Over the last three days, the NFL has seen a flurry of trades, with six different ones taking place. These trades are very surprising given that the NFL has the least amount of trading out of any of the major North American sports. In comparison to the other sports, the NFL’s trade deadline is usually barren, with most trading taking place just before or during the draft.
On Sunday, the New York Jets made the first trade with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting that they sent cornerback Dexter McDougle to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for safety Terrance Brooks. The Jets made the move as they are in need of depth at safety since backup Rontez Miles has been dealing with an eye laceration and Doug Middleton was waived/injured with a torn pectoral muscle.
By moving on from McDougle, only two of the 12 players from the team’s 2012 draft remain on the roster. The Eagles made the move to get McDougle since they were overcrowded at the safety position and have been looking to upgrade at cornerback, one of the weakest positions on the team.
Yesterday, the Jets were once again involved in another trade, sending safety Ronald Martin to the Indianapolis Colts for long snapper Thomas Hennessy. The Jets had auditioned free-agent long snappers recently according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini since veteran Tanner Purdum has looked shaky. Hennessey will now compete with him over the final week of the preseason.
Yesterday also saw another long snapper trade, as the New Orleans Saints acquired long snapper Jon Dorenbos from the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2019 seventh-round draft pick. Dorenbos was the longest-tenured player on the Eagles, having played in a franchise-record 162 straight regular-season games and making the Pro Bowl twice.
The Saints had tried out three different long snappers this offseason after not resigning veteran Justin Drescher in March. When none of them worked out, the team resigned Drescher in early August. However, NOLA.com reporter Josh Katzenstein said that Drescher was wearing a walking boot yesterday before the trade took place. By trading for Dorenbos, the Saints fill a position of need while the Eagles get younger with third-year player Rick Lovato taking over long snapping duties.
However, the biggest trade yesterday was the Buffalo Bills sending linebacker Reggie Ragland to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 2019 fourth-round draft pick. The Bills drafted Ragland in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, trading up with the Chicago Bears by swapping seconds and giving up a 2016 and 2017 fourth-round pick.
Ragland then tore his ACL in training camp, missing his entire rookie year. He entered this season competing for the starting linebacker job. However, he was soon demoted to working with the third string defense a week into training camp. By acquiring the 23-year-old linebacker, the Chiefs are hoping they can mold him into a future starter since Ragland is so young and should better fit into their 3-4 defense. Their goal is that he can be a future replacement for veteran Derrick Johnson, who will be 35 next year and will also be entering the final season of his contract.
The trades kept coming today as the New England Patriots traded a 2018 seventh-round draft pick to the Cincinnati Bengals for linebacker Marquis Flowers. As ESPN’s Mike Reiss pointed out, the Patriots have a number of key special team players who have been dealing with injuries in recent weeks. Flowers can step in and play special teams like he has done with the Bengals since entering the league in 2014.
The most recent trade that took place saw the San Francisco 49ers trade tight end Vance McDonald and a fifth-round pick to the Steelers in exchange for a fourth-round pick. San Francisco had made him available since the draft ended, as they drafted George Kittle in the fifth round and McDonald wasn’t seen as a fit under the new coaching staff.
For the Steelers, they hope McDonald can fill in at tight end and replace veteran Heath Miller who retired following the 2015 season. Last year, the team signed Ladarius Green in free agency but the move did not work out due to him being constantly injured. They have also been unhappy with current tight ends Jesse James and Xavier Grimble, who have been inconsistent catching passes this offseason.
[Featured Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]