Now that 20 NFL teams are officially in offseason mode, the rumor mill is beginning to heat up plenty as some big names on and off the field are the subject of buzz around the league.
Here's a look at some of the latest rumors surrounding the biggest names in the league that could be on the move.
Head coach Sean Payton has become a prized target for a number of teams around the league this offseason as it looks like his time in New Orleans could be coming to an end.
Having spent nine seasons with the Saints, Payton, who is under contract through the 2017 season (via Spotrac.com), was expected to be given permission by the team to explore other openings, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter (via Mike Triplett).
Because he still has two more years left on his deal, the Saints would be open to trading the coach. After a meeting with general manager Mickey Loomis on Monday, Bleacher Report's Jason Cole (as seen in the video below) explained that the Saints have set an asking price and delved into the four teams interested.
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According to Fox Sports (via NFL.com's Conor Orr), the asking price is a second-round draft pick.
The New York Giants, one of the teams involved, saw the 12-year run of Tom Coughlin come to an end on Monday, and they are wasting no time in their search. Per Will Brinson of CBSSports.com, Giants owner John Mara said on Tuesday that he wouldn't rule out dealing a pick for a head coach.
Which is good news for Payton, via Rapoport:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
As #Saints coach Sean Payton mulls his future, let me state the obvious: Yes, he's monitoring the situation with the #Giants. Very closely.1/4/2016, 7:37:03 PM
Payton was the Giants' quarterbacks coach and later offensive coordinator from 1999-2002 before moving onto the Dallas Cowboys and then the Saints.
The problem, as Cole pointed out, is that Payton will want a level of control with whichever team he is interested in, which includes overseeing all coaching personnel. For ESPN.com's Dan Graziano, that, along with letting go of a second-rounder, may be why the Giants stay away from him:
This is not, from what I understand, a legitimate possibility. Yes, it seems Payton is looking for a way out of New Orleans. Yes, he has ties to the organization. Yes, he likely would like the job. But the Giants aren't in a position to trade a high pick for a coach, which a team that wants to convince the Saints to let Payton out of his contract will have to do. The Giants' organizational structure is sacrosanct, and they wouldn't want a coach who wants control over personnel. And Payton brings some baggage and a level of volatility that doesn't appeal to Giants management. Don't expect Payton to be a candidate.
For the other teams involved, like the playoff-less Philadelphia Eagles, getting a championship-winning coach is worth the price of a second-round draft pick. Even if it isn't his dream job, Payton is going to continue to draw plenty of interest throughout the offseason.
Whether it's via trade or release, there's a very good chance Robert Griffin III will not be with the Washington Redskins for the 2016 season. Especially after the team's run to the NFC East title with Kirk Cousins under center.
He might not be going too far away from the NFC East, either. According to Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson on Tuesday, Griffin would "love to end up in Dallas."
CSN's Tarik El-Bashir caught a picture of a man reported to be Griffin's uncle on the sidelines during Week 17:
Tarik El-Bashir @TarikCSN
Ummm... https://t.co/YjlFsov2ZX1/3/2016, 5:19:30 PM
ESPN's Todd Archer had the report that Griffin, who was seen engaging with the man and a woman on the sideline before the game, was related to the man (via CBS Sports). However, the Redskins denied that RGIII is the man's nephew.
Griffin didn't appear in a single game this year as the injury-riddled quarterback fell out of favor with head coach Jay Gruden, who went with Cousins instead.
While he doesn't have many fans in Washington, he seems to have a big one in Dallas in Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who spoke with NFL Network in 2014, per Robinson:
I'm a fan of RG3. Right on this [Dallas] field two years ago, or maybe it was three seasons ago, he put on a show and had a great game that just floored me. And [the Redskins] won – and they won in large part because of his play at quarterback. I thought, 'My goodness, we're going to have to be playing this guy for years and years.' So he's got it. … Once you see a player do it, especially if you see him do it two or three times, you know he can do it. And of course he's a driven young man. I'm a big admirer of RG3.
Like it or not, the Cowboys have to address a future without Tony Romo. Having started Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassell and Kellen Moore in place of the injured starter, Dallas displayed that they need to make a move under center.
Of course, the Cowboys also have the opportunity of drafting a quarterback if they'd like. With a top-five pick, Dallas can draft Memphis' Paxton Lynch or California's Jared Goff, if either are still available. Either way, the Cowboys are going to have to address a need at quarterback and a healthy Griffin, which is rarely a guarantee, could be a solution.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com
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