Trading places: Hectic trade deadline reshapes entire NFL playoff outlook

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Multiple star players found new homes on Oct. 30 as the NFL trade deadline took place at 4 p.m. A few teams felt that they needed some help and made big moves to show the locker room they are all in on this season, while other teams signaled their clear intentions to rebuild after struggling thus far.

The New York Giants started off trade season by shipping off Eli Apple and Damon Harrison away this weekend. The New Orleans Saints gave up a fourth-round pick to bolster their secondary by acquiring Apple. Apple was a wasted investment by the Giants in the first round a few years ago. After being a problem in the locker room and unproductive on the field, it was time to move on. Luckily, the Saints believe that a fresh start will turn the cornerback’s career around. As for Harrison, he was the most productive run stopper in the NFL over the last few years and beloved in the organization. With a hefty contract and two rising stars at defensive tackle in Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill, the Giants decided to move Harrison’s contract.

The Houston Texans suffered a huge loss at wide receiver when Will Fuller tore his ACL. They immediately acted upon the loss and addressed the void via trade. Houston acquired longtime Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas in exchange for a fourth- and  seventh-round pick. Thomas will bring a veteran presence to a young Texans team chasing a division title. For the Broncos, this move opens the door for rookie Courtland Sutton to take over the outside receiver role.

The rich got richer when the undefeated Los Angeles Rams added push rusher Dante Fowler Jr. from the Jacksonville Jaguars right before deadline. The Jaguars have a loaded defensive line between Yannick Ngakoue and Calais Campbell, and they felt it was time to part ways with Fowler. For the Rams, the new addition to the team will bring extreme depth on the defensive line in a season for which they are clearly all in. Fowler has all the talent to be a dominant pass rusher but struggled to thrive in Jacksonville’s defensive scheme.

A more questionable move was the Green Bay Packers trading safety HaHa Clinton-Dix to the Washington Redskins. The Packers did invest high draft capital in the last two years adding Kevin King, Josh Jackson and Jaire Alexander, but Clinton-Dix was a main constant in their secondary. The Redskins add the free safety to a defense that has been overperforming this season.

Lastly, the Philadelphia Eagles shocked everyone by adding Golden Tate to their receiving core. The Detroit Lions had a log jam at receiver with Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, so they were able to acquire a third-round pick for Tate to possibly address other needs in the draft.

The Eagles now have a dominant duo in Alshon Jeffery and Tate outside for Carson Wentz to utilize. The Eagles and Redskins will be in a two-horse race for the NFC East this year.

With some big names in new uniforms, the rest of the season will be interesting to watch.

SportsRay MaurerComment