Dave Tepper

La Canfora’s Latest: Wilson, Peterson, Titans

Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com has been busy today at the NFL’s March meetings in Arizona, publishing three pieces — one on Russell Wilson‘s contract, one on the Titans‘ ownership situation, and one that addresses a few other items of note from around the league. Here are a few highlights from all three of La Canfora’s Monday articles:

  • La Canfora continues to hear that no new deal is imminent for Wilson and the Seahawks, and while both sides would like to get something done, there’s no sense that real progress has been made. The two sides figure to keep negotiating throughout the spring and the summer, but Wilson is prepared to play the 2015 season without an extension in place if need be, knowing that even without a new contract, he’d likely be in line for $20MM+ if Seattle franchises him next winter.
  • Adrian Peterson doesn’t want to play for the Vikings, but there may not be much trade interest in him at his current salary, and Minnesota doesn’t appear willing to cut him either. That may end up essentially creating a game of chicken between the star running back and the team — the Vikes could probably find a trade partner if Peterson were open to significantly reworking his deal, but it’s not clear how much he’d be willing to sacrifice to get out of Minnesota. La Canfora believes the Cowboys, Cardinals, and Washington would have interest at the right price, but that price likely isn’t $45MM over three years.
  • Some team executives around the NFL are growing frustrated with the league for dragging out investigations into the Patriots (Deflategate), Browns (Textgate), and Falcons (Noisegate), questioning why there’s still no resolution on any of those issues.
  • “Lot of people like [Marcus] Mariota a lot more than what you are seeing in the media,” said a high-ranking official for one NFL team. La Canfora believes Mariota will be the second overall pick, or at least a top-five selection.
  • Currently, veteran free agents signed after June 1 don’t factor into the following year’s compensatory picks. According to La Canfora, the league may change that date to May 1 to help benefit players (who could find a home a few weeks earlier) and teams (who could get those players to their facilities sooner).
  • Rumblings about a potential Titans sale have only increased since Tommy Smith left the franchise. La Canfora writes that billionaire Dave Tepper, who currently owns 5% of the Steelers, is considered by some league insiders as the favorite to land the Titans. However, the CBSSports.com scribe warns not to count out current Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, who is a Tennessee native and would love to own the Titans. While a “swap” of franchises between owners is unlikely, it’s worth keeping an eye on Haslam just in case, says La Canfora.