2024 NFL Trade Grades

I’ll be keeping track of the various NFL trades that occur throughout 2024 on this page (most recent first). For every trade, I will list the assets each team received, analyze the trade, and provide trade grades for each team. Unless a specific trade is really notable, I’ll only be grading trades involving players, not just draft picks. For free agent signings and extensions, see this page.

April 22, 2024

Jets Trade QB Zach Wilson, 2024 7th-Round Pick to Broncos for 2024 6th-Round Pick:
So much for Wilson being an “asset“. All it took to pry him away was a day-3 pick swap, and New York is paying half of his salary! The ugly truth for the Jets is that one of two things happened: Wilson was a complete bust, or the team ruined him. In either case, he was not the asset the team thought or pretended he was, so teams could wait until the price came down before taking a flier. Denver currently does not have a starting QB (I’m not counting Jarrett Stidham), but their #12 overall draft selection isn’t high enough to obtain one. They also have minimal assets due to the Russell Wilson trade. It makes sense for them to give someone who had #2-overall-pick talent a fresh start with a QB guru like Sean Payton. New York needed to move on as well. It’s clear that things were over between the Jets and Wilson, and he was never going to become a starter there. Still, this is a pathetic return even under the sunk cost theory. The Broncos aren’t risking anything, so despite the fact that I don’t expect much of Wilson, this is a risk that is well worth taking, especially if it keeps the team from doing something stupid during the draft.
Grades: Jets: C ; Broncos: A-

April 12, 2024

Browns Trade OT Leroy Watson to Titans for 2024 7th-Round Pick:
Starting now and through the draft, you’ll see a few of these minor trades where teams add depth pieces in exchange for late-round picks. That’s exactly what we have here, with Cleveland sending a backup tackle to the Titans. The Browns were actually Watson’s 3rd team since becoming a UDFA in 2022, and they’re the only team to put him on an active roster. He had no starts in 2023 while appearing in 7 nondescript games. On the plus side, he committed no penalties. Tennessee somehow acquired 0 tackles or guards in free agency despite a pressing need, so this is at least a step in that direction. However, in all honesty, this is the type of trade I would skip if I hadn’t promised to grade all trades involving players. If Watson starts, he’ll probably be an upgrade over what the Titans fielded last year, but it would also be a signal that Tennessee failed to address their protection issues. I guess I’ll commend them for acquiring a player with some NFL development who is probably better than anyone they’d acquire in the 7th round. He was more valuable to Cleveland, and line depth seems worth more than a 7th-rounder to me.
Grades: Browns: C-; Titans: B+

April 3, 2024

Bills Trade WR Stefon Diggs, 2024 6th-Round Pick, and 2025 5th-Round Pick to Texans for 2025 2nd-Round Pick:
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. We’ve been hearing about the discontent of Diggs in Buffalo for some time, and while the team has denied or downplayed it at every turn, we always knew that 2023 or 2024 would be his last season with the team. It’s clearly the former, as the perpetually disgruntled wideout has been traded to the up-and-coming Texans. Diggs is coming off a “down year”, which for him still means a Pro Bowl season with 107 catches for 1183 yards and 8 TDs. I’m not sure if he was mad at QB Josh Allen or the organization, but the fact is that this is the 2nd city Diggs has forced his way out of. At some point you have to consider him a locker room risk, but I think the gamble if worth it for Houston. With QB CJ Stroud on a rookie contract, the Texans can afford Diggs, who now forms a great WR trio along with Nico Collins and Tank Dell. I credit the Texans for realizing that their rebuild was progressing ahead of schedule and deciding to go big. Diggs is certainly worth a 2nd-round pick next year, and the two day-3 picks coming back are extra sweeteners. Buffalo probably wanted to be rid of Diggs, but a receiver of his caliber isn’t easily replaced. The cupboard is completely bare at the position, and the team may have to spend a 1st-round pick on a wideout, which would negate the return. Unless the Bills were thinking addition by subtraction, I can’t fathom why they’d make this move, especially with another AFC contender. Buffalo is currently the 3rd-best team in the AFC East and fading.
Grades: Bills: D ; Texans: A-

