ESPN's Adam Schefter ruffled a few feathers yesterday when he went on SportsCenter and laid out a few potential trades that were more hypothetical than anything else. Among those, again, hypothetical deals were trades that involved two prominent Indianapolis Colts players—receiver Reggie Wayne and defensive end Robert Mathis.
Schefter postulated that the Bills should send a fourth round pick to the Colts in exchange for Wayne, who is nearly 33 years old and a free agent after the 2011 season. He also included a deal that sent Mathis to the New York Jets for an additional fourth rounder in next year's draft. Mathis is also a free agent following this season.
For most people who bring up trade scenarios—I'm looking at you, Gil Brandt—the potential of the deals can be fairly easily dismissed and tossed away into the blank areas of your memory. But for a guy like Schefter, who is more in touch with the NFL than maybe any member of the national media, these kind of trade proposals carry extra weight. Schefter said right away that they were hypothetical deals, but you have to believe that he's heard a thing here or there that brought him to these conclusions.
You can understand why the Colts would potentially be open for business on both players. Mathis and Wayne are both over 30 years old and coming free agents, which likely means that each will be looking for their last big contract.
Would the Colts be smart to grant each that kind of money with the way their team is put together right now? The Colts at least have to be thinking ahead that far. Trading them now would ensure some kind of return, and at 0-5, they wouldn't have a great impact on the 2011 season.
But in the same breath, trading both would send a bad message to the fan base about the status of the franchise both in 2011 and beyond. The Colts expect to have Peyton Manning back in 2012, and stripping him of his No. 1 receiver and the second or third best defensive player on the other side of the ball doesn't add up.
Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star is of the opinion that both players will stay in Indianapolis through the trading deadline, which is Tuesday, Oct. 18.
"Say what you want about Colts moves, but it doesn’t make sense to deal away what you can’t replace. Maybe Schefter knows something the rest of us don’t. I’m sure the Bills and Jets would love to have both players. But I’ll stick to the belief Wayne and Mathis are staying put. This season isn’t going anywhere, but you would hope based on their body of work that they still have a future with this team."
Again, you have to take what Schefter said yesterday with caution, but you'd also be crazy to completely dismiss the notion he arrives at. While he was guessing, not reporting, his hand into the NFL's database likely gives him a reasonable understanding of potential moves. But until you hear something more concrete than a guess, plan on both Wayne and Mathis staying with the Colts through this season.
Sorry, Bills and Jets fans.