Honorable Mention - Mike Lombardi: LA Rams tanking for Caleb Williams?
The truth is that if you place an open microphone in front of someone, you have invited anything and everything on that person's mind to the public forum, no matter how zany, far-fetched, or out of touch with reality that person may seem to be in the discussion.
The Lombardi name is tied to excellence in professional football, thanks to the insistence to excellence and passion for the sport that former Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lomardi embodied. But recently, a new Lombardi is making NFL headlines, or are they simply waves? In any case, former Cleveland Browns GM Mike Lombardi has a lot to say about the comings and going in the NFL.
But if you are wise, you will do the opposite of whatever Lombardi suggests, as Fansided Chad Porto strongly recommends. Porto's article was a strong protest over Lombardi's insistence that the Cleveland Browns, having already traded for Deshaun Watson, should trade more draft capital to get San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. In late August, no less. Wow.
As Porto sums it up best in his article: "Lombardi is proving once and for all that he was an abject failure not only as a general manager but as an “analyst.” - per Fansided Chad Porto
Now back to that open microphone. Why would Pat McAfee put Mike Lombardi, and that dubious track record, on display? Lombardi equals controversy. Controversy equals emotional debate. Emotional debate equals clicks and views. And The Pat McAfee Show hit paydirt with Lombardi's lousy takes about the LA Rams:
“Say the Rams start off slow. They're 1-5, 2-6, somewhere in there, and they're heading for Caleb Williams in the draft. At that point, do they trade Aaron Donald to a [contender] at the trade deadline? Do we get an ‘NBA trade' for Aaron Donald, because he's truly their only asset?” - per former Cleveland Browns GM Michael Lombardias per The Pat McAfee Show podcast (above)
Seriously? Whether officially sanctioned or not, the competition for the first overall pick is every bit as competitive as winning a Super Bowl. The problem is, which coaching staff, which unit, which player, is going to buy-in on any covert scheme to stink up a season in the belief that it will lead to the Top Draft choice? Would Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, even Aaron Donald willingly roll over and play dead with the chance to draft USC QB Caleb Williams and start all over in 2024?
Besides, even without the LA Rams Top 3 players, there are worse teams in the NFL who are already salivating over the first overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft. If a battered and bruised Rams team that played the last eight games without Donald, Kupp, and Stafford could not land the top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, don't look for that healthy trio to have any part of a top pick this year.
How do you grade this speculation?