You'd think on the Saturday night after the conclusion of the NFL Draft, life for a pro football blogger would be focused on one, very obvious thing. Not surprisingly, the NFL Draft. Organizing the pile of presents under the offseason tree and separating the fun stuff from the boring, practical stuff. The things you can't wait to play with from the things you'll stick behind the chair until you can recycle them into birthday presents for kids who have cooties or drop in the Toys for Tots box next fall.
But when the best unsigned free agent wideout in the league picks this particular moment to Tweet about the best wideout currently demanding a trade? You're left with no choice but to jump out of bed to what is the matter.
What the actual what is this?
It's not like when it comes to breaking major NFL news Odell Beckham Jr. is Adam Schefter, Ian Rapoport or Jay Glazer. But it's not out of the realm to think that maybe he has some connection to Deebo Samuel and therefore might now something those guys and their colleagues might not.
But then on the other hand, OBJ is a mercurial crackpot who has drawn a hundred unsportsmanlike penalties, proposed marriage to a kicking net, and spent several years underachieving on his way to unemployment. If he's not a reliable player, it's hard to call him a reliable source. Which isn't stopping the photoshoppers from taking his ball and running with it:
Sometimes with regret:
The side of my brain that handles logic and reason (and gets smaller by the day) wants to talk sense right now. To point out how much the Patriots currently have invested in their receiver corps, and their utter lack of cap space for a player who is saying $22 million a year will get him signed. But this OBJ Tweet doesn't deserve that kind of logic.
Instead, it might be a very good case for the last thing in the world I thought I'd be advocating for: Censorship.
As long as we're having a national debate about social media controlling content and the Department of Homeland Security adding an office just to counter what it deems to be "disinformation," perhaps we as a people need to address this pernicious and dangerous form of false narrative on the internet. The American people deserve better than to be lied to about something as important to our democracy as NFL trade rumors.
Until then, allow me to kill this particular report in the nest. It would be great if it was real. But not in this lifetime. Disregard. Fake news.