This season has seen its fair share of players changing jerseys and not just during postgame pleasantries. Big names like Jalen Ramsey, Michael Bennett, and Aqib Talib have all had their talent relocated during the season.
Here is a look at a few of the 2019 NFL trades that have been the most impactful.
2019 NFL Trades: Four Most Impactful In-Season Trades
4. Marcus Peters –> Baltimore Ravens
Peters was traded from the Los Angeles Rams to the Baltimore Ravens days before the Ravens’ game against the Seattle Seahawks. During the game, Peters made an immediate impact with a 67-yard pick-six to help the Ravens win.
The trade to the Ravens may have been just what the doctor ordered for Peters. In six games this season with the Rams, quarterbacks had a combined 91.8 rating with three touchdowns when targeting Peters. Since joining the Ravens, quarterbacks have a combined 30.8 rating with zero touchdowns. Peters also has two defensive touchdowns this season with the Ravens compared to just one with the Rams. Needless to say, he still has a lot to offer a contender.
3. Mohamed Sanu –> New England Patriots
They say the best ability in the NFL is availability. With the New England Patriots losing Rob Gronkowski to retirement and Josh Gordon being in and out of the lineup, the receiving corps needed some stability. Sanu was traded from the Atlanta Falcons to the Patriots for a second-round pick in 2020.
Sanu has been a solid second option throughout his career. He has racked up 389 receptions and over 4400 receiving yards in 8 years. With the Patriots lacking at the wide receiver position, I’m sure Bill Belichick was itching at the opportunity to bring in the proven veteran. While with the Patriots, Sanu has 12 catches on 19 targets with 104 yards and one touchdown. He ranks sixth on the team in receptions in just two games. Let that sink in for a second.
2. Emmanuel Sanders –> San Francisco 49ers
Like the Patriots, the San Francisco 49ers did not have a dominant group of receivers to start the year. George Kittle is still leading the team in receptions by 16 and he didn’t play Monday night. Rookie Deebo Samuel is the only wide receiver on the team with more than 15 receptions.
Since being traded from the Denver Broncos, Sanders has reeled in 13 receptions in just 3 games. Sanders also ties the team leaders in receiving touchdowns with 2. While he went down with a rib injury during Monday night’s game, the 49ers hope that he’ll be healthy for their playoff run. When Kittle returns, the 49ers will be a hard out if Jimmy Garoppolo can play to a standard.
1. Minkah Fitzpatrick –> Pittsburgh Steelers
I was in the group of people who thought the Pittsburgh Steelers trade for Fitzpatrick was crazy. Ben Roethlisberger is out for the season. Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are no longer on the roster. Yet, you trade a good draft pick for a free safety? This is exactly why I’m not a GM, although I’d like to think I know what I’m doing.
Since the trade to Pittsburgh, Fitzpatrick has been lights out. The Steelers are 5-2 after starting the season 0-2 and losing Rothlisberger for the season. Fitzpatrick has five interceptions, two defensive touchdowns, and eight passes defended in this stint with the Steelers. His playmaking ability on defense has taken the pressure to be perfect off of a young Mason Rudolph. Fitzpatrick’s 96-yard pick-six against the Indianapolis Colts proved to be the game-winner as legend Adam Vinatieri was unable to convert the laces-in last-second field goal. Even with the “Killer B’s” absent, the Steelers are in the playoff hunt thanks in large part to Fitzpatrick.
Fresh Air is Good for Everybody
The 2019 NFL trades have seen players left for dead go elsewhere and thrive. The common theme with these four players is they were rotting in their previous environments. The Rams haven’t lived up to expectations after their Super Bowl run last season. The Falcons have become one of the laughing stocks in the league. The Broncos have already given up on the Joe Flacco experiment. The Miami Dolphins are relying on the wrong Fitzpatrick.
Although not quite on the impact level of NBA trades, I’d love to see this trend continue. Especially if it helps players extend their playing careers.
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