Combine Report 3/4: Free Agent Rumors & More on Reuben Foster
Tony PaulineDraft Analyst Writer
The story garnering the headlines this morning at the combine is the behavior of Reuben Foster as he waited for an MRI on Friday. As with everything else in life, there are two sides to every story.
While this in no way justifies Foster’s behavior, I’m told there has been a lot of disorganization and inefficiency with player visits to the hospital for MRIs, something that has been a problem for years.
Take into the account the experience of Boise State linebacker Tanner Vallejo, who awoke on Friday morning at 3:45 a.m. for combine medical checks. Throughout the afternoon, his schedule was filled with interviews and team meetings. That evening around 7 p.m., Vallejo was informed an MRI was requested on his injured wrist, which necessitated a trip to the hospital.
So he went, and he waited and waited and waited.
Vallejo eventually arrived back in his room at 3 a.m. in the morning -- almost 24 hours later!! And while Foster’s behavior cannot be excused, having players wait in hospitals for six or seven hours for simple procedures is also unwarranted.
I doubt Foster’s anger at waiting in a medical office, something most of us have experienced, will negatively affect his draft stock.
The bench press numbers have not been anything to brag about this year, and several sources have confided in me that they believe the bench they are using is narrower than usual, which has led to lower numbers than expected.
Players are having problems getting leverage on the bench, and many have come off the bench with sore shoulders.
While people applauded Samaje Perine for completing 30 reps, the running back had been consistently pushing up 35 reps in training and expected to replicate that number at the combine but had problems with the bench. Utah guard Isaac Asiata hoped to complete 40 reps and expected at least 38 but finished with 35. He also had problems with the bench.
Pac-12 receivers Chad Hansen of Cal and Darreus Rogers of USC are players who also had issues with the bench.
Sources close to the situation tell me the New York Jets plan to make a big push for quarterback Mike Glennon once free agency begins on March 9. With that being said, the vast majority of people in Indianapolis believe Glennon will be wearing a Chicago Bears uniform in 2017.
Expect the speedier receivers such as DeSean Jackson, Robert Woods and Kenny Stills to receive huge contract offers once free agency begins.
I’m told Jackson will receive a contract that will pay him close to $12 million annually.
The belief right now is Jackson will end up with the Tampa Bay Bucs, as the combination of weather, a big-armed passer in James Winston and no state tax will make it tough for any other team to match.