Behind is already half the NFL regular season and for a number of teams the end of the season is near. Their fans can increasingly think about changes in the offseason. The same thoughts can be visited by those who already see their favorites at the championship parade. It is for such fans that ESPN columnist Dan Graziano presents two dozen predictions for the events of the upcoming offseason.
Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Tom Brady will remain in their places
This trinity of outstanding quarterbacks expire on existing contracts. Moreover, there is enough uncertainty around their future to expect any changes.
Perhaps Brees will win the Super Bowl and end his career in the style of John elway. Perhaps Rivers will decide to try his luck in some other team. Perhaps Brady decides to end or sign a contract with another club (especially if they hire coach Josh McDaniels).
Each of them feels that he is still able to play at a high level, and is in a good situation. Therefore, predicting their future, we will bet that all of them (or at least two) will continue their careers in their places.
Browns will be appointed head coach Mike McCarthy
This forecast suggests that the second part of the season for Cleveland will be as bad as the first. In this case, the club will decide that Kitchenens is not suitable for this work.
In 2019, McCarthy was left without suggestions, but his former Packers colleagues are enough in the current Browns front office. And if Cleveland decides to change something, then most likely it will be a specialist with great experience.
Six more teams will change head coaches
At first glance, this may seem insane, but something similar happens every year. Let many later regret the permutations made. A vacancy has already been opened in Washington. At any time, resignation in Atlanta may follow. Endangered the position of coaches in Chicago bears, Cleveland, Carolina, Jacksonville, both teams in New York. If something goes wrong, then Dallas and Denver may be on this list.
The question is no longer whether there will be many empty seats, but whether there will be enough candidates for these positions with the necessary skills.
Dak Prescott will be the highest paid player in the league
So far, everything is going to ensure that a new deal will not be concluded and in March Dak will receive a franchise tag. At the same time, he will almost certainly remain in Dallas Cowboys .
It is unlikely that Jerry Jones will want to further complicate the negotiations. And if Prescott finishes the year as he began, then it would be foolish not to give him money. Now the highest paid is Russell Wilson with an average salary of 35 million. And Dak probably wants more.
Le'veon Bell will be exchanged
Bell, who signed a new contract before the start of the 2019 season, will again change his registration. The probability of this will be higher if Adam Gase retains the position of head coach of the Jets. It is also possible that the exchange may be desired by general manager Joe Douglas, who did not participate in the signing of Bell.
The Jets have already paid the player 8 million subscription bonus and 2 million salaries this year. The remaining guarantees include a bonus of 4.5 million and a salary of 8.5 million in 2020. Thus, having exchanged Bell, his potential club will have to pay only 13 million per season. A good chance for Super Bowl applicants who need a runninback. For example, Kansas City Chiefs.
The first draft number 2020 will not be quarterback
The phrase "Tanking for Tua" has recently caused more and more skepticism. Not everyone shares the opinion that he is the best quarterback of the next draft. But the main reason for this prediction is Chase Young. Ohio State Pass Rasher would be glad to see any league team in his squad. There is still a possibility of choosing a quarterback as the first peak if it is Bengals or Dolphins. But the Jets, Falcons, Giants or Redskins, having received the first peak, will probably choose Young.
Cam Newton will continue his career in Denver
Ahead is another attempt by Elway to resolve the issue of the quarterback. Perhaps she will become the most daring of his career. In this scenario, Carolina will free Newton, saving 19.1 million. This money the club will be able to spend on a new contract Christian McCaffrey. And Newton will go to the Broncos - the team with which he lost his only so far Super Bowl.
Saving the tag and trade trend
In the last offseason, this scheme was applied to Frank Clark, Dee Ford, Jadeveon Clowney. After applying the franchise tag, they were exchanged for teams that were ready to give them long-term contracts (in the case of Clowney, the deal will still be discussed).
The reasons may be completely different, but most NFL teams are not ready to come to terms with the idea of giving quarterback contracts to players of other positions. However, few people want to lose them just like that. Therefore, in the offseason, Yannick Ngakue (Jacksonville), Shaq Barrett (Tampa), Bud Dupree (Pittsburgh) and Matthew Judon (Baltimore) may find themselves in the same situation.
Kirk Cousins will extend the contract with Minnesota
After the season ends, Cousins will have one more year of agreement and a fully guaranteed 29.5 million. Time flies quickly.
The Vikings have a good season and are likely to be in the playoffs. After its completion, they may have serious problems with the salary ceiling. You can think of anything about Cousins, but most likely the club will prefer to keep it than to start looking for a new quarterback. The club will not be able to restructure its contract, since there is only a year left, so extending it will be the best way. Simple math.
