This was a great move for the Bears. Roquan Smith was an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year and in return is getting some much needed draft chips for the Bears braintrust to work with. This came a week after they traded Robert Quinn to the Eagles for a 4th round pick. But other than these two deals and the McCaffrey trade from the Panthers, we haven't seen many trades from other clubs and the deadline is today at 4 PM EST.
After the early draft success the Jets have seen this year, I thought you might see other losing teams follow suit. By trading Jamal Adams for two 1st-round picks in the 2020 off-season, it gave the Jets a huge leg up and paved the way for them to draft OL Alijah Vera-Tucker and WR Garrett Wilson. Wilson seems to improve each week and had 110 yards receiving yesterday and Vera-Tucker was playing great before getting hurt last week.
The Texans got a good amount of picks when they traded Deshaun Watson but why stop there? They are 1-5-1 and aren't going anywhere this season. Why not dump more veterans for as many picks as you can get? Not only that, but it could help you lose games the rest of the season to lock in that #1 overall pick. The craziest thing is the Texans know how valuable those extra draft picks can be. One of the picks they got back for Watson was a 4th rounder which they turned into Dameon Pierce who has almost twice as many yards from scrimmage as any other Texan this season.
The last time we saw a true tanking in the NFL was the Cleveland Browns. They wound up winning a total of 4 games over three seasons (2015-17) which led to the Baker Mayfield pick. That obviously didn't work out but they also drafted Myles Garrett over that tanking as well. Some may see the Browns as the reason why NFL teams shouldn't tank but I disagree. Yes, only getting one playoff appearance in exchange for intentionally losing for a three seasons is a bad deal. No argument there. But if they had drafted Josh Allen instead of Mayfield, would the anti-tanking narrative still be right?
I'm surprised we don't see more outright tanking in all sports. The Houston Astros lost 106 or more games each year from 2011-13. They were able to use that great draft position in that time to draft Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers Jr, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker. Since then, they've been to four World Series. They've had some big misses in that time as well with Brady Aiken and Mark Appel but because they had consistently high picks, the Astros weren't as dependent on hitting it big with each one.
I give the Bears credit for making these moves. They are 3-5 and some fans could potentially trick themselves into somehow getting into the playoffs but that's not realistic. Good management will make tough decisions like trading Quinn and Smith. The Bears haven't won a playoff game in 12 seasons. They are already losing a lot. Why not accumulate a ton of draft picks and have that losing pay off?