NFL should open trade window earlier

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The window for making trade in the NFL closes on the Tuesday after Week Eight. It opens on the first day of the league year.

It should open sooner than that.

That’s not simply because teams should have the ability at any time to make a trade (although they should). It’s because there’s no reason not to allow teams to make trades after the postseason has ended.

Every year, the waiver period begins the day after the Super Bowl. That’s when teams should be able to make trades, too.

Currently, teams are allowed to negotiate trades whenever they want. They’re allowed to tentatively complete negotiations. They’re not allowed to finalize trades until the first day of the league year, which this year lands on March 14.

Consider the situation in which Washington currently finds itself. A deal is in place to acquire quarterback Alex Smith from the Chiefs. But if the Chiefs get a better offer before March 14, they can accept that offer without consequence.

This could leave Washington in a major bind, since a renege by the Chiefs could occur after Washington has sacrificed its ability to apply the franchise tag to Kirk Cousins. Apart from the question of whether a decision to tag Cousins as protection against the Smith trade falling through would survive a grievance, Washington should be able to finalize the trade before making a final decision on whether to tag Cousins.

It’s a defect in the calendar that can affect any team, in any year. A tentative trade is arranged, making a team not inclined to tag a looming free agent. The team doesn’t tag the free agent, the trade falls through, and the team is screwed.

So why not allow teams to make trades as of the day after the Super Bowl? There’s no reason to make teams wait until the middle of March to make trades official, and there’s every reason to let teams formally complete trades before someone gets cold feet.

39 responses to “NFL should open trade window earlier

  1. I believe that it should start 7 days after the super bowl. That way it gives the 2 teams that played in the super bowl a chance to see what they want and make a move. It’s would not be far to the super bowl teams if it’s the day after. It should be far to all 32 teams other than that I believe that you are right.

  2. Consider the situation in which Washington currently finds itself. A deal is in place to acquire quarterback Alex Smith from the Chiefs. But if the Chiefs get a better offer before March 14, they can accept that offer without consequence.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I agree with your assertion the trade process should be open the day after the Super Bowl but that statement above is not accurate. I doubt the Chiefs could be officially sanctioned but to say there is no consequence is wrong. These guys are business partners and there are only 31 different places to make a deal. Treating one that way would no doubt limit the ability to do trades in the future. Business partners not wanting to do business because of your stupidity is a consequence to your actions.

  3. Because worst teams make decisions instantly and these rules at least force them to wait, think and planificate.

    You have more than a month to study your roster, necessities and likely available players for trade, not hurrying yourself up.

    Why do a lot of teams fail contracting head coaches? Because they can’t wait until SB is finished and interview every interesting assistant. They want to hire someone fast instead of the best candidate.

    Would the Lions or the Giants have hired their actual HC in case they had waited until the end of their respective Play-offs run?

  4. You make a good point. It seems silly for teams to not be able to finalize trades once the season is over. Couldn’t they at least allow trades and have them be given a post March 14th designation. Like they do with cuts that are given a post June 1st designation even though, they done prior to June 1st?

  5. Yeah that’s never made sense to me. Don’t understand the benefit for either side to be prevented from finalizing trades while having to make other roster decisions. If two teams agree to a trade on Feb 10th a week after the Super Bowl, then who cares? Let them do the trade and move on. Seems like kind of a pointless rule.

  6. Agree. I would also make teams wait until after the super bowl to start interviewing coaches. One or two weeks later, after all the new staffs are put together, I would open up the trade season.

  7. imagine an NFL where the trade window were open ALL THE TIME, 365 days a year. CHAOS!! And it would be GREAT! To coincide with this the NFL shouldn’t allow teams to tank for higher draft picks. Top 10 should be a lottery.

  8. Washington has a way of making “look at me” deals which over the last 15-20 years never work out and to bring another such deal public durning SB week stealing other teams thunder only makes that franchise sink lower. It’s the Daniel Snider thing. IMO Alex Smith is about to retire.

  9. CharlieCharger if you don’t allow teams to interview coaches until after the super bowl it would take at minimum 10 days to hire coaches for the most part and teams would be finishing putting staffs together now. Remember most guys interview with multiple teams and some interview multiple times with the same team so you would be putting losing teams at a great disadvantage by then starting trade window earlier than it is now because once a staff is put together it takes time to scout their current teams strengths and weaknesses.

  10. The two teams in the SB should be allowed ample time to catch up with the losers (Non playoff teams being the worst case scenario). Belichich was in coach mode, and should be allowed sufficient time to catch up on GM duties before “ANY” free agency moves are allowed.

    All team player transactions (other than cutting players) should be 100% restricted at least for one month after the SB. The SB teams staff also deserve a week, or two vacation time. Under the current rules, they are penalized by allowing the other 30 teams a head star in the player decision making process.

  11. It’s all about accounting and the salary cap. What you suggest would charge 20 + million of dead cap to KC. Doesn’t anyone in the media ever look at the accounting system of the NFL?

  12. realtruthteller102 – i wanna come back tomorrow just to see how many thumbs down that gets lol

    By the way, they weren’t more “loyal” in the old days, they just didn’t have the options. Don’t be that crotchety old “back in my day” guy.

  13. I don’t fundamentally disagree. but is this a solution in search of a problem? Have there been trades that a team reneged on? Has a team tagged someone in this period, a trade fall through or a successful grievance hearing? Has any of the possible things that could cause problems ever actually happened?

  14. Baseball’s trade deadline is July 31. Trades happen all the time after that. After that date, players have to clear waivers before a deal can be done. Would something like that work in the NFL?

