10 more trades NFL teams should make ahead of the 2023 trade deadline

2RW8NMP Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) waits for a pass interference call that did not come after the Broncos' two-point conversion attempt failed during an NFL football game against the the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

• Panthers get a new WR1: He can provide a big-bodied target that routinely boxes out defenders and wins on jump balls, an element from which Bryce Young could benefit.

• Jets add Hunter Renfrow: Renfrow has been buried on the depth chart in this Raiders offense and has been shopped for weeks, with nine targets on the season and just 31 offensive snaps over the past two weeks.

• Draft and trade for yourself: Try PFF's Mock Draft Simulator — trade picks and players and mock for your favorite NFL team.

Estimated Reading Time: 11 minutes

We kicked off the lead-up to the 2023 NFL trade deadline with a broad look at the top potential trade targets across the NFL, and now we get into what those deals could look like. You can execute all of these trades, and over a thousand more, on the PFF Mock Draft Simulator.

Note: All contracts listed are based on if the player was acquired just before the deadline on Oct. 31.

Read more: 10 trades NFL teams should make ahead of the 2023 trade deadline

Denver Broncos WR Courtland SuttonCarolina Panthers

  • Trade compensation: 2024 fourth-round pick, 2025 sixth-round pick
  • Contract acquired: Three years, $35,571,895 ($7.77 million guaranteed)

We suggested a different Broncos wide receiver get traded to Carolina last week, but this time we go with the veteran in Sutton. We failed to mention the connection for both players to Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, who served as the Broncos' defensive coordinator in 2022.

Sutton had one of the highlight catches of the young NFL season in the left corner of the end one against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6, and he leads the team with 25 receptions, 275 yards and four touchdowns. Sutton’s five contested catches through Week 6 are tied for the ninth most among wide receivers on the season, and he can provide a big-bodied target that routinely boxes out defenders and wins on jump balls, an element from which Bryce Young could benefit.

New York Jets RB Dalvin CookBaltimore Ravens

  • Trade compensation: 2025 sixth-round pick
  • Contract acquired: One year, $4,082,353 ($3,376,471 guaranteed)

The Ravens just activated undrafted rookie running back Keaton Mitchell and have gotten decent production from their veteran committee, but they may view a three-down back with the ability to break off the occasional explosive play as a helpful addition to jumpstart this offense. The Jets and/or Cook may need to revise this contract a bit to lower the amount that travels to Baltimore, but he is believed to be available. His role has already begun to diminish with his new team following Breece Hall‘s return.

Baltimore’s running backs rank 20th in rushing grade and tied for 21st in missed tackles forced, with the longest rush of the season a 22-yarder. Cook is in the midst of the worst season of his illustrious career by a wide margin, averaging just 2.8 yards per carry on 39 attempts with a long on the season of just 10 yards. However, Cook’s 112 explosive rushes from 2020 to 2022 were good for the second most in the NFL, and he forced 0.2 missed tackles per attempt over the span — a top-20 mark among running backs.

Tennessee Titans EDGE Denico Autry, 2025 fifth-round pick → Cleveland Browns

  • Trade compensation: 2025 fourth-round pick, 2024 sixth-round pick (via Baltimore)
  • Contract acquired: One year, $4,044,117

Autry reunites with Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who served as a senior defensive assistant for the Tennessee Titans the past two seasons, which just so happened to align with the two most productive seasons of Autry’s lengthy career. Autry racked up 61 quarterback pressures, 11 sacks and a 69.7 pass-rush grade in 2021 — all career highs. He followed that up with a 75.0 pass-rush grade and a 13.9% pressure rate in 2022, also career highs. Autry has been a model of consistency, with at least 550 snaps and 30 quarterback pressures in six consecutive seasons, and he’s up to 18 pressures and four sacks already in 2023.

Cleveland’s overhauled defensive line has been an absolute terror for opposing offenses all season long, but another chess piece who can rush from between the tackles and out wide will allow Schwartz to continue to move players around in various alignments and keep everyone fresh throughout the season.

Carolina Panthers CB Donte JacksonDetroit Lions

  • Trade compensation: 2024 fourth-round pick, 2025 sixth-round pick
  • Contract acquired: Two years, $12,222,500 ($600,000 guaranteed)

Carolina restructured Jackson’s deal this offseason, converting $7,642,500 in salary into a bonus to drop his 2023 salary down to the minimum. The Panthers are dealing with a myriad of secondary injuries, including to 2021 eighth-overall pick cornerback Jaycee Horn, but Jackson’s name has come up as a potential trade piece for the only remaining winless team in the NFL.

