Agent’s opinion: Kareem Hunt and other players who should have been dealt before the trade deadline

A record 10 deals were completed on the day of the trading deadline. Most notably, the Dolphins sent running back Chase Edmonds, a 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 fourth-round pick to the Broncos for rusher Bradley Chubb and a 2025 fifth-round pick.

A rare intradivisional trade took place. Tight end TJ Hockenson is not leaving the NFC North. The Vikings, who are 6-1, traded a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 third-round pick to Detroit for the former Pro Bowler, a 2023 fourth-round pick and a conditional pick of fourth round in 2024.

Here are three other trades that should have been explored before the deadline that may have improved the teams’ chances of making the playoffs. The financial ramifications of moves are highlighted. Salary cap space is based on NFLPA data.

A acquiring team would have needed a sufficient salary cap margin to absorb the remainder of the player’s current salary. Since the trades would have taken place after Week 8, the acquiring team would have been liable for 10/18ths of a player’s 2022 base salary and any other applicable salary components in their contract.

Trades can no longer be executed before the start of the 2023 league year on March 15.

  • Commercial compensation: 2023 fourth-round pick and 2024 sixth-round pick
  • Remaining salary 2022: $622,222 (2022 Texans salary cap savings)
  • Cap room 2022 of the Packers: $6.4277 million
  • Texans’ dead money in 2023: $16,220,741 ($10,389,629 salary cap savings)

Making moves at the trading deadline is uncharacteristic for the Packers as they rely primarily on a drafting and roster-building philosophy. An attempt to meet a dire need at the wide receiver was made by pushing Chase Claypool. The Steelers dealt Claypool to the Bears for a 2023 second-round pick.

The Cowboys and Texans, who are in the running for the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft with a 1-5-1 record, discussed a deal with Brandin Cooks until the trade deadline. . The Texans signed Cooks to a two-year extension in April that spans the 2024 season, averaging nearly $20 million a year. Cooks is expected to earn $35 million over the next two years. His base salary of $18 million in 2023 being fully guaranteed in the overtime was a problem.

The Texans reportedly wanted a second-round pick for the Cooks. His remaining contract, specifically the salary guarantee, should have made the trade compensation lower than the compensatory 2023 third-round pick and 2023 sixth-round pick the Giants got from the Chiefs for the 2021 first-round pick (20th in total) Kadarius Toney, who is on a cost-controlled rookie contract.

Adding Cooks, unhappy the Texans didn’t trade him, would have been tough from a salary cap perspective due to the salary guarantee. The Packers already have $222.7 million in 2023 cap commitments with 47 players under contract.

Some flexibility with the approach is warranted when Aaron Rodgers, 38, is quarterback on the NFL’s only $50 million-a-year contract, which was signed in March. With a 3-5 record, the Packers have already lost more games than they did in 2021. Despite the record, the Packers aren’t in rebuilding mode like the Bears.

Cooks, who is 29, has been traded three times in his career. The last trade was in 2020 when the Texans got him and a 2022 fourth-round pick from the Rams for a 2020 second-round pick. Cooks has been productive everywhere he’s played. He had 1,000 yards in one season with the Saints, Patriots, Rams and Texans.

  • Commercial compensation: 2023 compensatory fifth-round pick and RB Cam Akers
  • Hunt’s remaining salary in 2022: $3.1 million
  • Akers’ remaining salary in 2022: $650,659
  • Browns salary cap in 2022: $33.23 million ($2,449,341 in salary cap savings)
  • Rams 2022 salary cap: $4,515,663 ($2,449,341 salary cap expense)
  • The Browns’ dead money in 2023: None (contract expiring)
  • The Rams’ dead money in 2023: $512,371 ($1,451,779 salary cap savings)

The running back upgrade was on the Rams’ radar screen. A run was made on Christian McCaffrey a few weeks ago, but the Rams were outbid by the 49ers. The Rams rank both 31st in the NFL in rushing (68.4 yards per game) and yards per carry (3.3).

The Browns were reportedly willing to part ways with Hunt for a fourth-round pick. Hunt was probably the best running back option available.

The desired draft compensation did not reflect the commercial running back market. James Robinson was acquired by the Jets from the Jaguars for a conditional sixth-round pick in 2023 that could become a fifth-round selection. The 49ers dealt Jeff Wilson to the Dolphins for a 2023 fifth-round pick. The Bills got Nyheim Hines from the Colts for running back Zack Moss and a conditional 2023 sixth-round pick that can upgrade to a fifth-round draft pick. round.


The Rams do not have a 2023 fourth-round pick due to the acquisition of Sony Michel from the Patriots in a preseason trade in 2021. The 2023 fifth-round pick went to the Browns for cornerback Troy Hill in this year’s draft. The Rams, however, are expected to get two compensatory fifth-round picks in 2023.

Hunt, who requested a preseason trade because the Browns refused to extend his contract, is expected to move into free agency after the season. It’s conceivable that the Browns could get a compensatory fourth-round pick in 2024 for Hunt’s impending departure depending on the contract he signs on the open market.

An unhappy Akers has no desire to continue playing for the Rams. He could have provided the Browns with depth behind Nick Chubb next season. Akers is under contract in 2023 for $1,451,779, while Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson have expiring contracts.

Acquiring Hunt wouldn’t have solved all of the Rams’ problems. The offensive line may be a bigger concern and a consistent pass rush has been lacking. The Rams, who are 3-4, could become the first Super Bowl winner to miss the playoffs since the Broncos in 2016.

  • Commercial compensation: 2023 conditional sixth-round pick (fifth-round if Giants win playoff game)
  • Remaining salary 2022: $575,000 (Titans 2022 salary cap savings)
  • Giants salary cap in 2022: $3,118,856
  • Titans dead money in 2023: $3.31 million (cancelling contract years 2023 and 2024)

The Giants going 6-2 is one of the biggest surprises of the 2022 season, with fourth-round pick Daniel Bellinger out indefinitely after suffering a bizarre eye injury in Week 7 against the Jaguars. leaves a hole in the tight end. Chris Myarick and Tanner Hudson are the other tight ends on the roster.

Austin Hooper doesn’t seem like a good choice in Tennessee’s run-centric offense. Geoff Swaim leads the Titans tight ends in playing time with 65.2 percent.


Hooper signed a one-year, $6 million deal, which included a $4.965 million signing bonus, to add dimension to the Tennessee offense that was missing in 2021 after Jonnu Smith left for the Patriots. in free agency. Other than catching a game-high three passes for 56 yards in a Week 7 win over the Colts, Hooper’s impact was minimal. He has 10 catches (on 15 targets) for 116 yards in seven games. It’s Hooper’s slowest start to the season since becoming a rookie in 2016.

The Titans have four tight ends on the roster. Hooper’s departure could have opened the door for 2022 fourth-round pick Chigoziem Okonkwo to get more playing time.

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