The 5 biggest NFL trade deadline deals that did and didn't happen


The 2022 NFL trade deadline has come and gone.

And, boy, what a trade deadline it was.

After several big names were moved in the leadup to the deadline, chaos ensued Tuesday in what turned out to be one of the more active deadline days in recent memory.

Now that the dust has settled, here's a look at the five biggest deals that did -- and didn't -- come to fruition:

Five biggest NFL trade deadline deals

Panthers trade Christian McCaffrey to 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers got to work early on the trade deadline by acquiring arguably the best player to end up changing teams in Christian McCaffrey. San Francisco paid a hefty price for the 2019 First Team All-Pro running back, sending a 2023 second-round, third-round and fourth-round pick, plus a 2024 fifth-rounder to the Carolina Panthers.

It didn't take long to see why the 49ers made such a big gamble. In just his second game in Kyle Shanahan's offense, CMC became the third running back in NFL history to record a passing, rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game. All of a sudden, the 49ers look like a real threat in the NFC.

Broncos trade Bradley Chubb to Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins yet again cashed in a first-round draft pick for star talent, landing one-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Bradley Chubb from the Denver Broncos. Miami coughed up a 2023 first-round pick (via San Francisco), a 2024 fourth-round pick and running back Chase Edmonds for Chubb and a 2025 fifth-round pick. Chubb and Miami reportedly are expected to work out a long-term deal as well.

The Dolphins acquired two future first-rounders when they dealt the 2021 No. 3 overall pick to the 49ers. They've now turned those two firsts into Chubb and Tyreek Hill. Hill has helped transform Miami into a lethal passing attack, and Chubb could provide a similar boost on the other side of the ball. The former No. 5 overall pick, who has 5.5 sacks this season, joins a Dolphins defense that ranks in the bottom third of the league in both sack percentage and QB hits. At 5-3 and with Chubb in the fold, Miami looks primed to end its five-year playoff drought.

Bears trade Roquan Smith to Ravens

Just days after dealing pass rusher Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Chicago Bears moved on from another headliner on their defense in Roquan Smith. Chicago traded the two-time All-Pro linebacker to the Baltimore Ravens for a 2023 second-round and fifth-round pick. The move came after Smith and the Bears couldn't come to terms on a long-term contract extension ahead of this season, leading the linebacker to ask for a trade.

Baltimore's defense is about to get a major infusion of talent. Smith comes over from Chicago as the NFL's leader in combined tackles with 83, in addition to boasting 2.5 sacks and two interceptions. The Ravens also just added pass rushers Tyus Bowser and rookie second-round pick David Ojabo to their active roster. Message to the rest of the AFC: Don't sleep on Baltimore.

Lions trade T.J. Hockenson to Vikings

T.J. Hockenson woke up Tuesday in last place in the NFC North at 1-6, and he'll go to bed atop the division at 6-1. The Detroit Lions traded the one-time Pro Bowl tight end to the first-place Minnesota Vikings. Detroit picked up a 2023 second-rounder and a 2024 third-rounder in the deal, while also sending out a 2023 fourth-rounder and conditional 2024 fourth-rounder with Hockenson.

The Vikings had a need at tight end with Irv Smith Jr. reportedly likely out for at least two months, and they addressed it by acquiring one of the position's better pass-catchers. Hockenson ranks sixth among tight ends in yards per game (56.4) this season and gives Minnesota a Big Three of sorts in their passing attack along with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.

Steelers trade Chase Claypool to Bears

The Bears finally got their receiver. And, as a cherry on top, they reportedly outbid the rival Green Bay Packers for him (much to the dismay of Packers fans). Chicago reeled in former second-round pick Chase Claypool from the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a 2023 second-round pick.

It was an overpay for the Bears, but a worthwhile one as they provide young quarterback Justin Fields with a much-needed pass-catching weapon beyond Darnell Mooney. Just look at what the additions of A.J. Brown and Tyreek Hill have done for the development of Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, respectively. Claypool obviously isn't on the same level as Brown and Hill, but his presence should be able to aid Fields' growth.

