NFL buying and selling deadline winners and losers


The NFL trading session came and went, as it often does, on Tuesday with more soda than soda. A few big names got kicked around, but there wasn't much late night movement and not a lot of people were surprised.

This year, inertia reigned more than ever as COVID-19 testing requirements delayed the availability of new player acquisitions and the salary cap for the next year dampened teams' desire to take on large assignments. If you feel like your team is a bit away by Tuesday morning, you probably still are.

That said, there has been a decent amount of activity over the past week and that counts as the close of trade. Just as we like to do, when we hit these types of milestones on the NFL calendar, we break up some winners and losers.


This guy has just won 15 games overall after moving from the 0-8 New York Jets to the 7-0 Steelers, looking for linebacker depth and liking Williamson's veteran pedigree.

You can assume that everyone weed out by the Jets – Williamson, backline player Jordan Willis, nose tackle Steve McLendon – emerged victorious as they will all have more chances of competing with their new teams than they are with the jets would have. But none of these other guys ended up in undefeated teams.

Williamson is the biggest deadline winner as his situation is best improved by any player or team.

Avery Williamson had 59 tackles in seven games with the Jets that season before being sold to the Steelers. Al Pereira / Getty Images

The Ravens hit the deadline last week and took over pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue from the Minnesota Vikings just months after the Vikings took him over from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Minnesota didn't have the season it expected and decided to win something back for Ngakoue before leaving as a free agent. The Ravens were happy to send out a selection for the third round in 2021 and a selection for the fifth round in 2022 for a fledgling edge rusher that would make their defense for the stretch run even more terrifying and could also feed into their long-term plans.

Carlos Dunlap is not a perfect solution to Seattle's problems, but no team will get Khalil Mack at close of trade. The early November acquisitions must be of the wart type, and the former Cincinnati Bengals veteran is at least someone who can potentially help.

By returning the replacement offensive lineman B.J. Finney was able to compensate Seattle for some of Dunlap's salary and keep the impact on the salary cap to a minimum.


The NFL rumor mill was dismayed all day at the possibility that the Packers would land the Houston Texans recipient, Will Fuller – or any recipient, for sure. In the end, the packers didn't want to pay Houston's price, so they stay in the receiving position where they have been since last year.

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Those who railed against the Packers for taking over Rodger's successor in the first round of a high-profile draft in April have free ammunition to use. But Rodgers is a career packer and he knows how the organization works. You design and develop. They usually don't spend a lot of money signing guys and they very rarely spend valuable draft picks to get guys into trades. They also make the playoffs almost every year. Packers become packers.

The idea that they would ditch a high pick for Fuller, who would devour almost all of the space by 2020 and prevent them from applying it until 2021, has always been a stretch.

The downside of the Rodgers article here is that the Texans could really have improved with a deal or two. They valued their players, which is fair. Fuller is a pick for 2016 first round which is an excellent year and shouldn't be given away. But between him, Kenny Stills, the always-tradable Brandin Cooks, and a widespread demand for recipient aid in the league, it seems like Houston could have struck a deal.

Due to previous trades, Texans have no choice in the first or second round of the 2021 NFL draft. They have an additional fourth and an additional sixth, but they will need off-season help and could have used more design capital.

Gilmore definitely likes New England and didn't want to be traded. But he'll also want (and definitely deserve) a new contract soon. He is slated to make just $ 7 million next year, the final year of his Patriots deal.

If New England had traded him for a team willing to give him that extension, Gilmore could have met the deadline for some teams. Now he has to end this year of rebuilding at Foxborough and hope the Patriots will please him right away – either with an extension or an off-season trade.

Dwayne Haskins started the first four games of the season in Washington before being thrown for 939 yards with four touchdowns and three picks. AP Photo / Steve Helber

Washington's sophomore quarterback needs to be with a team that believes in him and is willing to put the work in to develop him. Basically, he has to find himself in a situation that the equally unpredictable Daniel Jones finds himself in with the New York Giants. He doesn't have that in Washington and would have benefited from a change of scene.


Let's address one of the few trades that actually failed as of the cut-off date – the Miami Dolphins that Ford is selling to the Division's Patriots – but I can't figure out who it's helping or if it's a good thing for the player. On the one hand, he should stand in line to catch a lot of passports, since the patriots' broad receiving situation can best be described as "sterile". The Dolphins liked Ford getting out of training camp as a slot receiver, and the Patriots recently lost slot receiver Julian Edelman to a knee injury. It should fit.

But on the flip side – and it's hard to believe we're saying that – going from Miami to New England isn't a great thing right now. The second-placed Dolphins are ahead of third-placed New England in the AFC East standings, their defense just defeated the Rams and they have an exciting young quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa. The Patriots have lost four in a row and seem pretty clear in a year of rebuilding. Crazy times we live in when traded from the dolphins to the patriots could be a downgrade.


Melinda Martin