Now that the NFL’s trade deadline has passed, The 33rd Team’s T.J. McCreight — who served with the Colts (director of college scouting) and Cardinals (director of pro personnel) before joining the Eagles as a personnel executive — provides grades for every trade consummated, including an NFL-record 10 that were recorded on the final day.
Tuesday, Nov. 1
The Broncos traded pass rusher Bradley Chubb to the Dolphins in exchange for running back Chase Edmonds, a 2023 first-round pick (acquired from the 49ers) and a 2024 fourth-round pick.
Dolphins Grade: B
Miami bolstered their pass rush by trading for Chubb, who has 5.5 sacks this season. He had 12 sacks his rookie year, but since then has never hit double digits and missed 10 games last season with an ankle injury. Chubb is a versatile player who can play on his feet or with his hand in the dirt. Giving up a first-round pick, the Dolphins must have a deal in place for him to be in Miami longterm. Chubb should help the Dolphins get to the quarterback when on the field with Jaelan Phillips.
Broncos Grade: A
After the Russell Wilson trade, Denver was in need of draft picks, and dealing Chubb gets them back a first and fourth in 2024. Chubb can rush the passer but has not had the same production since his rookie season. The Broncos thought they were going to lose him in free agency and probably allowed teams to work with his agent to get the contract done to facilitate the trade. Usually the club will give the agent permission to speak with a select number of teams to work out a longterm contract and then make the trade. Edmonds will give Denver another runner to pepper at defenses.
The Steelers traded WR Chase Claypool to the Bears for a 2023 second-round pick.
Bears Grade: B-
The Bears had been sellers going into the deadline, but reversed course and traded for a receiver who can help quarterback Justin Fields through his growth process. Claypool is a big target and a potential playmaker who can aid Fields in trying to get back to the player he was as a rookie. After trading Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn, this trade signals to players on the Bears’ roster that management is not giving up on the season, that 2022 means something, and there is hope.
Steelers Grade: B+
The Steelers are one of the best teams in the league at drafting wide receivers and it seems every year they are able to find one. Claypool had a nice rookie season, but his production has dropped a bit. It also looks as if rookie George Pickens has a chance to be a very good player, and he and Diontae Johnson give the Steelers two solid players, making Claypool expendable. I see the Steelers maximizing that second-round pick … perhaps on a receiver.
The Lions traded tight end T.J. Hockenson, a 2023 fourth-round pick and a 2024 conditional fourth-round pick to the Vikings for a 2023 second-round pick and 2024 third-round pick.
Vikings Grade: B+
The Vikings add a playmaker in Hockenson to help them in their upcoming playoff run. They will have Hockenson for the rest of this year and all of 2023 at about $9 million. Hockenson is only 25 years old and a big body that has some mismatch qualities due to his size, hands, ball skills and deceptive speed. He is also a capable blocker who helps in the run game, showing off strength and toughness to finish blocks. Irv Smith, who could leave in free agency after the season anyway, is expected to miss at least two months with an injury, which made the tight end position a need for the Vikings’ offense. Hockenson will certainly help Kirk Cousins and give him some easy throws to a big target.
Lions Grade: C-
The Lions moved on from one of their better players and are sellers on the season after a 1-6 start. The loss of Hockenson will be a blow to Jared Goff and the offense. I do like rookie tight end James Mitchell, who will have to produce and play for the Lions. And Brock Wright has shown some talent after going undrafted in 2021. It is a bit unusual for the trade to be made within the division and also with Hockenson having a year left on his contract. He was a core player for the Lions and I would have preferred to draft around him and build the team with him.
Falcons Trade Suspended Ridley to Jaguars
The Jaguars acquired suspended wide receiver Calvin Ridley from the Falcons in exchange for a 2023 fifth-round pick and a 2024 fourth-round pick that could rise to a second-rounder, depending upon when Ridley is reinstated by the NFL.
Jaguars Grade: B-
Ridley’s status is up in the air with the indefinite suspension that at minimum goes through the rest of this season. He is a talented player, but can only apply for reinstatement in February 2023. He also missed most of 2021 due to mental-health issues.
Falcons Grade: B+
It was time to move on from Ridley. The Falcons probably just wanted to get him out of the building and give both sides a fresh start. That they got anything in return should be considered a bonus.
49ers Trade RB Wilson to Miami
The Dolphins acquired running back Jeff Wilson from the 49ers in exchange for a 2023 fifth-round pick.
