D J Reader, not sure if he will fit our defense to play several downs. I see the comparisons to Akiem Hicks but Hicks thrived because they had Eddie Goldman at primary NT with the Bears. Reader can also play 3-technique but his strength is his versatility to play 3 or 5 technique plus playing DE in sub packages, which we have plenty of bodies for. So, I don't think the value will be there, based on our roster construction and what Eberflus demands from his DTs. It would be even harder to run against our D with Reader in the line up, no doubt, but our run D is not the one that needs addressed, to be honest. We need guys to generate pass rush down the middle.
Clowney, on the other hand, is a great fit for what we do. I am always afraid if he is the kind of guy who would get lazy once money is handed to him. However, if Ballard does sign him, no complaints from me.
I do feel Ballard will go after guys with a chip on their shoulder, late bloomers like Shelby Harris of Broncos, and Jordan Philips of Bills for the DL in free agency. Plus, I have seen enough of Chase McLaughlin to figure he is our kicker going into next season.
Hooker has been named to the 'All-PFF Era NFL Prospect Team' (along with Nelson) as two of the best players PFF has ever scouted coming out of college.
The only tampering going on is the media baiting fans. News sells and now with all these free agent QBs and social media exploding, they are selling every story and possibility to the public lol. He isnt leaving NE.