2013 NFL Trade Deadline

Today is the 2013 NFL Trade Deadline and some players, like Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon, are rumored to be on the trading block

Today, Tuesday October 29th @ 4 PM EST is the 2013 NFL Trade Deadline.  And for the first time in a while, there is some “buzz” around the date.  Already the NFL saw the trades involving former Ravens OT Bryant McKinnie to the Miami Dolphins for picks, former Panthers LB Jon Beason to NY Giants for a late round draft pick and former Browns RB Trent Richardson to the Colts for picks including a 2014 first-rounder. 

Some of the rumored players that are said to be on the trading block include:

Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew
Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon
Bills QB Dennis Dixon
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald
Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez
Browns WR Josh Gordon
Eagles RB LeSean McCoy
Lions QB Kellen Moore
Giants WR Hakeem Nicks

However I never hold my breath around the trade deadline, as most trades in the NFL occur on draft day — due to teams unwilling to “give-up” a player until the offseason.  If any trades do happen at the 2013 NFL Trade Deadline, expect them to be something like the 2005 deal that sent former Niners QB Tim Rattay to the Tampa Bay Bucs for a future 6th rd pick .

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The 2010 NFL Trade Deadline Passes with one minor deal

Once again the NFL’s Trade Deadline brought disappointment as potentially tradeable players, like Buffalo Bills WR Lee Evans, stayed with their respective teams

The 2010 NFL trade deadline came and went on October 19th at 4:00 PM EST with the same amount of fanfare accorded to the league’s annual Supplemental Draft each July (i.e.  One Big “Snooze Fest”). 

While names like Chargers holdout WR Vincent Jackson, New England Patriots holdout OG Logan Mankins, Philadelphia Eagles QB’s Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick, Washington Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth, Buffalo Bills WR Lee Evans, Dallas Cowboys RB Marion Barber, San Diego Chargers LB Shawne Merriman and others were bantered around by the media, there was only one minor deal   to report at the end of the day. 

The Kansas City Chiefs sent former 2009 third-round pick DE Alex Magee to the Tampa Buccaneers.  The Chiefs got a 2011 fifth round, and Tampa Bay got a 2011 sixth-round pick along with Magee.  With the trade, the Bucs got another pass rusher to help Stylez G. White (1 sacks in  2010 season), plus Magee is a better fit in Tampa’s 4-3 defense than the 3-4 scheme used by Kansas City.

Remember unlike major league baseball GM’s, football personnel men don’t like to part with “their” players.  Most football GM types always fear injuries and lack of depth over a grueling 17-week regular season, so they usually keep players around until the offseason even if they have no intention of really playing them.

The only personnel moves left now for teams are 1) Claiming Players off Waivers, 2) Raiding other teams’ Practice Squads (players taken must be on their new team’s 53-man roster for a minimum of 3 weeks), 3) Signing players after the UFL season has completed around November 26th or 4) Signing street free agents (higher profile players still available include WR Matt Jones, RB Larry Johnson, DE Charles Grant and others).

Some reasons for non-NFL trades at the deadline are:

  • Quality of Depth – With injuries mounting every week on every roster like a 10 car pile-up, NFL teams are unwilling to part ways with players, even malcontents.
  • Help needed now – Most times a team sending away a player will get a draft pick in return, but most coaches, GM’s and Owners operate on a “win now” philosophy and April is a long way from helping them this season.
  • The ”System” –  Players usually take some time to learn a new system and to feel comfortable in their new surroundings.
  • Cap ramifications – Trades in the middle of a player’s contract causes an acceleration of the contract (Signing Bonuses Given, Incentives already paid, etc).  Of course we already know there is no cap for the 2010 season, so this may not be as big a deal as in the past.
  • The NFL Draft is Trading Central – Most trades in the NFL are done at the draft or near the end of training camp.  The draft is when everyone is thinking of uprgrading their roster and not game planning.

In my opinion, the NFL should think to moving the trade deadline to around Week 12, so teams could improve themselves for their playoff push like MLB teams do at their deadline.  But you can’t force NFL personnel evaluators to make a deal, if they don’t want to.

