Fake Twitter accounts? Old news.
Apparently fake Peloton accounts are the new wave in fooling football fans into believing free-agency rumors.
J.J. Watt was forced to take to Twitter on Monday, denying he even owns a Peloton after a fake account made the rounds with an alleged final three teams in his free agency, fooling many on social media.
The fake post listed the Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills as the finalists. All three teams have been linked to the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Credit is where credit's due: A fake Peloton account is a new and innovative way to make us all look like fools. While we've been trained to look for checkmarks on Twitter and Instagram, the same level of verification isn't as easy on Peloton, the popular exercise bike that's become ubiquitous in the COVID-19 era.
People fell for the fake in large part because Watt's supposed "final three" made sense.
Joining the Packers, Bills or Browns would fit Watt's desire to compete for a Super Bowl after a frustrating 4-12 season in Houston. Green Bay and Buffalo were conference finalists, and Cleveland is a rising team loaded with salary-cap space and top-end young talent.
Joining the Packers would be a homecoming for Watt, who grew up in Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin. He was also a Packers fan during his childhood.
"It was like they weren't human, to be honest with you. It was like they were superheroes. ... It's hard to describe. I think the Packers have this relationship with the state of Wisconsin that's unique and different to almost any other fanbase. It's so hard to explain. I think every kid has a green and gold jersey in their closet, and it's such a unique bond and relationship," Watt told NBC Sports' Peter King in 2019 of growing up a Packers fan.
Green Bay ranked 17th in defensive DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) last season and could use Watt to help fortify a front seven that struggled at times to generate pressure by players other than Za'Darius Smith (12.5 sacks).
The Browns ranked 25th in DVOA and are the team most in desperate need of help up front. Myles Garrett is a Defensive Player of the Year-caliber player, but they struggled to generate pressure from the inside—where Watt has shown himself to be more effective in recent seasons.
Buffalo could also use some help against the run after ranking 17th in DVOA against the run, though the Bills defense is a little more solid overall than Green Bay and Cleveland.
In the end, though, it's all for naught as teams and fans at large will have to wait until Watt makes his decision, presumably on MySpace.