Panic Report: Photoshop and the pitfalls of the offseason

I am a big fan of the offseason. Rampant speculation, rumors, reports, contract numbers, it’s all so much fun. So many players switching sides and so many prospects being dissected, the NFL is a whirlwind of activity. Constant refreshing of apps and pages is necessity and deciphering hopeful fan takes from actual reports, to me, is a big part of the fun. Bad reports can look pretty legit with all the tools so readily available to us in 2019. These days it’s pretty easy to Photoshop any NFL player into any team’s uniform (looking at you, FOX). 

Odell Beckham was in Cleveland colors on Twitter before Dave Gettleman hung up the phone and you can bet that we will see Kyler Murray with a Cardinal on his helmet whether or not he gets drafted #1. Despite knowing these things, I still nearly choked to death on my own saliva when I saw this.

Immediate panic set in and I began working my way through the stages of grief:

No! We need cap space but not this way! Are they going to paint over the pictures of the Miracle on the walls of TCO? For Pete’s sake, does Spielman have no heart? Stefon Diggs literally shed tears over this football team and what did you get for him!? My god, what did they get for Diggs?! 

Of course, we know now that the Vikings have no intention of trading Stefon Diggs and it was a single Instagram post responsible for fans losing their collective minds and a curse-word out of a Schefter source. Although the idea of trading Diggs might be a bit farfetched, perhaps the most significant thing to glean here is the inevitability of another move. Rob Brzezinski is a cap wizard of the highest order but $2 million is not enough space to sign Nick Easton (or anyone, for that matter) and a draft class. 

We knew that the Vikings were going to have to make some moves and adjustments to maneuver around their salary cap situation, but the trades and stories this offseason have been so unbelievable that I can now make a case for even the most ridiculous of reports. I am gullible, anxious, panicky and will believe anything that says “source”, no matter how outrageous the claim may be. Blue check marks mean nothing and my retweets provide the foundation upon which false rumors are built. I am now at the mercy of the offseason.

With only $2 million in cap space and an offensive line that has been begging for help since 2016, one of the reports has to be right, right? One of these random reports will be the trade that creates the space that will allow for a signing on the offensive line. A proven, mediocre, NFL caliber player. If there is no move, that means they will be addressing the offensive line through the draft exclusively and that would be really hard to believe.