NFL returns to traditional trade deadline

October 29, 2019

The 2019 NFL Trade Deadline was a return to the classic, uneventful day it has been throughout the majority of the league's history. 

Unlike other big four leagues such as the NBA and NHL, the NFL has had very few in-season trades being made. 

However, there has been somewhat of an evolution in the trade department over the the last few seasons. 

The league has seen many star players switching uniforms before the trade deadline. Especially in 2018, where notable names like wide receivers Amari Cooper, Demaryius Thomas and Golden Tate, and pass rusher Dante Fowler, Jr. were moved on deadline day. 

Front offices around the NFL weren't as willing to deal this year.

While there were multiple trades made this season that saw players like cornerback Jalen Ramsey, offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney moved, general managers did not want to fit a deal in on the final day. 

Only one trade was made on Tuesday, and it was a salary dump by the Los Angeles Rams, who sent cornerback Aqib Talib to the Miami Dolphins for a future fifth round pick.

Even the classic rental players would have cost playoff-contending teams a first or second round draft pick. 

Despite being at the bottom of the league's standings, the New York Jets, Denver Broncos, and Cincinnati Bengals all wanted significant draft capital for players that will be unrestricted free agents in 2020. The Jets wanted a second round pick for wide receiver Robby Anderson. Denver also wanted a second round pick for cornerback Chris Harris, Jr.

A NFC general manager said calling the Bengals about a trade was a "waste of time." Cincinnati did not trade wide receiver A.J. Green, despite Green's upcoming free agency, where he is all but certain to sign elsewhere at 32-years-old. 

Why teams had such a high asking price for these players doesn't quite add up. Sure, a decent compensatory pick could be given to the organization if their free agent signs elsewhere and the team signs less free agents than they lose, but why not take the guaranteed pick? The playoffs are a lost cause. The player is all but gone in 2020. What was the motivation behind such high demands? 

Regardless of the reason, teams preparing for a playoff run in the second half of the season will have to do it with what they have.