As Tuesday rolled around, it proved to be one of the most eventful trade deadlines in quite some time. While some teams were able to get players for a steal, other teams certainly got the short end of the stick. In all, there was 6 deals involving ten teams, eight draft picks, and six players. Here are some of my picks of winners and losers of this year’s trade deadline:
1) Carolina Panthers
WR Kelvin Benjamin was traded to the Buffalo Bills for a third-round pick and seventh round pick in the 2018 draft. This deal was completed minutes before the trade deadline, and Benjamin was enthusiastic about it. According to Panthers GM, Marty Hurney, the Bills GM, Brandon Beane reached out to Carolina and expressed interest in the first-round pick drafted in 2014. Beane and Hurney have a good standing relationship as they started coaching together in 1998 until 2012 when Hurney was fired and replaced by Beane as interim GM. For the Panthers, they were willing to part ways with Benjamin due to “redundancy” issues as he is 6’5” and fellow receiver Devin Funchess is 6’4.” He
has a similar skillset as Benjamin and will take over the role of being Carolina’s No. 1 receiver. Benjamin will be able to serve as a strong target for Bill’s QB Tyrod Taylor as they hope to make the playoffs this season, as they haven’t made an appearance since 1999.
2) Philadelphia Eagles
The Miami Dolphins traded their No. 1 RB Jay Ajayi to the Eagles early Tuesday morning for a fourth-round draft pick. The Dolphins thought this would be a beneficial as they believe that his most productive games are behind him; thinking that a knee injury that he had back in 2011 is finally catching up to him. However, the Eagles GM Howie Roseman sounded optimistic on his future career. “I'm not concerned about any reports other than the ones given to us” Roseman said. While he hasn’t put too much this season (rushed for 138 times for 465 yards) he’s coming off of a successful 2016 season where he put up more than 1,200 yards with eight touchdowns. The Eagles next problem will be fixing their pass protection which has been an issue since Darren Sproles suffered a season ending injury in week 3. By obtaining Ajayi and the help teammate LaGarrete Blount, this could be one of the toughest backfields in the league.
3) San Francisco 49ers
As we reach the halfway mark in the season, the 49ers are yet to win a game this season. Sitting at 0-8 and last in the NFC West, they need a miracle if they want a change to their miserable season. Nevertheless, they made a smart decision in trading for former Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo as they release veteran QB Brian Hoyer who is expected to sign with the Patriots. To me, he’s got a lot of potential and isn’t doing good sitting on the bench for New England as long as Tom Brady is healthy. The former second round pick has only thrown 94 passes in the NFL, two thirds being in 2016 during Brady’s suspension. His performance in those two games was impressive, racking up 502 yards and four touchdowns. The best part was he threw no interceptions. While the 49ers certainly don’t have as much talent as the Patriots, he will have to make best with Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, and Trent Taylor.
1) Kirk Cousins, Redskins QB
It surprised many people that the 49ers with their expected $100 million in cap space didn’t try to sign Redskins QB, Kirk Cousins who becomes a free agent next season. Cousins has ties with 49ers coach, Kyle Shanahan who used to be the offensive coordinator for Washington from 2010-2013. While he’ll likely be the one of the highest paid players in history, there’s still a chance he could get signed by the Niners, if for some reason, if they don’t like what they see from Garoppolo. Although, he could strike up a modest deal from teams such as the Jags, Jets or even getting re-signed by the Redskins, but only time will tell.
2) Cleveland Browns
Ahhh who doesn’t love a team that’s gone 0-8 and hasn’t won a game since last season? Well, let me start off by saying that they messed up. The Browns could’ve traded away a player or two in order to get more draft picks, but they didn’t. On one hand, they do have five picks in the first two rounds for next year’s draft. Essentially, they got five times to get find out which position needs to be filled the most. On the other hand, it seems as if most of their picks make sense in a vacuum. But they still need to QB that they can trust to generate wins to this doomed franchise.
3) C.J. Beathard, 49ers QB
A young QB like Beathard could have a lot of potential… just not with San Francisco. With the arrival of former Patriots QB, Jimmy Garoppolo, he’ll be getting majority of the playtime after this week. Beathard has put up some mediocre stats, completing 58 out of 110 passes for 647 yards, with 2 TD’s, 3 picks, and 11 sacks. Hopefully, Garoppolo will be able to bring some of that New England playstyle and ethic to a team that is in dire need of it.