The NFL earlier this week displayed something that continues to dwindle among its non-Super Bowl teams. Patience.
For the second straight year, that characteristic was evident in the tabling of a rules proposal that would allow a franchise to hire an assistant from another club as its new head coach while the latter is still alive in the postseason.
Nowadays, any franchise waiting that long to start putting moves in motion is being lapped by its competitors.
Here’s an example of how things have changed: In late January, Kansas City and Washington did something once heavily frowned upon by league headquarters. That was reaching terms on the kind of major trade that took attention away from the NFL’s showcase game.
Five days before Philadelphia played New England in Super Bowl 52, the Redskins not only acquired Alex Smith in exchange for a third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller. Washington also had already worked out Smith’s contract extension that helped set the market price for other quarterbacks trying to finalize new deals.
The 2016 seventh-rounder from Western Kentucky has spent the last two years on the practice squad.
The Dolphins have shown plenty of interest in Baker Mayfield, but have also been looking at quarterbacks who could come later than the first round (bringing Luke Falk in for a visit), as they work to improve the position.
They let longtime backup Matt Moore walk as a free agent, and though they’ve signed Brock Osweiler and David Fales, there’s no reason to think they don’t want to upgrade, even if it’s just for a backup.
Indeed, the Cavs went 51-31 last season with Irving in the fold. Last season, James sat eight games and Cleveland went 0-8 when he rested. This season, for the first time in his career, James will play all 82 games when he suits up against the Knicks on Wednesday in the season finale.
“I’m healthy,” James said. “So, I’m playing.”