As the NFL regular season nears closer and closer, teams have begun to make final preseason trades to round out their rosters. While most of the blockbuster trades have already occurred, there were still some moves made in August that will have a big impact on the 2022 season. There were three trades made in August that stood out amongst the rest.
New Orleans Saints send C.J. Gardner-Johnson to the Philadelphia Eagles
The first major trade that occurred in August sent C.J. Gardner-Johnson from the New Orleans Saints to the Philadelphia Eagles. Along with Gardner-Johnson, the Eagles also received a 2025 seventh-round pick from the Saints. In return, the Saints got a 2023 fifth-round pick, and the worse of their two 2024 seventh-round picks.
Gardner-Johnson was a fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft. Around halfway through his rookie season, he earned his spot as a starter. Over his three seasons with the Saints, he accumulated five interceptions, 28 passes defended, one forced fumble, three sacks, 161 tackles, and fifteen tackles for loss. This will be a big boost to the secondary of the Eagles. It is clear that the Eagles are in a win-now mode. Along with trading for Gardner-Johnson, Philadelphia also made a draft day trade to acquire wide receiver, A.J. Brown.
Gardner-Johnson will be the team’s starting free safety and this was a clear position of need for the Eagles after Jared Mayden was placed on the IR.
Laviska Shenault Jr. Joins Baker Mayfield With Carolina Panthers
The second significant trade sent Laviska Shanault Jr. from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Carolina Panthers. In exchange for Shenault Jr., the Jaguars received a 2023 seventh-round pick, and a 2024 sixth-round pick. Shenault Jr. was a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft. During his two seasons with the Jags, he has racked up 121 receptions, for 1219 yards, and five touchdowns. Last season, was a decline when compared to his rookie season. Shenault Jr. was kept out of the end zone and only had 19 more receiving yards despite receiving 21 more targets. Along with this, his catch percentage dropped by 10.4%.
Despite having a slight sophomore slump, Shenault Jr. could have a breakout season with a change of scenery and quarterbacks. Earlier in the offseason, the Panthers made another trade to acquire quarterback Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns. Mayfield is another player who is attempting to have a bounceback year in 2022. The duo could flourish and Shenault Jr. will be a quality starter for the Panthers this season.
Pittsburgh Steelers Beef Up Offensive Line With Jesse Davis
The final trade that we will cover from August sent Jesse Davis to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In return, the Minnesota Vikings received a conditional 2025 seventh-round pick. This move freed up around $2 million in cap space for the Vikings. For Pittsburgh, this move will add to the depth of their offensive line. With the quarterback room not looking the most promising for the Steelers this season, it is clear that Najee Harris and the running game will be the focal point of the offense. Davis has spent five years in the NFL already and has established himself as a quality starting option at the tackle position.