NFL Trade Deadline 2017: Twitter Reacts to Trades, Fails, Surprises and Non-Deal

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 31, 2017

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 22: Running back Jay Ajayi #23 of the Miami Dolphins enters the field before a NFL game against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium on October 22, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

Something got into the NFL at the trade deadline this year. There was a flurry of major activity, especially over the last 24 hours. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter offered this nugget about the 2017 deadline:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Text from NFL source: “Most active trade deadline ever.”

Going back to the beginning of October, trades involving marquee names have been happening across the NFL:  

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Traded this month: Adrian Peterson Marcell Dareus Duane Brown Jimmy Garoppolo Jay Ajayi So far... NFL trade deadline 4 pm ET today.

Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports summed up the flurry of trade activity with a GIF:

Chris Trapasso @ChrisTrapasso


The official deadline was Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, which was about the moment when the Carolina Panthers traded wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The #Bills deal for #Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin came together at 3:57 pm — 3 minutes before the trade deadline.

Schefter first reported the Benjamin deal to Buffalo for a third- and seventh-round draft pick, adding the move reunites the wideout with head coach Sean McDermott, who was Carolina's defensive coordinator from 2011-16, and general manager Brandon Beane, who spent nine years in the Panthers' front office from 2008-16. 

Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus had this assessment of Benjamin's career so far:

Steve Palazzolo @PFF_Steve

Kelvin Benjamin generally responsible for multiple INTs and multiple spectacular TDs in a given season

Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus finds Benjamin's skill set to be an odd fit with Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor:

Sam Monson @PFF_Sam

Not sure that's a fantastic match with Tyrod's typically conservative play. Will need to put the ball in danger more to maximize Benjamin

The biggest deal to take place on deadline day saw the Philadelphia Eagles, who own the NFL's best record at 7-1, acquire running back Jay Ajayi from the Miami Dolphins for a fourth-round pick. 

Philadelphia Eagles @Eagles

TRADE: #Eagles have acquired RB Jay Ajayi from Miami in exchange for a 2018 4th-round pick. #FlyEaglesFly https://t.co/LIepxUbP2B

Not surprisingly, many Eagles players were very excited by their new addition:

Sidney Jones IV @SidneyJonesIV

🚂 🚂🚂 👀

Carson Wentz @cj_wentz

Let’s welcome the dude @JayTrain23 to Philly! Let’s roll bro! #flyeaglesfly

Alshon Jeffery @TheWorldof_AJ

Welcome to Philly my guy @JayTrain23 🗣choo...choo🚂🚂🚂🚂.... #FlyEaglesFly

Philadelphia's running game ranks fifh in the NFL with 129.2 yards per game, but its depth is lacking with Darren Sproles out for the season with a torn ACL and Donnel Pumphrey on injured reserve with a torn hamstring. 

Monson loved to the move for Philadelphia and also praised LeGarrette Blount for his production with the Eagles:

Sam Monson @PFF_Sam

LeGarrette Blount is averaging more yards after contact than Le'Veon Bell is averaging total. But Ajayi for a 4th is a damn steal.

Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green noted one area in which Ajayi is a massive upgrade for the Eagles backfield:

Brandon Lee Gowton @BrandonGowton

FWIW, Jay Ajayi ranks 19th out of 44 RBs in pass protection this season by @PFF. (Blount 33rd, Smallwood 44th) #Eagles

That's also a key piece of information, since the Eagles lost left tackle Jason Peters in Week 7 for the rest of the year with a torn ACL and MCL. 

The reaction from the Dolphins side wasn't nearly as enthusiastic:

Roy Wood Jr- Ex Jedi @roywoodjr

Ajayi for a 4th round pick? The Dolphins front office should be sent through the concussion protocol. https://t.co/SRl40bxxID

Joe Schad @schadjoe

Miami Dolphins: If you’re not onboard, you’re overboard

Reuben Frank @RoobNBCS

Think about the Eagles' trade history with the Dolphins. A 2nd-round pick for A.J. Feeley. Kiko & Maxwell & #13 for #8. Ajayi for a 4.

Looking up at the Eagles in the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys have a situation to address at running back. Ezekiel Elliott's injunction was denied Monday and his six-game suspension is going into effect immediately, per Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News

Sports reporter Ed Werder noted one running back who the Cowboys are familiar with had heard rumors about himself possibly being dealt:

Ed Werder @EdwerderRFA

#Titans RB DeMarco Murray has "heard rumblings" he could be traded. Led NFL in rushing for #Cowboys in 2014. Zeke suspended. Hmmm.

