NFL Stats, Lines, Odds & Spreads

NFL 2023 – Trade Deadline Grades – Winners & Losers

The NFL trade deadline has passed, so it’s time to analyze and grade the trades that were made in 2023.  This post will cover trades made in the final days and hours of the trade deadline.  Teams involved in the trades are given a grade for the trade.  Thoughts on the why and who it helps are provided for each traded.

NFL 2023 – Week 9 – Picks Odds Lines Spreads Over Under Totals

The algorithm and power ratings are completely blind to the results of this weeks’ trades.  Therefore I will spend this week’s analysis on what the trades should mean to the teams involved this week and going forward for the second half of the season.   You should definitely take this information into account before/after looking at the generated stat info for each game if you are wagering.  If the game involves a team that made trades this week, please take that/those trades into consideration, even to the point of completely disregarding the algorithm picks or power ratings for a particular team.

Las Vegas Raiders Fire Head Coach McDaniels & GM Ziegler

Raiders – A +++

This is a huge addition by subtraction for the Raiders players and fans.  As noted in the NFL 2023 Team Grades Through 6 Weeks post, McDaniels was a terrible hire who is not head coach material.  The Raiders were going nowhere for as long as he was in charge and it was going to get worse(believe or not).  This is going to be the best $20m Mark Davis ever spent as it allows the Raiders to turn the page and move on from just a horrendous owner decision.  And I really hope this is the very end of the Josh McDaniels as a head coach trajectory.  Goodbye, farewell, and thanks for all the fish.

I would not be surprised if this even makes the Raiders better schematically.  McDaniels’ system is a broken system that stymies player skill and is way too conservative for today’s NFL.  And literally anyone is a better leader of men than McDaniels, so the Raiders just may play this week to stick it in his face and show the rest of the NFL that it wasn’t the players who were the problem in Vegas.

Bills get CB Rasul Douglas from Green Bay in a swap of 3rd and 5th round picks

Green Bay – B+
Buffalo – B-

Ok, I am going to come right out and say I am biased against Rasul Douglas.  Not because he doesn’t have talent, or he is a bad guy in any way.  I don’t like Rasul Douglas because he does have talent but he takes plays, quarters, and sometimes games off.  And he is not one for contact on certain Sundays.  Go back and watch the first half of the Packers Lions game from Week 4 and you will see Douglas taking a the half off.

If Douglas shows up every week, ready to play and get hit, then the Bills got an average to slightly above average cb for around a 4th round pick.  The Bills are in dire need of help at CB with their injury situation so I can’t blame them for trying to find a serviceable cb in the trade market.  J.C. Jackson was the only other cb traded this season, so I am assuming that Douglas was the best cb available for trade with a moderate price tag.  If Douglas was the entire available cb market, then the Bills probably did better than what I am giving them credit for.

The Packer did well to swap a 5th for a 3rd for Douglas.  Their pass defense will probably be a bit worse going forward, but in a strange way a hungry young player getting an opportunity may provide more consitent play, particularly against the run, even if the level of play against the pass dips from what Douglas was providing.  When rebuilding I think you want guys who are selling out every play and are hungry.  That is not Rasul Douglas.

Lions get WR Peoples-Jones from the Browns

Lions – C+
Browns – B

Peoples-Jones seems to be a decent WR3/4 kind of guy who also has punt return abilities.  The Lions have issues at WR and I am assuming they are hoping the Peoples-Jones can find his pre 2023 form, because this year has basically been a washout to the tune of 8 catches for 97 yards, and a distressing Open Score of 7(which means he is almost never open).  This coming off a season were he put up over 800 receiving yards.  This points to Jacoby Brissett being the only QB on the Browns’ recent rosters that really trusted Peoples -Jones.  At just 24, Peoples-Jone has time to rekindle his NFL career, and Detroit would seem to be offering him the opportunity to do so.

The reason I give the Lions a C+ is that it seems this was the doing just barely enough kind of trade.  The needed WR help and they got it.  It is simply a matter of whether the quality of the help is the level that was A) needed, & B) deserved considering the position they are in to make noise in the NFC.  The Lions should be in the NFC final 4.  Is this a move that puts them in the NFC Championship game?  I am not sure it does.  I think I would have called the Broncos and tried to get one of their receivers before even finding out what the Browns GM’s number was.

