Sep 24, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA;  New Orleans Saints running back Tony Jones Jr. (34) is tackled by Green Bay Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas (29) during the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Packers trade CB Rasul Douglas to Bills

The Buffalo Bills acquired veteran cornerback Rasul Douglas and a fifth-round draft pick from the Green Bay Packers in exchange for a third-rounder on Tuesday, NFL Network reported.

Douglas, 29, heads to an AFC contender that lacked cornerback depth after Tre’Davious White suffered a torn Achilles and was lost for the season.

The Bills will be Douglas’ fourth team since entering the league in 2017 as a third-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles. He has 15 career interceptions to go with 354 tackles, 66 pass breakups and two forced fumbles over 96 career games for the Eagles (2017-19), Carolina Panthers (2020), Packers and Bills.

Douglas had one interception, one fumble recovery and 32 tackles in seven starts for the Packers (2-5) this season.

Green Bay is in rebuilding mode in Jordan Love’s first year at starting quarterback in place of Aaron Rodgers, while Buffalo (5-3) is in the thick of the AFC East race despite up-and-down performances.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Washington Commanders defensive end Chase Young (99) reacts after a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Report: 49ers land Chase Young from Commanders for third-rounder

The San Francisco 49ers acquired pass rusher Chase Young from the Washington Commanders in exchange for a third-round draft pick, multiple reports said Tuesday.

Hours after Washington reportedly moved edge rusher Montez Sweat to the Chicago Bears for a second-round selection in the 2024 draft, the franchise bid farewell to the former No. 2 overall draft pick, who is playing out the fourth and final year of his rookie contract.

The Commanders (3-5) retained neither Sweat nor Young, who had combined for 11.5 sacks through the first eight games of the season.

Young, 24, missed much of his second and third NFL seasons due to multiple injuries after winning Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2020. He had five sacks in seven appearances (six starts) in 2023 and has tallied 14 sacks and 26 quarterback hits in 34 career games.

The 49ers (5-3), currently on a three-game losing streak, added Young to an imposing front seven that already features defensive end Nick Bosa, Young’s former Ohio State teammate and the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.

According to reports, the 49ers one of the third-round compensatory picks awarded by the NFL for developing minority coaching and executive candidates in DeMeco Ryans and Ran Carthon. Ryans went from defensive coordinator of the 49ers to Houston Texans head coach in the offseason and Carthon was hired as general manager of the Tennessee Titans out of the San Francisco front office. He served as the 49ers’ director of pro personnel.

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings guard Ezra Cleveland (72) blocks Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave (97) at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Jaguars acquire G Ezra Cleveland from Vikings

The Jacksonville Jaguars are acquiring left guard Ezra Cleveland from the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick, multiple reports said Tuesday.

Cleveland, 25, missed the past two weeks with a foot injury, and former Denver Broncos starter Dalton Risner has held down the position in Minnesota.

Cleveland was a second-round draft pick by the Vikings in 2020, and he started all 17 games in both 2021 and 2022. He has made 53 appearances (49 starts) in his three-plus years in the NFL.

The AFC South-leading Jaguars (6-2) moved to add an option on the interior line, while the Vikings (4-4) recovered a sixth-round pick after sending one to the Arizona Cardinals earlier in the day for quarterback Josh Dobbs.

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Commanders defensive end Montez Sweat (90) on the field against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bears acquire DE Montez Sweat from Commanders

The Chicago Bears are acquiring Washington Commanders defensive end Montez Sweat from the Washington Commanders in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, according to multiple reports.

Sweat, 27, has recorded 6.5 sacks in eight games this season and is one of seven players with at least 5.0 sacks in each of the past five seasons.

By comparison, the Bears have a league-low 10 sacks in 2023.

Sweat has 35.5 sacks in his career and is in the final season of his contract. The Bears have enough salary-cap space to offer Sweat a long-term deal or use the franchise tag..

Part of the motive for the Commanders to make a trade is the cap crunch surrounding their haul of first-round picks invested in the position. Washington signed defensive tackle Jonathan Allen to a four-year, $72 million extension and his interior linemate Daron Payne to a four-year, $90 million contract. Even with Sweat gone, the Commanders still have a decision to make on former No. 2 overall pick Chase Young, who is in a contract year.

Sweat has collected 32 tackles and two forced fumbles this season.

He has 197 tackles and nine forced fumbles since being selected by Washington with the 26th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

August 19, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (10) during halftime against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Would Broncos deal WR Jerry Jeudy to bitter rival?

Jerry Jeudy has been one of the most talked-about names ahead of Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline.

The Denver Broncos’ embattled fourth-year receiver has only 27 catches for 336 yards through the first seven games of the season, but could be an interesting target for a playoff contender in need of an offensive spark.

Could that include one of Denver’s most bitter rivals?

