Fact or Fiction: Making Sense of the Latest NFL Trade Rumors
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Not only is the rumor mill spinning fast as the 2022 NFL trade deadline approaches, but more and more reports are constantly flooding the market.
This player is available, but this player is not. This team buys, but this team sells. Some rumors are true, but others are best described as smokescreens or even outright lies.
Hey, it’s all part of the game. Still, it can be difficult to determine which reports to believe or reject.
But we have what you need. We pass judgment on the top rumors ahead of the NFL’s trade deadline on Tuesday, November 1.
Panthers to guard Brian Burns, 3 more
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After the Carolina Panthers parted ways with head coach Matt Rhule, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said the team would not hold a sellout.
Since then, they’ve sent wide receiver Robbie Anderson and running back Christian McCaffrey to the NFC West franchises. Isn’t this actually the start of one?
The short answer is no.
Although the Panthers accept a few deals, they don’t destroy the roster to the posts. Some of these attractive players, like defensive tackle Derrick Brown and edge pitcher Brian Burns, have profitable contracts and can be fundamental parts of a rebuild.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter said Carolina would not trade Brown, Burns, DJ Moore or cornerback Jaycee Horn before the deadline. Even though Moore recently signed an extension and Burns is headed for it, the combination of financial certainty and long-term impact is reason to believe they’ll all stay on the team.
Carolina will be heavily involved in the rumor mill, but this foursome aren’t expected to leave before the deadline.
Browns is now open for negotiation Kareem Hunt
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Shortly before the start of the 2022 season, Kareem Hunt reportedly asked for a trade. However, the Cleveland Browns did not agree and decided to keep him in his complementary role.
Apparently they may have changed their minds.
Brad Stainbrook of The Orange and Brown Report said the Browns were open to offers for Hunt. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler noted that Hunt would be available for a fourth-round pick.
The discussion is just as logical. Hunt, who is in the final year of his contract, is unlikely to stay as Nick Chubb’s back-up fullback – and Cleveland is unlikely to reduce the latter’s workload anyway. Additionally, the Browns already have D’Ernest Johnson as a capable backup.
Now that Cleveland is 2-5 and out of playoff contention, it makes sense to add value ahead of Hunt’s seemingly inevitable departure.
Jets won’t budge on Elijah Moore trade request
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The good news for the New York Jets is that they are 5-2 and have a formidable weapon in the Garrett Wilson slot machine. The bad news is that Wilson also plays the preferred position of Elijah Moore, who had a promising rookie year but was relatively quiet in 2022.
Moore’s frustration led to a trade request, which The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt said is not considered.
In his absence, New York activated Denzel Mims — who hadn’t played this season since asking for his own trade in August — for a win over the Denver Broncos.
Look, if the Jets didn’t move a player who was eliminated healthy through Week 7, a starter isn’t traded.
Moore is understandably upset with his limited number of targets, especially since the return of quarterback Zach Wilson. But the Jets are winning. They will keep Moore.
Daron Payne is worth a day 2 pick
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In the midst of an exceptional year, Daron Payne, one of Washington’s commanders, is a man potentially in great demand.
Ben Standig of The Athletic reported that “people familiar with Payne’s market” said the fifth-year defensive tackle could get a second- or third-round selection in 2023.
As usual, the issue is not the validity of the conversation. Content, however, is another story.
Whether someone traded it, sure, maybe that’s not unreasonable. But the rest of the league understands Payne is highly unlikely to re-sign with the Commanders, given the $72 million extension for Jonathan Allen and looming talks with Chase Young and Montez Sweat. Washington cannot keep them all.
Why give up a Day 2 pick when Payne will be a free agent in a few months? The “head start” to convince him to sign in March is not worth the offer Washington hopes to receive.
All the options on the table for Rams, Cam Akers
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One of the most unexpected developments in 2022 is the devolved relationship between Cam Akers and the Los Angeles Rams.
Last year, he almost missed the entire regular season with an Achilles tendon injury. Once healthy, however, the Rams – who had relied on Sony Michel and Darrell Henderson all year – immediately turned to Akers. He totaled 75 touches against 29 for Michel and seven for Henderson.
Akers seemed like the undisputed long-term option, but the tone has changed dramatically. He surprisingly only managed three runs in Game 1, didn’t register more than 50% snaps in any appearance and recently missed a game for personal reasons. Head coach Sean McVay said the Rams are trying to trade Akers.
Jeremy Fowler reported that a Los Angeles source said the team is considering all options to trade, release or keep Akers.
But how can he come back after that?
From this point of view, only two options are seriously on the table. Akers, whether traded or outright released, will no longer fit for the Rams.
Entertaining Broncos deals for Bradley Chubb
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Why bury the lede: Yes.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Broncos would like to keep Bradley Chubb, along with receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler. Schefter also said, however, that the Broncos “need to consider any serious offers.”
The focus here is solely on Chubb due to his contractual situation. Unlike Jeudy and Hamler, Chubb has an expiring contract. And Denver is unlikely to re-sign him.
During the offseason, the Broncos signed Randy Gregory to a five-year, $70 million deal. They also drafted Nik Bonitto in the second round and increased Baron Browning’s playing time before his recent hip injury. Denver has little money to spend on the D line, and Chubb’s earned paycheck may be too much.
Chubb will likely land the team a compensatory draft pick, but he would be worth more on the trade market right now.
Packers will trade for Receiver
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The short version of Green Bay’s 3-4 start is that the offense looks broken.
Early in the offseason, the Packers traded All-Pro player Davante Adams. Since then, on a scale of 1 to 10, the level of external concern surrounding the host corps is 11. Basically, everyone in the organization tried to stifle concerns, but Green Bay’s performance at this day justified everything.
As a result, Brandin Cooks, Chase Claypool and Jerry Jeudy are among the names ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler has offered as possible options for the Packers. Any of them, in theory, would provide a much-needed jolt to a group of underperforming, injury-riddled wides.
The problems, however, run deeper than the receivers. The offensive line has been disappointing and Aaron Rodgers isn’t out of blame.
Complicating matters further is Rodgers’ uncertain future, so the Packers would rightly be reluctant to send significant draft capital for a winning player now who is just slapping duct tape across a cracked foundation.
The Steelers will keep Chase Claypool
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Chase Claypool, one of those softly-connected receivers in Green Bay, found himself in the throes of trade rumors.
At least the conversation makes sense. After drafting George Pickens in April, the Pittsburgh Steelers also extended Diontae Johnson. Claypool will become a free agent after the 2023 season.
NFL Media Ian Rapoporthowever, threw cold water on the warming rumor and said Claypool likely wouldn’t be traded.
And we are inclined to agree.
Unless a franchise comes up with a few Day 2 draft picks, the Steelers shouldn’t part ways with a legitimate contributor. There’s no sense in making Kenny Pickett’s rookie season any harder when they’re not in danger of losing Claypool anytime soon.
Maybe the conversation changes in the offseason, but Claypool will stay in the black and gold until 2022.
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