NFL trade deadline moved back; changes to IR put in place

Posted May 23, 2012

NFL owners have voted to move the trading deadline from after Week 6 to after Week 8 (Oct. 30 this season) during this week’s league meetings in Atlanta.

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew was a proponent of the bylaw back in March when it was first discussed during the league meetings in Florida.

“I just think that things happen during the season and you want an opportunity to upgrade yourself by grabbing a player that’s in the league and playing, and that’s a lot better than going out in the street and trying to find a player who’s a street free agent and maybe wasn’t in camp or maybe was cut early in camp,” Mayhew said.

“If you lose a guy at a key position, it would be great to go out and acquire a quarterback or somebody later in the season, or a cornerback or whatever it is.”

Mayhew thinks the change might promote more midseason trades.

The owners also voted to allow one "marquee" player placed on injured-reserve to return to practice after the sixth week of the schedule and to play in games after the eighth week. That player must be on the 53-man roster after the final preseason cut.

The bylaw is intended to keep a roster spot for a player hurt in the offseason or preseason, or early in the regular season, who will miss significant time, but will be able to return at some point in the season. Normally, those players are placed on injured-reserve because teams can’t afford to keep a roster spot open that long.

The NFL also made thigh and knee pads mandatory equipment for the 2013 season.

"Some of us felt we were remiss that we took it out of the rule book -- high school and college makes it mandatory -- and in our mind that is how it should be and will be in 2013,” Falcons president and chairman of the competition committee chairman Rich McKay told the Associated Press.

The league also approved the Bills’ playing one regular season game every year from 2013-17 in Toronto, extending that international series.