The Atlanta Falcons were reported last week as being interested in trading with the Houston Texans to acquire the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, where they would presumably select Jadeveon Clowney. CBS Houston is now reporting that those rumors are no longer true. The Falcons are interested in trading up from No. 6, but not to No. 1 and for someone other than Clowney.
With less than one week to go until the start of the NFL Draft, we are entering the silliest section of perhaps the silliest period on the NFL calendar. The days leading up to the No. 1 overall pick are often rampant with misdirection from NFL teams, so good luck discerning how to interpret a report from a local CBS affiliate. The Falcons may be trying to conceal their true intention of making a run at Clowney, unless, of course, last week's report was the real smokescreen.
Not much is known otherwise of the Falcons' interest in the South Carolina defensive end, except that the two sides have met and the Falcons have a clear need for a pass rusher. However, if the team is looking to trade and take someone other than Clowney, then Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack or Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy would also be reasonable top five selections.
Falcons blog The Falcholic had an excellent break down of the potential psychological warfare being waged between the Texans and the Falcons. The only thing missing at this point is outright espionage.
Peter King said Monday compensation could be two first-round selections, while McClain's article includes at least a second-round selection, potentially more. What do I think this means? Atlanta, the likely source of the reports from Monday, is offering up their 2014 and 2015 first-round picks. The Texans, the source for McClain's article, are asking for more 2014 picks, with the second rounder likely sealing the deal and the third rounder thrown in to be negotiated away.
Atlanta balked at the asking price, knowing no one else is interested in moving up to the top spot. The team decided to not bid against themselves and leaked information saying they have plenty of options, either trading up to two, three or four, or even trading down. The Texans responded by leaking their asking price and claiming interest in Clowney.
The Falcoholic expects the Texans' asking price to drop in short order. Whether it would be enough to work out a deal remains to be seen. If the Falcons are still negotiating, and if we're still feeling conspiratorial, then CBS Houston's report could be another move by the Falcons to force the Texans to relent and offer a much more palatable trade deal.
So we don't really know anything. Like always.