Runningback market will reach a new level
After the season ends, Christian McCaffrey will have two more years of agreement with Carolina: the last year of the rookie contract and the fifth year option for the 2021 season. Ezekiel Elliot was in the same situation last summer and did not come to the club's location until he signed a record contract.
If McCaffrey continues to play at the same pace, it will be difficult to find arguments against making him the highest-paid league runner. This means about 15 million a year and about 30 million fully guaranteed money.
In addition to McCaffrey, Leonard Fournette is now in a similar situation (even if he demonstrates statistics an order of magnitude lower), and after another year we will say the same thing about Barkley.
Negotiations on a new collective agreement will not come to an end
A month ago, it seemed that the NFL and the union were close to concluding a deal. There is less optimism now. The negotiation process is idle and both sides are prone to pessimism.
If no progress occurs this month, then team owners can focus on working with new offers from television. All this can lead to the fact that the 2020 season will be held under the threat of a lockout. Although everyone will be happy if, before Thanksgiving, they unexpectedly announce a compromise between the parties.
Browns trade Trent Williams
This was supposed to happen this year, but the conflict between Williams and Redskins took on a very ugly form so that someone could quickly resolve it. Trent will definitely not play as part of Washington and in the offseason he has no other ways besides exchange.
This time John Dorsey should not miss the opportunity to strengthen his team.
Chicago Bears will continue their journey with Andy Dalton
It is understood that the club will not activate the contract option Trubiski for 2021 and will make the next season decisive for the career of its quarterback. Dalton in this case will be signed as a veteran to create competition. Approximately the same scheme as in Tennessee with Marcus Mariota and Ryan Tennehill.
Of course, there are still options with Cam Newton and James Winston. Perhaps the signing of Rivers or Brady (although this is more of a dream). Another plan B could be Teddy Bridgewater, but he will move to Chicago only if he is guaranteed a place at the start.
Dalton is not the most outstanding quarterback, but in this situation he can help the Bears.
Nick Caserio will take over as General Manager Texans
This was supposed to happen earlier this year, but the Patriots blocked the deal. After the season ends, Caserio's contract ends and Bill Belichik has few leverage to retain a valuable employee.
In Houston, Caserio will team up with Bill O'Brien in the hope of building a new dynasty around Deschon Watson, although Texans will not have an election in the first round of the 2020 and 2021 draft.
Eli Manning will end his career as a Giants player
Eli himself believes that he is still ready to play at a high level, but there are no teams ready to offer him a starting quarterback position. Will something change in the offseason? Will Manning himself decide that he has not yet proven everything?
Most likely, he will decide to end his performances as a player of the only team in his certainly wonderful career.
League will cancel pass renegotiation rule
Accepted rule brought the organization more problems than good. Now many are ready to say "I told you so." It was very foolish to decide on revisions of moments that, even in slow motion, could only be subjectively evaluated.
In the first half of the season, the league and the judges made it clear that they were ready to change their decisions only in very glaring cases. In fact, this rule was introduced due to the spoiled NFC finals. About the same thing should happen now, to be used.
The year of the trial period for this is coming to an end and, most likely, in March, club owners will vote against its adoption on an ongoing basis.
Teddy Bridgewater Remains in Saints
Another season as a backup of Drew Brees is not bad, and if the veteran decides to finish with football, then Teddy will undoubtedly take his place. Bridgewater made clear that the situation suits him, back in the last offseason. And if the team succeeds in the Super Bowl, this will be another argument in favor of maintaining the status quo.
Giants Draft Jerry Jeudy
Everything goes to the point that it is the Alabama receiver that will become part of Dave Gettleman’s plan. The team will receive one of the best hosts in the draft class. Together with the players selected in 2017, 2018 and 2019, he will form the core of the monster attack. But the club can acquire left tackle and high-quality pass-racer in other ways.
Andrew Luck will not resume his career
It is possible that many managers will call Agent Luck to inquire about his plans and attitude towards a possible return to the NFL. However, Luck was very convincing in his statement.
In addition, the rights to his contract still belong to Colts. Surely we will hear his name in the offseason, but hope for a return is not worth it.
Patrick Mahomes will not rush with a new contract
Chiefs can negotiate with the 2019 MVP after the season ends. The Mahomes contract is valid until 2020, the club has an option for the 2021 season, as well as the ability to impose a franchise tag in 2022 and 2023. Of course, provided that the current rules of the collective agreement are maintained. Therefore, the club is unlikely to be in a hurry, and Patrick himself probably wants to first see what money will go to Dak Prescott and, possibly, to Deshaun Watson.
Given that Mahomes has every chance to overcome the 40 million bar for the season, rush here is definitely not required.