The NFL trade deadline is a little over a month away and the Buffalo Bills almost certainly will be looking to make some moves to help their chances later into the season and hopefully in the playoffs. However, one player that the Buffalo Bills should be looking to trade away is cornerback Kaiir Elam.
In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills believed they had drafted a starting cornerback but it didn't end up being Kaiir Elam, who they drafted in the first round, but rather Christian Benford. He was a sixth round pick and moved up the depth chart during training camp and has started all three games this season.
Meanwhile, Elam has been a healthy scratch over the first three weeks and is behind both Benford and Dane Jackson. The Bills don't necessarily have to trade Elam but if he is a healthy scratch for most of the season, he is not going to have a chance to show much on the field or get an opportunity to contribute.
If the Buffalo Bills aren't going to have Kaiir Elam active, it is time for them to trade him
This means his trade value is not going to get any better at this point and the biggest value Elam brings in trade discussions at this point is his contract. He is under contract for two more seasons after this year while also has a fifth-year option.
He has very reasonable cap hits of $3.7 and $4.4 million the next two seasons for teams looking for a starting cornerback. However, for the Buffalo Bills who are going to be up against the salary cap for the next few seasons, it doesn't make sense to have a cornerback who isn't even active regularly at that salary.
As a rookie, Elam had some good moments and the talent is certainly there. However, it seems like the former Florida Gators cornerback schematically isn't a good fit for Sean McDermott's defense.
Elam is a long, big cornerback who does better in man-to-man, press coverage while the Bills lean more toward a zone defense. The Bills certainly could find teams that would be interested in trading for Kaiir Elam and willing to take a gamble on the upside. However, general manager Brandon Beane can't wait much longer if he hopes to get something decent in return.