A few weeks ago Charlie Casserly of CBS said to look for more trades in the upcoming NFL Draft because of the new schedule that allows for a lot more trade talk between rounds.
The thoughts among some league insiders is that the increase in trades won't be restricted to just the draft. NFL agent Jack Bechta expects that trend to manifest in free agency and throughout the 2010 season.
Bechta has two reasons for his thoughts.
First, the "final eight plan" restricts the free agency movement of the final four teams from each conference. Basically, these teams can't sign a free agent until they lose one (and there are all kinds of qualifiers involved but that's the gist of it). Bechta suggests the loophole in all of this will be teams being more active in the trade market.
Second, the move from four to six years for unrestricted free agency will leave a significant junk of the would-be-free-agents locked into restricted free agency. Teams will place tenders -- essentially an asking price via draft picks -- on these players. In order for teams to be in play for these restricted free agents, they'll need to offer up a trade.
"So teams with multiple RFAs will tender and sit back," Bechta writes, "then listen to abstract offers before starting serious negotiations with their restricted players or matching a boiler-plate offer. As a result, the environment leading up to the draft can be ripe for multiple trades."
From what we've been hearing, this will be one of the more active trading markets for a league that generally doesn't entertain many trades.