The clock struck 4 p.m. Eastern Time and the NFL trade deadline had come to pass rather uneventfully. The first domino to fall was Yannick Ngakoue to the Ravens for a 2021 3rd round pick and a 2022 conditional 5th. At first glance this looks like a good trade for both sides; the Ravens, who are in “win now” mode, get another pass rusher to bolster their line, while the Vikings who are not, dump a small amount of cap space and allow their young pass rushers to develop in what is a dump season.
Then when you take a closer look, the Vikings gave up a 2021 2nd round pick to acquire him. With the Vikings at 2-5 and a tough schedule ahead, they’re likely to have a top 10 pick. The Ravens, of course, are likely to finish as a top-six team and have a bottom-six draft pick. This means the difference is likely around a 50 slot drop in where they will pick as a result of this trade.
The second trade to come about was the Cowboys sending Everson Griffen to the Lions for a 6th round pick. Don’t look now, but the Lions are 3-4, only two games out of first place in their division. While they are probably not a true contender, Matt Patricia is likely coaching for his job.
That being said, it’s not out of the question to think they could push for a wildcard spot, especially with this year’s playoff format. With a game they should’ve won against the Bears and a one-score loss vs the Saints, it’s not hard to imagine this Lions team feels they are good enough to compete. I don’t expect this move to make an impact on the NFC North but it’s not a bad swing for a man with everything to lose.
Carlos Dunlap spent the past few weeks on social media telling everyone that he was unhappy in Cincinnati. As a 31-year-old pass rusher on a rebuilding Bengal roster, it’s not hard to understand why. He’s in the last few years of his prime and wants to win now.
While a likely salary cap casualty next year due to his backloaded salary, it’s a perfect trade for the Seahawks who desperately need pass-rush help. The Bengals got a 7th and BJ Finney, a starting center for their below-average offensive line. A good trade on both ends, this should go down as a huge piece for the Seahawks playoff push this year.
In my opinion, the most underrated trade of this year is Avery Williamson to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a 5th round pick. I think he’s a good player who is only 28 years old and on a one year deal, he’s the perfect slide-in for an injured Devin Bush. A long rangy linebacker, with other good skill players around him, has all the tools to succeed in a very good Pittsburgh defense. The Jets also get a small win, they get value for a guy they most likely wouldn’t have resigned and they’re in the process of acquiring draft picks for the next HC.
The 49ers shipped LB Kwon Alexander to the Saints for a conditional 5th round pick. A win for both sides, the Saints get LB help and though he has struggled to stay healthy, when he’s on the field he can be a playmaker. If they can get him on the field, they just got a steal. The 49ers already have his replacement in young star Dre Greenlaw, which made his value to the team expendable. With the trade they were able to free up some cap space which they will likely need coming soon. While a fifth round pick may not sound like much, you know who else was a Kyle Shanahan 5th rounder? George Kittle.
In a strange value move, the Chargers traded away Desmond King to the Titans for a 6th round pick. A young Charger’s CB/FS that will likely start for Tennessee, he was a 2018 All-Pro and a candidate for a new deal this year. A good man corner and a great fit for a Mike Vrabel defense, this one comes as sort of a head-scratcher on the Charger’s part.
In another smaller trade, a rare intra-divisional trade, the Dolphins sent WR Isaiah Ford to New England. Ford, a 3rd-year slot receiver out of Va Tech, came in return of a 7th rounder. Another fair deal, the Dolphins get something for a WR not likely to see the field much and the Pats get a slot WR to fill in for Edelman while on IR. Cam Newton needs help in New England and hopefully the Pats can once again turn nothing into something.
In the final trade as the deadline came to, the Dolphins traded for RB Deandre Washington and a 7th round pick in exchange for a 6th round pick to the Chiefs. A rather insignificant trade, the Dolphins add some depth as their RB’s have not produced particularly well and the system may change a little now that it’s Tua Time in Miami.
With the NFL likely looking at a salary cap reduction for potentially the next three years, it’s easy to see why nobody wanted to part ways with picks for players or pick up any additional salaries. Hopefully with the salary cap driving contract negotiations, the deadline next year will be much for feasible.