Despite the rumored availability of receivers T.Y. Hilton (Colts), Martavis Bryant (Steelers), and Jarvis Landry (Dolphins) – and the teams calling to inquire about trading for Josh Sitton – the Chicago Bears didn’t make any deals before the NFL’s 3 p.m. central trade deadline yesterday afternoon.
However, there were some teams who were able to consummate deals before time expired, and other important goings-on around the league. So, let’s recap.
- Sometimes the biggest trades are the ones that aren’t made, which seems to be the case with the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets the in-state AFC North rivals so close to a deal, it was believed to be done, but ultimately unable to finalize a deal that would have sent quarterback A.J. McCarron from Cincinnati to Cleveland. Jim Owczarski reports the Bengals missed out on a chance to land picks in the second and third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The Browns have made some curious decisions at the quarterback position in recent years, passing on Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson (twice), and Mitch Trubisky – among others – while settling on DeShone Kizer and Cody Kessler, while also trying to arrange a deal for McCarron.
- You’re probably wondering how McCarron could have fetched a better return than Jimmy Garoppolo, who was acquired by the San Francisco 49ers on Monday from the New England Patriots for a second round pick. The answer lies within the minor details of each player’s contract, writes Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith. McCarron’s deal is a bit more valuable, seeing that the Bengals hold his rights through this winter as a restricted free agent. To retain McCarron’s services for 2018, all the Bengals have to do is use a first-round tender (approximately $4 million) to keep him around. If the 49ers want to keep Garoppolo, who will be an unrestricted free agent in March, the team will need to pony up with a long-term deal or slap the Franchise Tag on him. If you’ll recall, Kirk Cousins signed the Exclusive Franchise Tag tender to remain in Washington, which paid him more than $20 million in 2017.
- One wide receiver was on the move Tuesday, with the Carolina Panthers shipping Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills for picks in the third and seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Benjamin led Carolina in receiving yards (475) at the time of thee trade and ranked third in targets (51) and receptions (32). Why weren’t the Bears in on a deal for Benjamin? For starters, they didn’t have a third-round pick to deal after already sending it to San Francisco as part of the Mitch Trubisky deal.
- The 49ers were involved in another pre-deadline deal, trading cornerback Rashard Robinson to the New York Jets for a fifth-round pick in 2018. Perhaps there is room to grow for the 22-year-old Robinson, who was a fourth-round pick (133rd overall) by San Francisco in 2016. For what it’s worth, Robinson and rookie safety Jamal Adams were college teammates at LSU.
- Seattle acquired Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown from Houston, in what was a more curious trade considering the Texans’ place in the playoff race. However, the return from the Seahawks has changed since the original deal went down on Monday. Cornerback Jeremy Lane was supposed to be going from Seattle to Houston, but failed his physical. To complete the deal, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Seahawks will send a second-round pick in 2019 along with 2018 selections in the third and fifth round.
- The on-again, off-again saga regarding the status of Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant can’t be put to rest with the trade deadline behind us. Both sides are moving ahead to the team’s Week 10 contest against the Indianapolis Colts, where Bryant has been told he is in the team’s offensive game plans. Bryant was inactive for the team’s Week 8 matchup against the Detroit Lions.
- Even though running back Jay Ajayi was moved to the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday, the Miami Dolphins held on to Jarvis Landry – which has Dolphins fans feeling some type of way. Landry is a free agent at year’s end and will be highly sought after by teams hoping to upgrade at receiver.
- Eric Ebron has been a disappointment since being drafted by the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. And while the fact that six of the seven players drafted immediately after him have made at least one Pro Bowl (with Bears corner Kyle Fuller being the notable exception, naturally), Ebron seemed happy to not be on the move as he tweeted this six minutes after the trade deadline passed:
— Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) October 31, 2017