Sep 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib (31) celebrates an interception in the second half against the New Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Patriots won 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL trade deadline; bring low expectations


The NFL extended the trade deadline two weeks so that it went from week 6 to week 8.  This has resulted in speculation from media and fans that just about everyone could be traded.  Certainly, there could be a move or few made, but the NFL is not the NBA or Major League Baseball.  There is so much in terms of scheme and learning plays and everything else that makes it more difficult for teams to incorporate players into what they are doing that getting a player in week 8 does not really make it so they can be a great contributor for a few weeks, which makes teams less likely to be buyers at the deadline.

Trades do happen and they can make a big difference but they are rarely blockbuster deals.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sent cornerback Aqib Talib to the New England Patriots for a fourth round pick, because of his off field issues that often resulted in police involvement.  Talib was great for the Patriots down the line and came up big in a lot of situations for them, so the move was great for the Patriots.

Most NFL teams are also far more invested in the NFL draft and homegrown talent than they are with bringing in free agents and making a deadline splash.  There are teams that are extremely active in free agency, but most of those teams are doing poorly and would be sellers in this situation.  The Green Bay Packers have 50 players on their roster that have never played on another team in their NFL career.  That is an extremely unique situation but there are a lot of teams that have a somewhat similar view.

There are players that could move and it would make sense for them to move such as Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns and Tony Gonzalez of the Atlanta Falcons, but the Browns seem to be demanding an extremely high price for Gordon even with the substantial risk involved with him.  The Falcons could move Gonzalez but he has made it painfully clear that this is his last season in the NFL and how much a team is willing to pay for that is tough to negotiate.  The Falcons may be demanding more than teams are willing to pay for an 8 week rental that could turn into more with the playoffs.

There are players that have been thrown out that sound like they could make sense to move such as Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings but getting that deal done could be extremely difficult.  There could be a stunning deal that involves a big name player but if the past is a precedent, the player involved will not be someone people are expecting.  Talib last year was a surprise.  Trent Richardson from the Browns to the Colts this year caught everyone by surprise.  In that framework, suddenly it is a total guessing game of which players could end up being moved or who would even be considered.

More likely is that the NFL will have a few small deals involving players that are not household names and the whole thing was built up into something it is not and likely never will be.  The NFL is just a different game in that respect.  Training camp and practice time are huge and trying to play catch up halfway into the season is not an easy feat to do when it comes to getting top level performance.  The result tends to be a somewhat muted version of the player with a much smaller of the playbook.  If people are speculating who could be moved, they should be looking for the next Aqib Talib rather than trying to look for the equivalent of Pau Gasol in the NFL.

Tags: Atlanta Falcons Cleveland Browns Minnesota Vikings New England Patriots

  • John

    While I know that we have lost 5 but by picking up someone like Jared Allen could afford us enough wins, and get us into the playoffs. We have shown that despite an offensive line that has been suspect week to week we can put points on the board. What we haven’t done enough of is put pressure on opposing qb’s. Imagine Spoon comes back and Jared on one end Osi on the other Peters and Babs in the middle… now we are talking about a decent line.