Songs on the Beatles’ White Album didn’t contain as many muddled messages as those emanating from NFL circles on Wednesday.
The Niners and Falcons want to rip all-pro cornerback Darrelle Revis from the clutches of the Jets in a blockbuster trade, according to the New York Daily News … Er, no they don’t, later reports said.
The Eagles were about to dump overpriced cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha … Except they didn’t, a chorus of dissenting reports almost immediately bellowed. At least not yet.
Wes Welker is close to re-signing with the Patriots … Er, no he isn’t … Yes he is! … No. He’s not … Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, life goes on.
The Titans will let tight end Jared Cook enter free agency … No, they’re still talking!
Reports and denials will continue to ricochet across the Twittersphere until free agency finally kicks off Tuesday at 4 p.m. EDT.
Everybody’s got something to hide. But when a team, or player, needs a message to get out, it sure gets out.
Take the Denver Broncos.
Albert Breer of NFL Network reported Wednesday the club wants Pro Bowl pass rusher Elvis Dumervil to take a pay cut. The 29-year-old is set to earn $12 million this year, and $18.193 million over 2014-15.
The Denver Post has reported the Broncos are keen to sign Dwight Freeney, an elite pass rusher for most of the past 11 years with the Indianapolis Colts. Freeney is about to become a free agent, as the Colts say they won’t re-sign him.
Think those two stories leaked unintentionally? Exactly.
Player agents are no better. In doing their absolute best for their clients, they aren’t above letting it be known their guy is anxious to test free-agent waters, or isn’t happy with the club’s latest offer.
When, in some cases, the last thing the player wants to do is pack up and move.
Expect things to remain helter-skelter until Tuesday evening.
But remember this, no matter what you hear from anybody about anybody.
Until a player become a free agent, he isn’t one. And until he signs with another team, there’s still a decent chance he’ll stay right where he is.
THE CONTINUING STORY OF BUNGLING BILLS: Buffalo re-signed pending free agent LB Bryan Scott, and tendered TE/WR Dorin Dickerson.
I WILL: Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson told NFL Network he’d be happy if the club signed a top-flight free-agent wide receiver such as Mike Wallace or Greg Jennings, and that he’d be fine with a move to slot receiver, too. Johnson compassionately supported his beleaguered quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, but also implied he’d understand if the team went in a different direction.
DON’T PASS ME BY: To no one’s surprise, the 49ers released 13-year veteran placekicker David Akers. Only one year after setting the NFL record for field goals made (44), in 2012 Akers was awful. He made only 69% of his kicks, and from beyond 39 yards he was only 9-of-19. He got worse as the season went on, missing seven of his last 11 from 40+. That’s horrendous in today’s NFL. The Niners are better today.
YER BROWNS: Cleveland will go after two of the top free-agent pass rushers, should they actually get that far: Paul Kruger of the Blackbirds, er, Ravens and Cliff Avril of the Lions. This, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Kruger didn’t get much ink but was one of the Ravens’ top defenders in 2012.
BACK IN THE U.S. of A.: The Seahawks signed tight end Darren Fells, younger brother of backup Patriots tight end Daniel Fells. Darren played college basketball, not football, and had played pro hoops in Belgium, Finland and Argentina.
GLASS ONION: Football players’ brains might be more susceptible to damage than anyone has ever realized. A study released Wednesday by the Cleveland Clinic and University of Rochester claims four of 67 college football players analyzed showed signs of brain damage despite never having knowingly suffered a concussion. That is, they had higher levels of a brain protein in their bloodstreams that normally only gets there when the blood-brain barrier is damaged by head trauma. FOXSportsOhio.com has more of the scary details.
WHY DON’T WE DO IT ON THE ROAD: Commissioner Roger Goodell took his we’re-all-about-safety act to the University of North Carolina. “In recent years, there has been a sharper focus on concussions in football and other sports,” Goodell said in a speech. “Let me make a point here. Concussions are a global issue, not just a football issue.” The commish added that the long-repeated belief that NFLers die sooner than the average male is a myth. “That’s right, (NFL players will live) longer than most of the people in this room,” he said.
I’M NOT SO TIRED: Running back Montee Ball ran much faster times in the 40 at Wisconsin’s pro day. After posting a 4.66-second time in Indy, Ball ran the 40 twice on Wednesday – in 4.46 and 4.53 seconds, he said. Ball told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he had had a sinus infection in Indy and was tired.
WHILE HIS QUARTERBACKS GENTLY WEEP WITH JOY: The St. Louis Rams released offensive tackle Wayne Hunter, the poor guy the Jets unloaded on them after he failed mightily last pre-season to protect Mark Sanchez’s right side. The move saves the Rams $4 million in cap space. Hunter was one of 16 OLs the Rams have started the past two seasons, compared to just seven for division rival San Francisco, per Mike Sando of ESPN.com.