While the NFL is the country's most popular professional sports league, it does not have a trade deadline to match the other sports. While you regularly see deadline deals in baseball and basketball, the trade deadline rarely sees big moves in the NFL.
Teams may not make any moves but there are some trades that they should make. Here's what each AFC team should be looking at.
More: Trades every NFC team should make | All trade deadline rumors
Secondary help. It seems like this is the case every year. Take your pick on which defensive back they should acquire.
For the Miami Dolphins, the common wisdom is that they need to land a wide receiver, with all eyes on Miami native Dwayne Bowe from the Kasas City Chiefs. However, I don't think the team will make the move. It took Jabar Garrney nearly a month to make his debut from the moment he started learning the playbook. Trading for Bowe now, even if he played every game, would likely mean he would not be up to speed, and have chemistry with Ryan Tannehill, until around Week 12 or 13. Not really sure that's worth it. Add in the fact that the Dolphins would not be able to sign Bowe to an extension due to NFL rules saying he has to play this year under his franchise tender, and it's a big risk to take for a guy to give you a couple of weeks of production. When the Dolphins go after a wide out, it will probably be in the draft.
However, the Dolphins could be on the market for secondary help. While Sean Smith is turning into a shutdown type of cornerback, the secondary has not been as questionable as many fans expected this year, but it it clearly not as strong as it could be. Richard Marshall has missed the last three games with a back injury, an injury that could continue to see him miss time. Nolan Carroll has stepped up and developed nicely as a starter, making some mistakes, but making good plays as well. Cornerback-turned-safety-
turned-cornerback Jimmy Wilson has filled in as the nickel corner well, but the team clearly needs depth. If the team could find a way to get a second or third cornerback, that's what I think they need to target this week.
Of course the Jets should trade Tim Tebow. He's not getting many snaps and not playing much of a role in the Jets offense. If he's valuable -- mid-round pick maybe? -- then the Jets should deal him. If they don't, they should play him. Mark Sanchez is obviously not the answer, and neither is keeping Tebow on the bench, especially if they can get something for him.
Receiver help. Steve Smith makes sense, but he's unlikely to be traded. So does Bowe but, again, it's not likely to happen.
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They've lost Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs is recovering from his offseason Achilles injury, so a linebacker makes sense here. How about Shaun Phillips? The Chargers linebacker has 3-4 experience and enters the final year of his contract.
No moves to be had. The Steelers never trade during the season.
In a post-Trick-Or-Treat environment, it's highly unlikely the Steelers shake up their roster in any way, whether dealing a player or making a move to bring a new one into the fold. If the Texans were willing to give up, say, J.J. Watt for a sixth round pick (MAYBE a fifth), it seems likely the Steelers would oblige.
Make a move for LeGarrette Blount.
Financially Blount is obtainable. After this season, he becomes a restricted free agent that Cincinnati would have rights to. An explosive second-half of the season and Blount could be retained fairly cheap. If he does much of the same as he has this year, he could be let go without a tender. Call it the no risk high reward argument.
Consider trading Colt McCoy.
There isn't a strong case for this because the Browns don't have anyone behind him but McCoy could be valuable to a team looking for backup quarterback help. The Browns obviously aren't contending this year with a 2-6 record at the midway point. McCoy is due to be a free agent after the 2013 season and with no obvious path to starting in Cleveland, McCoy makes sense as a trade candidate. The Browns can replenish their draft picks after giving up a second-round pick for Josh Gordon in the Supplemental Draft.
Not a lot of holes on this team that players returning from injury won't help. The Texans will likely be quiet at the deadline but they should entertain any special teams help, an area that's been miserable at times for Houston.
Should the Colts trade Dwight Freeney? If you think this season is lost, then yes. But the season is not lost. The Colts are 4-3 and right in the thick of it. They would have to consider trading Freeney if they received a big-time offer but I suspect Indy will hang onto him for the playoff run despite the fact that his contract is up at the end of the season. The problem with trading him is that another team would take on his big salary without an assurance that he'd be there past 2012.
The Titans should trade tight end Jared Cook. He reportedly requested a trade out of Tennessee and he's in the final year of his contract. If he isn't happy with his touches right now, is that going to change when contract time comes after the season?
Consider it likely.
Trade Knowshon Moreno. You probably wouldn't get much but with Willie McGahee, Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball all ahead of him on the depth chart, what purpose is he serving? Get what you can out of him.
LaDainian Tomlinson says the Chargers haven't put enough weapons around Philip Rivers. That might be the case but there's not a whole lot they can do right now in terms of impact players.
Remember when the Raiders gave Tommy Kelly a 7-year, $50 million contract and we all thought that was absurd? Well, five years later, and he's still on the team. The Raiders should part ways with him now and collect a draft pick, if they can find a buyer.