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NFL, NFLPA Agree To New Trade Deadline, IR Rule

After months of back-and-forth, the league has ironed out an agreement with the union over these issues right before the start of the 2012 season.

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The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to tweaks in the roster management process that will go into effect in the 2012 season, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter.

For one, the league's trade deadline will be moved back from Week 6 to Week 8. The idea is that it will encourage more teams to make moves if they have more of an idea of where they stand in the NFL playoff picture.

However, football is unlike baseball or basketball, and it's much more difficult for a player to learn a new playbook in the middle of the season. Teams will probably not actively seek out players but they will have more of an opportunity to replace players lost to injury by the middle of the season.

The other big change is a change to the injured reserve policies. Instead of losing a player for the entire season, a team can designate one player on the IR as someone they may bring back later in the season.

The net effect of both changes will be increasing the in-season roster flexibility for NFL teams. How much of an effect, though, remains to be seen.

For more coverage of the Atlanta Falcons and the rest of the NFL, stay tuned to The Falcoholic as well as SB Nation's NFL news hub.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.