With apologies to Yogi Berra, no NFL trade is done until it’s actually done.
In the case of the trade that will send quarterback Alex Smith from San Francisco to Kansas City, the deal won’t be done until it’s done. And it can’t be done until March 12 at 4:00 p.m. ET.
“No trade is official until the league office receives notification from both clubs,” NFL spokesman Michael Signora told PFT via email. “That cannot happen until the trading period begins at the start of the league year.”
Thus, in theory, either team could renege on the deal. The Chiefs could get cold feet. The Niners could get a better deal.
While possible, it’s not likely. A failed trade would create very hard feelings between the franchises and the coaches.
That said, a glitch isn’t unprecedented. Two years ago, the Bears failed to call in a trade with the Ravens during the first round of the draft, the trade didn’t go through, the Ravens weren’t happy, but there was nothing the league could do because a trade isn’t done until each team calls it in.