, and if you see Aaron Donald up front, the next place to look is linebacker. The team very recently shipped out Kenny Young, and though they could rely on Ernest Jones in the middle, they may want more experience for their Super Bowl run. Atlanta’s Foyesade Oluokon is in the last year of his deal and has a connection to defensive coordinator Raheem Morris. It wouldn’t take much for the Rams to add him to their defense and improve their efficiency versus the run.

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals entered their Week 8 matchup in a tie for fourth in adjusted sack rate. Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt made for one of the league’s best tandems on the outside of the line – that is, until Watt suffered a shoulder injury that will lead to him missing the remainder of the 2021 season. They need a replacement bad.

Jones needs someone to keep him from being double-teamed on a consistent basis. The best option out there is Detroit’s Trey Flowers, who has struggled of late – with 1.5 sacks in five games – but is a two-time Super Bowl champ. It would take some financial maneuvering to make it happen, but it would be nice to see if he can bounce back opposite Jones.

Green Bay Packers

Like the Bucs, the Packers have been subject to the injury bug this year, and it’s been felt in the secondary more than anywhere else. Jaire Alexander was the backbone of the defense, but he may or may not be back before the end of the year. Whether he does or not, there’s an opportunity for Green Bay to further support their offense by building up the defense.

It’s kind of cheating, but one of either Byron Jones or Xavien Howard would be the best fit here. As long as the Green Bay front office is willing to pay their high prices and provide some draft compensation in return, Miami could be looking to unload one of the two corners. If Alexander is able to make it back on the field, they could have two elite corners to go up against the likes of the Rams’ and Bucs’ dynamic receiving corps in the NFC.

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore is likely to be active in the deadline market. There are rumors of them going after a receiver, but if anything, they need more help on the defensive side of the ball. It's been impressive the way they have been able to hold up without someone like Marcus Peters, but why test themselves any longer?

There is quite the cornerback pool as far as deadline candidates go, but the Ravens are the type of team that aims to revamp previous standouts. They did it with Peters over the last two years, so it’s not hard to see them repeating that process with a guy like Kyle Fuller. Fuller is a shell of what he once was, but what he once was is a Pro Bowl/All-Pro corner. That’s a lot better than the intneral options not named Marlon Humphrey.


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