Honorable mention: Falcons trade Calvin Ridley to Jaguars

While this move won't have an effect on the 2022 season, it might have been the most stunning deal to go down on deadline day. The Atlanta Falcons sent suspended wide receiver Calvin Ridley packing to Jacksonville for a 2023 fifth-rounder and a conditional 2024 fourth-rounder. Ridley was suspended for the entire 2022 season for gambling on NFL games (which ironically included betting against the Jaguars). He can apply for reinstatement in February.

Whenever Ridley joins the Jags, he'll immediately become the best weapon of quarterback Trevor Lawrence's young career. In 2021, Ridley's last full season, he racked up 90 receptions for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 15 games.

Five biggest deals that didn't happen

Alvin Kamara to the Bills

The Buffalo Bills added a running back at the deadline, but it wasn't the splashy move some anticipated. Buffalo acquired Nyheim Hines from the Indianapolis Colts for running back Zack Moss and a conditional 2023 third-round pick.

The Super Bowl-hopeful Bills were aiming much higher, as they called the New Orleans Saints about five-time Pro Bowler Alvin Kamara, according to FOX Sports' Jay Glazer. New Orleans rebuffed Buffalo's inquiry, and it's unclear just how available -- if at all -- Kamara even was. So the Bills move forward with a running back trio of Hines, Devin Singletary and James Cook, while Kamara remains part of the most dramatic division race in football -- that's right, the NFC South.

Brian Burns to the Rams

The defending Super Bowl champions are having a rough go of it. If the season ended today, the 4-4 Los Angeles Rams wouldn't even make the playoffs.

And things aren't going much better off the field. The Rams reportedly were outbid by the division rival 49ers for McCaffrey (before being torched by CMC in Week 8) and had a huge offer for Panthers defensive end Brian Burns rejected. According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, the Panthers turned down a trade package for Burns that included two first-round picks from the Rams. The 24-year-old one-time Pro Bowler would have been a really nice addition in LA as a Von Miller replacement.

Brandin Cooks to the Cowboys

The 49ers added Christian McCaffrey. The Eagles added Robert Quinn. The Vikings added T.J. Hockenson. The Dallas Cowboys added...Johnathan Hankins? As NFC contenders bulked up for a Super Bowl run with big-name additions, it was somewhat shocking when Jerry Jones and Co. didn't follow suit. Yes, Hankins strengthened an already strong Dallas defensive front, but really no other deals for Dallas?

The most sensible move for the Cowboys would have been to add a wide receiver after they shipped Amari Cooper to Cleveland in the offseason. And according to ESPN's Ed Werder, Dallas was in on Houston Texans veteran Brandin Cooks up until the final minutes of the deadline. The two teams, however, reportedly couldn't come to an agreement on draft compensation and Cooks' guaranteed $18 million salary for next season.

Jerry Jeudy to the Giants

Like the Cowboys, the New York Giants were in need of wide receiver help. The team just recently dealt 2021 first-round pick Kadarius Toney to the Kansas City Chiefs, and prized 2021 free-agent signing Kenny Golladay has all of two catches in four games this season.

New York was linked to Jerry Jeudy, but the Denver Broncos' asking price for the 2020 first-round pick was too steep, per ESPN's Jordan Raanan. The Giants could still add a veteran wideout before the end of this season, though. General manager Joe Schoen on Tuesday left the door open for a potential reunion with Odell Beckham Jr.

Kareem Hunt to the Bills/Eagles/Rams

Probably the most surprising player to not be moved at the deadline. After initially declining it, the Cleveland Browns were willing to grant running back Kareem Hunt's trade request if they received a fourth-round pick, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. While there wasn't much in the rumor mill about interested teams, it would have made sense for a contender like the Bills, Rams or Eagles to swoop in for Hunt despite his pending free agent status. But that didn't happen, as the Bills paid a lower price for Hines, and the Eagles and Rams didn't add a running back at all.

The undefeated Eagles are a Miles Sanders injury away from being left with a backfield of Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott and Trey Sermon, while the Rams rank 31st in rushing yards per game. Suffice to say, Hunt would have looked good on both of those teams.

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