"Hello boys, I'm baaaaack!"
The NFL trade deadline has come and gone. While not as flashy and chock full of mega deals like the MLB deadline, we saw some intriguing swaps take place, including a 2010 Pro Bowler on the move and a supposedly retired quarterback come back with a vengeance.
Click on to see what contending teams (and the Rams) did at the deadline.
Lions would have gotten: RB Ronnie Brown
Eagles would have gotten: RB Jerome Harrison, seventh-round pick in 2013
This deal was derailed by "health concerns," but it wasn't going to dramatically change anything anyway. In fact, these running backs had strikingly similar numbers so far this year. Brown has 38 yards on 13 carries (2.9 YPC), while Harrison has 41 yards on 14 carries (2.9 YPC). Neither has scored a touchdown so far.
Brown has certainly been the better back throughout the past few years, putting up 734 yards last year with the Dolphins. Harrison hasn't had that many yards since 2009 with the Browns.
Harrison was a serviceable backup to LeSean McCoy last year with the Eagles, so it seems that the Eagles felt he could regain that effectiveness again this year. The world may never know. But the world probably doesn't care too much.
Texans get: WR Derrick Mason
Jets get: conditional seventh-round pick in 2012
It was only two seasons ago that Mason had 1,028 yards in 2009 with the Baltimore Ravens, but it certainly feels like ages ago. Mason picked up 802 yards last year before being cut by the Ravens in July.
After being cut, Mason signed with the New York Jets, replacing Jerricho Cotchery as the third receiver. The results were disastrous. In five games, Mason caught just 13 passes for 115 yards and no touchdowns. Was it because of the Jets' stagnant offense or because of Mason's age of 37? Yes.
Still, the Texans bringing him in makes some sense. After losing Andre Johnson for a few weeks, Mason will add some depth to a receiving corps consisting of Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter. The Texans may hope that Matt Schaub can rejuvenate Mason into the player he was prior to the 2010 season.
He won't have much time to do so, though. During Johnson's absence, Schaub will be looking more and more for Owen Daniels, and when Johnson returns, Mason will be buried even deeper in the depth chart. It seems the former Titans' career is coming to a close.
Raiders get: LB Aaron Curry
Seahawks get: seventh-round pick in 2012, conditional mid-round pick in 2013
The former fourth overall pick has a new home. Curry will join the Raiders' starting lineup alongside Kamerion Wimbley and Rolando McClain, pushing Quentin Groves to the bench.
Still just 25 years old, Curry is looking for a fresh start in Oakland. While certainly not awful, Curry was unspectacular in his first two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. Last year, Curry racked up 73 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. In his first five games with the Seahawks this year, Curry put together 22 tackles and no sacks.
The move makes sense for the Raiders, who themselves are making a surprising playoff push. Curry is only making $370,000 this year, but for the 2012 season, he'll be due $5.7 million in the final year of his rookie contract. He could be cut before the season next year, making this a potential rental. But because the Raiders gave up two draft picks for him, they might be wise to hold onto him and perhaps ask him to restructure his deal.
Rams get: WR Brandon Lloyd
Broncos get: sixth-round pick in 2012
77 catches. 1,448 yards. 11 touchdowns.
Those are Brandon Lloyd's stats last year with the Broncos. It was a surprising breakout year for Lloyd, who was 29 years old last season.
This season, his numbers haven't been so outstanding. Through four games, Lloyd has just 19 catches for 283 yards and no touchdowns. By no means miserable numbers, but something has changed. Could it be that Lloyd was a fluke last year, Kyle Orton's struggles this year or the changed offensive scheme by head coach John Fox?
Whatever it was, it wasn't working this year, so trading the Pro Bowler to a contending team in the final year of his contract only makes sense.
Wait, so why did the 0-5 Rams trade for him?
The Rams clearly see something in him, and while they have no chance at the postseason this year, it seems likely that the Rams will try to sign Lloyd long-term. Risky for a guy who will be 31 next summer and whose career high in yards before 2010 was 733 with the 2005 49ers.
Still, the Rams are desperate after being forced to start Brandon Gibson once Danny Amendola went down for the season and Mike Sims-Walker didn't work out. Perhaps Lloyd's former head coach (now offensive coordinator) Josh McDaniels can bring back the mojo. And having Sam Bradford as your quarterback instead of Kyle Orton doesn't hurt, either.
While I don't think this is the most impactful move made at the deadline, it's certainly the best bargain. Giving up a late round pick for a Pro Bowler is almost always a win.
Raiders get: QB Carson Palmer
Bengals get: first-round pick in 2012, conditional second-round pick in 2013
Wow. Simply wow. No one saw this coming.
After Jason Campbell went down, the Raiders were left with no one but Kyle Boller and rookie Terrelle Pryor on their bench. Palmer was certainly not the Raiders' first option; they knew how stubborn Bengals owner Mike Brown was being and how much it would cost to pry the quarterback away from him. Former Jaguars quarterback David Garrard would have been a much cheaper option, but a herniated disc in his back that requires surgery kept that from happening.
But the Raiders, desperate to not let their playoff hopes slip away, pulled the trigger. After trading away their first-rounder next year, they have only two picks in the 2012 draft: in the fifth and sixth rounds. The second-round pick in 2013 they traded away becomes a first-round pick if the Raiders win a playoff game.
But is the formerly retired Palmer worth it? Remember, this isn't just a rental. Palmer has three years after this season remaining on his current deal. Palmer is 31 years old, and just last season in Cincinnati, he threw 20 interceptions. Granted, the Raiders could cut him at any time, but after giving up two high draft picks, they probably won't.
Which leaves the Terrelle Pryor saga shrouded in even more mystery. The Raiders just used a third-round pick on him, and he is under contract for as long as Palmer. Based on the king's ransom Oakland gave up for Palmer, he is likely going to stick as their starting quarterback for a while. Could we see Pryor change positions? Only time will tell.
In the end, it's a good fit for the Raiders. They will still be a run-first offense led by Darren McFadden—arguably the best running back in the league. Palmer has always been a fan of throwing deep bombs, and with an intriguing young receiving corps in Oakland that includes the speedy Darrius Heyward-Bey, it may just work. Not to mention, head coach Hue Jackson has spent time with Palmer at USC and Cincinnati before joining the Raiders.
The 4-2 Raiders are looking for the playoffs, and they're letting everyone know it.
Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below! I love to hear from you guys.