The move allows teams to better gauge their playoff feasibility before deciding for or against making a move, much like Major League Baseball, which waits until the end of July—two-thirds into their season—before cutting off direct trades.
While trades in the NFL usually lack the star power and wow factor that MLB is known for, there are normally a handful of deals that get done before the deadline nonetheless.
Having said that, what should the Bucs do if another team calls inquiring about one of their players?
Mind you, trading away talent isn't necessarily waving the white flag, so long as it isn't detrimental to depth. That is, after all, the reason for having quality depth—it's an asset in every sense of the word.
Better yet, who should the Bucs target in an effort to shore up their team? Linemen? Secondary?
Here are three trade-deadline deals that the Bucs should seriously consider.
With several teams in desperate need of a good, solid running back, why wouldn't the Bucs at least entertain an offer for the seldom-used Blount?
Believe me, I understand that fans are clamoring for him to gain a larger share of the offensive workload, and that is still a realistic possibility, especially if the Bucs want to improve his trade value.
However, if someone comes through with a good enough proposal—mid- to early-round pick, for example—with say, escalator clauses that stipulate if Blount carries x number of times or gains x number of yards, the value of the pick increases from third round to second round, or fourth round to third, so on and so forth.
At that point, why wouldn't the Bucs pull the trigger?
Remember, they're essentially playing with house money, as they didn't invest a draft pick on Blount. So any form of draft compensation they would receive in return would be money in the bank.
Possible Landing Spots
With the Bucs loaded at receiver, the team could look to deal the talented but oft-injured wideout to a team in desperate need of offense.
I'm talking to you, New York Jets.
With Benn having caught all of four passes this season, it's clear that the Bucs are content with feeding fellow receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams the majority of the passes—and rightfully so.
However, with Benn still playing catch-up from missing nearly all of the preseason with injury, coupled with the recent emergence of Tiquan Underwood, the move makes sense all the way around.
While the Bucs would surely "lose" value by trading the former second-rounder for a likely late-round pick, he isn't providing any immediate value to this team with his limited production, either.
Possible Landing Spots
N.Y. Jets, St. Louis, Seattle
The former USF star and Tampa Bay native reportedly requested a trade before the season started because he was dissatisfied with his contract and was seeking a long-term deal.
While the Cowboys supposedly balked at offers for the talented corner, it is becoming more and more likely that the free-agent-to-be will be testing the waters this offseason and is sure to gain the attention of several front offices.
With the 'Boys knowing as much, would they trade Jenkins and get something for him now, before losing him to free agency and getting nothing next spring?
If so, the Bucs should look to make a run at the 27-year-old defensive back, who has eight career interceptions.
Not only would Jenkins provide an upgrade over, say, Myron Lewis and E.J. Biggers, but with King Knucklehead—Aqib Talib—out for the next three weeks, he would help shore up an otherwise porous pass defense that ranks No. 31 overall in passing yards allowed (312.2 per game).
As long as Dallas' asking price isn't too steep, trading for Jenkins would do wonders to help Tampa Bay.