With the New England Patriots sixth Super Bowl victory in the record books, all 32 teams in the league are now onto 2019. Yes, we are only one day removed from the end of the 2018 season, but it is already time to start looking ahead. Here’s what may happen (or not) in 2019.
Nick Foles Starts at QB…
In Jacksonville. Wait? What? Yes, that’s right. The former Super Bowl MVP and architect of two Eagles’ playoff runs will become the starting quarterback in Jacksonville. The Jaguars, of course, have been looking for ways to get rid of Blake Bortles for most of the past three seasons. Last year’s disaster cemented it.
The Eagles are expected to pick up Foles’ contract option for the 2019 season, apply the franchise tag, and then trade Foles to the Jaguars. The trade would, of course, entitle Philadelphia to compensation for Foles instead of just letting him walk in free agency. The Eagles would likely receive a third-round pick if they are able to trade Foles.
Where in the NFL is Le’Veon Bell?
The Steelers running back, who sat out all of 2018, will arrive in … drum roll … Houston. The Jets, 49ers, and Texans will all court the former Steeler, but it will be Houston that wins out. The Texans will be able to offer Bell two things: the contract he is looking for (remember Todd Gurley got four years and $57.5 million) and an offense that features QB Deshaun Watson and WR DeAndre Hopkins.
Steelers Trade Antonio Brown
There is little chance that the Pittsburgh Steelers just let WR Antonio Brown walk. If they do that, then division rivals Baltimore, Cincinnati, or even gasp! Cleveland could easily pick him up. Pittsburgh will likely work a deal that ships Brown far away to somewhere like, oh I don’t know, San Francisco. The 49ers have a ton of salary cap space and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan knows exactly what to do with one of the game’s very best wide receivers.
Replay Review Changes
After the fiasco that was the NFC Championship game, the NFL is going to make some changes regarding replay review. There is no way the league will approve the review of judgment calls like pass interference, but look for some system that will assist on-field officials in obvious penalty situations. It may consist of an extra replay booth official or some form of oversight from the league office in New York. Whatever it is, it’s coming.
No, it’s not a sign of the apocalypse. Not yet, anyway. The Cleveland Browns went 5-2 over their final seven games last season. Freddie Kitchens called the offense and now he is the Browns new head coach. Baker Mayfield, who was the runner-up in the Rookie of the Year race, remains at quarterback and the defense is loaded with talent. Oh, and the Browns have plenty of cap space and eight picks in the first five rounds of this year’s draft.
With Baltimore adjusting to Lamar Jackson at quarterback and two-thirds of the Killer Bs in Pittsburgh headed out the door, the Browns will take advantage. Yes, it’s happening.
Four QBs drafted in the First Round
Last year’s draft was historic when five quarterbacks were taken in the first round. This year is supposed to be a light year for quality quarterbacks. In a league that requires a top-notch signal-caller to win championships, 2019 is going to see four more quarterbacks go in the first round. Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins will be the first off the board. Then watch as some team gambles on Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray. To close out the round, Missouri’s Drew Lock and Duke’s Daniel Jones will both be selected among the first 32 picks.