NFL Trade Deadline Recap
Another NFL trade deadline has come and gone, but this one has been notably different than any in recent memory. Sure, when you look back through the league’s history you’ll find some blockbuster deadline deals, hell you’ll even find bigger names being traded than the stars moved this year, but the volume of big time players getting moved was something I don’t think we’ve seen in years past. You have your Hershel Walkers (traded for 5 players and 3 straight seasons of 1st AND 2nd round picks), and your Eric Dickersons (traded at the deadline in 87′). You have Keenan McCardell (2004) and Roy Williams (2008). You can look at Marshawn Lynch (2010) and Carson Palmer (2011), but in terms of volume, the 2017 trade deadline is unmatched. Combining for 6 pro bowl appearances, the “class” of 2017 deadline tradees (it’s a word) has many pro bowls ahead of them and I’ll break down the future of the teams involved.
Marcell Dareus (Bills) to Jacksonville for a 6th round pick
Slam dunk trade for Jacksonville who already has the #1 scoring defense in the league and will now boast arguably the most disruptive D-Line in football. The Jags have become a more run-focused offense, and are now adding Dareus to an already scary defense, Jacksonville is putting together a formula to become a real contender in the AFC.
Duane Brown (Texans) and a 5th round pick to Seattle for 2018 3rd rd pick and 2019 2nd round pick
Strange trade, as originally Jeremy Lane was being sent to Houston before failing his physical, Seattle now keeps Lane and receives some desperately needed help on their offensive line. While they are giving up quite a bit in two 2nd day picks, the Seahawks needed to make the move after watching Russell Wilson run for his life every drop back since they drafted him in 2012. Seattle has a “win-now” roster and is happy to give up a couple future picks for a shot at another Superbowl. On the other side Deshaun Watson has to be a bit upset as Brown held out for a long portion of the year but could have aided one of the most impressive rookie starts in recent memory.
Jimmy Garoppolo (Patriots) to San Francisco for a 2nd round pick
This trade needed to happen for NE as Garoppolo becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and would surely leave at the opportunity to start for another team (not to mention, earn a starting man’s wage), so in classic Patriots fashion, they said good riddance and will look to draft another project under TB12. For the Niners, Kyle Shanahan now has his cornerstone QB who has looked great in his two starts for New England. The biggest worry is the “Matt Cassel effect” where a Pats QB is overvalued for “studying under Brady” and we find another case of Belichick doing more with less yet again.
Jay Ajayi (Dolphins) to Philadelphia for a 4th round pick
Yes you read that correctly, the Eagles only had to give up a 4th round pick for the 2016 pro bowl RB Jay Ajayi, who likely couldn’t be happier about running behind a real offensive line, next to a real NFL QB. I have to think the Eagles were looking to Atlanta when they made this trade, seeing the combination of Freeman/Coleman attacking the defense fresh from sharing touches between the two extremely talented backs. The Dolphins must have already forgotten about Ajayi’s 1200 yard 8 TD year just one season ago, and are making a huge mistake in moving him for no real return.
Kelvin Benjamin to Buffalo for a 3rd and 7th round pick
Some argue Buffalo gave up a lot for Benjamin, who already has an extensive injury history for being so young. I tend to lean toward Buffalo “winning” this trade as they get a desperately needed a #1 receiver with Jordan Matthews clearly not cutting it. Benjamin is a great fit as any good running offense needs a big 3rd down/red zone to be consistently effective and move the ball down the field. We’ll see if Buffalo regrets moving a 2nd day pick for a player who can’t be counted on to stay on the field, but I think it was a move they had to make after losing Sammy Watkins this off season.