March 29, 2024

Eagles Trade OLB Haason Reddick to Jets for Conditional 2026 3rd-Round Pick:
Reddick became expendable once the Eagles signed Bryce Huff (ironically from the Jets). They had been looking to offload Reddick’s $14.5M salary for 2024, and they found a buyer. The conditional pick in this trade becomes a 2nd-rounder if Reddick plays 67.5% of the snaps this year and has 10+ sacks. New York is essentially trading Huff and a pick for Reddick on aggregate. The Jets needed another edge rusher and tried to sign Jadeveon Clowney. Instead, they did better, acquiring someone with 11 or more sacks in each of the past 4 seasons. Reddick did this with 3 different teams, so there’s no doubt that he can translate to a new system. Huff is the younger player, which fits Philly’s timetable, whereas the 29-year-old Reddick matches New York’s win-now mandate. For this season, Reddick is likely to be the better player. I don’t know why the Eagles thought they had to move him so badly and bring in Huff, as I’d prefer Reddick for the next 2-3 years. The Jets will try to sign him to an extension, but even if they don’t and he walks after next season, they’ll likely get a 3rd- or 4th-round compensatory selection for him. That pick will be equal to or better than the one they’re trading away in most scenarios, so they’re really just spending money for an elite QB hunter. The Jets are the clear winners, as Reddick makes the team’s Super Bowl prospects even more real.
Grades: Eagles: D+; Jets: A+

March 23, 2024

Chiefs Trade CB L’Jarius Sneed to Titans for 2024 7th-Round Pick Swap and 2025 3rd-Round Pick:
KC finally moved their franchise corner. When the team applied the franchise tag to Sneed, it was done with the intent of trading him if a reasonable deal couldn’t be reached. Once Chris Jones was re-signed, the Chiefs could no longer afford Sneed and had to move him. The bigger surprise is that it’s Tennessee who came calling. The Titans have made a lot of moves as if they’re gearing up for a playoff run, but they’re nowhere close. Houston and Jacksonville are both well ahead of them, and the Titans don’t even know if they have their QB yet. Regardless of all of that, I still like this move for them. A 3rd-rounder next year and a pick swap next month form a very low price for one of the game’s premier corners. The free agency CB crop was weak, so a young star like Sneed would’ve fetched far more if he wasn’t due for a new contract (which Tennessee is ironing out now). He and Chidobe Awuzie will form the best corner duo the Titans have had in years, and both will be under contract for at least the next 3 years. This is poor value for the Chiefs, who know what kind of shutdown corner Sneed is. He shadows #1 receivers and still produces. That’s business in the NFL though, and Trent McDuffie is ready for the CB1 role. Given that the Chiefs really needed that $19.8M in cap space (which they clear immediately), I can’t say I blame them since Sneed reportedly didn’t want to play on the tag. The money can go toward offensive line help, which is more sorely needed. Sneed is just worth more than this compensation.
Grades: Chiefs: C; Titans: B+

March 16, 2024

Bears Trade QB Justin Fields to Steelers for Conditional 2025 6th-Round Pick:
“With the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select Caleb Williams.” Roger Goodell can practice saying those words now, because Chicago is no longer questionable to draft a QB at #1. They have made their decision, trading Justin Fields for a 6th-rounder that can become a 4th-round pick based on playing time. That means they’re hoping Russell Wilson flops, because NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted that Wilson is the starter and that there will be no competition. Ideally, Fields would go somewhere, play the season, and give that team enough information determined whether to move forward with him. Based on the destination and the compensation, Fields is the clear-cut backup in Pittsburgh, so they’ll have to do their intel collection behind the scenes. After trading Kenny Pickett (see below) and watching Mason Rudolph sign with Tennessee, the Steelers had nobody behind Wilson. Fields’ running threat makes him a very good backup option, as he can come in without needing too much chemistry with the receivers. Chicago basically did this trade out of desperation. For obvious reasons, it would be highly awkward to have Fields around after drafting Williams. The locker room might be uneasy and conflicted in terms of their loyalty, so Fields had to be moved. Unfortunately, everybody knows this, so Chicago had no leverage in trade talks. This is a very weak return. Even the best possible compensation, a 4th-rounder next year, is less than what Kenny Pickett or Sam Howell fetched. While it’s unknown what Pittsburgh’s long-term plans for Fields are, they undoubtedly got him at a bargain. The Bears probably should have waited until draft day to make a move like the Cardinals did with Josh Rosen. Their return couldn’t have been much worse.
Grades: Bears: D; Steelers: A-

