With the election and the NFL trade deadline Tuesday, many individuals have seen their emotions run higher than normal because, similar to every deadline day, there were some winners and some losers.
A few names, such as Stephon Gilmore and Will Fuller, were tossed around, but there wasn’t much movement in the final couple of hours. COVID-19 has delayed availability of new player acquisitions all season, which is why there was no surprise when there was little activity on the phones once Tuesday came around.
The Chicago Bears were one of the teams rumored to be actively looking to make a deal at the deadline, but they failed to reach any agreements. But just because the Bears stayed in hibernation on deadline day doesn’t mean there weren’t other teams across the league who made moves, both good and bad.
Titans boost secondary
Undoubtedly the biggest steal of the deadline was the Tennessee Titans pulling off a deal for Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Desmond King. The 25 year-old former All-Pro only cost the Titans a 2021 sixth-round draft pick because he is on a contract year. His addition in the slot will provide a big boost to the Titan’s secondary that looks to now have a solid core between Adoree’ Jackson, Kevin Byard and King. It’s still a mystery as to why none of the other 30 NFL teams couldn’t make the Chargers a better offer, but Tennessee is glad it didn’t happen, as it looks to make a second-straight AFC Championship game appearance.
Williamson goes from winless to unbeaten
Former New York Jets linebacker Avery Williamson is perhaps the happiest man with how the deadline unfolded. The Jets continued their roster breakdown by trading Williamson and a 2022 seventh-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for the Steelers’ 2022 fifth-round pick. Williamson will go from the league’s worst overall record (0-8) to the league’s best (7-0), with a chance to compete for a Super Bowl. Not bad for a guy who probably thought he wouldn’t sniff the postseason this year, let alone seven wins.
Ravens double down on D
The Baltimore Ravens continued to bolster their front-seven by adding pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue from the Minnesota Vikings. The Ravens sent the Vikings a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional fifth-round pick in exchange for the 25-year-old former Pro Bowler. Ngakoue will be paired on the edge with Matthew Judon who has helped the Ravens become one of the best defenses in the league, allowing the fewest points per game (17.3) and ranking second in the NFL in sacks (22). Ngakoue already has totaled 42.5 sacks, 16 forced fumbles and two touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2016. For comparison, the only other player to record 40 sacks, 15 forced fumbles and multiple defensive touchdowns since 2016 is Khalil Mack.
Packers don’t add weapon for Rodgers
One of the more prominent names floating around in reports of trade talks Tuesday was Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller. The speedy wideout was linked to possibly getting a chance to play with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, but teams failed to get a deal done.
The move would have greatly helped the Packers in their mission to add a competent receiver opposite Davante Adams. Fuller’s addition could have been the difference maker for Green Bay’s chance at getting Rodgers another Super Bowl.
Dwayne Haskins remains on the bench
Falling into a similar situation as former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen, former first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins wanted a chance to get out of Washington. He recently got benched for Kyle Allen after passing for just 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 11 career starts (13 appearances). He’s been given little support in his short tenure in Washington and surely would have liked a change a scenery to showcase his talents.
All NFL fans
Shame on all of us for thinking the NFL trade deadline would resemble the NBA. With so much uncertainty hanging over 2021 rosters and salary caps, there were no signs that pointed to there being multiple blockbuster deals on the horizon. On the other hand, that didn’t stop the fact this year’s cutoff became one of the more anticlimactic one’s in recent memory. Despite there not being huge moves in 2019, we still saw deals such as Kenyan Drake to the Cardinals and Leonard Williams to the Giants. This year, it was more about what deals didn’t end up going through. No matter what team you root for, everyone loves a good transaction, and the NFL didn’t give us enough of those.