It seems odd, doesn’t it, that with the overkill of NFL information and hype out there, the league’s trade deadline comes and goes with barely a whimper.
Like most major sports not named the NHL, the NFL wouldn’t mind seeing that change given the fan interest that generally accompanies an active, vibrant trade deadline period.
But the NFL is a different beast, as we see year after year, and even with a rumour mill trying to push it along, Tuesday’s 4 p.m., passed quietly into the night.
The league tried to add some spice to this year’s version, moving the deadline two weeks later (and another two days thanks to the NYC paralysis inflicted by Hurricane Sandy.) The hope was that, with most teams having seven games under their belt, contenders would have separated themselves from pretenders and the former would be ready to load up for a long winter run.
The rumour mill chimed in as well, with reports out of New York that the Jets (gasp) were willing to unload Tim Tebow.
Didn’t happen. Again.
As a result, Steven Jackson and DeAngelo Williams, two of the biggest names bounced around as trade material, will remain with the St. Louis Rams and Carolina Panthers, respectively.
Why is it this way? The reasons are varied and somewhat speculative but add up to an almost universal reluctance by NFL management to use the deadline as a temporary fix for what ails their team.
Part of it has to do with the NFL’s complicated salary cap structure. Using Panthers running back Williams as an example, the future cap implications for the five-year, $43-million deal he signed less than a year ago are a big red flag. The rent-a-player deals we see in hockey just don’t seem as viable in the NFL.
Then there is the nature of the sport itself. While hockey and basketball each have systems to learn as well, football is much more complicated. Depending on the position and the complexity of the new team’s game plan, there’s a lot of catching up to do. Without training camp, pre-season and the first chunk of the regular season, the learning curve to get up to speed isn’t going to happen right away and in fact, could take a couple of weeks or longer.
In this season, like so many in recent history in the NFL, too many teams remain in the hunt which creates an unwillingness by management to unload players midseason.
And once again, trade deadline was a dud.
Typical of what we have seen on trade deadline day recently — this was as good as it was going to get: The New England Patriots acquired Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib and a seventh-round pick for a fourth-round pick.
Talib won’t have an immediate impact for the Pats, mainly because he still has one more game remaining on a four-game suspencion for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. Of course New England hasn’t been shy to bring in players with so-called character issues such as running back Corey Dillon and receiver Randy Moss.
The Patriots are currently on their bye before playing host to the Buffalo Bills in Week 10.
Just in case the world didn’t get the message loud and clear enough earlier in the week, Eagles coach Andy Reid amplified the fact that Michael Vick isn’t going anywhere near the bench unless he gets hurt. “Michael is, was and will continue to be our quarterback,” Reid told reporters in Philly. “This is not a week-to-week thing.” .... Still with the Eagles, it doesn’t sound like Canadian Danny Watkins will be back in for this week’s game against the Saints. Reid said rookie Dennis Kelly was solid enough in his first start to keep Watkins, who is nursing an injury, on the sideline ... Close but no cigar for San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith, who completed 18 of 19 passes on Monday night, one less than the 20 required to be elibigle for the record. The Niners appealed to the league to review a fourth-quarter pass to receiver Michael Crabtree that on the field was ruled as a lateral. The league agreed with the call thus preserving Kurt Warner’s record of 24 for 26 when he was with Arizona in 2009 ... With the New York City Marathon in town plus the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Pittsburgh Steelers were unable to land a hotel in the area for Sunday’s game. So according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers will travel to the New York area on the day of the game for the 4:25 p.m. kickoff.