True NFL Trade Deadline
By Joe Borek (@jjborek26)
In a year of uncertainty that calls itself 2020, the NFL trade Deadline was truly dead. Only 12 total trades were made this season. Of course, most of that has to do with the uncertainty of the season as well as the uncertainty of the offseason. Teams might not want to trade for someone that in normal years they could keep because of revenue where this offseason they, unfortunately, would have to let them go. All four of the trades to round out the last two days of the deadline were more minor deals. The Titans got DB Desmond King for a sixth-round pick sent to the Chargers. King had a very good 2018 campaign being an all-pro returner and DB. This is a trade of a former fifth-rounder for a sixth-round pick to try to help the Titans 6th worst pass defense improve. Another trade done on the second to last day of the deadline was a swap of linebackers and one pick. The Saints got Kwon Alexander for Kiko Alonso and a conditional fifth-round selection. Alonso is still battling back from ACL surgery where Alexander is a former pro-bowler but battles injury issues of his own. If Alexander can stay on the field the Saints should win this trade since pairing him alongside Demario Davis makes an intimidating LB core.
So as we can see above teams made deals but not any big-time deals. They made those stealthy deals that could turn out good for one end if either the acquired player stays healthy or turns back the clock some. Then on the last day of the market being open, there were two very small deals made. The Patriots have acquired WR Isiah Ford from the Dolphins for a seventh-round pick. Ford has only played a handful of games in his career. He adds unproven size at 6’2 201 that could maybe form the next WR to emerge in New England that we never heard of before. More likely though he will just be a fill-in for a depleted WR core and be a guy that bounces around the league. Then last the Dolphins added a minor RB to add to their backfield after learning about the Gaskin injury. They traded a sixth-round pick to the Chiefs for a seventh-round pick and DeAndre Washington. Washington has always been regarded as more a receiver than a runner out of the backfield since his days with the Raiders. Look for Washington to be used as a good small gadget pickup for the Dolphins.
A season with an uneventful deadline from the naked eye doesn’t always mean it will be uneventful though. For example, as stated, King was money in 2018, so if he could step up again for the Titans this time that could go from a little to big pickup. Another is Alexander as stated if healthy can still be a very impactful Linebacker in this league. In my view out of the 12 trades made the Alexander and Yannick Ngakoue deals could make the most impact. Before we get into the Ngakoue deal I want to touch on just two more small moves that could prove to be larger before seasons end. One is the Lions acquiring DE Everson Griffin from the Cowboys for a sixth-round pick. The Former Viking for 10 years before this season with the Boys, still has some left in the tank and is just a great leader to have on any defense. He is especially a good talent and leader to bring into a defense that is ranked 28th in the league in pash rushing.
Moving on, Another good small move that could become a larger move Is Carlos Dunlap going to a struggling defense of his own. Dunlap was traded from the Bengals to the Seahawks for OL B.J. Finney and a seventh-round pick. Dunlap wanted to be moved after a struggling start for the Bengals and he got his wish going to a defense where he will be counted on big time. The Seahawks are tied for the 26th worst pass rush in the league and Dunlap has 17 sacks over the last two seasons to come in and help in that department. This might be another small pickup that has the best chances of making an impact. He is going from a situation where he complained of time on the field to a situation where their likely going to use him as a focal point. So for Dunlap it’s time to shine or be quiet.
Last but certainly not least we now have the Yannick Ngakoue trade. Ngakoue was traded from the Vikings to the Ravens for a third-round pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round pick. He is a guy who in his five-year career has 136 combined tackles with 17 assists and 42.5 combined sacks for his career. While in Jacksonville, he was regarded as one of the best DE’s and he still is. He just went to the downtrodden Vikings team this season. He is now going to a top-notch defense that already has Dereck Wolfe and Calais Campbell among others. The Ravens already have the league-high 12.1% QB knockdown rate as well as the third-highest pressure rate. Yannick Ngakoue is sure to be helpful with that potentially forming a top all-time front line once Ngakoue gets comfortable with his new teammates.
All in all the trade deadline minus one move was not full of big names. So it was as some would say truly a deadline. A bunch of dead phone lines trying to acquire bigger names like Will Fuller as one example. However, as the saying goes, expect the unexpected. Even though Ngakoue was the only big pick up many of these now smaller pickups can wind up becoming big pickups once the season rounds out. Maybe Dunlap will be the reason the Hawks advance in the playoffs or Alexander will make a big play to extend the Saints season. We are taught not to judge a book by its cover so it would be good to not always judge a deadline by first glance either. Please feel free to comment below on what you thought about the NFL Trade Deadline. Have a great season all.