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Did an NFL free agent deal leak during an online 'Call of Duty' game?

Charles Robinson
·NFL columnist
·2-min read
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NFL news can truly come from anywhere. Even from an online video game between complete strangers.

In what has to be one of the most random potential news leaks in recent memory, Reddit user ProbationOfficer2035 posted a blind nugget on Saturday to Reddit’s NFL thread about what he or she believed to be a trade. It wasn’t so much that the user had gotten some information about something in the works — it was how he or she got the nugget.

In this case? In a bit of wild improbability, it came from an open microphone during an online "Call of Duty" game called "Warzone," which features an option to randomly team up with strangers and play together virtually. The Reddit user here (who is a self-professed Green Bay Packers fan) just so happened to be teamed up with the significant other of Chicago Bears offensive lineman Rashaad Coward. And well, if you’ve ever played "Call of Duty" online, you often get random teammates whose open microphone can pick up virtually everything being said inside their room. Including the conversations of people who aren’t even playing the game.

As ProbationOfficer2035 described it

(Image via Reddit/ProbationOfficer2035)
(Image via Reddit/ProbationOfficer2035)

Then, midday Monday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that the Steelers are expected to sign Coward:

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On Saturday night, Coward himself tweeted this:

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Then on Sunday, one of Coward’s agents, Brian Adkins, tweeted a followup aimed at Coward’s wife (who is an avid gamer with her own Twitch channel) that appears to confirm something did indeed happen in a random "Call of Duty" game:

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Coward was a restricted free agent who was not tendered an offer by the Bears. And now it looks like he's going to sign with the Steelers. At least one thing is certain: The ears of the NFL’s rumor mill are everywhere, including on the other side of that gaming microphone.

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