I've listed all of the NFL Free Agent Signing Grades here, which included the trades. Because I've begun posting polls for the trades, I thought it would make sense to list just the NFL trades here, so archiving the voting would be easier.
Dolphins acquire RB/WR Lynn Bowden and 6th-round pick from Raiders for 4th-round pick
You can't say the Raiders got much value with their pick of Lynn Bowden. They used a third-round selection on Bowden, which seemed strange at the time because they had already used draft choices on Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards. It was eventually revealed that the Raiders had plans on using Bowden as a running back, which apparently didn't work.
While the Raiders wasted a draft pick, it's important to identify a sunk cost when you see one. That's apparently the case here, as Bowden struggled in training camp. The Raiders could've kept Bowden and got nothing out of him, or they could at least jump up two rounds in the 2021 NFL Draft. It's not a win, but the Raiders shouldn't get an "F" for this trade.
That said, the Dolphins are the winners in this deal. Bowden is a talented prospect, and perhaps Miami will find a way to use him properly. The team's not surrendering anything, really, as moving down two rounds on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft isn't a huge deal.
Browns acquire S Ronnie Harrison from Jaguars for 5th-round pick
The Jaguars' fire sale continues. The team unloaded Jalen Ramsey, Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue and Leonard Fournette, among others, since the middle of last season. General manager David Caldwell did a poor job of obtaining value for most of those players, but that's not the case in this instance.
Harrison was a third-round pick out of Alabama in the 2018 NFL Draft. He didn't live up to that billing, struggling mightily in both seasons. He also failed to complete both years, missing four games in the two seasons.
That said, Harrison is still young and has some potential. The Browns lost fellow former SEC safety Grant Delpit to a season-ending Achilles injury, so they needed to add another safety. Harrison almost certainly won't be as good as Delpit would have been, but Cleveland could have done worse. I'm fine with the Browns surrendering a fifth-round pick for Harrison, but I think the Jaguars may have won a trade for once, albeit by the slimmest of margins.
Vikings acquire DE Yannick Ngakoue from Jaguars for 2021 2nd-round pick, 2022 conditional 5th-round pick
The Jaguars are so completely inept. They had an offer from the Raiders for the No. 19 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. They were greedy and asked for No. 12 instead, so the Raiders declined. Jacksonville was willing to bet that it would get a better offer from another team, but that was not the case. Instead, general manager David Caldwell settled for a second-round choice in the 2021 NFL Draft, a class that will be difficult to scout properly because some dumb conference commissioners canceled their seasons.
Caldwell must be fired for this. The Vikings have a better chance of winning their division now, so it's likely that this pick for Ngakoue will be in the 50s. So, because of Caldwell's ineptitude, the Jaguars went from having the 19th-overall selection to 50-something. That's ridiculous.
Meanwhile, this is a huge win for the Vikings. They lost Everson Griffen to free agency and Michael Pierce to an opt-out, so it seemed as though their usually dominant defensive line would be worse in 2020. That's no longer the case, as Ngakoue will give Minnesota one of the top edge-rushing tandems in the NFL. This will be a huge edge in the division, as the Vikings will apply way more pressure on talented quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and, umm, whatever the Bears have.
Grade for Vikings - A+
Grade for Jaguars - (F)ire David Caldwell
Raiders acquire LB Raekwon McMillan from Dolphins for swap of 4th- and 5th-round picks
The Raiders obtained a pair of talented linebackers, Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski, in free agency this offseason, but I thought they needed to add one more solid player to the group. They didn't do this in the 2020 NFL Draft, so it makes sense that they would trade for a third new linebacker.
Raekwon McMillan is a nice buy-low player for the Raiders. He was a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but hasn't been able to stay healthy for the most part. He missed his rookie campaign with a torn ACL, then wasn't 100 percent the following year. He was having a quality 2019 season before being lost in December to a hamstring injury. McMillan played well in run support and looked like he could be a good, two-down linebacker. The Raiders don't need him to be on the field for all three downs because of Littleton and Kwiatkoski.
I like this trade for the Raiders, as they're not giving up much for McMillan. They're sending a fourth-round pick to the Dolphins and are getting a fifth-rounder in return, so there's not much of a downside. They easily win this deal, as I'm a bit surprised the Dolphins are giving up on McMillan so quickly.
Jets acquire RB Kalen Ballage from Dolphins for conditional late-round pick
We all know by now that Adam Gase hates talented players. The inverse is true, as Gase is a huge fan of terrible players. That would explain this trade.
The Dolphins planned on waiving Kalen Ballage, but the Jets jumped in at the 11th hour to acquire him. The former Sun Devil has been one of the worst running backs in the league; not just talent-wise, but also based on effort. There was one instance last year when a Miami quarterback threw a pass in Ballage's direction, only to have Ballage duck out of the way because he wanted no part of that reception.
The Jets could've just claimed Ballage on waivers, so I'm not sure why they wasted any resource on him. Even if this conditional selection ends up being in the 24th round, it's still way too much.
Vikings acquire DT P.J. Hall from Raiders for conditional 7th-round pick
The Vikings suffered a big loss a week ago when monstrous nose tackle Michael Pierce opted out of the 2020 season. Pierce was deemed an important signing during the offseason, but he decided not to play. He was expected to be a replacement - even an upgrade - over the departed Linval Joseph, but Minnesota's run defense took a huge hit in the wake of Pierce's decision.
P.J. Hall won't be nearly as good as Pierce, but he's at least a body in the interior. He offers nothing as a pass rusher, but he can stop the run somewhat well. He's definitely a downgrade from Pierce, but it's not like the Vikings have any other options. A seventh-round pick is a fine price to pay for Hall. Meanwhile, the Raiders were going to waive Hall, so it's nice that they got at least something for him.
Update: This trade has been voided because Hall failed his physical.
