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What Is The NFL Trade Deadline And Why Is It Important?

NFL Trade Deadline Day

Halloween is more than just a night for spooks and spectres. It is also the date of the 2023 NFL Trade Deadline.

This important date of the season is a vital one for teams. That is regardless of whether they are pushing on for a divisional title and a spot in the playoffs, or if their season is already down the pan on the back of too many losses.

So in this article, we are going to take a look at the NFL Trade Deadline Day, what it actually is, what happens and why and then we’ll look back at some of the historic trades that have been made on Deadline Day over the years.

As always, you can enjoy a wealth of NFL betting at bet365 Sport throughout the season, both on pre-match markets and outright bets. Don’t forget also there are extensive In Play betting options too when the games are in action.

So let’s begin our look at this important date in the NFL by asking the obvious question.

Q. What is the NFL Trade Deadline?

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The NFL Trade Deadline is the final date of the current season by which teams can make trades for players from other NFL teams.

It is, in effect, the same date in the NFL Season as the Transfer Window closing in the Premier League season for example.

After the trade deadline has passed, teams can no longer trade with each other.

Teams can still acquire players that are free agents, or that are on their practice squad, or who are waived by teams throughout the season, but the Trade Deadline does limit their choice considerably.

Once the Trade Deadline has passed, teams are not allowed to trade again until the end of the current season and start of the new NFL season, which will be March 13th 2024.

Q. Does the NFL Trade Deadline fall on the same date each season?

The NFL Trade Deadline falls at the same time each season, but not necessarily the same date.

Initially the deadline for trades was set as the Tuesday after Week 6 of the season, but a while back was changed to be the Tuesday after Week 8 of the season had been played.

The thinking behind this was that at almost the mid-way point of the season, teams may be more inclined to trade players, as opposed to Week 6, when most teams are still in contention in their divisions and conference.

That certainly seemed to be the case when for many years, the trade deadline went by with hardly a major move of note taking place for many years.

However, this move to the Tuesday after Week 8, which falls on a date in late October/early November (provided the league starts its season in early September) has encouraged teams to make more deals in recent years.

Teams that have made a good start to the season and that have Super Bowl ambitions, may seek to stock up on talent (salary cap permitting) for the second half of the season to boost their chances of success.

Contrarily, a team that has had a poor start to the campaign and needs to rebuild, may be looking at offloading some of their higher-paid stars to those teams to free up cap space to enable them to sign the players they want to improve (or tank the season to get a higher draft pick!).

This means that the Week 8 date for the Trade Deadline makes for more excitement and action than it did after Week 6.

Q. What have been some of the biggest trade deadline day deals?

Perhaps the biggest trade deal in NFL history went down on trade deadline day in 1989. The deal involved three teams and an NFL record total of eighteen draft picks and players.  

Herschel Walker was the prime running back of the day, but he was at the struggling Dallas Cowboys. The Minnesota Vikings wanted him and between the two teams and the San Diego Chargers the deal went down as follows:

  • Minnesota Vikings received – RB Herschel Walker, Dallas’ 3rd Round Draft Picks in 1990 and 1991, plus its 10th round pick in 1990. The Vikes also got San Diego’s 5th Round pick in 1990 via the Darrin Nelson trade.
  • Dallas Cowboys received – RB Darrin Nelson, LB Jesse Solomon, LB David Howard, CB Isaac Holt, DE Alex Stewart, Minnesota’s 1st and 2nd round draft picks in 1990, 1991 and 1992, Minnesota’s 6th Round pick in 1990 and Minnesota’s third round pick in 1992. The Cowboys immediately traded Nelson to the Chargers, receiving a 5th Round pick in return which they then sent to the Vikings as part of the deal.
  • San Diego Chargers received – RB Darrin Nelson (from Cowboys)

This deadline day deal kick started the Dallas Cowboys period of dominance in the mid-1990s and is viewed as the catalyst for that great team.

Other big deadline day trade deals in the history of the NFL include:

  • QB John Hadl from Rams to Packers (1974)
  • CB Mike Haynes from Patriots to Raiders (1983)
  • RB Eric Dickerson from Rams to Colts (1987)
  • LB Cornelius Bennett from Colts to Bills (1987)
  • RB Marshawn Lynch from Bills to Seahawks (2010)
  • CB Aqib Talib from Buccaneers to Patriots (2012)
  • LB Kyle Van Noy from Lions to Patriots (2016)
  • QB Jimmy Garopolo from Patriots to 49ers (2017)
NFL Trade Deadline Day
Image by Merlie kim from Pixabay

Q. Are there any trade deals confirmed for the 2023 season?

There have already been a number of trades confirmed in the run up to the trade deadline day in the NFL in 2023. These include:

  • S Kevin Byard – Titans to Eagles
  • WR Van Jefferson – Rams to Falcons
  • DE Randy Gregory – Broncos to 49ers
  • WR Chase Claypool – Bears to Dolphins
  • CB Justin Jackson – Chargers to Patriots
  • RB Cam Akers – Rams to Vikings

Additionally, there have already been two trades confirmed on deadline day this year:

  • DL Leonard Williams – Giants to Seahawks
  • DL Kentavius Street – Eagles to Falcons

More are likely to follow with the average number of trades on deadline day increasing from 4.5 per season from 2013-16, to 14.25 from 2019 to 2022.

Q. What deadline day trade rumours are swirling around?

Players purportedly open to be traded by their teams include:

  • RB Derrick Henry (Titans)
  • CB Jaylon Johnson (Bears)
  • DE Brian Burns (Panthers)
  • DE Montez Sweat (Commanders)
  • DE Chase Young (Commanders)
  • WR Hunter Renfrow (Raiders)
  • WR D’Andre Hopkins (Titans)

Teams looking for players in certain positions include:

  • Minnesota Vikings could be interested in a trade for a Quarterback after Kirk Cousins suffered a season ending achilles injury last weekend. Andy Dalton (Panthers), Case Keenum (Texans), Nick Foles (Free Agent) and Ryan Tannehill (Titans) are possible options.
  • The Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons are thought to be in the market for another running back.
  • The Chicago Bears are believed to be targeting a defensive end or edge rusher.
  • The Kansas City Chiefs have quietly been linked with a trade for a wide receiver.

With trade deadline day already upon us, it is going to be interesting to see how the next few hours pan out in the NFL.

Especially with some of the big names reputed to be available for the right price!

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