NFL Trade Deadline’s Biggest Prize Will Be A Free Agent, Now That Christian McCaffrey Has Been Dealt

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The NFL trade deadline is approaching and names of players requesting trades or teams that are inquiring about players for potential trades are starting to leak into the public.

And here’s two things you should know about the upcoming NFL trade deadline: Most of the players commonly mentioned won’t be traded. And the biggest name player who will join a team sometime in the next few weeks isn’t on any team right now.

Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. He’s the prize.

Beckham is the biggest potential midseason addition left on the board now that the Carolina Panthers traded running back Christian McCaffrey Thursday night.

Running Back Christian McCaffrey traded ahead of the NFL trade deadline.
Christian McCaffrey was traded from the Carolina Panthers to the San Francisco 49ers in advance of the NFL trade deadline. (Getty Images)

Elijah Moore Subject of NFL Trade Deadline Rumor

So are there other big names available?

Well, Denzel Mims and Elijah Moore of the New York Jets have both asked to be traded. D.J. Moore, Brian Burns and Shaq Thompson have all been discussed in various calls to the Carolina Panthers by multiple teams as that team is apparently selling off parts for draft picks.

Some of these players may be traded, although the Jets privately say they’re not interested in doing that with either Mims or Moore. But let’s be clear that there is a price for everyone whether the player wants out or the team is merely fielding unsolicited calls.

And there are other players whose name have been the subject of trade calls.

Mike Gesicki may be traded at NFL trade deadline.
Mike Gesicki is one of several players around the league teams have called to inquire about prior to the NFL trade deadline. (Getty Images)

NFL Teams Fielding Trade Deadline Calls

Teams have called the Miami Dolphins about tight end Mike Gesicki since the preseason and the club is willing to move on from him for the right price, which obviously no one has yet met.

Patriots receiver Kendrick Bourne is similarly available for the right price. He’s been inconsistent in practice and around the building in Foxborough and that has gotten him into some trouble with New England coaches, particularly offensive play-caller Matt Patricia.

Bourne has been targeted only once in three of New England’s six games.

The Raiders wouldn’t be upset about adding picks for defensive end Clelin Ferrell and safety Jonathan Abram, as ESPN first reported.

And the Denver Broncos may consider trading tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, according to one AFC West source.

Of all these names and possibilities the most interesting are clearly Beckham Jr. and Elijah Moore.

Odell Beckham Jr remains unsigned as the NFL trade deadline approaches.
Odell Beckham Jr. last played a football game in Super Bowl LVI but he tore his ACL in the first half of that game and is now a free agent multiple teams have interest in once he’s healthy. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Signing Odell Beckham Jr. Lands Big Prize

Odell Beckham Jr. can be signed without any trade compensation. But he wants market value on a contract and, for him, at the beginning of the season that was in the $20 million per year range.

It’s unclear what the asking price is now.

Think about that because that price came with the understanding Beckham Jr. would not be ready for the start of the season.

He’s not ready to play now. His rehabilitation, which sources say has suffered no setback, has him on course to be able to play by December and perhaps even late November.

But the point of getting Beckham is to have him for late-season preparation and the postseason push toward a championship.

That means teams with not only playoff aspirations but designs on going deep in the playoffs have been wistfully monitoring Beckham’s situation.

Travis Kelce wants the Kansas City Chiefs to sign Odell Beckham Jr.
Travis Kelce restructured his contract in hopes the Kansas City Chiefs would sign free agent Odell Beckham Jr. (Getty Images)

These NFL Teams Have Interest In Odell Beckham Jr.

The Buffalo Bills have had internal discussions about Beckham Jr.

The Kansas City Chiefs have. The Minnesota Vikings have.

Aaron Rodgers would like Beckham Jr. to be added in Green Bay.

The Los Angeles Rams have had ongoing contact with Beckham in hopes of bringing him back.

The Giants have been mentioned in some circles, although that seems more a desire coming out of the locker room and not as much from the front office at this stage.

The problem is all these teams would have to fit Beckham under their cap and it might be no small feat based on even a prorated asking price.

Because of that, everyone took notice of what Travis Kelce said on his On the New Heights podcast that Kelce hosts with his brother Jason: Travis said when the Chiefs called about restructuring his contract he was for it because it allowed him to collect a lump bonus immediately and gave the team cap relief immediately.

Kelce added that was “a start to a move” and that he’s been dreaming that move would be the addition of Beckham Jr.

“I want them to come true,” Kelce said of his dream move. “I haven’t heard anything. I have not heard anything in the locker room or anything around the facility. But I think that something’s in the air for sure. And if it means OBJ . . . alright now.”

Elijah Moore Wants Out At NFL Trade Deadline

Elijah Moore deleted a cryptic tweet that suggested he wanted to be traded from the Jets and recognized that might make him seem selfish. He’s tweeted multiple more times since deleting that tweet.

The New York Jets should be in a good place now because they’ve opened the season with a 4-2 record and will be a playoff contender if they stay the course. But there is trouble in paradise because two of their seven wide receivers have requested to be traded.

That is exactly the situation now that Elijah Moore has joined Mims in requesting a trade. That, by the way, is a bad look for both the player and the club.

It’s bad for Moore because even he is keenly aware it makes him look selfish to place his personal desires for statistics to lead to his public unhappiness and trade request amid team success.

The Jets are winning and that’s simply not good enough for Moore.

It’s a bad look for the Jets and the coaching staff because Moore was a high-round draft pick and is exceedingly talented. And those talents are being wasted primarily as a deep threat decoy, which means coaches are not maximizing their game-day roster.

All that led to Moore being away from the team on Thursday on what was described as a “personal day” which felt more like a cooling off period. He returned to the team facility Friday.

“These guys are competitors,” Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFluer told reporters Thursday. “I’ve coached that position before for a couple of years and been in that room. You want those guys to be ultra-competitive, want the ball.

“Ultimately, we’re going to do what we feel is best to score points and win football games, and he is a big part of that.”

Moore is averaging under 3 catches per game so far this season.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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