NFL Trade Rumors: Whispers That Have Died Down After Free Agency
With free agency wrapping up, certain NFL trade rumors are getting put to rest.
Every NFL season causes the the rumor mill to churn furiously because blood tends to be boiling by that time of year.
And when players, coaches and teams are riding emotion, the whispers crescendo.
But as time wears on, a lot of the early bravado gets snuffed.
Here are three rumors that started hot but have cooled as free agency played out.
Inside linebacker Bart Scott was rattled when the New York Jets reduced his role in the 2011 season.
Scott's frustration unraveled after Week 17, when he made an obscene gesture at a photographer in the Jets' locker room. The heat-of-the-moment move cost him $10,000.
But while Scott trade rumors were flying at the offseason's onset, potential suitors were reticent to take on Scott's generous contract.
No. 57 is in year four of a six-year deal which guarantees $4.2 million to the ILB in 2012.
Though the Jets could still bite the bullet and release Scott, they have made few free-agency moves that indicate an effort to replace him.
With free agency winding down, so are the Scott trade rumors.
It's looking more and more likely that Scott will remain in New York.
Wideout Chad Ochocinco amassed just 15 catches with the New England Patriots in the 2011 season, causing fans to call for his head in the wake of Super Bowl XLVI.
But while hopes of trading or releasing the receiver remained high, the Pats instead reacted by asking him to restructure his contract.
Had the Pats been unable to trade No. 85, they would have owed him $3 million in 2012 (that's $200,000 a catch if he performed the same as last season). And had they released him, they would have taken a decent salary-cap hit.
But it's not unlike Bill Belichick to shed ineffective players even at a cost. He must have seen some potential in No. 85 or he wouldn't have kept him on board.
Regardless, Ochocinco's official contract restructuring abated speculation that the wideout would leave New England.
Of course, the new contract makes Ochocinco more desirable to teams looking to trade for him.
But for now the rumors have been silenced.
It was no secret that Dwight Freeney was on the trading block after a 2-14 season and an Indianapolis coaching change.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that:
Filed to ESPN: Colts are fielding telephone calls from teams interested in trading for perennial Pro Bowl defensive end Dwight Freeney.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2012
But like others on this list, the $14 million he was owed in 2012 was not palatable to potential suitors.
The Colts were unsuccessful in their efforts to restructure the defensive end's contract, and eventually the trade rumors desisted.
More recently, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano has decided that he envisions Freeney playing outside linebacker—similar to the role Terrell Suggs plays on the Baltimore Ravens.