The beauty of the draft rumor is its incredible versatility. It comes in many forms, starting with the minuscule nothingness that’s meaningful to only a handful of die-hards.
On the other extreme are the most absurd and creative attempts, deals and reaching picks so outlandish that it’s difficult to even come up with a good example (will the Patriots trade up to draft Andrew Luck as Tom Brady’s replacement?). But somewhere in the middle between the absurdity and near certainties, there are innovative works of fiction that while still unlikely, they actually seem plausible.
Friends, I present to you the Robert Griffin III to Philadelphia rumor.
By now you’re well aware that the Rams No. 2 overall pick is very much in play, and in late February we’ve already reached the point where it’d be surprising if the Rams keep that pick. The motivation here lies with the QB-needy teams and their need to secure Griffin, with the Redskins and Browns widely viewed as the most logical destinations, and therefore the most aggressive suitors.
But now the Browns might be cooling off a bit, with John Czarnecki of Fox Sports noting that Griffin’s been compared to Michael Vick, and for Mike Holmgren and Cleveland’s coaching staff, that’s not necessarily a strong selling point.
One of the problems is that Mike “Big Show” Holmgren has never really done a trade of this magnitude and, two, his coaching staff remains confused on what to do with RGIII. Their talk of him being Michael Vick-like doesn’t create confidence with Holmgren.
The connection between Vick and RG3 doesn’t end there. Czarnecki floated the notion that Andy Reid and the Eagles could do something drastic and trade Vick straight up for the Baylor Heisman winner. That exact transaction feels a little aggressive, but with a highly injury-prone Vick set to turn 32 this summer, being assertive in an effort to acquire his successor isn’t outlandish at all.
No, that would be smart, and Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer envisions a scenario in which the Eagles’ two second-round picks are used as leverage while they try to trade up from their current perch at 15th overall. Beyond Vick’s age and brittleness, Sheridan notes that the structure of his contract also provides an incentive to make a decisive move looking towards the future.
It has been correctly noted that the Eagles’ commitment to Michael Vick really ends after the 2012 season. The structure of that contract was one of the reasons many people believed Reid deserved to be back for at least one more season. Why change coaches and waste what could be Vick’s last, best chance?
Follow that logic through, though. Maybe there will be a Luck or a Griffin in the 2013 draft, when the Eagles might have to find their next QB. Maybe not. If the Eagles really believe Griffin is that special talent who can lead a team to a Super Bowl, this is the one and only time to get him. Reid likely would follow the blueprint he used with McNabb, so Vick would be the starter this year, anyway.
It’s difficult to disagree with that logic. Vick has missed six games over the last two years, and his unique skills that center around his legs and speed will erode quicker, making his decline faster than the average quarterback approaching his mid 30s.
Griffin will likely go through the same process, but he’ll do it a decade from now.
And the rest…
- During his Scouting Combine press conference Griffin repeated what’s become a common refrain during his interviews and media availability. He defended the Baylor offense, saying it’s much more complicated how it looks on the surface. [Hogs Haven]
- The Texans have said that re-signing Mario Williams is a priority. But if they can’t reach an agreement, then they’ll be drafting a replacement early, likely in the first round with their 26th overall pick. [Houston Chronicle]
- John Harbaugh worked under Andy Reid for nine years, and he recently called the Eagles head coach a “visionary,” while also defending his decision to make Juan Castillo Philadelphia’s defensive coordinator. [The 700 Level]
- The Cowboys “covet” Brandon Carr. [Blogging the Boys]
- Seattle will be bidding for Williams if he slips through Houston’s cracks. Failing that, the Seahawks pick 12th overall, and they could also be very active in their pursuit of a quality pass rusher. [Seattle Times]
- Statistically, focusing on the running game both offensively and defensively (running, and stopping the run) is a pretty poor strategy in today’s NFL. [Colts Authority]
- The Bears have a clear, glaring need at wide receiver. Even if they swing and miss on some of the top tier free agents, there’s still plenty of talent available to pursue in the second tier. [Bear Goggles On]
- Connecting the dots between the 49ers and Cody Fleener, the tight end who’s projected as a late first-round pick, is pretty easy. Let’s start with the fact that he’s from Stanford, and Jim Harbaugh was kind of a big deal there two years ago. [San Francisco Chronicle]
- Matt Light is still seriously considering retirement. [Mike Reiss]