The Kansas City Chiefs got a first-hand look at Jeudy’s current form in their 24-9 loss at Denver on Sunday.

The 2020 first-round pick out of Alabama caught just two of six targets, but he did haul in his first touchdown of the season — an 11-yard pass from Russell Wilson in the second quarter to extend Denver’s lead to 14-3. Meanwhile, the Chiefs’ wide receivers combined for 12 receptions for 150 yards — a 12.5-yard average — without reaching the end zone.

Kansas City’s leading receiver by a long shot this season is tight end Travis Kelce, whose 54 receptions are tied with the Chiefs’ three leading wideouts — combined.

The Chiefs are the +450 favorite to be Jeudy’s next team by The next shortest odds belong Carolina (+600) and Detroit (+625), with Buffalo and San Francisco both at +650.

Chiefs (+450)
Panthers (+600)
Lions (+625)
49ers (+650)
Bills (+650)
Colts (+675)
Patriots (+700)
Texans (+750)
Titans (+850)
Giants (+900)

Would the Broncos consider sending Jeudy to a division rival? The teams have already split their season series, and Denver is entering its bye week.

Broncos coach Sean Payton wasn’t tipping his hand on Monday.

“We’re not openly or even remotely shopping anyone,” he said. “(Have) people called? Sure, they have. Typically, the buyer wants the media to know they’ve called — not the seller. I’m sure at some point, I’ll meet with (general manager) George (Paton).

“It’s just a matter of what those other teams deem important. It’s hard to predict that.”

The Broncos find themselves in an interesting position ahead of the deadline. Following a 1-5 start that included allowing at least 28 points four times, Denver has won consecutive games while allowing a combined 26 points the past two weeks.

Following the bye week, the Broncos face Buffalo on a Monday night before playing host to the Kirk Cousins-less Minnesota Vikings and the Cleveland Browns, who are dealing with their own injury issue with quarterback Deshaun Watson.

At 3-5, Denver is tied for the second-worst record in the AFC. However, the Broncos are 1 1/2 games behind the current final wild-card spot in the division.

Could their recent form turn the Broncos into buyers instead of sellers?

“This is the hardest time of the year for all the people in the media whose job it is to try to get that information,” Payton said. “Never once would you hear George or I say to any of you, ‘Hey, we’re not interested in selling, but we might be looking at …’ That would be something we’d just fill you in (on) after the fact, but we’d assure you you’d be the first to know after the fact.

“We have those discussions, and we look closely at the roster. Then we look closely not only the roster this year, but the roster as you project out. All those things are important. Typically speaking, we’re past that quarter poll, but most NFL rosters change the most in those first four or five weeks. You’ve seen us add a few players. Some guys go to the practice squad. That’ll continue to some extent.

“There’s nothing to say that we might not be in that business.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard (31) celebrates after recovering a fumble during the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Eagles acquire All-Pro S Kevin Byard from Titans

Seeking a solution at a position hit hard by injuries, the Eagles reportedly acquired two-time All-Pro free safety Kevin Byard from the Tennessee Titans on Monday.

Only a week after head coach Nick Sirianni voiced frustration with multiple injuries at safety, Philadelphia reportedly traded safety Terrell Edmunds and fifth- and sixth-round draft choices to the Titans for Byard.

An All-Pro selection in 2017 and 2021, Byard has started 111 consecutive games. Since he was drafted in 2016, Byard’s 27 interceptions rank second in the NFL.

Injuries have limited the availability of Eagles safeties Reed Blankenship and Sydney Brown, and another safety, Justin Evans, is on injured reserve.

Aggressive in all phases of roster-building, Philadelphia made multiple moves at the trade deadline in 2022 and could add additional players before the Oct. 31 deadline, per the reports.

Byard has two years and $16 million remaining on the five-year, $70.5 million contract he signed in 2019.

The same teams hooked up on the draft day trade that sent wide receiver AJ Brown to the Eagles in 2022.

A third-round pick in 2016 out of Middle Tennessee, Byard was born in Philadelphia and moved to Atlanta as a teenager.

The Titans are in their first season under general manager Ran Carthon, who inherited a challenging salary cap situation and could look to make additional moves to clear salary for 2024.

The only players on the roster with higher cap figures than Byard for the rest of this season are quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry. Tannehill, 35, has a cap figure of $36.6 million and is in the final year of a four-year, $118 million deal he signed before the 2020 season. Henry, 29, has a cap charge of $16.4 million for 2023.

–Field Level Media

Aug 12, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Mecole Hardman Jr. (6) starts his route during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Jets trade Mecole Hardman back to Chiefs

The New York Jets traded wide receiver Mecole Hardman back to the Kansas City Chiefs, ESPN reported Wednesday.

Hardman played his first four seasons with the Chiefs before signing a one-year, $4 million deal with the Jets in March.