Later, though, Werder noted the Cowboys are apparently ready to roll with the three running backs they already have on their roster:

Ed Werder @EdwerderRFA

If DeMarco Murray is traded, #Cowboys not likely involved. I'm told Cowboys trust 3 RB they have for duration of Zeke suspension

Michael Lombardi of the Ringer did like the idea of Murray going to the Cowboys:

Michael Lombardi @mlombardiNFL

Cowboys & Murray make sense, he can play right away and is better than Morris for the short term, cause he can do more in the passing game.

Instead, the Cowboys will rely on a combination of Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden and Rod Smith.

The most-talked-about deal took place on Monday when the San Francisco 49ers acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots for a second-round draft pick in 2018. 

ESPN's Jeff Darlington noted current 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has been high on Garoppolo since he was draft-eligible in 2014:

Jeff Darlington @JeffDarlington

Browns asked then-offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to rank available QBs in 2014 draft. His ranks? 1. Carr. 2. Garoppolo. 3. The rest.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addressed the Garoppolo deal at a press conference on Tuesday, per ESPN's Mike Reiss:

Mike Reiss @MikeReiss

"Probably had, in my opinion, the best quarterback situation in the league in my opinion. Just not sustainable." -- Bill Belichick

While the 49ers paid a steep price to get Garoppolo—that second-round pick could end up being as high as No. 33 overall—Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com shared this bit of information:

Peter Schrager @PSchrags

A note from talking to execs around NFL today... Just about every team in need of a QB would trade a 2nd rounder for Jimmy G. (1/2)...

The 49ers did make another move at the deadline on Tuesday. They announced they sent cornerback Rashard Robinson to the New York Jets for an undisclosed draft pick. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport likes the Jets' gamble on Robinson:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Just 22 years old, #49ers CB Rashard Robinson has battled penalties, but the talent has been clear. Gets a fresh start for the #Jets.

Per Connor Hughes of NJ Advanced Media, Jets head coach Todd Bowles didn't seem to know a deal was coming:

Connor Hughes @Connor_J_Hughes

Todd Bowles just asked about that: “We did?” https://t.co/W0AkK305cB

One team that does need a quarterback but didn't land Garoppolo was the Cleveland Browns, who were ripped on social media:

Ben Axelrod @BenAxelrod

The 2017 Browns may top 2015 — and that season included a first round QB getting benched because he couldn’t stop rapping Future on Snapchat

McNeil @Reflog_18

The Browns’ front office right now at the trade deadline. https://t.co/Nk8IriDYMi

Tony Grossi @TonyGrossi

Said all along fair price for Garoppolo was two 2s. Browns have two 1s & three 2s & couldnt get this done? #100yearswar.

Tony Grossi @TonyGrossi

Browns perfectly willing to overpay for Britt, Collins, Zeitler, Osweiler. Unwilling to overpay for Garoppolo. Insanity.

There was a significant rumor for the Browns on deadline day involving suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon, per Schefter:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

With Josh Gordon’s possible reinstatement near, it’s possible Browns could look to trade his right’s by today’s 4 pm deadline, per source.

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Browns WR Josh Gordon’s meeting with the NFL is scheduled for Wednesday, not today, per source. Reinstatement could soon be near.

Schefter also reported the Browns made a last-ditch effort to acquire a quarterback but were unable to finalize a deal:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Bengals and Browns tried, but failed, to complete trade for QB AJ McCarron before deadline, per sources. Deal was “close”; not finalized.

Even though the Browns missed out on A.J. McCarron, Joe Dolan of Fantasy Guru did read into what some of the quarterback-needy teams could be thinking about the 2018 draft:

Joe Dolan @FG_Dolan

Soo… The #49ers dealt for their franchise QB. The #Browns tried to acquire McCarron. Both 0-8. What does that say about the 2018 QB class?

Gordon hasn't played in an NFL game since Dec. 2014 and has one year remaining on his rookie contract if/when the league reinstates him to play. 

Sticking with AFC North wide receivers, Rapoport reported Tuesday afternoon Martavis Bryant would remain with the Pittsburgh Steelers:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

#Steelers WR Martavis Bryant is expected to report for practice Wednesday & PIT is not trading him, I’m told. Teams called, they said no

Bryant was inactive for Pittsburgh's Week 8 win over the Detroit Lions after telling ESPN's Josina Anderson he needed to "move on" from the team. 

The pieces seemed to be in place for Bryant to be dealt. Rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster had a career day against the Lions in Bryant's place with 193 yards and one touchdown on seven receptions. 

After years of being a nonfactor, the NFL trade deadline is starting to become a must-see event, similar to what happens in the NBA and MLB. 

Last year saw notable players like Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy dealt close to the deadline. That was an appetizer for the flurry of activity featuring multiple big-time talents moving around this year. 

There has been a dramatic shift in the NFL landscape this trade deadline, with some teams having an eye on 2017 and others focused on their long-term futures. 

With half of this season still to be played, we will see how all of these deals and non-deals impact the race to Super Bowl LII. 


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