Finally, this felt like a real trade deadline.
After decades of the NFL moratorium on trades feeling like the most hollow day on the league’s annual calendar, we got more action in the week leading up to Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline than we had in about the 10 prior deadlines combined. I’m betting that it’s not an anomaly and that more of the same could hold in the future, even in this league of extreme parity where almost no one is out of the playoffs until Christmas.
Despite so many teams being bunched together yet again, and despite being able to make the case that, really, only the Browns, 49ers and Giants are totally out of the postseason, we had some real football trades involving real football players who have been to Pro Bowls and have the propensity to make a real impact for their new teams in the second half of the season. Go figure. My hope is that this continues to be the case thanks to an influx of more forward-thinking minds and fresh blood in many NFL front offices.
I wrote about this trend in the summer, in the fallout of John Dorsey and Dave Gettleman being let go by winning franchises despite successful runs leading the front offices in Kansas City and Carolina. The age of the grizzled, old-school super scout leading the charge in personnel seemed to be phasing out, and more and more we’re seeing ultimate decision-making power in the hands of younger executives, who, while they have experience grading film and evaluating players, are not longtime former college scouts who spent the abundance of their time on the road.