BS Meter on Latest NFL Free Agency and Trade Buzz, Rumors

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IMarch 10, 2019

BS Meter on Latest NFL Free Agency and Trade Buzz, Rumors

0 of 8

    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Prepare for a few days of unrelenting NFL rumors. 

    The new league year begins Wednesday, marking the official start of free agency. Teams are allowed to commence negotiations with players two days earlier. At no point during the offseason, save for possibly the week before the April 25-27 draft, will the talk be as heavy and intriguing as during the lead-up to Wednesday.

    It's time to analyze some of the biggest rumors heading into free agency. We'll break them down on the believability scale, rating each between one and 10—with one being true and 10 being total B.S.


Colts Interested in WR Tyrell Williams?

1 of 8

    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Tyrell Williams and the Indianapolis Colts look like a match made in free-agency heaven. 

    Not only are the Colts one of the teams interested in the 27-year-old, according to Jason La Canfora of, but they also have the massive cap space ($102 million) required to finish a serious run at one of the best young receivers in the class. 

    And don't forget: Colts head coach Frank Reich and offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni both coached Williams while with the Chargers, so there's already a built-in relationship between coach and player. 

    Williams has averaged 15 or more yards per catch for three straight seasons, with seven 100-yard games and 16 touchdown catches since the start of 2016. He could thrive as another big-play threat for Andrew Luck in Indianapolis. 

    All the factors work here: interest, fit and relationships, and the Colts have the money to make it happen. 

    BS Meter: 1

Packers' Aggressive Approach

2 of 8

    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    The Green Bay Packers have a general manager with new ideas, holes all over the roster and the cap space to spend a little in free agency. 

    Not surprisingly, they're expected to be players on the open market. 

    "I think this is the first time they will truly be players in the free-agency market," Jay Glazer wrote for The Athletic

    The Packers were cautiously aggressive at this time last year, signing Jimmy Graham, Muhammad Wilkerson and Tramon Williams. Starting next week, GM Brian Gutekunst could up the ante and attack a few of the team's biggest needs, including at edge-rusher and safety. 

    The Packers might not have the cap space to spend wildly ($35.9 million), but they have enough financial freedom to target specific players. This is a new era in Green Bay. Expect Gutekunst to take advantage of the situation. 

    BS Meter: 2

Eagles Interested in RB Tevin Coleman?

3 of 8

    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Eagles have often been mentioned as a potential landing spot for Le'Veon Bell, but another dual-threat running back headed for free agency might be the team's real target. 

    According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Eagles "will be players" for Falcons running back Tevin Coleman, who gained over 1,000 total yards and scored nine touchdowns in Atlanta last season. 

    The idea looks like a natural fit between player and team. Coleman has emerged as a capable runner and receiver, and the Eagles—who continue to value versatility at running backhave a big need at the position this offseason. Signing Coleman could represent a more financially viable option for the Eagles than pursuing Bell, even if they aren't perfectly symmetrical talents. 

    The only roadblock is the number of teams that could compete with the Eagles for Coleman's services. As long as the price stays reasonable, Coleman must be considered a potential answer to the Eagles' hole at running back. 

    BS Meter: 3

Packers, 49ers Want Dee Ford?

4 of 8

    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Two teams are on the hunt for Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Dee Ford, who received the franchise tag  last week. 

    According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, both the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers have expressed interest in trading for Ford, the soon-to-be 28-year-old who tallied 13 sacks and seven forced fumbles in Kansas City last season. 

    The Packers and 49ers both have a major need at edge-rusher and the cap space to pull off the trade and complete a new, multiyear deal with Ford. 

    But what kind of compensation will the Chiefs want? Any team trading for Ford will have to be on board with relinquishing a draft pick—most likely a high one—and giving Ford a market-level contract. 

    Also, if the Chiefs don't find a deal they like, they can simply hold on to Ford for another year at $15.4 million

    A trade makes plenty of sense, especially if the Chiefs don't love Ford's fit in Steve Spagnuolo's new defense, so keep an eye on the Packers, 49ers and any other pass-rushing-needy team as free agency looms. 

    BS Meter: 4

Bennett Brothers in New England?

5 of 8

    Buda Mendes/Getty Images

    Could the Patriots finally unite the Bennett brothers?

    According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Martellus Bennett is interested in coming out of retirement to play with his brother, Michael, who was traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Patriots on Friday.

    Martellus played for the Patriots during the 2016 season and again in 2017 after a brief stint with the Packers. He retired after 2017 and didn't play in 2018.

    However, the opportunity to finally play with his brother might too good to pass up. And the Patriots have a need for another tight end after releasing Dwayne Allen. Bennett did just turn 32, and he caught only 30 passes his final season, but he succeeded in the NFL as both a blocker and receiver.

    The Bennett brothers and McCourty brothers in the same locker room? It's looks possible.

    BS Meter: 4

Patriots Interested in Randall Cobb?

6 of 8

    Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images

    Could the Patriots go bargain-bin shopping at slot receiver in free agency? 

    According to Jay Glazer of The Athletic, they attempted to trade for Cobb at some point last season but were turned away. Glazer also believes New England will continue searching through the open market for possible solutions at receiver. 

    No compensation other than a competitive salary will be required to get Cobb in New England this offseason, as the Packers' 2011 second-round pick is an unrestricted free agent after eight productive seasons in Green Bay. 

    While Cobb struggled with injuries and limped to the finish line with only 38 catches in nine games with the Packers last season, he could be reborn in New England's short passing game as a secondary slot option for Tom Brady. And after his injury issues in 2018, Cobb might have an affordable price tag. 

    The one problem: The Dolphins might have provided the Patriots with a better option when they released Danny Amendola. Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports Amendola is interested in a return to New England, which would likely block Cobb. 

    BS Meter: 5

Top Pass-Rushers on the Move?

7 of 8

    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    Jadeveon Clowney, Frank Clark and Dee Ford all received the franchise tag from their respective teams, but other clubs haven't given up on acquiring them via trade. 

    According to Jay Glazer, interest has been high in trading for "premium pass-rushers," and Clowney, Clark and Ford fit the bill. 

    Just about any team with a need at pass-rusher and the necessary cap space would be interested, but the deals are complicated. Not only would the teams have to agree on compensation for a deal, but the new team and player would have to agree on a multiyear contract. 

    Maybe the Texans will struggle to find common ground with Clowney. Maybe a team will offer the Seahawks a package they can't turn down for Clark. Maybe Ford isn't a fit in Kansas City's new defense. That's a lot of maybes. 

    Top pass-rushers are always in demand, and teams often bend over backward to acquire them and keep them. The guess here is the Texans, Seahawks and Chiefs all find ways to keep their top pass-rushers, even if trade interest is high. 

    BS Meter: 5


Giants Signing Nick Foles?

8 of 8

    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The Jacksonville Jaguars are widely believed to be the front-runners to land Nick Foles, the top quarterback prize headed for free agency. 

    But don't sleep on a potential surprise team. Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst recently reported the New York Giants are "very interested" in signing Foles, especially after the Philadelphia Eagles declined to give him the franchise tag. 

    The obvious connection is between Foles and Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, who was the Eagles offensive coordinator during Foles' first stint in Philadelphia. He also watched helplessly from the Vikings sideline as Foles eviscerated the Minnesota defense during the NFC Championship Game after the 2017 season. 

    While past relationships between coaches and players often create future partnerships, Foles won't pass up the opportunity to lead a talented roster in Jacksonville as the No. 1 quarterback—especially if the alternative is joining Eli Manning in New York. 

    BS Meter: 8

    Salary-cap info provided by Over The Cap.