Thursday, April 18, 2024
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2024 NFL trade grades: Assessing every notable deal of the offseason, from Justin Fields to L’Jarius Sneed

The 2024 NFL offseason is far from over, with a number of notable veterans still available in free agency and the quarterback-stocked draft just around the corner. But with April on the horizon, it’s safe to say most of this year’s big-name trades have come and gone, with more than a dozen different player-involved deals going down since mid-March.

Here, we’re grading all the notable trades to involve players from the buyers’ perspective:

Titans acquire CB L’Jarius Sneed

Grade: B

Getting a Pro Bowl-caliber, title-winning cover man for a future third-rounder is objectively good value, but there are still some fair questions here: Will Tennessee be truly competitive before Sneed, 27, approaches 30 on a top-of-the-market contract at a notoriously volatile position?

Steelers acquire QB Justin Fields

Grade: A+

Fields battled injuries and untimely turnovers in three years with the Bears, but he also got mostly woeful support from the team. Giving up a conditional future sixth-rounder for a 25-year-old quarterback with starting experience and proven dual-threat electricity is a no-brainer of a low-risk, high-reward bet.

Eagles acquire QB Kenny Pickett

Grade: B-

Did Philadelphia need to spend the rough equivalent of a fourth-rounder on a new backup for Jalen Hurts? Not really. Pickett also looked more resilient than dynamic as a middling Steelers starter. But he still offers lots of experience on a cost-controlled rookie deal for a modest price.

Bears acquire WR Keenan Allen

Grade: A-

Allen may not be far from the finish line going on 32, but when healthy, he’s remained one of the NFL’s most reliable possession targets deep into his career. By teaming the longtime Chargers star with D.J. Moore, the Bears have ensured their next young signal-caller will have a pair of premier pass targets.

Seahawks acquire QB Sam Howell

Grade: B-

Could Howell replace Drew Lock as a viable spot starter behind Geno Smith? Sure. For what amounts to a fourth-rounder, though, Seattle is adding a former fifth-round pick who registers as more of a half-measure at the position: gutsy arm, iffy early resume from the Commanders.

Falcons acquire WR Rondale Moore

Grade: B+

Atlanta was probably more motivated to add help for Kirk Cousins than outright dump Desmond Ridder, who went to Arizona in the player-for-player swap. Moore is far from a sure thing, missing 16 games in three NFL seasons, but he at least adds deep speed, whereas Ridder’s role had vanished.

49ers acquire DT Maliek Collins

Grade: A+

San Francisco gave up a single seventh-rounder for an eight-year starter fresh off a career year with DeMeco RyansTexans defense. Plugged in next to guys like Nick Bosa, Javon Hargrave and Leonard Floyd, he’ll be primed for more gap-stuffing production.

Panthers acquire WR Diontae Johnson

Grade: B

Was this Carolina adding help for Bryce Young, or the Steelers axing a disgruntled vet? Probably both. Johnson certainly improves Young’s once-porous lineup for a small price — so-so cornerback Donte Jackson and a pick swap — but he still profiles as more of a No. 2 type.

Texans acquire RB Joe Mixon

Grade: C-

Mixon is a fine, battle-tested veteran, and his numbers will surely get a boost from playing alongside C.J. Stroud. His trade price tag — a seventh-round pick — is also minimal. But this deal coincided with an inexplicable $19.75 million extension giving the oft-inefficient ball-carrier top-seven running back money.

Giants acquire OLB Brian Burns

Grade: B-

Burns is a young, steady, Pro Bowl pass rusher, so getting him for a second- and fifth-rounder is big, giving the Giants a truly formidable front seven. The downside: He costs a ton, earning more than every edge rusher except Nick Bosa at $28 million per year, and he’s been more sturdy than special in the sack department.

Lions acquire CB Carlton Davis

Grade: C+

Davis gives Detroit’s secondary more credibility, offering six solid years of experience as an outside starter in exchange for a third-rounder (the Buccaneers also gave two sixths). But he’s missed multiple games every year and graded out just OK in pass coverage in 2023.

Jaguars acquire QB Mac Jones

Grade: B-

Jones wore out his welcome with the Patriots as a shoddy, pocket-limited starter. Like Justin Fields and Kenny Pickett, he also had poor support. In Jacksonville for just a sixth-rounder, he at least gives Doug Pederson a developmental point guard behind Trevor Lawrence.

Browns acquire WR Jerry Jeudy

Grade: B+

The former first-rounder never fully met expectations with the Broncos, but Cleveland needed another outlet opposite Amari Cooper, and for just a fifth- and sixth-rounder, Jeudy gives the Browns a high-upside long-term possession target; he’s still going on just 25.

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