Breaking down the wild NFL trade deadline by Cameron Rivers
Tuesday’s NFL deadline was the wildest in recent memory. Marquee players were shipped across the country in crazy trades as the breaking news kept coming. These are The Score’s winners and losers of the 2017 NFL Trade deadline.
WINNER: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
The Seattle Seahawks made a splash during the trade deadline, acquiring left tackle Duane Brown from the Houston Texans. The Texans traded the veteran tackle and a 2018 fifth-round pick to the Seahawks for a second-round pick in 2019 and a third-round pick in 2018. Cornerback Jeremy Lane was included in the original trade but failed his physical, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
Seattle was in dire need for a tackle after losing George Fant to a torn ACL during the preseason in mid-August. Brown had just returned back to the Texans after a contract holdout for nearly three months. He returned to the lineup for his first and last game with the Texans against Seahawks, who saw all they needed to see to make the moves to acquire Brown.
This was a significant deal for the Seahawks, as they dramatically improve one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Seattle always heats up during this time of year so watch out for those Seahawks, who will be a contender in the NFC West.
WINNER: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
The biggest shock of the trade deadline came from the New England Patriots who traded quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2018 second-round pick. The Patriots were facing a situation in which it wouldn’t be able to keep both star quarterback Tom Brady and Garoppolo.
What do the 49ers get in Jimmy G? A whole lot of potential. Garoppolo has seen very limited action, with his most notable playing time coming during Brady’s four-game suspension at the start of the 2016 season, in which he started two games and only made it through five and a half quarters before being knocked out by injury.
This is a pretty good trade on both sides, with New England receiving a draft pick in exchange for an astoundingly good backup quarterback that was becoming increasingly expensive. After the trade the 49ers then cut quarterback Brian Hoyer, who was promptly signed to New England for a three year deal.
The San Francisco 49ers who were on the hunt for a quarterback for the future struck gold with this deal. With 25 year old Garoppolo under center, San Francisco now has hope and something to believe in. As Tom Brady career begins winding down look for New England to snag a young quarterback in next year’s NFL draft.
LOSER: CAROLINA PANTHERS
The NFL had one more trade left in its bag right before the close of the deadline. The Carolina Panthers traded wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a 2018 third- and seventh-round pick, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. As a rookie in 2014, Benjamin showed that he could get deep down the field and make spectacular catches, amassing over 1,000 yards in receptions, while grabbing 70 catches for 9 touchdowns.
This season through 8 games however, Benjamin has only 32 catches and 2 touchdowns. While Benjamin’s production has taken a nose dive over the years, this is still a huge loss for the Panthers offense. There is no replacing 6’5 245 pound Benjamin who was not only one of quarterback Cam Newton’s favorite targets, he was also a close friend. Newton spoke on Wednesday about this feeling on the trade.
“Obvious emotional connection. But can’t be a distraction for our prep this week. Have to be a professional about it,” said Newton, via Max Henson of the team’s website. “My feelings are irrelevant We have one job to do – and that’s win football games. I’m up to the task.”
The Bills knows Benjamin well. Buffao’s general manager Brandon Beane was in Charlotte when the Panthers made the receiver the No. 28 overall pick in 2014 and Bills head coach Sean McDermott was the defensive coordinator in Carolina from 2011-2016.
Benjamin provides Buffalo quarterback Tyrod Taylor with a much needed big target and red-zone threat.
LOSER: MIAMI DOLPHINS
On early Tuesday, the Miami Dolphins shook up the NFL by trading running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2018 fourth-round draft pick. The 24-year-old running back is coming off a 2016 pro bowl season as he rushed for 1,272 yards and eight touchdowns.
While Ajayi has yet to find, the end zone this season, this is still a questionable trade for the Miami Dolphins. Ajayi is just the fourth player in the Super Bowl era to have back-to-back 200-yard rushing games, joining Ricky Williams (2002), Earl Campbell (1980) and O.J. Simpson (1973 and 1976)
With the acquisition of Ajayi, the Eagles will be able to utilize running back LeGarrette Blount in short-yardage situations, using 3rd string running back Wendell Smallwood in a pass-catching capacity. The Eagles lead the NFC with a 7-1 record, and they are fifth in rushing yards per game with 129.2, but the addition of Jay Ajayi gives them an even more dangerous rushing attack and makes them a favorite to win this year’s Super Bowl.