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NFL trading deadline only a fantasy

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Posted: Thursday October 08, 1998 10:42 AM


Imagine the flurry of activity going on in the general manager's office this weekend.

Faxes, e-mails, interns dropping off papers (oops, wrong office!). While the GM pours over scouting reports from his crack pro personnel staff, he has to fend off insane requests from his assistant coaching staff.

Midnight meetings with the head coach and owner. Hours and hours of video tapes. You ask why? Have you been in a cave, man? Don't tell me you don't know. The trading deadline is upon us.

Tuesday, October 13th, 4 p.m. EDT.

The NFL's trading deadline is a lot like another big October date . . . Halloween.

When was the last time one of those cute little trick-or-treaters smashed you with a rotten egg? Kids just take the candy and quietly move to the next house.

What trading deadline? I played in the NFL for about four years before I even knew there was a trading deadline. When was the NFL's last blockbuster trade? You tell me. The only major trading before October 13th will be in your fantasy football league.

First of all, the trading deadline should be in late November with six games remaining, not now with just six games played. A team poised for the playoffs needs that quick fix to get them over the hump, a player that causes your opponents to make adjustments. Trading for a player with today's salary cap is about as tough as solving the Y2K problem.

But, if just for a moment, here are five players you could fantasize about trading for. The cost in draft picks wouldn't kill you. Heck, their old teams might not even miss them.

1. Eric Metcalf, PR/WR/RB, Arizona Cardinals: Field position. Need I say more? The added bonus: maybe your offensive coordinator could actually figure out how to use him.

2. Albert Lewis, DB, Oakland Raiders: OK, maybe he's lost a half step or so. When I watched what Randy Moss did to the Packers' secondary, bringing in a guy like Lewis, with smarts and a physical reputation, couldn't hurt. Lewis can play out on the corner or the slot and has always been built like a free safety in case you need deep help.

3. Quinn Early, WR, Buffalo Bills: Wouldn't Dan Marino like someone who can get open and catch the ball, all on the same play? Early has enough left to be a starter or an excellent third receiver for the stretch playoff run. If you call for the 13-yard drag route or 6-yard crossing pattern, Early gives you exactly what you drew up on Wednesday. Once a guy who possessed great speed, he still has enough in the tank to get deep.

4. Pellom McDaniels, DE/DT/OLB, Kansas City Chiefs: Pellom who? McDaniels is big, strong, fast and tough. The Chiefs, even with Chester McGlocton sidelined, have an excess of big, fast and tough defenders. McDaniels can stuff the run, rush the passer and drop back in that cute little zone blitz thing. Gunther Cunningham would barely miss him.

5. Steve Broussard, KR/RB, Seattle Seahawks: Broussard's effort and intensity screams, "Play Me". Production, not size, is the issue. Broussard is tough enough to run inside, compact enough to hide behind the guard then step inside and pick up the blitzer. And he's small enough to clean those hard-to-reach places around the house. An ideal third- down back because of his soft hands. Playing time will be limited because of Ricky Watters and rookie Ahman Green.

Just imagine Tatoo and Mr Rourke. "It's the plane, the plane boss." The trading deadline, sorry to say, is just a fantasy.  

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