NFL Rumors: Latest on Odell Beckham Jr. Trade Fallout, Blake Bortles and More

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2019

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Perhaps now more than ever, NFL rumors seem to have more validity. 

These aren't just fun items to talk and daydream about. The Antonio Brown rumblings really turned into something. So did the Odell Beckham Jr. whispers, no matter how poorly it might turn out for the New York Giants. 

With the second week of free agency primed and the draft on approach, the rumors market can only get more entertaining from here. It is hard to imagine anything can top what has already happened, but this is the NFL, after all. 

These are the top rumors making the rounds.  


Stefon Diggs and the Odd Photoshop 

Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

It's no secret the Washington Redskins desperately need help at wide receiver. And based on how things have gone at the position this offseason, literally anyone's name coming up in a trade rumor wouldn't be a surprise. 

Naturally, a high-profile photoshop of Stefon Diggs rocking a Redskins jersey, not one belonging to the Minnesota Vikings, turned some heads. 

Diggs' brother, Treon, posted the image. It got so much traction, even ESPN's Adam Schefter had to check in with his sources (warning: NSFW language): 

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Despite Stefon Diggs trending on Twitter and his brother posting a picture of him in a Redskins’ uniform, he has not and is not being traded to Washington. “F—- no,” said one source.

This being Diggs' relative and the Redskins' ineptitude at wideout made it all the more believable. 

Those Redskins paid up for Paul Richardson in free agency a year ago and only got seven games out of him. Former first-round pick Josh Doctson only scored twice last year, and Jamison Crowder just left in free agency. 

Diggs, on the other hand, is a budding elite weapon at 25 years old who has scored eight or more touchdowns in each of his last two seasons. 

Somehow, someway and knowing how this offseason has gone so far, though, it probably wouldn't be a shock to hear more about this in some fashion. 


49ers Were in on Odell Beckham Jr.? 

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

As anyone even vaguely interested in the NFL should know by now, Beckham is a member of the Cleveland Browns. 

The Giants gave away the 26-year-old and end Olivier Vernon to get back guard Kevin Zeitler, safety Jabrill Peppers, a 2019 first-round pick (17th overall) and a 2019 third-round pick.

Not a bad haul—but the San Francisco 49ers were apparently in talks with the Giants, too. 

According to Jay Glazer of The Athletic, the Giants wanted the No. 2 overall pick from San Francisco in order to make a deal happen. Naturally, the 49ers weren't having it. 

Fox Sports 1's Colin Cowherd chimed in and said Beckham apparently liked the idea of San Francisco: 

Herd w/Colin Cowherd @TheHerd

"There's two teams that Odell Beckham Jr. would prefer to play with: Rams and 49ers... Jimmy Garoppolo with Odell Beckham would be one of most fascinating combos in the NFL." — @ColinCowherd https://t.co/Kitm1UmuWv

It would be unwise to suggest the 49ers are better off without a 26-year-old wideout with 1,000-plus yards in every season of his career but one where he only played four games. Over 12 games, he had more catches and yards than San Francisco's top two receivers combined a year ago. The 49ers need to give quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as much help as possible, after all. 

But the 49ers weren't willing to budge on a top-two pick, which makes plenty of sense. Nailing down an elite prospect for likely five years at a minimum is a good position to find oneself in any year. And the haul for trading the pick away to a QB-needy team might trump even what the Giants eventually got for Beckham. 

It's all about options for the 49ers, who don't mind spending but do value draft picks and flexibility. Browns fans certainly aren't complaining. 


Blake Bortles and the Rams 

Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Predictably, the Jacksonville Jaguars cut Blake Bortles after bringing aboard Nick Foles. 

The Jaguars have plenty of problems on their own. They inked Bortles to a $54 million contract extension this time a year ago and cut him after giving Foles a contract worth a possible max of $102 million. 

But everyone could see the writing on the wall. Bortles, the former No. 3 pick in 2014, got yanked last year after throwing 11 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. The implosion wasn't all his fault, but the spotlight shined on him harder than usual in his fifth season. 

Bortles' market has been quiet so far with one exception, according to Mike Silver of NFL Network:

Michael Silver @MikeSilver

Free agent QB Blake Bortles, recently released by the Jaguars, will visit the Rams on Monday, according to a team source... @AroundTheNFL @nflnetwork

Call it a nice fit for both sides. Bortles and his career 59.3 career completion percentage aren't going to be getting any shots at starting gigs anymore. The Los Angeles Rams just let Sean Mannion hit free agency. 

The 26-year-old isn't likely to experience some sort of revival under Sean McVay, but going to a team with such a stellar offensive staff at least gives him a chance to shine if he happens to get in games. 

Even if he doesn't get in games, Bortles could still be joining a winner in the process. 


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