Jackson has played in various different schemes over the past few seasons and should be able to adapt to Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn’s scheme, which has also continued to evolve around the talent in Detroit. Jackson has earned coverage grades between 55.0 and 70.0 in six straight seasons, a consistent presence in the secondary.

Fellow Panthers cornerback and former top-10 pick C.J. Henderson is also in a contract year and could be moved for cheap. There is the issue of a lack of depth at outside cornerback in Carolina, but they could find replacements to finish out the season and build around Horn moving forward.

Las Vegas Raiders WR Hunter RenfrowNew York Jets

  • Trade compensation: Edge defender Carl Lawson
  • Contract acquired: Two years, $15,863,111 ($3.61 million fully guaranteed)

We had Lawson headed to the Raiders in last week’s article for draft compensation, but why not run it back with a player-for-player swap where each team upgrades at position groups in need of help, with both carrying similar remaining 2023 salaries? Lawson carries a $6 million salary for 2023, Renfrow is at $6.5 million and the Jets just sent free agent acquisition wide receiver Mecole Hardman back to the Kansas City Chiefs for a swap of late 2025 draft picks. The aforementioned Denico Autry started his career with the Raiders, so maybe he could make sense, as well.

Renfrow has been buried on the depth chart in this Raiders offense and has been shopped for weeks, with nine targets on the season and just 31 offensive snaps over the past two weeks. Renfrow recorded 103 receptions for 1,038 yards with nine touchdowns in 2021 but has just 42 receptions for 389 yards and two touchdowns since. His 82.3 receiving grade in 2021 ranked 14th among wide receivers, but his 60.1 mark since ranks 92nd out of 113 qualifying wide receivers. Clearly, he is not in the long-term plans of the Raiders' new regime.

All of that said, Renfrow would still represent a nice upgrade for the Jets in the slot. Among 89 wide receivers with at least 100 offensive snaps, Randall Cobb’s 0.15 yards per route run ranks dead last by nearly triple the next lowest mark. Cobb has caught 60% of passes deemed catchable, also last in this group, with his 40% drop rate double the next worst mark.

In 2022, Lawson’s first season back from a torn Achilles, he earned a 72.8 pass-rush grade with 49 pressures and eight sacks. Injuries have impacted his career, but he’s still a very productive player off the edge. The Athletic's Dianna Russini reported that the Raiders are active in the edge rusher market as we approach the deadline, which makes sense with Chandler Jones no longer on the team and first-round rookie Tyree Wilson’s 33.7 grade ranking 132 out of 134 edge defenders with at least 50 snaps in 2023. Wilson has four pressures and zero quarterback hits or sacks on 101 pass-rush reps, and his 2.1% pass-rush win rate ranks fourth worst at the position.

Here, two teams cut their losses and work to get once-productive players back on track.

Carolina Panthers EDGE Justin HoustonJacksonville Jaguars

  • Trade compensation: 2024 sixth-round pick
  • Contract acquired: One year, $647,222 (fully guaranteed)

Houston waited out training camp and signed a strong one-year deal with the Panthers in what should be one of his final seasons in the NFL. We’d imagine he may not want to spend one of his last years on an 0-6 team with little reason for optimism through the end of the season. While the two worked on opposite sides of the ball, Houston and Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson spent three years together in Kansas City from 2013 to 2015.

The Jaguars have two young top-10 picks in Travon Walker and Josh Allen, and Dawuane Smoot returned in Week 5 and notched a key sack of New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr in Week 6, but a veteran rotational piece to get after opposing quarterbacks could go a long way for a team that should play with a lead a lot of the time. Smoot immediately logged 32 and 47 snaps in his return from a torn Achilles sustained at the very end of the 2022 campaign, illustrating the unit's lack of depth.

Houston’s 18.4% pass-rush win rate and 14.6% pressure percentage in 2022 were both top-25 marks among edge defenders, and he managed to add 9.5 sacks to his total, which brings him to 111.5 for his career, a top-40 mark all time. Houston is still a menacing pass-rusher, boasting a pressure rate above 10% once again so far in 2023.