Miami Grade: B
Wilson will reunite with head coach Mike McDaniel and take the place of recently traded Chase Edmonds on the roster. Wilson has speed and should have some open running lanes due to the
attention paid to their potent passing attack. Their should be a comfort level with Wilson and he should quickly pick up the offense without any issues.
49ers Grade: B
The 49ers get a pick in the trade of Wilson, who was expendable due to the acquisition of Christian McCaffrey and the drafting of Tyrion Davis-Price in the third round earlier this year. This trade makes sense for both teams.
Commanders Trade CB Jackson to Steelers
The Commanders traded cornerback William Jackson III to the Steelers, with a swap late-round picks in 2025. The Commanders receive a conditional sixth-round pick and the Steelers get a conditional seventh-rounder.
Steelers Grade: B
Jackson gets a fresh start with the Steelers, who gave up very little. If he plays well it is a win-win for both teams. Jackson is a good man-coverage player who has excellent feet, balance and body control.
Commanders Grade: B-
Jackson wanted out of Washington and finally got his wish. When you deal with conditional picks, production and play time are usually the conditions. The picks could change and adjust.
Jets Send Pass Rusher Jacob Martin to Denver
Jets pass rusher Jacob Martin was traded to the Broncos for fourth- and fifth-round picks in 2024.
Broncos Grade: C-
Martin, who signed a three-year deal in the offseason, has 1.5 sacks this season. He does have some ability, but I don’t love his overall effort nor his run coverage. He also should have more sack production based on his athletic ability and size. Denver probably hopes a change of scenery will help.
Jets Grade: B+
They Jets are loaded up front and this move allows them to give their younger players some more experience while moving up a round in the 2024 draft. This was addition by subtraction, in my opinion, and will be a win for the Jets.
Chiefs Send CB Fenton to Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons traded for Chiefs defensive back Rashad Fenton on Tuesday, according to ESPN. The Chiefs will receive a conditional seventh-round pick but, perhaps more importantly, the move also clears $1.4 million in cap space this season for Kansas City. The added relief will help the team maintain flexibility on a free-agent market that still features a game-changing wide receiver in Odell Beckham Jr. and other depth options that might be needed down the stretch.
Chiefs Send CB Fenton to Falcons
The Chiefs traded defensive back Rashad Fenton to the Falcons for a conditional seventh-round pick.
Falcons Grade: B
Fenton has been dealing with a hamstring injury, but it did not stop the Falcons from giving up a pick for him. He will eventually provide depth for Atlanta and should play in sub-packages and on special teams. For the Falcons to give up a seventh-round pick for a corner that can play in a rotation is a small price to pay.
Chiefs Grade: B
Rookie Trent McDuffie is set to return from injury, which made Fenton — who himself has missed the last two games with an injury — expendable. Fenton, a former sixth-round pick, has
started 16 games in his four-year career and has two interceptions. This pick is probably based on playing time and can adjust based on the number of snaps he plays.
Bills Acquire DB Marlowe from Falcons
The Falcons traded safety Dean Marlowe to the Bills in exchange for a 2023 seventh-round pick.
Bills Grade: B+
The Falcons sent Marlowe back to the Bills where he played from 2017-20. The Bills need safety help and a player that knows the system to provide depth at the position. Micah Hyde is out for the season and Jordan Poyer is dealing with an arm injury.
Falcons Grade: B
Marlowe has mainly been relegated to special teams and the Falcons have depth in their defensive backfield.
Monday, Oct. 31
The Bears traded linebacker Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens for second- and fifth-round picks in 2023 and linebacker A.J. Klein.
Ravens Grade: A
As long as the Ravens sign Smith to a longterm deal, I love this trade for Baltimore. He is a top-level player and will fit right into their culture with his toughness, intelligence, savvy, and effort. He will do a lot to progress the Ravens’ defense for the stretch run. They have been looking for a Ray Lewis replacement, and they may have found him. If Smith is just a short-term rental, the Ravens would probably get a comp pick when he departs in free agency and their grade here would drop considerably. Knowing how the Ravens operate in that building, I suspect Smith will be around for the longterm.
Bears Grade: C+
Clearly the Bears are loading up on draft picks, but it does come at a cost. A week after dealing pass rusher Robert Quinn to the Eagles, they trade away the quarterback of their defense in Smith and a player that really makes a difference in games. They did not get equal value, in my opinion. It is not only what Smith brings on the field, but off the field as well. This Bears defense and the team overall just got worse. Klein is a solid backup and can play on special teams.
Thursday, Oct. 27
The New York Giants traded wide receiver Kadarius Toney to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for 2023 third- and sixth-round selections.
