This year’s NFL trade deadline wasn’t as action-packed as last year, when 12 players were moved on deadline day and 19 players changed teams overall, but there were six trades on Tuesday.
Big-name defensive players have found themselves on the move. The midfielder changed titles. And one team made a huge mistake by not trading a talented wide receiver.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the biggest winners and losers from the trading deadline.
Just three months into taking over as Washington’s new owner, Harris has made it clear that his attention is squarely on the future as he has jettisoned both of his starting cornerbacks, Montez Sweat and Chase Young. Sweat, the 26th pick of the 2019 draft, went to the Chicago Bears for a 2024 second-round pick. Young, the second pick of the 2020 draft, went to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2024 third-round pick.
Sweat and Young are skilled, but neither can be classified as dominant, and both have expiring contracts. So Washington being able to get two early picks for a tandem that it is unlikely to keep is a win — Especially a second-round pick in Chicago, who would likely be among the first few picks in that round. Harris, who now has five picks in the first 100 picks of the draft, is putting together the key pieces for the future.
NFL Trade Grades: Leaders commit to rebuilding, deal Chase Young, Montez Sweat for Day 2 picks
Loser: Ron Rivera
Rivera described Young as a generational talent when the head coach drafted him over quarterbacks Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa at a time when Washington was in desperate need of a franchise passer (and still does). But Young, who never improved on the seven-and-a-half sacks in his rookie season, has yet to live up to expectations and is struggling to stay on the field. Harris clearly influenced this choice with an eye on the future. The rebuilding and loss of elite strikers signals impending doom for the Leaders (3-5), who will struggle even more to win games. Washington’s draft pick has improved, but based on Rivera’s results, it’s unlikely he’ll be available to help oversee the impending rebuild.
Two weeks after adding defensive end Randy Gregory to the mix, the 49ers continue to stockpile pass-rushing talent. They gave up a third baseman, which could end up being a steal if Young can fully realize his potential. He joins fellow Ohio State Buckeye Nick Bosa on the 49ers and is now part of a ferocious defensive front that ranks among the best in the league.
Loser: Chicago Bears
Sweat is a good player, but people around the league don’t view him as elite. He has yet to record a double-digit sack season and enters 2023 averaging 7.25 per year. Then there is the issue of his contract. He’ll be a free agent next offseason, so this could be a very good nine-game rental for the Bears, who are not in a position to compete for a deep playoff run.
Adding race is a strange decision that has certainly raised eyebrows around the league — And not for good reasons.
The Vikings (4-4) lost quarterback Kirk Cousins to a torn Achilles tendon just as they appeared to be turning things around, having won three straight and four of five. They were determined to acquire a quarterback with starting experience, and the Arizona Cardinals considered Josh Dobbs expendable with Kyler Murray almost ready to come off IR.
Dobbs didn’t light things up in Arizona, but he’s tough and the quarterback (who went to school to be a rocket scientist) has shown an ability to learn offensive systems quickly. The Vikings only had to give up a sixth-round pick to get him. Kevin O’Connell runs a quarterback-friendly offense that will set up the Dubbs for success.
The Las Vegas Raiders did the three-time All-Pro wide receiver a dirty job by not moving him at the deadline. They acquired Adams in the spring of 2022 in a trade with the Green Bay Packers to pair him with former Fresno State teammate Derek Carr. — A deal the players themselves worked hard to facilitate. Then Carr became the scapegoat of new coach Josh McDaniels last season, and the Raiders released him.
Adams is an exceptional talent, but McDaniels has yet to figure out how to feature him prominently, and Jimmy Garoppolo’s performance has been terrible, leaving Adams extremely disappointed. The Raiders would have been better off dealing Adams for draft picks to help with the rebuilding efforts they must embark on after this season.
Immediately after signing Frank Clark to bolster its pass rushing edge, Seattle dealt defensive tackle Leonard Williams to strengthen the core of its line. The Seahawks gave up a 2024 second-round pick and a 2025 fifth-round pick for a Pro Bowl interior lineman, and are now positioning themselves to better defend the offenses of the 49ers, Rams and Cardinals as they try to stay atop the NFC West standings.
(Photos by Josh Dobbs, Davante Adams, Chase Young: Christian Petersen, Quinn Harris, Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images)
“The Football 100,” the definitive ranking of the 100 greatest NFL players of all time, is on sale now. Ask for it here.
“Alcohol enthusiast. Twitter ninja. Tv lover. Falls down a lot. Hipster-friendly coffee geek.”