The NFL trade deadline didn’t disappoint. Yesterday’s cutoff point saw several marquee players traded for draft picks and the impact on their new and old teams are notable.
Below you’ll find analysis of the four biggest moves from yesterday along with the betting impact they’ll have on their current and former teams.
Chase Young (DE) to the 49ers
The rich get richer. San Francisco already has an embarrassment of riches along their defensive line with last year’s DPOY Nick Bosa and free agent pickup Javon Hargrave. There’s no question the weak link along the 49ers’ line was at the defensive end spot opposite Bosa, and the 49ers addressed it in a big way.
Despite the big names, the 49ers’ defense has actually not lived up to the hype so far this season with only 18 sacks in eight games. The addition of Young, who was Bosa’s teammate at Ohio State, should inject some much needed juice into the unit. Offensive coordinators won’t be able to double team Bosa any longer and will have to “pick their poison.” San Francisco defensive line coach Kris Kocurek is regarded as one of the best defensive line coaches in the league and he has a history of helping players have breakout seasons under his tutelage.
San Francisco is on a bye this week, so their next game is Week 10 vs. Jacksonville. With this trade in mind, it’d be wise to keep an eye on the team totals for 49ers’ opponents going forward. There may be “buy low” opportunities for this unit, but it’s also possible the market overreacts to Young’s addition.
Montez Sweat (DE) to the Bears
This one made a lot of people scratch their heads. Sweat was rumored to be traded, but the landing spot makes little sense because the Bears aren’t in playoff contention and Sweat is in the last year of his contract. Perhaps the Bears are planning to get a leg up on the competition in terms of re-signing Sweat, but they’re giving him all the leverage in negotiations because it would be extremely embarrassing to give up a 2nd-round pick and fail to re-sign him.
Sweat, who is tied for 8th in the NFL with 6.5 sacks, instantly becomes the best pass rusher on a Bears’ defense that ranks dead last with 10 sacks and has five less sacks than anyone else in the league.
Chicago’s defense as a whole has been miserable, ranking 30th with a 12.4% DVOA rating, and only time will tell how much Sweat will be able to move the needle.
Handicappers will need to make serious adjustments on the Commanders after losing their two best pass rushers. In the past, Washington was considered a mediocre team that could, at times, keep up thanks to their pass rush as we saw them do vs. Philadelphia last week. Without Sweat and Young, the Commanders will start James Smith-Williams (53.4 PFF pass rush grade) and Casey Toohill (63.0 PFF pass rush grade) on the edges.
Leonard Williams (DL) to the Seahawks
While Chase Young and Montez Sweat’s trades were making all the headlines, Seattle made a sneaky move for a big difference maker. Williams only has two sacks this season, but don’t let that fool you. Williams has a 77.2 PFF.com pass rush grade thanks to 16 hurries and 22 total pressures.
Williams should see less double teams in Seattle as he goes from a defense that ranked T-30th with 15 sacks to a team that ranks 2nd in the NFL with 3.7 sacks per game.
Seattle has two big games vs. San Francisco coming up and it’s worth noting that Williams had a nice game (4 tackles, .5 sack) game Week 3 vs. the 49ers.
Rasul Douglas (CB) to the Bills
It’s no secret the Bills’ defense hasn’t been the same since losing CB Tre’ Davious White and LB Matt Milano to IR early in October.
Buffalo helped fill White’s All-Pro shoes and it’s going to be fascinating to see the impact Douglas will have on this defense. According to PFF.com, Douglas may actually be an upgrade to White. White has a 79.0 coverage grade and 68.0 overall grade this season, while Douglas has a 79.6 coverage grade and 75.2 overall grade. Douglas is regarded as the better run defender.