Barring a back-to-the-future scenario, where Bill Parcells calls Dan Quinn and offers, say, linebacker Lawrence Taylor, the Falcons, like most teams around the NFL, are going to let the NFL trading deadline pass quietly.
“(Taylor) was definitely my favorite player growing up,” Quinn said. “So if we went back in time and Coach Parcells called, that would be one that we’d definitely listen to.”
Otherwise, with a short week before a game at Tampa Bay on Thursday, teams don’t need to call the Falcons. They’ll call you.
The NFL’s trading deadline is 4 p.m. on Tuesday and while it will likely pass without any major moves, there is more talk than normal this season.
New England got things started on Monday when they sent Pro Bowl linebacker Jamie Collins to Cleveland for a third-round pick.
Bottom-feeders Jacksonville, Cleveland, San Francisco and Chicago could be primed to make a deal or two.
“Sometimes right at that last week of the preseason, you might see some trades,” Quinn said. “Often times, you might see some this week, too, people with their backs to the wall and they took their time making decisions. But yeah, there are definitely some behind-the-scenes whispers about some stuff.”
In Jacksonville (2-5), tight end Mercedes Lewis is a potential target. Denver has struggled at the position with injuries sidelining Virgil Green. The Falcons may be down a tight end if Jacob Tamme’s shoulder injury, sustained on Sunday, is serious.
“We don’t think it’s going to be a long-term thing, but he was not able to return (against the Packers),” Quinn said. “So the status for Thursday is in question right now, but I don’t know past that.”
In Cleveland, by trading left tackle Joe Thomas, cornerback Joe Haden and/or cornerback Tramon Williams, the Browns (0-8) could gather some draft picks to help fuel their ongoing rebuilding project.
Seattle, Denver and Arizona are seeking to improve their offensive lines in order to make playoff runs. Carolina also needs some help along the line. The New York Giants are reportedly interested in Thomas.
Teams looking for secondary help could find it with Haden or Williams, although Haden would come with a steeper price tag.
San Francisco (1-6) left tackle Joe Staley and wide receiver Torrey Smith could be available. The Eagles are in need of wide receiver talent and could make a play for Smith to help out rookie quarterback Carson Wentz.
Chicago (1-6) could also be ready to move wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and his hefty contract. He could become attractive if he agrees to renegotiate a contract extension.
“Last year, Carolina had one (deal) when Jaren Allen came over with them,” Quinn said. “But often times, is there a specific need for a guy on a team or maybe he wasn’t a fit somewhere else or there is a new system or those kind of things.” Often times you see a trade when that happens. He was part of this system and now they are going to move him over to this one.”
Cleveland, per league rules, could trade suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon.
In the weeks leading up to the deadline, there were only a few minor deals.
The Packers, who were depleted in the backfield, made a trade with Kansas City for running back Knile Davis in return for a conditional draft pick.
Before the Collins trade, New England acquired linebacker Kyle Van Noy from the Lions for a sixth-round pick and sent tight end A.J. Derby to Denver for a fifth-round pick.
The Detroit deal was negotiated with general manager Bob Quinn, who spent most of his career in New England which may have facilitated the trade.
“There are a lot of teams that don’t … they seem kind of reluctant to trade this time of year especially,” New England coach Bill Belichick told CSN New England. “But it’s one of those things that came up fairly quickly and just worked out.”
The Patriots could be in the market for a tight end and Belichick doesn’t seem to mind who he deals with.
“We are trying to make our team better,” Belichick said. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Unlike the NFL, baseball and basketball annually see blockbuster trading deadline deals.
The Cleveland Indians, who are up 3-2 in the World Series, made a major deal with the New York Yankees for star reliever Andrew Miller and are now nine innings away from the championship.
In the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers picked up a key reserve in Channing Frye at the last trading deadline. There was speculation that the Hawks would deal Jeff Teague and Al Horford last season.
But the Falcons are not expecting much action league-wide.
“It’s funny,” Quinn said. “It’s like there isn’t much, then all of a sudden there is like three or four (deals). People will do a little of talking. It’s like, man, we had a while to talk. I remember that from last year, my first experience of it, and remember some of the challenges.”
Because NFL teams use complex systems, it’s difficult to just drop a new player into a team at midseason and expect him to be on the same page. The quality of practice squads may also keep some teams from making deals.
“This is a group in waiting and that we’ve got some guys that are anxious to go,” Quinn said. “We’ve moved some of them up already like (safety Sharrod) Neasman. There are a number of guys, if called upon, they’d be ready.”
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