Counting today, we are officially 2 days away from regular season NFL. I know I mentioned on this month’s Letter from the Editor that we may be cutting football, but there are so many things to look forward to, aside from the general relief that football is back to fill the voids of Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays. With so so much on the line to be excited about, I couldn’t help myself! Perhaps a weekly recap on Tuesday or Wednesday isn’t too much of a commitment moving forward.
The season will kick off Thursday night at Soldier Field with the Green Bay Packers facing the Chicago Bears. If pre-season is any indication how regular season will go, I think all of us are in for a pleasant surprise from all angles. All I can say is, I’m ready…and here are a few reasons why:
1 // DeSean Jackson’s return home
Back in March, one of my all time favorite wide receivers, was traded back to the Philadelphia Eagles, which came as a surprise to many of us, including Jackson himself. A 12-year veteran, who had a short run in Tampa, DeSean Jackson, is finally back home, respectfully, and I’m ready to see what he’s able to do and what kind of energy he brings to the field this time around. Also, to his advantage, the Eagles in depth roster is looking incredible on paper and have the positioning to have another great season in the books. Talk about perfect timing.
2 // Odelle Beckham Jr.’s trade to the Cleveland Browns.
Another trade that has people on their toes is Odelle Beckham Jr. to the Browns. A poor decision on the Giants’ GM side, but an incredible deal for Cleveland, I’m anxious to see how Odelle will adjust to his new team this upcoming season. Leaving New York for the first time since being drafted in 2014, Beckham will now partner with Baker Mayfield and possibly replace wide receiver in the starting lineup in the upcoming season. According to Stephen A., it was more of a business move to eliminate head coach, Pat Shurmur, and push out Dave Gettleman as the GM. Either way it goes, I’m interested in seeing what kind of noise he makes in Ohio.
3 // Antonio Brown in brand new uniform
One trade that really caught my attention this spring was Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders. Antonio has always been a fun player to watch, however, this season he’ll be rocking silver, black, and white instead of the black and yellow that he’s been in since the beginning of his career. According to sources, he’s had some longstanding issues with his former organization. I don’t think much will change as far as talent level - as I still believe he has more 50-yd. touchdowns left in him - but I can’t imagine how he’ll transition. Much like the Odelle trade, Raiders were able to land a top tier player, arguably one of the best Wide Receivers of all time. I’m more curious to see how well they’re able to adjust to new star power vs. how well Brown meshes with new teammates.
4 // Rookie performances, namely Daniel Jones III
There’s so much excitement that can be drawn from watching the rookies play their first regular season games. Putting up impressive stats during pre-season, all eyes seem to be on the Giants rookie QB, Daniel Jones III, who has already been deemed “the best rookie Quarterback since 2006.” With such a high expectation going in, the pressure is definitely on for Jones, but it’s not hard to believe he’ll continue to make remarkable strides this upcoming season.