The 2022 NFL trade deadline is officially past, and folks — this was a wild one! Usually, I'm left underwhelmed, but that was absolutely not the case. Christian McCaffrey got the ball rolling early, but there was plenty more action in store that had us all with our jaws on the floor.
Let's break down the biggest winners and losers from the 2022 NFL trade deadline.
The 5-3 Dolphins sent their only remaining first-round pick to the Broncos for LB Bradley Chubb on Tuesday — the latest of many signals that this team is ALL-IN with a capital ALL-IN. They've surrounded Tua with all the offensive playmakers he needs, and now their defense gets a much-needed boost. Chubb has notched six sacks this year and ranks top-25 in total pressures among all defensive players this year. It's a perfect nab for the Dolphins, who've notched the fourth-lowest pressure rate among NFL teams this year.
The Vikings made one of the biggest splash trades ahead of the deadline, acquiring tight end T.J. Hockenson from the Lions — their divisional rival. Weird vibes, for sure. Good for Minnesota, though! This team has some absolute firepower between RB Dalvin Cook, WRs Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, and yes — even good ol' Kirk Cousins under center. Starting TE Irv Smith Jr. is headed to IR with an ankle injury, and now, it'll be up to Hockenson to get the job done. Hockenson will bring the Vikings plenty of athleticism, solid hands and a lot of untapped potential.
Just minutes prior to the trade deadline coming to a close, it was announced that the Bills acquired former Colts RB Nyheim Hines in exchange for RB Zack Moss and a conditional sixth-round pick in 2023. "Thank goodness I'm outta there," is what we'd be saying if we were Hines. This team benched Matt Ryan and is putting all faith in 2021 sixth-round pick Sam Ehlinger. The Colts have fired their offensive coordinator. Hell, they're still delusional enough to think Andrew Luck might still return. Yeah — Hines went from that to a potential Super Bowl. WINNING.
F-ck them picks... and talent, apparently? What are we doing, Chicago? The team set things in motion for an all-out fire sale, trading LB Roquan Smith to the Ravens followed by DE Robert Quinn to the Eagles. Then, they made a full 180, sending their own 2023 second-round pick (which could wind up a top-40 pick) to the Steelers for WR Chase Claypool?
Which is it, guys? Are you rebuilding or nah? Cause (hot take alert!) sending an early second-round pick for Claypool doesn't move the needle in either direction.
Christian McCaffrey may have become the third player in NFL history to have a passing, rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game. That doesn't mean the 49ers won the deal, though. San Francisco's run game has thrived under HC Kyle Shanahan. The biggest issue has been keeping those in the run game healthy. So their solution was to go all-in on a running back whose biggest challenge has been... staying healthy? Yeah, okay.
This is an evergreen storyline in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers grows angry with the lack of supporting talent on offense. The Packers refuse to draft any wide receiver of consequence. The season starts, and we all assume they'll make a move for a receiver ahead of the trade deadline. They don't. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Sorry, bud. Looks like you're stuck in wide receiver purgatory with your good friend, Zach Wilson.