November 3, a potentially defining day for all of America, could also shake things up in the NFL as the trading deadline expires on Tuesday afternoon when millions of Americans go to the polls for the presidential election.
The NFL’s trading deadline is known to be a quieter affair than the NBA and MLB. In contrast to the hectic trade transactions that take place in the other two leagues, there is little business in the NFL. At the same time, with the extended playoffs and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which remains a major problem for teams across the league, the upcoming trading day could be even more interesting for the recent predecessors.
Here you can find everything you need to know about the cut-off date.
When is the deadline for trading in the NFL?
The trading deadline falls on Tuesday, November 3 at 16:00 ET.
From that time on, all trading will stop until the league year 2021 formally begins. When this will be remains to be seen, as the league still does not have to announce an official date, largely due to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The current league year began on March 18, 2020, and in all likelihood the NFL will look for a similar starting point next year.
Will players be able to continue playing after the NFL trading period ends?
In short, no. From the 4 p.m. deadline on November 3, trading with NFL teams will be banned until the beginning of the 2021 league year, whenever that may be.
It should be noted, however, that while a number of trading transactions will be completed before the deadline, they can often only be formally announced after the 4:00 p.m. ET cutoff time.
Similarly, teams can agree in principle to close deals before the official start of the new league year, although deals cannot be officially registered by the NFL.
Why is the NFL trading deadline on election day?
The League has been actively campaigning for players, team members and the general public to be able to drop out and vote on November 3 as part of its “NFL Votes” campaign. However, there is no connection between the initiative and the trading deadline that falls on Election Day.
NFL rules state that the trading deadline must fall on the Tuesday following the close of week 8. Postponing the deadline to Monday would have meant that the deadline expires just four hours before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Monday Night Football event at the New York Giants, creating a potentially complicated situation for the two teams and any other franchises involved in a possible trade with the Giants or the Bucs.
Similarly, postponing the deadline to Wednesday would have created the unusual situation that teams may pay players who are no longer on their rosters because NFL rules require that players who are on a team’s roster on any Tuesday after 4:00 p.m. ET receive a salary for next week’s game.
Therefore, 16:00 ET on Tuesday is the most logistically sensible choice.
Will there be many trades on the deadline day?
If there are to be after last season, probably not. Last year only one trade was made on the deadline day, but in 2017 and 2018 there was a flood of trades.
Similar to 2019, several teams have already taken steps this season, with the Dallas Cowboys making the defensive trade of Everson grips to the Detroit Lions just two months after signing a one-year contract with the franchise. Similarly, earlier this month the Minnesota Vikings sent Edge Rusher Yannick Ngakoue to Baltimore after only five games, while last week the Cincinnati Bengals traded the defensive end Carlos Dunlap to Seattle and offensive lineman B.J. Finney went the other way.
Meanwhile, linebacker Avery Williamson left the winless New York Jets on Sunday night for the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers.
Which players could be on the move?
The Houston Texans, who beat Kenny Stills and Will Fuller, are on everyone’s lips. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the latter attracted the interest of the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay is trying to add another weapon to its offensive arsenal, and Houston may be tempted to part with the Green Bay Packers in exchange for a much-needed draft pick. According to CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora, the Packers have also spoken with the Cleveland Browns about Tight End David Njoku, who has also sparked interest from a number of other teams.
Meanwhile, Washington is open to the trade pass Rusher Ryan Anderson, and the future of Dwayne Haskins remains in doubt after the second-year quarterback lost his starting job two weeks ago. The NFC East teams are left with the New York Giants Tight End Evan Engram and the Wide Receiver Golden Tate, both of whom have attracted interest, but a trade for one of the two is far from a foregone conclusion.
Elsewhere, the NFL Network reported that the Miami Dolphins, who left Jordan Howard behind as running back, have attracted interest from a number of franchises, while the Cincinnati Bengals Dunlap’s wide receiver may follow at their doorstep after demanding a trade.
The Buffalo Bills-Edge Rusher Trent Murphy could also be on the advance as the Bills seek to stabilize a defense that has left much to be desired so far. Murphy is a free agent and will be 30 years old next month, which could convince the Bills to move him on instead of losing him for nothing.