Rumors Marvin Harrison Jr. Tanked to Join Bears Are Comical

Analysis: A rumor Marvin Harrison Jr. tried to tank his own draft position to be on the Bears with Caleb Williams sounds like an April Fool’s joke or a total conspiratorial farce.

Rumors always soar to unimaginable heights at this time in the predraft process and the latest one is breaking all the altimeters.

This is the notion Marvin Harrison Jr. has attempted to tank his own draft stock because he wants to play for the Bears and be Caleb Williams’ teammate. It would be accurate to call it one of the most ridiculous conspiracy theories in sports history.

Harrison has had top-30 visits with the Cardinals, who draft fourth, the Giants, who are sixth, and the Bears at No. 9. He hasn’t visited with other teams.

All three teams figure to be looking for wide receivers.

Harrison has been mock-drafted to the Cardinals since the end of the regular season, when it became apparent they would be in the best position to take him. They need a receiver.

As is usual with ridiculous rumors, there are some sketchy supporting ideas but there are multiple reasons it’s basically garbage.

Harrison could still wind up with the Bears, but it would be only through Arizona deciding it wanted a bunch of picks and the Bears paying a king’s ransom when they didn’t need to do it to get a top receiver.

Doing it by tanking his stock by missing combine and pro day workouts wouldn’t work and is a stupid notion. Here’s why.

1. Money

If Harrison Jr. wanted to play for the Bears, why would he tank his own draft position? It’s going to lead to much less money on his rookie contract. To tank so he would get to No. 9 would mean giving up $1.44 million in bonus money. The fourth slot is $5.48 million bonus and the ninth slot is $4.04.

Who gives away $1.4 million like it’s chump change?

2. Spacing

There are too many spots between No. 4, where the Cardinals would pick Harrison as first receiver chosen, and the Bears at No. 9. If he was tanking to get to the Bears, he’d have to fall a long way.

Even if he had tanked for that purpose, which is ridiculous, there’s no guaranteeing it would happen.

Plenty of teams could jump up by trade into those spots and take Harrison before he got to the Bears.

3. Cardinals

Arizona needs a receiver for Kyler Murray. Why should they trade out of the spot if they merely have to take the best receiver in the draft when their turn comes up? It’s pretty much the same thing as if the Bears were worried about getting Caleb Williams. Duh. He’s there, take him.

The thought Arizona would be turned off by Harrison not working out at a pro day and the combine is maybe the big stumbling block to this theory. Why should it bother Arizona? The Bears didn’t get bothered by Williams not doing medicals or working out at the combine.

Two sources told ESPN it’s not a problem at all to the Cardinals.

If it doesn’t bother the Cardinals, put a white helmet on him with a bird’s head on the side, or whatever color helmet they’re wearing in a given week.

4. Trading Places

Swapping picks with the Cardinals isn’t feasible. As said, there are too many spaces between No. 4 and No. 9 for a trade to occur unless the Bears want to give up a second-round pick and a third-round pick, as well as their own No. 9 pick. The draft value chart says this is about what the Bears need to give up to move up for Harrison. Ryan Poles isn’t giving away two prime Day 2 draft picks to move up a few spots for Harrison, who might be the best receiver but isn’t so much better than Maik Nabers or Rome Odunze that teams should be desperate to go after him.

The Bears don’t have a second-rounder this year because they traded it for Montez Sweat. They need those second- and third-round picks next year and need their third-rounder this year for a few other positions they must address.

The Cardinals may or may not even want picks from the future to move back from No. 4 to No. 9, anyway.

5. Tank You Very Little

Not participating in combine workouts or pro day workouts hardly qualifies as tanking. It’s easy to see this is a statement of security about his own position atop the receiver group and he has nothing to gain by wasting his time participating in a process which turns players into some sort of show pony.  They’d all rather not go through it but they’re not all as lucky as Harrison, as the top player at their position in the draft.

Harrison’s father told everyone what this was all about. It wasn’t a made-up story.

“It’s been a very restful process,” Marvin Harrison Sr. told ESPN. “Something we took into consideration from Day 1, which was how are we going to prepare for the 2024 NFL season? I sat down, talked to Jr. and said, ‘Listen we can put yourself in the realm of an NFL player now and prepare for the future or you can get ready to do things that everyone else is doing.’ ”

In other words, his son is getting ready to play in the NFL and not to run 40-yard races and show off for personnel people and scouts. They all have film of his games. Nothing more needs to be said.

This isn’t a made-up thing.

Numerous players over the years have said the conditioning work they do for the combine and pro days to impress personnel people with good times or high leaps is much different than the physical conditioning they do to get ready for playing football.

Some blame the time spent re-conditioning afterward with their new football team as a setback that results in poor rookie starts.

So why subject yourself to something detrimental if it’s not needed? Harrison didn’t, and now he’ll go to the Cardinals, not Chicago.

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