"I've got him beat," says Bills general manager John Butler. "We got no calls for trades [that day]." The Bills didn't put out any feelers either.
On the day of the major league baseball trading deadline last July, 14 deals were struck. By comparison NFL teams made one: The Bears sent running back Bam Moms to the Chiefs for a conditional fifth-round pick in 1999. In-season trades have become rare in the NFL, largely because it takes too long for a player to pick up his new team's systems.
The salary cap can also pose problems. Most teams are at or near their cap limit, meaning they'd have to restructure contracts to make room for a new player. Also, if a player who is not in the last year of his contract is dealt, the remainder of his signing bonus is immediately applied to his former team's cap. Thus deals that might make football sense don't add up economically.
Still, with more than half the season remaining, it's hard for a trade maven such as Packers general manager Ron Wolf to believe that teams can't figure out ways to acquire players. "Teams don't trade because [front-office] people are afraid of their own shadows," says Wolf, who tried unsuccessfully to upgrade Green Bay's secondary.
Panthers kicker John Kasay missed a 47-yard field goal with five seconds left, sealing the Bucs' 16—13 win. "It was a perfect snap and perfect hold," said Kasay. "I hit it completely square. Believe me, that ball should have moved right, and it went left. I can say with absolute confidence that God did not want me to make that field goal."
...The league will address one of the problems of a 31-team schedule in '99 by giving byes in the final four weeks to the four teams that finish with the worst records in '98. This is to alleviate concern that a potential playoff team would benefit from a week off late in the year.
The End Zone
For Office Pool Use Only
In their first 37 years the Cowboys never lost a game 13-12. In their last 16 games they've lost by that score three times.