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NFL Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Ryan Fitzpatrick, Nick Foles and More

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2016

Ryan Fitzpatrick remains unsigned and atop the rumors market.
Ryan Fitzpatrick remains unsigned and atop the rumors market.Bill Wippert/Associated Press

So much for a quiet lead into NFL training camps.

Normally, this time of year doesn't offer much in the way of rumors. The stray veteran making a comeback or simply taking his time grabs a headline here or there, but otherwise it's a time when teams get the new additions on board and get to work in the heat.

This year boasts a different flavor. There's still a starting quarterback floating around on the market, and his eventual landing spot could have an impact on multiple teams.

Here's a look at the rumors to know as the pads get cracking.

   

Chris Culliver Making the Rounds

Chris Culliver sounds ready to prove himself after an injury.
Chris Culliver sounds ready to prove himself after an injury.Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Chris Culliver is one of those free agents still making the rounds and seeking a landing spot, in large part because he tore up ligaments in his knee last November.

Culliver, a third-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2011, spent three years with the team that drafted him before a six-game stint with Washington.

ESPN's Adam Schefter just revealed it's the Arizona Cardinals showing an interest in the South Carolina product:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Former Redskins' and 49ers' CB Chris Culliver is scheduled to visit Cardinals next week, per source. Cards just signed CB Mike Jenkins, too.

Arizona should know a thing or two about what Culliver can bring to the table after having to deal with him for three years in the NFC West. He's a bigger body at 6'0" and 199 pounds who likes to get physical at the point of attack and man up.

With Tyrann Mathieu likely opening training camp on the physically unable to perform list, according to Kyle Odegard of the team's website, it makes sense the Cardinals would want to bring on extra bodies in the secondary and see who makes it through to the final 53.

Arizona's interest, though, might play in Culliver's favor if it encourages more teams to look his way.

   

Nick Foles Watch

Nick Foles will hit camp with Los Angeles.
Nick Foles will hit camp with Los Angeles.Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Remember Nick Foles?

Foles, a third-round pick only as far back as 2012, has yet to find traction in the NFL. He didn't work with the Philadelphia Eagles over the course of three seasons, then he fizzled with the then-St. Louis Rams in 11 appearances.

To date, Foles has completed 60.2 percent of his passes with 53 touchdowns to 27 interceptions, yet he hasn't done enough to keep an iron grip on a job.

Hence Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News hearing the Rams will keep Foles around and wait for a possible out:

Vincent Bonsignore @DailyNewsVinny

FYI on #Rams QB Nick Foles:Barring a last-second trade, plan is to bring him to camp and wait out a QB vacancy/trade partner elsewhere

Ouch.

Stings, but this isn't the biggest shock in the world. The new-look Rams have a solid veteran backup in the proven Case Keenum and spent the No. 1 pick this year on California's Jared Goff. Foles, remember, sits on a contract that escalates to a base salary of more than $10 million next year, per Spotrac.

Who wants Foles? Hard to say, but it seems clear the team will either go cheaper with Keenum under center for a season or let Goff learn as he plays. At least one team comes to mind as a possible trade partner, though much of it hinges on what the next guy decides to do.

   

The Ryan Fitzpatrick Saga

Said team perhaps interested in a Foles trade might be the New York Jets.

The Jets only have Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and rookie Christian Hackenberg on the roster right now thanks to the absence of Ryan Fitzpatrick, who remains a free agent.

It was easy to presume Fitzpatrick would do a new deal with the Jets and call it a day. The two sides need each other in a bad way. The Jets don't have anyone comparable on the roster, and Fitzpatrick won't find much of an opportunity elsewhere—he's a well-known journeyman who has already played for six different teams.

Stubbornness might have set in on both sides, though, as a note by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler hinted:

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jets have time to close gap, but I’m told as of now both sides haven’t talked in over a month.

This might not soften the blow for Jets fans who want Fitzpatrick back, but it's not like his teammates have heard from him much, either. Wideout Brandon Marshall spoke with Michael Rapaport on I AM RAPAPORT (via Damon Salvadore of the New York Daily News).

“I don’t know what’s going on. To be honest, me and Fitz talk every day, all the time, but I texted him the last two weeks three times and there’s no response,” Marshall said.

Marshall would of course love to have Fitzpatrick back after the Harvard product tossed 31 touchdowns to 15 interceptions last year while completing 59.6 percent of his passes and throwing for a career-high 3,905 yards.

For now, it sounds like neither side can agree on value. Quarterback money remains a fickle topic in the NFL right now, and Fitzpatrick is one of the more interesting cases given he's proven and not getting any younger (33), yet he can produce big numbers thanks to guys like Marshall and Eric Decker.

If this drags long into camp, the Jets have a serious problem. It'd probably be in the team's best interest to not let it do so, which is what Fitzpatrick seems to want.

   

Stats courtesy of NFL.com. All advanced metrics courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

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