NFL and NFL Players Union Agree To New Trade Deadline, Injured-Reserve Rules

Aug 25, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers rookie offensive guard David DeCastro (66) is down injured during the first quarter in the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. DeCastro was taken off the field on a cart. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Multiple sources are reporting the NFL and the NFL Players Association has agreed to previously proposed rules involving roster transactions and trades.

The trading deadline is now the Tuesday after the eighth week of the NFL season, or, in 2012, Oct. 30.

Even bigger, though, teams now have the ability to place a player on injured-reserve, with the option of bringing one player back during the season.

There probably isn't a team this applies to more currently than the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With a slew of players injured this offseason, including rookie RG David DeCastro, the Steelers faced a difficult decision in leaning toward final roster cuts, which are due to the league at 4 p.m. ET Friday.

Should the Steelers choose to pursue this new route, DeCastro - or any other player eligible for the use of this designation - must be placed on injured-reserve by 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, or after, and that player had to have suffered "a major injury," according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The timing for this season of the implementation of this policy may have been the sticking point when talks broke down last week. At the time, the head of the NFLPA, De Smith, called the rules "one step forward, and one step back."

Essentially, players must be kept on the active roster past the final cut date in order to be eligible for this. Plus, the added requirement of it being a "major injury" is clearly there so teams do not have the ability to exploit the system, and place players on the list just to keep them off the active roster and not playing. That would affect bonuses, or could be used as a way to suspend a player beyond the current four-game maximum for conduct detrimental to a team.

More updates on this story to follow on Behind The Steel Curtain

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