The Buffalo Bills got the ball rolling on Friday and the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins followed suit on Monday as the AFC East re-shaped the several rosters around the NFL this weekend prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline. Then to add to the chaos, the Bills capped off the trades with a massive swap with the Carolina Panthers just before the 4:00 p.m. ET deadline.
Buffalo began the process by sending Marcell Dareus and his huge amount of guaranteed salary to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday in exchange for a conditional sixth-round choice in the 2018 NFL Draft. That pick moves to a fifth if the Jaguars make the playoffs this year.
On Monday, the Patriots traded the only quarterback on their roster behind Tom Brady when they sent Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a second round draft choice. New England will now look to add Brian Hoyer, T.J. Yates, or another quarterback to back up Brady.
Later in the day, Miami shipped running back Jay Ajai to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a fourth round selection. Bills fans should be happy to see this as Ajayi gashed Buffalo a year ago for more than 200 rushing yards in each contest against Buffalo. It’s also interesting to note that Buffalo received much better compensation for Ronald Darby (a second rounder and WR Jordan Matthews) than the Dolphins received for a Pro Bowl back. Miami also fielded calls for wide receiver Jarvis Landry as they seem to be throwing in the towel on the season.
Even the New York Jets got in on the action, acquiring cornerback Rashard Robinson from the 49ers. Robinson is a former starter and 2016 late round pick. It is unlikely he will play a significant role Thursday night.
And then, just as we thought Buffalo wasn’t going to do anything more, they sent their third round pick and a seventh round choice previously acquired from the Los Angeles Chargers to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. Benjamin, the Panthers’ former first round pick, had fallen out of favor since the dismissal of general manager David Gettleman so Gettleman’s protege, Brandon Beane, swooped in and upgraded Buffalio’s receiving corps in an attempt to complete a playoff run. The trade was completed at 3:57 p.m. and involved the pick Buffalo received in exchange for quarterback Cardale Jones.
While Buffalo was rumored to be in on a multitude of trades involving offensive tackles, none came to fruition before the deadline.