I have seen many things in my 45 years of watching the NFL, my friends. I have seen titans felled, and champions crowned. I saw the Immaculate Reception, the Holy Roller and the Buttfumble. I watched a human refrigerator run for a Super Bowl touchdown, and I watched dumbfounded that time Dan Orlovsky ran out the back of his own end zone.
But I’ve never seen an NFL trade deadline like this one.
When did the NFL turn into Major League Baseball, with teams dumping talent for draft picks? Usually the trade deadline comes and goes quietly, like a Jets season or Akili Smith’s career. This week there were plenty of deals, and plenty of winners and losers.
The Deal: Jimmy Garoppolo is traded from the Patriots to the 49ers.
Winner: San Francisco. For a 2018 second-round pick, they get to try out a potential franchise quarterback, and if it doesn’t work out they’ll get a third-rounder back in 2019. Also, they now have a player that people have actually heard of, so they can stop selling jerseys in the pro shop with “Your Name” on the back of them.
Loser: New England, if anything happens to Tom Brady. Anything at all. Sore ankle. Migraine. Dutch Elm Disease. Any injury would be catastrophic, because they literally have no other quarterbacks on the roster right now, and even the evil genius of Bill Belichick can overcome that. I think.
Also A Loser: Kirk Cousins, who, much like your average Senator, no longer has any options outside of Washington.
The Deal: Running back Jay Ajayi gets traded from the Dolphins to the Eagles.
Winner: Jay Ajayi, who gets to move from the 4-3 Dolphins to the 7-1 Eagles.
Loser: Also Jay Ajayi, who has to move from Miami to Philadelphia. At the beginning of winter.
The Deal: Duane Brown goes from the Texans to the Seahawks.
Winner: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, who actually restructured his contract to help get Brown to Seattle to keep Wilson conscious.
Loser: Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. I would think when you finally get a quarterback with some ability after almost 20 years of hot garbage, you’d like to keep his blind side guarded for at least a couple of seasons.
The Deal: Receiver Kelvin Benjamin is traded from the Panthers to the Bills.
Winner: Tyrod Taylor. The Bills quarterback finally has a weapon, after spending the whole season throwing to players like “Whatshisname,” “That Guy,” and “Picture Not Available.”
Loser: Cam Newton. Carolina already gets about 35 yards a game from its running backs, and now Newton loses his best receiving threat on top of that. It’s like they’re trying to see just how much pressure they can put on him before he snaps, and they haven’t watched his press conferences to see that it’s already happening.
The Deal: Cowboys make no trades, and Ezekiel Elliott gets suspended for six games.
Winner: The NFL, which turned another flimsy case into a suspension for a superstar. When the next CBA negotiation comes up, the power of the Commissioner is a huge bargaining chip on their side.
Loser: Anyone standing near Jerry Jones for the next six weeks.
The Deal: Quarterback A.J. McCarron was supposed to be traded from the Bengals to the Browns, but the paperwork wasn’t filed in time.
Winner: McCarron. Better a backup quarterback with potential than the next name briefly on a Browns jersey.
Loser: The Browns. Spoiler Alert: It’s always the Browns.
On to the picks. In week eight, I went 4-2 picking games, and also 4-2 against the Las Vegas spread. My biggest miscue was picking Washington to win. In my defense, I wasn’t aware they would be missing 43 guys off their offensive line. Next time, I’ll look into that before I lay my money down.
I’m now 29-27 straight up and 22-33-1 picking against the Vegas odds. These are for the purposes of discussion only, and based on this season, you’re far better off picking against me. As always, no wagering.
Buffalo (minus 3) at New York Jets: For over a decade the Bills have been unwatchable. They’re now 5-2. They’re still not watchable outside the greater Buffalo Metro area, but hey, it’s a start.
Pick: Jets to win straight up.
I’ll be back Sunday with the weekend picks. Stay warm, everybody.
Reid Kerr talks a lot, as his wife always reminds him. Reid's second book, “I Hate It Here: A Love Story,” is out now on Amazon.com. You can always tweet questions, comments, and angry messages to him at @reidaboutit.