A Look at the Storylines That Will Dominate NFL’s Offseason

Who will be the Colts' head coach? Will they rework the catch rule? What's happening to Nick Foles?

free agent
Quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

The NFL offseason has arrived, but that doesn’t mean anything will calm down. The NFL offseason promises to be a busy one, with a lot of issues coming to the forefront. The NFL scouting combines comes later this month in Indianapolis, then it’s on to free agency and the NFL draft. The annual league meeting will be held in Orlando this March. Here are some of the top storylines to follow this offseason.

Colts Coaching

The Indianapolis Colts waited patiently for the Super Bowl to be over so they could hire Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their head coach. But McDaniels, despite a verbal agreement, bailed on the team and decided to stay in New England. It is highly unusual for a search for a head coach to extend this far into the offseason, and the Colts took a risk by waiting for McDaniels. They are in limbo now, and have set up interviews with New Orleans Saints tight ends coach Dan Campbell, Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich, and Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.

Will there be more Patriots fallout?

McDaniels decided to stay, but defensive coordinator Matt Patricia left, following through on his commitment to be the head coach of the Detroit Lions. Head coach Bill Belichick has yet to explain why he benched cornerback Malcolm Butler, and there has been a lot of tension between Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. The tension appears to rise from the role of Brady’s trainer, Alex Guerrero. There does not seem to be any reason to think Belichick or Brady is going anywhere next season though.

Who is buying the Panthers?

Owner Jerry Richardson announced he would sell the Carolina Panthers amid the NFL’s investigation into allegations of workplace sexual misconduct against him. The franchise could sell for about $2.5 billion, and the NFL has expressed an interest for the franchise to remain in Charlotte. A few people have voice interest, like Charlotte businessman Felix Sabates and Brian France, the chief executive officer of NASCAR (though that was denied by NASCAR). Meanwhile, rap mogul Diddy said he was interested, after which Golden State Warriors All-Star Steph Curry and former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick expressed their interest in joining his bid.

What’s up with the catch rule?

During the Super Bowl, there were two instances of “Was that a catch?” Both were ruled in Eagles’ favor, as touchdowns by Corey Clement and Zach Ertz were upheld on instant replay reviews. But NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he wants the sport’s rule-making competition committee too start from scratch this offseason in rewriting the controversial catch rule.

What about Nick Foles and Kirk Cousins?

Some people are saying the Eagles should take advantage of the increased value of quarterback Nick Foles, the Super Bowl MVP, and trade him this offseason, since the Eagles seem hopeful Carson Wentz will be ready next season. But others say they should keep Foles until Wentz is definitely ready. Meanwhile, Kirk Cousins will hit the unrestricted market March 14, and he could chose from among a group of bidders that could include New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and maybe the Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings.

Other storylines include: Will the Browns get a franchise QB? Will the NFL go to a college-style targeting rule? What will the rest of the QB market do? Will anyone hire Colin Kaepernick? Will the NFL owners change the anthem policy? And more.

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