Sometimes you don’t need the facts to get in the way of a good story.
At his weekly Wednesday press conference, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll got the rumor universe working in overdrive by a stray comment made that got the Twitterverse abuzz that the Minnesota Vikings had made a move for a high-profile offensive tackle, when, in actuality, it appears his comment was made about the signing of Jake Long – a former first overall pick in the draft.
At his press conference, Carroll was asked to comment on the rumors that some high-profile offensive linemen might be available in trade. Specifically, he was asked how difficult is it to make a trade during the middle of the season? Here was Carroll’s response.
“I don’t know if it’s as difficult as whether or not does it fit – is it the right thing to do at this time?” Carroll said. “I saw Minnesota made a big move with an offensive linemen. You can do it. We exercise every option that is out there and we go through every single one that we can think of. We’re always watching and listening. (General Manager) John (Schneider) is all over it to make sure that we don’t miss an opportunity. Some of them have a chance to be talked about. Some of them don’t. There’s financial issues. There’s all kinds of stuff. That’s just normal practice for us. I know that some names have been popped around, but that seems like the close to the baseball season a little bit with the conversations going on.”
What was basically a throwaway line got the immediate reaction that the Vikings had made another blockbuster move. Names like Cleveland’s Joe Thomas, San Francisco’s Joe Staley, Carolina’s Michael Oher and the Jets’ Ryan Clady wee all thrown into the rumor cycle.
This took place despite Carroll including in his comments that the Nov. 1 NFL trade deadline has become similar to that of the July 31 Major League Baseball trade deadline, where rumors run rampant and are often the figment of amateur general managers who are not actually employed as general manager and think trades are akin to fantasy football style deals. Often the baseball trade rumors have no validity in fact, but once names start getting thrown out by one website, they get picked up by others and pretty soon trades that have no basis in fact are being debated on their merits – who will win or lose from this deal.
By all accounts, it would seem that Carroll’s reference was to Long, who was a street free agent that perhaps Seattle had considered kicking the tires on – after all, “John is all over it to make sure we don’t miss an opportunity.”
Yet, somehow, the mushroom cloud hit.
Suddenly, Carroll had an insight into Minnesota personnel decisions. The proof? Before NFL Network, ESPN or any national or local NFL reporters had it that the Vikings had traded for Sam Bradford, Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips sent a tweet saying, “Bradford to Vikings?” at 9:05 a.m. Sept. 3 (time zone not specified).
As it turned out, if Carroll does have some deep intel on the Vikings’ trading habits, the trade in question still hasn’t been announced.
Instead, when Carroll used the past tense in referring to that the Vikings “made” a big move on an offensive lineman, it would appear he was talking about Long.
But, for a few hours there, it was an interesting ride.null