NFL trade deadline: Kareem Hunt, Brandin Cooks and the other biggest names who didn’t get dealt
Teams were busy during the NFL trade deadline Tuesday with some major names on the move.
The Miami Dolphins acquired Bradley Chubb from the Denver Broncos, the Chicago Bears added Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Chase Claypool, and tight end T.J. Hockenson stayed within the NFC North moving from the Detroit Lions to the Minnesota Vikings.
But not all the names who were being floated around the rumor mill found new homes. Several high-profile players remained with their current clubs despite reports indicating various levels of interest for them. Some were likely kept because a team felt they could still compete for a Super Bowl, while others couldn't get the compensation they desired — or a combination of both.
Here are some of the biggest names who weren't traded before Tuesday's deadline.
Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt
It seemed like there was a lot of interest in Hunt, who had asked for a trade earlier this year after asking for a contract extension. The Browns were reportedly willing to move him for a fourth-round draft pick, but no teams bit. With one year left on his contract, Hunt will likely test the free agency waters in 2023, but not before he continues to split backfield duties with Nick Chubb in Cleveland.
This move proves the Browns aren't giving up on their season yet, especially after dismantling the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night, and that they still value Hunt's offensive role. At 3-5, Cleveland is still within striking distance of the AFC North as the team heads into their Week 9 bye. They also have three divisional games left, all after Deshaun Watson returns from his 11-game suspension.
Houston Texans WR Brandin Cooks
There were apparently "talks" for Cooks before the deadline but nothing materialized. This prompted the wideout to tweet a cryptic post where Cooks wrote "Don’t take a man’s kindness for granted. Covered for the lies for too long those days are done. Crossed the line with playing with my career." Reading between the line: It sounds like Cooks thought he was on the move and was surprised when he wasn't.
Why couldn't the Texans find a partner? Some of that likely had to do with Cooks' age (29), contract ($18.5 million guaranteed in 2023) and the Texans' reported desired compensation (a second-round pick). The Dallas Cowboys reportedly couldn't get a deal done because of the latter two issues, per ESPN's Ed Werder.
For now, the Texans figure to keep a key part of their struggling offense this year with a possible out this offseason. Houston ranks 29th in points and 25th in passing yards this season. Cooks keeps them afloat but not by much. He's on pace for his worst season since 2019 when he missed two games.
Denver Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy
OK, so the Broncos aren't in full-on sell mode yet. There were rumors Denver was shopping Jeudy and Chubb before the deadline and then the Broncos sent Chubb to the Miami Dolphins for a first-round draft pick and running back Chase Edmonds. That ended up being the only move Denver made.
Jeudy is having a great season, so trading him away would have signaled a partial teardown after Denver gave up a boatload of draft picks for Russell Wilson this summer. Instead, Jeudy remains on the team as the 3-5 Broncos remain two games back the AFC West race heading into the bye. Either the Broncos think they still have an outside shot at the postseason or they never got an offer they liked for Jeudy. Or both.
New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara
Kamara was likely never on the move despite rumors the Saints were shopping him. The Buffalo Bills reportedly called but were "rebuffed," according to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer.
The NFC South is a mess so the Saints could sneak into the playoffs by winning the division. They can't do that without Kamara, who's coming off a 17-touch, 158-yard, three-touchdown performance in a 24-0 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. It would have taken a king's ransom to pry Kamara from the Saints and even that might not have been enough to get a deal done.
New York Jets WR Elijah Moore
The Jets delivered on their promise to keep Moore even after he requested a trade following the Jets' win over the Packers in Week 6. Moore missed Week 7 after an outburst at practice and saw a season-low 10 snaps in Week 8. Despite all that, the Jets didn't move him Tuesday and now his role on the team will remain a storyline for the rest of the season.
Staying in New York isn't the best news for Moore, who has seen his snap share and targets drop precipitously every week since Zach Wilson's return. He's still a valuable asset to the Jets, but one they're apparently willing to neglect — either incidentally or purposefully.