The Super Bowl is over, the Patriots have lost, and the Eagles have finally taken home the Lombardi Trophy. This was a historic season. From the ridiculousness of Blake Bortles going deep into the playoffs, to sketchy officiating calls, and ultimately to having Nick Foles become a Super Bowl MVP, this was just nutty. Seriously, if you went to Vegas before the season started and bet as little as five dollars on Nick Foles being the Super Bowl MVP, you would probably be a millionaire by now. Okay, that might be exaggerating a little, but you get the point. This was not your usual regular NFL season. Now how are we supposed to wait for months until we can get some more football in our veins?
We can picture in our heads the countless legions of NFL fans who are already itching for the opening kickoff of the next season. However, everyone has to wait. Not everything happens in our own time, and there is little we can do about it. There is, however, one thing that we can do to keep ourselves from eating our fingernails down to the stump in anticipation of the next season. We can talk about off-season rumors. They might not be as exciting as the playoffs, but the NFL off-season is where things ultimately get decided. Free-agent signings, draft picks, and everything in between are things NFL fans should stay tuned to. So why not take a look at 15 rumors everyone will be talking about during the summer? Get ready for your fix because here are eight off-season rumors we hope are not true and seven we hope become a reality.
15. Hope Isn’t True: Andrew Luck May Miss Another Year
There is little doubt that Andrew Luck is one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League. That being said, Indianapolis fans are undoubtedly concerned about his future with the franchise. After all, this is a young quarterback who had to stay an entire year on the sidelines because of a shoulder injury. The result of Luck being sidelined was that the Colts had one of their worst seasons since he was drafted. They finished the year with a 4-12 record. To put that in perspective, Luck has a 43-27 career record.
Although there are many conflicting reports, there are rumors that the Colts’ quarterback might need another surgery on his shoulder, which could in turn ruin yet another season in Indianapolis.
14. Hope Is True: Nick Foles Gets Traded
Before anyone starts hating on this entry, let’s just say that we are not saying Nick Foles needs to be traded because he is a bad quarterback. Much on the contrary. If Foles proved anything during this postseason, it was that he still has a lot to give to any team in need of a good quarterback. It would also be the best thing for his career. After all, who in their right mind would say they would rather have Nick Foles starting as their quarterback when you have Carson Wentz on the roster?
Foles is clearly capable of a lot, but Wentz is on a whole new level. That being said, a trade here could be a beneficial deal for everyone. Foles would get to be a starter somewhere, and lay the groundwork for a big payday when he hits free agency next year, and the Eagles could get a lot of assets in return since they are trading a Super Bowl MVP.
13. Hope Isn’t True: Bills Raising Ticket Prices
Sure, ending a curse that lasted almost two decades has to make people feel optimistic about their future. At the same time, who inside the Buffalo Bills organization thought it was a good idea for them to raise ticket prices for next season? Indeed, the Bills made the playoffs after almost 17 years, which is surprising on its own merit.
But just imagine paying extra for a ticket to watch a game that was as ugly as their wildcard playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
That was arguably the worst game anyone has seen in the NFL in decades. It was truly horrible. If anything, people should get paid to watch teams like that play.
12. Hope Is True: Minnesota Will Keep A Quarterback
Few teams have offseasons as a hectic is the one the Minnesota Vikings have ahead of them. The reason behind that is that the Vikings have all of their quarterbacks probably going into free agency. Yes, the dynamic trio of Case Keenum, Sam Bradford, and Teddy Bridgewater are all going to be free agents this summer.
While none of the three could make a case for being an elite quarterback that fans would lose sleep over them going away, we have to remember that free agency is tricky when it comes to quarterbacks. Keenum, for example, could get a massive payday for the surprisingly successful year he had. We don’t know what they will do, but it would not be a bad idea for the Vikings to try to keep hold of at least Teddy Bridgewater, a guy who could be very good if he stays healthy. Same goes for Bradford.
11. Hope Isn’t True: Washington Will Tag Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins is done in Washington after the team went out and traded for Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs. The Skins then turned around and signed Smith to a long-term extension. They shelled the money into Alex Smith that they’d hesitated to give Cousins the last few years, instead choosing to franchise tag him for two seasons in a row. However now, there are rumors the Skins won’t simply let Cousins walk in free agency, and will tag him again in hopes that they can trade him. This would be a real lowball move by the team. They wouldn’t commit to him despite Cousins producing on a mediocre team and now they would prevent him from choosing his next destination? It’d be a classless move and we hope the Skins don’t pull this on Cousins.
10. Hope Is True: Kirk Cousins Will Go To A Contender
It was heartbreaking having to watch Kirk Cousins play with the Washington Redskins season after season. People might want to hate him as much as they can, but no one can deny that this guy is a hard worker and he is a really good quarterback. Since he became a starter in Washington, the lowest completion average Cousins had was 64 percent. A number most quarterbacks in this league would kill for. Eli Manning has two Super Bowls, and he never managed to get a 64 percent ratio.
All that Cousins needs in order to prove he is a Super Bowl-worthy quarterback is a good team. One of the teams we heard he could end up in is the Jacksonville Jaguars. And imagine what the Jaguars could do if they had a good quarterback under center.
9. Hope Isn’t True: Le’Veon Bell Stays In Pittsburgh
How do you put a price tag on a guy who rushed for almost 1,300 yards, scored nine touchdowns in 15 games, and added a couple of touchdown receptions just for the hell of it? Le’Veon Bell is arguably the best player who could hit free agency this spring. And when we say could, it is because Bell has been trying to work out a deal with the Steelers in order to stay.
The problem is that he and the franchise seem to have different ideas of how much he is worth.
