NFL & NFLPA agree to push back trade deadline

August 30, 2012

The NFL Management Council and NFL Players Association agreed to adopt several rule changes, the most interesting of which will involve the trade deadline being pushed to a later date.

This season the trading deadline will move from Tuesday, October 16 – the Tuesday after Week 6 of the regular season – to Tuesday, October 30, the Tuesday after Week 8.

For the fans, this change will bring an added air of excitement to an area of the sport that has long been inadequate.

One of the most exciting times of the year in MLB and the NBA are those final few days before the trading deadline, where teams hoping to make a championship push attempt to add a player that they believe can push them over the top.

Both of those leagues are famous for their blockbuster deadline deals, with the Los Angeles Dodgers' recent Hanley Ramirez trade being just one example.

In the NFL, the classic eleventh-hour deadline deals are much more rare, and this is partly due to the early deadline employed by the league over the years.

With an earlier deadline, the injury bug is not as pronounced, and thus, there are less holes to fill on a given roster. Moreover, during the early stages of a season, general managers and coaches are less likely to know the flaws in their own teams or the strengths of their rivals, compared to a few weeks down the line. As such, there has been less of an urgency to complete trades under the earlier deadlines.

Now with the deadline falling at roughly the midpoint of the season, expect more wheeling-and-dealing this year. Perhaps, with a little luck, we might even see a blockbuster.

In addition, other changes were adopted related to the reserve/injured rules, as teams will  be permitted to re-activate one player from Reserve/Injured during the 2012 season, subject to certain restrictions.

Since this rule is being adopted after the cutdown to 75 players, for 2012 only, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to a transition procedure that permits clubs to return to their 53-player active list one player placed on Reserve/Injured since the start of preseason training camp.  This selection of that player must be made no later than 9:00 p.m. ET tomorrow, Friday, August 31.

Following the cutdown to 53 players, the new Reserve/Injured rule will work as follows:

1.    Only players with a “major injury” who are placed on Reserve/Injured after 4:00 p.m., New York time, on Tuesday, September 4, or thereafter during the season, will be eligible to be reactivated at a later time.

2.    A “major injury” is defined as an injury that renders the player unable to practice or play football for at least six weeks (42 calendar days) from the date of injury.

3.    Each team may reactivate only one player placed on Reserve/Injured after 4:00 p.m., New York time, on Tuesday, September 4.  That player must be “designated for return” at the time the club places him on Reserve/Injured, and such designation shall appear on that day’s Personnel Notice.

4.    Such player is eligible to return to practice if he has been on Reserve/Injured for at least six weeks from the date he is placed on Reserve.  He is eligible to return to the Active List if he has been on Reserve/Injured for at least eight weeks from the date he is placed on Reserve.

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services

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