May 11, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams general manager Les Snead looks on during mini camp at ContinuityX Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
The NFL hot stove is anything but. No other professional sport's in-season trade deadline goes with the same fizzle as it does in the NFL. The St. Louis Rams made one of the rare notable trades at the deadline last year, moving a conditional 5th-round pick for Brandon Lloyd. On Tuesday in Atlanta, NFL owners are expected to approve a rule change, bylaw change actually, that would push the NFL trade deadline back to Week 8 from Week 6.
Most believe that pushing the trade deadline back will prompt more trading. Teams have two more weeks to figure out pressing needs or replace an injured starter for whom the depth chart offers no help. However, just adding two weeks is unlikely to make the NFL trade deadline anything on par with baseball or the other sports.
The salary cap will be one issue for teams. Those tightly pressed against the cap will find it difficult to take on too large of a contract, even one pro-rated for half the season.
NFL rosters, with 53 players, are quite a bit larger than the active rosters for any other sport. Teams, the good ones anyway, work hard through the draft and free agency to find backups as well as young players to groom as replacements for pricier or older players.
Something else likely to impact activity at the new trade deadline is a change to the rules for injured reserve. Teams will be allowed one exemption allowing it to bring back a player placed on IR early in the season, rather than have them sit on the shelf all year.
None of this is meant to throw cold water on a more exciting NFL trade deadline. I've yet to hear any NFL exec who doesn't think this move increases the likelihood of more trading during the season. The NFL trade deadline is still unlikely to include the same number of marquee additions as the other sports, because of the reasons mentioned above, but it could be a boon to teams looking for less heralded, but still important pieces of a puzzle.