ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday morning that some NFL teams have reached out to league headquarters to inquire about moving the trade deadline from after Week 8 until after Week 10 or Week 12. Those extra 2-4 weeks would help create more sellers, as well as potentially upping the ante for potential buyers, and allowing the real contenders to bulk up ahead of the playoffs.
But would that be “more fair”?
This report is probably not hollow or without legitimate threat to become real in the near future. Teams are expected to discuss the later deadline at the general manager meeting this month and it could be moved to a vote at the NFL owner meetings next spring, according to ESPN’s sources.
Obviously, there might not be a team more interested in updates on the trade deadline than the team that has made some of the biggest moves in recent years, the Los Angeles Rams.
General manager Les Snead acquired Jalen Ramsey at the deadline in 2019, then Von Miller in 2021. Snead plays fast and loose with first round picks, but wasn’t able to trade either his 2024 or 2025 first round pick this year, though it was reported that the Rams were willing to part with them for Brian Burns. Could that have changed if this year’s deadline was after Week 12?
The Rams are 3-4 at the deadline this year, a much different tone than their 7-1 start in 2021. However, the Rams then lost three in a row after their 7-1 start and were 7-4 after Week 12. If L.A. went on a hot streak right now, they could still be 7-4 after Week 12, same record as their Super Bowl season.
And then how would the Rams look at this year’s deadline?
On the other hand, if the Rams had the worst case scenario hit them this season, then at least they would know that they’re sellers at the deadline. It’s impossible to know if you’re a buyer/seller if the team is around .500 after only seven games. But in the worst case scenario, a 4-7 Rams team could at least try and get back a couple draft picks if they had to accept that they’re having a poor season.
But is this fair?
Teams have all the weeks between March and September to create a championship roster. If you can’t get it done by Week 1, with a 90-man roster, expanded practice squad, waivers, trades until Week 8, and free agents (like Eric Weddle last season), then do you deserve the right to get better later in the season? Maybe the NFL is tinkering too much and only doing so in the interest of juicier headlines in November.
On the other hand, the season is expanding, probably soon reaching 18 games. And a later trade deadline might just come with the territory of a later regular season.
Will it happen?