Dec 30, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credits: ftw.usatoday.com

The 2018 offseason was filled with exciting trades, the best free agency QB class in recent memory, and multiple teams overpaying for veteran players. Let’s see how every big offseason move,(signings and trades involving a lot of money, draft picks, or well-known players), turned out for the teams involved one year later.

Trades

Photo Credits: Fanduel

 

Chiefs Trade Alex Smith to the Redskins for a 3rd round pick and Kendall Fuller

The Chiefs: A+

The Chiefs were ready to move on from Alex Smith, so they shipped him off to Washington and began the Patrick Mahomes era. Not only did this end up with the Chiefs having an MVP QB, they also got one of the best slot corners in the league with Kendall Fuller. He didn’t make any insane plays, but he was a bright side to the terrible 2018 Chiefs Defense. This trade ended up better than any member of the Chiefs organization could have imagined.

The Redskins: F

The Redskins gave up a 3rd and the best corner on the team for a guy that sadly may never play football again. They also signed him to a mega-extension after the trade. Enough said

Photo Credits: the rams wore.usatoday.com

 

Chiefs Trade Marcus Peters and a 6th round pick to the Rams for a 4th and 2nd round pick

The Chiefs: D

The Chiefs traded away a top 10 corner still on a rookie contract for 2 picks. Sure a second rounder is not bad but could end up just trying to replace the player they traded. The Chiefs ended up having the 31st pass ranked defense in the league, so they never could replace Peters. The only positive is that the Chiefs got rid of a supposedly “locked room cancer”.

The Rams: B+

They really gave up nothing for Peters, but he really struggled at times throughout the year. While he did get burnt at times throughout the year, Peters cleaned up his act and was outstanding throughout the playoffs.

Photo Credits: ESPN

 

Broncos Trade Aquib Talib to the Rams for a 5th round pick

The Broncos: B-

They were trying to not pay an aging cornerback his big payday. The good thing is that they had Chris Harris Jr and Bradley Roby to fill the void. The Bad thing is that they didn’t get good enough in return and they missed his elite veteran playmaking throughout the season. Also trading Talib far away instead of to teams like the Patriots or Chiefs is a huge plus.

The Rams: C

The Rams gave up pretty much nothing for Talib, but he only played about half a season and took a decent chunk of cash. The Rams need that money for their young players in the future. The defense did play better when Talib was on the field, leading to solid defensive play throughout the playoffs.

Photo Credits: ESPN

 

Dolphins trade Jarvis Landry to the Browns for a 4th and 7th round pick

The Dolphins: D

Jarvis Landry requested a trade, so it put the Dolphins in a tough position. Still, they got nowhere good enough compensation for a Consistent 1,000 yard plus receiver. The Dolphins will draft a QB in the next few years and Landry would have really helped the transition from college to the NFL. Instead, the Dolphins will have to fill that void with a high draft pick or a big free agency pick up.

The Browns: A

The Browns were desperate for a big-time offensive playmaker for their veteran QB Tyrod Taylor and future rookie QB Baker Mayfield. They got a chance with a top 10 receiver on the trade block. So, they didn’t give up much and got plenty in return. Landry helped Mayfield develop into a rookie of the year candidate, had over 1,000 yards, made the pro bowl, and looks to now be apart of the best wide receiver duo in the league with Odell Beckham Jr. I’d say this one turned out for the Browns perfect.

Photo Credits: Cleveland.com

 

Bills trade Tyrod Taylor to the Browns for a 3rd round pick

The BillsC

The Bills had a chance for their rookie QB learn from a veteran for a year or two, but decided to ship him off for a third-round pick. Josh Allen didn’t look ready, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns, and could have used some time to learn from Tyrod Taylor. A 3rd round pick is solid, but the development of a franchise quarterback is more important than a mid-round pick. And, by the end of the 2018 season, it looks like Josh Allen still has a lot of learning to accomplish.

The BrownsF

Taylor started 3 games and the only one he won is when Baker Mayfield came in to replace him. Trading for Taylor gave Mayfield a good mentor, but Baker honestly didn’t seem like he needed it. The Browns wasted a third-round pick on a guy who didn’t even start a quarter of the season.

Photo Credits: thephinsider.com

 

Rams trade Robert Quinn and a 6th round pick to the Dolphins for a 4th and 6th round pick

The RamsA

Rams got rid of that huge contract Robert Quinn had(14 million a year) and got a pair of picks. The picks aren’t good, but what makes this deal is what the Rams did later in the season. Picking up Dante Fowler gave the Rams the same production as Quinn and at a significantly lower price.

The DolphinsC+

On the other side, the Dolphins took in a huge contract and expected a top 10 pass rusher. That’s not what they got. Quinn wasn’t bad, but just did not live up to the contract and was not worth trading for. He had 6.5 sacks and the Dolphins are now looking to trade him this 2019 offseason.

Photo Credits: bostonglobe.com

 

The Patriots Trade Brandon Cooks to the Rams for a first round pick.

Both team Grades: A+

This is the only trade I think worked out great for both sides. The Patriots used that first round pick to draft now starter Sony Micheal who has performed great especially with his 6 touchdown playoff performance. As for the Rams, Brandon Cooks has over 1,200 yards and 6 touchdowns making him a top 10 receiver in this league. Cooks as finally found a permanent home as they signed him to a 5-year extension. Both teams made the super bowl this past season shows that this trade was effective.

