The NFL’s trade deadline has come and gone, and there have been some crazy trades. It may be hard to think about what each trade means for the players involved and the teams as a whole, and that’s why I will be providing analysis on each of the trades that have taken place in the past couple of weeks.
Clinton-Dix to Redskins
It appears that new Packers’ general manager Brian Gutekunst is making an effort to clean out most Ted Thompson players. This is the first of two moves Gutekunst made at the deadline. He sent 2014 first round safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to the Washington Redskins in exchange for a fourth round pick.
For Clinton-Dix: this a huge win. He gets traded from an awful defense to a pretty darn good one, and gets paired up with elite safety D.J. Swearinger. It is no secret that he had no plans to sign with Green Bay after this season, when his contract ran out, and he said in his introductory press conference with the Redskins that they were his intended destination, anyways. So now he doesn’t have to deal with with a lot of stuff this offseason, since he is already in Washington.
For the Packers: they were in a tough spot here. Aaron Rodgers is still in his prime, but he is getting up there in age; he’s 34 and will be 35 in December. In a way, it was smart to get a fourth rounder out of him now so they don’t lose him in vain to the open market. But also, the Packers should be in win-now mode so they don’t waste another season with Rodgers. An already-bad Packers’ defense will be giving up even more big over-the-top plays without the presence of Clinton-Dix there, and in a tough NFC North, that is not a good thing.
For the Redskins: a nice pickup. I highly doubt that Washington’s fourth round pick of 2019 would pan out as well as Clinton-Dix has. They get a nice compliment to Swearinger at safety, and they add more talent to their roster that has already gotten them atop the NFC East.
Fowler to Rams
The Los Angeles Rams added more to an already-potent pass rush by trading for 2015 3rd overall pick Dante Fowler, Jr. from the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a 2018 third rounder and a 2020 fifth rounder.
For Fowler: an amazing opportunity. We’ve all heard about the scary-good Rams’ interior defensive line, which features Ndamukong Suh and 2017 Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald. As good as they are, the Rams’ edge rushers weren’t nearly as good. In Jacksonville, Fowler was on the outside looking in when competing for playing time because, well, you know, because of Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue were there. Now, Fowler can take advantage of one-on-one blocking, and help make opposing offensive coordinators lose sleep at night when preparing for the Rams.
For the Jaguars: a good deal.They get a couple draft picks for a guy they didn’t really use. Not much else to say here.
For the Rams: also a good deal. They get some draft picks that wouldn’t turn into starters for a guy that should be an immediate starter.
Montgomery to Ravens
This is the other move by the Packers that I mentioned. They sent running back Ty Montgomery to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a seventh round draft pick.
For Montgomery: a chance for more opportunities and a fresh start. The elephant in the room here is Montgomery’s infamous kickoff return in the Packers’ Week 8 matchup against the undefeated Los Angeles Rams. The Packers were down 29-27 with just over two minutes remaining, and they were receiving a kickoff. Montgomery defied head coach Mike McCarthy’s orders to take a knee in the end zone, and he took it out, fumbled, and the Rams recovered. The Rams proceeded to milk the clock and escaped victorious. In the locker room post-game, Aaron Rodgers was heard yelling “Take a [explicit] knee!” to Montgomery, which undoubtedly made some waves with teammates. Montgomery was the third best running back in Green Bay, and has an opportunity for a fresh start with the Ravens.
For the Packers: a good deal, I guess… Montgomery wasn’t being used much with talented running backs Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams ahead of him, so they dumped his salary and got a seventh rounder, which could end up being the best player in the NFL, you just never know.
For the Ravens: a good deal. They got much-needed running back help and only at the cost of a seventh rounder.
Thomas to Texans
The Denver Broncos sent wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and a seventh round pick to the Houston Texans in exchange for a fourth round pick and a seventh round pick.
For Thomas: a golden opportunity to rejuvenate his career. Let’s be honest, Case Keenum isn’t even close to DeShaun Watson. Nothing against Keenum, but it’s true. He also has the advantage of having a monster like DeAndre Hopkins ahead of him on the depth chart.
For the Broncos: somewhat of a good deal. They unload Thomas’s $22.5 million over the next two years and get a couple of draft picks in return. Thomas is 30, and, although he is still productive, he is certainly on the decline.
For the Texans: a good replacement for Will Fuller V. After Fuller went down with a season-ending torn ACL, everyone started to notice the shallow Texans’ wide receiver room behind Hopkins. The Texans really needed to a number two behind Hopkins, and they got their guy here.
