In NFL trades, there is almost always a winner and a loser (there is the rare occasion in which both sides win, but I digress). Part of the fun of a trade is trying to guess which team got the better end of the deal.
Back in August 2018, the Kansas City Chiefs traded offensive lineman Parker Ehinger for Dallas Cowboys cornerback Charvarius Ward.
At the time, the move seemed a little questionable given Ehinger had started four games for the Chiefs at left guard in 2016 before a severe knee injury sidelined him for the year. Ehinger mixed in at starting left guard with the first team during Chiefs OTAs and some thought he would be at least a good backup for the Chiefs.
Not to be—and he wouldn’t be a backup for Dallas either after injuring his knee in practice shortly after the trade. After his release from Dallas on Wednesday afternoon, we can now say with near-certainty the Chiefs got the better end of the deal.
Ward, the undrafted rookie out of Middle Tennessee State, started the final two games of the regular season and the first game of the postseason for the Chiefs before playing 56 percent of snaps in the AFC title game.
Reporters asked general manager Brett Veach about Ward at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine.
“I think the tape he was able to put on late in the season was certainly encouraging,” Veach said. “There wasn’t a large body of work. These offensive coordinators are very talented, and they find ways to expose people and they find tendencies and weaknesses. You can certainly say there wasn’t a lot of tape yet for him to be exposed. But I think he has a unique skill set. He is big, he is long, he is fast, he is athletic, he is tough. It was really encouraging to see him come in early on and contribute on special teams. That is a very good indicator with these young guys that maybe don’t start right away, their ability to come in right away and make a presence on special teams is typically a good indicator.
“I think we are excited about the possibility with him. And I know it has been early on with this process with our new defensive staff, but he was one of the first guys they mentioned, so that was certainly encouraging, and we are excited for him.”
As the Chiefs roster stands now, Ward should be in the mix to compete with Bashaud Breeland at the No. 2 cornerback position in 2019, and many expect the Chiefs to add more competition in the draft.
Regardless of how that all shakes out, I think we can say in good conscience Veach made the right deal last August.