Athletics With Eli: A Rundown of NFL Trades

Eli Floyd, Contributing Writer

The NFL trade deadline was November 1st. Multiple star players were on the move as teams sought to add depth, draft capital, and add salary space. When a team elects to ship off a player of a higher caliber in exchange for depth, they are essentially bolstering their roster to make it not as top-heavy. By securing draft capital in exchange for players, teams have more picks in future drafts, allowing them to choose their young players as they see fit. Salary cap and space depend on  many  things: location, ownership, and whether or not said ownership is willing to pay an exuberant amount of money in order to construct a better roster. This article will break down the top three moves and honorable mentions that may have gone unnoticed, seeing as though they would not be considered “blockbusters.” 




Jacksonville Jaguars acquire Wide Receiver Calvin Ridley from Falcons

Approaching the 2022-23 NFL season, both parties involved were projected to be mediocre football clubs at best, maybe less so than the Atlanta Falcons. The Jags, coming off a spending spree over the off-season, acquiring multiple mid-tier free agents, were viewed as somewhat of an NFL question mark. Second-year gunslinger Trevor Lawerence was positioned to build on his less-than-stellar rookie campaign. However, there were some bright spots; Jacksonville was banking on the all-important “2nd year QB leap.” By aiding Lawrence with an experienced deep threat and route technician within Ridley, the Jags  surround their franchise centerpiece with viable offensive weapons. In the hopes that he can make the most of them, Ridley joins the franchise in exchange for a 2023 fifth-round pick and a 2024 sixth-round selection. Although the star receiver has had personal troubles that have kept him sidelined for the majority of the year, Jacksonville hopes he can return to his prior self and add another dimension to their top-10 offense. These picks help Atlanta build around their young assets on both sides of the ball as they wait to deploy their highly touted rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder. The Jaguars are in the market for some upgrades on both the offensive and defensive lines, as both of these units have been graded as below average thus far according to Pro Football Focus. This sports analytics company thoroughly analyzes National Football and NCAA Division-1 football in the United States.


Jaguars: A

Falcons: B+

Bears land Wide Receiver Chase Claypool from Pittsburgh Steelers

Although this may seem like an overpay for a not yet proven receiver, the Chicago Bears and first-year General Manager Ryan Poles have a plan. By delivering a highly coveted early second-round pick to a floundering Pittsburgh franchise, the Bears finally got themselves a weapon for 2nd-year QB Justin Fields, who has been showing improvement week to week. This trade serves two purposes. One is a chance for the franchise to evaluate Fields as a passer, and if they determine he is their quarterback moving forward, now they have an established receiving core if they add a top-tier receiver in coming years. Claypool joins the Bears after coming off an interesting stint with the Steelers. As a rookie, Claypool posted an impressive statline, hauling in nine touchdowns to go along with north of 800 receiving yards. In his second year, he saw a decline, partly due to the play of aging QB Ben Rothlisberger. Nevertheless, he comes into the Chicago franchise looking to turn things around and is excited to play with a dynamic QB like Fields in the backfield. As for the steelers, well, they hit the jackpot. In a season where they are one of the least competitive teams league-wide, they secure a second-rounder for a receiver who they were seemingly looking to move on from anyway. The Steelers seem to have a knack for hitting on mid-round receivers, so look for them to secure a high-upside receiver in coming drafts to fill their Claypool-sized hole in the pass-catching department. 


Bears: C

Steelers: A


The Top 3 


  1. Bills finally get their receiving back From the Colts

After missing out on the J.D. Mckissic sweepstakes over the offseason,  the Bills made a move to acquire a pass-catching back to incorporate into their explosive air attack down the stretch of the 2022-23 season and into the playoffs. Nyheim Hines will accompany veteran Devin Singletary in the Buffalo backfield after occupying the Jonathan Taylor backup spot in Indianapolis, though he saw some third down action. Hines is an extremely dynamic, high value pass catcher at the running back position, though Pro Football Focus has him graded similarly to Singletary in that department. Look for the bills to continue their pass-heavy offensive ways with this new addition. For the Colts, by off-loading Hines for reasonable compensation in Zack Moss and a late-round draft pick, they look to continue to experiment in the backfield and add pieces through the draft as they try to figure out their complicated quarterback situation. 

Bills: B+

Colts: A

  1. Linebacker Bradley Chubb makes his way to Miami

Fins up! The Dolphins made a splash at the deadline by landing hard-hitting outside linebacker Bradley Chubb from the Denver Broncos. The fifth-year stud finds himself in Miami after an impressive start to the 2022 campaign. He ranks third in edge rush wins only behind Dallas’ defensive player of the year favorite Micah Parsons and solidified pro-bowler Myles Garret of Cleveland. Chubb totaled twelve sacks in his rookie year but hasn’t hit double digits since. Though this is no sign for concern, it is something to consider. An improved defensive unit for the Dolphins only gets better as they look to make an end-of-season push in a stacked Conference. The Broncos were compensated with a late first-round pick from Miami (via San Francisco) and credit to them for understanding their situation. This defensive unit was far from serviceable, even with Chubb and his contributions. The Broncos sit at 3-5, good for 3rd in the AFC West, their season is all but over, and Broncos fans can “let’s ride” their way to the end of another painful year.


Broncos: A

Dolphons: B+


  1. Christian McCaffrey dealt to the 49ers

Arguably the biggest move of the 2022 deadline was Christian McCaffrey being traded to the San Francisco 49ers. McCaffrey, coming off an injury ridden 2021 campaign where he only suited up for seven contests, has looked as close to his old self as possible through eight games with Carolina this year. The 49ers are one of the most dangerous offenses in the league with the addition of a McCaffrey, flanked by the self-proclaimed “wide-back” in Deebo Samuel, third-year man Brandon Aiyuk, and a top 2 tight end in George Kittle. Look for them to be the team to beat in the NFC West, up there with the surprising Seattle Seahawks. The Panthers, on the other hand, are far from the team to beat in their respective division. They do have some good young pieces on either side of the ball, especially on defense. With the package they received from San Francisco, the Panthers will only build around their young foundation, in hopes of being competitive in coming years. 


49ers: B

Panthers: A+