With Jared Goff and Carson Wentz all but assured of going 1-2 to the Rams and Eagles, we’ve already lost a significant portion of the drama that usually comes along with the NFL Draft.
Fortunately, there are still some interesting storylines to track, as the draft hasn’t really taken shape beyond the top two picks. What’s more, there are still a few teams with unsettled quarterback situations, which could lead to some high-impact trades in the coming days.
For starters, the Eagles now have to figure out what they’re going to do with Sam Bradford, who has been the subject of various reports the past week, despite avoiding any public comments on the matter. He obviously can’t be happy about the recent deal, but he doesn’t plan to request a trade of his own, according to Yahoo! Sports.
With Wentz potentially needing a year on the bench after playing in the FCS, Bradford may still be the Eagles’ quarterback for the majority of 2016. Of course, as much as we hear talk about giving guys time to develop, it’s been a while since an NFL team actually let a first-round QB sit on the bench for his entire rookie season.
If the Eagles do decide to test the trade market for Bradford, they could find interest from both the Broncos and Jets, assuming things don’t get worked out with Colin Kaepernick and Ryan Fitzpatrick, respectively, prior to the draft.
On that note, Kaepernick’s future remains highly uncertain, as the Broncos still seem unwilling to complete a trade unless Kaep agrees to a significant pay cut beforehand. It’s possible one of the sides will relent, but we can’t rule out the possibility that Kaepernick ends up in a quarterback battle with Blaine Gabbert for what will likely be a horrid 49ers team.
Broncos GM John Elway said last week that discussions regarding Kaepernick are “dormant“, citing high hopes for Mark Sanchez as a reason the team doesn’t need to make a trade. Sanchez may be serviceable, but the Broncos absolutely need to acquire a second decent option at quarterback, given that the rest of their roster is well positioned for another deep playoff run.
Meanwhile, the other participant from February’s Super Bowl suddenly has a major issue of its own, as stud cornerback Josh Norman inked a five-year, $75 million deal with Washington after negotiations broke down with Carolina.
It previously appeared the Panthers would bring back all of their key pieces from last season, but the team now faces the prospect of replacing its second/third-most important player. Even if fellow cornerback Bene Benwikere (leg) returns from a fractured right tibia in top form, the Panthers are badly in need of help for the secondary, and there isn’t much left on the free-agent market. ‘Best player available’ may have a nice ring to it, but Carolina figures to aggressively address its one clear weakness during the upcoming draft, even if that means reaching by a few picks.
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Of lesser note:
NJ.com’s Eliott Shorr-Parks thinks the Eagles may try to trade Darren Sproles before/during the draft. It’s hard to imagine the 32-year-old scatback re-establishing himself as a legit fantasy commodity, but he could still be useful to an NFL team as a return man and part-time receiving back.
According to the Ravens’ official website, former No. 3 overall selection Trent Richardson is down to 218 pounds, marking a 22-pound improvement from his high/low point of 240. This could become an interesting story during training camp, but for now, we can still focus on the expected battle between Justin Forsett and Javorius Allen in Baltimore.
Per WFAA.com, Johnny Manziel was indicted by a grand jury for a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from the alleged assault of his ex-girlfriend in January. Further adding to his woes, Manziel was dropped by superagent Drew Rosenhaus, who became the second agent in the last three months to fire the young quarterback as a client. Manziel doesn’t seem likely to play in 2016, and he may be facing an uphill battle to resume his career in any fashion.
On a more optimistic note, Victor Cruz (calf/knee) said he’s finally back to 100 percent health, per NJ.com. Expectations should be very modest, but there’s no question Odell Beckham could use some help, even if the Giants select a wideout within the first 2-3 rounds of the upcoming draft. They should probably do exactly that, as Cruz hasn’t played since Nov. 2014 and the rest of the depth chart is barren behind OBJ. With Will Tye and Larry Donnell expected to compete for the tight end job, it would be quite unfortunate if Big Blue had to count on Cruz to serve as the No. 2 wide receiver.
Final Note: Just as this blog was posted, ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced that Tom Brady’s four-game ‘deflategate’ suspension has been reinstated. This is obviously worth a blog/article of its own, and we’ll have one up within the next couple days as details emerge.
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