The NFL Trade Deadline just passed and a record-breaking 10 trades happened on deadline day. A lot of teams made moves, some better than others, and I’m here to grade each trade for each team. These moves will be graded in isolation, so I’m going to try and avoid letting a previous move influence my grading of these deadline trades like how a professor doesn’t let how you did on a previous exam influence how they grade you on another exam.
Vikings get: TE TJ Hockenson, 2023 fourth-round pick, 2024 conditional fourth-round pick. Grade: B+
Lions get: 2023 second-round pick, 2024 fourth-round pick
For the Vikings, it seems they only want to trade within their division which is comical. They move down two rounds in 2023 and one round in 2024 and get a 25-year-old tight end with a year and a half left on his contract. They fill a need with a young and promising player and get an overall upgrade at tight end over Irv Smith who has health concerns and has been underperforming when he actually is healthy. As for the Lions, if a 25-year-old tight end is not in your plans for a rebuild then your schedule must have gotten absolutely tossed backward. Sure he may not have lived up to the status of the eighth overall pick, but he has been an ascending player in Detroit in a less-than-ideal situation. Only moving up two rounds, not even into the first round, and losing a quality young player? That’s just bad business.
Bears get: WR Chase Claypool
Steelers get: 2023 second-round pick
The Steelers flipped an underperforming second-round pick from three years ago for another second-round pick, that’s great business. Claypool’s role in the offense was diminishing, and Pittsburgh got a maximum return on investment for someone who has a lot of physical talent but was just simply underperforming with those tools. As for the Bears I actually really like this move, but I think the price was a little high for them. They get at worse a WR2 with a very good shot at becoming the team’s WR1, and they are finally showing some desire to surround Justin Fields with some talent. Both teams should be happy.
Dolphins get: OLB Bradley Chubb, 2025 fifth-round pick
Broncos get: RB Chase Edmunds, 2023 first-round pick (SF), 2024 fourth-round pick
For the Dolphins, it is clear they are all-in on this year and Tua, after giving away their only first-round pick for Bradley Chubb. Their pass rush has been, meh on the season so far. With Buffalo in their division, they NEED to be able to get consistent pressure with four because the Miami heat will not be around to help them the entire season. However, they have to pay Chubb big money now as he is in the final year of his contract. For the Broncos, they know this year has been a disappointment, and they are acquiring draft capital for a good but not great player. They also have the edge depth and an emerging young player in Barron Browning that makes this move a no-brainer. They give Browning more opportunities and get some solid draft capital to help fix this team.
Steelers get: CB William Jackson III, conditional 2025 seventh-round pick.
Commanders get: a conditional 2025 sixth-round pick.
The Steelers acquire a player that they have always wanted from the day he was drafted, and it essentially cost them the contract and moving down a round in 2025, wow. This may be a quick reaction to AJ Brown having an MVP performance against them, but corner has been a concern for the Steelers for the past five years, and they get the guy they always wanted while addressing a major need. As for Washington, congratulations you got rid of a contract and struggling player while moving up a round in the 2025 draft. Sick, not much there. The only saving grace is that they got something for a player they would have cut anyway.
Dolphins get: RB Jeff Wilson Jr.
49ers get: 2023 fifth-round pick
This falls under the “I don’t really care” type of situation. The Dolphins get a running back, 49ers get next to nothing. Miami did trade away Chase Edmunds so they somewhat filled a need, and the 49ers got something for Wilson who was not going to see much production with Christian McCaffrey in the building.
Jaguars get: WR Calvin Ridley
Falcons get: 2023 fifth-round pick, conditional 2024 fourth-round pick (Can become a second)
This is a bizarre trade to grade given the uncertainty around Ridley’s playing status. The Jaguars get an outside wide receiver to help Trevor Lawrence in the future, this season is torched and this is a team that should be focusing on year three and beyond of Trevor Lawrence’s career. They also have protected themselves if Ridley either is not the same player or does not play. As for Atlanta, they secure a good baseline of draft capital for a player that simply was not helping them this season, but are sacrificing someone with a great skill set that helps the other weapons on their roster. I think they are giving up something too valuable, in exchange for less-than-ideal draft capital. I already went over all the conditions attached to this trade.
Broncos Bring Edge Depth
Broncos get: DE Jacob Martin, 2024 fifth-round pick
Jets get: 2024 fourth-round pick
The Broncos move down a round and get an edge player who’s played just over 150 snaps, 93 pass-rushing snaps, and has 15 pressures and 12 hurries on the season in a rotational role. Not much is happening here, but I do believe the Broncos got the better end of the deal.
Bills get: RB Hyheim Hines
Colts get: RB Zack Moss, conditional 2023 sixth-round pick
What do the Colts see in Zack Moss? I just don’t understand this at all for them. The Bills get a great pass-catching running back to help this offense. All it took was Zack Moss, who was never doing anything for that offense, and a sixth-round pick this year.
Falcons Get Fenton
Falcons get: CB Rashad Fenton
Chiefs get: 2023 conditional seventh-round pick
The Falcons get a starting-caliber corner while the Chiefs just sacrifice corner depth for basically nothing. Just keep the depth at this point.
Bills Add Safety Depth
Bills get: Dean Marlowe
Falcons get: 2023 seventh-round pick
Another trade that I just don’t really care about one way or another. The Bills get a bandaid safety with Micah Hyde battling injury and the Falcons get a very late draft pick.