The NFL trade deadline on Oct. 31 lead to many interesting moves that were made across the league. In one of the craziest trade deadlines in years, there were many trades made that will impact how well teams will do this season and influence what moves teams will try to make in the offseason.
The first major trade was made between the Seattle Seahawks and the Houston Texans the day before the deadline. The Texans traded their LT Duane Brown to the Seahawks in exchange for a 2018 3rd round pick and a 2019 2nd round pick. Brown brought a $4.97 million cap hit to the Seahawks, which made them alter their starting QB Russell Wilson’s contract to make sure they had enough money to get Brown on the team.
Brown will bring much needed help to the struggling Seahawks offensive line, who lost their former starter, George Fant, in the offseason. Brown is an older player at age 32, but only has two years left on his contract. Those two years will show the Seahawks if Brown can keep playing at an elite level even if he’s at an older age. If he can’t they can let him go into free agency in 2019.
The Seahawks have gone 1-1 with Brown as he played every single snap in the first game against the Washington Redskins. In the second game against the Arizona Cardinals, Brown was sidelined with an ankle injury. He did not return to the game, but he did tell fans on Instagram afterwards that he will recover quickly. It will be very interesting to see if the Seahawks continue with their success when he returns.
On the eve of the trade deadline, the New England Patriots traded their backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for their 2018 2nd round pick. Garoppolo was the well known backup for star quarterback Tom Brady. Marc Sessler of NFL.com ranked Jimmy Garoppolo the number one backup quarterback in the league on Oct. 18th.
Garoppolo is in the last year of his rookie deal which means that after this season a team will have to pay him very well to earn his services. The 49ers do have the money to give Garoppolo the money he needs as they have $102.4 million in cap space to spend in the offseason next year.
From the 49ers perspective, they got a guy they can build a team around. Garoppolo is a young quarterback who may have his best years ahead of him. Garoppolo has not played for the 49ers yet but when he does it will be interesting to see how well he fits into the their system and if he can do well without a lot of talent around him.
The Patriots weren’t going to pay Garoppolo starter’s money for being the backup. Brady has proved this year that he can do well in the league no matter his age. It was good to keep Garoppolo as insurance for as long as they could. They also got good value in a 2nd round pick for him. Overall, both teams did very well as the 49ers filled an important position need at quarterback and the Patriots got a nice draft pick for a player they were not going to use.
Early on Halloween morning, the Miami Dolphins traded their running back, Jay Ajayi, to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2018 4th round pick. The Eagles have been doing really well this season as they currently have the best record in the NFL at 8-1. The addition of Ajayi, who went to the Pro Bowl last season, will bring another great skilled player to the well-rounded Eagles offense.
From the Dolphins’ perspective, this trade does not make a lot of sense. They didn’t think that Ajayi was buying into the system of what they wanted to accomplish this year. Even then, it is weird that they could not get more than a 4th round pick for a running back who accomplished a lot last year. Ajayi was a great athlete for a Dolphins offense that does not have a lot of great athletes.
Ajayi played in his first game as an Eagle against the Denver Broncos on Nov. 5. He had 8 rushing attempts for 77 yards and scored his first touchdown of the season on an impressive 46 yard run. Ajayi was still learning the system, but he started off with the team well and expect him to continue to be a key player in their offense.
Right before the deadline at 3:00 PM, the Carolina Panthers traded wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a 3rd and 7th round pick in the 2018 draft. The move brought a much needed target for Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor and will bring new draft talent to the Panthers.
Kelvin Benjamin has 2 years left in his deal but takes a major cap hit next year as his yearly contract goes from $529,000 this year to $8.4 million next year. The Panthers obviously did not want to pay that money to a player that can easily be replaced by another good receiver such as Devin Funchess. The Panthers kept him as long as they could before they took the hit next year.
Benjamin did not play in the Bills game that following Thursday night against the New York Jets, but he did play in their game the following week against the Saints. The team lost 10-47 as Benjamin had 3 catches for 42 yards. The Bills will be hoping for more production in the coming weeks as they are still in contention for the division title with the Patriots.
The trade deadline this year brought many well known players to different teams. Hopefully it will keep being this exciting in the coming years as the quick change of personnel on teams’ rosters makes for many fascinating storylines. It will be very interesting to see how these moves play out in the coming years for these NFL teams.