The NFL trade deadline saw considerable action as two wide receivers, a running back, a safety, and an edge rusher were dealt on Tuesday.
The Broncos shipped Demaryius Thomas to the Texans, the Lions traded Golden Tate to the Eagles, the Packers dealt Ty Montgomery to the Ravens and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to Washington, and the Jaguars sent Dante Fowler to the Rams. These moves will help and hurt a variety of players (and teams) as the 2018 NFL season continues on. Here are the biggest winners and losers following the trade deadline.
Courtland Sutton: While Emmanuel Sanders will remain the No. 1 weapon in Denver, Thomas’ departure paves the way for Sutton to gain more opportunities. It looks like the rookie second-round pick is on track to turn into a star receiver for the Broncos. He has 17 catches for 324 yards and one touchdown, and while that’s not much, his last three games have been big for the Broncos. In those games, he’s compiled 164 yards and a touchdown. Look for him to become a featured weapon for Case Keenum.
The Rams defense: The Rams don’t seem like a team that needs help at 8-0 and with Aaron Donald in the middle of the defensive line. But LA was in need of an upgrade on the edge, and they’ll get that with the addition of Fowler. He has eight tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble this season, but the Rams are surely hoping they can get more than that out of the former first-round pick. Fowler is on the final year of his rookie deal since the Jaguars declined his fifth year option.
Kenny Golladay: The second-year, third-round draft pick has 477 yards and three touchdowns this season and now is stepping into the No. 1 receiver job with Tate out of the picture in Detroit. He hasn’t had the best season, but the Tate trade should force Matthew Stafford to work on his connection with Golladay, who is the team’s second-leading receiver (behind Tate).
The Jaguars’ draft capital: The Jaguars are falling out of the playoff picture and just got a third- and fifth-round pick for a player who wasn’t starting, had off-the-field issues, and was set to become a free agent at the end of the season. This trade seems like a win for Jacksonville, though Rams fans are thrilled, too.
Washington’s playoff hopes: Washington is in first place in the NFC East with the Eagles knocking on the door and the Cowboys hoping for a late-season push. Dallas traded for Amari Cooper, Philly traded for Tate, and Washington felt the need to get into the trading game, too, by adding Dix to their defense. Dix has 27 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, three interceptions, and three passes defensed this season. He’ll offer a nice boost to Washington’s top-five overall defense and the team’s playoff hopes.
Joe Flacco: The Ravens’ running backs have not been impressive and Flacco badly needs some help and a back he can rely on. Backup quarterback Lamar Jackson has the second-most rushing yards on the team with 129, which tells you just about everything you need to know. Alex Collins’ best game was a 68-yard rushing performance against Denver, a team that has allowed two 200-yard rushers this season. Now, Flacco will get some help from Montgomery and hopefully it will lead to an improvement in the run game.
Vance Joseph: John Elway is making moves for 2019 while head coach Vance Joseph is desperate to save his job and win games in 2018. The Broncos just got rid of a top-tier receiver, have a 3-5 record, and their next matchup is with the Texans — yes, the team they just traded Thomas away to. It seems like it’s going to be a downhill slide for the Broncos this season.
The Rams’ future draft classes: Coming into the trade deadline, the Rams had five draft picks and three expected compensatory draft picks in 2019. Now they have four draft picks and three expected comp picks. They gave up a 2019 third-round pick and 2020 fifth-round pick for Fowler. If they win the Super Bowl with Fowler contributing to the defense, it’ll surely be worth it.
Matthew Stafford: The Lions’ quarterback has lost his favorite target since Calvin Johnson retired and no longer has a safety valve at his disposal. Tate led the Lions in receiving yards to this point with 517. Last year he had 1,003 yards on 92 catches along with five touchdowns. He had the most catches on the team, though Marvin Jones had more yards (1,101) as a deep threat.
Javorius Allen: The Ravens No. 2 running back hasn’t been successful this year and Montgomery’s addition will further lessen his workload. He’s had a total of four rushing yards and 57 receiving yards in the last three weeks. Montgomery hasn’t done much better in that span, netting 33 rushing yards and a touchdown as well as 35 receiving yards. With his ability to return kickoffs, Montgomery adds another dimension to the Ravens’ impressive special teams unit, too.