The 2022 NFL trade deadline buzzer has sounded, and there were several deals made leading up to Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET cutoff. The Buffalo Bills even beat the clock, acquiring running back Nyheim Hines from the Indianapolis Colts with three minutes to spare before the deadline. With lots of parity across the league, a number of teams dipped their toes into the trade waters.
Here, we're grading each of the notable moves to fall before Tuesday's trade deadline:
Dolphins acquire Bradley Chubb
Dolphins get: EDGE Bradley Chubb, 2025 fifth-round pick
Broncos get: RB Chase Edmonds, 2023 first-round pick, 2024 fourth-round pick
From Denver's perspective, the trade of Chubb is a curious move. The season has not gone as expected with new quarterback Russell Wilson but initiating a rebuild while carrying such a steep contract is counter-intuitive. The Broncos need all the help they can get and Chubb plays a premier position. Plus, San Francisco is likely to make the playoffs so the first-round pick they received from the Dolphins in return will almost certainly be in the 20s or worse. With that being said, Denver may have some insight into the 26-year-old not being worth what it would have had to pay on a new contract.
Miami paid a significant price for the right to pay the young edge rusher. The move is a commitment to the path on which the Dolphins are headed, which is respectable. Chubb has recorded 26 sacks in 49 games, which is another way of saying he has missed 24 games since being taken No. 5 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Dolphins grade: B
Broncos grade: B
Steelers acquire William Jackson
Commanders get: Conditional sixth-round pick in 2025
Steelers get: CB William Jackson, conditional seventh-round pick in 2025
Washington deserves some credit for getting something for a player everyone knew was no longer in their long-term plans. That being said, it's hard to give them too much credit given that they didn't receive much for a cornerback who should have had decent value on the open market. It's surprising that a contending team -- the Cincinnati Bengals come to mind following Chidobe Awuzie's serious injury sustained on Monday night -- didn't making a compelling offer for Jackson.
Pittsburgh liked Jackson and was primed to select him with the 25th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. But the Bengals jumped in and grabbed Jackson with the 24th pick, leaving the Steelers to select fellow cornerback Artie Burns. Six years later, the Steelers finally have Jackson on their roster after pulling off Tuesday's trade.
The acquisition of Jackson is timely given that Pittsburgh's secondary allowed three touchdowns to A.J. Brown during Sunday's blowout loss in Philadelphia. Jackson alone won't mask all of the Steelers' secondary issues, but it's a good start. He's a veteran player who could mimic the success Joe Haden recently had after joining the Steelers during the back half of his career.
Steelers grade: B
Commanders grade: C
Jaguars acquire Calvin Ridley
Jaguars get: WR Calvin Ridley
Falcons get: Conditional pick ranging from second-rounder to sixth-rounder
Ridley caught his last pass for the Falcons on Oct. 24, 2021. We would venture to guess that he probably wanted a new start somewhere else. Atlanta already started to build a new wide receiving corps with Drake London, Damiere Byrd and Bryan Edwards, and hey, the Falcons are currently sitting atop the NFC South at 4-4!
We like how many conditions there are on this deal. Best-case scenario, the Falcons will receive a 2023 fifth-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick. Worst-case scenario, Atlanta gets a sixth-round pick, and Ridley doesn't even make the Jaguars roster in 2024. You could argue that's decent value for a player who hasn't played for your team in over a year.
Ridley will be 28 when he puts on a Jags helmet for the first time. When you look at the stats from his first four seasons, Ridley looks like a legitimate No. 1. He was sixth in receiving yards in 2020, which ranked higher than big names like DK Metcalf, Tyreek Hill, Terry McLaurin and A.J. Brown. You have to imagine Ridley will be rejuvenated with this change of scenery, but at the same time, it's fair to wonder if this addition is a sure thing.
Jaguars grade: B+
Falcons grade: C
Bears acquire Chase Claypool
Bears get: WR Chase Claypool
Steelers get: 2023 second-round pick
Chicago has finally given Justin Fields another starting-caliber wideout, which isn't nothing. Claypool has shown in spurts that he can be a physical freak, and opposite Darnell Mooney, he should aid the Bears' passing attack both now and through 2023. The question is, how much can he elevate it after an uneven, occasionally undisciplined run in Pittsburgh? The Steelers get the benefit of the doubt here because of how seamlessly they draft, develop and replace pass catchers; they're basically getting back what they paid to select Claypool three years later, with George Pickens waiting to emerge as a feistier starter anyway.
Bears grade: C+
Steelers grade: B+
Vikings acquire T.J. Hockenson
Vikings get: TE T.J. Hockenson, 2023 fourth-round pick, 2024 conditional fourth-round pick
Lions get: 2023 second-round pick, 2024 third-round pick
With Irv Smith Jr. banged up, Minnesota needed some help at tight end. Instead, they got a massive upgrade. Hockenson has battled his own injuries, but when healthy, he's easily a top-10 pass catcher at his position, rounding out an already-impressive Vikings group that includes Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. All the Vikings are surrendering, to secure Hockenson through at least 2023 on a reasonable deal, is essentially the equivalent of a second-rounder. Detroit has reason to sell, to be sure, but why did their trade chip have to be one of their few proven building blocks, who will now play them twice a year and be difficult to replace even with the improved draft capital?
