Week 5 of the NFL season is here, meaning the NFL trade deadline is just a couple of weeks away.
The 2021 season has been riddled with injuries, as many star players have been forced to miss time early on. With the high number of injuries that have occurred thus far, it's worth wondering if teams are more likely to strike a deal this season to fill those voids.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic affected the NFL season, preventing much movement at the deadline. As a result, teams out of the playoff picture moved a few veterans but nothing happened as major as in 2019. Nonetheless, after a quiet 2020 deadline, 2021 could see movement with more recognizable names.
With just under four weeks to go until the deadline, there's plenty to sort out. Here's everything you need to know:
2021 NFL Trade Deadline Information
When: November 2, 2021
Time: All trades must be completed by the sharp 4 p.m. EST deadline
Players who could be on the Trade Block
- JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: The 2021 season is beginning to slip away from the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are off to a 1-3 start. Ben Roethlisberger is showing his age, and the rest of the AFC North teams are off to good starts. As a result, the Steelers need to begin evaluating themselves, so perhaps it's time to stock up on picks, and a player that might fetch a return is Smith-Schuster.
The 24-year-old's contract expires after this year. In the summer, he admitted to pondering an offer from the Kansas City Chiefs, so after this challenging season in Pittsburgh, Smith-Schuster could be out the door. It makes sense for the Steelers to grab something if they don't want to extend him.
Myles Jack, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars aren't afraid to trade away a marquee defensive player mid-season, as they've dealt Jalen Ramsey and Dante Fowler Jr. before the deadline. Jack could be the next name as Jacksonville is off to another tough start under new head coach Urban Meyer.
Jacksonville is in the middle of a rebuild with Trevor Lawrence at the forefront, but is Jack willing to wait around for the team to turn the corner? The 26-year-old linebacker did sign a contract extension in 2019 that runs through the 2023 season, and perhaps Jack might not want to wait until his contract expires to be on a winning team. Furthermore, the Jaguars could nab a couple of picks to continue building around Lawrence.
- Michael Brockers, DT, Detroit Lions: The Lions have entered the post-Matthew Stafford era 0-4, so it's time for them to look toward 2022, and Brockers could be a veteran that NFL teams look at to add to their defensive line. The 30-year-old could see the Lions fetch a late pick in return.
Brockers had five sacks last season on a Los Angeles Rams team that made the playoffs and he does have a sack with the Lions through four games. Furthermore, after being close to the Lombardi trophy in LA, Brockers would likely want to go back on a team contending for a Super Bowl at this stage in his career.
- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR/RB, Atlanta Falcons: Patterson has done everything for Atlanta this season, from catching, running and returning the ball. The Falcons seem like they're heading towards a rebuild, whether they want it or not. Patterson has 18 receptions for 253 yards, and 27 rushes for 119 yards this season.
This past summer, the team parted ways with Julio Jones, and it's only a matter of time before they do the same with Matt Ryan. So they'll need picks and perhaps capitalizing on the production of Patterson for any team in need of a swiss army knife on offense and kick returns.
- Brandon Cooks, WR, Houston Texans: Cooks was on many trade lists for the 2020 deadline but remained with Houston past that and the summer. However, as the Texans sit at 1-3, it seems as though it's time to begin thinking about 2022, which is why the 28-year-old receiver could be on the market.
The Texans had ten picks combined over the past two NFL drafts, so trading Cooks, who is off to a good start considering their rookie quarterback Davis Mills, can give them more draft capital to work with. Houston could add a mid-pick or perhaps put the conditions for an early one should Cooks do well if he's traded.
- Dante Fowler, OLB, Atlanta Falcons: Fowler has been traded before the deadline in his career, and as the Flacons are dragged into a rebuild, they'll need to cash in on some veterans. Last season was forgetful for the 27-year-old, who only had three sacks in 14 games for Atlanta. However, the outside linebacker already has two through four games.
Any team looking to take a risk on Fowler hopes that the pass rusher can get close to his production in 2019 when he registered 11.5 sacks with the Los Angeles Rams. Fowler has one more year left on his contract after this season, so the Falcons should consider a move to stockpile on picks for expendable veteran players.