The NFL is a weird place, often the weirdest place in all of the sports. Take the example of Jamie Collins; he started off his career on the Patriots and now is on a team that is one of the worst in the NFL, in the Browns. This is because his team found him valuable for trade assets and thought that it would be better to move on from him. Collins has seemingly lost his firepower as one of the best linebackers in the league and has simply become an above average player with no recognition.
Let's analyze the biggest trades of this midseason and the weeks leading up to it. There was a high market for wide receivers as production in the NFL has been down across the board. Teams knew that if they wanted to spice up their games and explode through defenses, they were going to have to have more production from their best pass catchers. The weekend started off by a trade for Amari Cooper. The Raiders were willing to part with their former first-round pick because Jon Gruden wanted to trade away the whole team.
Just kidding, but seriously, what is the former Super Bowl coach up to?
He seemingly wants to trade away the whole roster for picks in an upcoming draft. The two other biggest moves on the market were for Golden Tate and Demaryius Thomas. Thomas was traded for a fourth-round pick, a steal if I may so, and Tate was traded for a third-round pick. While both are not the players they once were, they are still quality athletes that a team can surround with young players that need to be better shaped for the NFL. This market for wide receivers is only going to grow into the off-season as the vertical attack in the NFL continues to be shaped.
On the other side of the ball, the defense was not as highly prized as the more glamorous side of the ball.
The only two major players that got traded were the former Giant, Damon Harrison, and the former Jaguar, Dante Fowler. Harrison was moved to the Lions in a deal that sees the Lions beef up their offensive line after being bullied by opposing offensive lines and running backs. Defense wins championships in this league, and this was a big move into fixing one of the biggest problems the Lions had while giving up little for it. While Eli Apple is not exactly considered a big move trade, his deal helps give the Saints depth at cornerback, where they largely struggle. As for former top-pick Dante Fowler Jr., he has mostly not lived up to his draft status. But adding him to a loaded Rams rotation should allow him to gain experience under some of the best in the league.
In the NFL, no one knows what can happen. It is a place filled with uncertainty and a place that can have many different outcomes. At the end of the day, we don't know if these moves with being good or bad, but the teams have pushed for the future and want to see their stars shine.