The time has come: It's Tebow Time.
Or…Tebow trade rumor time.
Back when the backup-turned-quarterback-turned-backup was shipped to the New York Jets in March, many predicted that the team would either have to commit itself to benching Mark Sanchez or trading Tebow if it was middling at midseason.
Well, the Jets are middling, and their loyalties apparently lie with Sanchez.
We know what that means—or do we?
Here's the latest on whether Tebow is really on the move, and more, in fact-or-fiction NFL trade rumors.
Take those Tebow trade rumors with a grain of salt, because according to Jets sources, he isn't going anywhere.
According to NFL.com's Albert Breer, the rumor that Tebow will be headed to the Jacksonville Jaguars before Thursday's trade deadline is just a bunch of malarkey. He says New York and Jacksonville haven't even discussed the possibility.
On Tuesday, ActionJaxNews.com's Steve Wrigley published a report that the Jags were attempting to acquire Tebow, citing unnamed sources. The move to Florida would make sense, as that's where Tebow won two national championships in college.
Alas, it's not going to happen.
According to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, there are two Carolina Panthers players drawing substantial trade interest. We already knew about DeAngelo Williams, but the quasi-surprise is that Steve Smith may be on the market as well.
Person wrote that one unnamed NFC team inquired about the wide receiver on Sunday, but did not make an offer, and there haven't been any follow-up talks. He added that Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported that there have been "multiple" inquiries about Smith.
There may be interest, but whether Carolina plans on moving either of its offensive stars is the question—and if you believe head coach Ron Rivera, the answer to that question is "no." He told Person that the Panthers are "not looking to move anybody or send anybody away."
Could Rivera be posturing? Maybe. Given the fact that the Panthers just fired their GM, it seems that they could be approaching rebuilding mode.
Verdict: Possibly Fact
Given the fact that Peter King recently awarded this rumor a 55 percent chance of coming to fruition, it would seem, objectively, that it's veering far closer to fact than fiction.
On Monday, Sports Illustrated's King wrote that "Steven Jackson could be moved" because he has "a couple of good years left in the tank" and the Rams are going nowhere fast.
An AFC source told King on Monday:
Even though he's due a lot of money he's got real value for a contender because he can still play, and there're a few teams out there that really need a running back.
There are a lot of good teams with injuries at running back that would be willing to pay the price for Jackson, who has spent the entirety of his eight-plus-year career with St. Louis. He's only rushed for 403 yards and a touchdown this season, but he's compiled seven consecutive seasons of 1,000-plus yards.
Some team will be unable to resist that consistency.
Rumor has it that the Detroit Lions are in the hunt for some defensive help as Thursday's trade deadline approaches.
The Lions are interested in acquiring "a safety with starting experience," according to The Detroit News' Josh Katzenstein, because they don't know when Amari Spievey—who's dealing with a concussion—is returning.
Their pass defense currently ranks ninth in the NFL, and they'd ideally like to keep it that way, but might need some help to do so.
Obviously, the Lions would like to bolster their secondary with a veteran safety. The big question is, who is on the market and what are Detroit's chances of reeling him in?
Not good, at least according to Katzenstein. He reported that the chances of the Lions meeting the asking price to bring in a player better than their current safeties are "unlikely."
There are a couple of things we know: Tennessee Titans tight end Jared Cook wants out, and there are more than a few teams that may be in the market for a tight end.
The one snafu is that the Titans don't seem to be all that interested in fulfilling Cook's request.
According to NFL.com's Marc Sessler, Titans head coach Mike Munchak has no intention of trading Cook before Thursday.
On Monday, Munchak told The Tennessean:
That is not my decision to make, but I don't see that happening, no. I don't see why we would do that. I don't follow that. The agent is calling to stir the pot. This is not the time for those things.
Holding onto Cook makes sense, considering Tennessee isn't completely out of the race this year. There's still time for this team to make a comeback, and it needs all the offensive help it can get to do so.
To Cook's dismay, this means that he is probably staying put.