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Opinion: NFL Trade Deadline Grades

Once again, the NFL trade deadline has come and gone and the landscape of the league has changed monumentally. Stars have changed teams, injured players have been replaced and a bevy of mid-round draft picks have changed hands. Let's go over the biggest moves of this year's deadline and grade how well they will affect each of their new teams.

The first big trade of this year's deadline was longtime Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. Byard was sent to the Eagles in exchange for fellow safety Terrell Edmunds as well as a 2024 fifth-round draft pick and a 2024 sixth-round draft pick. Byard has been a Stallworth at his position since his breakout year in 2017 and since then has ranked second among active NFL safeties in interceptions according to Pro Football Reference. 

To get someone who is such a ballhawk at a position of need for the Eagles and only giving up a couple of late-round picks and an inconsistent safety is a great move by Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. Meanwhile, the Titans get something for an aging veteran who you would look to move in the offseason. For the caliber of the player and the price the Eagles had to pay, they received an A for this trade. The Titans get a C+ for getting some value for a player who would probably be cut this offseason to save cap space.

According to Pro Football Network, the Seattle Seahawks defense is in the number 12 spot but has had a lack of strength on their defensive line. The New York Giants are a team heading in the wrong direction with great talent on the defensive line, so it made sense when the Giants sent star defensive lineman Leonard Williams to the Seahawks in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick and a 2025 fifth-round pick. 

Williams has put up 39.5 career sacks and will significantly help Seattle stop the run and get to the quarterback. Meanwhile, the Giants are selling high on the impending free agent to accrue some draft capital to replace Williams. The Seahawks receive a B for the trade, as giving up a second-round selection for Williams may have been a bit of an overpay, but they still get a great player. The Giants receive a B as well because of how this helps their future and getting above market value for someone who was going to leave in free agency this offseason.

Next, for the team that sold the most this deadline: the Washington Commanders. Coming off of a thrilling loss to the Eagles last week, the Commanders decided that selling their impending young talent at the deadline would be the direction they wanted to take their team. The Commanders sent star edge rusher Montez Sweat to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a 2024 second-round draft pick as well as sending young cornerstone edge rusher Chase Young to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2024 third-round draft pick. 

The Bears desperately needed help at the edge rusher position as they rank dead last in the NFL in sacks per game. Sweat is a free agent after this season so this move was likely to get him before any other team could sign him. Meanwhile, the Commanders get a premium pick in exchange for a player they could not afford to re-sign. 

As for the trading of Young to the 49ers, it is confusing as to why the draft capital they got in exchange for Young was worse than the Sweat deal as Young was finally coming into his own. The 49ers pair Young with his and last year's defensive player of the year edge rusher Nick Bosa to form one of the most lethal tandems in all of the sport. 

The Commanders receive a B+ grade for the Sweat trade for getting something out of a player you couldn’t resign but a D grade for the mismanaging of the Young trade only getting a third-round pick out of the better player of the two. The Bears receive a B- grade for getting a player at a position of need but after trading back-to-back second-round picks at the deadline the past 2 years you have to wonder what they are thinking. The 49ers received an A for trading a pick that would likely not turn into the player that Young is now to help push for a Superbowl.

Jasper Greuel is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note the views expressed in this column do not represent those of The Post. Want to talk to Jasper about his column? email him at

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