  15. NFL should open training camp earlier and ACTUALLY get players in game ready shape with the return of two-adays. More two-adays equals less early season injuries.

  16. “The trade window should also stay open later in the season.”

    No it shouldn’t. What you’ll see is lousy teams dumping high value but decent players late in the season to playoff contenders, followed by screams of “cheating” because a team they don’t like might have gotten much better just a couple weeks before the playoffs. With thousands of bitter posts that this team or that team should have not have been allowed to trade for player X so close to the post season.

  17. halfcentaur says:
    February 18, 2018 at 4:48 pm
    realtruthteller102 – i wanna come back tomorrow just to see how many thumbs down that gets lol

    By the way, they weren’t more “loyal” in the old days, they just didn’t have the options. Don’t be that crotchety old “back in my day” guy.
    =======================================================================

    Well back in my day crotchety old guys had to walk to school and when they got to eat a candy bar once a year it only cost a nickel!

  18. But if the Chiefs get a better offer before March 14, they can accept that offer without consequence.

    This could leave Washington in a major bind, since a renege by the Chiefs could occur after Washington has sacrificed its ability to apply the franchise tag to Kirk Cousins.

    ——————-

    So the lesson is make sure you know the rules and trust no one 100% without a written contract. Don’t cry and whine when you get screwed because someone didn’t keep their word. Nothing different from the real world.

  19. Making trades before the league year starts is pointless for the simple fact that no one knows until then what the new salary cap will be – and all teams must remain under the cap at all times. If teams started making trades the day after SB52, they would have to make them under the 2017 cap, which would mean – as in the NBA – you have to make the money match. The NFL waits until March so that teams know how much money they really have to work with.

  20. exinsidetrader says:
    February 18, 2018 at 3:18 pm
    If only the NFL had a Commissioner making $40MILLION/year that could solve such things.
    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
    I heard ol’ Rodger the Dodger might try to interfere because Cousins might make more than HIM this contract!

  21. “This could leave Washington in a major bind, since a renege by the Chiefs could occur after Washington has sacrificed its ability to apply the franchise tag to Kirk Cousins.”

    ***********

    This is precisely why the Redskins should apply the Franchise Tag to Cousins AND why, when they do apply it, they will survive a grievance hearing if one is filed by Cousins. The Redskins can just say to the person hearing the grievance…..what trade?….There is no trade…yet.

  22. Here’s a question: why not allow trades all year round?

    “You shouldn’t give playoff teams that chance!”

    Why not? They have to give up something to get the player. The player would be coming in late to a new system plus the team giving up the player could ask a king’s ransom in return.
    A team losing a critical player in the playoffs could find a comparable player if they are ‘all in’ on winning this year. Instead of weakened team losing a player in the playoffs, they now have a team of strength, gaining a comparable player. The team losing the player also gets more.

  23. The NFL is by far the leader in stupid rules in all professional sports. Take the roster, for instance. To have players on your roster who are deactivated on game day is beyond stupid. They say they worry about the health of the players, but by not allowing everyone to play there are guys in every game who have to be injected with pain killers just to get on the field. Meanwhile, healthy players are deactivated because of the stupid rule. Ridiculous! If you make an NFL roster, you should be allowed to play, period!
    And Florio is right about the trade restrictions, too. It’s ridiculous that teams can’t make trades any time they want.
    When the helmet-to-helmet rule was put in place, we were all told that offensive players would be flagged if they lowered their heads when they were about to be tackled and hit the defender with their helmet. But I’ve seen that in every game I’ve watched and not one official has thrown a flag. So why have the rule if they’re not going to call it?
    I won’t even get into the rules on the field and point out how stupid some of them are. No one knows what a catch is anymore. In one game you’ll see the catch rule called one way and in the next game you’ll see it called another way. How ridiculous is that and how long has it been going on?
    It’s hard to believe that the NFL has been around for about a 100 years and they still can’t get it right.

  24. meadowlandssports says:
    February 18, 2018 at 7:38 pm
    Making trades before the league year starts is pointless for the simple fact that no one knows until then what the new salary cap will be – and all teams must remain under the cap at all times. If teams started making trades the day after SB52, they would have to make them under the 2017 cap, which would mean – as in the NBA – you have to make the money match. The NFL waits until March so that teams know how much money they really have to work with.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Yes, but why not make the league year end the day after the Super bowl? What exactly happens between that game and when the new year starts? I don’t believe there is a magic numbers reveal that is necessary.

  25. another stupid rule. coaches not being able to talk to players in off season. player rule of really short practice times. ( blowing that stupid horn for go and no go.

  26. I personally like the trade deadline at the halfway point. Baseball is similar. Don’t want to see teams that are lousy have a fire sale. No issue wuth trades opening up as is. Why does it need to be allowed to be finalized. Both sides can back out of deal. Fair game

  27. FinFan68 says:
    February 19, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Yes, but why not make the league year end the day after the Super bowl? What exactly happens between that game and when the new year starts? I don’t believe there is a magic numbers reveal that is necessary.
    ———————
    A – The league doesn’t want to step on the celebration of the Super Bowl winner. If the league year turned over the day after the Super Bowl, guys on the winning team could be cut before they even get the parade done.

    B – The teams have no time to evaluate talent. GMs, coaches, and scouts are reviewing tape of free agents and possible trade players after the Super Bowl – both their own and those of other teams. Someone could snap your player up on post-SB Monday before you even have a chance to franchise-tag him.

  28. meadowlandssports, I agree with those last two points. My comment was directed at your initial assertion that teams just needed the time to learn what the next cap will be.

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