By Chip Bayless
1. The Patriots trade Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers for a second-round pick in 2018
Love this move for both teams. The 49ers get Jimmy G, a promising and young quarterback who has learned from Tom Brady and Bill Belichick for the past 4 years, and the Patriots get a 2nd round draft pick from a team that hasn’t won a game yet (so that pick will basically be like a late first rounder) and all the Pats had to give away was a player they don’t use who has half a season left on his contract. The 49ers now get to use this season to do two things: tank to get the best possible draft pick, and evaluate the hyped-up quarterback prospect known Jimmy Garoppolo.
I want to say this will work out for the 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo will turn out to be a franchise quarterback; however, I will hold back on making that prediction due to the poor track record of the QBs in Jimmy G’s shoes. Before Garoppolo, Ryan Mallett backed up Brady and Mallett’s name was brought up constantly in trade rumors and he was viewed as a potential franchise QB who might not have gotten the right chance yet. He went to the Texans and blew fucking dick.
Remember when Brian Hoyer backed up Brady before Mallett did? Hoyer’s name too was brought up in trade rumors and there were whispers that maybe Hoyer could be a franchise quarterback for a different organization, and when he finally got his chance he played averagely for half of a season…. then….you guessed it…. he blew fucking dick. Before Hoyer it was Matt Cassel. The point here is this: the Patriots have a long history of baiting the rest of the NFL with a “potential franchise quarterback prospect” and they never work out. I will however say that out of all of the former Patriots quarterback prospects mentioned here, Garoppolo had/has the most potential of them all.
2. The Dolphins traded running back Jay Ajayi to the Eagles for a 2018 fourth-round pick.
Considering most GMs around the league would probably say Ajayi has 1st-2nd round talent, this was considered a steal of a deal for the Eagles. Reportedly, this trade happened because Miami head coach Adam Gase wanted to make an example out of Ayaji. Thus far into the season, Miami’s offense has looked horrendous and Ajayi is averaging a measly 3.37 yards-per-carry and has less than 500 yards. During his postgame press conference after last week’s game, Gase went on a rant and ripped the ‘Fins for their lack of preparation. During that rant, Gase directly criticized Ajayi and said, “We’ve got to stop trying to hit home runs all the time. It’s on the running back. Do your job. It’s not hard to do”.
It will be interesting to see how the Eagles divvy up the carries between Ajayi and Legarrette Blount (who has had a far more productive season than Ajayi and is averaging 4.67 YPC compared to Ajayi’s 3.37). All that beings said, Ajayi is still probably one of the top fifteen most talented backs in the NFL and his lack of production was mostly the fault of the situation he was in. Finally, if you don’t get at least a third round pick for a player of Ajayi’s caliber then your organization sucks at football. Dolphins fans, your organization sucks at football. Don’t bother contending that last sentence there either…Jay Cutler is still on the team.
3. The Panthers traded receiver Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills for 2018 third-round and seventh-round picks.
Kind of a shocker here that a guy who was drafted in the first round only three years ago was traded for a 3 and 7 this season, but here’s why this deal happened. The Bills get an actual receiver to put in their starting lineup that previously consisted of some combination of Zay Jones, Brandon Tate, and Andre Holmes. See? You don’t even know who most of those guys are. Also, I apologize for using “actual receiver” to describe Benjamin because that term is an understatement. Kelvin Benjamin is a six foot five 245 pound tower of a human being. Tyrod Taylor was definitely ecstatic when this deal went down. Taylor has been doing the equivalent of making chicken salad out of chicken shit with the Bills offensive talent around him so far, and now he gets a young and skilled receiver with years of starting NFL experience. Why did the Panthers make this deal? Maybe because Kelvin Benjamin showed up to training camp looking like this:
No that’s not the actual reason but the Panthers did have a good reason for trading him away aside from the draft picks they got. The Panthers were able to let Benjamin go because fellow Carolina receiver Devin Funchess has surprisingly turned himself into a better receiver than Benjamin. Funchess stands only one inch shorter than Benjamin but is 20 pounds lighter (listed at 225) and it definitely shows. Panthers fans can see easily see Funchess has better agility, acceleration, and top-end speed than Benjamin does. Funchess has also improved on his route running and receiver skills far more than Benjamin has during his career. To sum it up, Benjamin and Funchess are basically the same player except Funchess is faster and a better route-runner.
4. The Texans traded left tackle Duane Brown and a 2018 fifth-round pick to the Seahawks for a 2018 third-round pick and a 2019 second-round pick.
Pretty even and sensible trade here for both teams. The Seahawks bolster that pass protection they get criticized for not having while the rebuilding Texans bolster their arsenal of draft picks for the upcoming years. Also, now that Deshaun Watson appears to have torn his ACL this definitely appears to be the right move for the Texans. I cannot wait to see what this young talented Texans team can do next year with the litany of draft picks they have, a legitimate franchise quarterback, and maybe the two best defensive ends in the league.