The 2022 NFL trade deadline got off to an early start this season. No sooner had rumors begun swirling around Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey before the running back was dealt to the 49ers in the first major in-season trade of the year.
Although the NFL trade deadline is historically a relatively boring one, 2022 has some interesting things to offer. Some teams are down but not out, others are surprisingly good, and still others may be reevaluating where they stand in the NFL hierarchy. The NFC in particular has had a lot of shakeups this season, so we may see some surprising deadline moves.
Despite the intrigue around the teams themselves, precious few players are getting a lot of deadline buzz. Running backs and wide receivers are generating the most talk this year, even after the insane receiver movement in the 2022 offseason. Teams like the Packers are in dire straits at receiver, whereas several teams could use some help at running back.
The most premium name being thrown around is the Saints’ Alvin Kamara, who signed an extension with New Orleans in 2020. Any contender would love to have Kamara in the fold, but the price for the running back would undoubtedly be steep.
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Another, more realistic name being thrown around is Kareem Hunt. Hunt, like Kamara, is being tied to some contenders, specifically the Bills and the Eagles. Hunt requested a trade over the summer that didn’t come to pass, but the Browns’ struggles may have them looking to sell high with Nick Chubb obviously in the team’s long-term plans.
When it comes to team storylines, the Packers have to find a receiver. After Christian Watson exited Sunday’s game against the Bills, Aaron Rodgers was throwing to most teams’ third or fourth options for the remainder of the game. Brandin Cooks, Jerry Jeudy, or Chase Claypool may work there. With the Packers underperforming, they seem like the team most compelled to make a move.
NFL trade deadline moves are based on fit, necessity, and context. Teams may look to offload contracts as rentals or reach to try to become competitive again. 2022 is still wide open as a season. Will the rich get richer? Or will a team try to claw its way up the standings? We’ll know by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday what’s going to end up happening around the league.
What time is the NFL trade deadline?
- Date: Tuesday, Nov. 1
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
The NFL trade deadline will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 4 p.m. ET. Some trades may not be announced until after 4 p.m. ET, but all must be agreed upon and filed to the league office before that time.
MORE: Kareem Hunt, Antonio Gibson among top trade targets for Bills to pursue before deadline
The biggest deal in 2021 was arguably Von Miller heading to the Rams before eventually winning a Super Bowl. Will any other players be traded into such perfect conditions?
Can NFL teams trade after the deadline?
NFL teams cannot trade after the trade deadline. Teams won’t be able to complete trades until the new league year begins in March 2023. The NFL hasn’t officially announced when the new league year begins, though it usually comes on eve of free agency.
Teams can, however, agree to deals in principle before the league year opens. That happens on occasion during the offseason, as we saw with the Rams’ trade for Matthew Stafford in 2021 and Washington’s trade for Alex Smith in 2018.
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NFL trade news
— Oct. 27: Giants trade WR Kadarius Toney to Chiefs for 2023 third and sixth round picks.
— Oct. 26: Bears trade DE Robert Quinn to Eagles for 2023 fourth round pick.
— Oct. 25: Raiders trade DT Jonathan Hankins and 2024 seventh round pick to Cowboys for 2023 sixth round pick.
— Oct. 24: Jaguars trade RB James Robinson to Jets for conditional 2023 sixth round pick.
— Oct. 21: Panthers trade RB Christian McCaffrey to 49ers for 2023 second, third, and fourth round picks and a 2024 fifth round pick.
— Oct. 17: Panthers trade WR Robbie Anderson to Cardinals for 2024 sixth round pick and 2025 seventh round pick.
— Oct. 10: Falcons trade LB Deion Jones and a 2024 seventh round pick to Browns for a 2024 sixth round pick.
NFL trade deadline rumors: Potential trade targets
The NFL expanded its postseason in 2020, so now 14 teams make the NFL playoffs. That means that more teams are in the playoff hunt and thus, there are more buyers on the trade market.
Parity in the NFL is extremely high in 2022, which means teams will likely be in staring contests until the 4 p.m. deadline Tuesday. However, some teams, like the Texans, Lions, or Panthers, suddenly find themselves with a lot of leverage because of the likely difficulty of pulling off trades this season.
MORE: NFL trade rumors: 12 players most likely to be traded
RB Alvin Kamara — Saints
Arguably the biggest name being bandied about at this year’s deadline is Saints running back Alvin Kamara. The Saints have disappointed this season, but then, so has the entire NFC South. Kamara, who is playing on a five-year, $75 million contract the team signed him to in 2020, would require a godfather offer to acquire. But some teams looking to go all-in this year may decide to push their chips in for the star running back.
RB Kareem Hunt — Browns
The Browns dismissed Hunt’s request to be traded before the season, but at 2-5, they may change their tune now. Nick Chubb is every bit the star he has to be, and the Browns may need to wait for the second year of Deshaun Watson’s contract to legitimately compete. Hunt will be a free agent after the year, so this would be a “something is better than nothing” situation.
EDGE Bradley Chubb — Broncos
For the second year in a row, the Broncos are drawing interest in one of their top pass rushers. Bradley Chubb has a lot of AFC East interest, with the Jets and Dolphins reportedly inquiring about him. The Broncos have also disappointed so far this year, but Chubb has 5.5 sacks on the year and is drawing significant attention at the line of scrimmage. He would be a boon for any team looking to bolster its pass rush.
WR Brandin Cooks — Texans
Brandin Cooks is no stranger to being traded, but as he continues to languish away in Houston, it seems more and more likely the Texans try to move their underrated No. 1 receiver. Cooks has 32 catches for 354 yards this year with Davis Mills as his quarterback. Plenty of teams need wide receiver help this year. Cooks is about as good as it’s going to get at this point in the season.
DE Brian Burns — Panthers
The Panthers say they aren’t selling, but never believe ownership. Robbie Anderson and Christian McCaffrey have both already been unloaded prior to the deadline, and with Matt Rhule already out, everyone is likely up for grabs. The Panthers have coveted a star quarterback for years. This draft could finally get them that. Brian Burns has five sacks so far this season, and he’s been a bright spot for Carolina.
RB Cam Akers — Rams
The situation between Cam Akers and the Rams doesn’t seem tenable. Los Angeles has scratched Akers a few times this year for “personal reasons,” and Sean McVay appears to have no interest in giving Akers the ball. Although the team seems willing to maintain its relationship with Akers, it’s hard to imagine it ending well for both sides.
MORE: Alvin Kamara trade fits: Saints RB racks up stats
WR Chase Claypool — Steelers
At this point, any fringe wide receiver should be up for consideration at the deadline. It’s hard to imagine the Steelers parting ways with Chase Claypool for anything more than an overpay, but Pittsburgh needs to consider all of its options this season. The presence of Diontae Johnson and emergence of George Pickens could help to soften the blow. But Kenny Pickett will need all the weapons he can get in Pittsburgh.
CB William Jackson III — Commanders
William Jackson III has the perfect name for Washington D.C., but the scheme just isn’t a fit for him. Despite being a very good cornerback the Commanders pursued in free agency this year, he simply hasn’t played up to the level either he or the team are used to. Jackson was torched defensively regularly early this season on missed assignments the Commanders struggled to adapt to. He would be better in a team that plays more heavily in man-to-man.
Why are NFL trades so rare?
The NFL’s trade deadline is arguably the weakest of the four major United States’ sports leagues, as it has decidedly less action than the NBA, the NHL and MLB.
However, there is a reason for that. Mainly, it’s due to the way the NFL’s salary cap works, as Sporting News contributor Jason Fitzgerald detailed in a 2019 piece.