The NFL trade deadline is set for October 31st (Halloween) and for the New Orleans Saints, the possibility that they could be in contention for a Playoff spot further down the line at the end of this year, makes them a prime candidate to entertain trade offers.
The deadline actually lands on the day AFTER the end of Week #8, when the Saints face the Chicago Bears at home. If the Saints find themselves with a (4-3) record and even a (3-4) record by that point, they could be among the teams likely looking to shore up their roster for the stretch run of the season.
Other teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, and Philadelphia Eagles could also be among the likely Playoff contenders looking to add talent for a stretch run; while teams such as the LA Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns could be out of contention and would be willing to make deals to build for their futures.
With less than a month to go, there are a couple of current Saints players who could potentially be traded; in an effort to shore up several positions that have been affected by injuries; including offensive line, edge pass rusher, cornerback, and linebacker.
Then there's also the likelihood that the Saints could target a young back-up QB, such as Patriots QB Jimmy Garropolo or Bengals QB A.J. McCarron, to provide the Saints with much better depth at the position behind 15-year veteran Drew Brees, who turns 39 in January.
This morning, we give you an early "trick or treat" --- as we take a quick look at who the Saints players are that could be shipped out of New Orleans before the Halloween trade deadline......
ADRIAN PETERSON, RUNNING BACK
As I mentioned in my article on the Saints RB situation the other day: the Saints -- who in their last game against Miami showed us what their plans for the offense and how their RB's will likely be utilized going forward -- have made it obvious that Peterson might now be "the odd man out".
The argument for keeping Peterson up to this point is that he simply just hasn't gotten enough carries to show what he can still do at age 32, though I'll stand by counter-argument (at least from my point of view after we've all seen him playing at a high-caliber level for the past decade) that he seems to have "lost a step"; and it's the reason why he has a 3 yards per carry average in 4 games played (27 carries, 81 yards and zero TD's).
The reasons for the Saints to consider parting ways with Peterson are blatantly obvious:
Peterson didn’t think he’d be regulated to being the "3rd wheel" in the Saints RB rotation; and while the Saints knew Alvin Kamara would be a special player, perhaps what they didn't realize was that he would end up being one of THE "biggest steals" of the entire 2017 NFL Draft a few months back.
Perhaps my assessment of Peterson having "lost a step" may be a bit premature, and maybe he still can pound the football in the same manner as he once did with Minnesota. But he needs MORE CARRIES to do that and don't hold your breath --- because the Saints simply are NOT going to alter their pass-happy scheme to accommodate him.
Unless the Saints just miraculously start giving him 12-20 carries per game, or even if Mark Ingram were to suffer a serious injury, there's no guarantee that the team still wouldn't simply just decide to feature Kamara more heavily, since the rookie is more than capable of handing lead #1 RB back duties.
It's for those reasons that the Saints could entertain any offers for Peterson from several teams in need of either a starting RB or RB depth, before the October 31st deadline.
KENNY VACCARO, STRONG SAFETY
Yes, it's very true that the Saints defense probably needs all the help that it can get after the past 3 seasons of finishing ranked near or at THE very bottom of the NFL; though they've looked much better in their last 2 games than they did in the first games in losses to Minnesota and New England.
One player who definitely has looked better for the Saints in the past games after struggling to start the season is the 5th year veteran Vaccaro, who is in the final year of his 2013 rookie contract and is hoping to land a big contract in the off-season, since it's apparent that he and the team aren't going to reach an agreement on an extension.
According to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport a few weeks ago, the Saints were then considering trade possibilities for the former University of Texas star, and despite his recent resurgence, one would have to imagine he's still a potential target for teams that could use his blend of talent and athleticism.
The Saints have last year's 2nd round pick Vonn Bell already "waiting in the wings"; and with Vaccaro set to become a free agent after the season ends, it makes sense to seek out whatever compensation that they could get back in return. And with the Saints likely bringing back QB Drew Brees for one last final contract, they're going to need to all of the money that they can to get under the salary cap anyway.
Vaccaro has inherent value in the sense that he can play either free or strong safety (though the Saints utilize him more like an inside linebacker at times), and he obviously has earned a reputation League-wide for "laying the wood" on opposing ball carriers. He's an OUTSTANDING run defender, and as we saw in the win at Carolina 2 weeks ago, he's still capable of making plays in pass coverage when actually he wants to.
There are 2 teams that immediately come to mind that would definitely be in the market for his services: the Kansas City Chiefs, who lost All-Pro safety Eric Berry for the season in their opening win against the Patriots; and ironically those very same New England Patriots --- who this year have taken the title of "the NFL's worst defense" away from the Saints and could probably use Vaccaro for their own struggling defense, themselves......