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Trade Deadline: Which Contenders Should Make a Move?

CMN’s Tom Spurling takes a look at key players ahead of the October 30th NFL deadline.

Tom Spurling

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Le’Veon Bell: Pittsburgh Steelers

Bell has placed himself in quite a unique situation entering this seasons trade deadline. Bell has yet to sign his 14 and a half million dollar franchise tag, but intends on rejoining the team during Pittsburghs’ week seven bye. The Steelers can’t trade him until then, but have put his name on the market during his hold out.

The problem with Bell is that not many teams want to bring that kind of drama into their locker room. The all-pro back has refused to take accept any contract but top dollar from his current team and has shown no signs of changing that behavior if traded.

Bell would be a short rental for any team, with his franchise tag expiring at the end of the season. But there are a few playoff contenders who could use a dynamic player like him for the rest of the year.

The Philadelphia Eagles have already stated that they have zero interest in acquiring Bell after their first string back Jay Ajayi went down for the year last week. Still, if the price on Bell is lowered, the NFC East is still up for grabs and the Eagles won’t be winning Super Bowls with Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood in the backfield.

The Tennessee Titans need help out of the backfield, and Derrick Henry is not the answer. After a failed attempt to revive Demarco Murrays’ career and drafting a disappointing Henry, maybe its time for Tennessee to move on to a smaller one cut back like Bell.

The Titans are currently tied with the Jaguars for first while Leonard Fournette misses time with a hamstring injury. If they could acquire Bell, Jacksonville would no longer have the best back in the division.

The Jaguars on the other hand are hurting in the absence of Fournette. His inability to stay healthy consistently has put pressure on Blake Bortles too carry the offense, and he threw four interceptions last week. The Jags need a ground game and Bell could be the much needed short term answer to get them to the playoffs.

One thing to note here is that the Steelers have been reluctant to listen to trades involving teams in the AFC. Pittsburgh biggest fear is trading Bell and then seeing him on the opposite sideline come playoff season.

LeSean McCoy: Buffalo Bills 

The veteran back has been an explosive player for both Philadelphia and Buffalo throughout his career, but this season has been anything but as the back has failed to rush for over 100 yards this season. Battling an off-field NFL investigation and a slew of injuries, McCoy has had a season to forget. But a new start might be in order as he finds himself on the trade block once again.

McCoys’ poor performance on the field can partially be attributed to the fact the the Bills seem to always be playing from behind and rely on the passing game. The back is no young horse, but steady play in the run game can still be provided by the 30 year old rusher.

McCoy benefits from the high price placed on Bell. Many teams will take a look at the Steelers offer, decline, and find what they are looking for in McCoy for a much lower price. But McCoy, given his age, is another short term solution for a team looking to stabilize their run game in the second half of the year.

The Eagles still find themselves shopping for a running back after publicly saying no to any interest in Bell from the Steelers. But McCoy comes with less baggage and less guaranteed money. Philadelphia looks to be the best fit for a trade with a Buffalo team losing any hope for a postseason run.

Devante Parker: Miami Dolphins 

Parkers time in Miami has been anything but a vacation since his arrival. His playtime has disappeared because of injuries and now finds himself behind three other receivers on the depth chart, who notably have higher contracts than him.

Parker has the natural talent and measurables to change the dynamic of an offense, if he stays healthy. Given Miami picked up a fifth year option on his contract before this season, any team interested in the wideout has him for more than a rental season.

The Dallas Cowboys have zero receivers that can help their team win games. Dan Prescott and the Cowboy passing game has crumbled after losing Dez Bryant, and Parker may be the answer.

No one is saying Parker can replace Bryant right away, but having a pass catcher who can require a double team may free up the passing game for Prescott. It also helps that Miami is only asking for a late round pick, lowering the risk for Dallas to pull the trigger before the trade deadline. If Dallas waits, the price will likely go up during the offseason.

Jamie Collins: Cleveland Browns 

Collins trade from Super Bowl bound New England to last place Cleveland was disappointing and ugly for the pass rushing linebacker. His time with the Browns has been plagued by injury and because of that his spot on the defense has all but been replaced.

With Joe Schubert and Christian Kirksey taking over Collins play time, his four year, $50 million dollar contract is becoming more and more of an eyesore for the Browns to keep on their roster. But who would be willing to take on a poor contract with a player who’s career has taken a turn for the worst.

Surprisingly, New England.

Collins former team has put forth an embarrassing defensive effort this year, specifically around their linebacking core. Captain Devonte Hightower has underperformed and fellow linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts do not have the speed to cover running backs in the pass game.

But Collins does, and the best part is he already knows the Patriot system. Collins thrived in New England and anchored a Super Bowl winning defense with his ability to cover like a safety as a linebacker. Collins is on the trade block for cheap and New England needs help, a reunion could be in the books for these two.

Ever wished you could start a career covering your favorite sport? Have you spent time wishing you could combine your love of sports with your passion for writing and reporting? CMN’s Sports Journalism course is an experiential learning program designed to give the practical experience you need to get your foot in the door in this ultra-competitive industry. You’ll get useful, direct feedback on your reporting, exposure to experienced sports journalists and influencers, and a great place to build your portfolio. You can get college credit, too. Get all the details on the CMN's Sports Journalism Course here.

Tom is a student at Fisher College in Boston. Tom spends his time conquering video games and exploring his city of Boston. His favorite part of writing is the stories and hopes to tell them for years to come.

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