As the “reports” stream in of X team showing interest in Y player, a few of the league’s most respected journalists have weighed in to put all the action in its proper context.
Alterraun Verner and Michael Johnson have six and seven teams calling their agents, respectively. But, as Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio notes, unless those teams are independently leaking to the media that interest, the players’ camps figure to be the source of the links — which is nothing out of the ordinary.
But just making a call to show interest is not exactly front-page news. “I would have thought 20 teams would call,” a league source said regarding Johnson. “Maybe more. Anyone can place a call.”
USA TODAY NFL writer Tom Pelissero paints the picture this way (via Twitter): “Any starting-caliber FA should have 9-10 teams express ‘interest.’ Of those, 3-4 are serious. Agent’s job to narrow to 1-2 by 4 p.m. Tuesday.”
Pelissero continues, saying teams aren’t working to give out info. Just because a team calls on a free agent doesn’t mean he’s a priority.
Andrew Brandt, former Packers VP and theMMQB writer, pokes fun at the free agency charade: “Time of year when NFL agents’ reputations precede them. When some say ‘Six teams are interested’ means ‘Two called, I called four.'”
For NFL Network reporter Albert Breer, the tampering period has turned out to be a poker game. “Can’t do a deal yet,” Breer tweets, “so be careful with your cards.”