What a season it was for Football fans in 2020.
Amid all of the pre-season speculation and question marks that surrounded a league and sport that was deemed a danger to society and impossible to complete through a raging global pandemic, against all odds, the NFL made It work.
Teams around the league worked together and made a massive point to the world that they were ready to fulfill the need for football and did it with the best possible protocols they could think of.
They passed with flying colors
Bruce Arians recently got the COVID vaccine, but before the season, his family told him to opt out: “Some people said, ‘Dad, you need to opt out,’ and I was like,`'No way. I’ll risk it. It’s going to be a magical year.’" Great piece here by @LATimesfarmer: https://t.co/CUTzYspFAH
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) February 10, 2021
Although there were substantial setbacks along the way, as well as obstacles that may have seemed insurmountable, all 32 organizations found a way to get through what many critics said was a stupid and unrealistic idea.
After a strong finish for the league and seeing the greatest of all time, Tom Brady hoist his seventh Lombardi Trophy, it is officially time to turn the page and begin what should be one of the most hectic and intriguing offseasons we have ever seen in this wonderful game.
Trade requests for high-profile players, along with an extremely deep draft class filled with NFL-ready talent and potential superstars, the next 7 months will provide a whole lot of newsworthy moves and we should buckle up for what should be a great offseason.
Potential Trades –
After the Detroit Lions sent their own cornerstone quarterback Matthew Stafford to LA earlier this month, it has set the tone for some other movement in regards to QBs around the NFL this offseason.
As we are well aware by now, the Houston Texans and their franchise QB Deshaun Watson have a relationship that is beyond repair. The 25-year-old signal-caller has multiple outstanding seasons under his belt playing for an annually bad Texans team. After former Head Coach and GM Bill O’Brien traded away Watson’s top receiver as well as their first-round pick in this year’s draft (ended up being 3rd overall), Watson has made it clear he is done with Houston and wants to be moved to a competent team.
Only QBs w/ 10 games of 300+ passing yards this season:
💥 Deshaun Watson
💥 Patrick Mahomes pic.twitter.com/Re1WE7ZPRt
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) February 7, 2021
Teams that have been linked to Watson are the same ones who may just be a good QB away from contending for championships. Watch out for the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins, Washington Football Team, and Las Vegas Raiders to name a few. All of these moves would make sense for the player and team, it would really come down to Watson’s preferred spot as well as the package going back to Houston.
Deshaun isn’t the only Texan that could be on the move over the next few months. His all-pro teammate JJ Watt is said to be unhappy with where the organization is too and is reportedly looking for a new home in 2021.
These types of moves are always interesting because over half the league is constantly looking to improve their defensive front. Teams to key an close eye on when it comes to the services of Watt could include the Seattle Seahawks, brother TJ”s Pittsburgh Steelers, or maybe even the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who could get hit hard in free agency on the d-line.
Another interesting move that makes sense is Philidelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz, who ESPN analyst Adam Schefter reported would be dealt sooner rather than later and is a highly sought-after target for teams in the quarterback market.
Eagles are expected to trade Carson Wentz in the coming days in what would be the latest blockbuster QB deal to rock the NFL, sources tell @mortreport and me. The most pertinent questions now become where, when and for what. But it could happen as early as this week.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 6, 2021
It just makes too much ‘sense for Wentz’ to be reunited with his first NFL offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who is now the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
This move is a match made in heaven for Wentz, who would go to a solid Indy team coming off an impressive playoff-making season, and a roster with high-caliber talent ready to contend.
Wentz’ career needs revival in a new situation, and there is no other place that can best fulfill his needs than under Reich, who had Wentz playing at an MVP level before his unfortunate ACL injury in the Eagles in 2018.
A Stacked Draft –
What an absolute sweat of a night we are in for on April 29th when the NFL Draft will make the dreams of many young prospects come true.
Stud quarterbacks, gritty offensive lineman, as well as multiple skill position players, that have the ability to change franchises will fly off the board all night in this draft, and it will be so intriguing to see who will land where, as well as what kind of draft positions will be available for trade.
The unanimous number one overall selection will be Clemson QB, Trevor Lawrence. A mobile player with a huge arm and the ability to manage the game with the best of them, Jacksonville will finally get the leader they have been waiting for. Newly-appointed head coach Urban Meyer would most definitely not have taken the job if it weren’t for Lawrence falling into the Jags lap, this move is a no-brainer.
As for the rest of the cards, nobody knows where they will fall.
Elusive playmakers at the wide receiver position such as Heisman winner Devonta Smith of Alabama will be a player that teams will look to trade up for. LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase took the NCAA season off due to COVID concerns, but many forget how much of a problem he was for defenses in 2019. And finally, Jaylen Waddle also of the Alabama Crimson Tide is a player who is just as dynamic as the top two outside of growing injury concerns.
QB’s Zack Wilson (BYU) and Justin Fields (Ohio State) are just a couple more who will have their names called with the intention of becoming a team’s generational QB.
Until August arrives and a new NFL season is upon us, anything can happen. Teams around the league have now seen first-hand how you can change the outlook of your team in just one offseason, and the champion Buccaneers will be that example.
So many questions are looking for answers, even off the field as COVID-19 continues to be a huge dilemma heading into a new league year.
WIll we have fans? Will there still be a need for strict protocols in 2021? How many players will dawn a brand new jersey and new expectations? WHO IS GOING TO GO FIRST OVERALL IN FANTASY?!
I guess we just have to kick back, relax, and be happy that these aren’t our decisions…
(Except that last one, of course)
Evan Power, Evolution 107.9