From Antonio Brown to Melvin Gordon to Jalen Ramsey, NFL players haven’t been bashful about demanding trades – and making those trade demands public.
It seems there’s been an uptick in that department in recent years, no?
“It does seem to be more prevalent,” former Raiders CEO and current CBS NFL analyst Amy Trask said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I don’t know if that’s cyclical. I don’t know if it’s because players are tiring of some of the restrictions under the collective bargaining agreement. Is it causation or correlation?”
Hard to say for sure. Either way, how should a front office respond to such demands?
“It depends on the player, and it depends on the circumstance,” Trask said. “But the very first thing I would do in all instances is sit down and have a conversation with that player: a very honest, open conversation. If the player wanted to bring his agent, that’s fine. But my point would be help me understand why it is you’re looking for a trade. Does this have to do with an X’s and O’s issue? Are you not getting the playing time you want? Are you not being used in the manner you want? Is there a personal issue here that we can address and attempt to work out? If a player was of value to me, my goal would be to see if we could fix things.”
While some demands seem cut and dry – Gordon wants a new contract – Brown has made headlines for all the wrong reasons this year. He also been accused of sexual misconduct.
Will another team take a chance on him?
“I’m not sure a team will take the risk until they see how things play out with respect to the allegations against him,” Trask said. “I believe when someone makes allegations, those allegations should be taken seriously and they should be investigated fully. But the person who is alleged to have done wrong should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. I know it’s not a criminal court of law when the league is looking at things, but I would still use the same presumption-of-innocence standard.”
Brown, and his representatives, have maintained his innocence. NFL teams, however, likely want to see how the investigation unfolds.
“I think teams are waiting to see how that plays out,” Trask said. “If he’s ultimately exonerated, I do think teams may well be interested in him if he can demonstrate that some of the issues we all saw and the behavior we saw this year have been addressed.”
Even if Brown is found innocent, though, his behavior over the last year has been, in a word, troubling. Many fans and analysts worry about his mental and emotional state.
“I’m concerned about him not as a player, but as a person,” Trask said, “and that these may be signals that he needs some help or cries for help. I hope that no matter what, he is evaluated and helped if he needs it.”