General managers around the league are prepping in earnest for the most grueling few days of the offseason schedule. But that doesn't stop them from pursuing free agents, looking at trades and investigating any other moves that could improve their roster.
These rumors could have an impact on how the draft goes down, and we've got you covered on the latest buzz around the league.
Charles Woodson Could Be Headed To San Francisco
Woodson has been lamenting the fact that his name hasn't been generating any buzz from teams looking to sign a safety. He told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport recently that he hadn't heard from any teams and that teams considered him "ancient":
Charles Woodson says on @nfl_am he hasn't heard from Ravens "or anyone else, for that matter" in FA. Acknowledges he's considered "ancient"— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 5, 2013
The only team that has had Woodson in for a visit is the 49ers, which hosted Woodson back in mid-March.
According to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, general manager Trent Baalke hasn't ruled out the possibility of signing Woodson as of April 17:
GM Trent Baalke says 49ers are "still interested" in free agent Charles Woodson.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) April 17, 2013
This is a match that makes sense for both parties, unless Woodson is looking for more money than the 49ers are willing to pay. The team lost Dashon Goldson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency, and though it signed Craig Dahl, an upgrade is still needed.
The 49ers will almost certainly pick up one or two safeties in the draft, but adding Woodson would be a smart move. He'd be the perfect mentor—along with current safety Donte Whitner—to teach the young men how to prepare both mentally and physically for the rigors of an NFL season.
Branden Albert Could Be Headed To Miami In a Trade
The Chiefs have had Albert dangling like a carrot on a string for any team interested in making a trade for the past month or so.
Will Branden Albert be traded to the Dolphins before the draft?
ESPN.com's John Clayton first reported that the Miami Dolphins could potentially land Albert for one of the team's two second-round picks back in March.
Only days later, USA TODAY's Mike Garafolo reported that Kansas City was "actively shopping" Albert, and the team has been in that mindset ever since.
The Dolphins remain interested in trading for Chiefs tackle Branden Albert...Miami is among the teams to discuss a deal with the Chiefs and continues to pursue that option, sources said, with the Chiefs seeking at least a second-round pick in return.
Given Miami's consistent reported interest in Albert, this is one rumor that could become reality, and it could happen before the draft.
The Atlanta Falcons Could Make Another Bold Trade in the NFL Draft
The Falcons famously traded up for Julio Jones a couple of years ago—a deal that cost the team dearly in draft picks, but one that also paid dividends for Atlanta's offense.
Team general manager Thomas Dimitroff could be ready to pull the trigger on another trade to leapfrog up the first round, according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King:
Hearing the Falcons are trying to trade up from number 30 in the first round, and not, obviously, for a quarterback.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) April 17, 2013
King doesn't divulge any more information than that, but another plugged-in journalist has an idea about what the Falcons could do with such a move.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution hypothesized recently that the Falcons could attempt to land one of the top cornerbacks in the draft:
A study of general manager Thomas Dimitroff’s drafts reveals he’s going to make a trade and it may be a very big one to move up and get a corner. But which one? Does he go all the way into the top five to get Milliner or into the top 20 to get Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes or Washington’s Desmond Trufant?
All three cornerbacks will likely be in high demand on draft day, and it could cost the Falcons a king's ransom to pull off a trade for one of them. That said, Dimitroff has proven he's not scared of making bold moves to land players he likes.
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