Trade deadline deals start early, with Kwon Alexander dealt to Saints and CB Desmond King to Titans

Frank Schwab
·2 min read

The NFL’s trade deadline is Tuesday, and some teams were getting an early start.

If Monday’s early moves are any indication, it might be one of the liveliest trade deadlines the NFL has had.

The two deals that went down on Monday morning were linebacker Kwon Alexander heading from the San Francisco 49ers to New Orleans Saints, and the Los Angeles Chargers trading cornerback Desmond King to the Tennessee Titans, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

With two contenders building up their defenses, expect more teams to follow in the trading frenzy.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander is reportedly on the move to the Saints. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander is reportedly on the move to the Saints. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

Kwon Alexander, Desmond King on the move

Alexander was a big-ticket signing for the 49ers. He signed a four-year, $54 million deal in 2019. Alexander has been injured and Dre Greenlaw’s emergence made the 49ers’ linebacker depth chart crowded.

The Saints are always looking to add players and don’t mind spending money. Alexander will fit in on a linebacking group that includes Demario Davis and Alex Anzalone. The 49ers will get linebacker Kiko Alonso, according to's Albert Breer, and a conditional fifth-round draft pick.

King, meanwhile, is a nice get for the Titans. A fifth-round pick after a good college career at Iowa, King quickly became a quality cornerback and return man in the NFL. Among all cornerbacks with 100 snaps this season, King ranks ninth in Pro Football Focus’ coverage grades. But the Chargers are deep at cornerback and 2-5, and with King set to hit free agency next offseason they sent him to a contender.

The Titans gave up a sixth-round pick to get King, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said.

Tuesday is NFL trade deadline

There could be some interesting deals before Tuesday’s deadline. There have been many rumors about Houston Texans receiver Kenny Stills perhaps going to the Green Bay Packers. The Texans should be active, as should teams like the Minnesota Vikings, who already traded pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens.

Pass rushers are always in demand. Everson Griffen was traded from the Dallas Cowboys to the Detroit Lions, and Carlos Dunlap forced a trade by the Cincinnati Bengals. He was traded to the Seattle Seahawks. The Pittsburgh Steelers traded for linebacker Avery Williamson from the New York Jets in another early move.

Others like Cincinnati Bengals receiver John Ross and Washington pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan have reportedly requested trades, and players like Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Bengals receiver A.J. Green could be part of talks too.

The trade deadline in the NFL never used to be a big deal. There were very few player trades in the league. That has changed, and this season could see a lot of movement.

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