The NFL offseason is upon us. Last offseason featured Joe Flacco’s declaration that he is the best quarterback in the NFL. That worked out well for him.
So let’s make some bold predication for the vast football-less hellscape between now and 2013 Week 1. May these predictions be as ELITE as Joe Flacco.
The Bears will sign a highly coveted free agent.
And they will do so via text.
Free agent: “Hey”
Bears: “Wanna sign w us? Cool if not. Whatevs.”
Free agent: “Sure”
Bears: “Cool. Will send contract in mail.”
The Cardinals will draft quarterbacks in the second and third rounds.
The Cardinals desperately need a quarterback and there aren’t any quarterbacks out there worth taking with the No. 7 pick. No matter. Arizona will trade that seventh overall pick -- and all of their later-round picks -- for multiple picks in the second and third rounds.
Why? Because their divisional rival 49ers got Colin Kaepernick in the second round. And their divisional rival Seahawks got Russell Wilson in the third round. So maybe finding a franchise quarterback in those rounds is the way to go? Eh? Maybe? Yes? Possibly?
At least let them try. Nothing else has worked. They need this.
The Steelers will draft Manti Te’o.
Assuming the Steelers can fix their biggest problem -- which is losing to awful teams like the Raiders, Titans and Browns -- their biggest need area is getting a playmaker on defense. Despite having a highly ranked defense in recent years, Pittsburgh doesn’t get to the quarterback enough and doesn’t create many turnovers.
That’s where Manti Te’o comes in. “The guy who got knocked over backwards for three hours by Alabama? How will he make plays in the NFL?” He won’t. He can’t. What he will do is create a diversion so his teammates can make plays. The sight of Te’o, the sports punch line of the year, standing right in front of them will be too much for opponents to take. While they’re preoccupied making Te’o jokes and taunting him, Te’o’s teammates will run unabated to the quarterback. As soon as NFL teams understand this, Te’o’s draft stock will stop plummeting.
Joe Flacco will become the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL.
The Ravens have no choice but to give him Peyton Manning and Drew Brees money -- or, as it will soon be known, Joe Flacco money.
But bumping up Flacco’s contract by $15 million or so a year won’t be all that hard for the Ravens to absorb. Remember: They don’t have to pay Ray Lewis anymore. Nor do they have to pay for his pregame dance-routine pyrotechnics or props or tap shoes or makeup or bedazzled gloves or feather boas. They’ll be just fine.
The St. Louis Rams will make no moves in free agency.
The Rams already picked up Titus Young. Yes, that Titus Young. You know, the one who is better than Calvin Johnson?
When you acquire a receiver who is better than the best receiver in the NFL, what else is there to really do? The Rams are set. Now they just have to wait for the 2013 season to start and watch the wins roll in.
The New York Giants will make no significant changes.
The Giants missed the playoffs, but nothing happened in the postseason that should change anyone’s mind that the Giants’ approach still isn’t the way to win in the NFL. Think about it: A team that had a fairly mediocre regular season won the Super Bowl thanks to the stunning play of a quarterback many have serious reservations about. All the Ravens did was copy the Giants’ system. There’s no reason the originators of that system should feel the need to alter what they’re doing in any way.
Someone will hire Cam Cameron.
The Browns need something -- anything -- associated with success. Yet they hired Norv Turner. The Saints need to fix one of the NFL’s worst defenses. Yet they hired Rob Ryan. The Titans need to fix the NFL’s worst defense. Yet they hired Gregg Williams. Jim Caldwell just coordinated his way to a Super Bowl. The world doesn’t make sense, people. Science is a lie. NFL assistant coaches prove it.
UPDATE: Since the time this was published, Cam Cameron has been hired. By LSU. Yes, LSU -- the team that struggled to cross midfield in the 2012 BCS title game -- has hired Cam Cameron, the guy with an 18-37 career record as a college head coach, as its new offensive coordinator. But before you try to say that Les Miles is insane and knows absolutely nothing about offense, consider this:
Could be 4 down territory!
— Les Miles (@LSUCoachMiles) February 4, 2013
Les Miles tweeted that when the 49ers had the ball and were trailing by five points in the final minute of Super Bowl XLVII. An astute offensive observation if there ever was one.
Chip Kelly will load up on Oregon players in Philadelphia.
Chip Kelly’s interest in Dennis Dixon suggests he might be Steve Spurrier 2.0(regon). Who else might he bring in from Oregon’s 2007 team? That was a pretty good team. It won the Sun Bowl. Winning the NFC East is almost as prestigious.
The Jaguars will stand pat with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne.
Jacksonville won’t find its franchise quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick this year. It’s a bad draft for quarterbacks. And that’s OK. All the Jaguars need is 15 more bad draft years for quarterbacks and every other team will also be playing with quarterbacks of the quality of Gabbert and Henne. Playing field? Leveled. A little patience and some good luck could really turn the Jacksonville franchise around.
The Jets will sign JaMarcus Russell.
They’ve already reportedly discussed signing the former Raiders quarterback. And why not? If you can’t be good -- and the Jets are nowhere near good -- at least be entertaining. The Jets should actually have a sign like that in their locker room above the door: “At least be entertaining today.”
The question is: Mark Sanchez or JaMarcus Russell? And the votes are in. Oh, my. My goodness. I’m sorry, Mr. Sanchez. You’ve suffered many humiliating defeats in your career. You’ve fumbled off butts. Butts. But this? This is too much. No one deserves this much humiliation.
Tony Romo will declare his greatness.
Two offseasons ago Eli Manning said he was Tom Brady’s equal and then won a Super Bowl. Last offseason Joe Flacco announced he was the best quarterback in the NFL and then won a Super Bowl. It’s Tony Romo’s time. He must declare his greatness. Romo should keep it vague, though. In the great likelihood that the Cowboys still fail to win the Super Bowl, Romo can just say he was talking about his golf game.
Rob Gronkowski will cut off his left arm.
How can one truly party if a portion of one’s upper body is clothed by a cast? No. It’s completely shirtless and completely bare up top or nothing. The arm in the cast is getting amputated. It might affect his receiving a little, but the Patriots probably still feel more comfortable throwing to a one-armed Gronkowski late in a game than a two-armed Wes Welker.
The 49ers will refuse to trade Alex Smith to the Cardinals.
Alex Smith isn’t Colin Kaepernick, but he’s a quality NFL quarterback. Why would the 49ers greatly improve a team they have to play twice a year by providing them with a major upgrade at the most important position on the field? Jim Harbaugh may look insane, but often he is not actually insane.
No, instead the 49ers will try to trade Smith to the Browns. And then the Chiefs. And then the Jaguars. And then the Bills. But each trade will fall through.
“Alex, we traded you to the Browns. You have to go to Cleveland now.”
“Sorry, can’t hear you.”
“Alex, we traded you to the Chiefs. You have to go to Kansas City now.”
“Sorry, can’t hear you.”
“Alex, we traded you to the Jaguars. You have to go to Jacksonville now.”
“Sorry, can’t hear you.”
“Alex, we traded you to the Bills. You have to go to Buffalo now.”
“Look, I’m going to keep pretending that I can’t hear you until you trade me someplace good.”