The only people who will get hurt by this extension getting pushed back because of disagreements are Pittsburgh fans. After all, everyone else in the NFL is hoping Bell will hit free agency. This is a 25-year-old running back who can still improve. We can’t even begin to imagine the offers he is going to get during free agency.
8. Hope Is True: Drew Brees Stays In New Orleans
This is pretty much a given, but it is still something we really want to see. Seeing how things played out in the playoffs, it is hard to say that the Saints would not have a real shot at winning the Super Bowl if not for that ridiculous missed tackle in their heartbreaking loss against the Vikings. Their defense has finally switched gears and started contributing to the team. Their offense is as good as ever with Drew Brees dictating the flow. More than that, Drew doesn’t resemble a guy who is about to turn 40.
The Saints could win, and they could win it now. Adding a few pieces in free agency and having a good draft would put them near the top of anyone’s predictions for next year’s Super Bowl. Re-signing Brees might cost them $50 million for two years, but that is a small price to pay for greatness.
7. Hope Isn’t True: Baker Mayfield To The Jets
Here is where we start talking about draft rumors, and God knows that there are a lot of those floating about. The first one obviously has to do with Baker Mayfield. The Oklahoma quarterback might just be the one rookie whose destination everyone wants to know. He has that personality of someone who could change a franchise. And he has the numbers to back up his cause.
The New York Jets are indeed a franchise in dire need of a rebranding and a new face. The last time they got to the playoffs was in 2010 with Mark Sanchez as their quarterback. Although this could work out, it is hard to see the New York lifestyle having a good influence on Mayfield. Only time will tell, but this could be the biggest gamble since Johnny Manziel.
6. Hope Is True: Josh Rosen To The Giants
The New York Giants desperately need a new quarterback. The prime of Eli Manning’s career has come and gone with everyone in the league except the Giants front office realizing it was happening. Nevertheless, the 3-13 record of this season should be enough for them to comprehend that it is time to move on from the two-time Super Bowl champion and bet on a talented player available in this year’s draft.
Josh Rosen’s third season with UCLA was undoubtedly his best, and it certainly attracted many NFL scouts. The kid is as accurate as they come, and he has the arm to succeed in the NFL.
Pairing him up with Odell Beckham Jr. could be the best thing the Giants have done since drafting the guy as their wide receiver of the future. We will have to wait and see how the draft goes, though.
5. Hope Isn’t True: Odell Beckham Jr. Extends His Contract
The way the New York Giants have dealt with the contract situation of their brightest star has been nothing short of astonishing. OBJ will enter the final season of his rookie contract and the Giants have yet to give him any long-term assurances. This is a guy who many people argue is the best young receiver in the history of football since Randy Moss. If the Giants don’t give him a pitch and a lot of money, everyone should expect to see OBJ walking once his contract is through.
All of the other teams in the NFL will throw every single penny they have Beckham’s way if he hits free agency. The man has already said he wants to be the highest-paid player in the NFL, which could end up happening somewhere else if the Giants don’t commit to him soon enough.
4. Hope Is True: Eli Apple To The Buccaneers
As you have probably realized, the New York Giants have a lot of problems to solve this offseason. They need to decide if they will go with a new quarterback or stay with Eli Manning. They need to give Odell Beckham Jr. the contract he wants, and several other things. But a good place to start for the Giants would be to cut ties with Eli Apple. The man who was supposed to be the savior of their secondary ended up becoming a team “cancer,” according to his teammate Landon Collins.
Since they should be in rebuilding mode, nothing makes more sense for the Giants than to trade Apple for a draft pick. They could get something up to a fourth-round pick from the Bucs. It also makes sense for the Buccaneers since they are getting a talented player for a fourth-round pick. They should just hope he doesn’t destroy their locker room.
3. Hope Isn’t True: Rob Gronkowski Retires
The day Rob Gronkowski retires will be a sad day for football. At just 28 years old, this guy is very well in the conversation for the best tight end in the history of the game. 2017 was a year as amazing as any other in Gronk’s career. He finished the season with 1,084 receiving yards and eight touchdowns to his name. He took a lot of punishment, but he was still able to play most of the season.
Unfortunately, after the New England Patriots lost the Super Bowl, Gronk started talking about retirement and everyone started getting the chills.
He is still very young, but a person needs to do what is best for them. And Gronk is one of those guys who has gone through all kinds of injuries. Rumors also are popping up that he’s considering pursuing an acting career. That could mean some big paychecks with little punishment. Still, we hope he stays because the game is better with him playing.
2. Hope Is True: A.J. McCarron Hits The Open Market
Who would’ve thought that one day we would be talking about A.J. McCarron being the most courted quarterback in free agency after Kirk Cousins? Yes, folks, this is the world we live in today. The future of McCarron will depend a lot on whether he will be able to become an unrestricted free agent or if he will remain a restricted free agent.
If he stays a restricted free-agent all bets are off since any team wanting to count on his services would have to compensate the Cincinnati Bengals. And the only teams who would be willing to do something like that are the likes of the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets. Now, if he does become unrestricted, offers could come from everywhere. It sure would be fun to watch a bidding war for A.J. McCarron.
1. Hope Isn’t True: Cowboys Move On From Dez Bryant
It seems like the Dallas Cowboys have finally had enough of Dez Bryant’s antics. Still, can you imagine what life would be like in Dallas without Dez? The Cowboys would be boring. You need to have that charismatic wide receiver that will bring news crews and fans to the stadium. Of course, his last few seasons were not up to Dez Bryant standards, but the guy is still only 29-years-old.
With the evolution of Dak Prescott and the addition of a few pieces, we are sure Dez can go back to putting up more than a thousand receiving yards every season.
Although we do hope he stays with the Cowboys for the sake of the franchise, we also think he should at least dial back on the talking until he is playing well enough to make up for it.
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