With a little over a week removed from Super Bowl LIII, the knee-jerk reactions are out of the way and we can now say with certainty that this was indeed not the most entertaining championship game in recent memory. New England fans won, and the neutral fans lost. As for LA fans…well, at least they have some nice weather to enjoy. It wasn’t the Rams’ best showing, but, hey, they shouldn’t be down for too long after such a successful 2018 campaign. With the season over and the Super Bowl in the rear view mirror, let’s focus on the top football storylines for this offseason:
Antonio Brown & Le’Veon Bell
Pittsburgh faces uncertainty on what to do with their (soon-to-be former?) stars. Bell sat out the 2018 season, forfeiting $14.5 million, after failing to agree on a longer deal with the team. The Steelers still have the option to transition tag Bell for the 2019 season, giving them the ability to trade him for something in return or simply keep him. As for Brown, who has made it clear he wants out, it’ll be interesting to discover the true market value for the receiver considering the range of reports that have circulated in recent weeks. It’s rare for a team to potentially be losing top-three players in both the running back and wide receiver positions in the same offseason – a tough loss for a team that narrowly missed the playoffs last season.
Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa seems like the top pick in the 2019 draft, but the decision isn’t unanimous. There’s been some recent chatter about Bosa being injury prone and if so there are cases to be made for Quinnen Williams (DE, Alabama) and Josh Allen (LB, Kentucky). Arizona, who has the top pick, has a lot of holes to fill on their depth chart and new head coach Kliff Kingsbury may decide to trade the pick to acquire additional assets. In addition to all this, the Kyler Murray drama has finally been sorted and he’s committed to becoming an NFL quarterback. Most mocks have him going in the 10-15 range.
The Alliance of American Football (AAF) made an impressive debut this past weekend, drawing in better TV ratings than the NBA game between the Rockets and Thunder in the same timeslot. Will this be sustainable? Who knows. The league has various rule adjustments – for example, mandatory two-point conversions and shortened play-clocks – and allows for more physical play, both of which make for an exciting watch. The league’s championship game coincides with the NFL draft, so it may work out as a nice fix of football for fans until then.
For those unsatisfied by the AAF’s quality of play: Don’t worry, there’s only about 200 days until the NFL’s opening kickoff. Here’s to another season of the media proclaiming it’s the end of the Patriots’ dynasty, only to see them make it back to (at least) the AFC Championship game.
Death. Taxes. Belichick and Brady.