Road to Super Bowl 55: Offseason Storylines (March 16)

With other sports seasons suspended or canceled due to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, the NFL’s offseason is taking center stage. We’re taking a look at the breaking news and offseason storylines from the league that never sleeps.


“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the expected landing spot for quarterback Tom Brady, barring any unforeseen circumstances, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington.

The news comes after Brady said goodbye to the New England Patriots in a series of Instagram posts on Tuesday, ending his 20-year run with the only NFL team he has ever known.

Brady, 42, leaves New England with six Super Bowl rings and 41 playoff starts since 2001.”

Read the full story on

Philip Rivers joins Indianapolis Colts

“Former Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will reportedly return for his 17th season in the NFL but with a new team for the first time in his career.

The 38-year-old will sign with the Indianapolis Colts on a one-year deal worth about $25 million, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network noted, though, Rivers intends to play beyond the 2020 season.”

Read the full story at Bleacher Report

Teddy Bridgewater joins Panthers; Cam Newton to seek trade

“On the same day the Carolina Panthers gave Cam Newtonpermission to seek a trade that he says he didn’t ask for, the team agreed to give free-agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater a three-year, $63 million deal, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Bridgewater is guaranteed $40 million in the first two seasons, a league source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano.”

Read the full story at

Dallas Cowboys interested in adding former Broncos, 49ers WR

“The Cowboys re-signed Amari Cooper this week, but Randall Cobb is off to Houston and that leaves them with a hole to fill in their receiving corps.

One option to fill that hole appears to be Emmanuel Sanders. Jane Slater of NFL Media reports that the team has expressed interest in Sanders and that Sanders, who went to college at SMU in Dallas, has interest in playing for the team.”

Read the full story on Yahoo! Sports



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Road to Super Bowl 55: Free Agency Preview

With the 2019-20 season officially behind us and the 2020 Combine officially underway, the next step on the Road to Super Bowl 55 in Tampa in 2021 is the beginning of the new league year, and the free agency season. What players are most likely to cash in on new contracts 2020, and what teams might they be playing for?

QB Drew Brees — New Orleans Saints

“The 41-year-old signal-caller announced on social media that he isn’t retiring just yet and said to “Who Dat Nation” that they were going to make another run at it. In other words, he isn’t going anywhere. In the 14 years of PFF’s existence, Brees has far and away been the most valuable player in the NFL by total WAR. On top of that, Brees has never produced an overall single-season grade lower than 81.0 nor a single-season grade rank among quarterbacks that was below the 75th percentile. He was second to only Russell Wilson in PFF overall grade this past season and was the most accurate quarterback on a throw-for-throw basis via PFF’s ball-charting process. Brees isn’t washed up, and with him under center, the Saints are contenders.” — Pro Football Focus

QB Tom Brady — New England Patriots

“Brees and Brady, who rank first and second on the all-time passing touchdowns list, will both have the last two years of their current deals void on the eve of the new league year. But they’re the two oldest position players in pro football, and new contracts in New Orleans and New England are likely.” — Bleacher Report

WR Amari Cooper — Dallas Cowboys

“Cooper is the most promising receiving available this offseason but the cost will be steep. While he is one of the better receivers in the league, I don’t think he’s quite in that elite class, and his short-term ceiling might be lower than Green’s if the 32-year-old does, in fact, make it back to full health.” — USA Today

DL Chris Jones — Kansas City Chiefs

“With just $13.7 million in cap space and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes still needing an extension, the Chiefs have to be careful with who they sign this offseason to sustain long-term success. Chris Jones is one of the best 3-techniques in the entire NFL. If it weren’t for Aaron Donald‘s dominance, Jones would own the highest pass-rush grade at 3-tech over the past four years. As our own Eric Eager broke down earlier this week, a likely scenario for the Chiefs is to apply the franchise tag to Jones and trade him for draft compensation. Indianapolis is a candidate for this type of deal, as they own two second-round picks and are desperate for pass-rush help, particularly on the interior where they ranked 29th of 32 teams in pressure rate generated.” — Pro Football Focus

RB Derrick Henry — Tennessee Titans

“None of the league’s nine highest-paid running backs will participate in this year’s NFL playoffs. The position has been severely devalued for a reason, but this offseason’s free-agent class still looks quite special.

