The trade deadline is the last chance for NFL teams to make the roster changes they need, whether that is to strengthen what they’ve got, add something they’re missing, or simply roll the dice in a desperate attempt to salvage something from their season.
Fans and bettors have also been studying the trade deadline moves. For betting fans claiming new bet bonuses, these trades can be the final piece in the jigsaw for a conference, divisional or Super Bowl bet. For general fans, the trades can offer hope for something new. So with a whole weekend of games completed following the deadline, this is a good time to take a look at the trade winners and losers.
Baltimore Ravens – winners
Defensively, the Ravens have not been at their best this season, having twice blown 17-point leads, and the acquisition of Jason Pierre-Paul was an indication of their concern at the state of their pass rush.
So the arrival of Roquan Smith, the Chicago Bears linebacker,was extremely timely. Smith is just the kind of player who can lead by example and make a difference. A strong blitzer and tackler, he has the typical versatility that Mike Macdonald, the Ravens’ defensive coordinator, looks for. And he arrives at a time when Baltimore’s divisional rivals are faltering. Most notably, the injury to Ja’Marr Chase significantly weakens the Bengals, and the Ravens can take full advantage.
Green Bay Packers – losers
The Packers’ problem is not that they made bad trade deals, it’s that they didn’t do anything. Again. There was vague talk in the days after the deadline that they had made an attempt to sign Darren Waller, but few were buying it. This is not the first time that Green Bay have fallen short when it comes to bringing in reinforcements, but the case for boldness was stronger this time,given their struggles.
The Packers are 3-6 and look done, which is a dramatic deterioration from last season. They looked light on receivers at training camp, in preseason and into the regular season. Aaron Rodgers is having his worst season since 2006 and the group of receivers he has to work with are variously too green, too mediocre or too injured to deliver success. And we haven’t even mentioned the offensive line. Could it be that the Packers have already written off the season?
Chicago Bears – winners
As with Donald, it has been obvious for a while that Justin Fields needs some help at receiver. Unlike Green Bay, however, Chicago have tried to help their quarterback and have grabbed Chase Claypool. A solid performer in two seasons at the Steelers, he was struggling this year but will have more opportunities in Chicago. He has the size and strength to be a major asset for Fields and his strength in contested catches is another huge bonus for the Bears.
Denver Broncos – losers (probably)
This one is not completely clear-cut but it’s fair to say that the departure of Bradley Chubb to Miami makes the Broncos weaker, something that they can’t afford. In fact, their defense has been the only highlight of their season so far, and while moving Chubb makes some sense, given he is reaching the end of his rookie deal and has had his share of injury problems, it puts extra pressure on the rest of the defense, even allowing for the recruiting of Jacob Martin from the Jets.
Miami Dolphins – winners
As if the AFC East was not competitive enough, the Miami Dolphins have upped the ante further with a couple of big trades. Chubb’s arrival will give them more bite on defense, and Jeff Wilson Jr., traded by San Francisco, could improve a running game that has underperformed so far. The Bills are still the division favorites and the Jets are proving remarkably durable, but the Dolphins are clearly backing Mike McDaniel and believe that they can be in the mix come playoff time.
Carolina Panthers – losers
The Panthers are having a miserable season and the one thing they have been consistent at is selling their assets. Head coach Matt Rhule, receiver Robbie Anderson and running back Christian McCaffrey have all gone. So when the LA Rams wanted defensive end Brian Burns, it seemed obvious what would happen. Instead, the Panthers said no, turning down two first-round draft picks. Admittedly, they were for 2024 and 2025, but for a team presumably heading into a major rebuild, it seemed like a bad choice.