 

Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and Sports Journey Network , who is also an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

Patriots Smartly Move On Without Moss

Receiver Randy Moss will now take his talents back to Minnesota after the Patriots traded him to the Vikings

The National Football League definitely is a “What Have You Done for Me Lately” entity and that fact was shown once again earlier this week.  In a surprising trade, the New England Patriots decided that indeed they could continue on in the 2010 NFL Season without former 7-time Pro Bowl receiver Randy Moss (2010 numbers of 9 receptions for 139 yards and 2 TDs on 22 targets). 

The Patriots shipped their malcontent receiver and a 7th rounder to the receiver-desperate Minnesota Vikings for a 3rd round pick in 2011.  One of the bigger surprises was that Moss (33) was even traded in the first place because we all know that typically NFL teams would rather keep a player around for roster protection (i.e. injuries), even if they are a pain in the butt. 

The NFL’s trading deadline is next week on October 19th, but usually the league’s greatest trading activity is around their yearly draft that occurs each April.  However right now picks are more important than free agent veteran-type players to the Pats as they try to reshape their team– drafted 12 players in 2010.  Moss had sulked his way through the first four weeks of the season and clearly was more concerned with his current contract situation – being paid $6.4M in 2010 which is the last year of a 2007 deal – than playing hard on the field. 

After a brief hiatus, “Bad Randy” was back from Oakland and had now reemerged in Foxboro, Mass.  There were several instances where Moss seemed uninterested and loafed it on patterns preferring to only show his Hall of Fame ability only when he wanted to.  Not even the presence of quarterback Tom “Captain America” Brady – currently ranked 2nd in the NFL in quarterback rating (109.0) — could get Moss back in line this time.

Though some thought Patriots head coach Belichick’s benching of Moss, Derrick Burgess, and Adalius Thomas — both are also no longer in New England —  in late 2009 for missing meetings due to “bad weather” was long over. Week 1 of the 2010 season should have been everything Patriots’ fans needed to see that it was going to be a long season if Moss was around.  The Patriots won a hard fought 38-24 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, but after the game Moss only wanted to talk about himself.

In a rambling new conference, he said, “I think around here in the New England area, a lot of people don’t want to see me do good. And the reason why, I don’t know … Sometimes you want your boss to tell you you’re doing a good job. If you’re doing a good job and think you’re doing a good job, you want to be appreciated. I really don’t think that, me personally, that I’m appreciated … I’m not here to start any trouble. I am here to play out the last year of my contract.”  The final straw had to have been a much-publicized halftime shouting match with Patriots QB’s coach Bill O’Brien in Week 4.

The trading of Moss showed that New England no longer is going to try the “All-Star” route -– came close to winning it all in 2007 after starting the season 18-0 with a free agent laden team before losing the Super Bowl to the New York Giants -– in building their team.  The last two seasons have ended with identical 11-5 records in regular season.  But both seasons also had disappointing endings – No playoffs in 2008 and an embarrassing lopsided home playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens in 2009. You can see that now New England have modeled themselves as a “team” oriented group which goes back to their 2001 “team first” Super Bowl winning version. 

Belichick in re-tooling his team is leaning heavily on character veterans (i.e. Brady and WR Wes Welker) and building through the draft.  Already this season has shown draft pick dividends with players like WR Brandon Tate, DB Patrick Chung, TE Aaron Hernandez, and others making solid contributions.

Currently, the Patriots are 3-1 and are tied for the top of the AFC East with the New York Jets.  And their latest effort on Monday Night produced a solid 41-14 drubbing of the Dolphins, showed New England can get contributions from a variety of players — 3 Special Teams touchdowns.  Did I mention that Moss went catchless in his last game in Patriots’ Red, White, and Blue.  Even though the former three-time Patriots’ captain had put up some huge numbers — catching 259 passes for 4,904 yards and 50 touchdowns in 51 games — and returned to his Pro Bowl form in New England, it was the right decision to move-on from a selfish player who clearly did not want to be there any longer. 