 

Signings

Photo Credits: nbcsports.com

 

49ers Sign Richard Sherman

Grade: A

The 49ers clearly overpaid for the aging cornerback, but they needed a foundation for the defense in the next few years. He had one of those seasons where the stats lie. He didn’t make a pro bowl and did not get an interception, but still had a top 10 corner season. The thing is that no one threw to Sherman. He locked down his side better than anyone in the league. To be fair, there is an argument that teams just liked to pick at the poor play on the other corners, but either way, Richard still had no one daring to throw to him. Sherman also provided a great veteran leader in the locker room with 49er players calling him, “Uncle Sherm”. Now Sherman will look to lead his defense back to the playoffs next year after now being able to train this offseason instead of rehabbing his Achilles.

Photo Credits: foxnews.com

 

Vikings Sign Kirk Cousins

Grade: C

Kirk Cousins was signed to a record-breaking deal, but it has yet to work out for the Vikings. While Kirk put up a solid season stat wise,(30 Touchdowns, 10 interceptions), he still can not consistently beat good teams. The Vikings ended up 9-6-1 and missed the playoffs. I put 80 percent of the blame of Kirk Cousins. He has to step up his game and earn his money if the team ever wants to reach the NFC championship again. This team has so much talent, but so far it has been wasted by average quarterback play. The Vikings should look to draft a QB in the coming years to learn behind Cousins and eventually take over.

Photo Credits: The Denver Post

 

Broncos Sign Case Keenum

Grade: D

This just did not work out. The Bronco’s wanted Case to come him and manage games, while the defense kept teams around 20 points. Case could not lead his team to any kind of consistency at home or on the road. John Elway’s QB plan did not work again as Case Keenum did not fit Denver’s system. He showed that his 2017 season was simply a 1-year outlier as he went back to being as average as one can be,(18 touchdowns, 15 interceptions), and led his team to a 6-10 season. Case was traded after the 2018 season and no Bronco fan will try to remember his time with the team.

Photo Credits: Nypost.com

 

Giants Sign Nate Solder

Grade: B-

The Giants made Nate Solder the highest paid left tackle in the NFL. While he did not live up to that money, he provided a solid foundation with the offensive line late in the season. He had dealt with a neck issue for most of the season up to late November leading to poor play, but when he was fully healthy he played better. This year he was graded as the 21st ranked tackle according to Pro Football Focus, which is above average on their scale.  Right now, the Giants over paid a little for the most important offensive line position trying to keep their aging QB healthy which is no problem.

Photo Credits: Fan Duel

 

Rams sign Ndamukong Suh

Grade: C

Suh was a solid run stopper and added an impressive 4.5 sacks for a defensive tackle who doesn’t pass rush often. The thing is that he did not make enough for an impact to justify the Rams signing him. They needed that money for all those young players they have and now that Suh is once again on the free agent market, the signing just looks pointless now.

 

Photo Credits: ESPN

Chiefs Sign Sammy Watkins

Grade: C

Sammy Watkins looked like he earned that contract up until his injury which caused him to only play 8 full games. He totaled just over 500 yards and 3 touchdowns and another 176 yards in 2 games in the playoffs. If not for his injury, then this grade may have been around a B, but once again Watkins shows he has great talent and can’t stay healthy. The Chiefs overpaid, but their offense did not look the same without Watkins showing his importance. As of now though, the Chiefs wasted some money that could have been put into the defense.

 

Photo Credits: Boston Globe

 

Titans Sign Malcolm Butler

Grade: D+

The Titans showed that Malcolm Butler is still severely overrated with the 5 year/61 million signing. Now out of the great Patriots scheme, he showed, even more, he can’t cover an elite corner and looks lost on the field at times. Even the Titans gave up on Butler with having him start only 11 out of the 16 games he played. Bill Belichick’s decision to bench Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl is now understandable to all fans.

 

Photo Credits: packers.com

 

Packers Sign Jimmy Graham

Grade: C+

The Packers overpaid for the aging tight end, but he provided a decent target at the position that Rodgers has not had in a while. He had a little over 600 yards and 2 touchdowns. He didn’t look like he fit the system good, but with a new coach and more chemistry with Rodgers, he could have a bounce-back season in 2019.

Photo Credits: deadspin.com

 

Cardinals Sign Sam Bradford

Grade: F

Cardinals signed this man to a one year deal worth 20 million guaranteed. He went 0-3 and got released throwing 2 touchdowns to 4 interceptions.

Photo Credits: ChicagoBears.com

Bears sign Allen Robinson

Grade: B-

The signing did more than just having a good receiver with good stats on the team, it helped Mitchell Trubiksy develop into a pro bowl QB and opened up Matt Nagy’s offense. They overpaid for him, but it was needed to get that offense going. He caught around 750 yards, 4 touchdowns, and helped the Bears offense develop into a top 10 offense.

Photo Credits: Arrowheadpride.com

Texans Sign Tyrann Matheui

Grade: B

This grade is brought down much like the Suh signing because he ended up leaving the team after one season. He made more of an impact than Suh though, being the leader of a top 10 Texans defense. He showed he can still play at a top level but the Texans are not willing to pay him. This means they should have given him a longer-term deal back when they signed him in the 2018 offseason.

Photo Credits: Tampabay.com

Raider sign Jon Gruden to a 10 year deal.

Grade: C

The Raiders are still in full rebuild one year later after signing Gruden. They still have many holes, but Gruden has accumulated 5 first round picks over the next two years. It may take a while to see how good or bad this move is. He could mess up drafting or he could build a super team. He could still have a strong play-calling ability or he could have lost his touch. There’s a lot of coulds and what-ifs surrounding the Raiders and Jon Gruden right now. So I am going to give him an A in the middle grade.

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