NFL Trade Deadline Passes Quietly
The NFL trade deadline came and went with barely a whisper of activity, save for a rather ho-hum money move that sent CB Aqib Talib to the Dolphins from the Rams. The Ravens were unable to bolster their 16th-ranked defense but it wasn’t due to a lack of effort.
Eric DeCosta, the Ravens GM who is a feisty competitor and possesses an insatiable desire to win, explored several player options but found little enthusiasm from potential trading partners before the trade deadline. With each of the players the Ravens had interest in, there was a compelling reason to pass.
Ryan Kerrigan and Vic Beasley carry hefty salaries of $13.95M and $12.81M respectively, per OverTheCap.com. The Redskins and/or Falcons would have had to make some financial concessions in order for the trade to fit into the Ravens current salary cap structure. Tampa’s Shaq Barrett would have been a nice addition to Wink Martindale’s squad but the price tag for the rental (Barrett is a UFA in 2020) was said to be a second-round pick.
And then there was Yannick Ngakoue who I’m told was never on the market. DeCosta enjoys a very good working relationship with Jaguars GM David Caldwell and inquired about the former Terp’s services. Keep in mind that Jacksonville is trying to win as well and to that extent, the Jags concluded that they are a better team with Ngakoue than they are without him.
It takes two to tango, and that was evident in the Ravens pursuit of Jamal Adams.
Imagine a secondary with Adams, Earl Thomas, Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. That would certainly unleash Martindale’s creativity, right? Perhaps even indirectly solve the team’s pass rushing woes. Adams is a beast of a player, loves the game, he’s smart and a good guy off the field. He checks all the boxes. His DNA is that of a Raven.
But despite the enthusiastic DeCosta’s rapport with former colleague and current Jets GM Joe Douglas, he couldn’t get the front office of Gang Green to budge.
Many expected DeCosta to make a move after extending WR Willie Snead’s contract in order to create some cap space. But that proactive move was made to put the Ravens in position to make a deal if there was a fit for the Ravens and a trade partner.
At the end of the day there wasn’t. The trade deadline came and went.
No team is perfect. Each has their flaws and the teams that win usually exploit their opponent’s weaknesses more so than their own are exposed. The Patriots would like to improve their O-line. They didn’t. Jacksonville wanted a tight end. They failed to get one. The Eagles wanted a corner. Didn’t happen.
So, you move on and make the best of what you’ve got.
Perhaps the consolation prize is that DeCosta hasn’t taken the all-in approach for 2019 at the expense of the future, the way the Rams have. Instead, he’s trying to build a team that competes now but also one that can be a consistent winner for years to come. Usually that requires time and patience, something that too often escapes the minds of fans.
It’s time to turn the page.
We’re on to New England…