Tate to Eagles
The Detroit Lions traded wide receiver Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a third round draft pick.
For Tate: a better opportunity. It’s no secret that the Eagles run a better offensive system than the Lions, and it’s also not a secret that Eagles have a better quarterback than the Lions, so Tate will have better opportunities in Philly.
For the Lions: they got something out of Tate before he left town. They weren’t going to be able to give him the contract he was going to ask for, and, at 30 years old as a slot receiver, he wasn’t going to be worth that much, anyways. They got a third round pick, which is a steal for Detroit.
For the Eagles: they get a nice receiving option. Everyone knows that the Eagles don’t have the greatest receiving core. And with their dire running back situation, they are forced to lean on the passing game. Tate is still a productive player, and he will be a nice addition to the Eagles for the remainder of this season. It’s hard to predict how his production will decline over the rest of his career and where he will be this time next year, so only time will tell if he was really worth the third rounder.
Snacks to Lions
The New York Giants sent standout defensive lineman Damon “Snacks” Harrison in exchange for a fifth round pick.
For Snacks: he gets to join a team that’s sort of competitive. The Giants are not going to be a good team anytime soon, as they’ve started an apparent rebuild. The Lions probably won’t win the NFC North, but as for now, they are right in the mix.
For the Giants: official tank mode. Eli Manning is not good anymore, and they won’t win until they get a good quarterback, whether that’s through the draft, a trade, or free agency.
For the Lions: a steal. Snacks Harrison worth probably a third round pick, and the Lions really swindled him away from New York. They were already strong up front with Ziggy Ansah, and that gives them a nice addition to their pass rush.
Hyde to Jaguars
The Cleveland Browns shipped running back Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a fifth round pick.
For Hyde: He was stuck sharing carries with rookie Nick Chubb and veteran Duke Johnson. He was simply not being used that much. With Leonard Fournette’s injury, Hyde gets a chance at a load of carries, which will boost his fantasy value and his market value (hopefully).
For the Browns: a dump-off of salary. Hyde was not needed in Cleveland, with the aforementioned running backs being very productive, they didn’t need Hyde that much. They get a fifth rounder in return, which is a pretty fair deal.
For the Jaguars: they get a guy to replace Fournette (for now). Fournette’s lingering hamstring injury has put a lot of stress on Blake Bortles to make plays. News flash: it hasn’t worked out too well for Jacksonville. Hyde isn’t as good as Fournette, but he’ll do for now.
Amari to Cowboys
The Oakland Raiders continued their onslaught of trades, this time trading 2014 first round receiver Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys for a first round pick.
For Cooper: he gets the heck out of Oakland. The Raiders are showing very little promise right now, and he is able to get to a place with at least some hope. Hopefully he’ll be able to be the wideout the Cowboys need him to be.
For the Raiders: they swindled the Cowboys and got a first round pick. Cooper is good, but not worthy of a first rounder. For obvious reasons, the Raiders have given up on this season, and are holding out hope for the future. They now hold 5(!) first round picks over the next two years, so hopefully for them they all pan out.
For the Cowboys: it’s time for Dak to step it up. He’s been marginal at best since his magical rookie season, and Dallas finally has a playmaker on the outside for him to succeed. They’ve got a good offensive line, a top-level talent at running back, and a pretty darn good defense. If Dak can’t succeed with this, he is obviously not the answer for the Cowboys.
Apple to Saints
Hey, Odell! The Giants finally traded Eli…Apple. Sorry, it wasn’t Manning. Anyways, the New York Giants sent former first round cornerback Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for a 2019 fourth rounder and a 2020 seventh round pick.
For Apple: He wasn’t working in the Giants locker room, and although he was a good player, he just needed a fresh start. He’ll give some good help to the New Orleans secondary.
For the Giants: a continuation of the rebuild. They’ve given up on the season and are just compiling draft picks for the future.
For the Saints: they get some good secondary help for not too much draft capital. They needed another cornerback, and they got one.
In other news…
Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, who has still not reported to the Steelers facilities, was not traded at the deadline. He remains on Pittsburgh’s roster. If Bell does not show by Week 10, he will become a restricted free agent in March, meaning that he will not hit the open market right away unless the Steelers want to give him away. Expect Bell to show up Week 10, if not, he obviously is not in a good mental state.
Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, pass rusher Chandler Jones, and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald were not dealt to a different team. There had been rumors swirling of each of them being involved in trades, but obviously, there were no agreements reached.