It of course starts with Henry, who led the league in rushing yards, was tied for the NFL lead with 16 rushing touchdowns and ranked secondamong all backs who had at least 150 carries with an average of 5.1 yards per attempt. He finished strong, too, and there should be plenty of tread left on his soon-to-be 26-year-old tires because this was really his first season as a workhorse.” — Bleacher Report

DE Jadaveon Clowney — Seattle Seahawks

“Box score watchers may not appreciate Clowney’s game, but he’s established himself as one of the league’s dominant edge defenders. Despite seeing a high number of double teams during the 2019 season, Clowney still managed to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, finishing seventh in ESPN’s Pass Block Win Rate metric. So why is Clowney so low on this list? Well, the rest of the NFL knows how good he is, and the bidding way will inflate his contract value.” — USA Today



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Road to Super Bowl 54: Free Agency Headlines

Happy new league year, football fans! Now officially in the 2019-20 NFL season, teams were free to begin announcing agreed-upon trades and free agency signings—and as always, the first hours provided some of the biggest headlines of the NFL season.

Cleveland Browns Acquire WR Odell Beckham Jr.

In one of the most surprising moves of the week, the New York Giants announced they were trading all-pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for draft picks and safety Jabrill Peppers, launching the Browns, for the first time in decades, into the Super Bowl conversation.

“I know Odell’s very, very passionate,” Browns general manager John Dorsey said. “He’s competitive. I know he can help this football team. If you get a chance to acquire a guy like that, take a shot… you can’t have enough talented football players.”

Raiders Go Wide (out)

After sending a 3rd- and 5th round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown, the Raiders continued to add more weapons for quarterback Derek Carr, signing Chargers standout WR Tyrell Williams to a four-year, $44 million contract.

“Seeing AB come here, seeing some of the things they’re doing on the offensive side of the ball, it’s exciting,” Williams said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “I’ve gone against the Raiders the past four years, so it’s an easy transition for me.”

Jaguars Land Foles

Quarterback Nick Foles is finally out in Philadelphia, and the Super Bowl LI MVP has chosen Jacksonville as his new full-time starting gig.

“The Jacksonville Jaguars may have a long-term solution at quarterback—the most important position in the NFL. A competent signal-caller and backup-level passer could mean the difference between a playoff squad and a top-10 spot in the draft order. There’s a reason this team has the No. 7 overall pick. Jacksonville acquired a top talent at a make-or-break position.” — Maurice Moton, Bleacher Report

Ravens Reload

After officially committing to the Lamar Jackson era by trading quarterback Joe Flacco, and letting veterans like linebackers Terrell Suggs and C.J. Mosley and safety Eric Weddle walk, it became increasingly clear the Ravens were in the midst of renewing their identity, signing former Saints running back Mark Ingram and standout “Legion of Boom” safety Earl Thomas.

“I don’t like giving big deals to running backs, but this one makes sense. Ingram on a deal averaging $5-million per season is a good deal. Ingram fits the Ravens style of offense, too, a guy who puts his foot in the ground and goes. Baltimore is better off paying Ingram $5 million per year than breaking the bank for Le’Veon Bell.”

“Thomas has been a great player, but he turns 30 in May and he’s had some injury issues. Yet the Ravens are giving him a reported $32-million in guaranteed money on a four-year deal. They probably wanted to get faster than what they had in veteran Eric Weddle, but Weddle brought a lot of special qualities to the defense. I am not a big fan of this move.” — Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

Trades Completed

Several trades that had been announced earlier in the offseason were officially completed on Wednesday, including: the Baltimore Ravens trading QB Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos, the Broncos trading QB Case Keenum to the Redskins, and of course, the Steelers trading Brown to the Raiders.



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Super Bowl 54 in Miami

2018 NFL Free Agency Preview

The next step on the Road to Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta is the beginning of the NFL Free Agency process. As of Monday, teams and free agents were allowed to officially begin negotiating, with teams free to announce agreements and officially sign players on Wednesday. Here’s a quick preview of some of the players to watch in the 2018 NFL Free Agency frenzy.

Who To Watch: Players

Kirk Cousins, Quarterback (Washington Redskins)

To nobody’s surprise, Cousins is the most coveted quarterback on the market right now. And after finally moving on from the Washington Redskins, Cousins will be due for a massive pay day to become one team’s starter. But the questions remains—where will he land? All signs are pointing to either the Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets or Denver Broncos, although the Arizona Cardinals are rumored to be in the mix as well. On thing is for certain—Cousins will be looking at record-type money wherever he does choose to sign.

