2019 NFL trade deadline winners and losers: Analyzing best, worst deals
The 2019 NFL trade deadline didn't produce any exciting last-minute deals, but there were plenty of moves made over the last few weeks that should have a profound impact on the playoff races in both conferences.
Let's look at the winners and losers from the NFL trade deadline.
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WINNER: San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are 7-0 and have arguably the best defense in the league. They did well to upgrade their passing offense with the acquisition of veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders from the Denver Broncos. San Francisco traded third- and fourth-round draft picks for Sanders and a fifth-rounder.
Sanders' 49ers tenure got off to a great start Sunday when he scored a touchdown on San Francisco's first drive against the Carolina Panthers. He should be a reliable target, especially on key third downs, for 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
LOSER: New York Jets
The Jets are a disaster.
First, they weren't able to trade veteran wide receiver Robby Anderson, who can leave the team after this season as a free agent. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported New York never received better than a fourth-round pick for Anderson. Second, they now have to mend relationships with their two best players, safety Jamal Adams and running back Le'Veon Bell, after both veterans surprisingly were the subject of trade rumors Tuesday.
The Jets are 1-6 entering Week 9 and they did nothing at the trade deadline to improve their situation. Ouch.
WINNER: Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens needed to upgrade their secondary, and they did just that by acquiring cornerback Marcus Peters from the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for linebacker Kenny Young. Peters made an instant impact for Baltimore with one pass defensed and a 67-yard interception return for a touchdown in a Week 7 win over the Seattle Seahawks. The 26-year-old veteran was the 13th-best cornerback in the league at the time of the trade, per Pro Football Focus.
LOSER: Washington Redskins
Trent Williams had held out all season (he finally reported Tuesday for contractual reasons) and doesn't appear interested in playing for the Redskins beyond this season, and yet Washington held on to its star left tackle at the trade deadline. Trading Williams could have netted Washington valuable draft picks, which it would use to surround young quarterback Dwayne Haskins with some much-needed offensive weapons at the skill positions. After seeing what the Miami Dolphins acquired for left tackle Laremy Tunsil, the Redskins should've immediately traded Williams, but they instead waited too long to reportedly be "open" to moving him.
NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay tweeted before the deadline, "The one quote that stands out talking with league sources on possible Trent Williams move - Redskins wouldn’t take calls on a trade for months, 'nobody wants to bail them out now.'" That quote sums up the incompetence of the Redskins front office quite well.
The Redskins are 1-7 entering Week 9, with no end to their misery in sight.
WINNER: Jacksonville Jaguars
Star cornerback Jalen Ramsey requested a trade from the Jaguars in September, and despite not having a ton of leverage, Jacksonville still got a really impressive haul after moving him to the Los Angeles Rams earlier this month. Jacksonville netted two first-round picks and a fourth-round selection from L.A. Ramsey is a tremendous player, but the Jaguars were smart to take advantage of the Rams' desperation to contend in the short term.
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LOSER: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Multiple teams reportedly were interested in trading for tight end O.J. Howard, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided not to deal him.
The Bucs have not targeted Howard enough this season, and they clearly aren't maximizing his skill set when he does get involved. Howard has tallied 13 receptions for 176 yards and zero touchdowns on just 18 targets through six games. If Tampa Bay isn't going to feature Howard in the offense, it should have dealt him for a valuable draft pick considering the Bucs' roster has a lot of weaknesses to address going forward.
The Buccaneers are 2-5 and almost certainly will miss the playoffs for the 12th consecutive season.
WINNER: New England Patriots
The Patriots had to upgrade their talent and depth at wide receiver, especially with Josh Gordon's career in New England likely over, and Mohamed Sanu was an excellent addition to fill that need. The 30-year-old veteran can play on the outside or in the slot, giving the Patriots valuable versatility. He's also a good blocker in the run game. Sanu isn't a rental, either -- his contract expires after the 2020 season. He was worth the cost of a 2020 second-round pick for New England.
Another factor making the Patriots a "winner" at the trade deadline is that many of the top contenders in the AFC, including the Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts, failed to make a move to improve their rosters for the playoffs.
There were plenty of juicy rumors Tuesday, including the possibility of the New York Jets trading star safety Jamal Adams and running back Le'Veon Bell, but the biggest deal of the day ended up being the Los Angeles Rams trading cornerback Aqib Talib and a fifth-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for a future draft pick. This trade happened about two hours before the deadline, and unfortunately for fans expecting fireworks at 4 p.m. ET, nothing else of note happened Tuesday.
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