We’re still waiting for football to return, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the trade deadline.
Set for Nov. 1, the 2022 deadline is still nearly three months away. With roster cuts looming, though, trades could start happening over the next few weeks and carry over into the regular season.
Some players are widely expected to get traded, like Baker Mayfield earlier this summer. Others could shock the league with a trade, like Davante Adams or Tyreek Hill did this spring.
Here are 11 NFL trade candidates before the 2022 deadline:
Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers
After Mayfield’s trade, Garoppolo is the most obvious quarterback trade candidate heading into the preseason. Former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance is going to start for the 49ers this season, even after Garoppolo led San Francisco within one game of the Super Bowl. He isn’t a star, but Garoppolo would be an upgrade at quarterback for a handful of teams.
Jordan Love, Packers
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were expected to break up soon after Love was drafted in the first round in 2020. That still hasn’t happened, and the two-time reigning MVP just signed an extension to stay in Green Bay likely through 2024. By that point, Love’s rookie deal will be over. If the Packers want to maximize his value, this season could be the time to sell.
Taylor Heinicke, Commanders
Heinicke has started 16 games for Washington over the last two seasons, including a playoff game against the Buccaneers and 15 regular-season games in 2021. But after the Commanders traded for Carson Wentz, he’s been relegated to a backup role. Heinicke is eligible for free agency after this season, so it could be best to trade him and get some value.
Kareem Hunt, Browns
Amidst all the Deshaun Watson news, Hunt quietly requested a trade and the team quickly denied his wish. The 27-year-old running back has one year left on his contract and he wants a new deal. Hunt is one of the best second-string running backs in the league behind Nick Chubb, and he could certainly get more carries in a different situation.
Josh Jacobs, Raiders
New head coach Josh McDaniels made it clear that Jacobs wasn’t on the trade block. But the rumors will persist after Jacobs surprisingly played significant snaps in the Hall of Fame Game, an exhibition typically reserved for … reserves. The Raiders declined to pick up Jacobs' fifth-year option, so he’ll hit free agency after the season.
Jakobi Meyers, Patriots
Wouldn’t this be a classic Bill Belichick move? Meyers, 25, was one of New England’s best receivers in 2021, with 83 receptions and 866 yards. But he’s due to hit unrestricted free agency next year, and the Patriots didn’t offer him a long-term deal as a restricted free agent this spring. That could be a sign that Belichick doesn’t value Meyers as a long-term option.
Jalen Reagor, Eagles
It’s clear that Reagor and the Eagles don’t have a future together. He’ll always be the player picked right before Justin Jefferson, leaving Philly fans to wonder what could’ve been. On the field, he simply hasn’t performed. Reagor’s value is diminishing with every extra second that he’s on the roster, making it crucial that the Eagles deal him as soon as possible.
Teven Jenkins, Bears
Jenkins is only entering his second season after the Bears drafted him in the second round, but this partnership might not be long-lasting. There have been trade rumors and speculation of clashes with the Bears’ new coaching staff already. At this stage, Chicago would obviously prefer if Jenkins figured things out at Halas Hall rather than trading him for a low-end pick.
Roquan Smith, Bears
Smith initially held out of training camp while seeking a new contract, but on Tuesday he officially requested a trade. The fifth-year linebacker claimed that the new front office “doesn’t value” him and refused to negotiate his extension “in good faith.” By the sounds of that, Smith won’t play another snap for the Bears.
Deion Jones, Falcons
Since free agency and the draft, Jones has been on the trade block. The Falcons linebacker reportedly could stay in Atlanta if a trade doesn’t materialize, but a deal is the best scenario for both parties. Jones still has two years left on his contract, which runs through the 2023 season.
Jessie Bates III, Bengals
Bates is the most notable training camp holdout after the Bengals failed to sign him to a long-term deal this summer. Now, Bates must play on the one-year franchise tag tender. He could sit out the season, but that rarely works out for the player. The Bengals should want to keep Bates to anchor its defense after a Super Bowl run, so a trade seems unlikely unless they know they don’t plan to re-sign him.