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Mailbag: Making Sense Of The Trade Deadline? Rico Gathers Update?

DAVE GREEN
GALVESTON, TX
In baseball and basketball, offseason trades and trades right before the trade deadline are immensely satisfying for fans to follow.  They also give fans hope.  Why doesn't the NFL make trading players easier for teams to do? Is this something that coaches are against? Is it that the players association doesn't like it? Or is it some economic issue? I really don't understand it.

Bryan: Most general managers I know would love for the trading deadline to be two weeks later. Owners don't want it because they don't want fire sales that we see in those sports. It's a sign that you've given up. The salary cap is the real reason it's hard to make deals. Not everyone has the space to make the deals necessary to make it work. Especially big ones. 

David:I think it's a combination of a lot of things. Bryan mentioned that teams don't want to appear that they've given up, and the salary cap is tough to manage. A couple of other things stand out to me, too. Firstly, it's far harder for one player to impact a football team. And with that in mind, I think teams are reluctant to give up valuable assets (namely, draft picks) for a guy that might not make the impact they're expecting. It's far easier to use those picks to build your own team.

SHUN HARPER
SOUTHAVEN, MS
Rico Gathers is eligible to return from Injured Reserve soon. Can you give an update on his status and whether he will be brought to the roster or shut down for the year?

Bryan: I watch Gathers work out every day with the strength staff, so at least he's doing that. He took a wicked shot in the jaw and neck area so that took some time to heal. As far as him playing, they would have to have an injury at tight end or the team would have to go south, record-wise, to get him on the roster.

David:Rico is making progress, but I don't get the impression he's going to be practicing in the near future. That could be a combination of factors. He might not be healthy enough to play football – but there also isn't a ton of space for him right now. This is something we're going to have to keep an eye on. I genuinely don't know what's going to happen with him as the season goes along.

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