With the NFL trade deadline fast approaching—with some teams exceeding expectations and others already having their fans looking ahead to 2013—it is a time of year when rumors start to heat up around the league.
Let’s briefly took at four NFL rumors that have gotten some attention and investigate their validity.
Will Chiefs Trade Dwayne Bowe?
Dwayne Bowe is currently the Kansas City Chiefs’ leading receiver, and he is coming off back-to-back seasons of 1,150 yards or more, but his time with the Chiefs is likely to be coming to an end soon.
Having signed a franchise tag this offseason, Bowe will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and it is highly unlikely that the Chiefs will re-sign him. If he gets his wish, he may be gone as soon as this week, as Yahoo’s Jason Cole tweeted that Bowe wants to be traded “very badly.”
It would make perfect sense for the Chiefs to trade Bowe, if they can find an interested team. At 1-5, and with arguably the league’s worst quarterback situation, the Chiefs are going nowhere this season, and they are likely to lose Bowe in the offseason regardless.
Considering Bowe is on a franchise tag and would not come with any long-term commitment, the Chiefs would likely be able to command no more than a fourth-round draft pick. But for a contender in need of an upgrade at wide receiver, such as the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets or Miami Dolphins, he would be a smart addition.
Will Cardinals Sign/Trade For A Veteran Quarterback?
The Arizona Cardinals season got off to a great start under QB Kevin Kolb, who started to shed his bust label by leading the Cardinals to victories in their first four games.
The Cardinals, however, have started to free-fall, losing their last three games. Making things worse, Kolb is out for an “unspecified period of time,” according to NFL.com, due to cartilage damage to his ribs suffered in a loss to the Buffalo Bills.
In his first full game of the season Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, John Skelton had a decent performance, completing 25 of 36 passes for 262 yards, but the Cardinals fell short of a victory, losing 21-14. Now, with Kolb out and the Cardinals needing to save their season, should they make a deadline deal to bring in a quarterback?
It was initially rumored by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that Vince Young would work out for the Cardinals on Tuesday, but Pro Football Talk stated that report to be inaccurate. With that said, it would make sense if the Cardinals were to attempt to sign or trade a quarterback to compete with Skelton.
The team will most likely stick with Skelton until Kolb returns, then leave those two to compete for the job so they can re-evaluate the situation in the offseason and determine whether to use an early round pick in next year's draft on a quarterback.
Could Nick Saban Be the Browns' Next Head Coach?
Since assuming ownership of the Cleveland Browns, Jimmy Haslam has already replaced former president Mike Holmgren with Joe Banner. Now it seems inevitable that the new duo in charge of the Browns will replace general manager Tom Heckert and coach Pat Shurmur before the 2013 season.
As Browns fans start to consider whom the team's next head coach will be, a rumor last week from Cleveland radio station 92.3 The Fan set forth the idea that Haslam could pursue arguably college football’s best coach, Alabama’s Nick Saban, to succeed Shurmur.
Saban has had tremendous success in the collegiate ranks, but in his previous stint as an NFL head coach with the Miami Dolphins, he lasted just two seasons before leaving to take his current job at Alabama.
Now, Saban is the coach of the best team in the country and could be on the verge of a second consecutive national championship and third in four seasons. Saban is well-compensated, making more than $5 million per year (via espn.com) at Alabama, and there would be no reason for him to leave the nation’s best college football program.
So it is very unlikely Saban will be on the sidelines for the Browns in 2013.
Is Jake Locker Being Benched in Favor of Matt Hasselbeck?
Gifted second-year quarterback Jake Locker beat out 37-year-old Matt Hasselbeck to win the Tennessee Titans’ starting job in the preseason, but much has changed since the regular season began.
Locker suffered a separated shoulder in Week 4 against the Texans, and since then, Hasselbeck has filled in as the starter. Hasselbeck has not been as strong as Locker statistically this season, but he has helped the Titans in their most important statistic: after losing four of their first five games, the Titans are suddenly on a two-game winning streak.
In terms of whether Hasselbeck would take over the starting job in light of the team’s success with him starting, Titans wide receiver Damian Williams told The Tennessean that he “doesn’t know what we’re going to do.”
Head coach Mike Munchak said nothing has changed with the QB situation, but should the coach’s word be taken?
Yes, it should.
Locker was better statistically, and while Hasselbeck has led the team to back-to-back wins, there is more to winning football games than just who is starting at quarterback. The team believes in Locker as its franchise quarterback, and should go back to him once he is ready to go, only replacing him with Hasselbeck if his performance upon returning is subpar.