The NFL trade deadline is one week away, and the first dominoes are starting to fall as the Atlanta Falcons have traded Mohamed Sanu to the New England Patriots for a 2020 second round pick. The New Orleans Saints are sure to be buyers rather than sellers at the deadline, but it takes two to tango. Obviously Mickey Loomis and the Saints front office would love to add players like Patrick Peterson, Davante Adams, and Travis Kelce to the team, but that requires those players being available before a trade could come to fruition.
I looked at the current NFL standings to try to determine which teams could be potential sellers come the trade deadline, and then I went through each roster to try to find a potential fit for a trade with the New Orleans Saints. Just because I’ve listed a team below doesn’t mean they’re going to be sure-fire sellers, and just because I’ve named a specific player doesn’t mean that player will be traded - this was just an exercise to try to get a feel for the trade market and how the Saints’ current needs match up with potential trade partners.
Without further adieu, here are 10 potential trade targets of the New Orleans Saints:
New York Jets (1-5, 3rd in the AFC East) - WR Robby Anderson
Anderson is set to make only $3 million in 2019 and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Anderson is two years removed from putting up 941 receiving yards for the Jets in 2017 with a combination of Josh McCown and Bryce Petty at quarterback. Anderson is only 26 years old, so it’s not crazy to think his best football is still ahead of him.
Miami Dolphins (0-6, last in the AFC East) - WR DeVante Parker
Parker has failed to live up to expectations after getting drafted in the first round in 2015 out of Louisville. If the University of Louisville sounds relevant for you as a fan of the Saints, that’s because that’s the same school that produced Teddy Bridgewater, and Bridgewater and Parker played together from 2011-2013. With the Dolphins embracing the rebuild in 2019, the front office could stand to do right by its veterans, and what better than trading Parker to a contender and reuniting him with his old college quarterback?
Denver Broncos (2-5, 3rd in the AFC West) - CB Chris Harris, Jr.
We’ve all beaten the Emmanuel Sanders horse to death, and it’s no secret that Sanders would fill an immediate need for the team. But for this list, I instead wanted to go a different route and included Chris Harris, who’s making less than Sanders in 2019 ($10 million for Sanders and $9.8 for Harris) while both are free agents at the end of the year. If Eli Apple is forced to miss significant time with a knee injury suffered at the end of the game last week, Harris could immediately step in as a significant improvement over someone like Ken Crawley.
Los Angeles Chargers (2-5, 3rd in the AFC West) - TE Hunter Henry
This one might be one of the least-likely-to-be-traded players on this list, but Henry is under contract for only one more year in L.A. at a modest $1 million dollar salary. He’s only 24 years old and likely a player the Chargers would prefer to keep long term, but unless Henry has given the Chargers front office reason to think he’ll sign at a discount, they might be better off moving him for draft picks. Injury concerns are obviously an issue with Henry, but his ceiling is astronomical and he would be the perfect compliment for an aging veteran like Jared Cook.
Cincinnati Bengals (0-7, last in the AFC North) - WR AJ Green
I know, I know, the Bengals front office has repeatedly said they won’t trade AJ Green at the deadline, but the Jaguars front office said the same thing about Jalen Ramsey. Considering Green is making $12 million this year and set to test the market in 2020, it would be ridiculous if the Bengals didn’t consider offers for Green at the deadline. The question for the Saints will be Green’s health, but assuming they’re comfortable with his medical reports, they should absolutely pull the trigger.
Tennessee Titans (3-4, 3rd in the AFC South) - WR Adam Humphries
The benching of Marcus Mariota for Ryan Tannehill likely signals the Titans will be punting 2019. Humphries was a potential target for the Saints this past offseason, and there’s no reason the Saints shouldn’t at least kick the tires on the talented slot receiver at the deadline. Unlike other names on this list, Humphries is under contract for a bit longer than one year, as he’s not set to enter free agency again until 2023. However, his contract does provide an “out” in 2021 for only $5 million. With only a $2 million salary in 2019, he’s definitely someone the Saints could fit into their budget.
Washington (1-6, last in the NFC East) - CB Quinton Dunbar
Dunbar has been one of the lone bright spots for Washington this year, but there’s no indication the Washington front office wants to move Dunbar at the deadline considering he’s making only $3 million this year and $3 million next year. Still, Washington has so many other areas of need right now, including on the offensive line, that they could choose to flip Dunbar for more pressing needs at the deadline. Adding a player like Dunbar now could help ease the Saints’ front office’s mind about potentially losing Eli Apple this offseason.
Chicago Bears (3-3, third in the NFC North) - WR Allen Robinson
If Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears are finally coming to terms with the fact that Mitchell Trubisky may not be the answer at quarterback, they could decide to tear down the team and start over. Allen Robinson would not come cheaply on the trade market as he’s under contract at a reasonable salary ($10 million in 2019) for two more years. A $2 million dollar out in 2020 gives the team receiving Robinson the ability to cut ties if it needs to, but a player of Robinson’s caliber is worth the price.
Detroit Lions (2-3-1, last in the NFC North) - WR Marvin Jones
Marvin Jones would be an excellent option for the Saints, both in the type of receiver he is and his salary obligations for this season and next. Jones is only making $6.5 million in 2019 and is making an identical figure in 2020. Jones, playing in his age 29 season, is two years removed from a 1,000 yard season in Detroit, but the emergence of Kenny Golladay has pushed Jones into more of a #2 role.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4, third in the NFC South) - no one?
Honestly, I tried looking at the Bucs roster, and aside from OJ Howard - who the Buccaneers have said isn’t available - I didn’t really see a viable trade option. Unlike with someone like AJ Green and the Bengals, I actually believe the Bucs when they say Howard, still on his rookie contract with a fifth year option available in 2021, isn’t on the trade block.
Atlanta Falcons (1-6, last in the NFC South) - TE Austin Hooper
The Falcons are already showing they are willing to wheel and deal after sending Sanu to the Patriots and telling Vic Beasley he’s on the block. If the Falcons would be willing to deal to their division rivals, Austin Hooper would make a lot of sense for the Saints. Like Beasley, Hooper is under contract for only the rest of this season, but unlike Beasley, Hooper is making only $2 million in 2019. The price tag in a trade will likely be higher for the Saints than anyone else, but what better way to continue to stick it to the Falcons’ franchise than to force their fans to watch their starting tight end play for their hated rival?
What says you Who Dat Nation? Did I miss anyone? Do you think there’s another team that could be sellers at the deadline? Are there any names from my list that you would like to see for the Saints in 2019? Any names you want to avoid? Share your thoughts. Let me know in the comments. Send me presents.