Where in the world is Rashard Mendenhall?

Justin K. Aller

Multiple reports, sometimes from the same publication, link Mendenhall to multiple places, but that's free agency news. Denver and Arizona are said to be in hot pursuit of the former Steelers first round pick.

Not that Behind The Steel Curtain is immune to such mishaps, but this time of the year is rife with timing errors inside the news cycle. Several media outlets ran stories strongly indicating Player A was going one place, only to be refuted even just moments later with news of that player going somewhere else.

Pro Football Talk reported Tuesday night the Broncos "are likely to add" Mendenhall to their roster, only to have a report just five hours later that Mendenhall had flown into Arizona and is expected to meet with the Cardinals Wednesday.

This naturally begs the question, "did Mendenhall get on the wrong plane?" If he's "likely" to sign with Denver, why is he in Glendale? Better yet, he was likely on the plane to Arizona when PFT was told he was likely to sign with Denver.

Again, this isn't meant to point out the shortcomings of a reporting process that's subject to change drastically at the drop of a hat. It's merely to point out Mendenhall is fairly strongly linked to two teams right now. Interested teams have a way of not letting prospective free agents leave town when they get there, and agents have a way of planting news with certain sources to entice the team hosting the meeting.

While it would make me guilty of the same logic-trumps-all mentality that makes this kind of reporting so hit-and-miss (it makes perfect sense right now to suggest Mendenhall will sign with the Cardinals because he's already there and he clearly had plenty of time to talk to every team. Therefore, the fact he chose to visit Arizona first speaks to his intentions), it seems as if the Cardinals are truly interested in keeping the former first round pick in town.

While NFL.com had reported the Minnesota Vikings were getting involved in the free agency pursuit of Mike Wallace, PFT hooked its plow to that possibility as well, and it took Wallace all of one hour to sign with the Dolphins. Like I said, we aren't immune. We wrote linebacker Dan Connor was visiting with the Steelers and talked about his role within that defense. Then, two hours later, we wrote Larry Foote had signed a three-year deal.

One could only imagine the defensive possibilities of getting Foote and Connor on the field at the same time. Athleticism abounds.

So where's Mendenhall? Reports indicate he's in Arizona, and will talk contract with Arizona, and former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. It remains to be seen whether he'll head to Denver or any other location with a pro football team, or just sign a deal with the Cardinals.


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