Case Keenum, Quarterback (Minnesota Vikings)

Despite leading the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship game in the 2017 NFL season, the team has chosen not to re-sign either of their quarterbacks (the other being Teddy Bridgewater). Although Keenum is 29 and only has one MVP-caliber season under his belt, quarterback-hungry teams will be looking at Keenum to develop and fill that gap, and he’s most likely going to be the second-richest contract of this free agency period.

Update: Keenum has agreed in principle to sign with the Denver Broncos, according to multiple reports. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Sammy Watkins, Wide Receiver (LA Rams)

Teams that are in need of a playmaking wide receiver will not be disappointed in this year’s free agency class. Big wide receivers like Watkins, Allen Robinson Jr. and more are looking for new homes. And teams that might be worried about Robinson’s 2017 knee injury might look to Watkins as their #1 option. Despite not having many yards in 2017 with the Rams, he did manage to grab eight touchdowns.

Update: Watkins has agreed in principle to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs, according to multiple reports. Watkins is reportedly going to Kansas City on a three-year, $48 million deal.

Andrew Norwell, Guard (Carolina Panthers)

Coming off an All-Pro season protecting quarterback Cam Newton for the Carolina Panthers, Norwell is most likely in for a big pay day as he’s one (if not the) top guards in the league. A team looking to add more protection for their quarterback is likely to jump at the opportunity to sign Norwell, and according to reports, the San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts are two teams that are heavily interested.

Update: Norwell has agreed in principle to sign with the Jacksonville, according to multiple reports. Norwell is reportedly signing with Jacksonville for a massive five-year, $66.5 million deal with $30 million fully guaranteed.


Who To Watch: Teams with Most Cap Room

Take a look at the top five teams with the most estimated cap room in the NFL for 2018, courtesy of Sporting News.

Cleveland Browns – $108,692,537

New York Jets – $89,259,293

Indianapolis Colts – $72,700,202

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $69,775,263

San Francisco 49ers – $66,290,382

To see the estimated cap room for all 32 teams, click here.



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Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta | Travel Packages

2017 Expert NFL Mock Draft (#1-5)

Now in the second week of the NFL’s free agency period, teams are beginning to finalize their roster decisions for the 2017-18 NFL season. And with sights set on Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, the next step is determining which of the incoming rookies best fit each team’s needs. Here are some of the experts’ thoughts on the top five picks in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.

#1: Cleveland Browns

Consensus Pick: Myles Garrett, OLB/DE, Texas A&M

“This should be a no-brainer for the Cleveland Browns after the three years Myles Garrett put on tape at A&M and the all-world performance he showed at the combine. But these are the Browns we’re talking about, and no one in the NFL has much faith in the team to do the right thing.” – Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

#2: San Francisco 49ers

CBS Sports: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina | Bleacher Report: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU | MMQB: Marshon Lattimore, DB, Ohio State

“John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan might figure out a way to snag Kirk Cousins from perennial franchise tag-dom in D.C.—I have a feeling trade rumors will persist—but I’m more inclined to believe the new regime will try to build the roster elsewhere. That said, the rebuild may be a slow burn, and that means Lynch might not over-draft for a quarterback here. Instead, how about addressing the secondary? Former first-rounder Jimmie Ward might be switching to safety in San Francisco’s new Cover 3-heavy defense, and Lattimore would be a stud starter to plug in at cornerback, for 2017 and many years to come.” – Emily Kaplan, MMQB

#3: Chicago Bears

CBS Sports: Jamal Adams, S, LSU | MMQB & Bleacher Report: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

“Trubisky has the best accuracy in the 2017 class, and while he won’t have the best 40 time or strongest arm, NFL evaluators I’ve spoken to in the last week raved about his leadership and football IQ. If general manager Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox see those same traits, they should be all over Trubisky as the new franchise quarterback.” – Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

#4: Jacksonville Jaguars

CBS Sports & Bleacher Report: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford | MMQB: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

“The Jaguars are in desperate need of a pass rusher and there’s an argument that Thomas is the best defensive player in this draft. He’d join a defense that drafted Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack last season and Dante Fowler in 2015.” – Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

#5: Tennessee Titans

CBS Sports: Marshon Lattimore, DB, Ohio State | Bleacher Report: Jamal Adams, S, LSU | MMQB: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

“In Hooker, the Titans address their biggest weakness, the secondary. Scouts rave about his ball skills and instincts—he gets Ed Reed comparisons. With two picks in the first round, and three top-tier wide receiver candidates available, Tennessee will grab a go-to target for Marcus Mariota later (see pick No. 18).” – Emily Kaplan, MMQB

Full 2017 NFL Draft 1st-Round Mock Drafts.

