NFL announces new trade deadline, IR rules

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With less than a week to go until the ball flies end over end through the New Jersey twilight (unless the team tries to make the replacement officials’ heads implode by attempting an onside kick), the NFL has announced that new rules will apply in 2012 for the trade deadline and injured reserve.

The easy part relates to the trade deadline.  It has been moved from October 16 to October 30.  So instead of the Tuesday after Week Six, trades must happen by 4:00 p.m. ET on the Tuesday after Week Eight.

The injured reserve rule allows one player per team to be activated from IR after a “major injury.”  The player must miss at least six weeks of practice.  He may be placed on the active list at least eight weeks after placement on injured reserve.

Unlike the PUP list, then, the window for returning to practice doesn’t close.  Once it’s open, it stays open.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft has said that, if such a provision had been in place four years ago, the team possibly would have used the designation for quarterback Tom Brady, who tore an ACL in Week One.

Here’s where it gets complicated.  Because teams already have cut to 75, a special procedure applies for 2012.  As to teams that already have placed players on IR, the player for whom the short-term IR procedure will be used must be placed back on the active roster by 9:00 p.m. ET, August 31.  He’ll then count as one of the final 53.

Then, after 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 4, each team can place one player on the modified IR list.

This means that teams hoping to use the new IR rule for a player already on injured reserve will have to displace another player for nearly four days, using a roster spot for the injured player and then creating a roster spot next Tuesday, when that player goes back to IR.

Confused?  Good.  Because it took me an hour to figure it out.

It will take far less than an hour for you to check out a slice of PFT Live regarding the looming roster reductions, along with admittedly rank speculation about a couple of possible surprise moves.

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7 responses to “NFL announces new trade deadline, IR rules

  1. Awesome, I like both the new rules. Now if we can just keep those part time refs locked out who don’t want to be held accountable for their terrible calls (which were quite frequent and noticeable last year), then in a couple seasons the league will have achieved a new standard of integrity in officiating. By having full time refs willing to sacrifice dual income who are also held accountable for their performance. That would be awesome. The league is approaching this perfectly, just gotta stay the course.

  2. Is this a completely different list? Or if a team has, say, five guys on IR and one of them is coming along better than anyone thought can they then pluck him off of the list?

  3. So can each team only use this IR designation once per year? or can it be used again after the original player it was used on is placed back on the active roster?

  4. Moving The Tradeline Back To Week 8 Was A Great Move.Week 6 Was Wayyyy To Early,Now It’s A Pivitol Week In Which Teams Are Looking To Trade Going Down Their Playoff Run..

  5. The new rule changes allow one IR player to have the ability to return and it’s good news for a team like Pittsburgh that has DeCastro injured for a long time but not quite long enough. I’m not sure how I feel about this rule, it waters down the impact of injuries and the importance of depth and provides more flexibility that takes away from a more hardcore serious game where you have very limited resources and options and the planning component to this game is affected. I find it thrilling and exciting that teams have to make choices of where to invest in single players at given positions that allows them to choose where they feel they need security and where they feel they can shoot for the moon with a boom or bust, or live or die by the sword type of mentality. I have sold insurance before and you know what I loved it, but I don’t want to add injury insurance into the game of football, that’s not as fun and dramatic, this isn’t real life and I intentionally want it to be a game filled with high risk propositions! After decades of the Lions working towards building some depth the NFL now wants to decide to make rules to lessen the value of having depth; what timing!

    The other rule change I like, it could potentially create more trades and that is fun and good for the game.

  6. Nice job blowing the game plan out of the water 2 weeks before the first game of the season! I guess we’re all but guaranteed to see a traditional kickoff to start the season now that everyone knows the onside kick is in the mix!

  7. Given all the Steelers’ walking wounded, this change should be helpful. I guess Goodell isn’t that bad after all.

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