Seahawks acquire S Jamal Adams and 2022 4th-round pick from Jets for 2021 1st- and 3rd-round picks, 2022 1st-round pick, S Bradley McDougald
It's hard to believe the Jets actually traded Jamal Adams. I know it's been a rumor that has circulated for quite some time, but I thought that the Jets would either find a way for Adams and beleaguered head coach Adam Gase to reconcile, or just outright fire Gase for not being able to generate any sort of enthusiasm from his players.
The Jets have obtained two first-round picks for Adams, but I can't say they won this deal. They'll be drafting in the 20s because the Seahawks always find a way to reach the playoffs with Russell Wilson, and that was before Adams. It's likely their two choices will be in the 25-32 range, so that's not enough for Adams, who is arguably the best player at his position in the entire league. It's disappointing that the Jets didn't fire Gase instead. Barely anyone on the Jets' roster likes Gase, and now the players will have even less respect for their coach. Gase will probably be axed after the 2020 season, so why not just get rid of him now and retain Adams?
I've seen the argument that the Jets won this trade because they acquired two first-round picks. I'd ordinarily agree, but two things must be considered: First, both choices, as mentioned, will be toward the end of the opening round. Second, the Jets have a small window to win during Sam Darnold's tiny rookie contract. Trading Adams away will negate that.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, have given themselves a much better chance of winning the Super Bowl. With Adams joining Quandre Diggs, Shaq Griffin and potentially Quinton Dunbar, they may just have assembled the Legion of Boom 2.0. If Dunbar can get past his legal issues, it'll be extremely difficult to throw on the Seahawks.
Dolphins acquire TE Adam Shaheen from Bears for conditional 6th-round pick
It's been one of the league's greatest mysteries this offseason: What are the Bears going to do with all of their tight ends? It's now become clear, as it seems as though their goal is to accumulate third-day conditional draft selections for them. Ryan Pace is a cunning general manager.
Chicago selected Shaheen in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He's been an utter failure thus far, accumulating just 26 receptions through three seasons. He has missed at least eight games in two of those three years, so his health has been a factor in his bust status. However, he has some great athleticism, so perhaps he can emerge into a viable player if he can remain healthy. The Dolphins aren't really giving up anything for him, so why not take a shot on his upside?
In all honesty, this trade will likely be irrelevant. It's quite possible that Shaheen won't even make the final roster. This is about an even move for both teams for that reason.
Falcons acquire DE Charles Harris from Dolphins for 7th-round pick
Charles Harris was a major bust for the Dolphins. Despite being the 22nd-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Harris has logged 3.5 sacks in three years, including just half of a sack in 2019. There's a chance he wouldn't have made Miami's final 53-man roster, so it makes sense for the Dolphins to trade him for anything, even a lowly seventh-round choice.
The Falcons, meanwhile, need all the pass rushers they can get. Marooned in a division with Drew Brees and Tom Brady, anyone who can possibly get to the quarterback will benefit them. There's an argument to be made about Harris' ability to pressure opposing signal-callers, but the fact remains that he once had the talent to be considered a first-round selection. He could be a late bloomer, and if so, the Falcons will be getting a steal. Then again, he could do absolutely nothing in Atlanta, but it's not like the Falcons are risking anything by trading for him.
I think this trade makes sense for both teams. There's more upside for the Falcons, but it's most likely that neither Harris nor the seventh-rounder will amount to anything.
Buccaneers acquire TE Rob Gronkowski and 7th-round pick from Patriots for 4th-round pick
That was fast. It seemed like hours ago when Rob Gronkowski told the Patriots that he wanted to return to the NFL, but only if he could play with Tom Brady. The Patriots granted his wish, moving him to the Buccaneers for a swap of fourth- and seventh-round picks.
It's hard to dislike this trade for the Buccaneers. Gronkowski was a shell of his former self in 2018, but he was still a great presence in the red zone. It remains to be seen how he'll perform after a year off, but I imagine Brady will continue to utilize his favorite tight end when throwing touchdowns. Moving down three rounds to make Brady happy and more efficient in the red zone seems worth it.
Meanwhile, the Patriots obviously won this trade because they're effectively moving up three rounds for nothing. They never anticipated Gronkowski playing for them in 2020, so this is a nice bonus. The Patriots still need to replace Gronkowski, which is what I have happening in my 2020 NFL Mock Draft.
Texans acquire WR Brandin Cooks and 2022 4th-round pick from Rams for 2nd-round pick
The pick the Texans dealt for Brandin Cooks is not the one they acquired for DeAndre Hopkins; it's the 57th-overall choice; not the 40th, which means it's theirs. This means that the Texans ended up trading Hopkins and 17 spots in the second round for Brandin Cooks and David Johnson.
This trade would've made sense a couple of years ago when Cooks was seen as a very promising, young receiver, and Johnson didn't need a walker. However, Johnson is an injury waiting to happen, while Cooks has been a huge disappointment for his recent teams. He's been a problem in the locker room, and he has also greatly underperformed lately. He caught just 42 passes for 583 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games last year, as he was phased out of the offense late in the season. Even worse, Cooks has a dubious history of concussions, so one or two more could cause him to miss an extensive period of time.
Bill O'Brien is the dumbest man in the NFL, so it's only natural that he'd squeeze out one more bad trade prior to the draft. This isn't as bad as the Hopkins deal, but it's still terrible. If anyone in Houston is listening, please contact owner Cal McNair and send him this link so he can learn the harm O'Brien is causing to his franchise. I think McNair is spending too much time combing his mustache to pay attention to what's happening with his franchise, so he needs to be made aware of how awful O'Brien is.
Meanwhile, the Rams obviously won this trade. Cooks no longer had much of a role on offense, so getting a second-round choice for him is a steal, especially when considering how bad his contract is.