From the Browns put of view, you got something for an asset you literally had stashed in a corner gathering dust.  It is not a lot of compensation, but get enough 6th rounds picks and you will hit on one.  This is good solid business from the Browns side of things.

49ers get Chase Young – Bears get Montez Sweat from the Commanders

49ers – B+
Commanders – B+
Bears – F

Let’s start with the good.  The 49ers bolster a defense that was beginning to show cracks due to injuries.  Chase Young has had a bit of a rough go of it since being drafted, injuries never really allowing him to show what he can do on a football field.  This year his metrics are quite good, but now its a question of 1) is this increased production because its a contract year for him, and 2) are the injury issues behind him.

This trade let’s the Niners kick the tires and take Young on a test drive through the rest of 2023.  If he fits in and stay productive they can think of resigning him or franchising him for a second look in 2024 before commiting to any kind of long term, expensive contract.  A pick in the bottom half of the 3rd round doesn’t sound too expensive for rolling the dice on a player taken at the top of the draft just 4 years ago.  This is the type of gamble that teams that have Super Bowl potential should take.

For the Commanders, they know better than anyone what Young is, what his medical situation and needs have been recently, and what he is worth in their eyes.  The declining of the 5th year option probably told you all you needed to know; the Commanders dont think he is worth $17m.  So a 3rd round pick for someone not in your future plans seems about right.  It is a net loss considered where he was drafted, but the cost is sunk and at least the Commanders got a decent return on him.

As far as Sweat, the metrics are not kind to his play this year.  I have always liked him, but he is now 27 and his play is flattening out.  It could be that he has peaked and has some wear and tear starting to show.  I am not sure the Commanders wanted to trade him, but look what the Bears gave up; a second round pick when they are 2-6, so probably a pick in the top 10 of 2nd round.  I would trade my mother and throw in an aunt for that pick if I am the Commanders, so this is simply a matter of saying yes to an incredibly foolish offer by the Bears.  The loss of both Young & Sweat will make the Commanders defense worse, but they just gave up 38 to the Eagles so how much worse can it get?

And now for the Bears…..What in God’s name are you doing trading a 2nd round pick for a 27 year old defensive lineman when you are 2 – 6?  I would say this was just a one off rash of foolishness by the Bears except….They did the exact same idiotic thing last year when they traded a second round pick for Chase Claypool.  And that was in the midst of their 14 game losing streak.  And they subsequently had to ship Claypool out for being a malcontent.  So what on Earth would make you decide to do it again this year???? And let’s not even mention that the Seahawks got Young for a cheaper pick….

I only wish grades went down to G so I could give this trade one.  Instead here is an open letter to Bears management on behalf of their fans.

Dear Bears,

You Stink.  You have no hope of contending this year.  We are going to have a high draft slot in each round to restock the bare cupboards. STOP TRADING AWAY OUR FUTURE.

The Entire Bears Fan Base

Vikings get Joshua Dobbs from Cardinals for a bag of peanuts

Vikings – B
Cardinals – C-

The Viking were in a weird position having won 3 straight but losing Cousins for the year.  They had to know the injury basically ended any hope of more than a token playoff appearance, so they couldn’t really spend considerable assets to replace Cousins for two reasons:

1)They are 4 – 4 and the new QB would need to learn the system…what would their record be by the time he was ready to go with Hall playing until then?
2)The best QB available in all the talk leading up to the trade deadline was….Kirk Cousins.

But then, by some small miracle for Vikings fans, the Cardinals decided Dobbs wasn’t worth the price of a cup of coffee. Is Dobbs an NFL qb who take a team on his back and lead them deep into the playoffs, No.  Is he a serviceable NFL QB who has out played at least 10 other quarterbacks who had entire offseasons and training camps to learn and get better before the season started, Yes.  How the Cardinals ended up calculating his worth as a swap of 6th & 7th round picks is just beyond me.

