Bradley Chubb traded to Dolphins: What does it mean for both teams?

The Miami Dolphins added a difference-maker in a monster trade ahead of Tuesday's deadline, acquiring outside linebacker Bradley Chubb from the Denver Broncos in exchange for a 2023 first-round pick, running back Chase Edmonds and a 2024 fourth-round pick.

It's the latest in a series of splashy moves Miami has made over the past eight months, including hiring head coach and offensive guru Mike McDaniel, signing franchise left tackle Terron Armstead and trading for wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

And while Miami's offense has looked explosive this season, the other side of the ball has sputtered, ranking 23rd in yards allowed per game and 27th in defensive EPA. Pro Bowl edge rusher Chubb should help change that significantly.

ESPN Dolphins reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques, Broncos reporter Jeff Legwold, NFL analyst Matt Bowen and NFL draft analyst Jordan Reid answer the biggest questions surrounding the trade.

Why did the Dolphins make the deal?

Chubb fits in as a boon to a pass rush that blitzes at the fifth-highest rate in the league but owns the sixth-lowest sack percentage. The Dolphins also rank 21st in sacks and 27th in pressures with 15 and 69, respectively.

A former first-round pick out of North Carolina State, Chubb has 26 career sacks in five NFL seasons, including 5.5 in 2022. He and new teammate Jaelan Phillips rank 12th and ninth in pressures created.

Ideally, Chubb will allow Miami to create pressure without blitzing, something it's struggled to do this season. After season-ending injuries to multiple starters in its secondary, this is a direct commitment to flipping its defensive focal point to the front seven -- at least for this season. When fully healthy, this could be one of the top defenses in the NFL. -- Louis-Jacques

What does this mean for Russell Wilson and Denver's future?

Denver gave up two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fourth-round pick and three players to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for Wilson in March, so this gets them back into the first round of next year's draft.

Chubb was in the last year of his rookie deal and his asking price was likely going to be bigger than the Broncos wanted to pay. It means defensive end Randy Gregory, who signed a five-year, $70 million deal in free agency earlier this year, and Baron Browning, who was moved to OLB during the offseason, have to be every bit the players the Broncos believe they can be.

Both are on the injured reserve list at the moment, but the two of them, in addition to rookie Nik Bonitto, will determine if the trade made sense for the Broncos. -- Legwold

What does Denver need in the draft now that it's back in Round 1?

The Broncos are back in Round 1, and ESPN's Football Power Index currently projects the traded pick to be No. 25. Denver needs help along the offensive front -- it has allowed 24 sacks, sixth-most in the NFL -- and Georgia's Broderick Jones and Maryland's Jaelyn Duncan are two prospects the team could target in that range. Wide receiver could also be a position to look at. -- Reid

How much does this tighten the AFC East race?

This move doesn't automatically make the Dolphins the AFC East favorite, but it does leave them more equipped to face quarterbacks like Josh Allen, and potentially Patrick Mahomes.

This is still the Buffalo Bills' division to lose, but with Miami's next three games coming against teams with losing records (Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans), the Dolphins could be comfortably over .500 before a grueling December slate (at San Francisco 49ers, at Los Angeles Chargers, at Bills, vs. Green Bay Packers). Miami did win its first meeting with Buffalo this season but still needs to overtake New York after losing to the Jets in Week 5.

Now that Tua Tagovailoa is healthy again and back in the lineup, the Dolphins could even reach the NFL's upper echelon if their defense gets the boost Chubb is expected to provide. -- Louis-Jacques

How does Chubb fit into Miami's scheme?

The addition of Chubb, a pass-rusher with upper-tier traits, will allow the Dolphins to play more coverage and lean heavily on their defensive front. This season, Miami has registered a blitz rate of 34.1%, which is tied for fifth-highest in the league. But pairing Chubb with Jaelan Phillips means the Dolphins can bet on their edge rushers in passing situations and disrupt the pocket more out of their base fronts. Miami is currently generating pressure on just 18.8% of opponent dropbacks when sending four or fewer pass-rushers (29th), so Chubb's presence off the edge will open up the playcalling on defense and lighten the need to blitz so often. -- Bowen

By giving up draft picks, does this mean the Dolphins are all in?

It sure seems like it. General manager Chris Grier made it a point to keep the team's pair of first-round picks in 2023 while discussing trades with other teams during the offseason, but the Dolphins are now without a first-rounder for the second year in a row. It's important to remember they do still own a second-round pick and two third-round picks in 2023, so they haven't completely mortgaged their future.

But trading for Chubb is an aggressive move that signifies this front office recognizes a potential Super Bowl window -- and wants to attack it wholeheartedly. -- Louis-Jacques