The NFL offseason is down to its final stages, with teams engaged in organized team activities (OTAs) before the start of the regular season. During this period, reports and rumors emerge from these early practices and dominate the news cycle. Coaches, beat writers, and players provide insights and observations, creating a buzz around the league. However, it’s crucial to discern these reports’ significance with their impact on the upcoming season.
In this article, we will delve into various topics that have been making waves in the NFL news cycle, examining the buying and selling aspects of each development.
Sell: Russell Wilson’s Progress with Sean Payton
The Denver Broncos are banking on head coach Sean Payton’s ability to elevate quarterback Russell Wilson’s performance after a lackluster 2022 season. Recent NFL news suggests that Payton has expressed optimism about Wilson’s progress during OTAs, highlighting their work together to improve the quarterback’s game.
However, it remains to be seen if the 34-year-old Wilson can maintain his sharpness in live-game action. With his contract binding him to the team until 2025, Wilson must prove himself on the field before the offseason hype can be validated.
Buy: Davante Adams’ Contentment to the Raiders
Speculation surrounding Adams’ future in Las Vegas has emerged due to the departure of his former college teammate, Derek Carr, and the arrival of Jimmy Garoppolo as the team’s new quarterback. Adams initially made comments suggesting discord but later clarified his stance, expressing enthusiasm about working with Garoppolo and the rest of the group.
Adams’ integral role in the offense, as demonstrated by his high target count and All-Pro performance, coupled with Garoppolo’s ability to distribute the ball, ensures Adams’ happiness and productivity in Las Vegas.
Sell: Lamar Jackson’s Reduced Running in Todd Monken’s Offense
Jackson recently signed a lucrative contract extension worth $260 million with the Ravens, making him the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history. Jackson claims his role in the team’s new offense under coordinator Todd Monken will entail more passing and less running. While adding better receivers supports this transition, along with the possibility of acquiring another star wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, Monken acknowledges the importance of a strong run game.
Jackson’s unique running ability will still be an essential component of the Ravens’ offense, making it unlikely that his running volume will decrease significantly.
Buy: Elijah Moore’s Promising Start with the Browns
Moore’s arrival in Cleveland has created excitement among fans and observers. He has quickly established a connection with quarterback Deshaun Watson during OTAs, earning praise for his performance.
Unlike his inconsistent role with the New York Jets, Moore has a clear path to becoming a prominent figure in the Browns’ passing attack. With the opportunity to shine as the team’s second option in the passing game, Moore is poised for a breakout season.
Sell: Darren Waller’s Potential to Transform the Giants’ Passing Game
The Giants desperately needed help in the receiving game and went out and acquired veteran tight end Darren Waller to strengthen their corps and help out quarterback Daniel Jones. However, tempered expectations are warranted; injuries have hindered Waller’s recent performance, and his statistical production has declined.
While he has impressed in OTAs, it’s essential to consider that coaches instructed defensive backs not to contest deep balls aggressively. The Giants’ passing game still faces uncertainties, and Waller’s impact may be limited by his age and recent performance.
Buy: Dolphins’ Need for Help at Linebacker
During OTAs, longtime Dolphins observer Omar Kelly expressed concerns regarding the team’s linebacking corps. Kelly noted that free agent Aubrey Miller, although undrafted due to size concerns, has a similar stature to Jerome Baker and free agent addition David Long.
He also raised concerns about Channing Tindall, a 2022 draft pick who appeared invisible during the practice. Kelly emphasized the importance of having linebackers with adequate size and questioned the wisdom of relying solely on undersized players. Considering the available options in the free agent market, such as Jaylon Smith and Kyle Van Noy, the Dolphins may need to add bigger linebackers to their roster.
The buzz and rumors from the 2023 NFL offseason workouts provide insight into various developments in the league. While some reports are worth considering, it’s essential to approach them with skepticism and discern their impact on the upcoming season. For example, reporters still want to create the narrative that Tom Brady will return and play for the Raiders despite his retirement and ownership stake with the team.
The progress of quarterbacks like Wilson and Jackson, the contentment of players like Adams, the promising start of rookies like Moore, and the potential acquisitions for teams like the Giants and Dolphins all generate discussion. However, it remains to be seen how these factors will play out on the field when the regular season begins. As fans and observers, it’s necessary to follow the developments closely but also maintain a measured perspective.