On a random Tuesday in November that wasn’t about an election or a holiday or even a game day, the NFL still captured the undivided attention of its fans with a record-breaking trade deadline day.
There were a record 10 trades consummated on Tuesday before the 4 p.m. end to the 2022 trading period.
Fourteen teams made trades, meaning nearly half the league participated.
Four teams — Pittsburgh, Miami, Denver, and Buffalo — made two deadline day trades.
One team, the Atlanta Falcons, made three trades.
And because it’s the NFL there was competition involved. There was winning and losing.
So allow me to present the winners and the losers …
The Trade Deadline Winners
Buffalo Bills: This is a smart team with a smart personnel department that makes big moves when necessary (Von Miller) and measured moves when necessary. Tuesday was about two measured moves in the addition of running back Nyheim Hines from the Indianapolis Colts and safety Dean Marlowe from the Atlanta Falcons.
Hines instantly becomes a huge pass-catching threat out of the backfield. Since entering the NFL in 2018, he is fifth among running backs in receiving yards with 1,725. He is also a potential punt returner.
Marlowe comes to a team that has already lost safety Micah Hyde for the season and is closely monitoring an elbow injury to safety Jordan Poyer.
Marlowe will be a plug-and-play addition as he was with the Bills for two years in 2018-20 and previously played for Buffalo coach Sean McDermott when he was the defensive coordinator in Carolina.
Miami Dolphins: It’s hard to dislike adding the best available player who comes to fill a position of need. It’s hard to dislike when that player fills a cornerstone position that also allows him to basically play right away.
That’s exactly what the Dolphins got in adding edge rusher Bradley Chubb.
The Dolphins paid handsomely — sending the Broncos a first-round pick in 2023, a fourth-rounder in 2024 and running back Chase Edmonds. But Chubb is only 26 years old and probably hasn’t hit his prime yet, which the Dolphins will see after they sign him to a longterm contract.
Atlanta Falcons: This club traded Julio Jones to the Titans at precisely the right time after the 2020 season, as he began his decline. It traded Matt Ryan to the Colts at precisely the right time this offseason, as he began his decline.
The Falcons on Tuesday traded a player in Calvin Ridley, who is suspended this season for gambling and had stepped away from the game prior to that suspension to address mental health issues.
So the Falcons are getting a conditional fifth-rounder next year and conditional fourth-rounder in 2024 in exchange for a bunch of uncertainty.
Trade Deadline Losers
Aaron Rodgers: He wanted the Packers to add wide receiver help during the draft and advocated selecting Treylon Burks. Didn’t happen. He wanted general manager Brian Gutekunst to add a receiver at the trade deadline and that didn’t happen.
Instead Rodgers saw the Bears add wide receiver Chase Claypool to help quarterback Justin Fields.
Rodgers saw the Vikings add tight end T.J. Hockenson to help Kirk Cousins and replace injured Irv Smith.
It was a bust of a day for Rodgers.
Indianapolis Colts: The team fired offensive coordinator Marcus Brady on Tuesday. It means an offense that is averaging 16.1 points per game, which is third-worst in the NFL, has now benched its quarterback and fired its coordinator in the past week.
This thing appears broken, folks.
The Colts also traded running back Nyheim Hines to the Bills. By so doing they shipped out a player they signed to an $18.6 million contract in 2021 and have been using less since paying him.
Make it make sense, please.
Denver Broncos: General manager George Paton sold off a premier pass rusher for the second time in two years. And after trading Bradley Chubb off a 3-5 team Paton said ….
“We’re in it to win it going forward.”
“We would have made this trade regardless [of record],” Paton added. “We just felt the value was too good. And we believe in our young depth, we believe in our defense…”
Paton also said “our goals haven’t changed” for the remainder of this season. And “we feel we can make a push in the second half.”
Look, Paton is a very smart guy. He may use the first-round pick he just got to build a good team in the future.
But the narrative about how trading away one of the team’s best players doesn’t change anything now is not believable. There’s nothing about this move that makes the Broncos better now.
A year from now? Maybe.
But don’t offer the fan base a piece of coal and say it has developed into a diamond — especially since diamonds are not formed from coal, anyway (yeah, google it).