We're in the middle of what is known as silly season. The breaking news and rumors are flying everywhere and it's hard to know what to believe and what to not put too much stock into.
The scouting combine clears up a lot of the smoke that may be out there, but for now, we are forced to simply go by what may be floated out there.
What exactly makes sense and what's just blatant information to pass over time until the evaluation process cranks back up? I have a few topics and opinions that are worth discussing.
The Panthers Moving On From Cam Newton
While it's still premature to get a gauge on exactly what owner Dave Tepper, general manager Marty Hurney and new head coach Matt Rhule want to doo with the Cam Newton, it is a bit odd that the only words that we have heard concerning the situation is Tepper mentioning that he has “said again and again, it's a question of how healthy he is. That's the No. 1 overwhelming thing. Everything comes from that."
I understand the reasoning for slow playing the entire ordeal as Newton is one of the most iconic athletes in franchise history. The former first-overall pick is scheduled to count $19 million against the teams salary cap and if he's traded or released, the team could save all of that amount going forward, but like we have seen in years past, the team has yet to come out and fully commit to the former Heisman Trophy winner.
Newton has repeatedly reiterated that he would love to return to the only team that he knows, but the team has been hesitant with their approach to him considering his injury history. As we saw during his tenures at Temple and most recently with Baylor, Rhule is known for building teams from the ground up. Locked into a seven-year contract, the thinking may be "does Newton really make sense for the teams long-term future?" It's a debatable proposition that may are waiting to gain clarity on as it will give a better sense of which direction the team may be headed towards — whether that's with out without Newton.
Taysom Hill Becoming the Saints Starting QB
A strong quote surfaced last week from Taysom Hill where he felt as if it was time for him to be a full-time quarterback instead of the utility player that the New Orleans Saints are currently using him as. He hasn't made it a secret that he feels as if he can play the position at a high level, but reports were released that the Saints feel as if he can be an eventual successor to Drew Brees.
If the teams had those thoughts originally, then why was Teddy Bridgewater the No. 2 option and Hill remained an emergency option in case the former first-round selection suffered an injury. Not to mention that the team also gave Bridgewater a record amount to return as the backup to the Super Bowl winning QB. All in all, it seems like a negotiation ploy from both sides to create leverage.
The Lions Trading Matthew Stafford
In one of the more unusual rumors to come out this offseason, there was chatter that the Detroit Lions may entertain the idea of trading long-time QB Matthew Stafford. Examining his contract and seeing that he has a gigantic $32 million dead cap hit should end all talks of him playing elsewhere. On top of that, Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn are fighting for their lives during the 2020 season. With that in mind, I don't see a situation where they would trade sure thing in Stafford for an unknown rookie or veteran.
Teams Inquiring About Andy Dalton
Whether as the starter or primary backup, Andy Dalton's days with the Cincinnati Bengals are clearly numbered. As a result, it makes sense why many teams would be seeking to acquire his services. A mediocre option at best, Dalton brings a level of play that some teams would like to have. Considering that his career has been marked by playing near the middle of the pack, it would make sense why teams are beginning to call about the veteran. If not in Cincinnati, Dalton could a bridge-gap to hold down the fort until a younger option is ready to takeover.
Teams Trading Up to the No. 3 Overall Pick
It's tough to call anything a foregone conclusion in the draft, but it seems that way with the first two picks in the upcoming draft. The draft starts at the third overall pick and the Lions have a prime opportunity to cash in on QB-needy teams. A roster that has a plethora of holes, it would be wise to trade back in order to acquire more draft picks in hopes of finding promising players.
The franchise is in a similar situation as what we saw prior to the 2018 draft when the New York Jets traded up with the Indianapolis Colts to acquire Sam Darnold. With those picks, Chris Ballard was able to find Darius Leonard and Braden Smith. The Lions are entering what looks to be a make or break year, but the roster remains in flux and one that has a host of needs in order to return to turn it around. For teams like the Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers, and even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we could see them negotiate deals to where they effect this site then I'm okay.