NFL pundits agree: Redskins won Clinton-Dix trade

Ben Krimmel
November 01, 2018 - 12:12 pm
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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

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The results are in and the people of the NFL world have spoken: The Washington Redskins are winners for their trade deadline addition of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

The Redskins sent a 2019 fourth-round pick to the Packers for Clinton-Dix, the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. A fourth-round pick for a half-season rental may seem a high price for Clinton-Dix, who will be a free agent at the end of the 2018 season. But if he leaves after this season, Washington would receive a compensation pick – likely a fourth-rounder in 2020. 

Here's how some in the national media graded the Redskins deadline-day deal:

Will Brinson, CBS Sports

"Clinton-Dix is basically an eight-game rental, unless the Redskins want to try and sign him to a longer deal (or franchise tag him), but it's a worthwhile gamble for Washington at just the cost of a fourth-round pick. Clinton-Dix, D.J. Swearinger, Quincy Dunbar, and Josh Norman give them a formidable secondary that matches up with the stout defensive line. Washington's defense is a unit to be reckoned with." 

Grade: A

Christian D'Andrea, SB Nation

"It’s a move that shows Jay Gruden isn’t content to rest on his laurels. Washington has jumped to the top of the NFC East behind a surprising 5-2 start. With Josh Norman rounding back into form and D.J. Swearinger playing some of the best football of his career, adding another defensive back wasn’t a glaring need. But Clinton-Dix gives the team an upgrade over Montae Nicholson and gives the club an argument as the NFC’s toughest passing defense moving forward."

Grade: A-

Jonathan Jones, MMQB

"D.J. Swearinger is playing at an All-Pro level right now in Washington, and the ‘Skins just went out and got a Pro Bowl-caliber player to support him in the backfield. The move gives Washington versatility with the two safeties and helps with depth as Montae Nicholson likely moves from starter to backup."

Grade: Winners

John Keim, ESPN

"For Washington, this was a good move. The Redskins have preached the importance of those compensatory picks, giving them flexibility to make a trade such as this one. It wasn't the sexy move a lot of fans might have wanted, but it's probably the one the Redskins needed."

Evan McPhillips, Pro Football Focus

"To say the Redskins made a tremendous upgrade to their defense would be an understatement. They go from the third lowest-graded safety to the fourth highest-graded, and this will significantly cut down on mistakes on the back end of their defense. Clinton-Dix is a playmaking safety who doesn’t give up many big plays and is much sounder in both coverage and run-defense than Nicholson." 

Mark Maske, The Washington Post

"There is much to like about the Redskins taking a win-now approach, within reason, after their surprising success so far. Clinton-Dix is a good player who accentuates what the Redskins do well and he fits in very nicely."

Grade: A-

Steven Ruiz, For the Win

"If you had to pick out one weakness on the Redskins defense, it would have been the free safety position, where 2017 draft pick Montae Nicholson has been inconsistent. Replacing him with Clinton-Dix should shore up the backend of Washington’s defense. Nicholson still has a bright future with the team, but the Redskins have a legitimate shot at winning the division and are clearly taking it."

Grade: A-

Conor Orr, Sports Illustrated

"It felt like Washington needed to make a move, no matter how inconsequential, in order to keep pace with the rest of the NFC East. Clinton-Dix gives them some position versatility at the safety position, which should allow them to show some different looks defensively."

Grade: B-

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