Recapping and grading the 2022 NFL Trade Deadline 

Looking at the biggest winners and losers of the deadline

BRANDON WILLMAN, Evergreen reporter

The 2022 NFL trade deadline has passed and many notable teams in the playoff hunt were actively buying in hopes to improve their roster. Over the course of the past week, there were several notable players changing teams which could have massive implications for the rest of the season. 

One team that was making the most calls was the Chicago Bears who made three notable trades. They sent away two of their better defensive players but added on the offensive side of the ball. It begs the question, what are they doing? 

However, the biggest move of the deadline was arguably a trade between the San Francisco 49ers and California Panthers that sent injury-prone star running back Christian McCaffrey to The Golden City. 

Looking at the McCaffrey trade and other big trades, let’s grade on both short and long-term outlooks. 

Christian McCaffrey trade: 

49ers Receive: 

RB Christian McCaffrey 

Grade: A-

The 49ers are still looking to compete without their starting quarterback Trey Lance. To help with their playoff push they got a top-five running back in terms of talent. Despite his concerns about injury, he will be able to disguise the faults of Jimmy Garoppolo and make plays in the flat. 

Panthers Receive: 

2023 second-round pick

2023 third-round pick

2023 fourth-round pick

2024 fifth-round pick

Grade: C+

The Panthers have already fired their head coach and traded for Baker Mayfield and are not planning on starting him the rest of the year. While it is impressive that they got four picks, not getting a first-rounder for a talent that good is not great. 

Roquan Smith trade:

Ravens Receive: 

LB Roquan Smith 

Grade: B- 

Getting an upgrade at linebacker will help the Ravens but it does not move the needle for this team, they are still behind the top teams in the AFC and Smith will more than likely leave following next season. 

Bears Recieve: 

LB A.J. Klein 

2023 second-round pick

2023 fifth-round pick

Grade: B-

If it was easier to tell whether or not the Bears believed they were contenders or not. They downgraded on the defensive side of the ball and got draft picks, but this trade does not make sense in the context of their others trades.

Robert Quinn trade: 

Bears Recieve:

2023 fourth-round pick

Grade: C

The Bears unloaded their most talented defensive lineman who has been dealing with an unproductive season. But his presence in general helps the team, so getting only a fourth-round pick makes the team worse. 

Eagles Recieve: 

DE Robert Quinn

Grade: A 

Getting Quinn can be a huge win or a flop, but only giving up one mid-round pick is not that big of a risk for the only undefeated team left. If he gets back on track this solidifies the team as Super Bowl favorites and at worst he will be a good veteran leader. 

Chase Claypool trade: 

Bears Recieve: 

WR Chase Claypool

Grade: D+ 

While Claypool is a great player and was one of the best available receivers, it makes no sense for the Bears to make this trade like they are competing. His skillset of being a big receiver who does not utilize his size in the deep-passing game, while also showing inadequate game awareness does not mesh well with QB Justin Fields’ skill set and will do little in improving Fields’ play.

Steelers Receive: 

2023 second-round pick

Grade: B+ 

The Steelers are fully embracing their tank and to get a second-round for a receiver that has declined in production every year since his rookie year was a great haul. 

Bradley Chubb trade: 

Dolphins Receive:

LB Bradley Chubb

2025 fifth-round pick

Grade: B+

After a fantastic first three weeks of the season, the Dolphins have fallen off a cliff. Getting a defensive stud like Chubb will bolster their team and can push them over the Patriots and Jets in the AFC East. 

Broncos Receive:

RB Chase Edmonds

2023 first-round pick (via 49ers)

2024 fourth-round pick

Grade: A 

Despite losing their best defensive player, getting two picks, including a first-rounder on top of a new running back will be extremely beneficial going forward in the Russell Wilson era. 

T.J. Hockenson trade: 

Vikings receive:

TE T.J. Hockenson

2023 fourth-round pick

2024 conditional fourth-round pick

Grade: B

With the acquisition of Hockenson, the Vikings now have another weapon for Kirk Cousins on top of Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. With a weaker division this season, the team is in a prime position to go deep in this year’s playoffs. 

Lions receive: 

2023 second-round pick

2024 third-round pick

Grade: C+ 

It appeared as if the Lions were on an upward trajectory with a motivated coach and young core, but this trade is just confusing. It keeps the team in a rebuilding stage and getting picks means nothing when you can’t draft well with them. 

Overall, the biggest winner of the deadline was the Eagles for their no-bad outcome acquisition of Quinn for a low-value pick. The biggest loser was the Bears for their confusing trades leading to not leaning into any specific direction.