As if the NFL wasn’t exciting enough already, the trade deadline provided some eye-popping moves that made the football loving universe collectively say…WHAT! Every team that made a significant trade are playoff bound teams looking to ensure they reach the postseason. The only deal to go down without an immediate impact was the Patriots sending Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers for a second-round pick in the 2018 draft. While the 49ers deserve praise for getting their franchise quarterback, the rest of the trades were made to win this season.
We usually don’t see many valuable players dealt before the NFL trade deadline. This year is a whole different story. If we go back just a few weeks ago, the trading carousel began when the Saints parted ways with Adrian Peterson as the future Hall of Fame running back traveled west to Arizona.
When Monday came around the Cowboys found themselves in a position where their best player, Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension was reinstated by the league. Many thought they’d make a move for another RB like their old buddy in Tennessee, DeMarco Murray who currently shares time with Derrick Henry in the Titans backfield. But it looks like Dallas will roll with Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden who hasn’t seen the field yet in 2017.
The #DallasCowboys have begun to prepare for life without Ezekiel Elliott.
Because chances are good — he's not coming back this time. pic.twitter.com/BPaAyUQHv8
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) November 1, 2017
Let’s take a look at the four most significant trades and their impact on each team:
Jay Ajayi was basically kicked out of Miami as he packed his bags for Philadelphia. The Dolphins former RB has been a major disappointment this season after rushing for almost 1,300 yards and eight touchdowns last year. He also notched three games with over 200 yards from scrimmage. It’s no secret the Dolphins offensive line is weak and the team has trouble moving the ball. Seems the Phins have thrown in the towel on this season and Ajayi’s career as they continue to worry about his previous lingering injuries. The Eagles are in a no lose situation here as they only gave up a 4th round pick to get Ajayi whom they hope will regain his 2016 form.
Kelvin Benjamin getting traded to the Buffalo Bills is a total head-scratcher to me. The Panthers gave up their best and most dynamic receiver in the middle of a playoff run. Do they really think a 3rd and 7th round pick in return is going to help them this year? Perhaps something else was going on but not involving his teammates who have spoken out about their disappointment stemming from this trade. As for the Bills…bravo! Buffalo will get Charles Clay back at tight end soon and the addition of Benjamin will open up the offense for Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy. Obviously, at (5 – 2) the Bills are putting all their chips on the table preparing for a long playoff run. This is probably the best move made by the deadline. Benjamin is exactly what Buffalo needs!
Marcell Dareus has been a bit banged up this year but the Jaguars don’t care. They know what Dareus is capable of as an interior defensive lineman. Since he entered the league in 2011, Dareus has been one of the best nose tackles in the NFL. Jacksonville has no problem getting sacks and big hits on opposing quarterbacks. Their biggest defensive problem is stopping the run. Marcell Dareus was brought to the Jags for that exact reason and it only cost the team a sixth-round pick in next years draft. So the Bills got better on offense but a little worse on defense. Buffalo figured given his nagging injuries and 8+ seasons bashing heads against offensive lineman, that they could deal without Dareus. After all, he’s only played in five games this year with four solo tackles and a single sack. The Jaguars are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle as Dareus will line up next to players like Calais Campbell and Malik Jackson giving them a ferocious front defensive line. Jacksonville also has a very good secondary so we could be looking at a top three NFL defense. Man, if they just had a reliable quarterback…
Duane Brown going to a Seattle Seahawks team that is starting to hit their stride offensively makes perfect sense. First of all, Brown was very unhappy in Houston after owner Bob McNair’s comments about the inmates running the prison. Clearly a poor choice of words by the old school, old man. It bothered Brown enough where he expressed his displeasure with the front office resulting in a deal where Brown will block the blindside for Russell Wilson instead of DeShaun Watson. That’s a major blow for a Texans team on the rise and could easily win the AFC South. Watson felt very secure with big Duane Brown having his back. Let’s see how drastic the change will be with a new left tackle. The Hawks desperately need help on the offensive line which has flat out stunk this season. This trade will help as the perennial pro bowl tackle will anchor the new look O-Line.
Power 32 – Week 9 NFL Power Rankings: