It's absurd that the NFL's trading deadline falls in early to mid-October, before teams have played even half their games. Two thirds of the way through the baseball season, contending teams are still able to trade for players who can get them into the postseason, and bad clubs can land top prospects in return. NFL teams should be able to do the same.
Take the cases of the Dolphins and the Rams. Miami, 7-3 and leading the AFC East, might be in the market for a wideout to add to its thin receiving corps. The 3-7 Rams are going nowhere and would probably consider taking a high draft choice for third-year wideout Eddie Kennison.
The NFL says it doesn't want to give a team the chance to rebuild late in the season, but a Dec. 1 deadline wouldn't seem to be a problem in a league in which trades are few and far between.
Elway Wavering On Retirement
It was shortsighted of Broncos coach Mike Shanahan to let John Elway play against the Chargers on Nov. 8, when the quarterback aggravated a rib injury. Despite injuries that have forced him to miss 4½ games through Monday, Elway is hinting that he wants to return in '99, according to a team source....
NFL sources say Los Angeles, because of its large TV market, is a heavy favorite to be awarded the league's 32nd franchise, but Robert McNair remains confident about his bid to bring a team to Houston. "It's simple, really," McNair said last week. "We met the NFL requirements, and Los Angeles can't, not without a miracle. I consider [commissioner] Paul Tagliabue to be a personal friend. He advised me what was needed, and we've delivered."
The End Zone
The Sounds Of Silence
Sunday's Falcons-49ers sellout was Atlanta's first in three years. "You don't know how depressing small crowds are," says tackle Bob 5 Whitfield. "Usually you can hear the tight end breathing."