March 15, 2024

Steelers Trade QB Kenny Pickett and 2024 4th-Round Pick to Eagles for 2024 3rd-Round Pick and Two 2025 7th-Round Picks:
Just like that, Pittsburgh has given up on their 2022 first-round pick. Putting aside the fact that the 2022 QB class looks plain ugly, this is a shocking admission. The Steelers signed Russell Wilson to compete with Pickett but seem to have handed him the job instead, signaling Mike Tomlin’s dissatisfaction with his former QB1. Pickett then requested a trade, and the Eagles came calling. Why they did I do not know. He clearly isn’t supplanting Jalen Hurts, so the Eagles paid draft capital to select a backup QB. I wonder if their plan is to groom him and then flip him again later. Maybe they just want a good backup behind Hurts, which they didn’t have on the roster. As far as the terms of the trade, Pittsburgh did well to admit a sunk cost and get the equivalent of a 4th-round pick for Pickett. He is already 25 years old, so I doubt he has a much higher ceiling than what we’ve seen. I won’t be too brutal on Philly because this isn’t an expensive gamble. It’s just not a very good one.
Grades: Steelers: B; Eagles: C-

Texans Trade 2024 1st-Round Pick (No. 23) and 2024 7th-Round Pick (No. 232) to Vikings for 2024 2nd-Round Pick (No. 42), 2024 6th-Round Pick (No. 188), and 2025 2nd-Round Pick:
As you know, I don’t usually grade trades without players involved. However, when an all-pick deal occurs before the draft and a 1st-rounder is involved, that’s intriguing. For those wondering, the 7th-rounder is the pick the Texans got for Maliek Collins two days ago. Glad we took care of that housekeeping. Anyway, this trade suggests to me that the Vikings are trying to collect 1st-round to package in a later deal. Such a deal would almost assuredly be for a quarterback. As far as the actual value here, this is a reasonable trade, though Houston is naturally obtaining the better package. The Texans are betting on that 2025 pick to be high due to Minnesota struggles (though I should remind them: Arizona thought Houston’s first-round pick sent as part of the Will Anderson trade would be high, and we know how that turned out). Regardless of where it ends up, Houston is winning this trade in terms of some draft charts (depending on how your chart views future picks). I don’t like that they’re exiting the first round entirely (as it currently stands), but having more picks will enhance their roster in the long term. If we take the trade at face value, the Vikings did fine. However, if we operate under the QB assumption, I’m very concerned. Chicago is going nowhere, so the target would have to be either Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye. I wouldn’t take either of them that high, let alone trade up for one. I’ll give the Vikings a little benefit of the doubt that they’ll do something smart with their shiny new pick, but the above possibility can’t be dismissed and is factored into the grade.
Grades: Texans: B; Vikings: C-

March 14, 2024

Chargers Trade WR Keenan Allen to Bears for 2024 4th-Round Pick:
This is how you prep for a #1 overall QB to come into town. Chicago is widely expected to replace Justin Fields (who has to be hating this move) with Caleb Williams, who will now have DJ Moore and Keenan Allen as his WRs. That’s amazing. How did this only cost a 4th-round pick, you ask? The Chargers had a cap issue, and Allen has a cap hit in excess of $30M. The team asked him to take a pay cut, which he rightfully refused. We’re talking about a Pro Bowl WR who caught 108 passes for 1243 yards and 7 TDs. LA, their hands tied, had to move him, and Chicago, flush with cap space, came calling. Needless to say, the Chargers botched this terribly. They already cut Mike Williams, so without Allen as well, Justin Herbert is going to have a problem. The team is now almost boxed into taking a WR with the 5th overall pick, yet they’re getting just a 4th-rounder for a great receiver. Jim Harbaugh will wear out his welcome really soon at this pace. Don’t expect the Bolts to sniff the playoffs. Suddenly, the Bears can be really good if Williams is an instant success. His chances of being one just skyrocketed, and Chicago paid but a pittance.
Grades: Chargers: F; Bears: A+

