NFL Trades Start Flying Before Start of Free Agency

USA TODAY Sports

The NFL 2013 league year started a day early today, as the NFC West started wheeling and dealing today, with both the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks making big trades today.

The NFL's legal tampering, soft opening for free agency has led to a lot of player movement, just not of the kind expected. While teams and player representatives are free to begin negotiations and work toward a deal (but have to make sure to not actually reach a deal), it seems like talk between teams was the more common occurrence this week - trades are beginning to take center stage.

While everyone was already tracking the trade that sends San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith to Kansas City, which will be official tomorrow when the new league year starts at 4pm ET, two more trades have been announced today.

First, the Minnesota Vikings sent wide receiver Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks. In exchange, Minnesota received a first round pick and a seventh round pick in 2013, as well as a mid-round selection in 2014.

Then, the 49ers got into the act again, agreeing to a trade with the Baltimore Ravens. San Francisco sent their sixth round pick in next month's draft to the Ravens, who shipped wide receiver Anquan Boldin back to the NFC West. Boldin spent his first seven years in the league with the Arizona Cardinals.

With the new league year, and the start of free agency, still some 20 hours away, there's still time for teams to work on additional trades. Last year, the Miami Dolphins traded wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for two third round picks minutes after the league year started. Could the same thing happen again this year?

If Miami were to get involved in a trade, it would most likely be to acquire a played. The team has extra second and third round picks in April's draft, and could be looking to add a weapon. While any trade bringing in a player is unlikely, it is a possibility.

If the Dolphins were to ship a player to some other team, players like running back Daniel Thomas or linebackers Kevin Burnett or Karlos Dansby could make the most sense. Defensive end Jared Odrick could have some trade value as well, especially for a team looking for a 4-3 defensive tackle.

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