Winners and losers of the NFL trade deadline

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theScore’s NFL insider Jordan Schultz takes a look at Tuesday’s most significant trades to see who won and lost by the trade deadline.


Vikings: TJ Hockenson is a big talent and a confrontational nightmare who can really run. His move to Minnesota from Detroit will do wonders for All-Pro wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who hasn’t caught a touchdown since Week 1. Hockenson will love head coach Kevin O’Connell’s tight, friendly offense . Expect Hockenson to be deployed all over the court, even as a wide. To quote a scout I spoke with: “This offense has improved a lot.”

Hockenson, 25, is poised to end this season with career numbers at every level. In fact, no tight end in the league averages more yards per catch (15.2). The No. 8 pick in the 2019 draft has a vertical factor that few other tight ends possess.

Bradley Chubb: It was always going to be Miami for the Pro Bowl pass-rusher. The Jets were interested, as were the Rams and others, but it was Miami all along. Chubb is now heading to an emerging Dolphins defense brimming with talented young players. One of those players is second-year defensive end Jaelen Phillips.

Now the Dolphins can book their edges with Phillips and Chubb – a major win. They are both in the Next Gen Stats Pass-Rush success rate top 10 for peak rushers: Chubb is third at 27% and Phillips is 10th at 23%.

Sources tell me that Chubb and his agent are working on getting a long-term extension, though they’re not necessarily in a hurry either. To recap: he rolls out of Denver rudderless and heads to South Beach where he’s about to get paid. Not a bad deal.

Nyheim Hines: Going to Buffalo is a dream scenario for the former Colts running back. Given his skills as a multi-dimensional passer, Hines will complement Devin Singletary, a classic north-south runner. Hines has a ton of twists in his game and will love the dual-threat nature of Josh Allen, which the scout says will “make Hines a better player.”

Buffalo already has the highest-ranked passing offense in the NFL, averaging 307.7 passing yards per game, and CBS Sports’ Garrett Podell noted that as of 2018, Hines is fifth among running backs with 1,725 ​​receiving yards.

Justin Fields: Chase Claypool to the Bears is really interesting. I’m a big fan of Fields, who has shown tangible improvement over the past few weeks. Claypool, 24, is the kind of big-bodied, physical receiver Fields and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy will love to have at their disposal.

At 6-foot-4, 238 pounds, and with a speed of 4.4 and a vertical jump of 42 inches, he’s a jet-powered nightmare and a huge weapon inside the red zone. Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada never seemed to grasp the caliber of weapon Claypool could become. “He’s a beast,” an offensive coach told me. “He will help Fields.”

Jaguar: I love the addition of Calvin Ridley, although it won’t go into effect until at least next season once he seeks reinstatement from his suspension for betting on NFL games in 2021 “Me too,” said the scout. “One of the best offensive players around, not just at receiver.”

Ridley is an excellent road runner and a legitimate No. 1 option. The trade also means more affirmation that the Jags believe in Trevor Lawrence. Christian Kirk has been very good, but now he can move more to the slot machine and allow Ridley – the Falcons’ first rounder in 2018 – to be receiver X.

Ridley had 248 catches for 3,342 yards and 28 touchdowns in just 49 games with Atlanta. He recorded 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine scores in 2020 when he earned All-Pro honors.

With the emergence of second-year running back Travis Etienne, the Jags are building an arsenal of weapons around their young quarterback.


Packers: Green Bay failed to get more help from Aaron Rodgers, which is unsurprising but disappointing. Rookie second-round pick Christian Watson has been struggling with a hamstring injury, Randall Cobb is on the injured reserve and Romeo Doubs – another rookie – has had his ups and downs.

“I was a little surprised that (Green Bay) didn’t get more help from Rodgers,” an assistant general manager told me. “Don’t they think they can get away?” I always thought having Rodgers meant you were in the hunt. It signaled to me that they don’t believe it.

The 3-5 Packers, who are on a four-game losing streak, lack explosiveness offensively. Once in the red zone, their touchdown conversion rate is about the same as in 2021 (around 59%), but it was getting there that was the problem. Green Bay is averaging 2.75 red-zone trips this season, up from 4.1 last year.

“I was kinda hoping there would be some news during this show that we could break,” Rodgers said during his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show.”

Rodgers, the league’s back-to-back reigning MVP, currently ranks 27th in QBR and hasn’t exceeded 255 passing yards in a game all season.

Brandin cooks: This is not a reflection on Cooks, quite the contrary in fact. With six 1,000-yard receiving seasons in nine years, Cooks — who signed a two-year, $39.7 million extension in April — has quietly been one of the most dependable receivers in the league. I’ve been told he wants to leave Houston, however, and although the Rams, Packers, Cowboys, Vikings and Giants have all been interested at one point – the Vikings not so much after the Hockenson deal – it never really looked like the Texans would have him pull the trigger.

The nearly $18 million guaranteed for next season is a huge number. Sources said general manager Nick Caserio was hoping for a second-round pick in return, which would have been a steep price. We see productive receivers going much cheaper. I’ve always loved Cooks but I can understand why he wasn’t moved.

Karim Hunt: I never felt like the Browns would move the running back, who reportedly asked to be traded as early as August. He’s a great player, but he’s also a free agent after the season. From what I’m told, Hunt wants the money for the top running back, so anyone looking to trade for him didn’t want to risk getting a half-season hire. Browns general manager Andrew Berry wanted a fourth-round pick in return, which would be a major asset for a short-term fix.

“We loved it,” a scout told me. “But everyone loves him. He’s that type of player. I don’t think we’ve come close either.”

The aforementioned offensive coach said: “I think Cleveland is just trying to hang on before (Deshaun) Watson comes back. They got the big win on Monday night against the Bengals, and Hunt is easily one of the best guards around. from the AFC. Why are they trading him?

Jordan Schultz is theScore’s NFL Insider and NBA Senior Reporter. Follow him on TwitterInstagram and TikTok

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