Commanders Trade QB Sam Howell and 2024 4th- and 6th-Round Picks to Seahawks for 2024 3rd- and 5th-Round Picks:
As with the trade below, a new QB meant someone had to go. In this case though, that new QB is Marcus Mariota for some reason, as well as a player to be drafted #2 overall next month. According to draft charts, these pick swaps amount to an early 4th-round pick. Given that Washington selected Howell in the 5th round, you can argue that they got two years of Howell and then upgraded the pick. That’s not how I see it. Howell was greatly undervalued in the 5th round, and Washington is selling him short again. He had some good moments in his first season starting, and he did this with a mediocre running game and a terrible offensive line. I don’t think his story is written, and I’d have kept him to compete with the rookie instead of signing Mariota at all. For Seattle, this is a shrewd move. Drew Lock left in free agency, and Howell is an upgrade as the backup QB. Maybe he can even compete with Geno Smith for the starting job at some point given that the Seahawks still don’t seem fully invested in Smith. Howell has 2 years remaining on his cheap deal, and you weren’t finding a better QB in the 3rd round of this year’s draft anyway.
Grades: Commanders: D; Seahawks: A+

Cardinals Trade WR Rondale Moore to Falcons for QB Desmond Ridder:
Once Atlanta signed Kirk Cousins, someone had to go. I thought they’d part with Taylor Heinicke given his higher salary and equally poor performance, but he wouldn’t have drawn trade interest. Ridder did, as he’s still a young player, albeit one with very limited upside. In exchange the Falcons are getting Cousins another weapon. This is a rare player-for-player trade, but not an even one. Moore has been a disappointment in Arizona, but he has shown flashes, and it’s not like he has experienced good QB play. His speed is real, and he’ll complement the bigger, possession-type Drake London better than he did Marquise Brown. It’s a good acquisition for a player the team didn’t want or need. For Arizona, this only really tells me that they don’t believe in Clayton Tune, last year’s 5th-round pick. I’d think that Tune would have more upside given that we know Ridder’s ceiling (i.e., a mid-level backup). Ridder obviously isn’t supplanting Kyler Murray, so they must have just wanted another option in exchange for Moore. That’s not the worst thing in the world, but a pick would’ve been a much better return.
Grades: Cardinals: C-; Falcons: A

March 13, 2024

Texans Trade DT Maliek Collins to 49ers for 2024 7th-Round Pick:
This trade is the cost of signing Danielle Hunter and Azeez Al-Shaair. The Texans needed to clear cap space, so the veteran Collins was the odd man out. A veteran who was with Houston for 3 seasons, Collins was always a quality run stopper, but he added some pass rush ability recently, setting a career high with 5 sacks in 2023. Houston is saving $8M, but this doesn’t make them better, and they certainly aren’t getting fair value for Collins. I’d rather have him than Al-Shaair. San Francisco is aware of that, as they once had Al-Shaair as well. This deal would make more sense if they hadn’t cut Arik Armstead (an even better player) or just signed a worse DT (Jordan Elliott). Looking at the trade on its own, a 7th-rounder for Collins is a steal. It just doesn’t align with the roster building GM John Lynch has been doing over the last few days.
Grades: Texans: D+; 49ers: B+

