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NFL Rule Changes: Trade Deadline, IR

20 Interesting NFL Stats Thus Far 2011 11 03 11 50 09

2010 si seahawksI’m still not over the kickoff rule change from last year, but here we go again… On Tuesday, the NFL owners voted to approve moving the trade deadline back two weeks, they also talked over some changes to adjusting the injured reserve rule. Both changes should have an affect on the 2012 season if the league and union can agree on the details.

Moving the trade deadline from week 6 to week 8 has been talked about for years. The reason why many are hesitating on such a change is the potential fire sale that it could bring us each and every year. Even the most positive “glass half-full fan” knows that a season is over at 1-6, and with the amount of injuries and playoff runs, dumping future draft picks to stack the deck creates an unfair advantage. Last year’s Kyle Orton release by the Broncos was an example of a team unloading a payroll for nothing, where as the Carson Palmer trade is an example of trying to sell the farm for a playoff push. If more surprise teams find themselves with winning records heading into week 8, I’m sure we could be in for bigger deals going down mid-season.

After today’s vote from the owners, there is a good chance that the trade deadline will be later this year. The Management Council plus the NFL Players Association will still need to reach an agreement before an approval.

The change to the injured reserve rule would let every team to put 1 player on injured reserve for only part of the season, as opposed to ending a season and being placed on IR for the year. Underneath the revised rule, a player who is on the roster for Week One after which gets hurt for the duration of the season may be placed on injured reserve and designated for return, after which can return to practice six weeks later and play inside a game eight weeks later.

Both rule changes are minor to the game itself, although to the game of fantasy football it does create a interesting new twist. A few years ago Randy Moss got traded mid-season and actually played an entire season without a bye week, a small perk for fantasy owners. Yet the real advantage for fantasy teams may lie in the holding tier 2 wide reciever talent on bad teams. I’m not suggesting you actually divert from changing your draft strategy, I’m just suggesting that those with their ear to the pavement, may be able to dig through the waiver wire come weeks 6 and 7 for sub-par talent to stash on their bench for a hopeful trade. I’m sure the average fantasy fan has enough on their plate, yet early bird gets the worm.

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