No need to worry, folks—the NFL may be nearing the conclusion of the preseason, but the rumor market is alive and well.
Some of the league's top stories overshadow it, sure. Most of all, quarterback competitions do the work, with Robert Griffin III the focus in Washington and an odd competition going down in Buffalo. Somewhere, there's a Johnny Manziel guy hanging on for hope (he's out until the season).
There are rumors, though. As one should expect, some center on quarterback. Others surround one of the league's best players and his return from injury, with a surprise potential unretirement for good measure.
Here's the latest, because the mill never sleeps.
QB Market Is Still Alive
Earlier this offseason, quarterback Jason Campbell pulled off a quiet retirement at the age of 33 and nine seasons.
It doesn't mean the NFL wants him to go.
Campbell is an experienced journeyman and one of the league's better backups, most of all because he can come in and run an offense in a pinch. Hence FoxSports.com's Peter Schrager hearing this nugget:
Peter Schrager @PSchrags
Many teams signing veteran QB help. Worth passing along that at least 3 teams have inquired about Jason Campbell. Situations weren't right.2015-8-27 13:38:09
Putting on a presumption hat, a team such as the New York Jets could use the help. So could one of Campbell's former teams, the Cleveland Browns. Before bringing on Michael Vick, the Pittsburgh Steelers might have been one of the teams to pick up the phone.
The list goes on and on, but it isn't hard to see why teams would have an interest in a cost-effective player who completed 60.3 percent of his passes with 87 touchdowns to 60 picks.
As the note points out, it all comes down to the situation. One has to presume Campbell would want a cozy backup situation and a shot at a ring, not to drag out his career on a team with no shot at the postseason. Either way, it's something to monitor.
Cortland Finnegan's Return
Right now is always a good time for players to make a comeback. Teams just went through the paces of the most important preseason game and saw the roster's biggest issues, and hey, here's a veteran who has decided he wants to play again.
Next on the list is 31-year-old corner Cortland Finnegan, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
This is interesting. CB Cortland Finnegan, who said he was retired, wants to play again — as a CB or S. Hired @RosenhausSports to do it.2015-8-27 18:29:43
A willingness to play safety will go a long way for the nine-year veteran, who hasn't appeared in a full 16-game season since 2012 in St. Louis. It's one of the league's worst positions, and Finnegan's declining speed is something coaches can mask by putting him at the spot.
Finnegan isn't the biggest name, but a few years ago, he was one of the best players in the league. At Pro Football Focus, he ranked as the second-best corner in the NFL in 2011. Things took a serious nosedive from there, though, as he joined St. Louis for two seasons and landed in Miami for one.
A change of scenery and position could work wonders for Finnegan. For teams, it would stand as a calculated, low-cost risk. There's nothing wrong with improving depth in a pass-happy league, so long as the veteran shows he can still play at a high level.
For teams in need, Finnegan just became an option to consider.
Arian Foster Latest
One of the biggest NFL injury storylines (besides Manziel, of course) takes the eyes of the globe to Houston, where Texans running back Arian Foster continues to rehab a groin injury.
Everyone should know Foster, the guy who in 13 games last year put up 4.8 yards per carry with 1,246 yards and eight scores. Health has been the major storyline surrounding the Tennessee product over the past four seasons, though, as a glance at the numbers show:
At first, this latest injury sounded quite bad, but Jayson Braddock of ESPN 97.5 reported good news about the pace of the recovery:
Jayson Braddock @JaysonBraddock
Arian Foster Update: Arian has been in Houston working out & expectations are for him to return to the field in some facet by week 2-4.2015-8-27 18:01:40
It's a stark change in outlook based on comments—or lack thereof—by coach Bill O'Brien, per the Texans' Twitter account:
Houston Texans @HoustonTexans
O'Brien on RB Arian Foster: "I don't have any update. He's in here rehabbing." Currently no talk of timeline for return.2015-8-24 18:41:45
The Texans need Foster back in a hurry. Last year, Alfred Blue averaged 3.1 yards and scored just twice. Jonathan Grimes hit a 3.9 average, but in limited usage. A committee approach won't work wonders, to say the least.
One year removed from just missing the postseason, the Texans will start the season without their best offensive player. If things turn for the better, though, it sounds like he won't miss as much time as anticipated.