Halfway through the 2020 NFL season, a handful of players overachieved while some didn’t come close to meeting the set expectations at all. With the NFL trade deadline looming on the horizon, we could see some wheeling and dealing, which will relocate players in exchange for valuable assets or vice versa.
The list is composed of all offensive players bannered by three wideouts, a couple of which are hailing from Cincinnati along with an intriguing tight end. Here are four players who are likely to be on the move come Nov. 3.
4. Alshon Jeffery
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has been hit with a lingering calf injury, which sidelined him for each of the team’s games thus far this season. When healthy, the veteran can still contribute to a team and produce on a regular basis.
While he’s out, sophomore receiver Travis Fulgham has emerged as a go-to weapon for the Eagles. Rookie wideout John Hightower has also shown flashes of potential while another promising first-year pro in Jalen Reagor is on the cusp of a return from a thumb injury.
With a youth movement going on in Philly, the Eagles could simply flip Jeffery in exchange for a handful of assets for the future. In addition, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer also described him as “very clearly available” on the market for other teams to secure his services. Although the front office should manage their expectations on the assets that they will get in return given the 30-year-old’s hefty contract and history of injuries.
3. John Ross III
After an offseason, the Cincinnati Bengals suddenly had a surplus of wide receivers at the helm. Despite the number, the team still failed to find their luck and snag wins even with a reliable quarterback under center.
Among those Bengals wideouts, John Ross may be the odd one out, which increases his chances of being traded come the deadline. The team has already declined his fifth-year option in the most recent offseason, now putting him in the final year of his rookie deal.
Just recently, the former Washington product demanded a trade after playing just one snap against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 6. He was suspiciously inactive in their following encounter against the Cleveland Browns amid trade speculation. His limited role in the team failed to see any improvement as he just recorded two catches for 17 yards and appeared in three games this season.
An asset that makes Ross an intriguing piece for many teams is his speed, which is often overlooked by many. He previously set a record by running a 4.22 40-yard dash at the 2017 Draft Combine. Perhaps the NFL trade deadline can find a new team to better utilize his physical tools and one that is willing to integrate him in a larger role in their offensive rotation.
2. David Njoku
Cleveland Browns tight end has long voiced his frustrations with his role on the team back in July prior to the start of the 2020 NFL season. He went on to request a trade from the Browns, which ultimately didn’t come fruition. However, the reassuring words of head coach Kevin Stefanski convinced him to stay, prompting him to make a U-turn and return to the Browns camp in August.
The arrival of two-time Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper during free agency and the selection of another tight end in Harrison Bryant in the 2020 NFL Draft certainly didn’t contribute to the betterment of Njoku’s cause.
The Browns have already exercised his 2021 option for $6 million, which could be too much cash to hand for a team’s third tight end. Instead of playing behind the newcomers, he could put his talent to good use for another team who is seeking for a weapon that can occasionally produce on the offensive end. His versatility as a receiver along with his athleticism as a tight end certainly bumps his value for suitors.
1. A.J. Green
Being limited by injuries for the past two seasons, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green has still failed to find his Pro Bowl form back in his prime. Despite being paired with a quarterback like Joe Burrow who isn’t performing like a rookie, the Bengals offense still failed to allow Green to pick up where he left off.
Aside from a relatively long history of injuries, his advancing age doesn’t contribute to improving his value in the market either. However, given his talent, it is still possible for the former Georgia Bulldog to find his groove when placed in the right offensive system.
He previously stated that he wanted to stay in the Queen City amidst the team’s struggles in recent years. The rest of the league will see whether or not the Bengals organization reciprocate the same level of commitment come the NFL trade deadline.