Welcome back to the NBA Trade Deadline edition of Niners Nation After Dark. For those that didn't know, earlier today the NBA had its trade deadline. There have been some sizable trades this week (Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks, Deron Williams to the Nets), and it wrapped up with a flurry of deals at the noon pacific deadline (exactly 12 hours ago). The most recognizable trade deadline in sports is usually Major League Baseball's annual deadline. The trade deadline occurs on July 31 and there us usually a huge variety of big and small deals affecting most teams in the league. The league allows waiver trades after July 31, but the real action is often right around that July 31 deadline.
I bring this up because the NFL's trade deadline is generally a quiet affair that raises little fanfare. This past season the trade deadline was October 9 and I could probably count on one hand how many fans that don't visit Niners Nation who knew that was the trade deadline. The NFL has done an excellent job keeping their league in the news for almost the entire calendar year. Outside of football season from August through early February, they get a ton of coverage from January to April preparing for the draft, you've got the February Combine, March free agency (normally), May minicamps, June OTAs, and training camp gearing up in July. It's basically a year-round league at this point.
However, as solid as that might be, the current structure with contracts prevents the trading deadline from being particularly memorable. The NFL's hard salary cap implements a speeding up of signing bonus amortization that makes it difficult to make many big deals. We'll see a big deal occasionally (remember Clinton Portis for Champ Bailey?) but it's very rare.
As the NFL and NFLPA work on a new deal, is it possible to make the league more trade-friendly? That's really the least of their concerns as they try and hammer out a new deal, but the chatter around a trade deadline can be incredibly enjoyable. Everybody loves the offseason hot stove and an active trade deadline brings that to the regular season. What do folks think? Is the NFL's financial system strong enough that it's not worth messing around to improve the trade deadline? Or should the league look into ways to improve the trade deadline?