The 2022 NFL trade deadline has come and gone. Typically we are used to the deadline being the slowest in sports, but this year has been different. The NFL must have told teams to get active because we saw plenty of moves. Christian McCaffrey was traded well before the deadline, but OLB Bradley Chubb was the biggest name moved on deadline day. The most surprising move of the day was easily suspended WR Calvin Ridley being traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Ridley’s whole situation is ridiculous, but there’s nothing we can do about it. He would’ve been playing on his fifth-year option this year, but it was deferred to next year due to his suspension. When he returns, he won’t have to deal with the rebuilding Atlanta Falcons and either Marcus Mariota or Desmond Ridder under center. He should join an emerging Jaguars squad alongside Trevor Lawrence and Christian Kirk. While Jacksonville still has ground to makeup, Ridley will instantly help next season.
The Panthers may surprise you as a winner here since they traded away McCaffrey. They held strong at the deadline and kept WR DJ Moore and DE Brian Burns on the team to avoid a full rebuild. This allows the team to focus on rebuilding the offense rather than trying to find new pieces on both sides of the ball.
Chubb has wanted a new long-term deal with a competitive team for a while, and it wasn’t going to happen in Denver. He gets traded to Miami and has a chance to be with them for the long term. Chubb joins a solid Dolphins defense that is able to complement their high-octane offense as the team looks to compete in the AFC East.
Jeff Wilson Jr.
Wilson was essentially booted from relevancy when the San Francisco 49ers acquired McCaffrey. He became the backup, but at least he was second in line in a crowded backfield. Wilson was then sent to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a late-round draft pick. He will be again behind former teammate Raheem Mostert and mixed in a backfield where he doesn't have a clear role.
Kadarius Toney, Robbie Anderson, Ridley and Chase Claypool were all dealt ahead of the trade deadline. None of them wound up on the WR-needy Packers. Green Bay watched as the Minnesota Vikings traded for TE T.J. Hockenson, who should help them improve to their hot start to the season. The Packers stayed still at the deadline and just seemed content that their 3-5 record through eight weeks would keep them competitive in the NFC North.
The Hard Knocks hype has fully worn off for the Lions, and they have a 1-6 record heading into Week 9. To add to their woes, the Lions decided to trade away star tight end TJ Hockenson. While the absence of their biggest target in the offense will hurt, they traded him in the division to the Minnesota Vikings. This move effectively suggests that the Lions are throwing in the towel for this season and are content sitting back and watching the Vikings increase their divisional lead.