Predicting the 5 Biggest Moves Still to Come This NFL Offseason
The bulk of the NFL offseason has passed, and most of the key acquisitions have already been completed. However, there are still a few more moves that could shake up the league, like a Maurice Jones-Drew trade.
Did the thought of your team adding MJD entice you? Well, it should. And it’s possible.
Please note that many of these prognostications will actually predict the outcome of certain situations. One will only highlight what could be the biggest move of the entire offseason.
Every move matters in today's NFL. So click through to find out what's going to happen between now and September.
Aaron Hernandez's Potential Absence
If Roger Goodell finds reason to suspend Hernandez once all the facts are known, rest assured that he wouldn’t hesitate.
That's a blow the New England Patriots offense can ill-afford.
New England is already replacing two-time All-Pro receiver Wes Welker with Danny Amendola. The newcomer has talent, but he won't be able to replicate the time-tested chemistry that Welker built with Tom Brady.
In other words, don't expect Amendola to step in and be everything Welker was right away. Those things take time.
Then there is the issue regarding Rob Gronkowski's health. Any time a player undergoes five surgeries in less than six months, there's cause for concern.
If Hernandez isn't on the field come September, Brady's best returning target (by number of catches last season) will be Julian Edelman. When Hernandez's potential absence is taken into context, it's obvious that Goodell's call will be the biggest "move" left this offseason.
If Aaron Hernandez Is Suspended, the New England Patriots Will Sign Dallas Clark
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As the title implies, if Aaron Hernandez isn't able to take the field, the New England Patriots will be forced to turn to free agency to bolster the tight end position.
And the best fit of the bunch is Dallas Clark.
Clark excelled playing with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, peaking in 2010 with 100 catches for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns. While he is a few years older (34) now, it's obvious that he's the reliable type of playmaker that an elite quarterback can use.
Jake Ballard is a nice player, but, as mentioned in the last slide, he might be the only available tight end when the season begins. New England likes to run multiple-tight end sets.
But if there isn't any talent behind Ballard, then the Pats will be forced to put the onus to fall on the shaky receiving unit.
That's why inking Clark would make a lot of sense. What's the use of a great quarterback if no one is capable of catching the ball?
Richard Seymour Will Sign with the Atlanta Falcons
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Richard Seymour wants to be a member of the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons need to add talent to the interior of their defensive line. The franchise has an open championship window right now, and those opportunities tend to disappear rather quickly.
But any concerns over winning immediately haven't spurred general manager Thomas Dimitroff into giving Seymour the money he requires.
So the standoff will continue between the two sides.
It appears no other team has offered enough compensation for Seymour to sign, so the Falcons will have plenty of time to work on a deal with him. Considering he's a veteran who doesn't necessarily need a full training camp, it would make sense for him to take a little less money (and for the Falcons to offer just a bit more to massage his ego) once he doesn't have to endure two-a-days.
John Abraham Will Sign with the Denver Broncos
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Somehow, the Denver Broncos have over $13 million in cap space, according to spotrac.com.
Actually, when you look at the numbers, it's fairly easy to figure out. The Broncos rolled over $11 million and some change from 2012, giving them a whopping $140 million salary cap for 2013.
Considering all of the superstars on the roster, John Elway may deem it wise to continue banking that cash. However, Denver's championship window is smaller than most teams' since its franchise quarterback is just a few years short of 40 years old.
With that in mind, Elway will be able to lavish the cash needed to bring John Abraham to the Mile High City. Abraham will surely understand that becoming a well-paid situational pass-rusher on a Super Bowl-worthy team isn't a bad gig.
Maurice Jones-Drew Won't Start the Season with the Jacksonville Jaguars
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The impending trade of Maurice Jones-Drew is going to be huge.
What's that? You haven't heard anything about this "impending trade"?
That's probably because it's purely speculation. But that speculation is based on a few facts.
First, the Jacksonville Jaguars aren't going to break through in 2013. Keeping a high-priced running back isn't a priority when the franchise could use any assets that MJD nets to build for the future.
Second, it's unlikely that Blaine Gabbert is going to develop into a franchise quarterback. Therefore, it isn't all that important to put him in the best position to succeed.
Remember, the current front office regime didn't draft him.
Lastly, Jones-Drew has made it known that he isn't sure he's returning when his contract expires after the season.
So what's the reason for keeping MoJo around for 2013?