What they do, not what they say

The NFL BS meter is at the highest level from the time the playoffs begin until the time the draft is completed. We are entering the peak of that season. NFL team executives go on multiple media outlets and spew nonsense about their teams' future directions and future plans. In reality, no competent executive would ever reveal any team secrets. The idea is to mislead others into assuming your team will make certain moves when, in fact, there is zero chance of those things ever happening. Teams are watching each other, hoping they can acquire needed players to patch holes at the lowest possible expense while increasing the costs of players that other teams may want to obtain to negatively influence their salary cap situation. A tough game indeed.

Jeff Ireland, Dolphins GM, is a master of misleading others. This week, some hints came out of Dolphins headquarters that the team has a very strong interest in Peyton Manning. He is certainly a future Hall-of-Famer whose name would certainly excite the public. As of today, it is totally unknown if Manning will ever play again. If he does, it is unknown if he can ever be a quality QB again. Plus, he is one defensive lineman hit away from permanent retirement or worse. Why would the Dolphins plant this story? Perhaps (1) to increase Manning's market value and thus the salary cap hit the NY Jets would take if they decide to sign Manning (they are rumored to be interested in him as well) (2) to throw other teams off the scent because the Dolphins may really prefer to obtain a QB via the draft or free-agency (e.g. Matt Flynn) (3) to give Matt Moore a little kick in the rear and put psychological pressure on him to step up his game or even (4) because the Dolphins might truly be interested in Peyton Manning. I don't know the answer and neither does anyone else except a handful of persons at the top of the Dolphin organization.

The other aspect of BS this time of year are potential draftee evaluations. A team will often feign interest in a number of college players and never draft any of them. Did anyone expect Jared Odrick to be the Dolphins' first round pick two years ago? I think not. Did Jeff Ireland talk up Mike Pouncey last year prior to the draft? I don't remember that ever happening. If the Dolphin brass has an attraction to any college QB, it will never be stated publicly to prevent other teams from holding that potential pick hostage by demanding exorbitant payment in return. A craving for a specific lineman will likewise be kept quiet, hoping he might still be available in a later round.

In my experience, about 90% or more of total draftees never fully pan out in the NFL. I don't have the exact statistics. Most are either complete busts, have short careers, or become second or third-tier players. As Dolphins supporters, we are only too well aware of this. Last year, for example, some draft "experts" were speaking very highly of QB Colin Kaepernick from Nevada-Reno. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. Anyone hear a peep about him since? I haven't. I know Jim Harbaugh helped to revive Alex Smith's career there but there has been no "buzz" about the many QB-starved NFL teams trying to obtain Kaepernick as they are Matt Flynn. There are many such examples.

The best thing to do this time of year is focus on analyzing results and finalized transactions without speculating and fantasizing about things that are intentionally planted and will likely never come to pass.