Welcome back to the rumor roundup, where we look at the five biggest stories of the week, every week.
Some are going to be factual — as in moves that've been executed — and others will consist of the juiciest and most intriguing rumors. There's plenty to cover and plenty to learn, all of which we'll cover below.
Let's dive into it.
One of the biggest remaining free agents is the veteran safety, who apparently is being courted by multiple teams. Mathieu conducted a virtual interview with the Philadelphia Eagles, who have a hole at the safety position with Rodney McLeod on his way out, and K'Von Wallace offering better support as a subpackage player.
That isn't the only team, though. Apparently the Los Angeles Rams are another team to look out for when it comes to Mathieu's market, which is apparently "heating up". Mathieu would join a loaded Rams roster, especially on the defensive side of the ball where the turnover machine would play with the likes of Aaron Donald, Bobby Wagner, and Jalen Ramsey.
Mathieu is likely to be one of the next few big dominos to fall. He is a soon-to-be 30-year-old who's forced 30 career turnovers, chipped in 10 sacks, and has the ability to play either safety spot or kick down into the nickel position, where he offers additional skills as a pseudo cornerback. The vet is coming off a 2021 campaign where he registered a 67.3 overall PFF grade.
There have been conflicting reports, but apparently the Jets might've offered the 10th-overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft in exchange for Seattle Seahawks receiver D.K. Metcalf. It shouldn't come as a surprise NFL teams are calling Seahawks General Manager John Schneider. The Seahawks are not in a position to compete right now and the trade of Russell Wilson suggests the team is headed for a rebuild, whether they want to admit it or not.
Metcalf is eligible for a contract extension since he's played in the league for three seasons. Seeing recent receiver contracts and no championship hopes in sight, the Seahawks may elect to go "all-in" on a rebuild by shipping out a stud like Metcalf, while also recouping a premium draft pick. Metcalf is a monstrous vertical threat who has freaky athleticism and three consecutive seasons with 900-plus receiving yards and seven-plus touchdowns.
The Jets have a promising receiver corps headlined by second-year player Elijah Moore and expensive free agent signing Corey Davis. New York was also able to re-sign Braxton Berrios, who operates out of the slot. None of these players topped 550 receiving yards this past season but it's clear Moore has superstar potential, and totally unironically, also went to Ole Miss, like Metcalf.
There were rumors swirling in recent weeks that Cooks may be on his way to his fifth team, yet instead, he signed a two-year $39.6m dollar extension. Cooks is a model of consistency, having topped 1,000 receiving yards in six of his eight NFL seasons. His size may suggest he isn't capable of offering "X" receiver ability, but the diminutive speedster can dictate coverage and is easily the Texans' best skill position player. In fact, he had a career-high 134 targets this past season and should continue to produce based on volume alone.
It's tough to watch a veteran player compete on a roster void of talent that has no chance of competing in 2022, but Cooks should be able to put together another strong season with Davis Mills delivering the ball.
The NFL Draft is nearly upon us. After spending all of draft season as the QB3 - QB5, Ridder appears to be climbing mock drafts and big boards across the media. There have been whispers that Ridder could actually be the best quarterback prospect in this draft class, and while nobody can definitively say who is the best, the possibility that Ridder is the first player selected at the position is a legitimate possibility it seems.
The quarterback class doesn't seem to have a consensus ranking, regardless of who the source is. Draftniks, teams, and big media all have rankings that vary maybe more than we've ever seen. Some might suggest that no player is worthy of a first-round pick, but teams are so desperate for good quarterback play, it's hard to believe none of these guys go in the first round. In fact, there's a better chance multiple players at the position are drafted in the first round. The only question is, how many go in the first round and how high does the first get drafted?
It shouldn't come as a surprise, but Diggs signed a massive four-year $96m dollar extension with the Bills. The receiver market was re-set in recent weeks with Davante Adams ($28m/year) and Tyreek Hill ($30m/year) receiving massive extensions, and it only made sense Diggs, who was making just $14.4m per year, got some extra money tacked onto his deal. Diggs has been a godsend-like addition since the Bills traded a first-round pick plus three Day 3 picks to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for the star-studded wideout.
In just two seasons in Buffalo, Diggs has totaled 2,760 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. His workload has been fairly consistent with back-to-back seasons topping 160 targets. Buffalo is ready for a potential title run in 2022 and it all begins with the Josh Allen and Diggs connection. The good news is he'll now be locked into Buffalo for the forseeable future, and there may not be a more intriguing QB - WR pairing over the next five years.