The NFL’s decision to move the trade deadline back two weeks has one recently fired NFL executive wondering if that move could have saved his job if it had happened a year earlier.
Bill Polian, who was fired as president of the Colts after last season, told Peter King of SI.com that if the trade deadline had been later in the 2011 season, the Colts might have acquired Kyle Orton in a trade with the Broncos. That in turn might have helped them win a couple more games, which would have meant they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to draft Andrew Luck first overall, which might have meant they would have kept Peyton Manning and kept the front office intact. Suffice to say, a lot could have been different.
“I think the deadline being moved last year would have made a difference for us,” Polian said. “We would have rekindled our interest in Orton. In Week 6, we knew our quarterback situation wasn’t great, but after a couple more weeks, we realized the situation was bad. We probably would have called Denver, who’d gone to [Tim] Tebow by then, and said, ‘Hey, we’ll give you a three [a third-round draft choice] for Orton.’”
The NFL’s decision to move the trade deadline back a couple weeks could be helpful to some teams this season, but I disagree with Polian that teams like the 2011 Colts are the ones who should be looking to trade away draft picks to acquire veteran players. If anything, I think the 2011 Colts should have been considering moves in the other direction, trading away veteran players for future draft picks. (I’m also not sure why the Colts didn’t put in a claim on Orton when the Broncos waived him last year if Polian thinks Orton could have made a difference.)
So making Week Eight the new trade deadline may help some teams in 2012. But it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference to last year’s Colts.