The 2021 NFL Draft may be different than many before it, featuring plenty of trades.
Amongst the many, many transactions that NFL teams execute, trades are some of the least common. It takes negotiations that can last anywhere between a few hours or even a few weeks, and it typically requires two franchises coming together to find a mutually beneficial deal to agree upon. That seems especially true for the NFL Draft. Every year, fans talk up the possibility of their team moving up or down the board, and it is even more viable as of late.
How new salary cap effects NFL Draft-day trades
In the last three drafts, the NFL has seen seventeen trades involving first round picks. There were 13 trades between 2018 and 2019, with it eventually dipping to four last draft. However, 2021 is a much different year. With the impact of COVID-19, the NFL is potentially seeing its first salary cap decrease since 2011 if television deals are not negotiated to help the cap rise. In addition, the pandemic has affected the ability for teams to evaluate players directly, altering the NFL Combine and other traditional draft events.
With that, teams could decide to trade picks with less discretion, attempting to acquire the players closer to the top of their board that they feel more sure of. Conversely, teams may want to trade back to acquire more picks in an attempt to increase their chances of hitting on players that can contribute. Ultimately, trades may be up for strong consideration more than ever before. Who should at least consider a move on the board? There are plenty of teams in this boat.