Ravens Trade RT Morgan Moses and 2024 4th-Round Pick to Jets for 2024 4th- and 6th-Round Picks:
For clarification, the Ravens’ pick is #134, while the Jets’ 4th-rounder is #112. New York is familiar with Moses, as he played for the team in 2021. I imagine they regret parting ways with him given what their line became in the two seasons since. I commend GM Joe Douglas for his strategy of raiding another quality offensive line. Clearly not done after signing G John Simpson away from Baltimore, the Jets have now traded a 6th-rounder and a minor pick swap for a massive right tackle. This is music to Aaron Rodgers’ ears (and apparently Breece Hall’s ears too). Moses is a mountain of a man who has mostly been durable, and he is a massive upgrade that takes pressure off the Jets, who no longer HAVE to select a tackle with their first-round pick (though they still might). I’m not sure why Baltimore is addressing their cap issues by dumping linemen. Just because you signed Derrick Henry doesn’t mean you no longer need a blocking unit. Most good teams build out from their line, and the Ravens seem to be going against that after following the method perfectly for years. Lamar Jackson is at least used to running; he’ll be doing it a lot.
Grades: Ravens: D; Jets: A+

March 12, 2024

Steelers Trade WR Diontae Johnson and 2024 7th-Round Pick to Panthers for CB Donte Jackson and 2024 6th-Round Pick:
I think Carolina got better at trading since yesterday. The team was planning to release Jackson due to his injury issues and $10M cap hit, but they found a trade partner. Somehow, they even got a good receiver in the deal. Johnson himself had a bloated contract, but with the way the WR market has shifted in the past couple of years, it’s actually not bad anymore. Perhaps he became a problem in the locker room, having complained about the offense. I would’ve expected that to change after the Steelers changed OCs, but who knows? We also know that Pittsburgh badly needs CB help, especially after releasing Patrick Peterson. Jackson is a solid outside corner when he’s healthy, which is a good 80% of the time. I just don’t get trading a good WR2 for him and a minor pick swap. The Panthers win this deal because they needed weapons for Bryce Young more than the Steelers needed a corner. Their cost was someone they were going to jettison anyway, plus a one-round drop on day 3 of the draft. For all the good moves the Steelers are making, this was a blunder. I apologize to George Pickens and Russell Wilson, who must feel like they’re being sabotaged already.
Grades: Steelers: D; Panthers: A

Bengals Trade RB Joe Mixon to Texans for 2024 7th-Round Pick:
That’s a bit of a plot twist! Upon signing Zack Moss, the Bengals announced that they were releasing Mixon. Apparently not wanting to compete with other teams on the open market for his services, the Texans dangled a 7th-round pick in front of Cincy. The Bengals took it, and we have ourselves a trade. Mixon is a big name, but he hasn’t actually been a top performer in a few years. He topped 1000 rushing yards last year, is a good receiver out of the backfield, and pass blocks well, making him a well-rounded back. However, he hasn’t been getting many more yards than what’s blocked, so his better 2023 season probably has more to do with the offensive line improvements the team made. Viewing Mixon as expendable and wanting $6M in cap savings, Cincinnati replaced him with a cheaper but equal option. Getting any sort of pick for a player you were going to cut is great. For Houston, the compensation is low, and the team had three 7th-round picks in this draft anyway. They needed an RB after losing Devin Singletary, but there were better options available that wouldn’t have cost draft picks. If Mixon helps CJ Stroud though, I’m fine with it.
Grades: Bengals: A; Texans: B

March 11, 2024

Panthers Trade OLB Brian Burns to Giants for 2024 2nd- and 5th-Round Picks, 5th-Round Pick Swap:
Let me get this straight: the Panthers rejected an offer including 2 first-round picks for Burns before this past season, kept Burns through a 2-14 campaign, and then traded him for far less? That’s called poor management. Granted, Dan Morgan wasn’t the GM at the time, but we all know owner David Tepper is the captain of this sinking ship. The Panthers tagged Burns last week, and I said that they needed to move him or extend him. I didn’t mean to sell him for pennies on the dollar! The Giants now have to pay to extend Burns, and it’s a hefty sum (I’ll grade that transaction separately on my Free Agents page), but Carolina had plenty of space if they wanted to keep him. Conversely, I’m also not entirely sure what New York is doing. The price was cheap, and pairing Burns with Kayvon Thibodeaux forms a formidable pass rush. I just wonder if the team should’ve spent this cap space on offensive upgrades, as that side of the ball is in much worse shape. In a vacuum, this is a good trade, but S Xavier McKinney is now out the door, and the offensive line and receiving room are still messes. Finally, if they want to move up for a QB, they no longer have this 2nd-round pick to do so. At least they made their team better at a reasonable cost; Carolina got worse without reaping any rewards for doing so.
Grades: Panthers: F; Giants: B-

