Several factors point to the possibility of more active trade efforts as the October 20 deadline approaches. First, it’s not too early for the bad teams to throw in the towel and sell off veteran players who won’t be part of the rebuilding effort. Second, next year’s draft is regarded as a very good one, making the picks more attractive to the rebuilding teams. Third, several teams have coaches and G.M.’s who may feel compelled to win now or risk being replaced by one of the various head coaches lurking in the weeds with Super Bowl rings on their hands.
There’s another factor that makes it easier to pull off a trade. Even though the rules of the last capped year require a full acceleration of all future cap charges into 2009, a lot of teams have a lot of cap space.
But as Howard Balzer of the Sports Xchange points out, the Rams don’t. Specifically, they don’t have the cap space to absorb the acceleration resulting from a trade of running back Steven Jackson.
Balzer says that dealing Jackson would trigger an immediate hit of roughly $5 million, and that the Rams wouldn’t be able to do it without also finding other ways to instantly counter most of that amount with reductions elsewhere.
So while a case can be made for moving a guy who might not have anything left by the time this team becomes competitive again, don’t count on it happening this year.