As the NFL season reaches its halfway point, there are plenty of topics and storylines to discuss, and PFR’s Community Tailgate is designed to address those stories. What’s the Community Tailgate all about? Well, it’s pretty simple. We’ll highlight one of the top stories going on in the NFL. Then, in the comment section below, we want you to weigh in and let us know what you think.
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The NFL’s trade deadline came and went this week without much fanfare, unless you happen to be a fan of the Broncos. General manager John Elway pulled off a trade for 49ers tight end Vernon Davis on Monday, and nearly landed Browns left tackle Joe Thomas in a last-minute deal on Tuesday. Otherwise though, things were mostly quiet around the league, with a handful of rumors and whispers not amounting to much.
That inactivity is nothing new in the NFL, where teams are typically hesitant to try to incorporate an incoming player into a new system or scheme halfway through the season, without that player having the benefit of a full training camp to get up to speed.
Still, occasionally teams are willing to roll the dice, as the Broncos did with Davis. The veteran tight end may not have the same rapport he’d have with Peyton Manning if the two players had been working together all year, but Denver is betting that the longtime Niner will still be able to make an impact down the stretch.
So what might make more teams willing to take a chance like that? Moving the trade deadline back a little is one option. The NFL moved the deadline from Week 6 to Week 8 a few years back, but many teams that might be sellers are still reluctant to write off their seasons in late October. Moving the deadline back several more weeks to late November might be one way to encourage activity.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk took the idea a step further this week, arguing that there’s no reason to limit trades at all before Week 17. As long as a team is still playing games, it should still be able to make trades, in Florio’s view. That means a playoff team couldn’t make a trade with a club whose season has ended, but up until the end of the regular season, deals should be permitted, Florio argues.
Such a format would allow teams who have been eliminated from the playoffs to move players for future assets. Meanwhile, a team that has clinched a playoff berth, or perhaps a club that is vying for a Wild Card spot, might be more likely to bring in a potential missing piece, with the finish line in sight.
What do you think? Is the NFL’s trade deadline fine as is? Should the league consider moving it back a few more weeks, or abolishing it altogether? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!