The NFL trade deadline was Tuesday, Oct. 31, and it was a lively one, featuring multiple season-changing trades.
The first trade to finalize was on Monday night, between the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans. Seattle seemed to have started curing some of its offensive line woes with the addition of left tackle Duane Brown, in exchange for a second and third round pick. This trade is baffling because, although the Texans were in a contract dispute with the Pro Bowl left tackle, he was still worth far more than what the Texans got for him.
Quality left tackles are becoming an endangered species in professional football and their value is only increasing. For a team with a struggling offensive line to trade their best lineman for pennies on the dollar is unfathomable. The members of the Seahawks’ front office deserve pay raises for the way they just swindled Houston.
The next blockbuster trade to break on Monday was between the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers. Someone should have notified the Boston area authorities, because the 49ers committed highway robbery.
They acquired themselves a potential franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo for a mere second round pick. It is also incredible that the 49ers have two second round picks they obtained in the last draft by trading down one spot with the Chicago Bears. 49ers
General Manager John Lynch is only halfway into his first season running the team, winning deals left and right. This deal seems to have been motivated by many outside factors, judging by how the Patriots have handled the trade.
Bill Belichick seemed unhappy about the situation, but the trade had to be done, as the Patriots could not afford to keep two franchise quarterbacks on salary. This trade is shocking because they had far better offers this offseason for Garoppolo, but opted to test the market further and lost out on this one.
While those were interesting trades, the real action came around midday on Tuesday, mere moments before the deadline. The Miami Dolphins decided to trade away their most talented offensive player in running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles for just a fourth round pick.
Fans and critics alike struggled to comprehend the Dolphins’ thought process in this transaction. They are shocked that a rebuilding team, a team that made the playoffs last season, would trade a young quality star in Ajayi.
This cannot be considered a salary dump either, since Ajayi is still on his rookie contract. The Eagles got themselves a Pro Bowl running back who does not take up much cap room for practically nothing.
The craziness was not over though because an instant later another shocking trade was announced, as the Carolina Panthers decided to trade away their number one wide receiver in Kelvin Benjamin for a third and seventh round pick from the Buffalo Bills.
The league was taken aback by this one, as the Panthers lost a cornerstone of their offense in the midst of a season where they have real playoff hopes. Buffalo was extremely active, as they also traded away their star defensive tackle Marcell Dareus to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a fourth round pick. This was a clear salary dump by the Bills, who needed to create some cap space for next season.
The results of these trades are as expected, with most of the traded stars performing well for their new teams. Ajayi had, easily, his best game of the season behind the Eagles’ offensive line, posting over 100 yards and a touchdown. Early returns are showing that the Eagles won that trade.
Garoppolo is sitting for the 49ers while he learns the playbook, but is expected to takeover sooner rather than later. Benjamin seems to be in the same boat as Garoppolo learning the playbook, but he should be ready to get into the action this week. Brown had an immediate impact on the Seahawks offensive line, as the generally porous offensive line allowed just two sacks.
Dareus reminded everyone he is worth every penny, as he stifled the Bengals’ rushing attack for Jacksonville.
This year’s trade deadline was the most spectacular in recent memory; hopefully this is a continuing trend as football is becoming more exciting than ever.