The 2023 NFL trade deadline is now hours away, with all 32 teams required to complete in-season deals by 4 p.m. ET on Halloween. Some years have featured multiple blockbusters. Others have been disappointingly quiet. But the last decade alone has certainly seen some big names change teams midseason.
Here, we're looking at 12 of the biggest deadline deals to cross the wire in the last 12 years, which have seen a gradual increase in what we might consider needle-moving swaps. (Consider that nine of our top 12 came in the last six years.)
12. Colts acquire Vontae Davis (2012)
Full trade: Colts acquired CB Vontae Davis for a second-round pick and conditional sixth-round pick
The former first-rounder made gradual strides in Miami, but he maxed out in Indy, earning two Pro Bowl nods and starting 71 games, with 13 picks and 63 pass breakups in his five healthy seasons atop the cornerback depth chart.
11. Ravens acquire Marcus Peters (2019)
Peters peaked early in his career with a shutdown start in Kansas City, but he brought tenacity to Baltimore's secondary between 2019-2022. The Ravens went 35-14 with three playoff bids during the three years he was active. In his first two years alone, he racked up seven picks, four forced fumbles and 19 pass breakups.
10. Vikings acquire T.J. Hockenson (2022)
Full trade: Vikings acquired TE T.J. Hockenson, a fourth-round pick and conditional fourth-round pick from the Lions for a second-round pick and third-round pick
This has been a rare win-win for both sides -- and divisional rivals, at that. Hockenson has been an efficient, high-volume safety valve for Kirk Cousins in Minnesota, with 96 catches on 133 targets (72.2%) for 823 yards and five scores in his first 16 games in purple. Detroit, meanwhile, went on to use its draft capital to secure both TE Sam LaPorta and S Brian Branch in the 2023 draft; both started their rookie seasons strong, profiling as long-term play-makers.
9. 49ers acquire Emmanuel Sanders (2019)
Full trade: 49ers acquired WR Emmanuel Sanders and a fifth-round pick from the Broncos for a third-round pick and fourth-round pick
Sanders played just 10 games in San Francisco before signing with the Saints after the year, but he was pivotal to the 49ers' Super Bowl bid, averaging almost 14 yards per catch to help QB Jimmy Garoppolo post career numbers and guide a 13-3 finish. His production gave Kyle Shanahan an elite trio of weapons alongside George Kittle and Deebo Samuel.
8. Ravens acquire Roquan Smith (2022)
The former top-10 pick is only 15 games into his Baltimore career, but he's been a heat-seeking missile ever since his arrival, totaling 149 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and seven pass breakups at the heart of the Ravens' playoff-caliber defense. His physicality has also allowed fellow LB Patrick Queen to make significant strides.
Full trade: Eagles acquired RB Jay Ajayi from the Dolphins for a fourth-round pick
Ajayi's chronic knee issues prevented him from ever sustaining the electricity he flashed in Miami with three different 200-yard rushing games in 2016, but some of that same juice gave Philly a lightning to LeGarrette Blount's thunder during arguably the most magical offensive season in Eagles history. He averaged almost six yards per carry in his first half-season with the Birds, helping deliver the City of Brotherly Love its first Lombardi Trophy.
6. Cowboys acquire Amari Cooper (2018)
Full trade: Cowboys acquired WR Amari Cooper from the Raiders for a first-round pick
Dallas won just a single playoff game during his three and a half years in town, which suggests the first-round bet didn't fully pay off. But Cooper on his own was one of the game's steadiest pass catchers for the Cowboys, racking up close to 3,900 yards and 27 TDs before his lofty contract prompted a trade to Cleveland. He's now been a reliable, if unspectacular, No. 1 for three teams.
5. Patriots acquire Kyle Van Noy (2016)
Full trade: Patriots acquired OLB Kyle Van Noy and seventh-round pick from the Lions for a sixth-round pick
The veteran barely played in his first two and a half years with Detroit, but he was a mainstay on Bill Belichick's defense from 2016-2019, a stretch that saw New England win two Super Bowls. Shuffled around the Pats' hybrid system, he also improved every year during that span, totaling 15.5 sacks, 19 tackles for loss and 34 QB hits starting in 2017. He was so reliable, in fact, that the Patriots opted to bring him back in 2021 after his one-year stint with the Dolphins.
4. Rams acquire Von Miller (2021)
Full trade: Rams acquired OLB Von Miller from the Broncos for a second-round pick and third-round pick
Already a Super Bowl MVP by this point in his career, Miller didn't stick in Los Angeles long-term, bolting for a $120 million deal with the Bills after the season, but his brief Rams tenure was a major reason for his future payday. The longtime Broncos standout was an instant hit off the edge for L.A.'s defense, totaling nine sacks in 12 games, including playoffs, to help the Rams win it all.
3. 49ers acquire Jimmy Garoppolo (2017)
Full trade: 49ers acquired QB Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots for a second-round pick
Injuries prevented Garoppolo from ever truly settling in as the long-term face of the 49ers, and he proved more dependent on his setup than other playoff-contending QBs. But winning signal-callers are more valuable than basically anything in this game, and San Francisco gave up a single Day 2 pick to get a guy who would go 42-19 under center, including postseason. He didn't win a ring, of course, but he came relatively close, helping the 49ers to a Super Bowl in 2019 and then back to the NFC title game in 2021. His hot start in 2022 also allowed Brock Purdy, Kyle Shanahan's new favorite, to take over a playoff-bound program.
2. 49ers acquire Christian McCaffrey (2022)
Full trade: 49ers acquired RB Christian McCaffrey from the Panthers for a second-round pick, third-round pick, fourth-round pick and fifth-round pick
The early returns on the CMC mega-deal -- and yes, trading four picks for any RB in today's NFL constitutes a mega-deal -- are overwhelmingly positive for San Francisco. The ex-Panthers star has been every bit as reliable in a multipurpose role as Kyle Shanahan could've imagined, aiding QB Brock Purdy's improbable early-career success. Seventeen games in, he's totaled 1,299 yards on the ground, 641 as a receiver, and 19 different touchdowns. The only real concern is durability; now banged up, McCaffrey has an extensive medical track record from his time in Carolina, and RBs in general tend to hit a physical wall in a hurry.
1. Rams acquire Jalen Ramsey (2019)
Full trade: Rams acquired CB Jalen Ramsey from the Jaguars for two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick
Technically, Ramsey moved from the Jags to the Rams on Oct. 15, almost two weeks removed from the 2019 deadline. But his in-season relocation worked wonders for Los Angeles in the ensuing years. At the peak of his game as a confident cover man, Ramsey locked down top wideouts en route to All-Pro honors in 2020, then tied a career high with four picks during the Rams' Super Bowl run the following season. His mentality and physicality, coupled with that of Aaron Donald, gave L.A. one of the game's most feared defenses before team brass finally had to pay for its expensive roster-building.