The NFL Trade Deadline is approaching and we are actually getting something happening that we’ve never really seen before at the Trade Deadline in the NFL: Trades.
This week we saw three moves being made that really impacted teams who are hoping to play some January football. We will look at all of them and figure out the impact of the trades for the teams involved.
RAIDERS TRADE AMARI COOPER TO COWBOYS FOR 2019 FIRST ROUND PICK
For Dallas: The Cowboys needed a WR as the passing offense is a disaster, so it makes sense on that issue. Adding on, Tavon Austin (whom Jerry Jones compared him to Michael Irvin-not kidding on that either) has been injured while the tandem of Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Deonte Thompson, and Michael Gallup won’t resemble that of the Falcons, Steelers, and Saints receivers that’s for sure. It’s been said that Jerry Jones was REALLY involved on getting Cooper there and when Jerry REALLY wants a certain player, he will get that certain player. But is Cooper worth a first round pick? He has the ability to be a #1 receiver and an elite one at that. His first two seasons were excellent and considered elite (155 rec, 2,223 total yards, 11 TD), but the last two years, as he’s been dinged up, he has struggled tremendously (especially this year in the Raiders lost season). He has only 22 catches for 280 yards and 1 TD. Now Dallas hopes that a better atmosphere instead of the toxic one out in Oakland right now will do the trick. But though it is one pick, that is a first rounder. If Cooper produces like he did in 2015 and 2016 then yes, a pick well spent. But Dallas was burned before 10 years ago when they traded a first rounder to Detroit for Roy Williams, who pretty much did nothing after joining the Cowboys. So in other words, high-risk, high-reward for Dallas with this move. That said, they probably could have made a better offer than that for Cooper. GRADE: C+
For Oakland: The nightmare for Raiders fans continue as Gruden now shipped off his offensive star. While I get the idea that the Raiders weren’t Super Bowl material, they were at the very least competitive with those guys. Unless Gruden is trying to pull like an Atlanta Braves where they sell off their top stars and pile up the picks to have a great future in their new home in Las Vegas, this is just a head-scratcher in what they have been trying to do since the Khalil Mack trade. That being said, getting a #1 for Cooper right now is not too bad. Of course while they do have three first round picks, it doesn’t seem like aside from their own pick (which could be the first overall), Oakland won’t be seeing those picks near the front of the draft. I guess because they got the first round pick from Dallas, that is fine, but the team is in disarray because of Gruden. GRADE: B
GIANTS TRADE ELI APPLE TO THE SAINTS FOR A FOURTH AND SEVENTH ROUND PICKS:
For New Orleans: The Saints need help at corner and Apple, who had played decent this year despite the Giants woes, fits that need. Is it a risk? Yes, but giving up a 4th and 7th rounder isn’t a massive risk. Apple has gotten a new attitude this year which has been considered a positive by Giants personnel so this may be a great move for New Orleans if he plays well and is up to snuff. Given New Orleans is Ohio State Pro, he may fit in perfectly. And if the Saints are able to take down the Rams (New Orleans and Los Angeles are probably the favorites to win the NFC right now), it is because they have to slow down the Los Angeles offense which is top notch in both the run and the pass. He fits the bill. GRADE: A-
For New York Giants: Many felt like Apple turned the corner with the Giants this year so it was a bit surprising. The defense isn’t the problem nor was Apple. We can figure out what the issue is with the Giants of why the struggles are there. Getting a 4th and 7th rounder I felt is a little bit of selling low on him unless Pat Shurmur was just fed up with him and we don’t know it. I really don’t get this move for the Giants besides the whole “we are going to rebuild a la Oakland.” GRADE: D
GIANTS TRADE DAMON HARRISON TO LIONS FOR 5TH ROUND PICK:
For the Lions: Detroit needs depth on the line as well as finding guys who can stop the run (Detroit is ranked 30th against the run in 2018). Adding to the fact that Ezekiel Ansah has been injured for most of the season, the Lions desperately needed help as Matthew Stafford is in the midst of his prime years and probably the Lions best chance to be a legit threat in the NFL. Harrison fits this bill. Now Detroit owes him a lot of money but partly because they had some left over after Haloti Ngata left the Lions for the Eagles for LESS money, they could afford it. Harrison will be with tackles Da’Shawn Hand and A’Shawn Robinson and could be a huge veteran presence on a young line. To me, this could be a trade for Detroit that could change their season in a good way. GRADE: A
For the Giants: Yep, rebuild. Moving contracts out, getting picks (though late round picks), etc. But a 5th for Harrison? I guess because Detroit is eating the contract that it was either pay the contract or pay for a pick. But honestly, a guy like Harrison’s caliber doesn’t necessitate a 5th round pick. I honestly don’t know what the Giants are doing really at this point. At least the Raiders are getting picks near the top of the Draft. GRADE: D
That’s it for this time. Let’s see what the deadline holds later this week.
-Fan in the Obstructed Seat