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NFL Trade Deadline Proved Anticlimactic

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Nov/04/2021

Each and every season, NFL fans wait with bated breath for news that their team has landed the big player that will push them over the championship edge and lead them to the Super Bowl.

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This year was no exception — with the deadline passing last Tuesday, November 4 — leaving all such fans disappointed.

Part of the problem is that NFL fans see the MLB trade come on July 31, and there is always a ton of movement between teams out of the race and teams competing for the World Series. So they dream of similar fire sales in football that land their team a superstar.

There are a number of reasons those trades rarely materialize in the NFL.

For one, baseball teams have minor leaguers to trade for free-agent-to-be veterans. In the NFL, the only available commodity are draft picks, and football teams have very few of them. The NFL also has a salary cap, which doesn’t saddle MLB teams.

And finally, the NFL has much greater parity. There are no Yankees and Pirates and one team that has all of the money, dealing with another team that has none. The smallest market in the NFL is Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the Packers are currently 7-1.

Von Miller Says Goodbye to Denver

This definitely qualifies as a big trade. Von Miller, one of the most beloved members of the Denver Broncos, has been traded to the Rams for two draft picks — LA’s second-round and third-round picks in 2022.

Miller is an easy first-ballot Hall of Famer. He has 110.5 career sacks, he was the MVP of Super Bowl 50, and he’s been a Pro Bowler eight times. He was the face of the Broncos franchise, and other than kicker Brandon McManus, he was the only remaining player from Denver’s last Super Bowl championship. And now he will line up next to Aaron Donald, another first-ballot Hall of Famer.

“Somebody told me once you want to make God laugh, make plans,” Miller said. “You’ve just got to keep going, keep taking it one day at a time. I’ve got a beautiful baby boy, had a lot of beautiful years here, lot of great memories, lot of great teammates.”

For the Broncos, this is a waiving of the white flag on this season and acknowledging that Teddy Bridgewater isn’t the answer at quarterback. Denver, at 4-4, is only 1.5 games out of first place and is very much in the wild card hunt. But instead of trying to compete in 2021, the Broncos decided this week to begin the re-build.

For the Rams, it’s all about stars and dumping draft picks. L.A. has a defense with Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey (a trade deadline acquisition that cost three picks), and now Von Miller. For the 2022 NFL draft, they are now down to just four picks:  a compensatory pick in the third round, a fifth-round pick, and two seventh-round picks.

In a league that has traditionally treated draft picks like the world’s most precious commodity, the Rams treat them like Monopoly money. They haven’t had a first-round pick since 2016 and won’t have another until 2023 — assuming they don’t trade that away between now and then.

Miller still has his place on the board for NFL Defensive Player of the Year odds. In a five-way tie for 13th place, Miller pays out at 80-to-1 if he wins the award in February. (That field is currently led by Myles Garrett at the short price of +250.)

Chiefs Long Courtship of Melvin Ingram Pays Off

Melvin Ingram and the Chiefs first made eyes at each other in March. The two sides knew each other quite well before then, having faced each other twice a year for the nine years that Ingram was a Charger.

As a free agent, Ingram visited Kansas City in the spring but ultimately left town without a deal. After months without a team, he signed with Pittsburgh for $4 million in July.

That relationship, however, had soured, as he was unhappy with his playing time. So he and the Steelers began to seek a trade, and Tuesday, that trading partner became the Chiefs. In return for Ingram, the Steelers will get a sixth-round pick.

Kansas City currently ranks dead last in the NFL in total team sacks; the three-time Pro Bowler Ingram has 50 career sacks, so playing time shouldn’t be a problem.

Despite lowered expectations after a rather shaky start, the Chiefs still sit atop the board for odds to win the AFC West. Though at one point they were heavy chalk to win the division, they now lead the Los Angeles Chargers by a hair, with +155 for the Chiefs and +165 for the Chargers. Even the Las Vegas Raiders have crept into a closer third-place at +250.

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