On Sunday, a report surfaced on CBS that Mike Holmgren was very interested in the Dallas Cowboys head coaching job. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn't seem to mind the flirtation from afar, but Holmgren did his best to quiet the rumor Monday by making a special trip to the Browns media room to tell reporters he's bothered by the speculation.
"I have no idea how any of that stuff gets started, but I'm telling you the straight scoop on that, OK?" Holmgren said, via The Plain Dealer.
We can boil it down. Holmgren's agent feeds the story about the Cowboys to get Holmgren's name out in the public and signal Holmgren's interest in coaching again. In the same report, we heard that Andy Reid was interested in the Chargers job. Holmgren and Reid have the same agent. But Holmgren doesn't know where the information came from.
"Yeah, yeah, but I'm telling you, I don't know where, I don't know anything about it, I'm just telling you what I'm saying," he said. "I'm telling you, and you got it straight from the horse's mouth."
It's worth noting that Holmgren never denied having interest in the Cowboys if the job opened up. Holmgren says he hasn't spoken to his agent Bob LaMonte in a month.
"Like I said, I was his first client and now I'm old news," Holmgren joked. "He lost my phone number."
To recap: Holmgren's agent can put the leak out there and his client has plausible deniability because the two haven't talked. But really, what's the difference? Why try to play good cop, bad cop with reporters and play the Browns organization for fools? It's a game and Holmgren's agent plays it well every year -- although sometimes a little too obviously.
"The last time I talked to anybody about my future was when I talked to you guys in this room," Holmgren said. "I haven't talked to a single soul. That's the first thing.
"The second thing is, I don't know, I honestly don't know what the future holds or what I want to do. Honestly. Believe me on that. Thirdly, I've always been, quite honestly, bothered by the speculation during the season when coaches are trying to work and they're fighting like crazy for their jobs, and I would never do that."
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.