Seahawks acquire CB Quinton Dunbar from Redskins for 5th-round pick
I know firsthand that many Redskins fans wanted changes to the front office this offseason, but imagine they may now have second thoughts. It seems as though the Redskins are in more turmoil than ever now that they don't have smart people making decisions any longer.
This might be the most lopsided trade we've seen this offseason without Bill O'Brien being involved. It makes zero sense. Quinton Dunbar was one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL last year. The Redskins, who were already in dire need of cornerback help, practically traded Dunbar for nothing, netting just a fifth-round pick in return. The Redskins should've gotten much more for Dunbar, but it appears as though the new front office can't evaluate talent properly. Be careful what you wish for.
The Seahawks are huge winners. They've needed a No. 1 cornerback to replace Richard Sherman for a couple of years now, and they finally have one. Dunbar is good enough to get the team over the hump in regard to advancing deep into the playoffs. This is a no-brainer A+ for them.
Grade for Seahawks - A+
Grade for Redskins - O'BRIEN
Redskins acquire QB Kyle Allen from Panthers for 5th-round pick
The Redskins and Ravens play in close proximity to each other. The Ravens used a fifth-round pick to acquire Calais Campbell. The Redskins used a fifth-round pick to obtain Kyle Allen. You can see why these franchises experienced far different levels of success last decade.
That said, the Campbell trade was amazing, while this one is still OK. A fourth-round selection is the average going rate for premium backup quarterbacks, so a fifth can be used on a quality reserve at the position. That's exactly what Allen is. He did a good job for the Panthers last year before things fell apart because of injuries. Allen, who played for Ron Rivera last year, can fill in well in the event that Dwayne Haskins gets hurt. Conversely, the Panthers didn't need Allen after signing XFL MVP Phillip Walker, so they're basically getting a fifth-round choice for nothing.
Steelers acquire DL Chris Wormley from Ravens for an exchange of 5th- and 7th-round 2021 picks
It's not often that you see a trade between two teams in the same division, especially if they happen to be bitter rivals like Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Yet, that's exactly what happened, as it seems as though the Ravens don't hold Chris Wormley in very high regard, and rightfully so.
Wormley was chosen in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He has failed to live up to his potential. He stops the run fairly well, but offers nothing as a pass rusher. However, he can provide fine depth for the Steelers' defensive line. He's also just 26, so perhaps he can improve as a late bloomer. Moving down two rounds at the end of the third day of the 2021 NFL Draft could be worth it.
I'd say this trade is even. The Steelers are getting OK depth, while the Ravens turned their 2021 seventh-round pick into a 2021 fifth-round choice, which could make a difference if Baltimore uses that selection and others to trade up even further.
Lions acquire S Duron Harmon from Patriots for an exchange of 5th- and 7th-round picks
Duron Harmon was a versatile player in New England's secondary, so it's not a surprise that Matt Patricia was interested in acquiring him. Harmon is yet another former Patriot to join the Lions, as Patricia obtained him in a swap of fifth- and seventh-round choices.
I love this move for the Lions. It's not a huge deal to move down two rounds at the end of Day 3, so the price is very well worth obtaining a skilled player like Harmon. I really don't understand why the Patriots decided to trade him for nothing, outside of Bill Belichick trying to help Patricia keep his job.
Browns acquire FB Andy Janovich from Broncos for 2021 7th-round pick
I have a feeling the Broncos will miss Andy Janovich. The solid fullback was out of the lineup at the beginning and the end of the 2020 season, and Denver was able to run better when he was on the field to pave the way for Phillip Lindsay. The Broncos have decided to trade Janovich because new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur doesn't like to utilize fullbacks. I can understand why Denver made this trade for that reason, but I have to imagine that Lindsay won't be as effective without Janovich.
Apparently, one Shurmur's trash is another team's treasure, as the Browns' running game will be much better with Janovich blocking for Nick Chubb. I'm sure Chubb will appreciate Janovich's presence, which makes the price for acquiring Janovich - a 2021 seventh-rounder - a great bargain.
Eagles acquire CB Darius Slay from Lions for 3rd- and 5th-round picks
The Eagles had interest in Byron Jones, but understandably weren't willing to meet the price tag that the cap-rich Dolphins gave to him. They instead focused on acquiring Darius Slay from the Lions, which they managed to do for third- and fifth-round picks.
While it's not ideal that Philadelphia had to surrender draft capital to upgrade its cornerback situation, it had to be done. Cornerback was a major weak point for the Eagles last year, as they had one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. Slay is a true No. 1 cornerback who travels with everyone; even slot receivers. He also has a great history of shutting down Amari Cooper, which really has to appeal to Philadelphia. The Eagles, who received three combined compensatory picks in the third and fourth rounds, suddenly had ample resources to make this move, which is a very good one.
The Lions, meanwhile, could afford to trade Slay after they signed Desmond Trufant to be their new No. 1 cornerback. Given that it was known that they wanted to trade Slay, it's nice that they were able to get this package for him despite the lost leverage. Still, I never really understood why they wanted to trade Slay, given that this current coaching staff needs to make the playoffs to avoid getting fired.
Bears acquire QB Nick Foles from Jaguars for 4th-round pick
This reminds me of one of those genie movies where a character gets three wishes, but when they get what they desire, it comes with negative ramifications. This is like the Bears fans finding a magic lamp and wishing for an upgrade over Mitchell Trubisky. Well, they got one, but in doing so, they had to take on a horrible contract and surrender a fourth-round pick. Oh, and the upgrade is Nick Foles.
When Jacob Camenker and I discussed the possibility of Foles being traded to the Patriots on our video podcast yesterday...
...we assumed that the Jaguars would have to give up a pick to New England because of how bad Foles' contract is. It would be similar to the Brock Osweiler trade from a few years ago. The Bears apparently didn't get the memo, as they were the ones to surrender a draft choice for Foles and his horrific deal.