Minnesota Vikings G Ezra Cleveland, 2025 sixth-round pick → San Francisco 49ers

  • Trade compensation: 2025 fourth-round pick
  • Contract acquired: One year, $1,662,778

Cleveland is dealing with a foot injury that is worth monitoring, but Minnesota gave a decent amount of money to free agent guard Dalton Risner a few weeks into the season and he can now step into a starting role at left guard. Cleveland was a tackle in college and has primarily played left guard with the Vikings, but he logged 621 snaps starting at right guard as a rookie.

The 49ers' guards are two of the lowest-graded players at the position in the entire NFL, left tackle Trent Williams is dealing with a short-term injury and right tackle Colton McKivitz has been solid at best. San Francisco cleared a ton of cap room for 2023, currently leading the league with nearly $40 million, and while the primary objective is to maximize as much carryover cap space as possible for 2024, they presumably are open to adding reinforcements in a clear Super Bowl window.

Cleveland has run-blocking grades of 71.9 or better in three straight seasons, including 2023, and his pass-block grade has taken a leap thus far in 2023. He sports a 72.3 pass-blocking grade and just a 2.6% pressure rate allowed.

Indianapolis Colts TE Mo Alie-Cox, 2024 seventh-round pick → Cincinnati Bengals

  • Trade compensation: 2024 fourth-round pick
  • Contract acquired: Two years, $8,886,666

Alie-Cox is now third on the Colts' depth chart in snap share in 2023, with 2021 third-rounder Kylen Granson leading the way and 2022 sixth-rounder Andrew Ogletree showing serious chops as a blocker with a few nice grabs sprinkled in. Indianapolis also used its fifth-round pick in this past year’s draft on Miami (OH) tight end Will Mallory and has 2022 third-rounder Jelani Woods continuing to work his way back from a hamstring injury.

Alie-Cox signed an extension last offseason that runs through 2024, but now that quarterback Anthony Richardson has been lost for the season, perhaps Indianapolis clears some room for in-house extensions and lets the youth movement at tight end fully take over.

The Bengals have the league’s lowest-graded tight end room (45.1 overall) and could use another dimension in their offense, with Alie-Cox providing solid blocking off tackle and a solid tertiary option down in the red zone with his huge frame. Alie-Cox has just six career drops on 134 targets and would allow Cincinnati to roll out different personnel packages and clear rushing lanes for Joe Mixon.

Minnesota Vikings LB Jordan Hicks, 2025 seventh-round pick → Dallas Cowboys

  • Trade compensation: 2025 fifth-round pick
  • Contract acquired: One year, $1,923,202

The Cowboys have been decimated with injuries at the linebacker position, with third-round rookie DeMarvion Overshown lost for the season after showing promise in camp and longtime field general Leighton Vander Esch dealing with a neck injury, which has been a problem area for him before.

Hicks is playing great football in a contract year, with his 80.3 overall grade his best mark since 2016, as is his 80.1 coverage grade. Hicks has an interception, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and 19 defensive stops — a top-15 mark among linebackers — already on the season. He could provide a steadying presence at the second level and fortify this defense against the run, which has been a thorn in their side at times.

Minnesota has a handful of young linebackers, including undrafted rookie Ivan Pace Jr. and 2022 third-round pick Brian Asamoah, who has hardly played so far in his career. Minnesota is already asking a lot of defensive coordinator Brian Flores, who has worked wonders with this unit to stress opposing offenses with a crazy high blitz rate. However, a pending free agent veteran on a team that could be 2-5 by Tuesday morning makes a lot of sense as a trade candidate.

New England Patriots CB Jalen Mills, 2024 seventh-round pick → Philadelphia Eagles

  • Trade compensation: 2024 sixth-round pick
  • Contract acquired: One year, $1,266,340

Mills can play slot cornerback, outside cornerback and safety, which could help his former team of five seasons in many different ways. Eagles starting slot cornerback Avonte Maddox was likely lost for the season with a torn pectoral muscle, and safety Reed Blankenship is currently dealing with an injury and didn't suit up in Week 7.

Mills has a 63.7 coverage grade in 2023 with snaps all over the secondary. He is a solid run defender who is willing to throw his body around, currently earning a 77.7 run-defense grade on a small sample. With so many defensive backs in New England, even with a handful of injuries, the Patriots can afford to move on here. Mills has already made it clear on social media that he is not exactly stoked with his snap share, so this makes sense for all parties.


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