There's a storm brewing in the Mile High City. Before Sunday's loss to the Jets, reports surfaced that the Broncos were at the trade deadline after receiving inquiries about several players currently on the roster. Now, with a 1-5 record, it appears that Sean Payton could be making some changes between now and the Oct. 31 trade deadline.
Denver isn't the only team that will be making some moves before the deadline. Several other teams are in the Broncos' same position five games into the 2023 season and will probably start making personnel moves with the future in mind.
That means that more than a few notable players could find themselves on a Super Bowl contender by the end of the month. That happened this time last year when the Panthers traded Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers, who have lost just one game since acquiring the star running back, though haven't lost in the regular season since adding him.
Here's a look at each team that should be considered sellers at the upcoming trade deadline and the players from those teams who might be heading to a new team.
Wideouts Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton have both been the subject of previous trade rumors. Really, it probably comes down to the value Denver would receive for either player. At this point, the Broncos would surely get more value in a deal that includes Sutton, a former Pro Bowl who has three touchdown catches this season.
It's possible that the Broncos could trade both wideouts, but they'd have to get a receiver in return in that scenario. One thing we know for sure is that there a plenty of teams that would love to add to their receiving corps at the deadline, so the Broncos probably wouldn't have issues trading both players if that's the route they choose.
Jeudy and Sutton aren't the only players the Broncos could decide to trade. Linebacker Josey Jewell is a trade candidate given that he is playing on an expiring contract. Safety Justin Simmons' expensive salary could result in the team parting ways with him. The Broncos would get the most value in a trade that would include 23-year-old cornerback Patrick Surtain II, an All-Pro last season.
Bill Belichick could really shake things up and deal embattled quarterback Mac Jones. But there probably wouldn't be many teams interested in acquiring a quarterback who has been benched in back-to-back games. At this point, it makes more sense for the Patriots to ride the season out with Jones before making a long-term decision at quarterback.
The Patriots have several other players who could be on the move, though. Among them are wideout Kendrick Bourne, tight end Hunter Henry and offensive tackle Trent Brown. New England could trade linebacker Josh Uche, but that would basically be waiving the white flag on this season with Uche expected to fill injured starter Matt Judon's place in the starting lineup. In that same vein, the Patriots could also deal safety Kyle Dugger, but that would mean losing a key player whose career trajectory is still pointing north. It would likely take an offer Belichick can't refuse for him to part with Dugger.
No one probably thought the Vikings would be a potential deadline seller following last year's 13-4 record. But after a 1-4 start, they're three games behind the first-place Lions in the NFC North standings, and it appears that the writing is on the wall in Minnesota.
Despite their record, the Vikings have several talented players on their roster who would likely garner significant trade capital. Among those players is six-time Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith, a career Viking who could be dealt away to a title contender. Underused wideout K.J. Osborn, 31-year-old linebacker Jordan Hicks, pass rusher D.J. Wonnum and guard Ezra Cleveland (who is hoping to switch to tackle) are other players the Vikings may elect to trade before the deadline.
Carolina had to be included as a possible seller as the NFL's last winless team. Two players who immediately stick out as possible trade options for Carolina are tight end Hayden Hurst and wideout Terrace Marshall Jr.
Hurst, who is one year into his hefty three-year contract with Carolina, is 30 years old and doesn't appear to be terribly excited about being part of what appears to be a longer-than-expected rebuild. Hurst hasn't been terribly involved in the offense so far after being a solid contributor for the Bengals last season.
Marshall has yet to make the impact the Panthers surely hoped he would make when they selected him with the 59th overall pick in the 2021 draft. The 23-year-old has just 16 catches this season and 61 grabs in 31 career regular-season games.
While the 2023 season may already be lost, Big Blue can cut their losses now while making some inroads toward the future. They can do so by trading away players now in exchange for draft capital.
Defensively, the Giants have several players they could choose to deal before the deadline. Possible candidates include defensive backs Xavier McKinney and Adoree' Jackson and defensive lineman Leonard Williams. McKinney and Jackson have just one pick between them this season, while Williams' 2023 stat line consists of 12 tackles and a half sack.
New York could also consider trading wideout Sterling Shepard to a possible title contender. The 30-year-old former second-round pick has caught just three passes through five games and is clearly no longer in the Giants' long-term plans.