NFL 2023 Trade Deadline

NFL 2023 Trade Deadline Analysis: Which Teams Came Out on Top

Assessing the Key Moves: Who Triumphed and Who Faltered in the NFL 2023 Trade Deadline

Winners and Losers of NFL 2023 Trade Deadline: Assessing Key Acquisitions

The NFL 2023 trade deadline saw a flurry of activity, with numerous teams making bold moves to enhance their playoff chances or prepare for the future. Let’s delve into the winners and losers of this trade deadline and analyze the key acquisitions, departures, and the impact they might have on the league.


San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers emerged as one of the trade deadline winners by acquiring standout defensive end Chase Young. This move not only strengthens their defensive line but also signifies their commitment to remaining competitive in the NFC West. Young, a former No. 2 overall pick, brings youth and talent to an already formidable defensive unit, alongside Nick Bosa. This addition could create a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks in the postseason. The 49ers, coming off a three-game losing streak, needed this boost to keep pace with rivals like the Seahawks.

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks made a bold move by acquiring interior defensive lineman Leonard Williams. This strategic acquisition adds depth to their defensive line, similar to the approach taken by the Cowboys. Williams, a former Pro Bowler, offers quality pass-rushing ability from the interior, filling the void left by the injured Uchenna Nwosu. With this move, Seattle gears up for a deep postseason run, boasting a new-look defensive line that can compete with top NFC teams. The Seahawks paid a price, including 2024 second-round and 2025 fifth-round picks to the Giants, but the benefits of this trade outweigh the cons.

Washington Commanders: Washington, historically known for its strong defensive line, decided to break up its loaded group of defensive linemen by trading Montez Sweat and Chase Young. This strategic decision aims to improve other areas of the roster, and it brought them a 2024 second-round pick from the Bears. While Sweat is still productive, the team had financial constraints with the likes of Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne earning significant salaries. Young, although talented, came with injury concerns. The acquired draft assets can be used to strengthen the secondary and offensive line, addressing areas of concern this season. The franchise is also on the lookout for a franchise quarterback, and the extra Day 2 pick might be valuable for such a move.

New York Giants: The Giants managed to win in the Leonard Williams trade by obtaining a valuable second-round pick, positioning themselves for a roster rebuild under GM Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll. Williams’s salary, which the Giants agreed to pay for Seattle’s 2024 second-round pick, reflects the team’s willingness to move on from older assets and focus on a younger core. This move aligns with the Giants’ realistic approach, acknowledging the need for a rebuild, particularly after inheriting a roster with numerous gaps last year.

Philadelphia Eagles: GM Howie Roseman continued to make shrewd moves to improve the Eagles’ odds of a Super Bowl victory. The acquisition of former All-Pro safety Kevin Byard from the Titans, in exchange for 2024 fifth- and sixth-round draft picks, provides a significant boost to the secondary. Byard’s presence can make a difference in the playoffs, and as long as the Eagles maintain their winning streak, his adjustment to the scheme should be manageable. With a 7-1 record, the Eagles are well-positioned to make a deep playoff run.

Buffalo Bills: The Bills, addressing their needs in the secondary, acquired cornerback Rasul Douglas from the Green Bay Packers. With Tre’Davious White sidelined for the season and injuries impacting the defense, this move was crucial for shoring up their defensive unit. Buffalo sent a third-round pick to Green Bay and also received a fifth-rounder in return, ensuring they bolster their defense for the playoff push.


Chicago Bears: The Chicago Bears, despite their struggles and non-competitive position in the league, decided to make significant trades, raising doubts about their championship contention. Their acquisition of Montez Sweat from Washington, at the cost of a second-round pick, seemed unnecessary, considering Sweat would have been available in free agency in the offseason. This move also overlooks the option of drafting an edge rusher with the second-round pick. While Sweat has been consistent in his career, he hasn’t achieved Pro Bowl or All-Pro status.

Tennessee Titans: The Titans appeared to miss an opportunity by not capitalizing on more valuable assets for players like Derrick Henry and DeAndre Hopkins. The return they received in the Kevin Byard trade, two 2024 Day 3 picks, raised questions about their long-term planning. The Titans, facing stiff competition in the AFC, could have explored more significant trades. Additionally, holding on to veteran core players like Ryan Tannehill in a crowded quarterback market seemed like a missed opportunity to accumulate draft capital and rebuild effectively.

Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys: The Lions and Cowboys may have lost ground in the NFC with the impactful moves made by the 49ers, Seahawks, and Eagles before the trade deadline. The Lions, despite acquiring wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, should have prioritized their defense, especially their secondary, which has struggled. The Cowboys, although performing well defensively, need offensive line help and another running back to complement Tony Pollard.

Denver Broncos: The Broncos’ decision not to conduct a fire sale, as many expected, came as a surprise. Players like Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Justin Simmons, and Patrick Surtain II remained in Denver, indicating a change in direction after their recent victory over the Chiefs.

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Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs, despite suffering an upset loss to the Broncos, chose to stand pat, failing to address their needs at wide receiver. While they might recover, the competitive AFC landscape leaves no room for complacency. The Chiefs face tough competition from surging teams like the Bengals, Jaguars, Ravens, and Dolphins.

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings, dealing with the loss of Kirk Cousins for the season, decided not to be aggressive in their pursuit of another quarterback. Instead, they acquired Joshua Dobbs to add depth at the position. While the Vikings deserve credit for not rushing into a quarterback trade, their 2024 sixth-round pick for Dobbs might not provide a significant impact in the near future. The team is starting fifth-round rookie Jaren Hall against the Falcons on Sunday, showcasing their cautious approach.

Los Angeles Chargers: The Chargers’ decision to trade J.C. Jackson, a player they signed to a lucrative contract, back to New England for minimal return, didn’t lead to the expected improvement in their secondary. The secondary remains a concern under head coach Brandon Staley.

Los Angeles Rams: The Rams made trades that resulted in minimal returns for Cam Akers and Van Jefferson, players who were expected to make more significant contributions under head coach Sean McVay’s guidance. The Rams’ decision to keep their draft picks could limit their ability to address pressing needs.


The 2023 NFL trade deadline witnessed several bold moves, with some teams emerging as clear winners while others faced questions about their decision-making. It’s a reminder of the strategic challenges that teams face in balancing their present and future goals, as well as navigating the complexities of the NFL trade landscape. As the season progresses, the impact of these trades will become more apparent, and only time will tell which teams made the right moves to advance their objectives

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