We may be in the dead period of the offseason, but there are still plenty of NFL storylines to discuss. Let’s have a look at five thoughts on around-the-league topics:
Should Mitch Trubisky be the opening day starter for the Chicago Bears?
Believe it or not, the Bears actually have a nice setup for a rookie quarterback. Despite all their troubles last season, Chicago has built a very good offensive line anchored by second-year center Cody Whitehair and has one of the league’s best running backs in Jordan Howard. If the Bears’ top-pick quarterback were asked to jump ahead of Mike Glennon right away, he’d be well protected, wouldn’t have to carry the offense and would have a few decent weapons to target if Kevin White is healthy.
When we talk about whether quarterbacks should sit or not, Aaron Rodgers’ name always gets brought into the mix as a clipboard success story, but quarterbacks like Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota all started right away and weren’t permanently damaged by it. Plus the Bears need to get as much sample size as they can to figure out whether Trubisky is their long-term answer or not. They are in the process of building a good roster (with much more work needed on the defensive side), so they need to know if Trubisky is legit as soon as possible. He would also get to play in a mostly expectation-free environment. Most have the Bears pegged with five or six wins maximum this year. What’s the upside to playing Mike Glennon other than possibly boosting his value and trading him?
The only scenario to keep Trubisky on the bench is if he looked like Jared Goff in preseason last year.
Adrian Peterson hype
Nobody makes people believe in the hype quite like Adrian Peterson.
#Saints S Kenny Vaccaro on Adrian Peterson: He's "ridiculous." Hasn't lost a step. Thinks he can play til he's 40.
— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) June 1, 2017
Players always talk up guys who are future Hall of Famers because there is no upside to being honest in that situation. But here’s the reality: Peterson is coming off a season in which he played three games and averaged 1.9 Yards Per Carry in those games. In fact, go back even farther and it’s clear that he isn’t the same old A.D. Since 2013 Peterson has averaged 4.4 YPC and 6.5 Yards Per Reception – a shade above league average. Between 2007 and 2012, he gained 5.0 YPC and 8.6 YPR. He has been a top-end player in a long time.
If Peterson is healthy, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him have a solid year where he averages over four yards per carry and plays a role on a playoff team, but the Saints would be better of using Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara more than Peterson.
Remaining free agents
The Vikings haven’t shown much interest in picking up cheap veteran free agents. They seem to prefer youth for depth. But there are still a handful of capable players who haven’t found homes yet. One of those is former Bills safety Corey Graham, who ranked 37th of 90 safeties by PFF ratings. He’s been a corner and safety during his career, giving him some versatility if there are injuries in the secondary.
Other safeties who haven’t yet signed include Jarius Byrd, Aaron Williams, Donte Whitner and Roman Harper. The cornerback free agent group has Darrelle Revis, Brandon Flowers, Leon Hall, Leodis McKelvin and Alterraun Verner.
Seems like any one of them would be a good low-risk grab for Minnesota, but it appears unlikely that the Vikings will make any more changes to the roster.
Christian McCaffrey is the wild card
The NFC South should be incredibly competitive this year. The guy that holds the cards to Carolina’s success is rookie Christian McCaffrey. Even when Cam Newton led the Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2015, he still didn’t have an impressive set of weapons outside of tight end Greg Olsen. McCaffrey, if used properly as a playmaking weapon all over the field could make Carolina an extremely dangerous team.
His presence could also make things quite different from the last time the Vikings faced Carolina. The Panthers were trying to throw down the field with Newton despite a putrid offensive line. Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter teed off on Newton in Week 3. This year things could be quite different if Newton has McCaffrey as a short option.
Favre as a coach or exec?
Brett Favre recently said that he’d be open to coaching or taking a front office role in the NFL.
“I would say, I’d never say never. I believe that would be a dream job, working as a coach there or in some form of administration,” Favre told ESPN Milwaukee. “I don’t know, and I don’t want to create a stir [by talking about it], because who knows? But I would say, ‘Never say never.’
The first thought might be: Great players sometimes make terrible coaches. See: Gretzky, Wayne. But Ozzie Newsome and John Elway have become excellent NFL executives, so Favre shouldn’t be disqualified because of his greatness.
Also the misnomer about Favre is that he was just out there drawing up plays in the dirt. If you watch the video below with Jon Gruden, it’s pretty clear that Favre understands the game at an incredible level and might be able to pass that knowledge along. Also: It would be great to have Favre back around the game.