By: Hunter DeSiver
This past NFL season will go down as one of the most exciting seasons in the history of the league. Unforgettable games and moments headlined week after week. The clash between two of the highest-powered offenses (Chiefs vs Rams) in Week 11 was one of the greatest games in NFL history, with a final score of 54-51 in favor of the Rams. There were also heartbreaking moments, like Juju Smith-Schuster fumbling the ball against the Saints in Week 16, which eventually caused the Steelers to become eliminated from playoff contention. There was arguably the greatest/most controversial final four (AFC and NFC Championship games) ever, with the missed pass interference call, leading the Rams to an OT victory against the Saints to advance to the Super Bowl, along with the roughing the passer call against the Chiefs (plus Dee Ford going offside). After such an exciting season, it would be expected that the Super Bowl would be the top moment. That was not the case as the Patriots won 13-3. The NFL offseason, however, has had tons of surprises that impacted the entire league. Nick Foles, Le’Veon Bell, Kareem Hunt, Antonio Brown, OBJ, and Gronk, among others, are some of the most talked about athletes this offseason.
In the 2017-18 NFL season, the Philadelphia Eagles were one of the most dangerous teams in the league. One reason was because of their Quarterback, Carson Wentz. Wentz was an MVP candidate until he tore his ACL late in the season. Hope was lost by Philly fans because their star QB was gone for the rest of the year. Backup QB Nick Foles played much better than expected and got the Eagles their first Super Bowl title after being the underdogs throughout the entire postseason. This past season, Wentz went down once again late in the season. In the playoffs, Nick Foles was able to beat the best defense in the NFL; however, they would fall short in the divisional round against the Saints. The Super Bowl LII MVP has been signed to the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the 2017-18 season, the Jaguars made it all the way to the AFC Championship game because they had arguably the best defense. The reason why they couldn’t make it to the Super Bowl was because of the offense. The Jaguars starting QB, Blake Bortles, is one of the worst starting Quarterbacks in the entire NFL. This past season, Bortles played so horribly that it impacted the morale of the defense as well. The Jaguars went from a 10-6 record to a 5-11 record. With the addition of Foles and a few offensive weapons in the upcoming draft, the Jaguars look to get back to where they were in the 2017-18 season.
Le’Veon Bell sat out the entire 2018-19 NFL season because he felt that he wasn’t getting enough money. Le’Veon didn’t get paid this season because of the amount of games he missed. The Pittsburgh Steelers sent Le’Veon to the New York Jets. Bell is mostly known for his patience as a Running Back. He had plenty of time before he ran because he had one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. This patience will be tested as he is on a Jets team that is known for their poor work on the offensive line. During this upcoming draft, although the Jets need whatever position they can get, they should try and get offensive linemen to protect Le’Veon anywhere from the second round to the end of the draft.
In the later side of the regular season last year, a tape was released of Hurt beating a woman. He was immediately cut from the Chiefs. Kareem was a top 5-10 Running Back at the time; however, nobody signed him. During this offseason, the Cleveland Browns signed him, but he would have to serve an eight game suspension. Hurt will be paired with Running Back Nick Chubb. Chubb’s rookie year was one of the best among all rookies. If the Browns are smart, they should have Chubb and Hunt share carries. These two can become the next Kamara-Ingram duo, for which they can both possibly make the Pro Bowl.
Odell Beckham Jr.
The Browns also added OBJ. OBJ is now reunited with his other Wide Receiver, Jarvis Landry. OBJ and Jarvis played with each other in high school, in college, and now in the NFL. Just two years ago, the Browns went 0-16. Last year, through many different changes, it seemed like they found the correct formula. The Browns went 7-8-1. With sophomore QB Baker Mayfield, Chubb, and Hunt behind him, OBJ and Landry to his left and right, and a solid defense led by Myles Garrett, the Browns have a good chance at winning the AFC North division and making the playoffs.
One of the biggest headliners this offseason was Antonio Brown. AB wanted to leave the Steelers mainly due to locker room issues with QB Ben Roethlisberger. AB would constantly post on social media how much he wanted to get out of Pittsburgh. AB was signed by the Oakland Raiders, and he couldn’t be happier. The Raiders, however, are not only a worse team than the Steelers, but they also have a worse Quarterback named Derek Carr from whom AB will get the ball. It is unknown how well he will do in Oakland. With the combination of his age (30) and the Raiders organization, I think his value will drop.
Going into this season we had a feeling that this would be Gronk’s last. The main reason: injuries. In his career, Gronk has played all 16 games in just the first two years of his career. However, in all the games he has played, he has been something special. He is one of the biggest mismatches of all time at tight end as he is 6’6 and 270 pounds. Gronk was part of arguably the greatest duo ever, consisting of him and QB Tom Brady. Gronk has about 25 NFL and franchise records. Recently, Gronk officially announced his retirement from the NFL, so there is one question that remains: is he the greatest tight end in NFL history?