OMG!!! Former New York Giants' running back Ahmad Bradshaw said today that he had been "thinking about" the New York Jets as a possible destination. Which, of course, led the Internet to practically explode with 'Bradshaw to the Jets' posts and Twitter talk. Including, I suppose you would be correct to point out, this one right here.
Bradshaw to the Jets? How could he? Would he really switch MetLife Stadium locker room and play for Rex Ryan? Sure he would. Right now he doesn't have a job. No NFL player who is free at this time of year is stupid enough to say 'I absolutely won't go there,' limiting his potential employment -- and earnings -- opportunities.
This is really a weird time of year for the NFL, for fans and for those of us who write about the league. Technically, the league is closed for business until March 12. That doesn't stop teams from signing guys who weren't on rosters at the end of last season or cutting their own highly-paid veterans.
It also doesn't stop the rumor mill.
I live in upstate New York, just five minutes from the campus of RPI. Each year during the hockey season RPI has what it calls 'The Big Red Freakout.' You can just imagine what that means on, and around, a college campus.
This month is sort of like that in the NFL. For fans and writers it's time for the 'February Free-Agent Freakout.'
Players get cut. Reporters and bloggers try to connect the dots to figure out likely landing spots. Free-agent players go on the radio or a variety of television shows and talk about what opportunities might come next for them. Every time a player mentions a specific team or city, that becomes 'news' and the 'could he got Team X' stories start.
Truthfully, what are payers supposed to say. You expect Bradshaw, an out-of-work NFL running back, to go on TV and say 'I have a list and I will only play for these six or eight teams?' Nope. He will play for anyone who makes him a decent offer, and he is smart enough not to close doors before they open.
Chris Canty, another recently released Giant, also said he would consider the Jets. Where he would have to play defensive end in a 3-4. Why wouldn't he say that? He needs a job. Osi Umenyiora mentioned the Jets.So did Brandon Jacobs a year ago. Of course they would play there.
When you job-hunt I bet you try not to limit your options. You try to keep them as wide-open as possible.
NFL players are the same way.
This is the crazy time of year when all we have to do is speculate, and all fans have to do is over-react to every tweet or morsel of news out there. All I can say is try not to freak out over every rumor you hear. There is a long time before many real free-agent decisions have to get made, and real news will be made.