Eric Dickerson was on his way to a Halloween party when sportscaster Jim Gray informed the Rams' star running back that he had been traded to the Colts. Dickerson, shocked by the news, agreed to do an impromptu interview with Gray that immediately went on the air.
It's unknown whether or not Dickerson ever made to his party, but one thing we do know is that trades before the deadline have become much more mainstream since 1987. That much was made clear last Thursday night, when the 49ers acquired former Panthers star halfback Christian McCaffrey. The Jets followed suit on Monday night when they acquired running back James Robinson from the Jaguars following Breece Hall's season-ending injury.
Rest assured that those won't be the only notable trades that are executed between now and Nov. 1, the NFL's trade deadline. Here's a look at what the NFL's other top contending teams should do before the deadline to further their odds at hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in Arizona on Feb. 12.
Receive: LB Roquan Smith
Trade: 2023 second-round pick
Adding depth to the offensive line was also considered, but adding a Pro Bowl-caliber player to the middle of Philadelphia's defense would make a very good defense even better. It would also help resolve the Eagles' somewhat suspect run defense, as it is currently yielding an average of 5 yards per carry.
If the Bears are fielding offers, the Eagles should make a run at acquiring Roquan Smith, a tackling machine who led the NFL in tackles through six weeks. Along with being a solid tackler, Smith can also aid Philadelphia's pass rush while being a consistent presence in the opponent's backfield. Acquiring Smith would pay dividends for years to come, given that he is just 25 years old.
Receive: CB Greedy Williams, 2023 sixth-round pick
Trade: 2023 fourth-round pick
Along with RB Kareem Hunt, the Browns are also reportedly open to fielding calls for cornerback Greedy Williams. A 2019 second-round pick out of LSU, Williams has appeared in just two games this year after receiving 20 starts during his first two seasons in Cleveland. He missed the entire 2020 season after suffering an injury in training camp.
The 24-year-old cornerback still has plenty of upside. At minimum, he can provide some splash plays and quality depth for a defense that is 28th in passing yards allowed and last in red zone efficiency. At best, Williams could have a career rebirth while elevating a Vikings team that is already in the driver's seat in the NFC North.
Receive: RB Kareem Hunt
Trade: 2023 third-round pick, 2023 fifth-round pick
Buffalo reportedly swinged and missed at the chance to acquire McCaffrey, but they still have a chance at getting another versatile running back before the deadline. The Browns will reportedly listen to trade offers for multiple players before the deadline, including running back Kareem Hunt.
Hunt is a former NFL rushing champion who spent the past three-plus seasons sharing a backfield with Nick Chubb. He's been one of the NFL's best receiving backs since coming into the league in 2017, racking up 191 receptions and 17 touchdowns over that span.
Receive: TE Mike Gesicki
Trade: 2023 second-round pick
Acquiring Gesicki makes a lot of sense, especially given Daniel Bellinger's recent eye injury that is slated to keep him out indefinitely. A New Jersey native, Gesicki has proven to be a highly productive player when given the opportunity. The five-year veteran caught 13 touchdowns over a three-year span while eclipsing the 700-yard receiving mark in consecutive seasons.
Once thought to be a likely trade target, Gesicki's increased role in Mike McDaniel's offense over the last two games (he had 14 targets over that span after having 12 in the season's first five games) may suggest that Gesicki will remain in Miami at least through the 2022 season. At the least, Gesicki's recent surge in production will surely raise the Dolphins' asking price if they decide to deal him.
Receive: CB William Jackson
Trade: 2023 fourth-round pick
Receive: CB Sidney Jones
Trade: 2023 third-round pick
Kansas City could use some help on defense as it sits 25th in the league in scoring, 30th in passing yards allowed and last in touchdown passes allowed through seven weeks. Possible trade options here include Washington's William Jackson III and Seattle's Sidney Jones.
A former first-round pick, Jackson would bring considerable experience to the Chiefs' backfield. He has 65 career starts between stints with the Bengals and Commanders. Jackson has also been a productive player, with 51 career passes defended. Jackson is more proven, but the younger Jones may have more upside. He is coming off the most productive season of his career that saw him tally 66 tackles and 10 passes defended.
Sign: WR Odell Beckham Jr.
This isn't a trade, but this is a move the Cowboys should make. On the outside, you would think that the Cowboys would want to make upgrades at tight end and cornerback following injuries to Dalton Schultz and Jourdan Lewis. But the Cowboys feel good about their backups at both positions, which means that they would likely address their receiving corps should they seek outside help.