Now the torch has been passed to players like Welker, Tate, Julian Edelman, and Danny Woodhead to fill-in for the sometimes motivated Moss.  There have even been whispers that the Patriots may go back to the future in recreating their “No Name” receiving corps from their former three Super Bowl winning teams.  There have been murmurs that New England is trying to trade for former big game hero Deion Branch, who has become a high-priced spare part in Seattle, before the October 19th deadline.

The other side to the trade is that Moss will now take his immense talent to the Minnesota Vikings (1-2) who greatly need a game-breaker.  Last season’s breakout receiver for the Vikings, Sidney Rice, is still battling a hip injury that could possibly keep him out until late November and there hasn’t been many other options for Vikings quarterback Brett Favre — 2 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in 3 games.  Moss had been a player that Favre had coveted going back to when the two opposed each other in the NFC North. 

Favre even unsuccessfilly lobbied for the Green Bay Packers to rescue Moss from Oakland.  And now who blame No. 4 for wanting more weapons in Minnesota besides All-World running back Adrian Peterson –- currently 3rd in the NFL in rushing yards (392).  A receiving corps led by the likes of Percy Harvin (migraines), Bernard Berrian, Greg Lewis, Hank Baskett, and Greg Camirilo has produced only 27 receptions for 266 yards and 1 TD in three games so far including two loses.

But make no bones about it…. this is a gamble as Moss brings a Hall of Fame resume — 935 receptions for 14604 yards, 15.6 ypr average, and 151 TDS —  and some much-needed pedigree to pedestrian receiving corps, but you have to wonder exactly how hard will he play at the tail end of his career.  Rumored to want a deal on par with Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall — five years, $50 million dollars, $24M Guaranteed — 29 M in first 3 years.

For now Moss -– had caught 574 passes for 9,142 yards and 90 touchdowns his past Minnesota career — will get his familiar No. 84 Vikings jersey back and Favre will get the double-coverage worthy weapon that he has greatly desired for his 1-season unretirement.  “He can still go downtown and get the football, which is a stand-alone factor,” Vikings head coach Brad Childress said. “He could sprain his toe here sometime coming up, and you could say that he’s 33, it’s old age. But there’s always risk-reward. I don’t necessarily see this as boom or bust. I think he’s got some more football in him.”

“Moss in  the Twin Cities 2” will all begin this Monday when the Vikings take on the host New York Jets on ESPN and you know that Rex Ryan’s defense led by All-Pro corner Darrelle Revis will be waiting.

 

Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and Sports Journey Network , who is also an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

Trade for Roy Williams looking like a colossal mistake for Cowboys

In baseball everyone remembers bad trades like the 1990 deal where the Boston Red Sox traded future star Jeff Bagwell to the Houston Astros for aging setup man Larry Anderson.  But the NFL has also seen its fair share of one sided trades throughout the league’s 90-year existence.  To name a few doozy’s that some fans will want to remember and some forget:  Cowboys trading RB Herschel Walker (along with 1 other player and picks) to the Vikings for 4 players and 8 picks including 3 first-rounders that led directly to Dallas winning 3 Super Bowls, Colts trading future Hall of Fame RB Marshall Faulk to the St. Louis Rams for 2nd and 5th round picks in the 1999 draft and the Redskins trading underachieving DT Sean Gilbert to the Carolina Panthers for first round picks in 1999 and 2000.

But after the 1-year anniversary and almost half of the 2009 season being completed, I am ready to add the infamous 2008 trade deadline deal that sent receiver Roy E.  Williams from Detroit to Dallas to the “One-sided NFL Trades” list. The trade’s details were  Williams (along with a 7rd pick) to the Dallas Cowboys and 1st Rd, 3rd Rd, and 6th Rd picks in the 2009 NFL Draft going to the Lions.   At the time of the trade in October of 2008, a lot of fans and media thought that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had swung a great deal for a possible No. 1 receiver and purchased some “T.O Insurance”.  But as the weeks on the NFL calendar pass, this trade is looking more like a colossal mistake by Dallas. 

