Grading The Top NFL Trade Deadline Deals. 

The NFL’s Trade Deadline day past on Halloween evening, but which teams got tricked and which got a treat? We grade the top trades made by teams as they approached the Trade Deadline. 

Marcell Dareus-Bills to Jaguars


One of the first big trades to happen before the deadline was Marcell Dareus leaving the Buffalo Bills for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Dareus was the Bills first round pick of the 2011 draft, being selected third overall, ahead of some massive names in the NFL such as Julio Jones, AJ Green and JJ Watt among many more. 

That puts into perspective just how talented he was as he entered the NFL draft, and since being in the league he hasn’t done too bad at all, racking up a total of 35 sacks and earning two pro bowl selection. 

With an impressive resume being built the Bills signed Dareus to a huge contract worth $95.1 million with $60 million guaranteed, which made him the highest paid player in the NFL who wasn’t a quarterback, however only 5.5 of his 35 sacks have occurred since the huge contract was signed. 

So you may think the Jaguars only giving a sixth round pick was a robbery, but in reality it was good for both teams. 

Jaguars get a top defensive tackle to add to an already impressive defensive line, “Sacksonville” arguably already have the best D-Line in the league and this accusation has only made them stronger. 

The only negative of this trade for a Jaguars point of view is just how expensive his contract is, which they now have to pick up the remainder off.
Bills will benefit too. They get a sixth round pick however even more beneficial for Bills is they get cap space. Spending as big as they did on Dareus’ contract can take up a big chunk of a cap space, but some of that is now free’d up and they can possibly spend that money elsewhere, with contract renewals or free agency. That being said, I do think they’ve under sold Dareus, a sixth round pick for a former third overall just looks terrible on paper for any organisation. 

Jaguars- B+ 

Bills- B-

Duane Brown-Texans to Seahawks

You hear that? If you listen carefully you can hear the sigh of relief from Russell Wilson as he finally gets some o-line help. 

The trade for Duane Brown was rumoured for a while and it finally got done. Texans sent Brown as well as a 2018 fifth round draft pick for Seattle’s 2018 third round and 2019 second round draft picks. 

On paper this seems great for Seattle, they finally get a top left tackle, arguably the most important position on the offensive line. However it does seem like Seahwaks have slightly over paid for the veteran tackle. 

Brown has had a series of injuries over the past two years. In January 2016 he had surgery on a torn quadriceps tendon, and although he returned in time to be ready for the 2016 season, he had another injury set back, this time on his knee, causing him to miss a quarter of the season. 

As well as the injuries, it didn’t seem as if Brown was all that settled at Texans as he held out over the 2017 offseason, and didn’t play until week 8, ironically the Texans away game against Seahwaks. 

A great player who should be a major boost for Seattle, but questions over the price paid and being a 32 year old with a couple of injures since January 2016 made it tough to give Seattle top marks for the trade, but it was a really good one.

Seahawks- A-

Texans- B+

Jimmy Garoppolo-Patriots to 49ers


This was San Francisco’s first win of the season. As a niner fan I’ll try and not sound bias by saying this was the best trade of them all, but it really has the potential to be. 

Garoppolo was back up to Tom Brady for three and a half years, being back up to TB12, you’re going to learn a thing or two.

Albeit in limited time, Jimmy G has shown potential of being a top end starter in the league, having a 2-0 record from his two starts and a 5-0 TD-INT ratio.

The Pats 2014 second round pick was turning into a big fan favourite, and most where devetsted when he left, as he seemed destined to become the starter when Tom Brady eventually retires.

Garoppolo made the switch in exchange for the 49ers second round pick, likely to be pick 33 or pick 34 overall, which isn’t too far off where the Pats would normally make their first round selection, so that’s a big pick for New England. 

The 49ers have their “Quarterback of the future” and it only took a second round pick, dropping their list of needs by one, brilliant for the 49ers. Despite Jimmy G being a free agent in the offseason, obtaining the trade means he’s their player free agency obviously gave no guatentees of this, and it also gives the niners so many options, including the franchise tag if they don’t sign the QB to a new deal. 

Also a brilliant trade for the Patriots, who get a valuable pick for a player who would have likely left in the offseason. 

49ers- A

Patriots- A

Jay Ajayi-Dolphins to Eagles

I’m not going to say much about this. A running back with back to back 200+ yard games last season, okay he hasn’t had that type of production so far this year, but come on, a forth round pick? I’d be raging if I was a Dolphin’s fan. 

Eagles currently boast the best record in the NFL and this accusation will only help in their play off and Super Bowl hopes. Only negative is how Ajayi is a similar style of back to Eagles’ LeGarette Blount, however quality depth at the position can’t be a bad thing. 

Eagles- A

Dolphins- F

Rashard Robinson-49ers to Jets 

Far from the most glamourous trade to go down on deadline day, the 49ers sent Rashard Robinson to the Jets for a fifth round pick. Robinson showed promise in his rookie year and earned the CB1 role at the 49ers for the 2017 season, however fans had become frustrated with Robinson particularly for the amount of flags he draws. 

Robinson leads the NFL for flags caused by a defensive player with a total of eight, and his eight is double that of the next highest flagged player’s for the 49ers, Ray Ray Armstrong and Trent Brown on four. 

However he does still show potential and will be lining up beside former LSU team mate Jamal Adams if he gets to play in the Jets defense. 

Right now the trade doesn’t seem overly beneficial for either team. 

Jets- C

49ers- C

Kelvin Benjamin-Panthers to Bills


I was really shocked by this. Panthers play off hopes are certainly not out of the question, good defence and for a few weeks the offense looked unstoppable. 

Benjamin was a big part of that offense, and has always seemed to be Cam Newton’s number one target. Benjamin had over 1000 yards and nine touchdowns in his rookie year, despite a major injury ruling him out in 2015 he returned in 2016 and had 941 yards and seven touchdowns. 

So his production was evident. 

The Bills acquired the wide receiver for a 2018 third round and seventh round pick.  Which is good value for a player of his standard. 

On the flip side Panthers lose a top player but get good draft picks for a player who’ll be on a contract year next season and giving his production in his 2014 and 2016 season, that may be an expensive contract. 

Bills- B+

Panthers- B

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