Rumors are fun.
There may be little truth to them, but rumors give hope to every fan that sees a big free agent on their favorite team’s horizon. They give us the talking points to toss in with our co-workers around the water cooler.
When there’s nothing to talk about, they’re something to talking about.
However, there comes a point when one must wade through the hope and optimism that fuels the big rumors around the league to try and make some educated guesses on where the major players will be suiting up for the 2011 NFL season.
With that in mind, here are seven player move rumors that, in all likelihood, won’t materialize.
Either way, the Miami Dolphins fans have spoken. They want Orton.
One problem. He doesn’t want to go. After apparently turning down a deal from the Dolphins, he’s most likely not going anywhere. Orton wants to start…in Denver.
Unless Miami is willing to put big money on the table, it appears Orton is happy to play out the final year of his contract in Colorado and enter free agency in 2012.
While John Fox and John Elway may not be crazy about letting Tim Tebow park on the bench for another season, they might feel inclined to let the more stable Orton hold the reins for one final season.
With a need for a secondary option to pair with Anquan Boldin after the release of Derrick Mason, the Baltimore Ravens seem to be the leading candidate to pick up the services of San Diego Chargers wide receiver Malcom Floyd.
Floyd has been one of the top young receiving targets in the league after getting his big shot in the 2009 season.
For the Ravens to sign Floyd, the team will have to outmaneuver several suitors including the Carolina Panthers and the Arizona Cardinals.
The Panthers would love to have the big target to pair with veteran Steve Smith to assist rookie quarterback Cam Newton. The Cardinals would also like the receiver to pair with Larry Fitzgerald after the departure of Steve Breaston.
Look for the Ravens to scramble as another team swoops in for Floyd.
The problem—injuries. While Owens and his agent Drew Rosenhaus insist that he will ready to go by the start of the regular season, it looks like teams will be taking a wait and see approach. Owens will most likely fall in with a squad looking for a late replacement due to injury.
Despite the setbacks, I have a sneaking suspicion we haven't heard the last of Owens.
Linebacker Lofa Tatupu has drawn a lot of attention since his release from the Seattle Seahawks.
One of the leaders in the hunt are the Chicago Bears. Both sides have shown interest in making the move, and the veteran would only improve a group that is looking to reassert their dominance on the NFC.
Despite this interest, I just don’t see it going through.
While the Bears will put up good money to go after Tatupu (they still have about $24 million to spend to hit the salary minimum), it may not be enough considering the teams that have even more money to burn through (that’s you Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
Or the teams that could be willing to overspend to land the guy they want (that’s you Washington Redskins).
Don't hold your breath on Tatupu in the Windy City in 2011.
In addition to being a troublemaker off the field, he has a record of dropping balls that can drive teams crazy and take away from his otherwise productive output.
One of the major teams linked with Edwards has been the Arizona Cardinals.
Despite reports killing the move, Edwards could be a decent fit on the squad. With Larry Fitzgerald consistently attracting extra defensive attention, Edwards could find himself with plenty of room to operate.
However, I’m not sure the Cardinals will be making the move. After the positive feedback the team has received in acquiring Kevin Kolb, the team may not be crazy to grab in the negative attention Edwards would bring out to the desert.
It wouldn’t be a surprise for teams to hold off on signing Edwards until they can learn about any potential sanctions heading his way for possibly being a part of a recent brawl at a bar in Michigan.
Edwards, one of the bigger free agents entering the signing period, could be waiting a while for his signing to come through.
After the Philadelphia Eagles’ acquisitions of Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, there are some questions to the future of fellow cornerback Asante Samuel.
Samuel himself has publicly questioned his value to the team after the signings.
If the team knows what’s good for them, they will do their best to keep Samuel in town. With several contenders in the NFC running their offense primarily through the air (I'm looking at you Green Bay), being able to go three deep at cornerback only makes them more dangerous.
Having Samuel walk would completely undermine the progress made in those deals.
Let me say it again. If the Eagles lose Samuel, they will be just fine. If they keep Samuel, they could be great.
Defensive end Osi Umenyiora has caused headaches for the New York Giants with his demands for a new home for the 2011 season.
However, the combination of the Giants demands for as much as a first- or second-round draft pick, combined with the need to give Umenyiora a new deal have turned many teams off.
One of the main suitors for Umenyiora are the St. Louis Rams. The move would reunite him with Steve Spagnuolo, his old defensive coordinator in New York and would shore up a line that the franchise has placed heavy emphasis on in the past few drafts.
However, it seems more likely that the Denver Broncos will attempt to make a play for Umenyiora.
The Broncos, in addition to having one of the larger amounts of money to spend to get to the salary floor (about $27 million), would also love the opportunity to add Umenyiora to a strong young line featuring Elvis Dumervil and rookie draft pick Von Miller.
Don’t be surprised if the Broncos can find a way to bring Umenyiora into the fold.