SportsPulse: The NFC East is a joke and somehow will have a team hosting a playoff game this January. Mackenzie Salmon overreacts to the biggest story lines from Week 8 in the NFL.
Deadlines often spur action … but not this week in the NFL.
The league's annual trade deadline, which passed Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, yielded only two minor swaps on the final day to make a move. Several teams, however, completed notable deals in the days leading up to the last call for a significant roster swap. But with cutoff time now having passed, several big names — including New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore and Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller — are staying put with their current teams.
Here's our breakdown of all the action in the days leading up to the trade deadline:
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Isaiah Ford (84) runs against San Francisco 49ers strong safety Jaquiski Tartt (29) cornerback Jamar Taylor (47) during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (Photo: Tony Avelar, AP)
– Nov. 3: Chiefs trade RB DeAndre Washington and a seventh-round pick to Dolphins for a sixth-round pick
Analysis: There wasn't much opportunity for Washington in Kansas City after Le'Veon Bell arrived to team up with first-round rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The Dolphins get a low-cost look at a player who could add depth in the backfield.
– Nov. 3: Dolphins trade WR Isaiah Ford to Patriots for 2022 seventh-round pick
Analysis: Shorthanded at receiver, New England looked within the division for reinforcements. Ford might not amount to much more than a long shot for the Patriots, but he could carve out a role on a team desperate for assistance at pass catcher. Miami, meanwhile, can move on and give more reps to its younger targets
– Nov. 2: Chargers trade CB Desmond King to Titans for 2021 sixth-round draft pick.
Analysis: All parties seem to win here, as King gets a fresh start with a contender after getting lost in the shuffle in Los Angeles. The 2018 All-Pro selection is an immediate upgrade in the slot for a struggling Titans secondary. The Chargers, for whatever reason, had little use for him, playing him in just 54.6% of their defensive snaps and making him a healthy scratch Sunday vs. the Broncos.
– Nov. 2: 49ers trade LB Kwon Alexander to Saints for LB Kiko Alonso and a conditional fifth-round pick.
Analysis: Just a year and a half after signing Alexander to a four-year, $54 million deal, the 49ers are moving on. Injuries limited Alexander to just 13 games in San Francisco, which will absorb $6.9 million in dead money next year but save $8.6 million, according to overthecap.com. The Saints continue to go all-in on competing for a title with their current group, and Alexander offers another athletic option at linebacker if he recovers from the high ankle sprain that has sidelined him for the last three games.
– Nov. 1: Jets trade LB Avery Williamson and a 2022 seventh-round pick to Steelers for a 2022 fifth-round pick
Analysis: Lucky Williamson, who goes from an 0-8 team to a 7-0 one. The 28-year-old clearly did not figure into the Jets' long-term plans. No one in Pittsburgh will mistake Williamson for injured linebacker Devin Bush, and his coverage woes (92.6% completion rate, 8.7 yards allowed per target) could be worrisome. But he shores up a position of need for the Steelers.
– Oct. 28: Bengals trade DE Carlos Dunlap to Seahawks for OL B.J. Finney and a seventh-round pick
Analysis: Seattle's languishing pass rush is arguably the foremost problem with the NFL's last-ranked defense, so John Schneider and Pete Carroll went bargain hunting. Dunlap provides the Seahawks with an accomplished edge presence looking for a new chapter in his career after falling out of favor in Cincinnati, which seemed eager to move on from the veteran.
– Oct. 27: Cowboys trade DE Everson Griffen to Lions for conditional sixth-round pick
Analysis: Griffen became just the latest in a series of Dallas' offseason defensive acquisitions to be shown the door in a disastrous start to the year. A fresh opportunity awaits in Detroit, which likely will need Griffen to play a key role after Trey Flowers landed on injured reserve.
– Oct. 23: Giants trade OLB Markus Golden to Cardinals for sixth-round pick
Analysis: At 5-2, the Cardinals turned to a familiar face in Golden, who played for the team from 2015-18, to boost a pass rush still smarting from Chandler Jones' season-ending biceps injury. The 29-year-old had limited value for a rebuilding Giants team.
– Oct. 22: Vikings trade DE Yannick Ngakoue to Ravens for third-round pick and 2022 fifth-round pick