NFL Trade Deadline: Wheel’in and Deal’in Until the End

The trade deadline for the NFL has come and gone. In a year where not much was expected to happen by the trade deadline, a great deal of player movement has transpired. Some deals were made because the injury bug hit a few teams. Injuries have been more frequent this year due to the time every NFL team missed because of the NFL lockout. Many teams have lost players for the year and are now looking for some help. Tuesday was the last chance NFL teams would have to make those all important small or  huge blockbuster trades.

The biggest trade that was completed before the deadline was a deal made for Carson Palmer of the Cincinnati Bengals. Carson Palmer has been requesting a trade for some time now. The owner of the Bengals, Mike Brown, promised that he would never cave to someone wanting a trade. Brown stated that every player would have to play out of their contract. Mike Brown is known for being a man of his word, so the likelihood of the Bengals moving Carson Palmer before the trade deadline seemed unlikely. That was until the Raiders came calling with a deal the Bengals owner could not resist.

The Oakland Raiders lost Jason Campbell for the year and needed a quarterback. The Raiders gave up all future hope and are now taking the attitude, “Win Now or Bust.” The Raiders gave up a 1st round pick in 2012 and a 2nd round pick which can conditionally become a 1st round pick in 2013 if the Oakland Raiders win a playoff game. This is a high price to pay for a quarterback that has not particularly played well in recent years. Carson Palmer has not thrown for over 4000 yards since 2007 and has had numerous surgeries to different areas of his body. I am not sure Carson Palmer still has a 4000 yard season left in him. In addition, who really knows if Palmer’s body will hold up to the rigors of a football season after holding out and not playing during the pre-season or regular season until this point?

If Carson Palmer can survive the season I believe he is an upgrade over Jason Campbell at the quarterback position. Carson Palmer definitely has better arm strength and ability to stretch the field more than Jason Campbell. However, it remains to be seen how much the Raiders will use Carson Palmer to the fullest extent of his abilities. The Oakland Raiders are a run-heavy offense and lean on the shoulders of Darren McFadden more often than any other player. I do not foresee the Raiders balancing out their offensive play style anytime soon. After a few games we should be able to tell whether the Oakland Raiders really want the prolific 4000 yard Carson Palmer or whether they just want a game manager who will not make mistakes.

Another trade that took place before the deadline is the Denver Broncos traded Brandon Lloyd to the St. Louis Rams. Usually a team that is poised to start a new quarterback wants to have all of its weapons available to make that quarterback successful. The Denver Broncos have done the opposite and given away arguably their best player. The Rams gave up a 6th round pick that could become a 5th round pick if Lloyd catches 30 passes by the end of the year. The Denver Broncos have benched Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow has been named the starter.

All year the Broncos fans have been calling for Tim Tebow and now they have gotten their wish. However, by trading Lloyd are the Broncos looking towards the future or are they trying to set Tim Tebow up for failure. The controversy will continue each week as Tebow continues to pile up wins or losses. We will get a chance to see if he can survive without a true number one receiver to throw to. The St. Louis Rams acquire what they have been searching for, which is a number one receiver in Lloyd. However, the Rams are lacking in so many areas that even someone as talented as Brandon Lloyd may not make a significant difference in how many games the St. Louis Rams win. Controversy on both ends of this trade and only time will tell which team won and which team lost by completing this trade.

The last significant move before the trade deadline was the trade of Ronnie Brown from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Detroit Lions. The Detroit Lions were in dire need of a running back because Jahvid Best was suffering from concussion like symptoms after the game on Sunday. From all reports, the symptoms could actually be career ending for Best or he could play this upcoming Sunday. Obviously, the Detroit Lions did not want to take any chances, if their leading rusher had to miss a significant amount of time. Detroit traded Jerome Harrison and an undisclosed draft pick in 2013 to Philadelphia.

Ronnie Brown has reached that point in his career where he is beginning to team hop. Team hopping is when a player starts moving from team to team each year , hoping to rekindle their career. To me team hopping is the first step down to the road of football insignificance. If Brown does not prove he can still play in Detroit, this may be his last stop in his short career. Hopefully, for Detroit, Jahvid Best recovers and they only need Brown in a complimentary role and not as a workhorse. A timeshare between Ronnie Brown and Jahvid Best will put Detroit in the best position to be successful. Detroit can position Best as their home run hitter and Ronnie Brown could be that 1st and 2nd down back they have been looking for. If Detroit does have to rely on Brown to be the workhorse back , because Best has to miss some time, there are questions can he truly answer the call. Detroit could rejuvenate Ronnie Brown’s career or end it completely.

Tuesday reminds us that each NFL franchise is still a business and NFL teams are going to do what best helps their teams, regardless of what they say to the media. Mike Brown had to make the Carson Palmer deal at some point. The Broncos had to see what they have in Tebow after Kyle Orton failed to put together some wins. Moreover, the Lions could not afford to wait around to see if Jahvid Best would pass his concussion symptom test and be cleared to play. The time to make deals was Tuesday, it was now or never. Some teams could not afford to let the opportunity pass them by.

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