Throughout the 2008 season, the Cowboys were growing tired of inconsistent aging receiver and lockerroom pariah Terrell Owens so Williams looked like the perfect motivational tool and possible replacement wrapped up in a 6’3, 215 package.   The Cowboys beat-out NFC East division rival, the Philadelphia Eagles, in the race to grab Williams and Jones even handed the “perceived” superstar a brand new five-year contract extension worth $45 million, including more than $20 million guaranteed.  On his trade to Dallas Williams, who was a high school and college star in the state of Texas, said “I’m more happy to be a Dallas Cowboy than when I got my first bike”.  He added with a huge smile, “Going from 0-5 to 4-2, you can’t ask for anything better than that”.

It seemed like a great plan by the Cowboys to slowly acclimate Williams to their playbook and quarterback Tony Romo for the remainder of the 2008 season, then unleash him as their featured receiver in 2009, once Owens was jettisoned.  But the 27-year old former Texas Longhorn has proven to be an even bigger pain in the rear than Owens (averaged  78 catches, 1196 yards, and 13 TDs in 3 years with Dallas), because he has not produced on the field.  Of course everyone tacked Williams’ pedestrian 2008 numbers (19 catches for 198 yards, and 1 TD in 10 games and 7 starts) and being a non-factor as the Cowboys narrowly missed the playoff to a steep learning curve. 

But after spending over a year with the Cowboys including mini-camps, OTAs, training camp, and practices, Williams looks worse than ever.  He looks tentative in traffic, has dropped too many passes (just 12 catches on 30 targets — 40% catch rate), looks uninterested at times, and clearly has lost the confidence of a few of his teammates, namely Romo.  Through 6 games, Williams has 12 catches for 230 yards and 1 TD, which is nowhere near a featured receiver’s production.  In his defense, Williams has not been the same since being “blasted” over the middle (ribs) in the Cowboys 17-10 loss to Denver in Week 4.  But the NFL is a “what have you done for me lately” league and surprisingly for the Cowboys it has been formerly little known small-school receiver Miles Austin that has risen to the occasion of replacing T.O than big-ticket receiver Williams (career numbers: 262 catches for 3,884 yards and 29 TDs over a 6 years).

Austin has been one of the 2009 NFL season’s best stories rising from tiny Monmouth (NJ) College to making the NFL as a special teamer then finally getting his shot this season.  The tall (6’3) and fast (4.4) receiver burst on the scene in a Week 6 win over the Chiefs producing 10 catches for a franchise record 250 yards and 2 TDs (both 50-yard plus bombs).  Austin saved the Cowboys’ hides with a 60-yard tackle-breaking game-winning TD reception in overtime and became the 10th player in NFL history to record at least 10 catches, 250 yards and two touchdowns in a game.  Austin then proved the Chiefs’ game was no fluke as he looked like the second coming of Cowboys hall of famer Michael Irvin in a Week 7 win over the Atlanta Falcons (best six catches for 171 yards and 2 TDs).  Out of nowhere Austin and his eye-popping numbers (21 catches for 502 yards, 23.9 ypr average and 5 TDs) have moved former starter Patrick Crayton to the bench.  And almost everyone watching the Cowboys would agree that Austin and not Williams is Romo’s number #1 passing option.  Heck…many would argue that Williams is behind tight ends Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett too at this point.

For the Cowboys’ sake, hopefully Williams is just having a tough time learning to be the go-to-guy on a team that expects to win.  But for now his 1-time Pro Bowl player — 82 catches for 1,310 yards and seven touchdowns in 2006 for Detroit — is looking like he will never achieve that status again or be an impact player.  This season Williams’ production has slipped to averaging 2.4 receptions and 46 yards per game, which is astronomically down from his career highs of 5.6 and 81.9 in 2006.  If Williams doesn’t turn it around soon, he will join former Cowboys trade flameout WR Joey Galloway in the Cowboys annals as another receiver that Jerry Jones traded for with high expectations, but got little in return.

