“We have no intent to trade Percy Harvin.”
Remember that one? It came from Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman, not long before the team unloaded the mercurial wideout on a Seattle team that got limited use out of him before dumping him on the Jets for a bowl of soup.
Granted, Spielman never said Harvin wouldn’t be traded. But the message is that, no matter what a team says, trades can and do happen.
As to Browns tackle Joe Thomas and 49ers tackle Joe Staley, Browns coach Hue Jackson and 49ers coach Chip Kelly, respectively, have thrown water on the notion that either are available. Jackson said Thomas, who nearly was traded a year ago (before the Browns were in full-blown rebuilding mode), won’t be traded. Kelly said talk of a Staley trade is “news to him.”
That’s fine. But keep this in mind: Neither guy is the G.M., and neither guy owns the team. If either team gets what they want (the Browns, we’re told, want a second-round pick and the 49ers, we’re told want a late first-round selection) or perhaps something close to it, whatever Jackson or Kelly are saying now will quickly be forgotten.
Just like Minnesota’s lack of intent to trade Percy Harvin. Or like Jets coach Todd Bowles claim from one week ago tonight that he wouldn’t be benching Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Often in NFL circles, truth takes a back seat to strategic objectives. Which makes it foolish to take anything any coach, G.M., or owner says at face value.