Poll: Best Acquisition On Deadline Day?

In 2014, the year Pro Football Rumors was established, there were 23 NFL trades that involved veteran players (ie. deals that didn’t simply involve teams moving up and down the board on draft day). Just four years later, that number has more than doubled, as the league has seen 61 deals go down since the league year opened in March.

There are myriad reasons why the NFL is becoming a more trade-happy league, and Andrew Brandt of Sports Illustrated outlined several of them yesterday: younger general managers that are more comfortable making swaps; gobs of cap space; and the NFL’s decision to move the trade deadline back by two weeks. Whatever the explanation, it certainly makes the league more fun on deadline day.

Five trades occurred on Tuesday, with five contending clubs making what can only be described as win-now moves. Let’s take a look at each deal before deciding which team made the best acquisition at the deadline:

Texans acquired WR Demaryius Thomas and a 2019 seventh-round pick from the Broncos in exchange for a 2019 fourth-round pick and a 2019 seventh-round pick.

  • Houston needed another pass-catcher after losing Will Fuller to a torn ACL, and while the 30-year-old Thomas isn’t exactly a perfect replacement for the speedy Fuller, he’ll give head coach Bill O’Brien and quarterback Deshaun Watson another option as they look to build on their five-game win streak. Thomas was the only player acquired on Tuesday who is signed beyond the 2018 season, but it’s hard to imagine he’ll stick with the Texans next year barring a contract restructure. He’s due a $14MM base salary in 2019, which seems untenable for a player whose production has dipped in recent campaigns.

Eagles acquired WR Golden Tate from the Lions in exchange for a 2019 third-round pick.

  • Nelson Agholor has been among the least productive wide receivers in the NFL this season, ranking next-to-last in Football Outsiders’ DYAR, which measures value over a replacement level player. Tate figures to usurp Agholor in the slot, and the Eagles could now play quite a bit more “11” personnel (one running back, one tight end, three wide receivers). To date, Philadelphia has deployed that personnel package on only 54% of plays, fourth-least in the league, per Warren Sharp. Another plus for the Eagles? They don’t have any cap space to use in 2019, and their projected lack of free agent activity almost certainly ensures they’ll reap a compensatory selection in 2020 if Tate leaves via the open market.

Ravens acquired RB Ty Montgomery from the Packers in exchange for a 2020 seventh-round pick.

  • The Montgomery trade is a horse of a different color, as the Packers likely felt forced to deal Montgomery after he allegedly went rogue by taking a kickoff out of the end zone (and subsequently fumbling) against the Rams on Sunday, depriving Aaron Rodgers a chance at a late game comeback. As Michael Silver of NFL.com detailed, Green Bay veterans were understandably flabbergasted by Montgomery’s decision, so his departure could be viewed as addition by subtraction. That doesn’t mean Montgomery can’t be effective for the Ravens, however, as he can contribute in the passing game, the running game, and on special teams.

Rams acquired LB/DE Dante Fowler from the Jaguars in exchange for a 2019 third-round pick and a 2020 fifth-round pick.

  • The Rams didn’t exactly need more help getting after opposing quarterbacks given that they’ve managed a league-high 39.2% pressure rate. Los Angeles is getting most of that pressure from the interior (see: Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh), but outside linebackers Samson Ebukam and Matt Longacre are also playing well despite not being household names. Fowler, the third overall pick in the 2015 draft, is in the midst of his best season to date, and he’ll now likely be asked to rush from a stand-up, outside ‘backer position instead of his usual 4-3 defensive end spot. Jacksonville had already declined Fowler’s 2019 fifth-year option, so the Rams don’t have to worry about another high salary hitting their books next year.

Redskins acquiredHa Ha Clinton-Dix from the Packers in exchange for a 2019 fourth-round pick.

  • In terms of player-for-player upgrade, perhaps no team did better on Tuesday than the Redskins. Clinton-Dix, who ranks as Pro Football Focus‘ fifth-best safety in 2018, will be replacing Montae Nicholson, whom PFF grades a bottom-three defensive back league-wide. Washington already ranks ninth in pass defense DVOA, and the club only figures to improve after acquiring Clinton-Dix from Green Bay. Clinton-Dix is scheduled to become a free agent next spring, and while he almost certainly wouldn’t agree to an extension before hitting the open market, the Redskins do have the option of using the franchise tag to keep him around. Washington doesn’t have any other obvious franchise tender candidates, and the salary for safeties should only be worth ~$10MM.

So what do you think? Which team made the best acquisition on Tuesday? Vote below and leave your additional thoughts in the comments section! (Link for app users.)

View Comments (15)
newest oldest

15 comments on “Poll: Best Acquisition On Deadline Day?

  1. Kenleyfornia74

    If Clinton Dix and Fowler leave in free agency do the Skins and Rams get compensation draft picks?

      • Kenleyfornia74

        Then its pretty horrific the Packers traded a player who they could have got a pick for anyways.

        • jessethegreat

          You must account that
          1) the pick Green Bay received is in the 2019 draft.
          2) they could have potentially received a 2020 compensation pick if HaHA departed in free agency that, at best would have been a 3rd rounder but it would have been after the first 32 picks in the 3rd round so essentially a 4th rounder
          3) general rule of thumb is a pick this year is worth a pick one round sooner next year so the trades pretty much equal out.
          4) Green Bay will have something like $40 million in cap space next year.. their new gm has shown he’s willing to spend in free agency unlike their previous gm. If they bring in more true free agents (expired contracts not released ones) they wouldn’t even receive the comp pick(s).

        • twentyforty

          Watch tape on HCD. Unwilling to tackle and no speed to cover. Stop viewing him as a former 1st round pick and view him appropriately as a well below-average safety.

  2. crosseyedlemon

    None of the deadline deals are likely to have a significant impact in generating more wins for a team this season. A trade involving Le’Veon Bell had the most potential but of course that never happened.

  3. Thronson5

    Why even post polls on the NFL portion of the app if you’re never going to add the link?

    • Thronson5

      With that being said I think the Rams, even as a 9ers fan you can’t help but like what the Rams are doing, they are going all in and they aren’t settling at all, it they see an opportunity to get better they go after it. I also don’t think it a coincidence they went after someone who can get after the QB while in a stretch of playing some great QB’s after playing Rodgers then playing Brees and then Maholmes. They aren’t trying to lose a game this year and are set on Super Bowl or bust. You gotta appreciate that.

      I think Tate will do great with the Eagles, I don’t think he’s done and I think he will bounce back with the Eagles and Wentz so to me they are up there with Rams but ultimately I’d have to say the Rams made the best move.

  4. kenly0

    I like the Texans getting Thomas. I think Clinton-Dix to the Redskins is a close 2nd.

    • twentyforty

      Dix being traded is far, far better for GB than Wash. Addition by subtraction is always more valuable. Guy can’t play.

Leave a Reply