In Dallas, Beckham would essentially be asked to do what he did last year in helping the Rams win the Super Bowl. The former Pro Bowler would be asked to complement a receiving corps that is led by CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and Noah Brown. Beckham would make an already explosive Cowboys offense even tougher to stop.
Receive: WR Brandin Cooks, 2023 sixth-round pick
Trade: 2023 fifth-round pick, 2024 sixth-round pick
Tennessee is in need of an upgrade here if it's going to be a serious contender. The Titans changed course after last season, trading A.J. Brown and parting ways with Julio Jones. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine has struggled to be a consistent target for Ryan Tannehill. Treylon Burks, the Titans' first-round pick, has struggled to stay healthy. Veteran Robert Woods is also unable to be a reliable force on offense, posting just 204 yards and one touchdown on 20 receptions this season.
Fortunately for the Titans, there are several receivers whose names have been linked to possible trades, including Cooks, who could probably be had without giving up too much capital. Despite having already been traded three times, the well-traveled Cooks is still on the right side of 30. He is still a productive receiver who would help open things up for Tannehill and the passing game.
Receive: S Tarvarius Moore
Trade: 2023 fifth-round pick
It's easy to forget that the Dolphins were 3-0 prior to Tua Tagovailoa missing two-and-a-half games. Miami isn't a perfect team, but is 4-0 in games Tua has finished this season. One position on the Dolphins' roster that recently became a question mark is safety after starter Brandon Jones suffered a knee injury in Sunday night's win over Pittsburgh that will land him on injured reserve.
A five-year veteran, Moore would bring versatility to the Dolphins' secondary after previously seeing time at free and strong safety as well as at cornerback since coming into the NFL in 2018. Making things more enticing is the fact that Moore has a cap-friendly salary of $1.035 million.
Receive: DE Robert Quinn, 2023 sixth-round pick
Trade: 2023 third-round pick
The defending AFC champions don't appear to have too many needs after posting their fourth win in their last five games following Sunday's rout of Atlanta. The Bengals could look into adding a pass rusher to the team, as they have just 12 sacks through seven games. Robert Quinn, who recorded a career high-18.5 sacks last season, could be brought in to serve as valuable depth behind Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson.
While he's coming off a Pro Bowl season, Quinn has just one sack this year, which could lead to him being a bargain at the deadline. Quinn is also 32 and in his 12th season, which are both positive things for the Bengals as far as possible trade compensation as well as Quinn's possible desire to play for a legitimate Super Bowl contender at this point in his career.
Receive: WR K.J. Hamler, 2023 fifth-round pick
Trade: Tutu Atwell, 2023 third-round pick
Like several other teams, the Rams are in desperate need of another receiver. Los Angeles doesn't need a stud, but someone who can get open while opening things up for Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp. The Rams also don't have much to offer in the form of draft picks, which brings us to Hamler, a good receiver who could be had for less than some of his contemporaries.
The former second-round pick needs a fresh start the way a marathon runner needs water. Hamler has been targeted just 11 times this season and has become an afterthought in the Broncos offense. Denver may as well trade him for future equity while giving Hamler the opportunity to revive his career.
Hamler could be the spark the Rams offense needs. He has big-play ability, as evidenced by his 55-yard catch in Denver's Week 4 loss to the Raiders. The former Penn State standout made several big plays as a rookie, before injuries wiped out most of his sophomore season.
The Rams may be inclined to part ways with Atwell, a 2021 second-round pick who has caught just one pass in 13 regular-season games. In Atwell, the Broncos would be getting young, speedy wideout who can make an impact downfield and on special teams.
Receive: WR Jerry Jeudy, 2023 sixth-round pick
Trade: WR Amari Rodgers, 2023 second-round pick
Really, the Packers just need a receiver, any receiver, who can help Aaron Rodgers out. But they may as well go for arguably the best receiver who may be available in Jeudy. Ironically, the former 15th overall pick tallied his seaso high in receptions this past Sunday with Brett Rypien throwing him the ball. Imagine what kind of numbers Jeudy -- who caught seven passes for 96 yards in Sunday's loss to the Jets -- would produce with the reigning two-time league MVP throwing him the ball.
It would be a steep price to acquire him, but the cost would be well worth it if Jeudy is able to help the Packers right the ship after a rocky start. In the process, Rodgers would also be getting a fresh start in Denver after struggling to make headway in Green Bay.