• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Recapping the 2022 NFL Trade Deadline

BySean Clark

Nov 2, 2022
Bradley Chubb lined up for a play

Photo courtesy of Michael Owens | Getty Images

After the most eventful offseason in NFL history where many superstars were on the move, the 2022 NFL Trade Deadline continued that trend with multiple star players being traded for high draft picks on Tuesday.

Before deadline day, the biggest trade saw the San Francisco 49ers acquire Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey on Oct. 20. He has made an immediate impact as against the Los Angeles Rams, he ran, threw and caught a touchdown in the 49ers’ 31-14 win.

Below will be a breakdown of the four biggest trades on deadline day and a grade for both teams in the deal.

1. Vikings land tight end T.J. Hockenson from the Lions

For the second time in 2022, the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions have exchanged talent with one another. Back in April, the Vikings traded the 12th pick in the NFL Draft to the Lions, who then selected Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams. Minnesota returned the favor and gave up multiple picks to acquire tight end T.J. Hockenson.

The Vikings, who currently sit atop the NFC North at 6-1, desperately needed a TE after Irv Smith Jr. was placed on the four-game Injured Reserve list for an ankle injury. Hockenson ranks fifth among TEs in the NFL in receiving yards with 395, including a Week 4 game against the Seattle Seahawks where he caught eight passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns.

He’ll be a reliable security blanket for Kirk Cousins as the Vikings look to extend their 3.5-game lead in the NFC North as the most explosive TE Minnesota has had since the prime days of Kyle Rudolph.

As for the Lions, this trade makes little sense. He could have been a much-needed big target for a potential franchise QB Detroit may select in the upcoming NFL Draft in a league where productive TEs are not as common as they used to be. On top of this, with the fourth-round pick they’re sending to the Vikings, the Lions will not move up significantly in the draft as the Vikings will have lower selections while the Lions will pick high in each round. Overall, a fantastic move for the Vikings.

Vikings: A

Lions: D

2. Bears bolster WR corp by trading for Steelers WR Chase Claypool

All season long, Justin Fields has shown why Chicago Bears fans have been excited about him since he was drafted in 2021. Despite a lackluster receiving corp, Fields and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy have started to develop an identity on offense by using his legs and mobility to confuse defenses. Additionally, Fields has made impactful plays all season by scrambling for huge yardage in key situations.

With the 32nd-ranked passing offense, it became clear the Bears needed to upgrade a below-average WR corp and build around Fields. One day after shipping linebacker Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens for a second-round draft pick, the Bears used their other second-round pick to acquire Pittsburgh Steelers WR Chase Claypool.

Claypool fell out of the Steelers’ offense after two solid seasons in 2020 and 2021 with rookie QB Kenny Pickett preferring Diontae Johnson and George Pickens as his go-to WRs. He will immediately provide a deep threat and big target for Fields to throw to, which is exactly what the Bears needed to do to support their young QB. Since Claypool is only 24 years old, he will have a long time to get implemented into the Bears’ offense.

Overall, a huge win for the Bears while the Steelers got another second-round pick to use in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Bears: A+

Steelers: B

3. Miami Dolphins go all-in by adding pass rusher Bradley Chubb from the Broncos

When Tua Tagovailoa has finished a game in 2022, the Miami Dolphins are a perfect 5-0, including a win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 3. As Tagovailoa continues to torch the league with the most explosive WR duo in the league (Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle), the Dolphins have decided to go all-in. They used the final of three first-round picks from the Trey Lance trade (other two were used to get Hill and Waddle) with the 49ers to acquire Denver Broncos pass rusher Bradley Chubb.

Chubb has been injury-prone throughout his 4.5 seasons in the NFL, missing 22 out of 33 games in 2019 and 2021. However, when healthy, Chubb has helped the Broncos defense to be a terrifying unit throughout the past few seasons despite a lackluster offense that has provided no support. He has 5.5 sacks in the NFL, which is more than a third of the total sacks the Dolphins have had this season (15).

Miami is clearly going all-in and giving up a first-round pick that was going to be lower with the 49ers possibly being a NFC Championship contender is a good move to make, especially considering that pass rush was their biggest need. If Chubb can stay healthy, he will cause many problems for opposing QBs (except Josh Allen because he can avoid any sack attempt).

As for the Broncos, they finally have a first-round pick in a rough season after losing their original pick in the Russell Wilson trade. Chubb was more of a luxury than a necessity considering their pass rush already has Nick Bonitto, Randy Gregory, Baron Browning,red Jacob Martin and newly acqui. They also added RB Chase Edmonds to provide depth in relief of the Javonte Williams injury.

With Chubb being a free agent at the end of the season, the Dolphins will need to re-sign him if they are to keep him as a franchise cornerstone. But this frees up spending money for the Broncos down the road and got a nice return on top of it.

Dolphins: B

Broncos: B+ 

4. Jaguars acquire suspended WR Calvin Ridley from the Falcons

Who expected this trade coming into deadline day? The Atlanta Falcons gave the Jacksonville Jaguars WR Calvin Ridley, who is still serving a year-long suspension for betting on the Falcons (ironically against the Jaguars) for low and conditional draft picks.

While coming out of nowhere, this trade makes sense for both teams. The Falcons are a run-first unit with head coach Arthur Smith’s clever system that even allows backup players to thrive. With Drake London, Kyle Pitts and Olimade Zaccheaus as Marcus Mariota’s top targets for the first-place Falcons, Ridley was not going to have a huge role when returning from suspension next season, so they might as well get some compensation for him.

For the Jaguars, it has been a disappointing 2-6 season for the team with Trevor Lawrence making minimal growth in year two and still not having a true number-one wide receiver. Ridley can fulfill this role next season after 1,374 receiving yards in 2020 and due to the Jaguars having a high draft pick, it will be another chance to build around Lawrence long term.

This trade will be a win for both teams. Atlanta frees up cap space and gets compensation for a suspended WR while Jacksonville gets a No. 1 WR 2023 and has to give up little for him.

Jaguars: A-

Falcons: B