That said, this isn't all bad because the Bears won't have to deal with Trubisky's incompetence any longer. Foles isn't very good, but at least he's not a turnover machine like Trubisky, who doesn't seem to understand that throwing off the back foot is a bad idea. Foles, if healthy, will be an upgrade over Trubisky; there's no question about that. The problem was the price, which seems unnecessary to pay when there were better options out there, like Cam Newton or Jameis Winston.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, will have $18 million in dead money, but it's worth it. They're getting rid of a horrible contract, and they're tanking anyway. This will all be worth it when they manage to secure Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft and have more money to build around him.
Broncos acquire DT Jurrell Casey from Titans for 7th-round pick
I can't believe the Titans didn't get more than a seventh-round pick for Jurrell Casey. It's baffling to me. Casey is one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL. He's terrific in run support, and while he's not the same pass-rusher as he once was, he can still generate good pressure on opposing quarterbacks. If you were to ask me what compensation a team would have to surrender for Casey in a potential trade, I would have guessed a fourth-round pick, or perhaps a third.
The Titans apparently wanted to shed Casey's salary to re-sign Derrick Henry. If this is true, it's a huge mistake. Tennessee will be paying on past production for Henry, who handled close to 400 touches last year. Henry is due for regression or injury, based on his 2019 workload. Giving him a big-money contract is a huge mistake, and it's magnified further by giving up Casey to make it happen.
Meanwhile, this is an A+ grade for Denver. The team is getting a colossal upgrade on the defensive front. Casey turned 30 recently, but he's still a huge difference-maker in the trenches. The Broncos' defense was already stellar, and now it's much better.
Bills acquire WR Stefon Diggs and 2020 7th-rounder from Vikings for No. 22 overall pick, 2020 5th- and 6th-rounders, 2021 4th-round pick
I can almost imagine Bill O'Brien looking at the news and thinking, "Oh wow, I could've gotten a first-round pick for my receiver like the Vikings did?" Except, he's not doing that. I have it on good authority that O'Brien is currently gazing upon his reflection in the mirror and telling himself how smart he is at football.
The Vikings are getting appropriate compensation for Diggs. A first-round selection is essential for a No. 1 wideout like Diggs - Hopkins is even better - and the Vikings are also getting a package of picks on top of that. Diggs has made it known that he doesn't want to play with Kirk Cousins, so despite this apparent lost leverage, it's nice that the Vikings were able to obtain fair market value for him.
Meanwhile, the Bills are getting the No. 1 they sorely need. They have John Brown and Cole Beasley on their roster, but they are No. 2 and 3 receivers, respectively. Diggs theoretically will make everyone better, and that includes Josh Allen, who suddenly has a very potent arsenal at his disposal. My one concern here is that Diggs will continue to create problems in the locker room because he's a drama queen, but I like this move overall for both teams.
Colts acquire DT DeForest Buckner from 49ers for No. 13 overall pick
This is the third NFL trade we've had on March 16. The first two were heavily lopsided, particularly the ridiculous DeAndre Hopkins deal. This trade, however, took place between two sharp general managers, so it's not a surprise that this is way more fair.
I like this move for both teams. The 49ers re-signed Arik Armstead, so they couldn't really afford to pay DeForest Buckner in the near future. Had they kept Buckner instead, they couldn't have obtained a first-round selection from the Colts. San Francisco can use their new first-round pick on a replacement for Buckner - perhaps Javon Kinlaw - or find some help at receiver. CeeDee Lamb would make a ton of sense.
The Colts, meanwhile, are ready to win now if they can land Philip Rivers. Buckner will help them do that, and he'll fill a huge void on the defensive line. I've had Indianapolis selecting Kinlaw at No. 13 in my 2020 NFL Mock Draft, so Buckner is a guaranteed better version of Kinlaw. Buckner is still young - he turns 26 tomorrow - and Indianapolis has tons of cap space to pay him.
Falcons acquire TE Hayden Hurst from Ravens for 2nd-round pick (plus swaps of 4th- and 5th-rounders)
It's only the first day of free agency, and yet Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta would have already locked up the Personnel Man of the Year award if it wasn't for Steve Keim acquiring DeAndre Hopkins for nothing. Amazingly, DeCosta dealt a fifth-round pick for
Calais Campbell and obtained a second-rounder for Hayden Hurst. This is a huge steal, as the Ravens will likely obtain a significant player in exchange for a marginal tight end.
That's exactly what Hurst is. He was a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but the selling point with him was that he would become a solid player right away because of his age (24 at the time). Hurst, however, struggled to become a consistent presence in Baltimore's offense. Turning 27 soon, Hurst likely is not going to develop into anything special. I imagine his fantasy output will increase with Matt Ryan, but that doesn't mean he's worth a second-round pick.
The Ravens obviously won this trade. If you were to ask me what I thought Baltimore would get from Atlanta for Hurst, I would have guessed a fifth-round selection. The Falcons were robbed.
Cardinals acquire WR DeAndre Hopkins from Texans for RB David Johnson, 2nd-round pick
These teams will also be swapping fourth-round picks, as if that matters. What's important is that Bill O'Brien pulled off one of the most lopsided trades we'll see in a long time.
O'Brien is the dumbest person in the NFL, and he's running an entire franchise. I mean, ruining an entire franchise. He just traded his second-best player (behind Deshaun Watson), who happens to be one of the top receivers in the NFL, for a decrepit running back and a second-round pick.
