The part of the NFL combine you know -- the televised part, the stuff of which mock drafts are made -- is the so-called "Underwear Olympics." That's the part where dozens of draft-eligible prospects spend the week being weighed, measured, timed, interviewed and evaluated by NFL teams ahead of the draft.
But the reason we come to the combine is because the entire league does. Downtown Indianapolis is a beautifully concentrated ganglia of hotels, bars and restaurants in which, for a week every year, you can find just about every coach, general manager, assistant coach, assistant GM, scout, agent and so on. It is a target-rich environment from a source-building and relationship-maintenance standpoint, and for an NFL reporter, it's an annual necessity. And with free agency right around the corner -- teams can talk to free agents beginning on Monday, March 14 -- and the draft under two months away, it comes at an opportune time.
Like a lot of things, it didn't happen in 2021. But it was back in 2022 with a vengeance. And after a week of roaming the streets and skywalks here and buttonholing everyone we could to find out what's going on around the league, we wanted to empty the notebook and present you with some of the stuff we've heard. Let's start with a quarterback whose decision could shake up the entire league:
Jump to a big topic:
Latest on franchise tag candidates
Under-the-radar free agents to watch
A new role for Bill Belichick?
What's up with Russell Wilson and Seattle?
Which teams could draft a QB early?
The latest on Carson Wentz's situation
Potential trade or cap-casualty candidates