For Ryan Wilson’s CBS Sports mock draft, click here.

For Matt Miller’s Bleacher Report mock draft, click here.

For Emily Kaplan’s MMQB mock draft, click here.

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Winners & Losers: Free Agency Edition

One week into the NFL’s free agency period, and the biggest names have already found their new (or returned) home. We take a look at the early winners and losers of the 2016 NFL Free Agency period.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTSWinners: Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars struck early in free agency, upgrading their defense by adding Super Bowl champion defensive lineman Malik Jackson and cornerback Prince Amukamara. But Jacksonville also upgraded their offense by creating a two-back field, signing running back Chris Ivory from the New York Jets to pair up with second-year RB T.J. Yeldon.

As the Jaguars chase both the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans in the AFC South, it’s clear Jacksonville has a goal to win the division now, instead of later.

Winners: Houston Texans

Another AFC South team emerges as an early free agency winner. The Houston Texans addressed their seemingly forever-need at the quarterback position by signing former Denver Broncos QB Brock Osweiler to a $72 million contract with $37 million guaranteed. The Texans also upgraded the running back position following the release of Arian Foster, by signing former Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller to a four-year, $26 million deal.

Along with the Jaguars, the Texans look to not only purchase these upgrades, but create a base of consistency within the organization at the quarterback and running back position, following a constant carousel of players at QB and the oft-sidelining of RBs.

Losers: Denver Broncos

Not often does a Super Bowl champion head into an offseason with so much uncertainty. But that is where the Denver Broncos find themselves heading into the 2016-17 regular season.

Two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Peyton Manning has ridden off into retirement. The promising backup, Brock Osweiler, bolted for the aforementioned Houston Texans. Linebacker Danny Trevathan signed with the Chicago Bears, and as previously mentioned, defensive lineman Malik Jackson left for Jacksonville. Running back C.J. Anderson’s status with the team is also in question, as the restricted free agent has reportedly received offers from both the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears.

Although trading for quarterback Mark Sanchez from the Philadelphia Eagles, it remains to be seen what Denver’s plans for the quarterback position are clearly. Rumored interest in San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick has surfaced, but Denver isn’t the only team inquiring about the quarterback’s talents.

This doesn’t necessarily spell disaster for the Broncos, as they were able to keep a large part of their talented defense in tact. But uncertainty at the quarterback position is what kills teams in a league that thrives on passing.

All this free agency talk got you missing football? Relive the 2015-16 NFL season through our blogs, recapping everything from Colts games to the playoffs to the Super Bowl, and much more. Check out what you missed at the 2016 Players Tailgate in San Francisco, and get ready for the 2016 regular season by looking at our Colts VIP Tailgates that happen every Sunday before home games.

2016’s Top NFL Free Agents

The free agency negotiations period for the NFL offseason begins on March 7, with unrestricted free agents free to sign with any team on March 9 at 4 p.m. ET. And with a raise in the salary cap, teams are looking to spend. Here are some of the top picks from 2016’s free agency class.


Eric Berry, S, Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs starting safety returned from his cancer scare playing an elite level, something that many teams in the league will be looking for in their secondary. Berry finished his 2015-16 campaign with 61 tackles, two interceptions and 10 pass deflections.

Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The 5th-year running back will be coming off of his best year as a starter in terms of yards per-carry. Martin averaged 4.9 YPC, gaining 1,402 yards and reaching the end zone six times.

For a team in dire need of a feature back, Martin showed his worth in 2015 in Tampa Bay, finishing second in the league in rushing.

Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears

While not the back he used to be, Forte showed no signs of slowing down due to age in the 2015-16 season. Forte, despite missing three games in weeks 9-11 and being limited in the second half of the season, finished with 898 yards, four touchdowns and averaged 4.1 YPC.

Although not the backfield threat he once was, Forte could offer a value upgrade at a key position to a lot of teams looking for rushing help.

Russell Okung, OL, Seattle Seahawks

Okung, though not great, has been a solid starter at tackle for the Seattle Seahawks since being drafted in 2010. And in a league where protecting your quarterback has become the key component to winning, and a market low on talented line help, Okung would be a great pickup for anyone looking to upgrade their offensive protection.

The road to Super Bowl LI in Houston begins in free agency. The road to the 2017 Players Tailgate in Houston, begins today. Look back at what you missed at the 2016 Players Tailgate in San Francisco, and see just a glimmer of the VIP experience coming to Houston next February!

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