How the hell does something like this happen, and how does O'Brien still have a job? It's ridiculous. Knowing the mindset O'Brien has, he shouldn't even be allowed to be a quality control coach. I don't understand what he's thinking. When I initially heard the Hopkins and Johnson swap, and I stopped gagging, I assumed Houston had obtained Arizona's No. 8 overall pick. Instead, the Texans secured just a second-rounder for one of the top receivers in the NFL in his prime. Oh, and let's not forget Johnson, who gets injured every single week and no longer has any sort of explosion!
The Cardinals, meanwhile, are getting a new No. 1 receiver in Hopkins, who will exponentially improve Arizona's offense. Both Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk will greatly benefit from Hopkins drawing coverage, and let's not forget Kyler Murray, whose development will benefit from Hopkins' presence.
I'm hereby re-naming all "F" grades to O'Brien from this point forward. It's amazing how this man is allowed to make horrible move after horrible move, and yet the Texans keep promoting him for some reason. It's unbelievable.
Grade for Cardinals - A+
Grade for Texans - O'BRIEN
Ravens acquire DE/DT Calais Campbell from Jaguars for 5th-round pick
A fifth-round pick? That's it!? The Ravens are getting an absolute steal for Calais Campbell. Granted, Campbell turns 34 in September, so it's possible he could regress, but he still performed on a Pro Bowl level in 2019. Even if he plays at 75 percent of that level in 2020, this trade will be worth it. Campbell is a force in the trenches, and he'll help a Baltimore defense that struggled to get to the quarterback when not blitzing this past season.
The Ravens obviously deserve a much higher grade than Jacksonville. It's clear that the Jaguars are in full tank mode - I have them selecting Trevor Lawrence first overall in my 2021 NFL Mock Draft - but they should have been able to obtain more for Campbell. I think they could have gotten a late third-round pick from some team, so I don't know why they made this deal.
Panthers acquire OT Russell Okung from Chargers for G Trai Turner
I don't quite understand what the Panthers are doing. This makes it seem as though they are tanking. Russell Okung is an injury-prone, soon-to-be 32-year-old whose career was nearly derailed by a pulmonary embolism. He's not nearly the same player he used to be. Trai Turner is younger and better. Thus, the goal of this trade is that the Panthers are taking on Okung's contract, which expires after this season. They want to free up cap space for the 2021 offseason, which would make sense if they didn't already announce that they were going to keep Cam Newton. Perhaps that was a lie to maintain leverage in a possible trade, but it doesn't make sense to retain Newton and tank at the same time.
Conversely, the Chargers definitely won this deal. As mentioned earlier, Turner is younger and better. He'll be a colossal upgrade in the interior, which is something the Chargers sorely needed. The Chargers can now select Justin Herbert or Tua Tagovailoa at No. 6 overall and then obtain a left tackle like Ezra Cleveland or Austin Jackson in Round 2.
Broncos acquire CB A.J. Bouye from Jaguars for 2020 4th-round pick
I can understand why the Broncos made this trade. They are desperate at cornerback, especially with Chris Harris slated to perhaps leave via free agency. They even tried to acquire Darius Slay at the trade deadline last year, but the Lions were asking for too much.
A.J. Bouye will help at the position, but I don't think this deal will work out like the Broncos think it will. Bouye is a declining player who struggled in 2019. He's not especially old - he turns 29 in August - but he's a No. 2 corner paid to be a No. 1. He's playing on a big contract, so he'll be a drain on Denver's salary cap situation. Surrendering a fourth-round pick isn't a huge issue in a vacuum, but it is when considering how much the Broncos will have to pay Bouye.
With that in mind, I think the Jaguars won this trade. Considering how much they were paying Bouye, and how much he struggled last year, a case could've been made for them to just outright release him. Instead, they obtained a fourth-round pick for him, which is a huge win.
Dolphins acquire CB Aqib Talib and 2020 5th-round pick from Rams for future considerations
This is an NBA-type trade where a horrible team takes on a terrible contract and receives compensation for doing so. We saw this a couple of years ago in the Brock Osweiler deal, and that's exactly what's happening between these franchises.
I think this is good trade for both teams. The Dolphins are effectively just paying money for a fifth-round pick, while the Rams are clearing needed cap space, perhaps because they have their eye on someone else today during the trade deadline.
Eagles acquire DE Genard Avery from Browns for 2021 4th-round pick
Genard Avery was a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He slipped a bit because of knee concerns, but those haven't been prevalent in the NFL yet. Perhaps that's because Avery has barely played this year.
Still, Avery collected 4.5 sacks as a rookie and has some potential. He wasn't going to move ahead of the talented edge rushers the Browns have, so he'll see more snaps with the Eagles.
I think acquiring Avery was a fine move for the Eagles, but I wouldn't have surrendered anything more than a sixth-rounder. The Browns will win this trade as a consequence, as they effectively upgraded a fifth-round pick to a fourth-round choice across three seasons.
Giants acquire DE/DT Leonard Williams from Jets for 2020 3rd-round pick, 2021 4th-round pick
This is the first trade to ever happen between the Giants and Jets, and it's quite the deal. The Jets will shockingly move Williams over to the Giants for a third-rounder in 2020 and a fifth-rounder in 2021 that will turn into a fourth if Williams signs an extension, which I assume will happen because it's not like the Giants are buyers for this season.
It's weird at first thought that the Giants would be buying, period, but it makes sense for them to stock up for 2020, as they'll have Daniel Jones entering that season with more experience. Williams is young (25), so it's not like the Giants are adding some aging veteran for a steep price.
New York has struggled to consistently rush the passer, so Williams will provide a big boost in that regard, and he'll also help the team improve versus the run. He's one of the top defensive linemen in the NFL, and I think he's a bargain at this price, especially considering that the Jets will be paying $4 million of his remaining $6 million salary this season.
There's obviously risk involved for the Giants if they can't agree to terms with Williams on an extension, but I'll be surprised if they don't get that done. If so, Williams will provide them with a far-better talent than they could obtain for a 2020 third and a 2021 fourth, combined. The Jets, meanwhile, should have gotten more for Williams. I understand that they didn't have great leverage, but I must believe that there's a team that would have at least given a second-round pick for someone as great as Williams.
