Today’s NFL rumors roundup includes a look at Saquon Barkley’s greedy demands, OBJ’s contract incentives, and the draft picks trade that almost happened.
It’s NFL draft season, which in 2023 is also known as the season of waiting for the Packers to trade Aaron Rodgers to the Jets. If that move doesn’t happen by draft weekend, all sportswriters should go on strike.
The league has other rumors and potential breaking news stories to address in the meantime. Apparently, Giants running back Saquon Barkley doesn’t want to play on his franchise tag? Who would’ve thought. Odell Beckham Jr.’s contract incentives were also released, and they reveal that the Chiefs (and other Super Bowl-contending teams) made a wise choice not to pick him up.
The spiciest rumor of the offseason, though, may be one that is hidden in the past: the Bears nearly traded with this team instead of the Panthers, and that would have shaken up the draft order for sure.
Let’s dive into the three biggest NFL rumors right now.
NFL Rumors: Texans were reportedly ready to trade picks with Bears but got cold feet
The Panthers got the No. 1 selection of the draft and sent the Bears a bevy of picks in return, including a 2023 first- and second-rounder, a 2024 first-rounder, and wideout D.J. Moore.
Carolina now get the opportunity to pick between C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young at the top of the board, but it very nearly was a different team altogether.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the Houston Texans were ready to swap spots with the Bears (Houston had pick No. 2) but got too “uncomfortable” in the end:
It was the draft picks trade that almost happened. In the rumored exchange, the Texans and Bears would have swapped picks, and Chicago would have then traded with Carolina to collect more compensation.
The final draft order for each team in that situation would have been: 1. Texans, 2. Panthers, and 9. Bears.
What made the Texans back off from going up to first overall? Houston’s brass may not have been too impressed with this year’s quarterback class and wasn’t willing to give up future draft capital just to get the top pick.
There was a much easier way for Houston to pick first overall, and that was simply losing the last game of the season. The Texans just had to make it harder for themselves, didn’t they?