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NFL trade grades: Report cards for the biggest 2021 deadline deals, how each team did, more

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Stephen A. loves the Cardinals' trade for Zach Ertz (1:04)

Stephen A. Smith reacts to the Eagles trading Zach Ertz to the Cardinals. (1:04)

If we're all being honest here, the NFL trade deadline is more fun for the imagination than it is in reality. Dreams of remaking multiple franchises often descend into bit moves and short-term fixes, at least compared with the in-season blockbusters we see in other sports.

With that said, NFL teams had been relatively active in the weeks heading into the Nov. 2 deadline. They added backup quarterbacks. (Welcome back to the Jets, Joe Flacco.) They bolstered linebacker depth in Denver, added a complementary running back in New Orleans, rebuilt the defensive secondary in Carolina and, in one notable instance, acquired a player who could put a team into serious contention for the Super Bowl championship. (Indeed, former Eagles tight end Zach Ertz seems a perfect fit for the Cardinals.)

Leading up to the deadline, the Rams made a big move and showed their all-in approach, trading two picks for Broncos edge rusher Von Miller. Then the Chiefs and 49ers addressed defensive needs with deals for Melvin Ingram III and Charles Omenihu, respectively. The Chiefs also sent guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to the Jets, and right before the 4 p.m. ET deadline, the Eagles landed cornerback Kary Vincent Jr. from the Broncos.

We evaluated every deal of even mild significance and handed out letter grades to both teams involved. We should be clear that grades are based on circumstances at the time of the agreement. Performance of players and teams involved at any point afterward are not part of the consideration. Let's get to it.

Broncos trade CB Vincent to Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles get: Cornerback Kary Vincent Jr.
Denver Broncos get: Sixth-round pick