NFL News & Analysis

NFL Rumor Roundup: Nyheim Hines drawing interest, Patriots could be active at trade deadline

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines (21) runs the ball in the second quarter against the Washington Commanders at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

TEAMS SHOWING INTEREST IN INDIANAPOLIS COLTS RB NYHEIM HINES

The Colts could part ways with a longtime member of their backfield prior to Tuesday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted on Monday night that “teams have reached out to the Colts to inquire about trading for RB/WR/PR Nyheim Hines, per sources.”

Sources told PFF that there are two top teams who have shown interest in the veteran running back. 

The Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills are among the teams that have shown interest in available running backs this season. The Philadelphia Eagles showed interest in Hines in the past, according to a source, and head coach Nick Sirianni was the Colts’ offensive coordinator from 2018 to 2020.

The Eagles and Bills are two of the NFL’s top teams, whereas the Rams have struggled and are out to a 3-4 start on the season. Los Angeles has looked to trade its own running back in Cam Akers. Ronnie Rivers, an undrafted rookie out of Fresno State, paced the Rams in carries this past Sunday with eight rushing attempts for 21 yards. Los Angeles still has Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown in its backfield. Rookie Kyren Williams was designated to return off injured reserve last week.

Buffalo could use another running back to complement Devin Singletary on its push for a Super Bowl title. Singletary has 94 touches for 506 yards with one receiving touchdown and a 74.8 PFF grade this season. Rookie James Cook (76.8 PFF grade) has 29 touches for 210 yards with a rushing touchdown, and Zack Moss (58.7 PFF grade) has played just five games with 24 touches for 118 yards.

The Eagles already have Miles Sanders (68.5 PFF grade), Kenneth Gainwell (54.1 PFF grade), Boston Scott (54.9 PFF grade) and Trey Sermon (71.1 PFF grade) on their 53-man roster, but they’re not shy about adding pieces as the NFC’s top team at 7-0.

Hines, who has a 63.9 offensive grade but a 74.7 receiving grade, has carried the ball 18 times for 36 yards with one rushing touchdown and has 25 catches for 188 yards this season. Jonathan Taylor is Indianapolis’ lead back, and Deon Jackson (67.7 PFF grade) has 30 carries for 100 yards with a touchdown and 14 receptions for 108 yards this season.

Hines has played 142 offensive snaps this season. He’s lined up in the slot or split out wide on 46 snaps.

He joins Akers, Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt and San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. as running backs who could be on the move before Tuesday’s trade deadline.


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AS SELLERS AT THE TRADE DEADLINE?

The Patriots showed in Sunday’s win over the 5-3 New York Jets that they can still be competitive in the AFC landscape at 4-4. Still, one source indicated that New England could be motivated to shed some salary at the trade deadline since it has less than $2 million in cap space to spend through the end of the season. There’s no guarantee that New England will make a deal on Tuesday since it takes another team to make a deal, and the offer must be right.

The most logical players to move to clear cap space would be offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn, who carries a $10.4 million salary this season, and wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who carries a $9 million salary. Wynn only played 25 snaps as a fill-in for starting right tackle Marcus Cannon and left guard Cole Strange in Sunday’s win. The Patriots' offensive line has struggled of late, and though Wynn has underperformed this season, they could use the depth he brings at guard and tackle behind Cannon, Strange and left tackle Trent Brown.

Agholor did start on Sunday, but he only played 18 snaps despite fellow wide receiver DeVante Parker suffering a knee sprain on the first offensive snap of the game. Agholor was outpaced by Jakobi Meyers, Tyquan Thornton and Kendrick Bourne.

Both Wynn and Agholor would clear over $4.5 million in cap space if traded. It would be easier to trade Wynn or Agholor if New England ate part of their salaries, but that doesn’t solve the problem at hand for the Patriots if their intention is to clear some breathing room on the cap.

Bourne might be the most attractive option for a team that might not be overly competitive this season but could use help at wide receiver with an eye toward the 2023 season. Bourne is signed to a team-friendly contract through next year but would only clear around $2.5 million in cap space. The Chicago Bears are among the teams who have called New England about Bourne’s availability in a trade, according to a source. Chicago needs wide receiver help but is otherwise selling off assets such as edge defender Robert Quinn and linebacker Roquan Smith in trades. It would help to get a player like Bourne in the building now to give him half of a season and the offseason to work with quarterback Justin Fields. One source did cast doubt that the Patriots ultimately would be willing to part ways with Bourne.

Teams have also called the Patriots on running back Damien Harris and safety Jabrill Peppers in addition to Meyers and Parker, per sources.

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