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Monday, October 16, 2006
Time to put fantasy into trades

By DJ Gallo
Special to Page 2

Here's something you probably didn't know: The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday.

For whatever reason, the deadline in football gets almost no attention from the media, whereas baseball's deadline is talked about for months. I think that's because the NFL's trade rumor mill is woefully undersupplied with juicy and completely unfounded rumors.

What's that you dreamt? The Yankees are said to be offering A-Rod to a Japanese team in exchange for that little kid from the Indiana Jones movies? Sounds insane, but who knows? Let's report it as a rumor.

Well, it's time the NFL trade deadline stopped taking a backseat. So here are some trade rumors I have decided to run with. And feel free to create your own to post on message boards and discuss on sports radio shows. We have only 24 hours, but if we work hard we can create an impressive amount of misinformation.

Shockey to Raiders?
The Giants are finalizing a trade that would send Jeremy Shockey to Oakland. The team wants Shockey to see up close what it's really like to play for a team that gets outcoached. Then, with their point made, the Giants plan to reacquire the tight end in the offseason dispersal draft when the Raiders organization is mercifully and inevitably shut down by the league.

Eagles-Jets trade?
The Jets are offering any and all of their players to the Eagles. In return, Eric Mangini wants a few of Andy Reid's green, custom-made, 10XL polo shirts. The rapidly expanding Jets head coach has already grown out of his supply of XXXLs and is in desperate need of some new clothing in team colors. If the Eagles don't bite, the Jets likely will buy their coach a green, six-person tent and then cut the neck and arm holes out of it.

Green Bay standing pat?
Despite a 1-4 record and an average loss margin of 14.5 points, the Packers do not plan to trade anyone because their roster is the most talented collection of players Brett Favre has ever seen. And presumably the rest of the league is aware the Packers aren't looking to deal, because no one has called them to express interest in any of their players.

Broncos trading from depth?
The Broncos are hoping to trade running backs Tatum Bell and Mike Bell. Head coach Mike Shanahan is set on beginning the Jay Cutler era in Denver and is confident his coaching prowess really can make anyone a 1,000-yard rusher.

Steelers looking to deal?
As good as Pittsburgh looked against the Chiefs Sunday, the Steelers are still looking for a replacement for Antwaan Randle El and think they have found a quality wide receiver/running back-type player who can also throw a decent pass every so often. Now the Steelers just need to put together a package that can pry Michael Vick away from the Falcons.

Branch back to New England?
Bill Belichick feels he has sufficiently made his point now to Deion Branch: The Patriots will not renegotiate his contract. So with that taken care of, Belichick would really like Branch to come back to New England since the Patriots are woefully thin at wide receiver without him. In exchange for Branch, New England has offered the Seahawks the promise that the rugged, mysterious Belichick and the dreamy, stubbled Tom Brady will not woo their wives.

Chargers dealing Tomlinson?
San Diego is offering up LaDainian Tomlinson to the highest bidder. The star back has played his way into Marty Schottenheimer's doghouse with his continued insistence on breaking long touchdown runs instead of sticking to his coach's ball control philosophy with nice, simple, 3- to 4-yard, clock-eating rushes that eventually lead to punts and the opportunity to pin opponents back in their own territory.

Headlines …

Larry Johnson given a punishment of no recess for a week for pulling Troy Polamalu's hair

George Teague appears out of nowhere to level Terrell Owens for celebrating on the Dallas star

Lions post first win as Rod Marinelli becomes franchise's all-time winningest head coach

The guy who picked third in Reggie Bush's fantasy league in first place

Peyton Manning spends bye week suffering through Peyton Manning commercials with the rest of us

Things I Thought I Thought While Watching Terrell Owens Nearly Overdose on Touchdowns …

1. Saints fans were understandably ecstatic Sunday when John Carney's last-second field goal went through the uprights to give New Orleans the victory over the Eagles. But as happy as they were, I think the bearded lady and Lobster Boy were even happier because it's always a big deal to those people when a Carney performs well on the big stage.

2. Congratulations to Bill Parcells for becoming only the third head coach to have defeated all 32 current NFL teams. But I bet it's kind of a bittersweet milestone for him as I assume 31 has long been his favorite number, what with it being the number of ice cream flavors at Baskin-Robbins.

3. Congratulations also to Tennessee for beating Washington to get its first win of the season. The Titans were able to step on the Redskins' throats when they got them down, and that was a surprise to me since Albert Haynesworth wasn't playing.

4. I realize that a lot of Redskins fans are furious over their team's loss at home to the lowly Titans. But Redskins fans need to keep in mind that a 2-4 record isn't all that bad if they look at it the way their beloved Joe Gibbs does. Gibbs is a NASCAR man and he knows that a 2-4 NFL record in racing terms equates to two first-place finishes and four second-place finishes. And while 2-4 might stink in the NFL, it's outstanding in NASCAR and good enough for first place in the Nextel Cup points standings. So I hope that helps cheer you up, Redskins fans. Or, at the very least, I hope it gives you some insight into why Gibbs appears completely incompetent in his second go-around as an NFL head coach.

5. Some Steelers fans have started calling new short-yardage back Najeh Davenport "The Dump Truck," a takeoff on Jerome Bettis' nickname, "The Bus," and inspired by Davenport's infamous dump into a female student's closet in college at Miami. And as great as that nickname is, I fear Davenport may not embrace it due to embarrassment over the incident -- which is absurd since Davenport defecating in a coed's closet is one of "The U's" high points as a football program over the past few years. What Davenport needs to do is adopt his new nickname with open arms and become a positive force in the community. Bettis had his The Bus Stops Here Foundation that helped underprivileged children in Pittsburgh learn to read, so Davenport should start up The Dump Truck Foundation. But instead of promoting literacy, he could promote urban cleanliness by driving around the city in a dump truck, stopping here and there to let the homeless and the incontinent go No. 2 in his truck's container. Anything less than that will suggest Davenport doesn't care about his new hometown.

6. What an amazing, acrobatic touchdown catch Torry Holt pulled off Sunday against the Seahawks. It reminded me of the catches Lynn Swann became famous for making. And, you know, if Holt plays his cards right and works for a few years after his career as a sideline reporter, he'll have all the qualifications necessary to one day be a major party gubernatorial candidate in a large state. I mean, what else could an electorate want than a candidate with athleticism and the ability to get injury information in a timely manner from a football team's training staff? Those are qualities possessed by only the greatest politicians.

7. Make sure to watch tonight's Bears-Cardinals game. Not so much for the game -- it could be a blowout -- but for the off chance Paris Hilton shows up wearing one of those Laura Quinn half-jerseys to support both Brian Urlacher and Matt Leinart. And expect the custom-made jersey to have a greenish tint instead of being all white or black and red, as most people best recognize the heiress for her work in front of night vision cameras.

DJ Gallo is the founder and sole writer of the award-winning sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He is also a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and Fantasy Sports Monthly, and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book -- "SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck" -- will be in stores soon.