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NFL Offseason Storylines

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There may not be any meaningful football until September, but the NFL never takes a break.

The combine is just a week away and free agency starts soon after that.

Let’s take a look at the five key storylines that we’ll be focused on this offseason.

5. Tim Tebow

The most decorated collegiate athlete of recent memory is already the most heavily debated and scrutinized prospect of all time.  Will the home town Jaguars take a chance on him early or will he slip into the later rounds?  Get ready for a heavy dose of Tebow coverage next week at the combine where his throwing motion will be torn apart like  and the scouts will doubt his ability to play quarterback at the next level.  However, it only takes one team to take a chance on him, so I don’t think he makes it out of round two.

4. Brett Favre

The old gunslinger may be 40, but he can still play.  Coming off his best statistical season in years, it would be hard to see Favre walk away especially when the Vikings were so close to the Super Bowl.  He’ll likely stretch the process out as long as possible so get ready to see Rachel Nicholls camped out on Favre’s ranch in Mississippi all summer long.  In the end, I think we’ll be seeing number four come September.

3. Eagles QB Situation

Many teams struggle to find one decent quarterback.  The Eagles have three and now they have some tough decisions upcoming.  Do they trade Michael Vick?  Extend Kevin Kolb? Trade Kevin Kolb?  Do they trade McNabb?  With a bevy of options at hand, it will be intriguing to see how the Eagles handle this.  I don’t think Kolb is going anywhere so that leaves McNabb and Vick.  Vick is more likely to get traded with a $5.25 million bonus upcoming, but if a team, possibly the Cardinals or Vikings (if Favre’s gone), offers a first round pick it may be tough to turn down with Kolb waiting in the wings. 

2. Lockout in 2011?

Don’t expect anything to happen or a new deal to be struck this offseason.  However, the talks will heat up at the owners meetings and if no deal is struck in the next year we could really be without football in 2011.  With the popularity of NFL right now it seems implausible that there could actually be a lockout in 2011, but as of now this seems fairly plausible.  The owners think they aren’t getting enough money and want a share of what the players are getting.  The details may bore you to death, but get ready because you’ll be hearing a lot about it in the next year.

1. Uncapped Year

The biggest storyline of this offseason will be the uncapped year as a result of no new CBA.  While an uncapped year sounds dangerous, it’s name is a bit misleading.  First off, over 200 players that would have been unrestricted free agents will now be restricted free agents.  This will severely deplete the already weak free agent pool.  There are also rules puts limits on how many free agents the final eight teams can sign and the final four can’t sign a free agent until they lose one.  So don’t get too worked up and think the NFL will suddenly turn into the MLB with the Redskins and Cowboys turning into the Yankees.  Thankfully the NFL has rules preventing that from happening.

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