Day one of the 2017 NFL Free Agency legal tampering period is coming to a close with less than 43 hours left until the full free agency window opens and the NFL new year begins.
We went in with Yahoo! Sports’ Charles Robinson tweeting out market evaluations from his sources at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine. We came out of today with...well, not much. There was some Twitter chatter that Kenny Britt was in Atlantic City telling everyone he was signing with the Philadelphia Eagles; while I’m generally uninterested in this kind of public TMZery of Twitter chatter, this sounded very Kenny Britt.
As for the Rams bringing someone in, there was one tweet that caught my eye.
The Washington Post’s Master Tesfatsion (which is one of the greatest names in sports media) reported that Washington Footballions WR DeSean Jackson was expected to test the free agent market and that in doing so was attracting attention from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys. Yes, the lack of a mention of the Los Angeles Rams among that quartet was notable in and of itself. But a follow-up tweet from the Orange County Register’s Ryan Kartje helped explain why:
Not sure what’s the bigger takeaway, that the Rams were “always” pinned on Pierre Garcon or that new Rams Head Coach sees Tavon Austin as an “ideal fit” for DeSean Jackson’s role. Consider that in seven of Jackson’s nine seasons, he has topped 900 yards. Austin hit a career high last year with a whopping 509 receiving yards.
Suffice to say, that’s just one of those system fits that’s very, very hard to buy into reproduced statistical outcomes. And it’s not for trying. Jackson had 56 receptions for 1,005 yards on 100 targets last year. Austin had 58 for 509 on 106 targets.
As we put the free agent chatter to a close for the night, it’s worth thinking through how the Rams address the wide receiving class this offseason.
Is Pierre Garcon plus a draft pick enough for this period? Will the Rams regret not going after DeSean Jackson? And with Tavon Austin looking at becoming an obvious and very guilt-free cap casualty in 12 months, is he playing for his NFL career in 2017?
Fun times. Tomorrow waits.