Chiefs Grade: B-
Toney is a talented player the Chiefs hope can live up to his draft status and ability. They are rolling the dice, but it is not a huge risk giving up a third and a sixth for the former first-round pick . If any coach can get something out of Toney it would be Andy Reid, although I think Toney might have already shown the NFL who he actually is.
Giants Grade: B
The new Giants leadership group did not pick Toney, and in the 2022 draft, it selected wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson in the second round. Toney has not produced like the Giants had hoped and has been hit by the injury bug. While he does have talent, I would doubt if thy would have moved him if they thought he could produce. I have been around first-round picks that have not panned out, and there are many tells that show who those players really are. The draft compensation they received in return is probably an indication the Giants have seen those tells.
Wednesday, Oct. 26
The Chicago Bears traded edge rusher Robert Quinn to the Eagles in exchange for a fourth-round pick.
Eagles Grade: B+
Quinn hasn’t shown the production he had last season when he had a team-record 18 1/2 sacks. But the Bears are playing him differently this year. Chicago is dropping him more in coverage, which takes away some of his rush opportunities. Plus, he is not always rushing from the edge. Many times he’s shaded inside and very often he gets chipped by a tight end. The Eagles have two first-round picks in 2023 and could move back with one of those picks to get that fourth-round selection back. The Eagles’ philosophy is you can never have enough pass rushers, and for their potential playoff run, Quinn should really help them get to the quarterback. I like this trade for the Eagles.
Bears Grade: C-
The fourth-rounder the Eagles surrendered in this trade will most likely be a very late pick in the round. It is highly unlikely it will turn into a player of Quinn’s ability, but it will give the Bears more draft capital to perhaps move up to go after the player they want. I understand the Bears are in sell mode, but losing a player like Quinn hurts the morale of the locker room and sends a negative message to the team.
Tuesday, Oct. 25
The Las Vegas Raiders traded defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and a 2024 seventh-round pick to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a 2023 sixth-round pick.
Cowboys Grade: B+
The Cowboys did not lose a pick, they just flipped for a lesser pick. Hankins will help an already strong defense, especially against the run. Over the next several weeks, Dallas is playing teams that run the ball well, and Hankins will certainly provide depth on the defensive front. It was well worth it for the Cowboys to make this deal, receiving a solid NFL player and giving up just a one-round swap, even if it is a year later.
Raiders Grade: C-
The Raiders don’t gain a pick in the draft, they just improve one round, which for a player of Hankins’ ability is minimal. Hankins provided depth for Las Vegas and helped them in the run game. I am all for acquiring draft picks and the more you have the more flexibility you have to move on draft day, but Hankins, in my opinion, had more value than what the Raiders received in return. You can never have enough defensive linemen.
Monday, Oct. 24
The Jacksonville Jaguars traded RB James Robinson to the New York Jets in exchange for a 2023 conditional sixth-round pick, which becomes a fifth-rounder if Robinson rushes for 600 yards this season.
Jets Grade: B+
The only good news about the injury to Breece Hall for the Jets was that it occurred before the trade deadline. The Jets (5-2), who have playoff hopes after winning four straight, were in desperate need of a running back after losing Hall for the season on Sunday. They found it in James Robinson, who had been passed up by Travis Etienne in Jacksonville. Robinson will be a solid addition to New York’s offense. He is a hard-running, tough and instinctive runner that fits what the Jets want to do offensively. I am sure general manager Joe Douglas was happy to give up a pick for a back with Robinson’s ability.
Jaguars Grade: C
Jacksonville secured a pick for a player who was a backup, but Robinson was a talented reserve for the Jaguars. They are taking a risk, hoping that they won’t need a back of Robinson’s talents later in the season, but the Jaguars drafted for depth at the position earlier this year when they took Ole Miss’ Snoop Conner in the fifth round, so they do have some insurance for the future.
Thursday, Oct. 20
The Carolina Panthers traded All-Pro RB Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for four draft picks — second-, third- and fourth-round selections in 2023 and a fifth-rounder in 2024.
49ers Grade: A-
Everyone will be talking about the addition of McCaffrey to an offensive unit that already consists of playmakers Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle, but what stands out to me in this trade is the new combination of McCaffrey and Kyle Juszczyk. I am looking forward to watching McCaffrey play with a fullback. So few teams play with one, and Kyle Shanahan — with his creativity — can use McCaffrey in the run and pass game in so many different ways that it could be a home run. McCaffrey is a rare route runner and, when healthy, is one of the most dangerous backs in the NFL. Many fans don’t realize how difficult it is to prepare for two-back sets. Look for a big dose of this. Defenses will have a difficult time preparing for it.
