Trade Deadline Comes And Goes

Teams were relatively quiet on Tuesday with only a few minor trades happening. New England, managed to stir things up by cutting and then resigning their own guys.

The NFL trade deadline passed Tuesday afternoon with barely a ripple of activity.

The Eagles made the biggest splash, acquiring veteran linebacker Will Witherspoon from St. Louis in exchange for rookie wide receiver Brandon Gibson and a fifth-round pick in next year's draft. Witherspoon might immediately step in at middle linebacker, Eagles coach Andy Reid said.

Philadelphia has been banged up at the linebacker position, and recent signee Jeremiah Trotter wasn't the answer. Trotter was on the receiving end of two key plays in Sunday's loss to Oakland, including Zach Miller's 86-yard touchdown.

The night before the deadline, another 2010 fifth-round pick was dealt, with Carolina getting defensive tackle Tank Tyler in return.

The big-name players who were rumored to be on the trading block all maintained their current addresses. That list included:

--Bills receiver Terrell Owens, who has been uncharacteristically quiet in his first season with Buffalo, and return specialist Roscoe Parrish, who was benched last week.

--Rams running back Steven Jackson, whom St. Louis couldn't have dealt due to salary-cap implications.

--Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas, a healthy scratch last week.

New England did, however, make a flurry of other moves with its linebacker corps, but things ended up where they began. Tully Banta-Cain and Eric Alexander were both released, then promptly re-signed.

Even when the rest of the league is quiet, Bill Belichick can be counted on for some legerdemain to keep things lively.

-- LT Matt Light was inactive against the Titans, a week after leaving the game in Denver with a right knee injury. With his All-Pro tackle sidelined, Tom Brady's blindside was protected by rookie second-round pick Sebastian Vollmer, making his first NFL start.
-- LB Adalius Thomas was an apparent healthy scratch against the Titans when he was listed among New England's game inactives. The only time Thomas has appeared on the Patriots' practice/injury report this season he was listed as having missed time during the week but that it was "not injury related."
-- WR Joey Galloway was also a healthy scratch against the Titans, inactive for the third straight week as he struggles to get acclimated to the New England offense and earn a spot on the team's 45-man game day roster.
-- S James Sanders missed his second straight game with a shoulder injury, leading the rest of New England's list of inactives that also included Fred Taylor (ankle), Terrence Wheatley, Rich Ohrnberger and Ron Brace.
-- LB Junior Seau made his season debut with New England after signing with the team earlier in the week. The 40-year-old kicked off his 20th NFL season with reserve action on the inside in 3-4 fronts, and recorded a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.
-- LB Jerod Mayo returned to the starting lineup for the win over Tennessee as New England returned to primary 3-4 fronts in the snow against the Titans.
-- RB Laurence Maroney had his biggest game in more than a year, reaching the end zone for the first time since Super Bowl XLII with a 45-yard first-quarter run in the win over the Titans. Maroney finished with 16 carries for 123 yards.

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