I have to think this has something to do with Kyler Murray and the QB dynamic in Arizona.  Gannon flip-flopped completely on Dobbs in a matter of days.  Starting from he is our QB in week 9, to Tune getting the start, to Murray being uninjured but also not playing, to Dobbs being shipped out.

Want one man’s take on it?  The Cardinals did not want Dobbs standing on the sidelines when Murray makes his comeback attempt on the field.  If Murray goes out and has a rough go of it, the qb and team dynamic starts to get out of whack as the players would want Dobbs to play, while the coaches, and perhaps ownership, wants Murray to play.  The best way to avoid this?  Ship out Dobbs and Tune to backup when Murray returns.

Personally I think the Cardinals would have been better off keeping Dobbs.  He probably would have been signed by someone as a free agent after the season, and at QB salaries, that could have netted the Cards a 6th round compensory pick without giving up anything.

Vikings, good job.  You got an average to slightly below average QB for maybe 10-20 picks worth of draft position in the draft.  Cardinals, you are lucky I didn’t give you an F.  This seems to be extremely short sighted, and not a great message to the locker room.

Seahawks get Leonard Williams from the Giants for 2nd & 5th round picks

Seattle – B

Want to know what is special about this trade?  It’s that it makes sense for both teams and seems to be quite fair.  This is essentially the Giants BUYING two draft picks in exchange for Williams.  The Giants are paying Williams salary as part of the trade, so this trade costs the Seahawks less than $1m in cap space.  I have to imagine this financial arrangement was a key part of the level of compensation the Giants received in the trade.

For Seattle, Williams is a nice add to a defense that is seemingly playing better of late.  Getting some pressure on the QB always helps defenses, and adding a player of Williams caliber at the cost of a couple draft picks is an all-in type of move by the Seahawks.  I don’t think they move a 2nd round pick unless they think the move gets them to the NFC final 4.

I think Seattle smells blood in the SF Bay right now and think the division and a home playoff game is in play.  If you are Seatlle you have to feel good about your chances in a home playoff game with the 12 behind you, so if this trade leads to a division title and a home playoff game its a win.  If Seattle somehow stumbles and misses the playoffs, its a definitive loss.

For the Giants, you traded a few more losses and a giant pile of cash for two extra draft picks.  I think this is the right move given the product on the field and the level of talent currently on the Giants rosters.

Jaguars get OG Cleveland from the Vikings for a 6th round pick

Jags – B
Vikings – C

The might be the trade that goes under the radar but has one of the largest impacts on 2023.  The Jags needed OL help and they got it in the form of a former OT turned guard in Cleveland.  He has started almost 50 games for the Vikings, and while he may not be an All-pro caliber guard, he is certainly a decent upgrade to what the Jags have right now.    Cleveland is a starter the Jags can plug in and count on to do a decent to quality job each week, and normally stay healthy doing it(he is dinged right now but was very reliable before this injury).

For the Vikings, this is a bit confusing when paired with the Dobbs trade.  The Dobbs trade seemed to be a Hail Mary that was completed in hopes of saving a season that has finally started to look positive.  But then you go and downgrade the offensive line?  I have no issue with the Cleveland trade, or the Dobbs trade in separate vacuums.  It just that they don’t seem to work well together.  I almost think this had to be a matter of the Vikings not knowing they could get Dobbs when they traded Cleveland.  Then Dobbs became available and the price was so idiotically low that they did it in spite of just hanging out a For Sale sign.

Jags, nice job.  Vikings, don’t hate it, but just don’t fully understand the thinking behind the Dobbs trade after this one.

Falcons get Kentavious Street from Eagles for 6th 7th round swap

Eagles – B
Falcons – C+

I could be completely wrong and Street could become a revelation in Atlanta, but in my opinion this trade will eventually amount to nothing and be completely forgotten by Eagles fans, Falcons fans, and history in general.  Street is DL depth.  If more playing time unlocks something in him, well done Falcons.  Otherwise, the Eagles gained a few draft slots in the draft for a player who hardly ever hit the field.  The Falcons are gambling almost nothing in hopes the Street becomes productive given a chance.