Panthers Grade: B+
Clearly, the Panthers are selling on the season and beginning a sorely needed rebuild. They pick up valuable draft capital in this trade that will help expedite the reset. The Panthers were not going to win this year with or without McCaffrey. Now they just have to hit on those picks, and most importantly they have to find their franchise quarterback.
Monday, Oct. 17
The Carolina Panthers traded WR Robbie Anderson to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a 2024 sixth-round pick and a 2025 seventh-round pick.
Cardinals Grade: B
With the injury to Marquise Brown, the Cardinals need to replace his production on the field. Even with the return of DeAndre Hopkins, the team will miss what Brown brought to the team. Anderson will help offset the loss and complement Hopkins. Brown was having a big year prior to his injury with 43 catches and three touchdowns.
Anderson will give the Cardinals a player that is capable of making big plays to take some pressure off of Murray and Hopkins. He was having a modest year in Carolina with 13 catches and a TD. The Cardinals, who are only picking up the remainder of Anderson’s $690,000 salary this season, are afforded an opportunity to evaluate him for the rest of 2022 and determine if they want to keep him in 2023, when he’s set to make $12,000,000. The Cardinals could cut him before his $3,000,000 roster bonus is due, so they are taking very little risk. And the draft compensation, even if they cut him after this season, is not substantial.
Panthers Grade: C
Anderson played for Matt Rhule at Temple and signed with the Panthers in large part because Ruhle was the head coach. Of course, Rhule is no longer the man in charge in Carolina, and for the moment anyways, Steve Wilks is. It was Wilks who sent Anderson to the locker room in the first half of Sunday’s game after the wide receiver got in a heated exchange with his position coach, Joe Dailey.
No doubt the Panthers wanted him out of the building and were looking for a trade partner rather than just cutting him. It was a perfect scenario for the Panthers when Brown suffered the injury late in Sunday’s loss at Seattle. The fact that they got two draft picks in return rather than cutting him was a win for Carolina. I am sure Wilks wanted to make a statement to the team that any type of bad behavior or distractions would not be tolerated. The Panthers paid Anderson $36 million for less than three full seasons, but no longer are on the hook for what remains over the next year and a half.
Monday, Oct. 10
The Cleveland Browns traded a sixth-round pick in 2024 to the Atlanta Falcons for linebacker Deion Jones and a seventh-round pick in 2024.
Browns Grade: C
The Browns’ run defense has struggled this season (131 yards rushing per game) and their linebacker play has been very average. The addition of Deion Jones, if healthy, should help them defend the run a bit better. What this defense is missing most, however, is veteran leadership. Jones will be able to show the younger players how to be a pro, and since he is a very cerebral player, he will make sure the defense will be more organized. The Browns hope that Jones can be the player he was in 2019 — he has been dealing with a shoulder injury and has struggled the past two seasons to make the splash plays. The Browns aren’t giving up much for Jones, so if they could just get something out of him, they will be pleased.
Falcons Grade: B
As good as Deion Jones was for Atlanta, his play has dropped, and he has not been the same player across the last two years. The Falcons have some talented young linebackers in Mykal Walker, Rashaan Evans, and Troy Anderson, which made Jones expendable. The Falcons essentially moved on and had been looking to trade Jones for the past few months. With Jones moving on to Cleveland, nothing has really changed in Atlanta because he has not been involved with the defense all season due to an injury. I think this is a win for Atlanta to get Jones off their books.
Wednesday, Sept. 21
Patriots trade OT Herron to Raiders
The New England Patriots traded offensive tackle Justin Herron and a seventh-round pick in 2024 to the Raiders for a 2024 sixth-round pick.
Raiders Grade: B
GM Dave Ziegler and HC Josh McDaniels know Justin Herron very well and Herron understands the offensive scheme. This will give the Raiders some depth on the offensive line that is much needed. Brandon Parker was lost for the year during the preseason and the Raiders needed a player that could step in quickly without a big learning curve. Herron can play both OT spots.
Patriots Grade: C-
Herron was an on-and-off starter in 2021 for the Pats and played both OT spots. He ended up being the fourth OT behind Trent Brown, Isaiah Wynn and Yodny Cajuste. With the emergence of Cajuste, who won the battle for the third tackle spot, the Patriots probably felt like it was worth getting a pick for him because he was not really in their plans moving forward. Unfortunately, shortly after the trade, Cajuste was placed on injured reserve with an injury to his hand.