NFL Rumors: Aaron Rodgers’ market shrinking, Watson “baits” a friend, and the Chargers comeback kid

Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

NFL rumors continue to rise as Aaron Rodgers’ market appears to be shrinking, DeShawn Watson lures a friend, and the former Chargers quarterback makes a comeback.

Welcome to the world of NFL rumors, where everything is speculation and almost nothing can be believed. Case in point: Before Derek Carr signed with the New Orleans Saints, many NFL media outlets suggested that the New York Jets would be Carr’s preferred destination.

While the league was waiting for a bombshell graphic from Ian Rapoport or a four-line news snippet from Adam Schefter regarding the Carr-Jets deal, the former Raiders quarterback turned around and went to NOLA.

Karr’s landing with the Saints would likely come as a surprise to all but Karr and the Saints, who are the only ones with actual inside information on the situation. Now, this isn’t supposed to be Aaron Rodgers’ rant on NFL media. They deserve praise – just take their words with a grain of salt.

So, what fantastical new rumors does the NFL have for us today? Let’s take a look at three of the most interesting stories of the near future.

NFL rumours: Deshaun Watson makes new boyfriend in Bengals’ Jessie Bates

Usually when he “makes a friend” to a former alleged sexual harasser, it’s not a good sign. In this case, the situation depends entirely on football. Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson seems to have impressed Cincinnati Bengals safety Jesse Bates so much that Bates would “love” to play Watson in the future.

The two hail from rival teams in North Asia, making their unlikely friendship unlikely, yet something he did or said (again, on the soccer field) clearly left an imprint on Bates.

Jessie Bates loves to play with Deshaun Watson.

This is what happens when the league knows you have an elite quarterback. Things continue to turn upside down in Cleveland.

— Grant Puskar (@grant_puskar_) March 5, 2023

Betts, the Bengals’ second-round pick in 2018, is not expected to earn the franchise tag this year and will be in the process of looking for a new team. When the Cincinnati franchise put him up last season, Bates didn’t respond well, refusing to participate in offseason activities and waiting to sign his tender until late August.

With the Bengals seemingly set to part ways with Bates in 2023, the Star safety could make an adjacent move to Cleveland, though there are some financial hurdles in place.

Bates has a market value of $14 million per year according to Spotrac, and Bates himself has reiterated that he wants to get paid as a top-notch safety. The Browns could go after Bates as a replacement for John Johnson III, who is set to be released in free agency, and there is no doubt Bates’ talent and playmaking abilities will elevate Cleveland’s pass defense.

However, as one of the biggest imminent free agents this offseason, Bates could start a bidding war for his services, making his inflated price tag hard to swallow even for a franchise that sold its soul to Watson.

The other concern here is more of a principle: Why would Bates want to play Watson when he has one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Joe Borough? Thinking Watson is better than Borough is an illusion. Come on, Bates. Don’t be that meme.

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