The moves mark another year in which the NFL trade deadline is seeing increased activity of the kind that used to be unusual in the league. Gone is the sleepy approach to the whole deadline, replaced by general managers eager to load up for a Super Bowl run, dump disgruntled players, make salary-cap moves or stockpile draft picks.
In addition to the Apple trade, Cleveland has traded running back Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville and Oakland sent wide receiver Amari Cooper to Dallas.
For the Lions, 3-3 and in the thick of things in the NFC North, the move makes sense on the field and off it.
In more mundane matters, the 1-6 Giants rid themselves of a veteran who is almost 30 and making $8 million this season and begin the task of thinking about 2019. And it may be only a harbinger of more activity.
“Trade discussions going on around the league that would really excite people,” former Browns and Philadelphia Eagles executive Joe Banner tweeted. “We will see how many actually happen. I predict more action than we are used to seeing.”
The Post’s Mark Maske cites a number of factors in the NFL’s change. Young general managers around the league scorn traditional ideas about roster construction and coaches have become more flexible while the salary cap has continued to expand. It all gives teams greater freedom and more reasons to make moves. Some teams, like the Saints, are seeking a missing piece. Others, like the Giants, are beginning a rebuilding project. Last week, co-owner John Mara expressed confidence that Coach Pat Shurmur and General Manager Dave Gettleman, both in their first year with the team, can turn it around, but acknowledged the work that lies ahead.
“I’m not sure it’s going to be a quick fix.”
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