The NFL trade deadline has been moved from Tuesday to Thursday of this week, because of Hurricane Sandy wrecking the East Coast. They may as well have left it at Tuesday. No one makes in-season trades during the NFL season.
Who can remember a meaningful NFL trade which took place once the season started? Most teams do not want to make any type of roster move after Labor Day. They simply want to compete with the 53 men who make up their roster. If a team comes to them with a trade offer most teams become suspicious. ‘Why would they trade a player unless something is wrong with him?’ they think.
Teams in need of players may want to make a trade, but know that they are at a disadvantage. A team in need of a good defensive back knows that they would have to give up more than they’d like to get him. Anyone whom they call knows their plight and will try to fleece them.
This was not always the case. Some of the most successful teams made in-season trades if they thought that it would help them. Head coach Hank Stram was famous for making in-season trades when he coached the Kansas City Chiefs. In 1970, he traded his starting halfback Mike Garrett three games into the season to the San Diego Chargers.
Hall of fame Dallas Cowboys head coach Tom Landry was not afraid to make a trade either. After finally settling on Roger Staubach as his quarterback in 1973 he traded Craig Morton to the New York Giants six games into the 1974 season. The Cowboys got a number one pick for Morton which they used to take hall of fame defensive tackle Randy White.
In 1981, the San Francisco 49ers acquired defensive end Fred Dean from the Chargers after Dean refused to report to San Diego. The trade was made five games into the season. Dean only helped the 49ers win their first Super Bowl that season.
In 1983, the Los Angeles Raiders literally stole defensive back Mike Haynes from the New England Patriots. It was not really a trade as Haynes contract was awarded to the Raiders, but New England got a first and second round pick for him. Haynes only played five regular season games Los Angeles, but was available for the post season. The Raiders went on to win the Super Bowl.
It is highly unlikely that a blockbuster trade will go down this week. We probably will not see a Michael Vick for Phillip Rivers deal between the Philadelphia Eagles and Chargers. Unlike, baseball, football trades occur as often as 0-0 ties.
The NFL can move their trade deadline back to Thanksgiving.
No one is going to make a blockbuster trade, anyway.