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Powered by On3 Five running backs who could be on the move ahead of trade deadline

profilephotocropby:Suzanne Halliburton10/19/23


Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Say it isn’t so? King Henry could be moving? What about Dalvin Cook or Clyde Edwards-Helaire? An NFL analyst put together a list of the top five running backs who could be on the market as the trade deadline approaches at the end of October.

Former tailback Maurice Jones-Drew, who now writes for, knows his backs. And he analyzed the running backs market this week with the trade deadline set for Halloween. Before your kids go out for candy, one of your favorite running backs may be sent to another team.

First, Jones-Drew detailed his parameters on how he determined the most tradeable backs.

“To get a sense of who else might be dealt, I scanned NFL rosters for backs who look to me like ideal candidates to be traded, based on factors like team competitiveness, the depth of the running back depth chart, contract status and player performance.”

And that’s how he arrived at Derrick Henry, front and center. Henry, the former Alabama star, has stacked some league accolades. He’s the former NFL Offensive Player of the Year, two-time rushing champion and three-time Pro Bowler. The King is just waiting to throw a stiff arm.

But conversely, Henry’s production has dipped this season. After he finished second to Josh Jacobs last season in rushing, Henry is leaning towards middle-of-the-pack in 2023. He ranks ninth amongst NFL backs with 425 yards. The former Alabama star turns 30 at the end of this season. He still could have trade value, especially for a team needing a rebuild.

(Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Jones-Drew wrote that Henry “has plenty left in the tank in his eighth season.” He adds that Henry still is a special player, “who could change the entire dynamic of an offense and is a shoo-in to rack up 1,000 yards on the season if he stays healthy.” Jones-Drew says he could see the Bills, Bengals, Bucs and Falcons making inquiries to the Titans. Henry is a free agent this season, so maybe Tennessee is looking for something before King Henry takes his talents elsewhere.

Who else does Jones-Drew believe could draw some interest? He thinks Zack Moss should be second on the list. And he’s certainly expendable in Indianapolis. The Colts signed him in 2022, then leaned on him heavily at the start of this season with disgruntled Jonathan Taylor on IR. Taylor is happier now with a contract extension. Jones-Drew believes the Bills, Moss’ old team who traded him away, may like him back. Or he could be an option for the Bears or Bucs.

Jones-Drew ranks Dalvin Cook as the third most-tradeable back. Cook was a hot name in the off season after the Vikings released him for financial reasons. He signed with the Jets, but has been mostly invisible behind second-year Breece Hall. Cook has rushed for 109 yards. That’s a nice day’s work. Meanwhile, Hall has the same amount of yardage as Henry.

(Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)

Jones-Drew thinks the Falcons could receive some value for Cordarrelle Patterson, who he views as the fourth most tradeable running back. Atlanta is all in on Bijan Robinson, the rookie the Falcons selected with the eighth pick of the draft. Patterson is 32 and is in his 11th season.

And the fifth best option is Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The Chiefs picked the former LSU star in the first round of the 2020 draft. Edwards-Helaire probably still has several good years left in his legs. Kansas City declined to pick up the fifth year on his rookie contract. Then Edwards-Helaire lost the starting job to Isiah Pacheco. He’s played in fewer than 20 percent of KC’s offensive snaps this season. Maybe another team could trade for the back, knowing that the price won’t be as high right now.