If the NFL offseason has not excited you yet, stay tuned.
Between the draft and signings or trades involving star players, many important offseason moves have yet to be made. Potential headlines that would further shake up the offseason include:
Sam Bradford goes No. 1 to the Rams
Why it could happen: The Rams need a quarterback, and Bradford is the best one in this draft. Taking Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy would be a safer choice for the Rams, because both defensive tackles are considered can’t-miss. But after passing on Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez in recent drafts, the Rams cannot afford to pass on Bradford unless they are convinced he will not be that good.
"I think it’s more than a 50-50 chance that Bradford winds up going No. 1," ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said during a conference call. "It’s (quarterback) their biggest need, it’s the most important position. He has everything you look for when trying to find a quarterback that can be a franchise guy and a very good starter for you, from the accuracy, to the intelligence, to the toughness and intangibles.”
What the Rams do at No. 1 will have a huge impact on an unpredictable draft. The Lions (No. 2) don’t need a quarterback, and will probably take either Suh or McCoy. But the Redskins will have an interesting decision at No. 4. If Bradford is gone, do the Redskins like quarterback Jimmy Clausen enough to take him at No. 4, when they badly need a left tackle like Russell Okung? And will anyone be bold enough to trade up for Clausen or Bradford, the way the Jets traded up for Sanchez last year? No matter how it plays out, the draft will be fascinating, with plenty of second-guessing afterward.
The Eagles trade one of their quarterbacks
Why it could happen: Having Vick as a No. 3 quarterback is a luxury, not a need. I still do not believe Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, and Michael Vick all will be with the Eagles by Week 1. Moving Vick is the most likely scenario. Somebody will offer something for Vick that the Eagles have to think hard about, either before the draft, during the draft, or during July and August when injuries start to occur.
Kolb is the Eagles’ quarterback of the future and is probably the least likely to be moved. Next season could be McNabb’s last with the Eagles. But only an overwhelming offer would make the Eagles trade McNabb before he gets a final chance to win a Super Bowl. Vick is the quarterback the Eagles should trade.
Brandon Marshall is traded to the Jets
Why it could happen: The Jets need a wide receiver, they are not afraid to make bold moves, and the Broncos are willing to part with Marshall. Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum was evasive when asked during a conference call last week whether he and coach Rex Ryan have discussed trading for Marshall.
"He’s under contract with another team," Tannenbaum said. "Rex throws a lot of ideas at me. I throw a lot at him. We talk about a lot of things, but we’re excited about the receivers we have."
Giving up a first-round pick is not too expensive for Marshall, especially for a contender like the Jets. He is a proven NFL playmaker, better than any wide receiver the Jets are going to get in this draft. Marshall turns 26 on Tuesday, meaning he could help his next team for years. Getting Marshall would make Sanchez a better quarterback, and the Jets a better team.
Tim Tebow is drafted no later than the second round
Why it could happen: Teams love his attitude, work ethic and willingness to change his throwing motion. He will spark fan interest and publicity, and the NFL is a quarterback-driven league.
After watching Tebow at the Senior Bowl, I felt that any NFL team that drafted him in the first two rounds was taking a huge gamble. I still feel that way, as do many others, including McShay.
"In the first two rounds, you have to draft players who can start, and hopefully right away, or at least the second year," McShay said. "The team that drafts Tim Tebow and expects him to play in the first two years, that’s just not fair. He’s not ready."
But Tebow is scheduled to visit at least five teams before the draft – the Browns, Bills, Seahawks, Redskins, and Patriots. With so many teams interested, I think somebody will pluck Tebow no later than the second round, and hope he proves to be worth it.
Clifton Brown is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.