The NFL trade deadline is rarely that exciting, This year, it was full of excitement. Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers, Jay Ajayi to the Eagles, Duane Brown to the Seahawks, and more. It is the most active trade deadline I can remember in the NFL. But how did the teams involved in these trades do? Did they make the smart move, or did they drop the ball? It is possible for both teams to win a trade when you have two smart GM’s negotiating, but it often seems one GM takes advantage of the other, and one team comes away the clear winner.
Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers for a 2nd round pick
For a while, it was unclear what the Patriots wanted to do with Garoppolo. Some thought the Patriots would hold onto him as insurance in case Tom Brady goes down, or to eventually replace Brady when he retires. Obviously, that is not the case. They shipped Jimmy to San Francisco to get a 2nd round pick, which will be a very high pick in that round. I love the move for San Francisco. John Lynch has been great so far as the 49ers GM. He had a great draft, and now, added a QB for his rookie head coach to build with. I am not totally convinced by Garoppolo yet, but he has been impressive in limited chances. For the Patriots, I am torn. Tom Brady does not have a ton of time left. I know he looks great, but he is 40 and is taking hits this year. Getting old and no longer being good isn’t always a steady slope, sometimes it is a cliff. Look at Peyton Manning, he was an MVP candidate his second to last year, and had a noodle arm his final year. How much does this second-round pick help them going forward? I also think they could have gotten more for Jimmy. The Eagles got a 1st and a 4th for Sam Bradford who can barely play because of injuries. They could have at least added a 4th round pick to their haul back. It isn’t a bad deal for the Patriots, I just do not think it is a great deal. I don’t think the second round pick benefits them that much. if Tom Brady retires after next year, I would much rather have Jimmy than a second round pick.
Jay Ajayi to the Eagles for a 4th Round Pick
The Eagles had a need for an RB who can pass block. Their current RBs are well, not good at it. The Eagles are the most blitzed team in the NFL, and it is because of their RBs struggles to block. Jay Ajayi is a pretty good pass blocker, being ranked 19th in the league among RBs for pass block efficiency. He isn’t great, but he is good enough where it will no longer be a weakness. On top of that, Ajayi can run. He had 1000 yards last year. This year, he was struggling, but I blame the Dolphins O-Line for that. The Eagles now have a 3 down back, and can still use Blount in short yardage and Goal line situations. Eagles made off great here, and only had to give up one of their three 4th round picks. The Dolphins, I do not get. Allegedly Ajayi was butting heads with head coach Adam Gase while in Miami. A head coach getting rid of any problem players for peanuts is something Eagles fans are familiar with, because of Chip Kelly. Gast threw Ajayi under the bus after the shutout loss to Baltimore, saying he keeps trying to do too much, but what can Ajayi do when he is getting hit behind the line every play. Gase is supposed to be this offensive whiz, but his offense is one of the worst in the NFL. Good coaches can make players with egos work.
Marcelle Dareus to the Jaguars for a 6th round pick
Marcelle Dareus had disappointed the last few years. There was a point where he looked like an All-Pro level player, but lately, he has not been very productive. To unload his contract, and make room on the roster for younger, cheaper, more productive players, is a great move by the Bills. He is not important to their success and may have even been holding them back. As for Jacksonville, they also make out pretty good. They did not give up much, do not need to take on too much money, and get a player who used to be great and is not that old yet. Jacksonville was already very deep on defense, and adding Dareus, who now will have very little pressure to produce, could turn his career around. Both these teams made out well. Neither is put over the top by this deal, but both made out a little better.
Duane Brown to the Seahawks for Jeremy Lane, a 2018 5th Round pick, and a 2019 2nd Round Pick
What the hell are the Texans doing? The most important thing you have to do when you have a young QB, or hell for any QB, is protect them. The O-line, in my opinion, is the second most important part of the offense. You can get by with below average recievers and running backs, but a bad O-line will kill you. So what do the Texans, with their rookie QB DeShaun Watson looking great, do? They trade away one of the best LTs in the game. Not only that, but they don’t even get anything back that helps them this year. Jeremy Lane is a nice addition, but he won’t help Watson. That 5th round pick next year isn’t likely to give them a starter. They have to wait until 2019 to see the 2nd round pick, and it from the Seahawks, meaning it will be at the end of the second round. This is easily the worst trade of the deadline, and quite possibly the worst trade of the last decade. So why did they do it? I am sure it has something to do with his holdout. Probably also has something to do with his outspoken political beliefs. The Texans had the issue this week when their conservative owner referred to his players as prisoners. I just do not get the idea here on the Texans side. This is a move that will not help them until 2019. For the Seahawks, it is obviously a great move. O-line was their biggest issue, and this will go a long way to fixing it.
Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills for a 3rd and 7th Round Pick
What are the Panthers doing? Their offense was already inconsistent. Why take away your QB’s best weapon? Why do it to only to get picks back in a year where you are competitive? This doesn’t make sense for the Panthers. Benjamin is young WR who has played well, why give him up for a pick late in the 3rd round, and a 7th round pick that means basically nothing? Is there something going on that we do not know about? I love the trade for the Bills. The Bills have the RB. They have a decent QB. They have a great defense. The only thing they lack is receiver talent. Benjamin gives them that, and they don’t have to give up much. They have many draft picks after trading several players in the offseason, including an extra third-round pick from the Ronald Darby trade. This makes them immediately better and takes them from a good not great team to a potentially serious contender.