I'll come clean. I'm a draftnick. The type of guy that tends to annoy the hell out of Nagler.
Which is why he brought me on to do the stuff he doesn't want to. :)
I. Love. The. Draft.
I love the process, I love the analysis, I love talking draft, I love attending the draft and I love watching the story of it unfold over the course of four months.
I have to say though - I think I'm done for this year.
I'm ALWAYS ready for the Draft by now. Always.
That's usually excitement though, whereas this is exhaustion.
I haven't seen so many ridiculous rumors in a short period in the last three drafts combined. And I'm a guy who loves to monger a good rumor.
I'm not just talking about the purely ridiculous like questioning if Andy Dalton's red hair will be a problem.
By the way - best quote in THAT piece?
“Has there ever been a red-headed quarterback in the NFL who’s really done well?” the coach asked. “It sounds idiotic, but is there any way that could be a factor? We’ve wondered.”
Yeah. That would sound idiotic BECAUSE it's idiotic.
It's clearly something you can dismiss as smoke. Nobody really believes that report and if they do, you can easily weed them out as someone who you don't have to respect in the morning. I'm sorry, I like Peter King but I almost think he'll one day look back at that and wonder what the hell he was doing reporting that. It's almost embarrassing.
No, those are the rumors that really don't hurt a player's stock, don't cost him money and reputation.
I'm talking about more damaging rumors, like Da'Quan Bowers' alleged microfracture surgery bound knee or Mark Ingram's supposed gimpy leg.
Sidenote: I've got a few sources here and there. I'm told Bowers' knee is fine. His stock over the last week? Not so fine.
Or today, Ryan Mallett's supposed 'Dude Where's My Car' evening out which caused him to cancel a meeting with the Carolina Panthers.
I'm sorry - let me rephrase that -or allow a Carolina Beat writer to rephrase that:
@josephperson Joe PersonLeague source says Ryan Mallett blew off his meeting with Panthers GM Marty Hurney during visit to Charlotte earlier this month.
What really made it worse - when this started coming off the rails - was when Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune and National Football Post came out with his report that not only did Mallett miss the meeting, but 'several sources' saw him out about town after dinner with the Panthers.
Biggs goes on to say that no matter how sick he was, one would think he'd make every effort to attend that meeting. Which he did.... but more on that in a minute.
Nobody was saying Mallett was doing bong hits and lines off a stripper's back, but there is plenty of intimating going on in both that piece as well as every other piece following.
It makes sense, right? Ever since earlier unfounded accusations surfaced, Mallett has been dogged by questions of drug addiction and general jerkitude. Heck, in one Football Outsiders piece, they wrote "Mallett's downside is Dan McGwire. His upside is "What if Drew Bledsoe was kind of a dick.""
You pretty much come to the party expecting the cat to be Ryan Leaf: Part Deux. So it's really easy to connect the dots.
What was he doing? Was he reading a book? Was he grabbing some Pepto? Was he drinking heavily?
Where's the context?
For all we knew he had food poisoning.
Low and behold, he just might have.
First, Mallett's agent - JR Carroll- told Adam Schefter that Mallett didn't blow off the meetings, he met with OC Rob Chudzinski and then had to call off the other meetings.
Now, of course his agent would say all that. I mean, what else is he going to do?
You need more?
“Ryan Mallett came for a visit to Charlotte two weeks ago. He had dinner with our coaches the evening he arrived and came down from his hotel room for a scheduled breakfast meeting the following morning upon which time he informed a staff member that he had been sick all night with nausea. We told Ryan that if he was ill to remain in his room as long as the nausea existed. We took him to the airport later that afternoon for his scheduled flight.”
So yeah.... there's THAT.
I don't know if the initial story wasn't vetted, if nobody called the team or Mallett's people or if everyone was in such a hurry to be first that it all went out the window.
I will say this - and I said the same thing when the first reports came up from a small no-name Draft site a pair of months ago - if you're going to hammer someone's rep (and make no mistake that's what this does) you'd better make sure you have your info straight. You'd better take the time to talk to those involved and give them a chance to respond.
You'd better have your A game on.
As far as I know, nobody called Mallett's people. If they did, they should have stated it. Nobody called the Panthers.
Just because the assumption has been that Mallett is grappling with drug issues is no excuse to not at least get a 'no comment'.
It may seem like a small story, but it wasn't. It still isn't. We've seen rumors like this harpoon other players and the Packers' own Clay Matthews had to deal with unfounded rumors when he was drafted. I saw that unfold up close and it bothered me then, just like now.
I'm not saying Mallett doesn't have a problem. Heck, I'm not saying he wasn't pounding shots of tequila that night. I'm saying if you're going to accuse him of something - even if you merely hint - you'd better damned well be sure.
You're playing with a guy's career. It's as simple as that.
I can't wait until next Thursday - when we can put all this 'he said, she said' garbage aside. When we can stop talking about what we think they did - and start discussing what they can do.
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