Buffalo Bills top trade deadline targets: Antonio Gibson, Cam Akers, more

Cam Akers could be a top Bills trade deadline target
Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (3) fights off a tackle attempt by Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Trysten Hill (72) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The NFL trade deadline is fast approaching on Tuesday, November 1st, so it’s time to take a look at who the Buffalo Bills may be interested in swinging a deal for. 

In putting together this list, I tried to factor in the current needs of the team, the likelihood the other team is to trade off an asset, what the Bills could offer that would be acceptable to both teams, and obviously contract fit. 

Bills Team Needs

The first step is obviously determining what Buffalo’s top needs are. Given their interest in Christian McCaffrey, it’s clear that the team is in the market for a running back. They didn’t want to pay a premium for McCaffrey, so it seems as though Buffalo is more likely to land a rotational back that could be a short-yardage asset while also potentially growing into a bigger role next year if Devin Singletary leaves. 

The Bills also could use some veteran safety help with Micah Hyde out for the year. Damar Hamlin has stepped in admirably, but his play is a little below the level of a team that is trying to win a Super Bowl. 

Buffalo could also look for an upgrade in the interior of their offensive line or some depth at the tight end position, where Quintin Morris and Tommy Sweeney are fine but not bringing too much as of now. 

So who are the players who fit that mold? 

RB Cam Akers – Los Angeles Rams

Now that McCaffrey is off the table, Cam Akers is the name that everybody keeps connecting to the Bills. The 23-year-old had a solid start to his career as a part-time player in 2020 but then tore his achilles and missed almost all of 2021, returning for an uninspiring playoff performance. In 2022 there were high expectations, but he has just 150 yards on 51 carries this season and now seems to have played his last down with the Rams.

Given his injury history and lack of track record, the price for Akers shouldn’t be too high. We’ve actually never seen him have continued success at the NFL level. However, he does have a 68.6% positive run rate, which would suggest he could be useful to the Bills as a short-yard complement to Singletary and a potential partner for James Cook next year if Singletary leaves in free agency.

Akers is set to make a base salary of $1.1M this year and will make $1.4M next year, so he doesn’t come at much cost to Buffalo.


RB Jeff Wilson Jr. – San Francisco 49ers

With McCaffrey in San Francisco, it’s possible that the team would consider moving on from the 26-year-old Wilson. Especially since the 49ers have a slew of other young running backs on the roster. Wilson has been solid in his five NFL seasons and has an 81.8% positive run rate and averages a strong three yards after contact, which means he could be an elite short-yardage option. 

Wilson is set to be a free agent after this season, so he wouldn’t cost the Bills much.


RB Antonio Gibson – Washington Commanders

Gibson seems like he’s on his way out of Washington, so his name has been bandied about in many Bills rumors. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like a great fit since Gibson’s skill set is fairly similar to Singletary and Cook; however, Buffalo could be looking at Gibson as a replacement for Singletary next season since Gibson would make just $1.2 million next year. 

The 24-year-old has been under-utilized by Washington and has been surpassed by Brian Robinson Jr., but Buffalo could be the perfect team to unlock his receiving upside and open-field ability. The only concern is that he doesn’t provide the running back room with a different skill set for this season. 


RB David Montgomery – Chicago Bears

David Montgomery is in the final year of his rookie deal and could be on the way out with Chicago liking Khalil Herbert and also drafting Travis Ebner this year. If Montgomery is not in their long-term plans, they could look to get some day-two draft pick compensation for him.

Montgomery has proven himself to be a well-rounded back, rushing for 2,808 yards and 21 touchdowns in his first three seasons while chipping in 924 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He has an elite 22.1% broken tackle rate and averaged 28 yards after contact, so he’s a hard runner that could be a strong short-yardage option. 


RB Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos

Melvin Gordon is surely on his way out in Denver. He was signed to just a one-year $2.5 million contract and has seemingly been surpassed by Latavius Murray, even with Javonte Williams out for the year. 

We know that Gordon is not the running back he used to be, but his declining receiving skills are not a concern for Buffalo, which would just use him as a goal line and short yardage back to complement Devin Singletary. However, his fumbling issues are a concern, so the Bills would need to be confident he can keep that under control. 


OG/OT Josh Jones – Arizona Cardinals

Jones is only in his third year in the NFL and was a 12-game starter last fall when he played 612 out of a possible 842 snaps at right guard. He allowed four sacks and 29 pressures, which isn’t ideal, but he’s been an average run blocker this year and his 52.8 run-blocking grade last year at right guard is better than any Bills interior lineman. He’s since fallen to the back of the Cardinals’ OL rotation, so he’s the type of raw, young versatile lineman the Bills might take a chance on. 


S Jonathan Abram – Las Vegas Raiders

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the Las Vegas Raiders have talked to teams about trading Abram, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, making a base salary of $2M. Abrams had a good 2021 season where he totaled 116 tackles; however, he is only OK in coverage, with just four passes defended and an interception. However, given Jordan Poyer’s strengths in coverage, Abram could be a solid complement as more of a run defender. 


S Rodney McLeod Jr – Indianapolis Colts

The veteran McLeod is another option since the Colts seem to be turning the page toward next season – at least at quarterback. McLeod came into the 2022 season with 123 career starts for the Eagles and Rams before signing a deal with the Colts this off-season. So far, he has 29 total tackles, one interception, and three passes defended and would be an unsexy option to suit up next to Poyer, but would be another stabilizing veteran presence in the back of the secondary. 


S Bobby McCain – Washington Commanders

That’s the same deal when we think about a deal for McCain, who is in his eighth season in the NFL. He played six seasons in Miami before joining Washington last season. In 2021, McCain started 16 games for the Commanders and posted a career-high in tackles, interceptions, and passes defended. He’s not going to make you forget about Micah Hyde, but he’s a smart and well-rounded safety who could pair well with Poyer. 


TE Albert Okwuegbunam – Denver Broncos

Lastly, we’ll end with another popular name. “Albert O” has been much-discussed around the trade deadline after he was drafted in the fourth round in 2020. He missed most of his rookie season due to a torn ACL but seemed prime for a breakout this year, only to quickly fall out of favor with first-year HC Nate Hackett. Given Hackett’s performance in Denver this year, I’m not sure if that shouldn’t give us more confidence in Okwuegbunam.

The case for trading for him is that he’s making a base salary of $895K this year, and $1M next year. and has the kind of raw tools that you rarely see at the tight-end position. He could be a complementary piece that could emerge as a great partner for Knox. 

For more Bills coverage visit amNY Sports

Melvin Gordon could be a top Bills trade deadline target
Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III (25) reacts after losing an NFL football game to the Indianapolis Colts, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Denver. The Colts defeated the Broncos 12-9 in overtime. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)