La Canfora’s Latest: Trades, Collins, Harvin

Let’s take a look at the latest deluge of notes from CBS Sports scribe Jason La Canfora:

  • La Canfora confirms that the Eagles and 49ers had multiple discussions about a potential trade that would send Torrey Smith to Philadelphia, but the two sides could not agree on compensation. The Eagles would have sent a fifth-round selection back to the Bay Area in exchange for Smith, but the 49ers would not consider anything less than a third-round draft choice. Likewise, the Jets were asking for a “very strong return” for Sheldon Richardson, which some executives believe meant a first-round pick.
  • The Patriots‘ decision to deal Jamie Collins was not about money, per La Canfora, who observes that New England now has only $65.8MM in salary and cash committed to the 2017 payroll, by far the least in the NFL. Indeed, the Pats could have easily paid (or overpaid) for Collins if they really wanted to, but the trade suggests that Collins was simply not in their long-term plans. Some industry sources wonder if the trades of Collins and Chandler Jones suggest that New England is set to splurge in free agency, though it is difficult to imagine the Patriots being big spenders in March. Ian Rapoport of confirms that the Pats did not consider Collins to be a part of their future, and that the team was slowly turning him into a part-time player and was concerned about the locker room issues that such a transformation could create (Twitter links).
  • Percy Harvin was not contemplating a return to the league when he was contacted by the Bills, La Canfora reports. Instead, the Florida product was happily retired and was investigating potential business deals. Buffalo senior vice president of football administration Bill Overdorf first raised the potential addition of Harvin several weeks ago, and other Bills executives got on board when the team suffered a second consecutive loss. Harvin is expected to see at least limited action Monday night in Seattle.
  • La Canfora reports that Chiefs brass is fully supportive of head coach Andy Reid‘s decision to keep Alex Smith out of game action this week, despite the fact that Smith remains asymptomatic of a concussion after taking two significant blows to the head last Sunday. Smith was able to lift weights regularly and work out as he normally would this week, and by Tuesday already had been cleared by an independent neurologist. However, Reid adopted a “better safe than sorry” approach that was heralded by team executives and by the NFLPA. Smith is expected to return to full practice tomorrow, which ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirms via Twitter. Justin Houston is also expected to return next week, according to La Canfora.
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