 

Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award -winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

The NFL Trade Deadline passes with only two minor trades

gibson

There were only two trades at the NFL’s trading deadline and one involved young receiver Brandon Gibson going from the Eagles to the Rams for veteran LB Will Witherspoon

The 2009 NFL trade deadline came and went on October 20th at 4:00 PM EST with the same amount of fanfare accorded to the league’s annual Supplemental Draft (i.e. “Snooze Fest”) each July.  While names like San Diego Chargers LB Shawne Merriman, Cleveland Browns QB Brady Quinn, Kansas City Chiefs DT Glenn Dorsey, Philadelphia Eagles WR’s Kevin Curtis & Reggie Brown, Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe, Buffalo Bill WR Terrell Owens, Cleveland Browns WR/KR, Josh Cribbs, Houston Texans CB Dunta Robinson and others were bantered around by the media there were only two minor trades with none involving the aforementioned set of high-profile players.  Remember unlike major league baseball GM’s, football personnel men don’t like to part with “their” players.  Most football GM types always fear injuries and lack of depth over a grueling 17-week regular season, so they usually keep players around, usually on their team’s inactive list, until the offseason even if they have no intention of really playing them – See  Eagles WR Reggie Brown and Bucs QB Byron Leftwich.

In looking for their third option in replacing injured MLB Stewart Bradley, the Philadelphia Eagles traded for former St. Louis Rams linebacker Will Witherspoon.  In return the Eagles shipped promising 2009 6th round pick WR Brandon Gibson and a 2010 5th round selection to the Rams.  Witherspoon should step-in right away to help combat a foot injury suffered by LB Omar Gaither and poor play in coverage by newly-signed veteran LB Jeremiah Trotter.  Witherspoon (29) has played 8 seasons in the NFL at both the weakside and middle linebacker positions with the Rams and Panthers, this season he had 33 tackles for the Rams. 

The Eagles thought that young receiver Gibson was expendable as he was buried on the team’s depth chart behind DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, Jason Avant, Jeremy Maclin, and Reggie Brown.  Gibson had emerged in training camp and the preseason as a good target, but the team never found a role for him — inactive for all 5 regular season games – even though he was never placed on their practice squad due to fears that another team would grab him. “I think [Gibson] is going to have a great career in the NFL,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said after the trade. Gibson now joins fellow former Eagles WR Danny Amendola in a depleted Rams receiving corps – starters Donnie Avery (hip) and Laurent Robinson (ACL –season) are both out.

The other trade on deadline day involved the Kansas City Chiefs continuing to clean house of the Carl Peterson/Herman Edwards regime.  The Chiefs sent underachieving DT Tank Tyler, who was a former third-round pick and an ill-fit for their new scheme, to the Carolina Panthers for a fifth-round pick in 2010.  Tyler had gotten some attention when the Chiefs were featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks during the 2007 preseason, but he never lived up to his hype as a quality “Space Eater”.  Tyler had started just two games for the Chiefs this season and now the Panthers will be looking for him to help replace NT Ma’ake Kemoeatu (out for the season with a torn Achilles’ tendon).

The only personnel moves left now for teams are 1) Claiming Players off Waivers, 2) Raiding other teams Practice Squads (players taken must be on their new team’s 53-man roster for a minimum of 3 weeks) or 3) Signing street free agents (higher profile players still available include WR Joey Galloway, WR Marvin Harrison, LB Derrick Brooks, and WR Matt Jones).

The NFL Trade Deadline is today

cribbs

Today is the 2009 NFL Trade Deadline and players like Cleveland Browns WR/KR Josh Cribbs are rumored to be on the trading block

Today, Tuesday October 20th is the 2009 NFL Trade Deadline.  And for the first time in a while, there is some “buzz” around the date.  Already the NFL saw the trades involving former Browns receiver Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets for picks and former Bucs D-lineman Gaines Adams to the Chicago Bears for a 2010 2nd rd pick. 

Some of the rumored players to being on the trading block include Bills WR Terrell Owens, Eagles WR Kevin Curtis, Titans QB Vince Young, Houston Texans CB Dunta Robinson, Chiefs DT Glenn Dorsey, Browns QB Brady Quinn, Browns WR/KR Josh Cribbs and Chargers LB Shawn Merriman. 

However I never hold my breath around the trade deadline, as most trades in the NFL occur on draft day.  If any trades do happen at the 2009 NFL Trade Deadline, expect them to be something like the 2005 deal that sent former Niners QB Tim Rattay to the Tampa Bay Bucs for a future 6th rd pick .