As we gear up and get into NFL training camps and the preseason, there are a ton of storylines to get into. Obviously I can’t cover every single team and every single rookie, but in my estimation these are the biggest and the most exciting storylines for the entire league. I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out.
1. Bears QB Battle
Much was made about the Bears shelling out over $18 million in guaranteed money to Mike Glennon to be the starter for them in free agency, and then just a month later moving up and selecting Mitchell Trubisky with the 2nd pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. No doubt the pressure is going to be on both QB’s at they battle to be the long-term QB for the franchise. It’ll be interesting to see who looks good early on in camp, and who impresses most. Generally in instances like this, the players on the team tend to choose sides very quickly, it’ll be telling to see where the connections lie.
2. Dak and Zeke
The Cowboys have had quite the interesting offseason, for all the wrong reasons mostly. Zeke can’t stay out of the headlines and multiple players on the Cowboys are expected to be suspended due to off the field incidents. Most of the media is loving and waiting for the Cowboys and their young team to fall apart. Can Dak continue his upward trajectory? If we’ve seen anything from Dak, it’s his rare maturity and willingness to continue to improve. This training camp is going to be a telling tale if this Cowboys team can take the next jump.
After another Super Bowl win and the addition of multiple high quality players on both sides of the football, it’s anyone’s guess if any teams in the NFL can catch up to the Patriots. They won the Super Bowl without arguably their 2nd best player on the team in Gronk. Now with a healthy Gronk, additions of Dwayne Allen, Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks, it’s looking more and more likely that the Pats will be back in the Super Bowl mix. How is all this talent going to play out in training camp? Will there be enough footballs to go around? We will see…
4. Leveon Bell
Similarly to the next person we will discuss, Kirk Cousins, Leveon Bell failed to negotiate a long-term deal with the Steelers and is playing on the franchise tag. Bell isn’t afraid to bet on himself and is hoping for a career year to fully capitalize on the market and get the money he rightly deserves. Will he be the best RB in the NFL? Can he stay healthy? Will the Steelers get him to negotiate something before the season? All questions that beg asking.
5. Kirk Cousins
Redskins team president Bruce Allen has recently come out and said that the Redskins offered Cousins over $53 million dollars in guaranteed money and Cousins flat out denied it. What does this mean for the future of Cousins and Redskins? Cousins is clearly betting on himself to have another outstanding season, where he can end up with many choices next season. He is also risking injury and the possibility that his stock could drop with a somewhat down season and the fact that he is going to be 30 years old before the 2018 NFL season.
6. Panthers Up, Falcons Down
Will Cam Newton bounce back after a down 2016 campaign? Many football insiders think the Panthers are primed for a bounce back season with new offensive additions and an improvement to their offensive line. Many are also calling for the Falcons to have a major setback with the loss of Kyle Shanahan and their offensive system. Most Super Bowl teams have a set back the following year, the Falcons are primed for that this year. All I know is that the NFC South is going to be an incredibly intriguing division this year. Who knows what is going to happen, but I can’t wait to see these teams battle.
7. Rookie QB’s
It seems like both Deshaun Watson and DeShone Kizer are going to get fair shakes to win the QB job for week 1 of the NFL season. How quickly can they pick up the offenses? Can the play in pro style offensive schemes? This training camp is going to be an awesome opportunity for both of them to impress their teammates and their coaching staff so that they can have an opportunity to start right away for their teams.
These are just a few of the exciting NFL Training Camp storylines. Have any more? Feel free to chat with me on twitter @DTPDraftScout