Not many fans and media personnel believed that the trade deadline in the NFL would come and pass with minimal action. After all, it’s often hard to make deals in the NFL with big time players involved.
Apparently 2017 didn’t pay attention to years past. Perhaps they occurred due to the overwhelming feeling that the NFL is wide open this season and every contender is looking for that final piece to help them get over the hill that is the rest of the competition.
Four major trades went down near the deadline, and all of them will have major implications going forward. Let’s take a look at the deals and what they mean.
Jimmy Garoppolo Gets His Shot In The Bay Area
What 49ers Get: Jimmy Garoppolo
What Patriots Get: 49ers True Second Round Pick In 2018
This move sends shockwaves around the league. Everyone knew that the Patriots had a high price placed on Jimmy Garoppolo. The Browns considered making a deal back in April, but the price was too high.
Clearly, the 49ers weren’t worried about that price. A high second round pick is surely great value to give away. John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan must believe in what they’ve seen from the Eastern Illinois product. He has had limited regular season action, but he showed promise in those games. Shanahan’s offense needs a talented arm running the show. Garoppolo is intriguing for this offense. He has a good arm and solid athleticism to make plays, and the Niners will be looking to build around him in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The biggest impact comes with the quarterback market. The 49ers have effectively removed themselves from the quarterback conversation in free agency and the draft. This means the long-predicted Kirk Cousins to San Francisco theory is dead. So, Cousins may remain in Washington or could look elsewhere in free agency. It’s possible he gives the Broncos or Bills a look, who both aren’t sold on what they have at quarterback.
The free agent class for 2018 looks to be decent. Cousins, Tyrod Taylor, and Alex Smith are three names being tossed around. Teams like the Broncos, Cardinals and Jaguars could be very interested in what this group has to offer.
Where those guys go in free agency ultimately shakes up who needs a quarterback in the draft. Here is a list of teams who could consider a quarterback in the draft, depending on what happens in free agency.
- Cleveland Browns
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Buffalo Bills
- New York Jets
- Washington Redskins
- Arizona Cardinals
- Denver Broncos
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- New York Giants
- New Orleans Saints
This list is massive and entirely possible. It may shorten a bit after free agency, but all of these teams have that potential. We could see a quarterback frenzy come next April.
All of this quarterback frenzy could also lead to the 49ers landing arguably the best player in the draft: Saquon Barkley.
Seahawks Address Offensive Line
Seahawks Get: LT Duane Brown
Texans Get: 2018 3rd round pick, 2019 2nd round pick
The Seahawks needed this to happen in order to maintain some stability along the offensive line. Russell Wilson is playing some unbelievable football as of late, and he is firmly in the MVP discussion. Now, with an above average left tackle in the mix, Seattle certainly has the pieces for a deep playoff run.
What does Houston get? Two potential impact players to surround quarterback DeShaun Watson, reinforce the defense, or upgrade the offensive line. They have a bigger window than Seattle, so gaining picks is always a good thing.
Surprise! Bills Get Help At Receiver
Bills Get: WR Kelvin Benjamin
Panthers Get: 2018 3rd round pick, 2018 7th round pick
This trade was truly surprising, especially after Kelvin Benjamin was having a very productive season. Cam Newton praised Benjamin on Sunday, and just like that he is out the door. The Panthers are clearly looking to get better route runners and speedsters back on this roster at receiver. Or, there’s something else going on that we don’t yet know.
As for the Bills, it’s also an odd trade. Buffalo has been run first all the way this season. Yes, they need help at receiver, but Tyrod Taylor and this offense likes to see separation at receiver. Benjamin does not separate well. However, Taylor does like the deep ball, and a big bodied threat like Benjamin certainly gives the offense a new dimension. With Charles Clay close to returning, this offense doesn’t look bad at all.
Also, it’s worth noting that the Panthers got a steal with a third round pick in the deal.
The Rich Get Richer
Eagles Get: RB Jay Ajayi
Dolphins Get: 2018 4th round pick
Another shocker at the trade deadline. The Dolphins look to be partly cleaning house with what has been a disappointing year on offense. Adam Gase voiced his criticisms for Jay Ajayi after getting blown out by the Ravens. Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake will take his place.
As for the Eagles, they receive a running back who eclipsed 1200 yards last season. The best part is that they don’t have to wear out any single back. Both LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi can handle early down work, while Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement handle passing downs. A great running back group will be helpful in January.
Jake Schyvinck would like these trades to happen more often, and for these trades to work on Madden. Alas, they do not. Follow him on Twitter @JSchyvinck13 for all NFL tweets and analysis.