Offseason Storylines that could shape the NFL this Year

The NFL season has been over since February when the LA Rams overcame the preseason odds to be crowned Super Bowl champions. Their nail-biting three-point win over the Cincinnati Bengals was greatly influenced by some shrewd moves from the front office, which included picking up Odell Beckham Jr. midseason, who caught a game-altering touchdown in the game.

Of course, no title is won off the field, but due to the unpredictable nature of the league, a team can completely change their trajectory with some clever off-season moves. Considering how quickly life can change in the NFL, what summer storylines or actions could shape the upcoming season?

Tom Brady Unretires

Probably the most prominent storyline at the beginning of the offseason was the retirement of the GOAT (greatest of all time), Tom Brady. After winning the Super Bowl the previous season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he suffered what was a disappointing season by his exceptionally high standards. He was set to call it a day with an ambiguous Instagram post, but a meeting with fellow cyborg Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to change his mind, and he was back in the fold.

With Father Time kept at bay for another year, Tampa Bay’s year looks to be a whole lot more promising. As of June 23rd, Betway sports betting odds have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the second favourite to win it all at 9.00, just trailing the Buffalo Bills, who are at 7.50. When you have seven Super Bowl rings with two different franchises, you make that much of an impact, even if you’ll be 45 years old when the season starts.

The NFL top 100 had Brady ranked as the 7th best player in the entire league for 2021. He is setting an unprecedented mark for longevity and doesn’t appear to be slipping even in his advanced age. Whatever he lacks in athletism, he makes up for in-game management and overall command of the field. His last game was against eventual winners, the LA Rams, where they narrowly lost by three points after a strong second-half comeback. One thing is for sure, you can’t keep this man down.

Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos

Some may dismiss a move in the sports media: Russell Wilson’s trade from the Seattle Seahawks to the Denver Broncos. However, the former Super Bowl champion is a proven quarterback who knows how to win and has plenty of tools to bring to a championship side. Two seasons ago, he started in MVP form, and people were touting him to lead the Seahawks to a Super Bowl again. Nevertheless, his form dipped, and he hasn’t been able to recover since, with last year being particularly injury-riddled and robbing him of any sort of momentum.

Being a mobile quarterback means that he needs his body to be at 100% and with an offseason to recover, he should be back to his best. Whereas the type of quarterback we see today wouldn’t have been around 20 years ago, most nowadays need to be able to run and pass. Coming to Denver with a point to prove could be the motivation he needs to have his best season in years. The Broncos are one of the teams challenging to take the AFC, and with some genuine weapons around Wilson and a stingy defence, they could be a dark horse (pun intended) to win it all. His first game of the season should set the marker for how the season will go.

Aaron Rodgers stays in Green Bay

The Green Bay Packers managed to hold onto their superstar quarterback and reigning back-to-back league MVP, Aaron Rodgers. ESPN talking head Stephen A. Smith famously called him “a bad man,” due to his stellar play on the football field. Rodgers recently considered leaving the team, citing their lack of putting talent around him. However, last year he had plenty of high-quality players around him, and he still wasn’t able to get it done, succumbing to the San Francisco 49ers. The shocking thing about the result was that they could only muster up 10 points in the game, and a lot of that had to fall on their quarterback.

Nevertheless, Rodgers is a four-time league MVP and a generational talent that has already won a Super Bowl, albeit over a decade ago. He clearly has the ability to lead a team to the promised land; however, he serves as the antithesis of Brady. Where Brady worked for everything he had and powered his team to winning on his will alone, Rodgers is more naturally talented but doesn’t have the extra gear to pull wins out of nothing. However, Rodgers can put conversations like this to bed if he puts his extreme talent to use and pushes the Packers to win it all.

The NFL is probably the most unpredictable of all the major American sports leagues, and trying to forecast how a season will go is futile. That being said, these three storylines will influence how the season will play out, with the results sure to be captivating.

American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!