NFL Trade Deadline: 12 players who could be on the move

Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports+

The trade winds are swirling around the NFL. Several teams are navigating through key injuries and a tough regular-season slate.

Sixteen teams are sitting at .500 or above in the league standings. As a result, a shrewd trade could tip the balance in both conferences.

The New Orleans Saints (4-2) made a big move acquiring three-time Pro Bowler Mark Ingram. His return to New Orleans adds valuable experience to the backfield.

When will the next domino fall? Here are 12 players who could be moved before the NFL trade deadline Nov 2.

QB Deshaun Watson

Will the Deshaun Watson saga finally end at the NFL trade deadline? The Houston Texans would like to move Watson, but at the right price. The reported asking price is a combination of multiple first-round draft picks and young talent. The issue is Watson’s multiple sexual misconduct allegations.

There are a handful of teams that can meet the Texans’ trade demands. The Miami Dolphins have the trade assets to build a deal around talented quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. As a result, numerous reports have tracked how close — or far apart — a potential deal may be.

That said, USA TODAY Sports+ senior NFL insider Josina Anderson reported Watson is likely to remain with the Texans ahead of the trade deadline.

INSIDER TAKE:As Deshaun Watson reports fester, Tua Tagovailoa is Dolphins' lame duck starter

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) walks the sideline before an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. The Jaguars defeated The Dolphins 23-20. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

QB Tua Tagovailoa

Speaking of Tagovailoa, the second-year quarterback is stuck in the middle of the Texans-Dolphins trade conundrum. There are polarizing opinions regarding Tagovailoa as an NFL quarterback. Tagovailoa owns a 7-7 record in 14 career starts. He has missed time with several injuries and is still developing under the tutelage of Dolphins head coach Brian Flores.

There is a timing issue within the Dolphins franchise. After winning 10 games last season, the Dolphins are one of the worst teams in the NFL this year. They sit at 1-7 with a roster full of talent. Could a trade to restore things?

TUA TIME?:Tua Tagovailoa shakes off Deshaun Watson trade speculation

RB Marlon Mack

The Indianapolis Colts have a crowded backfield. The Colts are firmly entrenched behind second-year running back Jonathan Taylor in a featured role. Taylor has shined with additional work and is developing as a pass-catching option. The Colts also have change-of-pace running back Nyheim Hines.

Mack is the odd man out. He asked for a trade earlier this season, according to the Indy Star, and teams have spoken with the Colts' front office.

The Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers explored preliminary trade inquiries, a person with direct knowledge of the situation previously told USA TODAY Sports+ senior NFL insider Josina Anderson. 

EDGE Melvin Ingram

Melvin Ingram reportedly wants out of Pittsburgh. The NFL veteran signed with the Steelers during the offseason after spending years with the Los Angeles Chargers. However, a reduction in playing time has Ingram looking elsewhere.

Ingram played just 17 snaps Week 6 against the Seattle Seahawks. He has five tackles and a sack on the season. Ingram is a three-time Pro Bowler. He has 50 career sacks and could provide an immediate impact if he is dealt at the trade deadline.

A team like the Arizona Cardinals, who just lost fellow Pro Bowler J.J. Watt to a season-ending shoulder injury, could be a potential landing spot.

TE David Njoku

David Njoku is experiencing a bounce-back campaign this season. The Cleveland Browns tight end averaged 16.7 yards per reception heading into Week 8. His production could make him a prime trade target for teams needing additional tight-end help. Njoku asked for a trade last season and later rescinded his request.  

The Browns have Austin Hooper and an emerging Harrison Bryant on the roster. It is possible the Browns capitalize on Njoku’s trade value before the deadline.

Sep 19, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marvin Jones (11) catches a touchdown pass in the first quarter over Denver Broncos cornerback Kyle Fuller (23) at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY

CB Kyle Fuller

Kyle Fuller has fallen out of the Denver Broncos cornerback rotation. The team is moving forward with rookie Patrick Surtain II and Ronald Darby. Fuller played just two snaps Week 6 and did not see the field last week. He signed a one-year deal with the Broncos during the offseason. The former All-Pro is still just 29 years old and can assist a team in need of secondary help.

DE L.J. Collier

L.J. Collier, a former first-round pick who started all 16 games last season, has appeared in just two games with the Seattle Seahawks this season. He recorded 22 tackles and three sacks during the 2020 campaign. A fresh start could be needed for both sides. Collier is 26 years old and talented enough to add depth along a defensive front.

OT Andre Dillard

Teams looking to find quality offensive line depth could check in on Andre Dillard.

The Philadelphia Eagles standout has lost playing time to Jordan Mailata. The Eagles have shown a willingness to trade this season after dealing Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals.

Dillard is a former first-round pick but played just 11 snaps Week 7.

TE Hayden Hurst

The Atlanta Falcons have found a rhythm offensively, sparking a two-game win streak. With Falcons rookie tight end Kyle Pitts embarking on a breakout campaign, the Falcons could shop backup tight end Hayden Hurst at the deadline.

The team already declined his fifth-year option and Hurst will be a free agent at the end of the season. If the cap-strapped Falcons can get financial relief and draft compensation, it could make sense for Hurst to be on the move.

WR Andy Isabella

The Arizona Cardinals have a loaded receiver room. The Cardinals feature DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, A.J. Green and Rondale Moore on their depth chart. Each receiver is ahead of Andy Isabella, who has struggled to see the field.

Isabella did not play Week 8 against the Green Bay Packers. He hasn’t drawn a target this season. A team looking for a quality slot receiver might want to persuade the Cardinals to make a deadline move.

QB Nick Foles

Nick Foles is third on the Chicago Bears depth chart. The Bears gave the keys to talented rookie Justin Fields for the foreseeable future. The Bears also have backup Andy Dalton available as a capable mentor and emergency option. Foles has a wealth of veteran experience. A team with a shaky quarterback room could make a play for the former Super Bowl MVP.

FILE - Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) points and runs with the ball after intercepting a pass from Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (not shown) during an NFL football game in Miami Gardens, Fla., in this Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, file photo. Howard was selected Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, to The Associated Press All-Pro Team. (AP Photo/Doug Murray, File)

CB Xavien Howard

The Miami Dolphins are consumed with the Deshaun Watson saga heading into the trade deadline. However, Howard is a name that could provide a strong trade haul. The standout cornerback is looking for a new contract. He has proved his worth on the field and asked for a trade during the offseason. At the time, the Dolphins did not grant his request.

However, with the Dolphins 1-7, there could be a chance a team makes an offer that can't be refused. That makes Howard an interesting name to watch ahead of Nov. 2.