Buccaneers Trade CB Carlton Davis, 2024 6th-Round Pick, and 2025 6th-Round Pick to Lions for 2024 3rd-Round Pick:
Signing so many of your free agents to big deals comes with a cap cost, and for Tampa Bay, that cost is Davis. In a move that appears to be a clear salary dump, the Bucs are sending one of their better corners to the team that eliminated them from the playoffs this past season. The fact that Davis has 1 year and $14.5M left on his deal is probably the driver of this trade from Tampa’s perspective, but it makes them weaker against the pass. They also barely got anything, as the 3rd rounder is offset by a pair of 6th-round picks they’re sending to Detroit. The Lions badly needed a CB. The 49ers completely shredded them in the second half of the NFC Championship game, and Davis can help make sure that doesn’t happen again. He’s not elite, but he’s probably better than most options they can find at the end of round 1 during the draft. Davis is also experienced, which matters to a contender. I get why the Bucs had to do this to clear cap space, and getting something is better than releasing Davis, but it’s not much.
Grades: Buccaneers: C-; Lions: B+

March 10, 2024

Patriots Trade QB Mac Jones to Jaguars for 2024 6th-Round Pick:
This one blindsided me. I knew the Patriots wanted to trade Jones, but I didn’t think the Jaguars would be the top suitor. Similar to the Trey Lance trade to the Cowboys, I have no clue what Jacksonville is thinking. Jones is a clear bust who is probably no better than current backup CJ Beathard, and he’s obviously not replacing Trevor Lawrence. Giving up any asset to take on the last guaranteed year of Jones’ deal is weird. For New England, I get what they wanted to do, but was this the best they could muster? Jones’ stock is at its lowest, but his situation in Foxborough was also awful. I’d at least have tried to make things work a bit with the new regime. After all, would his value really be much worse after the team takes a QB with the #3 overall pick next month? I do believe the two sides needed to part, but this was suboptimally handled.
Grades: Patriots: C; Jaguars: F

March 9, 2024

Broncos Trade WR Jerry Jeudy to Browns for 2024 5th- and 6th-Round Picks:
What a surprise: the Broncos, who were adamant about keeping Jeudy at last year’s trade deadline, have changed their minds and moved him. This is definitely late, as I believe Jeudy had more value last season. Cleveland meanwhile continues to stockpile former Alabama 1st-round WRs at pennies on the dollar, having already acquired Amari Cooper from Dallas a season ago. The prices of these deals are similar, but Cooper was a proven WR1, whereas Jeudy has yet to deliver on his promise. From Denver’s perspective, Jeudy is incredibly frustrating. He has never had a 1000-yard season and has suffered through drops, while the WR drafted right after him (CeeDee Lamb) became a star. I can understand why they’d want to move on and save money on the cap, so I won’t judge them too harshly for giving up and getting a mediocre return. This is a worthy flier for the Browns, though I’m not sure Jeudy is going to suddenly blossom. His routes and athleticism are good, but his hands are suspect. At this price though, why not take a shot at filling your WR2 void?
Grades: Broncos: B-; Browns: B+

March 5, 2024

Bills Trade G/C Ryan Bates to Bears for 2024 5th-Round Pick:
We’re starting with the trades before the new league year even begins! I guess Bates was a cut candidate for Buffalo and they figured they’d get an asset for him. Chicago actually tried to sign Bates in 2022, but the Bills matched their offer sheet. Afterwards, Bates started 17 games that season before reverting to a backup in 2023. This is a quality depth piece for the Bears, but given that Buffalo didn’t feel the need to start him when they weren’t loaded on the offensive line themselves, his upside is probably limited. I say that the Bills won this trade because a 5th-rounder usually gets you a bit better of a guard on an expiring contract (like Shaq Mason a couple years ago). Any protection in Chicago is worthy of praise though.
Grades: Bills: A-; Bears: B

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