That trend went by the wayside Tuesday when six contenders were involved in moving four prominent wide receivers.
Seattle kick-started the fun by acquiring the NFL's all-time leading receiver, Jerry Rice, from Oakland in a deal that was reported by us on Monday and made official Tuesday.
Dallas and Cleveland followed with disgruntled Cowboys receiver Antonio Bryant being shipping to the Browns in exchange for Quincy Morgan. The flurry was capped when Tampa Bay traded season-long holdout Keenan McCardell to San Diego.
The deal with arguably the biggest impact is the one involving Bryant and Morgan. Dallas and Cleveland are in the thick of their respective playoff races and swapped important - but equally disappointing - former second-round picks.
Bryant had a highly-publicized feud with Cowboys coach Bills Parcells in the offseason and caught just 16 passes in five games while continuing to have issues with the coaching staff. Meanwhile, Morgan was a good team player, but has just nine receptions this season.
San Diego is also trying to prove it can contend for the postseason this year. With the news that Reche Caldwell will be lost for the season, the Chargers moved on McCardell to help their no-name receiving corps.
McCardell has yet to play this season, holding out in a contract dispute with the Bucs. He immediately becomes the Chargers' most dangerous wideout.
"I also want to assure the Chargers that I have been working hard every day to stay in peak physical condition, and I am prepared to come in and make an immediate contribution," McCardell said in a statement. "I could not be happier with this trade."
And don't discount Rice's addition to the Seahawks. He will be worked into three-receiver sets and Seattle coach Mike Holmgren hinted at using more four-receiver sets. He will also be a needed veteran presence on one of the league's youngest rosters -especially to talented but inconsistent wide receivers Darrell Jackson and Koren Robinson.
"There will be some extra benefit I'm sure ... If some of our young guys choose to embrace the opportunity," Holmgren said. "But I did this to make our football team better and any good lessons or role modeling that takes place, in my opinion, is secondary. Jerry came in here to catch passes, to help us win and that's his No. 1 job.
"I think if some of our guys are mature about it and smart about it, they'll kind of watch how he does stuff. But understand, that's really not why I brought him in. I brought him in to help us win."
Winning. It's what all three trades Tuesday have in common and why this season's trade deadline didn't go quietly.
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