Updates On Players Traded At Deadline

The trade deadline passed a little over a month ago, and while the NFL never sees the level of activity that do other sports, there were several notable players dealt. With 33 days worth of observation, we can begin to assess how certain trades have worked out for the acquiring teams, and if the players involved will remain on their new clubs’ rosters for the long term. Using our list of 2014 NFL trades, here’s a look at the four deals that occurred within a month of the October 28 deadline:

Jets WR Percy Harvin (acquired from Seahawks on 10/18):

  • After sending a conditional 2015 fourth-round pick to Seattle for Harvin, the Jets have employed their new weapon on roughly 68.3% of their offensive snaps. He’s responded by catching 18 passes on 32 targets, totaling 176 yards; he’s also rushed the ball 11 times. New York has utilized Harvin on special teams as well, where he’s returned 11 kickoffs, averaging nearly 24 yards per return. The Jets are turning back to Geno Smith at quarterback, so perhaps the club will use the final five games to determine if Harvin meshes with the second-year QB (although it’s far from guaranteed that Smith will return as the starter next season). Because it acquired Harvin via trade, New York isn’t responsible for any of his prorated bonus money, meaning the club essentially holds a year-to-year option on the receiver. The 26-year-old is owed nearly $10MM in 2015 base salary, and given the Jets’ abundance of cap room, I’d tentatively expect them to retain Harvin.

Patriots LB Akeem Ayers (acquired from Titans on 10/22):

  • It’s odd to think that a player who seemingly couldn’t find a place on the defense of a 2-5 team could immediately slot in as a contributor to one of the best defensive units in the league, but that’s what happened with Ayers, whom the Patriots acquired for just a 2015 sixth-round pick. Ayers, a 2011 second-rounder, has already notched three sacks in only four games with New England. He’s played on about 72.7% of the the Pats’ defensive snaps, after seeing action in just one game (10 snaps) with Tennessee. Ayers is still just 25 years old, and though it’s only been a month since the trade, it looks like the Titans may have given up on a player with untapped potential. Ayers will hit unrestricted free agency after the season.

Patriots LB Jonathan Casillas (acquired from Buccaneers on 10/28):

  • Casillas hasn’t had nearly the impact in New England that has Ayers, as he’s played on less than 16% of defensive snaps. That number is a bit skewed however, as his role has been slowly growing each week — after playing just one snap in his Patriots debut, he saw action on 12 and 22 snaps in Weeks 11 and 12, respectively. Casillas, 27, is a reserve on a talented linebacking corps that includes Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, and Ayers, so while he might not play much, he could be a valuable piece if a starter suffers an injury. New England actually gave up more (a 2015 fifth-round pick) for Casillas than they did for Ayers; like Ayers, Casillas will be a free agent at season’s end.

Rams S Mark Barron (acquired from Buccaneers on 10/28):

  • Barron garnered the highest draft pick compensation of any of the four players traded near the deadline, as the Rams surrendered 2015 fourth- and sixth-round picks to acquire the 25-year-old defensive back. After playing on nearly half of St. Louis’ defensive snaps in Week 10, his role has been drastically reduced — he saw time on just 25 of 136 snaps during Weeks 11 and 12. Barron, the seventh overall pick in 2012, seems to have fallen behind both T.J. McDonald and Rodney McLeod on the Rams’ depth chart. He’s under contract for 2015 at a base salary of roughly $2.363MM. St. Louis holds a 2016 option on Barron, but if his playing time doesn’t increase, it could signal that the club doesn’t view him as a integral part of its future.
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