Vikings grade: A
Lions grade: D+
Bills acquire Nyheim Hines
Bills get: RB Nyheim Hines
Colts get: RB Zack Moss, 2023 conditional sixth-round pick
Buffalo got its coveted versatile running back before the deadline, acquiring Hines while parting ways with Moss, a third-year player whose role had diminished this season. Without giving up much, the Bills picked up a 25-year-old running back who has caught 300 passes since coming into the NFL in 2018. Hines' skill set should complement Devin Singletary while giving Josh Allen another option in the passing game. In return, the Colts received a draft pick and a running back who averaged a career-high 5.4 yards per carry for the Bills this season.
Bills grade: B+
Colts grade: B
Ravens acquire Roquan Smith
Ravens get: LB Roquan Smith
Bears get: 2023 second-round pick, 2023 fifth-round pick, LB A.J. Klein
The Ravens are certainly getting a play-maker on an improving defense. Smith leads the NFL with 83 tackles and brings tenacious energy. Whether the Ravens can sign him to a reasonable long-term deal, at a position that doesn't always age well, will go a long way in justifying this gamble, but Baltimore could still recoup a compensatory pick if he leaves after the season. As for the Bears, getting two picks for an impending free agent is solid. After also dealing Robert Quinn, they now have a first, two seconds, a third, two fourths, two fifths, and a seventh in the 2023 draft. The rebuild is on.
Ravens grade: B-
Bears grade: B+
Chiefs acquire Kadarius Toney
Chiefs get: WR Kadarius Toney
Giants get: 2023 third-round pick, 2023 sixth-round pick
If anyone can squeeze the untapped juice out of a once-hyped Swiss Army Knife, it's Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, right? If another team surrendered two picks for a fragile freestyler who's missed 10 games in one and a half seasons, we might scratch our heads. And Toney's inability to stay healthy and/or engaged up to this point is a real concern. But the Chiefs are built to make use of his multipurpose shiftiness, permitting him to serve as a No. 3-type standout as opposed to the No. 1 New York desperately needed him to be. The Giants get credit for admitting their mistake, but K.C., in basically surrendering just an excess pick (the third-rounder is a compensatory bonus), has the supporting cast to end up with the greater value.
Chiefs grade: B
Giants grade: C+
Eagles acquire Robert Quinn
Eagles get: DE Robert Quinn
Bears get: 2023 fourth-round pick
Squarely in the hunt for a title thanks to their 6-0 start, the Eagles already had lots of big names on their defense, but Quinn gives them a proven situational pass rusher to plug into the rotation. The former Pro Bowler struggled to replicate his 2021 dominance early this year, but he's got over a decade of experience as a steady edge presence, and should slot in immediately opposite Brandon Graham behind first-teamers Josh Sweat and star newcomer Haason Reddick. A fourth for a pricey 32-year-old isn't cheap, but the Bears are reportedly eating most of Quinn's salary, and he's easily expendable after the year. Call it a win-win for both sides, with Philly hoping to bolster its front down the stretch a la 2017.
Eagles grade: B+
Bears grade: B
49ers acquire Christian McCaffrey
49ers get: RB Christian McCaffrey
Panthers get: 2023 second-round pick, 2023 third-round pick, 2023 fourth-round pick, 2024 fifth-round pick
Kyle Shanahan has generally schemed up a dominant ground game regardless of who's in the backfield, so the 49ers' investment in McCaffrey, who's also owed $36 million from 2023-2025, is quite costly. As an immediate addition, of course, he gives Jimmy Garoppolo an elite safety valve both as a runner and receiver, ensuring San Francisco should be a contender out of the NFC West. But on the whole, it's hard not to crown Carolina the winner: special as McCaffrey may have been to their offense and fan base, he's got an extensive injury history at a position that's more replaceable than ever, and his return haul should help the Panthers in their next pursuit of a franchise quarterback.
49ers grade: B-
Panthers grade: A
Jets acquire James Robinson
Jets get: RB James Robinson
Jaguars get: 2023 conditional sixth-round pick
New York acted quickly to replace Breece Hall, whose explosive rookie season ended prematurely due to injury, and paid a minimal price to do so. What Robinson lacks in sheer explosiveness, he makes up for with toughness, giving the Jets a potential workhorse for their prominent ground game and surprise playoff bid. Jacksonville was bound to lean more on Travis Etienne, Robinson's spryer counterpart, so getting as high as a fifth-rounder for a veteran coming off a serious injury is solid value. Still, they could've retained Robinson on a modest restricted free agent deal in 2023 as Etienne insurance.
Jets grade: A-
Jaguars grade: B
Cowboys acquire Johnathan Hankins
Cowboys get: DT Johnathan Hankins, 2024 seventh-round pick
Raiders get: 2023 sixth-round pick
Dallas' defense has been a terror for most opponents, but the one area of weakness was run support, which makes Hankins (6-3, 340) an ideal plug-and-play option on the interior. With eyes on a playoff run, the Cowboys are renting a proven run stuffer who may well end up a full-time starter on their front. Las Vegas is fine to swap picks and unload a 30-year-old losing snaps to younger investments, but it's possible the Raiders' own top-10 run "D" could now take a hit in the event of injuries.
Cowboys grade: B+
Raiders grade: B-