NFL Twitter Fooled by Fake Chargers-Giants Trade

Chargers helmet
Chargers helmet / Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Chargers hold the 13th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft that will commence this Thursday. The general expectation is that they will take an offensive tackle. The receiving crops around rising star Justin Herbert is stacked, but the man can only do so much if given two seconds to throw on every passing down. This year's tackle class isn't overflowing with first-round talent, but good prospects like Rashawn Slater or Alijah Vera-Tucker will be there for the taking.

The point? Nobody is expecting much noise from the Chargers. They are one of the least interesting teams in the draft. That may have changed today as the team Twitter account appeared to accidentally tweet out a trade with the New York Giants in which L.A. would move up to No. 11 in exchange for No. 13 and a 2021 third-round pick. PFF tweeted out the below graphic with the caption "Posted and deleted by the Chargers *eye emojis*."

If this were to happen, it's a weird trade to make four days before the day of the event. Moving up two slots in the teens is for teams who see a player they really like falling and move up to take him. The Chargers have about as much of an idea as who will be there at No. 11 vs. No. 13 as the rest of us average Joes. It's a pretty good deal for the Giants, who are rumored to be interested in trading down, but it feels like a trade agreed to in principal but won't be executed until both teams know it's what they want to do based on how the pieces fall on draft day.

But wait! This is the Internet and we should take everything with a big ol' grain of salt. Twitter user Max Merten claims he created this tweet with a photo editor and responded to the PFF tweet above saying so.

This would not be out of the ordinary. People like to fool other people with such photo edits. Sometimes verified accounts will take information they see and run with it before triple-checking if it's real, especially during NFL draft season when information and controversy is the capital that drives the web traffic economy (see: this post).

PFF was not the only account to take this and run with it. Warren Sharp also talked about it. For the briefest of moments, it caught the attention of all of draft twitter.

All these tweets were eventually deleted. PFF had some fun at their own expense.

What is confusing about this situation is that Max Merten did not appear to tweet the picture at any point before it made its way around NFL Twitter. How, then, did it get out there?

Merten says he uses the graphics for his mock drafts, but also likes to try and "bamboozle" people with the pictures. Given his brief victory lap about "bamboozling" PFF, it seems this was his doing, but it's still unclear how he made it happen.

Hats off to him, I suppose. He got a moment in the spotlight. Even Field Yates tipped his cap in the form of an Anchorman gif.

Thus ends our daily programming of Twitter drama. Hope you enjoyed the ride.