Tuesday, the NFL trade deadline passed with little drama, as usual, and two trades were completed at the deadline. One of these trades is discussed below along with a massive contract extension and a retirement. As always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-sign DT Gerald McCoy
With all the roster change that is going on for the 1-6 Buccaneers––they were involved in both trades at the deadline––they decided to lock up McCoy, who they deem to be the face of their franchise.
A seven-year contract extension, the total value of the deal is just under the $100 million mark that J.J. Watt set earlier this offseason. McCoy receives $95.2 million with $51.5 million guaranteed. The average value of $13.6 million per season makes him the highest paid defensive tackle in the league right now and in NFL history.
Drafted by Tampa Bay with the third pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, he has quickly become the best 4-3 defensive tackle in the NFL.
So far this season (six games), he has recorded 19 tackles and 2.5 sacks for the struggling Buccaneers. The team may not be performing well, but he is. Pro Football Focus (PFF) has him rated as the best defensive tackle in the NFL. His 19 tackles and 2.5 sacks may not show this, but the impact of interior defensive lineman can not be shown in the box score.
Last season was the best of his career. Statistically, he set career highs in tackles (50) and sacks (9.5). PFF as the best defensive tackle in the league, a full 16 points ahead of the more well-known Ndamukong Suh who was ranked second. (Suh is a free agent at the end of the season. It will be interesting to see what contract he signs.)
In first two seasons he was limited by injuries, but flashed the playmaking ability that has made him the great player that he is today.
When Watt signed his $100 million contract extension before the season started, the bar was set for McCoy. He was always going to get less than what Watt received in terms of total and guaranteed money.
Tampa Bay needed to keep their best player, no matter the cost. The team isn't playing well right now and is one of worst in the NFL. McCoy is viewed as their franchise player so he had to be kept.
CB Champ Bailey retires
After spending the first eight weeks of the season as a free agent, Bailey has announced his retirement from the league.
This offseason he signed a two-year contract worth $7 million with the New Orleans Saints. However, he failed to make their roster, being released after training camp. In the following weeks he worked out for a few teams (Detroit and Baltimore), but he wasn't signed. It was reported that he favored his foot, that he injured last season, in his workout with Detroit and wasn't conditioned enough in his workout for Baltimore.
Drafted by the Washington Redskins with the seventh overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, Bailey spent five seasons in Washington before spending the rest of his career, 10 seasons, in Denver.
After five seasons in Washington, where he developed into one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, he was surprisingly traded to the Denver Broncos along with a second round pick for running back Clinton Portis. Bailey was upset over his contract situation so the team decided to get rid of him.
With Denver, he continued to play as one of the best cover cornerbacks in the league. His best statistical seasons––with either team––came in 2005 and 2006. In 2005, he recorded 64 tackles, eight interceptions and had 15 passes defensed. The following season he set career highs in tackles (84) and interceptions (10) while breaking up 11 passes.
Over the course of his career, he made 12 Pro Bowls (2000-2007 and 2009-2012) and seven All-Pro teams (2000, 2003-2007 and 2012). These 12 Pro Bowl selections are the most ever for a defensive back. In the Pro Bowl, he has intercepted four passes, which is also a record.
With these accolades and the great performances Bailey has had in his 15 years in the NFL, we should be seeing a bust of his face in Canton in the near future.
St. Louis Rams trade for S Mark Barron
In the biggest move at the trade deadline, the Buccaneers traded Barron, their starting strong safety who was rumored to be on the block, to the St. Louis Rams.
To acquire Barron, the Rams gave up a pick in the fourth and sixth rounds of the 2015 draft. This is a far cry from the seventh overall pick where he was selected in 2012.
Since being drafted, he has underwhelmed, not performing as the difference maker the Buccaneers envisioned him to be on the backend.
So far this season he has 49 tackles and three passes defensed. In his two prior seasons he had a combined 176 tackles, three interceptions and two sacks.
Statistically this looks good, but PFF rated him as the 70th best safety in 2012 and the 55th last season. This season he is ranked as the 71st best.
With Lovie Smith being hired as head coach this season, Barron was less of a fit for the defense. The cover two style isn't the best fit for Barron, as his performances showed. Now Major Wright will take over at strong safety for Tampa Bay. Wright played for Smith when he was the head coach in Chicago.
In St. Louis, Barron should be a much better fit. Defensive coordinator Greg Williams loves to run aggressive defenses that utilize multiple blitzers from different angles. The strong safety is an essential component of this defense––think Roman Harper in New Orleans a few years ago. Barron will come in and takeover this role for Williams.
Moving to St. Louis should help Barron improve his career. The Rams defense has had their struggles at the safety position over the last few seasons. At the end of the season, the Rams must decide whether to exercise his fifth-year option. If they don't, then they still have at least one and a half seasons of Barron before he hits free agency.
Tampa Bay got a few picks out of a player that obviously wasn't in their future plans anymore. Still, a fourth and sixth round pick for a player that was the seventh overall pick just a few years ago is a major loss on investment.
The Atlanta Falcons sign S Charles Godfrey.
The Atlanta Falcons cut S Sean Baker.
The Baltimore Ravens waive TE Ryan Taylor.
The Baltimore Ravens sign TE Phillip Supernaw.
The Carolina Panthers sign OT Mike Remmers.
The Carolina Panthers sign S Robert Lester.
The Carolina Panthers cut RB Darrin Reaves.
The Cleveland Browns waive TE Gerell Robinson.
The Cleveland Browns claim TE Ryan Taylor off waivers.
The Dallas Cowboys sign LB Tim Dobbins.
The Detroit Lions sign S Jerome Couplin.
The Houston Texans sign LB Zac Diles.
The Houston Texans waive CB Elbert Mack.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waive WR Tavarres King.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign CB Peyton Thompson.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign CB Tommie Campbell.
The Miami Dolphins waive WR Damian Williams.
The New England Patriots waive OL Chris Baker.
The New England Patriots cut LB Deontae Skinner.
The New Orleans Saints cut TE Tom Crabtree.
The New Orleans Saints sign RB Edwin Baker.
The New Orleans Saints sign TE Tom Crabtree.
The New Orleans Saints waive TE Tom Crabtree.
The New Orleans Saints sign LB Todd Davis.
The New York Giants sign CB Mike Harris.
The New York Jets release LB A.J. Edds.
The New York Jets sign CB Marcus Williams.
The Oakland Raiders sign DE Denico Autry.
The Oakland Raiders cut LB Bojay Filimoeatu.
The Oakland Raiders sign S Larry Asante.
The St. Louis Rams sign CB Jemea Thomas.
The St. Louis Rams sign LB Korey Toomer.
The St. Louis Rams waive QB Case Keenum.
The St. Louis Rams sign WR Damian Williams.
The St. Louis Rams cut CB Jemea Thomas.
The St. Louis Rams sign G Brandon Washington.
The St. Louis Rams cut S Kadron Boone.
The San Diego Chargers release CB Richard Marshall.
The San Diego Chargers sign CB Richard Crawford.
The San Francisco 49ers sign S Ray Ventrone.
The Seattle Seahawks sign WR Phil Bates.
The Seattle Seahawks waive WR Phil Bates.
The Seattle Seahawks waive TE Brett Brackett.
The Seattle Seahawks sign LB L.J. Fort.
The Seattle Seahawks sign FB Will Tukuafu.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waive QB Mike Kafka.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade LB Jonathan Casillas and a sixth round pick to the New England Patriots for a fifth round pick.
The Washington Redskins sign S Akeem Davis.
The Washington Redskins cut S Jamaica Sanford.