Cardinals acquire RB Kenyan Drake from Dolphins for 2020 6th-round pick
This is a difficult trade to grade because we don't know exactly what these conditions are for the Dolphins to receive a sixth-round pick for Kenyan Drake. However, they're getting at least something - maybe - for a mediocre running back who is not capable of handling a full workload. I think that has to be a win of sorts, though not really if the conditions will be difficult to meet.
For the Cardinals, I look at it this way: If Drake is good enough for them to meet the conditions of a sixth-round pick, he'll be well worth it. If not, then Arizona won't have to surrender this draft choice. So, we can assume that this is all upside for them. Drake should serve as a backup running back who can be a decent receiver out of the backfield. If he doesn't see the field, however, then the Cardinals don't have to sweat surrendering their sixth-rounder.
Update: It turns out that the condition is not a sixth or nothing; it's a sixth that could become a fifth. In that case, the Dolphins have clearly won this trade. The Cardinals could have gotten a slightly lesser running back via a free agency, so why waste a sixth (or even a fifth!) on Drake?
Cowboys acquire DE Michael Bennett from Patriots for 2021 7th-round pick
Michael Bennett spoke up about not being used very much in New England's defense, so it's not a surprise he was dealt. The Patriots barely got anything for him, as the seventh-rounder they obtained isn't even for this year! It can be adjusted to a sixth-rounder, based on Bennett hitting certain benchmarks.
The Patriots will survive without Bennett, but the Cowboys obviously deserve to be graded higher. Dallas' pass rush has been mediocre this year, so Bennett will help. He costs nothing, so this is a stellar move for them.
Seahawks acquire S Quandre Diggs, 2021 seventh-round pick from Lions for 2020 fifth-round pick
This isn't a blockbuster deal by any means, but it's a trade that makes sense for both sides. The Seahawks have endured some major issues at safety, so they found a short-term solution in exchange for a swap of fifth- and seventh-round picks across two drafts.
Diggs is a solid player. He's dealt with multiple injuries this year, but he performed well in 2018. If he can get healthy, he'll provide the Seahawks with a much-needed upgrade at safety. Seattle barely surrendered anything for him, so this is a quality move.
As for the Lions, they have a couple of young safeties in Will Harris and Tracy Walker, making Diggs expendable. It's nice that they at least got something for him, as he wasn't being very productive this year because of his injuries.
49ers acquire WR Emmanuel Sanders, 2020 fifth-round pick from Broncos for 2020 third- and fourth-round picks
San Francisco's fourth-round pick and Denver's fifth-round choice won't be very far apart unless the Broncos have a sudden surge in the second half of the year, so let's just focus on the third-round selection. That's effectively all the 49ers are surrendering for Sanders.
This is definitely more reasonable than what the Patriots gave up for Mohamed Sanu. Sanders, unlike Sanu, is not a mediocre slot receiver. Granted, Sanders is a couple of years older (32), but he has shown that he can still be very productive this year despite being paired with decrepit quarterback Joe Flacco. Sanders will be an instant upgrade in a San Francisco receiving corps that has underwhelmed this season. His presence will open things up for George Kittle and the two running backs.
I like this trade for both teams. I'll give the Broncos the edge because they just acquired a second-day pick for a 32-year-old receiver, but Sanders is someone who could put San Francisco over the top.
Patriots acquire WR Mohamed Sanu from Falcons for 2020 second-round pick
I keep thinking this says "Patriots acquire Mohamed Sanu for seventh-round pick" because that would actually make more sense than Sanu being acquired for a second-round pick.
The Patriots are amazingly coached and extremely well prepared every single week, but they've made some dubious moves over the years regarding personnel moves with receivers. They struck gold with Randy Moss and Wes Welker ahead of 2007, but many mistakes have been made since.
This can be added to the list. Sanu is just a mediocre slot receiver, and it's not like you can say that he's never played with a good quarterback throughout his career. Tom Brady is obviously better than Matt Ryan, but Ryan has gotten the most out of Sanu, who tends to be inconsistent. Even worse, Sanu just turned 30 (today, actually), so he's not some young receiver who will improve.
This is highway robbery by the Falcons. Sanu is worth a fifth- or a sixth-rounder, so they stole a second-round choice from the Patriots. I can't believe New England was ripped off like this.
Texans acquire CB Gareon Conley from Raiders for 2020 third-round pick
Gareon Conley was a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and he had a solid rookie campaign. However, he has gotten progressively worse since. The problem is that he hasn't been able to stay healthy. Constantly banged up, Conley hasn't been able to play up to his talent level.
There's some merit to buying low on someone like Conley. However, I don't know if the Texans are necessarily buying low. A third-round pick seems like a round too high for someone who has struggled as much as Conley. Houston should've been able to acquire him for a fourth.
The Raiders won this trade, but I don't think is a horrible move for Houston. Conley is still very talented and young (24), and his presence can't hurt a secondary that can't stop anyone.
Rams acquire RB Jalen Ramsey from Jaguars for 2020 first-round pick, 2021 first-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick
The Marcus Peters trade suddenly makes more sense. I still think the Rams should've gotten more for Peters, but we can suddenly understand why they were clearing a roster spot at cornerback.
While the Peters deal has become more logical, this one doesn't make sense to me. Jalen Ramsey is a fantastic player, and he's worth two first-round picks, but he doesn't solve the issue the Rams have. They can't block whatsoever. Their offensive line is an abomination. In fact, it's the worst in the NFL except for what the Dolphins have. So, while Ramsey will certainly be a big upgrade over Peters at cornerback, I'm still concerned about Los Angeles' offense. I don't know if Ramsey will be enough to get them over the top, especially considering that they're behind two teams in their division by multiple games.
