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YOU won’t be seeing a yellow-tied Jim White on Sky Sports News at 4pm EST on October 29 but the NFL trade deadline is arguably as exciting for the fan.
You will see contending teams trying to pick up players to help their sides make the play-offs and struggling teams “cash in” their best players for draft picks in the hope that they can rebuild through the draft.
The biggest deal of the window may have been and gone. Last week star cornerback Jalen Ramsey was traded from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the LA Rams in exchange for two first round picks and a fourth, a king’s ransom but an excellent player for sure.
Ramsey and defensive player of the year Aaron Donald will strike fear into most offences in the NFC.
The Rams were one of the beneficiaries of last year’s trade deadline when they sent a third-round pick, again to the Jaguars, for pass rusher Dante Fowler Jnr.
Fowler was the No 3 pick in the 2015 draft but had not had much success in Florida. Instead he went to the Super Bowl with the Rams and earned himself a big new contract.
The biggest trade in NFL history involved three teams and 18 players.
Herschel Walker was an Olympic Bobsleigher and star running back for the Dallas Cowboys. But in October 1989 he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings, the San Diego Chargers received running back Darrin Nelson and the Cowboys landed five players and eight draft picks.
The trade was judged to be one of the worst trades of all time by SI.com, while at the Cowboys Walker became only the 10th player to gain 2,000 yards from scrimmage, and when traded to the Vikings he was viewed as the missing piece of the team.
Walker’s form declined over the next couple of seasons, though many said that it was the Vikings’ refusal to adjust their offensive scheme to suit him.
The Cowboys on the other hand used one of their newly acquired picks to draft Emmitt Smith, the Hall of Famer who ran for the most yards in NFL history — 18,355, ahead of greats Walter Payton and Barry Sanders.
In 1936 the first player ever drafted was immediately traded, Jay Berwanger, who also won the first ever College Heisman Trophy (the year’s best player).
Berwanger was drafted first by the Philadelphia Eagles, and then sent to the Chicago Bears because the team could not support his $1,000 a game salary. Berwanger gave up the NFL for a job as a foam-rubber salesman.
The 2019 trade deadline could see some blockbuster trades as there are some unhappy players out there, and some stars reaching an age on bad teams where their value to the team may lay in draft capital to try and build for the future.
One such player is AJ Green of the winless Cincinnati Bengals.
Green is a Pro Bowl-calibre wide receiver on his way back from injury and would be the perfect trade target for the 6-0 San Francisco 49ers who are reportedly on the look-out for a receiver to push them over the edge and make them a contender to go all the way in the post-season.
Washington Redskins All Pro tackle Trent Williams has been holding out, not for more money from his team but because he felt the organisation did not provide adequate medical care when he was diagnosed with a growth or tumours on his head.
Since having it removed, he no longer wants to play for the team and he should be of interest to the Cleveland Browns who, despite already investing huge capital into high profile players, have a weakness at both tackle spots.
They have not been the success many thought they would be so far this season.
The final player that could be moved on deadline day may come out of the blue.
Having been last season’s sack leader (10.5) for the Green Bay Packers last season, this season Kyler Fackrell has been behind Preston and Za’Darius Smith in the line-up.
The Packers defence has been on superb form and Fackrell must surely be frustrated at his lack of progress.
AFC South stand-out teams the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans could really use a boost as they face off this year, both taking aim at the play-offs.
There are just seven days left until the deadline, so keep your eye out for news of your team’s news.
Also this week, the LA Rams and Texans take to Wembley, yet there are unsold tickets available everywhere.
They have been advertised on Sky Sports broadcast by Neil Reynolds, which may be a sign that there are concerns about fan numbers. British fans have been worried that a move to Tottenham’s 60,000-seater stadium from Wembley, which has 80,000 seats, but there are signs that four games may be the limit of fan interest.
There is always constant talk of a UK Franchise, but waning ticket sales may cause a rethink.
A school of thought is that the record of the two teams — a combined 4-10 — has caused fans to consider the match a lesser contest.
Many British fans have season tickets and secure them year on year, not wanting to let their tickets slide for a season and lose out on priority purchase, many season ticket holders go to one game and sell the ticket for the second.
If you wanted tickets to watch the NFL this year and missed out initially, this Sunday may be your chance to see the game live.
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