Despite an abundance of notable names being thrown around liberally in trade rumors as the NFL trading deadline approached today, there was one—just one—actual deal consummated before the 1:30 p.m. PDT deadline passed.
This morning, we were treated to tales of a potential Jared Allen entry into the market, with sources saying the Seattle Seahawks were looking at trading for the Minnesota Vikings’ former All Pro defensive end.
That, of course, led to speculation that the San Francisco 49ers would enter into the fray as the arms race in the NFC West heats up in the second half of the regular season.
But Jared Allen remained with the Minnesota Vikings. Tony Gonzalez is still an Atlanta Falcon. Hakeem Nicks never left the New York Giants.
The biggest deadline deal of the day? The Philadelphia Eagles traded defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga and a sixth-round draft pick to the New England Patriots for the Pats’ fifth-round pick.
No offense to Sopoaga, but the only place where he is a household name is within the Sopoaga household.
Does the trade make sense for New England? Absolutely. With Vince Wilfork out for the year, the Patriots needed some help up front.
But we football fans fall for this almost every year. The deadline approaches and we mistakenly trick ourselves into thinking that the NFL’s trade deadline operates in the same manner as do those in Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NHL.
Football is a different game, and with all due respect to guys in basketball, hockey and baseball, the individual skill sets players possess transfer more readily between teams.
For instance, a Jared Allen might be great in one defensive scheme that features a lot of pass rush from the defensive ends, but in a system where the ends are asked to contain the run while the linebackers take on a lot of pass rush responsibilities, he’s probably not your guy.
Add to that the sheer volume of the playbook and the differences in verbiage from team to team and it’s just more difficult to get your money’s worth when bringing in a player midseason who costs a lot in terms of both salary cap implications and in assets sent the other way.
The NFL moved the deadline back two weeks in hopes of enticing more teams to be ready to deal, but the nature of the beast that is the NFL is still the nature of the beast. Fourteen extra days in which to make trades won’t change that.