Man, I decide to go off the grid for a few days and the rumor mill goes crazy. First, Dave "Softy" Mahler set off a firestorm of internet and radio speculation by tweeting "Heard from a source Seahawks have offered Eagles 1st and 3rd for Kolb."
This caused much consternation among the Seahawks faithful who believe, rightly in my opinion, that next year's first and third round picks would be WAY (WAY WAY WAY) too much to give up for a guy like Kolb. Even Mike Williams, the Seahawks receiver that would be catching passes from the guy, expressed his incredulity. Not the BEST sign ever, but I suppose Williams isn't a paid scout for the Seahawks.
Mahler's tweet was later qualified and the trade was revealed to have been offered in the last few months and presumably before the lockout was in place.
The idea that this trade was offered before the lockout, and during a time when the two teams could have actually made a trade, leads me to believe it's a) untrue, because the Eagles would be MORONS to not accept it, or b) a planted story by either the Eagles or Seahawks to drive up the price of Kolb. Either way, I don't believe it to be a legitimate offer.
(UPDATE: Another option for the above analysis that has been pointed out to me is that the Hawks offered Philly their 2011 1st (#25) and a 2012 3rd for Kolb, which was impossible to be completed at the time due to pre-lockout, post CBA rule ambiguity. My point was that I don't think that a 2012 1st and 3rd were/are on the table.)
If the Seahawks planted the story with Mahler, through an agent or directly, it means they're trying to drive up the price the Cardinals would have to pay for Kolb. If this is the case, hooray for John Schneider and company. If the Eagles are the ones doing the planting, so be it. They're entitled to try and get as much as possible for their now-backup quarterback. I just hope the Seahawks are no longer in the running, especially if it is for the price of a first and third round pick.
It could be a real offer I suppose, and if so, my faith in our front office would be severely tested. We'll see.
The second rumor, like the Kolb 'leak', is nothing really new, and involves Matt Hasselbeck and the Tennessee Titans. Earlier in the week, Eric Williams linked to a Jim Wyatt article that again speculates that the Titans could be very, very interested in signing the veteran free agent quarterback. Hasselbeck has mentored Jake Locker recently, knows people in the front office in Tennessee, and could be a good option for a bridge quarterback until Locker is ready to see the field.
Furthering that rumor this morning, the Titans other likely bridge QB, Kerry Collins, announced his retirement from the NFL. This limits the Titans' choices of veteran game managing QBs and in my mind solidifies Hasselbeck's chances of getting an offer. Whether he chooses to accept the likely offer is now up to Matt. Like Rob Staton, Chris Sullivan, and others have suggested, my take is that the Seahawks have several options listed for their QB conundrum, and Matt Hasselbeck still remains one of them. My belief (hope) is that Matt Hasselbeck is several notches down the list, behind Carson Palmer, Kevin Kolb, and possibly a Mystery Man #3 (UPDATE: or Charlie Whitehurst of course), but if you believe the idea that the Hawks offered Matt $7 million for one year before the lockout went into place, as John Clayton has reported, he may actually be their number one choice for 2011. Time will tell.
The final rumor that caught my eye was one that has been talked about ad nauseam here but has gone mostly unsubstantiated around the league, and refers to the trade-ability of Carson Palmer. There are many people in the national and local media that take Bengals owner Mike Brown at his word when he states that he will not trade Carson Palmer. Danny O'Neil and John Clayton are two vocal advocates of this position and they may prove to be correct in their belief.
Rob Staton, on the other hand, has always maintained, through two separate sources, that there is still a distinct possibility Mike Brown relents and trades his disgruntled franchise quarterback. Staton is not insisting that Brown will trade Palmer, but rather arguing that the option is not completely off the table. Some people have scoffed at this idea based on precedent, but the possibility of Palmer being dealt has been gathering some proponents as of late. Most notably, Cris Collinsworth, a former Bengals player, came out with his view that Brown will ultimately try and get some compensation for Palmer rather than simply letting him retire.
On Tuesday, Shawn Zobel, of DraftHeadquarters.com, published an article detailing some of the things he's been hearing from around the league and it strengthens the view that Mike Brown will, eventually, relent. Zobel has a pretty good track record when it comes to rumors and insider rumblings and though he's not Adam Schefter or John Clayton in terms of national recognition, I believe that he does have some good sources around the NFL. Obviously, as with any rumor, you have to take what Zobel is disseminating with a grain of salt, but in his latest "What I'm Hearing" piece, he hits on a few things near and dear to the Seahawk fan's heart.
On Palmer, he notes: "Among league insiders, the assumption is that Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer will be dealt; the only question is where he will be traded to. According to sources, he'd like to land in San Francisco or Seattle, however it's unclear how interested the two teams are in his services.
The first sentence kind of jumps out to you: that league insiders assume Palmer will be dealt. This goes against what a large amount of media have reported - most notably John Clayton, who has never budged from his stance that there is no way in hell that Mike Brown will do what Mike Brown says he won't do.
Zobel's source notes, in consensus of what Staton's sources have indicated, that Carson Palmer wishes to be traded to the Seahawks. It's unclear to that source if Seattle reciprocates that view, - but there have been a myriad of other reports that have stated Pete Carroll would love to have Palmer's services, so it seems likely.
This doesn't really confirm or deny anything, but I found it interesting nonetheless. Just one more source to add fuel to the Carson Palmer to Seattle fire.
Zobel touches on several other topics, including the much talked about Andrew Luck Sweepstakes, and he lists the Seahawks as rumored 'suitors.' He says: "The three teams that I've been told are hoping to position themselves to land Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck in 2012 are the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, and Denver Broncos."
Interesting, to say the least. It's a bit early to determine what it means to "position yourself" to land Luck - whether it's through 2011 suckatude or a trade of some sort, but it's not surprising he mentions Pete Carroll as a big fan of the Stanford quarterback. Check out Zobel's article for more on that topic.