I can't fail the Rams for this trade, but they're certainly getting graded worse than the Jaguars. It seemed as though Jacksonville had little leverage with Ramsey because he didn't want to be there, and yet the front office recouped two draft picks for him, which is huge. The Jaguars deserve an "A," as they definitely won this trade.
Rams acquire G/OT/C Austin Corbett from Browns for 2021 fifth-round pick
This trade actually makes sense for the Rams. They've been a disappointment this year, but not because of Jared Goff, or Todd Gurley's knees, or Sean McVay. And no, Bill Simmons, McVay's career is not like M. Night Shyamalan's. Stop overreacting to everything.
The Rams have been atrocious this year because they have the worst offensive line in the NFL, not counting the Dolphins. They needed to take a chance like this, and I like this gamble. Austin Corbett was the top pick in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, so Los Angeles is buying low on him. Corbett hasn't been able to crack the starting lineup, but perhaps Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens is too stupid to realize what he has in Corbett. The Rams have a far superior coaching staff, so perhaps they'll be able to get Corbett to perform well. At the very least, Corbett should be a decent backup, given that he can play every position up front.
I'd say the Rams won this trade. It's possible that Corbett will be a bust for them, but they aren't risking much. The Browns, meanwhile, won't be graded very poorly, but it's disappointing to see them sell low like this.
Ravens acquire CB Marcus Peters from Rams for LB Kenny Young, 2020 fifth-round pick
When I saw that the Rams traded Marcus Peters to the Ravens for Kenny Young, I scratched my head and said, "There have to be draft picks involved, right?" I imagined that the Ravens would have to throw in a second-rounder.
Apparently not. The selection was just a fifth-rounder, making this completely one-sided. Marcus Peters has had a couple of rough games this year, but he's still a very talented cornerback. He's also just 26, so he's going to play at a high level for the next five years or so. He's a tremendous upgrade for the Ravens, who have endured some serious injury issues at cornerback this year. Baltimore will earn an easy A+ for this deal.
The Rams, conversely, will get an O'Brien (F). I don't understand this move at all. Peters is far better than Young, who is just a two-down run defender, and a mediocre one at that. The Rams should have gotten a second-round pick thrown in, given the disparity of talent between these players, so this was an ultimate failure of a trade.
Raiders acquire WR Zay Jones from Bills for 2021 5th-round pick
The Raiders were thin at receiver, so it's not a surprise that they made a move to acquire a player at the position. They opted to trade a 2021 fifth-round pick to the Bills for Zay Jones, who was a second-round choice in 2017.
Jones has never developed into the receiver the Bills envisioned he would become, but he's still young and has potential. I don't think I would have surrendered anything more than a sixth-rounder for him, but the difference between selections in the fifth and sixth rounds isn't overly substantial.
That said, the Bills have won this trade. It's nice that they could recoup something for Jones, who was going to be phased out of the offense with Duke Williams emerging.
Eagles acquire LB Duke Riley, 2020 6th-round pick from Falcons for S Johnathan Cyprien, 2020 7th-round pick
This trade may not ultimately impact these teams in any way, but I understand why they both did it. The Eagles needed linebacker depth, and Duke Riley is an athletic player with some upside. Johnathan Cyprien, meanwhile, will be able to provide the Falcons with a new, veteran backup in the wake of the Keanu Neal injury.
The problem is that neither player is any good. Riley hasn't shown any signs beyond his athleticism that he belongs on an NFL field. Cyprien, conversely, used to be a good player, but injuries have derailed his career.
This is about an even trade, but I'll give the Eagles a slight victory because they acquired the better draft choice.
Steelers acquire TE Nick Vannett from Seahawks for 2020 5th-round pick
Do the Steelers not like any prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft? I don't understand why they're so willing to trade picks like this. I imagine Pittsburgh is doing this because it expects Vance McDonald to miss several weeks, but what is this ultimately going to do? Improve their record from 3-13 to 4-12? Wouldn't it be worth it to use that selection on someone to help in 2020 and beyond, when the Steelers might have a chance to do something?
Nick Vannett is not a very good player anyhow. His career-best receiving stats are 29 catches, 269 yards and three touchdowns. He's a fine run blocker, but that's his only positive attribute. I don't think he's worth a fifth-round pick, so the Seahawks clearly won this trade.
Raiders acquire KR Trevor Davis from Packers for 2020 6th-round pick
Congratulations to the Packers for earning a free sixth-round pick. They acquired this for Trevor Davis, a miserable return specialist. While a sixth-round pick probably won't be franchise-altering in any sense, it's at least somewhat of an asset for a bad player.
I don't understand why the Raiders thought they needed to surrender a sixth-round choice for Davis. Fast players who don't know how to play football are a dime a dozen, and Davis will likely disappoint with the constant mistakes he commits on special teams.
Steelers acquire S/CB Minkah Fitzpatrick from Dolphins for 2020 1st-round pick
The Dolphins' tanking process continues. They've dealt Minkah Fitzpatrick, acquiring a third first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. They have two second-round choices as well.
It's obvious why the Dolphins are doing this, as they want to obtain a franchise quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa and surround him with great talent. Assuming they draft relatively well, they'll be stacked in the future.
Conversely, this trade is a bit confusing for the Steelers on two fronts. First, with Ben Roethlisberger out for the year, I didn't recognize them as buyers on the market. If Mason Rudolph isn't very good, Miami could theoretically obtain a top-10 selection, which would be a steal. Second, I'm not sure if Fitzpatrick is worth a first-round choice at this point. Fitzpatrick has great raw talent, but he was so bad in the opener this year that he was benched. It would have made so much more sense had the Steelers surrendered a second-round pick.
