This year’s trade deadline saw a lot of big-name players move to new teams, but which deal will have the biggest impact?
In what many called one of the most active and exciting NFL trade deadlines in a while, it sure didn’t disappoint. We saw big moves all the way up to the 4 p.m. deadline. As always, there were some major surprises. Some teams stayed quiet, while others went all out.
Let’s focus on the six biggest trades that have happened over the past month and rank them based on their significance and impact heading forward.
6. Adrian Peterson to the Cardinals
It was clear after just four games in New Orleans that this wasn’t the right fit for Adrian Peterson. With Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara leading the way, Peterson was the third option running back. He sufficed for just 81 yards through four games and was clearly unhappy. The Saints explored their options and dealt Peterson to the Cardinals for a 2018 sixth-round conditional draft pick.
At the time, the Cardinals were in desperate need for a running back. All-Pro David Johnson injured his wrist in the season opener and the offense lacked any identity. Peterson came in and wasted no time making an impact. In his debut against the Buccaneers in Week 6, Peterson exploded on the scene and rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. It’s like the Adrian Peterson we saw in years past. He cooled down against the Rams a week later but given the opportunity, it’s clear Peterson still has plenty left in the tank.
In terms of impact, it’s a confusing one for Cardinals. At 3-4, they’re without Johnson and now starting quarterback Carson Palmer. The playoffs don’t seem like a real possibility this season especially with how well the Seahawks and Rams are playing in the division. Sure Peterson can have a decent season but how realistic of an option is he in the long term?
Next season the Cardinals will have Peterson, Palmer, and Larry Fitzgerald, all offensive weapons 33 years or older. Peterson is under contract with the Cardinals through next season but with David Johnson back off injury, Peterson will be the backup option once again. This trade had realistic impacts before Palmer’s injury but the truth is the Cardinals are old and need to get younger. In reality, Peterson is a short-term solution to a long-term problem for Bruce Arians’ squad.