Trent McDuffie

AFC East Notes: Bills, Patriots, Eichenberg

Buffalo-Kansas City has been one of the 2020s’ defining NFL rivalries. The AFC squads have played five times this decade, twice in the playoffs, with the Chiefs’ two postseason wins playing a role in the Bills‘ roster construction. The AFC powers’ plans intersected during the 2022 first round as well. When the Chiefs moved up from No. 29 to No. 21 in the ’22 first round, they took the player the Bills eyed. The Bills sought Trent McDuffie with their top pick last year, per’s Albert Breer, but the Chiefs were able to make a deal with the Patriots to move in front of Buffalo.

The fallout from this miss became costly for the Bills, whose subsequent trade-up — from No. 25 to No. 23 — produced Kaiir Elam, who has been unable to earn steady playing time. As Elam has vacillated between backup or emergency starter and healthy scratch, McDuffie has progressed in Kansas City. Pro Football Focus rates McDuffie eighth overall among corners; the Washington product has been a central part of the Chiefs’ defensive improvement this season.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • The Patriots opted not to sell at the trade deadline, keeping the door open for longer-term futures with some of their contract-year players. New England held onto Josh Uche, Michael Onwenu and Kyle Dugger despite interest coming in before the deadline. Dugger has become a player teams are monitoring ahead of free agency, with’s Jeremy Fowler noting some teams view the Division II alum as the 2024 UFA class’ second-best safety — behind the Buccaneers’ Antoine Winfield Jr. This year’s safety market producing only one contract north of $8MM per year (Jessie Bates‘ outlier $16MM-AAV accord) could impact Dugger, but it is clear the former second-round pick will be costly for the Pats to retain.
  • Benched in Week 9 and left in the States ahead of the Patriots’ Week 10 Germany trip, J.C. Jackson was initially believed to have arrived late at the team hotel the night before the Pats-Commanders game. But the recently reacquired corner did not show up at all that night,’s Mike Reiss notes. Jack Jones missed curfew as well, but Reiss adds the since-waived corner did surface later. Both players were benched for Week 9, and despite Jackson’s unavailability, the Patriots further limited Jones against the Colts. Jackson is expected to remain with the Pats, but the ballhawk has not escaped the rough patch that began last year in Los Angeles.
  • Trent Brown did not make the trip to Frankfurt for personal reasons, and Reiss adds the veteran tackle’s missed game will affect his recently reworked contract. Including $88K per game in roster bonuses, the Patriots set playing-time thresholds for additional Brown escalators as well. The starting LT would collect $1MM for playing 75% of the team’s offensive snaps this season. Hovering at 75% after Week 9, Brown has now missed two games. The low end of this incentive structure is 65%, which Reiss notes will pay out $750K. He would receive another $750K by hitting the 70% snap barrier.
  • Dolphins contract-year guard Robert Hunt will miss a second straight game due to a hamstring injury. As a result, Liam Eichenberg will complete a rare NFL feat. The 2021 second-round pick began the week practicing at left guard, his primary 2022 position, but the swingman moved to right guard midway through practice this week, the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson notes. The Dolphins view Eichenberg as more comfortable there. Once Eichenberg replaces Hunt on Sunday, he will have started at all five O-line positions as a pro. While the converted tackle could not retain his LG job to start this season, having accomplished this O-line tour of sorts in his third season is certainly noteworthy. Lester Cotton will start at left guard for the Dolphins, who are uncertain to have LG first-stringer Isaiah Wynn back this season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/1/22

A handful of minor moves on a busy deadline day:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Free Agency

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/12/22

Today’s minor NFL transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

  • Waived: CB Thomas Graham Jr.

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Chiefs Place CB Trent McDuffie On IR

A hamstring injury will limit Trent McDuffie‘s rookie-year participation. The Chiefs placed the first-round cornerback pick on IR Tuesday.

McDuffie played 32 defensive snaps in the Chiefs’ Week 1 win over the Cardinals. After suffering the injury, McDuffie was carted to the visitors’ locker room. The Chiefs will shut him down for at least four games.

After letting Charvarius Ward defect to San Francisco in free agency in March. While the Chiefs have formed a trend of not devoting much money to their cornerback spot in recent years, they did replace Ward via the draft. After acquiring an additional first-round pick via the Tyreek Hill trade, the Chiefs used it to move into position for McDuffie — this year’s No. 21 overall choice.

As expected, McDuffie worked as a starter in his first NFL game. The former Pac-12 standout, who turns 22 today, should be expected to return when first eligible (Week 6) or not long after. The Chiefs used seventh-round rookie Jaylen Watson in McDuffie’s place following the injury; Rashad Fenton and L’Jarius Sneed reside as Kansas City’s top healthy cornerbacks. The Chiefs drafted three corners this year. The other one, fourth-rounder Joshua Williams, joins Chris Lammons in rounding out the team’s active-roster contingent at this position.

With the fifth-year option allowing the Chiefs to keep McDuffie through 2026 on his rookie contract, the team obviously has high hopes for the 5-foot-11 defender. No other former Day 1 or Day 2 picks are on Kansas City’s roster at the position. McDuffie was the Chiefs’ first Round 1 corner selection since fellow Washington product Marcus Peters in 2015.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/6/22

Here are the latest draft pick signings:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears 

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

  • DB Tariq Woolen (fifth round, Texas-San Antonio)
  • LB Tyreke Smith (fifth round, Ohio State)
  • WR Bo Melton (seventh round, Rutgers)
  • WR Dareke Young (seventh round, Lenoir-Rhyne)

Washington Commanders

Chiefs Acquire No. 21 From Patriots, Select CB Trent McDuffie

If you can believe it, the Patriots are trading back. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Patriots are trading pick No. 21. The Chiefs are on the other side of the deal, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). The Chiefs will use the selection on Washington corner Trent McDuffie.

Per ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter), the Patriots traded pick No. 21 to Kansas City for picks No. 29, No. 94, and No. 121.

Armed with 12 selections entering the draft, the Chiefs were among the teams exploring a trade up the draft board. Many assumed Kansas City would make a trade in pursuit of a wideout. Instead, the front office decided to improve their secondary, a unit that needed some help after the organization moved on from cornerback Tyrann Mathieu.

McDuffie obviously can’t replicate the production of the former All-Pro, but the rookie has plenty of upside. The Washington product had a productive 2021 campaign, finishing with 35 tackles and six passes defended. His performance earned him third-team All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 honors after the past year.

Bill Belichick and co. have always had an affinity for trading back, especially in the first round. With New England having plenty of holes to fill throughout their roster, it only makes sense that the organization would look to pick up some extra assets while still retaining a first-round pick.