Shhhh, this is just now breaking and it’s hot. The Miami Dolphins are set to draft Dee Milliner. It’s a done deal as they have officially begun negotiations with the Jacksonville Jaguars. They are also negotiating with the San Francisco 49′ers to move down to 31 as well. And if you believe that I may have a few friends in Arizona with some ocean front property.
Welcome to the month of April…well, almost. Apparently the rumor mills that have started churning didn’t look at the calendar to see that the month of March isn’t quite over yet. It’s fitting that the month of April starts out with April Fools Day and is the home to the draft as well. Over the next few weeks you will hear so much more of what I just made up above. Yes, I made them up. Why? To prove a point.
Nothing between now and April 25th can be believed unless it gets announced on April 2nd through the 25th on NFL.com or the teams official site, or an agent, or by some other means indicating a trade that moves a team up or down the pipeline. Everything else is shall we say, planted. Rumors start out simply enough. Someone on that website reads an interesting article on another site, then speculates, and posts their speculation only to have someone pass it along as the latest hot rumor.
In addition, to make matters worse, NFL teams use this time to play the agents, the local and national media, and at times even their friends. It’s not unheard of for a GM to drop a name in passing or elude to a trade that really isn’t being discussed. Case in point, a new rumor has the Dolphins interested in moving up to draft a left tackle. O.k., makes some sense as the Dolphins have a need presumably for a left tackle. They also have plenty of picks to make a move a few spots up to land one. But guess what? They have no idea who is going to be at any given spot when the actual draft rolls around.
A lot of this happens, at least from the team, to give the impression they love this guy while really loving that guy over there. By deflecting their interest in someone they can either A: Keep teams from jumping over them to take the guy they really want or B: Get a team to jump over them and take a guy they don’t want and moving a team that might want their guy out of their way.
As an NFL fan it’s actually exciting to see all the rumors and then watch the draft roll around and come from left field. In 2007 we watched Cam Cameron and Randy Mueller put on a brilliant display of deflection by getting almost everyone to believe that QB Brady Quinn was their target. Of course they could just as easily told everyone that Ted Ginn, Jr. was their target and he still would have been there. The point is it happens.
Rarely will a team not at the front of the draft make the bold move of really letting anyone know their intentions. For this reason the month of April is a month of lies. You can’t believe the beat writer with his sources because his sources could have fed him all year simply to yank his chain in April. This isn’t a Miami Dolphins scenario but an entire NFL scenario. Every team is doing it and every team will use it to their best advantage.
Of course the only ones that really know what is going on is the principal parties involved, the rest of us get to sit back and wait for the pick to be announced. It’s one of the reasons that the NFL Draft is so popular. There is a build up to it. A big build up. The entire month of April…and the end of March.
Happy Rumor mongering! I’ll be sure to post as many of them as I can as they come along.