Winners and Losers of the Most Boring Trade Deadline Ever.

Noah Birdsall


Looking back at the previous years of the NFLs trade deadline, there have been many clear winners and in a lot of cases, very clear losers. 2020 did not live up to the hype at all. With names like Julio Jones, Micheal Thomas and Will Fuller swirling around in trade rumors, none of them were moved. 


There were plenty of reasons why many players were not moved. Very few teams showed a willingness to pay the prices required to acquire the top players available. There were plenty of reasons for that, including the financial uncertainty involving the salary cap over the next few years, a  handful of trades were made though. Let’s look at 4 of the deals that were made before the deadline. 


Steelers acquire LB Avery Williamson in exchange for fifth-round pick

One of those trades being LB Avery Williamson being shipped from the Jets to the Steelers. This is a win for both teams because it supplies Pittsburgh with a replacement for the injured LB Devin Bush, and makes that defense even more scary. The Jets were finally able to start really selling their team while acquiring a fifth round pick and continuing their tank for Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. 


Seahawks acquire Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap in exchange for C B.J. Finney, seventh-round pick.

Carlos Dunlap to the Seahawks was one of trades to start off the deadline. The Seahawks pass rush has underwhelmed this season, they tallied just 12 sacks in seven games. The team has also allowed a league worst in passing yards per game. The acquisition of Carlos Dunlap gives the Seahawks much needed depth and talent on the defensive line. The Seahawks are pretty clear winners, but the Bengals also benefited in this deal. Dunlap wanted out of Cincinnati and they were able to fetch an okay return for him (compared to the other trade deadline deals).


Chargers trade DB Desmond King to Tennessee for a sixth-round pick. Desmond King to the Titans is my personal favorite deal of the trade deadline. The Titans bolster up their secondary and make themselves a legit contender in the AFC by acquiring the CB Desmond King. The Titans traded a sixth round pick which was a pretty small price to pay for a player of King’s caliber. He was a 2018 All Pro, in addition Pro Football Focus’ had King tied for the highest graded cornerback since 2017. The very very clear winners are the Tennessee Titans. On the other hand, the Chargers lose this one. King is in a contract year and is going to want money this upcoming season, but you can get more than just a sixth for an all pro defender.


Vikings trade edge Yannick Ngakoue to Ravens in exchange for 2021 third-round pick, 2022 conditional fifth-round pick

The Ravens were seeking another complementary pass rusher for Calais Campbell. who himself has four sacks through six games. Ngakoue instantly becomes exactly what the Ravens were looking to land. To acquire him from the Vikings in exchange for a third round pick in 2021 and a conditional fifth-rounder in 2022 is crazy, considering there’s not a third-round talent. The Vikings lose this deal, and it’s pretty clear why. They traded for Yannick Ngakoue not even 3 months ago, and they traded more in return in this deal to get him. The Ravens win this deal, while trying to make their defense powerful enough to stop Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs offense.


Nothing much noticeable happened besides some other depth moves for teams. The 2020 trade deadline was extremely suspenseful and interesting but overall boring due to the fact that there were no huge names moved. The trades I referenced earlier may end up making a huge difference for these teams in the playoff race, only time will tell.