Top NFL Trade Deadline Moves 2021

By Patrick Hayes   November 4, 2021 

Top NFL Trade Deadline Moves 2021

Several players were rumored to be potentially moved at the 2021 NFL trade deadline this week, most notably Houston Texans star Deshaun Watson.

Watson’s situation is tenuous. Sexual assault allegations by numerous people have kept him off the field while investigations occur. But Watson’s talent is undeniable, and even with his immediate future in the legal system and the NFL’s disciplinary actions against him unclear, he was a frequently rumored player to be on the move with Miami and Carolina among the teams reportedly interested.

The Dolphins seemed to get the closest to completing a deal, but reportedly backed out when it became clear Watson could not settle his legal issues before the trade deadline. Watson won’t play this season, but will remain with the Texans and likely heads for another offseason where he pushes for a trade and deals with the fallout from however the cases against him turn out.

The other star player most frequently rumored to be on the move was Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who hasn’t found the level of production he had as a Giant with the Browns. Cleveland ultimately couldn’t find a trade partner, though.

Despite the most high-profile rumors not panning out, plenty of other trades could potentially shake the landscape of the second half of the season and the NFL odds scene. Here are five moves that could make a big impact.

Los Angeles Rams acquire Von Miller

Oct 3, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) chases down Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) in the second half at Empower Field at Mile High. Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams already have a special defense, anchored by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. Now, they add Miller from the Broncos to create a potentially fearsome pass rush duo with Donald. The Rams’ defense is predicated on harassing quarterbacks, and Miller gives them another way to do that.

“You can utilize him in a variety of different ways,” coach Sean McVay told Yahoo! Sports. “I think when you look at he and Leonard Floyd on the outside, obviously Aaron (Donald) inside, the continued maturation of Sebastian Joseph-Day. Thought Greg Gaines was really good yesterday. Thought A’Shawn Robinson’s playing better. So, you look at what it takes to be successful defensively and it’s about affecting and influencing the quarterback and this guy does it as well as anybody over the course of his career.”

The Rams have had a Super Bowl-caliber defense for years, and now it is even stronger. Combined with their newly energized offense led by Matthew Stafford, they might be the Super Bowl favorites now.

Arizona Cardinals acquire Zach Ertz

Oct 28, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws the ball to tight end Zach Ertz (86) against Green Bay Packers linebacker Tipa Galeai (50) during the first half at State Farm Stadium. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While the Rams bolstered an already-strong defense on the trade market, their division-rival Arizona Cardinals fortified the offense.

Quarterback Kyler Murray is an MVP candidate and the team has plenty of weapons. One element missing this season has been a reliable security blanket-type of player with sure hands who can come up with shorter catches to complement the big play ability of DeAndre Hopkins. Larry Fitzgerald filled that role for Murray last season, but he didn’t return to the Cardinals this season.

The team acquired former Eagles All-Pro Zach Ertz, and he should settle nicely into that role. In his first game as a Cardinal, Ertz was already a beneficiary of Murray’s playmaking. He caught a 47-yard touchdown pass, the longest scoring play of his career.

Kansas City Chiefs acquire Melvin Ingram

Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Melvin Ingram (8) sacks Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Las Vegas won 26-17. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In the not-too-distant past, the Chiefs looked like an invincible dynasty. A Super Bowl loss that exposed their rickety offensive line followed by a slow start to the 2021 season that has, among other things, exposed the lack of playmaking on defense.

Their pass rush has been particularly bad this season. Ingram only has one sack this season for Pittsburgh, but he has 50 for his career and he should definitely be an upgrade for Kansas City.

New Orleans Saints acquire Mark Ingram

Oct 31, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram II (14) is announced to the fans against Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

With Alvin Kamura in the backfield, Ingram isn’t going to make a big statistical impact for New Orleans, the team he started his career with. He’s there to provide depth. In his first game back as a Saint, he had 25 receiving yards and 27 rushing yards on eight total touches. 

But his impact as a leader could give the team a significant boost. reported that he received a huge ovation from the crowd in his return. With starting quarterback Jameis Winston hurt, having a leader like Ingram around should give the team a big boost.

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