Trade Chiefs Should Make Before NFL Deadline: Cameron Jordan, David Montgomery Among Players To Watch

“You have to play boldly to win.” Many NFL teams have taken golf legend Arnold Palmer’s quote to heart, especially when it comes to the NFL trade deadline. Once we thought about it, the trade deadline became one of the most anticipated dates on the NFL calendar. Several teams have already made their bold move, with the 49ers trading for former All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey, the Eagles acquiring pass rusher Robert Quinn and the Jets trading for former Jaguars 1,000-yard back James Robinson.

The Chiefs also traded away their rusher before the deadline, acquiring former Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney for two picks in the 2023 draft. Toney, the 20th overall pick in 2021, will join a Kansas City offense that already leads the league in scoring and a top-five in many other categories.

After a slow start last year, Andy Reid’s team is off to a 5-2 start, including a 2-0 record against AFC West foes. Kansas City responded emphatically to its four-point loss to Buffalo in Week 6 by beating the 49ers last Sunday in McCaffrey’s debut. Sunday’s win reinforced the narrative of a two-team race between the Chiefs and Bills for AFC home-field advantage.

The Chiefs can move past the Bills as the AFC seed if they are able to pull off a big trade at the deadline. Here are four deals the Chiefs should consider making before Nov. 1.

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Kansas City’s defense could use a boost before the deadline. The unit is 25th in the NFL in points allowed after allowing at least 20 points in each of its first seven games. While their ability to force turnovers has helped mask their shortcomings, the Chiefs need more weapons in their arsenal if they want to fend off the Bills and other top NFL offenses during the second half of the year.

An improved pass rush is among the things the Chiefs defense could use. There’s no way the Broncos are going to trade Bradley Chubb to a division rival, and the Panthers have already ruled out parting ways with Brian Burns before the deadline. That brings us to Jordan, who is still playing at a high level in his 12th NFL season. The 33-year-old defensive end has 4.5 sacks this season for the Saints, who are off to a disappointing 2-5 start despite the play of Jordan.

A third- and fifth-round pick seems like fair compensation for Jordan, but the Saints could be greedy and demand a second-round pick. Either way, the Chiefs have the resources to make a deal, as Kansas City has 11 picks in the upcoming draft.

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Pass defense is another area where the Chiefs need to improve. The Chiefs are currently 30th in the league in passing yards allowed and last in the NFL in passing yards allowed. Rest assured, if things don’t improve dramatically during the second half of the season, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow and other elite quarterbacks in the AFC will certainly look to exploit the Chiefs’ spongy secondary in the postseason.

Unfortunately for the Chiefs, it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to get an elite defensive back at the deadline. However, they could add a solid veteran to the mix to provide some much-needed spark. One of those defensive backs is Jackson, a former first-round pick who has been at the center of trade rumors. Jackson, who turned 30 on Thursday, seems destined to be on another team once he doesn’t suit up for the Chiefs starting in Week 5.

If nothing else, Jackson can provide depth and veteran experience to the back end of the Chiefs defense. The six-year veteran has 64 career starts, with 51 passes defensed. The Chiefs could probably get Jackson at a reasonable price considering the Chiefs don’t have much leverage in this situation. A fifth-round pick seems doable, or a fourth-round pick in exchange for Jackson and a future sixth-round pick for Kansas City.

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That would be tough, as Conklin is a two-time All-Pro who is very much in his prime at 28 years old. But with the Browns 2-5 and Conklin set to be a free agent next year, Cleveland may decide to cut its losses and promote second-year James Hudson III to the starting lineup.

The Chiefs would certainly have to give up (at least) a second-round pick to acquire Conklin, who has helped Nick Chubb become one of the NFL’s most productive running backs over the past few years. The Chiefs’ starting tackle left something to be desired through seven games, particularly in pass protection. Adding Conklin would bolster Chiefs defense Patrick Mahomes. It would also help accomplish Reid’s goal of wanting to have a more balanced offense while leaning more heavily on the running game.

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The Chiefs running game, led by Clyde Edwards-Helaire, has been solid through seven games. But solid may not be good enough, especially in the playoffs, where the ability to run and hold the ball can make all the difference.

Montgomery would bring another dimension to the Chiefs offense. He is a strong straight-forward runner who would be a perfect complement to Edwards-Helaire and rookie Isiah Pacheco. Montgomery’s skill set is ideal for playoff football, especially in a cold climate like Kansas City.

The Bears have already parted ways with Quinn, so it’s certainly possible they’d consider trading Montgomery, who has split time with Khalil Herbert this season. A future third-round pick would likely be the asking price for Montgomery, but the Bears may want to settle for a fourth-round pick since Montgomery will be a free agent this offseason.

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