Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Reports now indicate the Ed Reed-49ers rumors might be a smokescreen by his agent to drum up interest. This is not surprising in free agency, and something to be wary of as rumors spread.
As the 49ers' search for a potential replacement for Dashon Goldson moves along, Pro Football Talk sent out a tweet that provided not so unexpected information. Furthermore, it is information that we should remember for just about any piece of news we hear.
Ed Reed to San Fran most likely not happening; per source, it's a smokescreen aimed at creating interest in Reed.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 12, 2013
Aside from incorrectly using the term San Fran (Never use that, never use Frisco), PFT makes a good point about smokescreens. I would content that a majority of what we have heard the last three days, and what we will hear all the way up through the NFL Draft, is pure BS. If not pure BS, then at least mostly BS.
Teams and agents have a vested interest in building up interest in players for a variety of reasons. For agents, the more teams interested in a player, the greater likelihood that they can drive the player's price up. It is hard to have a team negotiate against itself, but if you can create the illusion of competition, suddenly a team might up their bidding price.
For teams, it can be a bit more nebulous. A team might want to force another team to spend more on a given player, thus hurting that competitor's cap situation. A team also might want to create the illusion that they are prepared to move on from one of their own free agents. If that player's market is not great, that might create a sense of urgency for the player to sign closer to what the team was offering.
One rumor that strikes me as an agent drumming up business is the Sean Smith rumors. The 49ers are included, but if the asking price is in that $7M+ range that some people are mentioning, it strikes me as pretty unlikely. If the 49ers submitted a fairly low take it or leave it offer, then so be it. I just can't see them breaking the bank for a cornerback, particularly a guy like Smith who dealt with some inconsistencies. I just can't buy that the 49ers would go all in on him at this point.
For now, be wary as rumors pour in. We'll continue to keep an eye on all of them, but remember that some of the parties very well could have an agenda.