Nick Canepa: April is Liars Month in NFL, and Justin Fields appears to be latest victim

Nick Canepa, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Football

SAN DIEGO — Lying has become so American, it's replacing apple pie.

But in the NFL, truth really gets the Heisman in April, when lying by mortals and immortals is a widely accepted — and expected — venial sin.

Trouble is, so many football men have tells, terrible poker players lousy at deceit, so they are susceptible to rug burns.

One must try to navigate through the smokescreens, swim around the warm spots — and the red herrings.

It's April, so it must be — as A.J. Smith coined it — Liars Month.

The NFL draft takes place in April. And April can be for fools on more days than its first. Suckers born every minute until the lottery breathes its final fabrication.

April is when they fall in and out of love, when intangibles and what happened in real football games either can be forgotten or put aside.

As we speak, Justin Fields appears to be getting Dan Marinoed.

ESPN's Dan Orlovsky said he'd heard the Ohio State quarterback is a "last-one-in-first-one-out kind of guy," insisting it wasn't his thinking. Nevertheless, a bad thing to put out there, including Fields lacking the passion to be great.


Some are even questioning Trevor Lawrence's motivation due to innocuous comments he made to SI. His status isn't changing, but he's right. Chosen ones don't need "chips on their shoulders."

By most accounts, Fields' non-committal attitude isn't true, but April rumors procreate, GMs bite their nails, and visions of Ryan Leaf dance in their heads. Not much wind is needed to flap a red flag in April. Justin is the most physically gifted QB in this draft — with the best arm — but he may be falling.

It happened in 1983 with Marino, when unfounded drug rumors were spread and he dropped to Miami at the end of the first round.

But everyone is looking for the next great QB now. Preferably mobile. But Alabama's Mac Jones has had one of the great offseasons in history doing absolutely nothing, and his tires need air.

The quarterback who's been to 10 Super Bowls and won seven of them in this century can run for one thing — glory.

Fields even held a second pro day Wednesday to show his goods to potential buyers. The more pro days Fields has, he increases his chances to go to a bad team — unless it's the 49ers.

It's a cutthroat business. There are no friends in April. Only pirates.

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