It's hot-stove season (or whatever) in the NFL, and we've already seen our fair share of surprising moves. But with free agency still yet to actually open, a fake Twitter account and a player with the same name as another have teamed up to sow some quality confusion.
The Bears are reportedly looking to trade WR Brandon Marshall. This, at least, is confirmed by NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.
So far, so good. But the trouble started when a fake account pretending to be Rapoport (but it's not him, because it's fake) tweeted that Chicago had traded Marshall to San Diego:
A lot of people fell for it, at least briefly. It happens: you see something on your timeline that looks legit, and you don't investigate. But as long as you don't unquestioningly pass it on, you should be fine.
But enough people did pass it on for it to end up on the timeline of Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, who is not the same person as Bears WR Brandon Marshall (who, again, is not actually traded). One confused Bears fan tweeted at the Broncos' Marshall, mistaking him for the other one, asking if he'd been traded.
And then the Broncos' Marshall decided to have a little fun. It would be pretty absurd if the Bears tried to trade someone not under contract to them, wouldn't it?
And that ruined everything. That joke tweet got passed around, without any of the previous context, and most people assumed it was 1) the more famous Brandon Marshall, 2) actively asking for a trade. Chicago had a moment of mini-panic:
But it's OK! Everything's OK. The Bears might trade their Brandon Marshall soon enough (he's due $7.5 million guaranteed if on the roster a week from today), at which point we'll deal with it. The Bears cannot trade the Broncos' Brandon Marshall....but they could trade for him, if they wanted to really mess with us.
The running back named Adrian Peterson who is not the Vikings' Adrian Peterson could not be reached for comment.