I don't like this much for the Steelers. I understand the sentiment, but they gave up too much and are taking a huge risk. The Dolphins, meanwhile, won this deal by a wide margin.
Jets acquire WR Demaryius Thomas from Patriots for 2021 6th-round pick
The Patriots didn't make Demaryius Thomas part of their 53-man roster, opting to re-sign him afterward. They didn't dress him against the Steelers, then traded him two days later to the Jets.
New England is getting a free sixth-round pick. Thomas wasn't even playing for them, and that was even before Antonio Brown joined the team. Thus, they're the automatic winners of this deal, as they acquired a draft pick for nothing.
As for the Jets, they're not paying a steep price for Thomas, but they may have been able to obtain him after final cuts without surrendering a sixth-round choice. However, Thomas actually looked like a decent receiver in the preseason finale, so he could help Sam Darnold's development a bit.
Jaguars acquire QB Joshua Dobbs from Steelers for 2020 5th-round pick
It feels weird to write up an NFL trade grade that doesn't involve me talking about how stupid the Texans are. Instead, it's another AFC South team making a mistake.
This is a complete panic move by the Jaguars. They spent so much money on Nick Foles, only to see him suffer an injury in the season opener. They have to move forward with Gardner Minshew, but they should have signed a veteran to help him develop. Instead, Jacksonville nonsensically surrendered a resource for an unproven, raw quarterback who isn't any good! Dobbs can scramble well, but he's been abysmal as a passer in preseason action. I don't see why he would even be worth a seventh-round pick; let alone a fifth-rounder.
Jacksonville needs to be graded poorly for panicking. Conversely, the Steelers did a great job of turning a wasted resource into an asset.
Texans acquire OT Laremy Tunsil, WR Kenny Stills, 4th-round pick from Dolphins for two 1st-round picks, 2nd-round pick, OT Julie'n Davenport, DB Johnson Bademosi
Someone in the Houston area, please stop Bill O'Brien before he trades away Deshaun Watson and then acquires Blake Bortles for three first-round picks. O'Brien has made three trades today, and all of them have been losers. The Carlos Hyde deal wasn't horrible, but the Jadeveon Clowney and Laremy Tunsil trades are complete disasters.
If I saw that the Texans dealt just one first-round selection for Tunsil, I would have thought, "That's a bit too pricey, but I can see why they did it." Instead, they gave up TWO first-rounders and a second-rounder for Tunsil and Kenny Stills. It's unbelievable.
Tunsil is a good left tackle, so he'll automatically be an upgrade on the blind side. However, he's not a great player; at least not yet. He's still young, so he can improve, but Tunsil is not worth one first-round choice, let alone two. Stills, meanwhile, is a fine receiver, but the Texans already have a better version of him in Will Fuller.
As I wrote earlier, I was thinking about bringing back the Millen grade for what O'Brien did in the Clowney trade. Now, I'm really thinking about it, but Facebook friend Sam B. recommended that I now call "F" grades "O'Briens." I like it. The Texans get an O'Brien for this ridiculous trade.
Meanwhile, if you're a Dolphins fan, you have to feel very optimistic about the future. The team is already tanking for Tua Tagovailoa, and now it'll have three other first-round picks over the next couple of seasons - as well as an extra second - to surround Tagovailoa with great talent.
Grade for Texans - O'BRIEN (Z-)
Grade for Dolphins - A+
Texans acquire RB Carlos Hyde from Chiefs for G Martinas Rankin
I initially heard that the Texans acquired Carlos Hyde from the Chiefs for a third-round pick. I was ready to give Houston another Z- grade - see below - but then I learned that Houston surrendered former third-round pick Martinas Rankin rather than a future third-round choice.
This is a fair trade, in that both teams are getting bad players that the other squad didn't want. The Chiefs were going to cut Hyde, which was no surprise. Hyde hasn't played well in years. He had an opportunity last season in Jacksonville when Leonard Fournette got hurt, but he was a big disappointment. Before then, Hyde was far worse in Cleveland's offense than Nick Chubb. It wasn't even close.
Rankin, meanwhile, was an atrocious blocker last season, but he's still young (24) and can develop into a capable backup. He may always be terrible, but given that he's five years younger than the abysmal Hyde, I'd rather have Rankin.
Seahawks acquire DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney from Texans for DE/OLB Jacob Martin, DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo, 2020 3rd-round pick
Bill O'Brien has ruined the Texans. O'Brien fired the entire scouting department, simply because he wanted "yes men" around him. Ever since, the scouting department was let go, the Texans made dubious draft picks, including reaching for Tytus Howard, a third-round prospect, in the opening frame. Now, with former general manager Brian Gaine also gone, Houston is also making stupid trades.
This might be one of the worst trades in NFL history, and I'm not exaggerating. Jadeveon Clowney is a premier pass rusher and should have been acquired for a first-round pick, at minimum. I know some Philadelphia fans who were fine with the Eagles surrendering a first-round pick as well as a couple of players (Nelson Agholor, Jordan Mailata) for Clowney. That's how good he is.
Instead, the Seahawks barely gave up anything. A third-round selection in the upcoming draft is substantial, but it's a small price to play for Clowney. Jacob Martin is a fine, young pass rusher who showed a bit of potential last year, while Barkevious Mingo is worthless. Surrendering these three items will not hurt Seattle in the slightest. Clowney, who is still young (26), will provide a huge boost for a Seattle defense that has weakened in recent years. He can spark them to make a repeat appearance in the playoffs and rack up some wins in January.
Going back to the Texans, this trade is so bad that I considered reviving the Millen for it. I don't understand why they made a move like this. They should have been able to obtain more, but if this is the best offer they got, they should have waited. Of course, a team with a competent general manager would have known this. But with O'Brien running the show, Houston will simply continue to get worse until it gets rid of him.