This is why I love the offseason. The Superbowl may be in the books and the 2020 NFL season is in the books, but man oh man, the NFL truly doesn’t sleep. We’re still in the middle of February and the rumor mill is about to fly off the station with all stuff moving around right now. This is the machine that keeps the NFL relevant even when the season comes to an conclusion. And I love every second of it. I hate it a little bit too. It’s because there’s so much going on and as an aspiring fantasy writer, you want to touch and give your view on everything!
So let’s get into some of the latest rumors going around the league right now because there is certainly a lot of moving pieces floating around. It may not seem like a big deal for fantasy, but the news is definitely worth keeping an eye on. You would be surprised how often I’ve been in fantasy drafts and guys are looking for players that have been traded in the offseason and they didn’t know. These are just some of the tidbits you need to know to better prepare for the coming fantasy season.
The Saga Concludes With Trade To Indy
For weeks we’ve been hearing about the trade that was expected to me the next “blockbuster deal” after the Matthew Stafford/Jared Goff trade went down. Now there seems to be a slight lull. Many believe the deal is still going to happen as the Eagles look to get some bad contracts off of their salary cap. It seems that the latest rumors are that the Eagles asking price for the former franchise Quarterback doesn’t seem to be registering with other teams.
When the Carson Wentz rumors really got going, it was rumored that the Eagles were looking for a deal similar to what the Lions got for Matthew Stafford which included two 1st round picks.
After some time though, it seems that the two teams who have been mentioned to be closely connected to be trade partners with the Eagles in the Colts and Bears have had solid offers on the table. Recent rumors are that the Chicago Bears have the best offers on the table. Meanwhile, the Colts have made an offer with at least two 2nd round picks and possibly a 3rd or 4th rounder too. It doesn’t seem that the Colts are too keen on giving up any more than that.
Even though the Bears may reportedly have the strongest offer on the table, that doesn’t mean that they can bring in Carson Wentz. News reports began to circulate that if Wentz isn’t all in on the trade that the Bears won’t make the trade for him. If this turns out to be true, the Eagles front office may have to take the lesser offer from the Colts in order to move on from the $128 million dollar QB.
This is not the end of the story for Carson Wentz. The Eagles on Thursday afternoon, pulled the trigger on a trade, sending the former franchise QB to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2021 3rd round pick and a 2022 conditional 2nd round pick that can change to a 1st round pick if Carson Wentz plays 70% of the snaps and the Colts make the playoffs. This is lower than expected after many reports had the Eagles seeking a 1st round pick at minimum for Wentz from the door.
Jalen Hurts is now the QB 1 for the Philadelphia Eagles… Unless Les Bowen is right that the Eagles will continue with their “QB factory” approach and draft another QB in the upcoming draft with the 6th overall pick.
Ben Roethlisberger’s Steelers Future Murky?
The Steelers, much like other teams in the NFL, have some big decisions coming up when it comes to personnel for the team as the salary cap for the 2021 season still continues to be under review. It also seems like the Pittsburgh Steelers have some questions of their own that need to be answered. Namely, what to do with Ben Roethlisberger?
When asked in a recent interview according to ESPN Reporter Brooke Pryor, GM Kevin Colbert was less than committal on the veteran Quarterback:
It’s hard to see the Steelers move on from Big Ben this offseason, especially considering that he carries a $41.5 million dollar cap hit on the 2021 season for him and that they have the 6th fewest cap space in the league too. The Steelers also don’t have any other QB on the roster that can replace him. We’ve already seen what Mason Rudolph can do back in 2019 and it wasn’t pretty. Drafting another QB or making a trade for one could be in the Steelers future.
Which brings us to our next rumor on the mill…
The Jets Looking To Trade Sam Darnold?
Sam Darnold has been another name that has been popping up on the rumor mill as of late and for good reason. The Jets fired head coach Adam Gase (I love the sound of that) at the end of the season and gained the 2nd overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Jets could be in line for a new start at QB with Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, and Justin Fields being the talked about options for the Jets to go in another direction.
Believe it or not, there is a market for the Jets to trade Sam Darnold if they ultimately decide to do so. Washington could use one after making the playoffs with Alex Smith and Taylor Hieneke. As mentioned above, the Steelers could be on the lookout for a new (and cheaper QB) with Big Ben’s status up in the air. The Bears and Colts (I know, “Theses guys again?”) are also in need of a QB if the Wentz deal breaks down too. There’s definitely a market for Sam Darnold but it may depend on some other bigger fish to be moved first for him to get on with someone.
The Rumor That’s Not Really A Rumor That Turned Into News
This one is actually funny because the initial tweet that was made on this caused a stir on Twitter. FantasyPros writer Dave Kluge tweeted out a story, highlighting a “report” from ESPN Reporter David Newton that the Carolina Panthers “will do whatever it takes to get Deshaun Watson, and that includes giving up three first-round draft picks and Christian McCaffrey.”
The problem though, is that it wasn’t an actual report from the ESPN reporter. The comments Newton gave where from a segment on ESPN in which he was asked to make a bold prediction for the Panthers. Don Kleiman, an independent writer for the NFL, was with the smoke and called out Kluge for his false reporting. And then chaos ensued.
Despite the rumor being nerfed ESPN continued to make it news, continuing to give it momentum despite the fact that it was debunked. Crazy, right?
If and I mean “IF”, the Carolina Panthers were to do a trade like that, would it be a smart move for the Panthers to make that kind of offer? Deshaun Watson is worth a couple of 1st round picks but the problem comes after you make the move. Now you have a stud QB and no 1st round picks to continue to build around him. Sure teams like the Rams have forgone 1st rounders before but let’s be real… Everybody ain’t the Rams. In my opinion, a move like this would do more harm than good for the Panthers. Plus, adding Christian McCaffrey to the deal would be overkill. I wouldn’t give up that much even for Watson.
This is just the beginning of the offseason so best believe there will be more articles coming on this. Stay tuned and in the words of Samuel L. Jackson in Jurassic Park, “Hold on to ya butts!”