Eric Reid’s visit to the Bengals, which broke his freeze-out in NFL free agency, went sideways even faster than most would have expected. Pro Football Talk’s Wednesday morning report on the warp-speed collapse of the interview paints a picture of a signing that was never even close to happening.
It also tells you NFL owners are not going to let go of their hang-up about kneeling players — not now and not in the foreseeable future. It’s Bob McNair going on the record in the Wall Street Journal, and Stephen Ross letting his true feelings show at an awards dinner. Now it’s Mike Brown reportedly telling Reid he “intends to prohibit” kneeling-player protests during the national anthem, seemingly presented as a “gotcha” ploy to provoke a reaction.
Why trust their commitment to the one while they stand their ground against the other?
Meek Mill has the attention and support of an NFL owner. Kaepernick and Reid, actual NFL players rather than NFL intro music, must be wondering when their turns will come.
Vikings vs. Broncos, Week 1 — It’s the first week of the preseason so it’s highly unlikely the best players see the field for long, but this will be the first look the league gets at Kirk Cousins in Minnesota as well as a preview of Case Keenum in Denver. Both teams believe a new QB is the missing link to playoff success and will be heavily intrigued to see how the first dress rehearsal goes.
Bills vs. Browns, Week 2 — This one has everything to do with rookie QBs. While both teams picked up viable starting quarterbacks in AJ McCarron (Buffalo) and Tyrod Taylor (Cleveland), each team is absolutely in the market for a QB of the future and both will see significant time in this Week 2 matchup.
Giants vs. Jets, Week 3 — Again, this one is about the quarterbacks. The Jets are rumored to be in love with Baker Mayfield with the No. 3 pick and they will almost undoubtedly go after another QB if they somehow miss out on him in the draft. The Giants could draft a QB as well, but if they decide to go with a running back like Saquon Barkley or a defensive end like Bradley Chubb, the mere presence of talent like that on the field will be highly entertaining.