At 4 p.m. yesterday, the NFL trade deadline passed, and with it came a few prominent trades, and a bunch of talks that never panned out. Let’s recap some of the moves of the past couple days, and what effect they will have on this season and beyond. We’ll keep it to players who haven’t yet played a game for their new team since that news is still relatively fresh, so no Jalen Ramsey, Marcus Peters, Emmanuel Sanders and the like. All information on trade details is per Adam Schefter, of course.
Jets send Leonard Williams to the Giants
On Monday, the Jets shipped off the defensive lineman but spared him the hassle of moving by simply moving his nameplate in MetLife Stadium from one home locker room to the other home locker room. For the first time in history, the Jets and Giants completed a trade, and in return, the Jets got back a 2020 third-round pick and 2021 conditional fifth-round pick, the latter of which becomes a fourth-round pick if the Giants re-sign Williams when his contract is up at the end of this season.
For Gang Green, this trade is a win. They were never going to re-sign Williams due to his likely high asking price and the fact that overall, the former No. 6 pick in the 2015 draft has been a relative disappointment. He hasn’t been bad, and he’s a relatively good run-stuffer, but he hasn’t been nearly what they hoped when they drafted him, due to the fact he is a complete non-factor in the pass rush. As for Big Blue, it’s yet to be determined. If they don’t re-sign him, they will get a compensatory third-round pick in return, so then it’s essentially just a fifth-round pick for an eight-game tryout for Williams. If they do re-sign him, who knows; he could blossom just like Damon “Snacks” Harrison did when he went from the Jets to the Giants. Snacks was always good, but he became elite when he swapped his green for blue. Williams could do the same –seeing as he is talented – or he could fail to maximize his talent as he has done in his first four years in the NFL. Only time will tell with this one.
Rams dump Aqib Talib to the Dolphins
This trade is fairly simple. Talib is on injured reserve, and the Rams don’t need the 33-year-old corner anymore when he’s eligible to return, with the acquisition of Jalen Ramsey a few weeks ago. So, they dumped the rest of his contract to Miami, where football goes to die in 2019. By doing so, they freed up a little bit of room to try and re-sign Ramsey, one of the best corners in the game, and someone who won’t come cheap. Miami can afford it, seeing as they have the second-lowest total cap in the league according to Spotrac, and clearly aren’t trying to win. They also got a fifth-round pick from the Rams to take on the contract in exchange for a future Dolphins pick. It’s a good business move by the Rams, nothing more, nothing less.
Dolphins send Kenyan Drake to the Cardinals
Speaking of the lowly Dolphins, they also sent running back Kenyan Drake to Arizona in exchange for a conditional sixth-round pick that could become a fifth-round pick. This was a desperation move from the Cardinals, but that’s not to say it’s bad. David Johnson has missed (or barely played) the last handful of weeks with an ankle injury, and Chase Edmonds, who has been spectacular as a fill-in, just went down with a hamstring injury. Drake hasn’t put up great numbers so far in his career, but he’s been a solid back when the Dolphins aren’t the worst team to play football in the last couple of decades — well, maybe the 2008 Lions, but it’s close. At least the 2017 Browns came close a couple of times. The Cardinals needed a running back, and the Dolphins had one to spare, and they picked up another draft pick in the process. Solid deal for both sides.
Jets keep their core
Yes, I know there’s a lot of Jets content, but to be fair the deadline’s biggest storyline was whether or not they were going to trade away Jamal Adams and Le’Veon Bell. 4 p.m. came and went, and Adams and Bell were still in the green and white. While serious trade talks were rumored by a myriad of reporters on Twitter like Schefter, Rich Cimini and Manish Mehta just to name a few, nothing ever came to fruition. They also held onto Robby Anderson, which is a little more questionable considering he’s a free agent at the end of the season, but it’s probably for the best so they don’t stunt Sam Darnold’s development even more by taking away his best receiver.
Adams may be the best safety in the NFL right now and is the future of this team’s defense. Instead of trading him, their first priority should be extending him as soon as he becomes eligible. As for Bell, he’s one of the greatest running backs to ever hit the turf, and before you write that off as biased, the stats back it up. Field Yates of ESPN tweeted in February that Bell has the most scrimmage yards per game of anyone in NFL history who has played at least 50 games. 2-5 consists of Jim Brown, Billy Sims, Barry Sanders and Terrell Davis. Sure, he’s averaging just 3.2 yards per attempt this season, but that’s clearly just a reflection of the offensive line’s inability to do, well, anything. Even the best running backs can’t find the holes if there are no holes to find, and if Bell, who is famous for his incredible patience running the ball, can’t find space, that’s how you know the line is atrocious. It’s one thing to trade away Williams, who had no future with the team, but it’s another thing to trade away the future of the team. Adams and Bell are not only the best player on each side of the ball but they’re both great leaders. If they sent either of them to another team, it would be a disaster of a move. But, overall, it was a good deadline for the Jets, despite all the stress it caused me.
Jorge Eckardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at Jorge.email@example.com. He tweets @jorge_eckardt31