Hardman played just 28 offensive snaps and caught one pass for 6 yards in five games this season with New York.

The Jets are sending Hardman and a 2025 seventh-round pick to the Chiefs in exchange for a 2025 sixth-rounder, per the report.

A second-round pick by Kansas City in 2019, Hardman made the Pro Bowl as a special teams player during his rookie season. He won two Super Bowls with the Chiefs.

Hardman, 25, has 152 career receptions for 2,094 yards and 16 touchdowns in 62 games (26 starts) with the Chiefs and Jets.

–Field Level Media

Dec 8, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) catches a touchdown pass against the defense of Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Sam Webb (27) during the second half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Falcons acquire WR Van Jefferson from Rams

The Los Angeles Rams are sending wide receiver Van Jefferson and a 2025 seventh-round draft pick to the Atlanta Falcons for a sixth-round selection in the same draft, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

The Rams took Jefferson with the 57th overall pick of the 2020 draft, and the following season, he started all 17 games.

However, this season, he has taken a back seat to standout rookie Puka Nacua, and with the emergence of Tutu Atwell and the return of All-Pro Cooper Kupp from injury, Jefferson had become a spare part for the Rams.

He played just two snaps on Sunday in the Rams’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. On the season, while he had started four of five games, he’d been targeted just 15 times with eight catches for 108 yards and no touchdowns.

The Falcons current receiving corps is led by Drake London and Mack Hollins, as well as tight ends Kyle Pitts and Jonnu Smith.

In 49 career regular-season games (30 starts) with the Rams, Jefferson has 101 catches for 1,499 yards and 10 touchdowns. Most of that production came in 2021, when he made 50 receptions for 802 yards with six scores.

Jefferson, 27, is playing on the final season of his four-year, $5.61 million rookie deal.

–Field Level Media

August 19, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Randy Gregory (5) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Broncos trading Randy Gregory to 49ers

The Denver Broncos are trading linebacker Randy Gregory to the San Francisco 49ers, ESPN and NFL Network reported Friday.

The Broncos will send Gregory and a 2024 seventh-round draft pick to the Niners in exchange for a 2024 sixth-rounder.

The Broncos moved on from the veteran pass rusher, with coach Sean Payton saying earlier in the week they would explore trade opportunities before releasing him.

“It was something that we felt was just best for our team right now, timing-wise,” Payton said Wednesday. “It hasn’t been finalized yet because typically before a transaction takes place, there may be some teams interested in a trade. … We felt like with some of our younger players and where we are going, it was best for our team right now.”

Signed to a five-year, $70 million contract prior to the 2022 season, Gregory recorded nine tackles and a sack in four games (three starts) this year for the Broncos. He is slated to make a $14 million base salary this season, with $5 million in 2024 being fully guaranteed.

Nik Bonitto, 24, replaced Gregory as a starter in Denver’s 31-28 victory over the Chicago Bears last Sunday.

Gregory, 30, has totaled 106 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 60 career games (18 starts) with the Dallas Cowboys (2015-21) and Broncos. He was selected by the Cowboys in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Chase Claypool (10) prepares for a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins acquire WR Chase Claypool from Bears

The Miami Dolphins acquired wide receiver Chase Claypool in a trade with the Chicago Bears on Friday.

The Dolphins also received a 2025 seventh-round pick in exchange for a sixth-round selection the same draft.

Miami announced that the two sides had agreed to terms on the deal, pending the result of a physical.

It’s a fresh start for Claypool, who was scratched from Chicago’s game-day squad for the second week in a row and sat out the Bears’ 40-20 win Thursday against the Washington Commanders.

He was inactive for the previous game Sunday against the Denver Broncos, days after he criticized the team regarding his lack of involvement in the game plan.

On Monday, the Bears told Claypool to stay home while the squad practiced ahead of the Washington game. Then on Thursday, general manager Ryan Poles weighed in on where Claypool stands with the club, less than a year after the receiver arrived in a midseason trade.

“I think Chase is going to learn from this situation, we all will, and I wish him luck moving forward throughout his career,” Poles said while speaking before the game on ESPN 1000 radio.

“You’re always disappointed in the situation and it’s definitely something I take ownership of. Last year, in the situation we were in, we wanted to add another receiver to the offense, not only to help us be more productive but also to help Justin (Fields, the quarterback) take the next step.

“The right thought process was there and I feel comfortable with that. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out and we were hoping for (Claypool) to be a little bit more productive and be someone that could help us take it to the next level.

“I wish him luck.”

Claypool, 25, was acquired last November in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He has just four catches (on 14 targets) for 51 yards and a touchdown in three games this season. He is playing in the final season of his rookie contract.

The 2020 second-round draft pick has 171 catches for 2,235 yards and 13 touchdowns in 49 games (32 starts) with the Steelers and the Bears.

–Field Level Media