Following free agency, some NFL teams have emerged as favorites for not just this season, but for years to come. Some franchises, like the Green Bay Packers, are building around an elite young quarterback, while other organizations, like the Philadelphia Eagles, have young and veteran talent at many important positions across the field. Five franchises stand out as the next possible dynasty, with ceilings that could make them the next '70's Steelers.
The Baltimore Ravens struck gold in the 2008 NFL Draft, as they grabbed two of the most talented players in the class with their first two picks. Their first round pick, Joe Flacco, has emerged as one of the most promising quarterbacks to hit the NFL since Peyton Manning. He has shown the ability to be the best quarterback in the history of his franchise, as he has averaged 20 Touchdowns and just 11 Interceptions in his first three seasons, while also leading his team to three consecutive playoff appearances. With him under center, the Baltimore offense could become one of the most potent in all of football.
The Ravens did even better with their second round pick, as they grabbed speedy Ray Rice to take major reps at running back. Rice has shown the ability to be one of the most dynamic players in football, as he has become a major factor in both the Ravens running and passing games. He has rushed for at least 1,220 yards and five touchdowns in each of his first two seasons as a starter, while also catching an average of 70 passes for 629 yards since 2009.
Baltimore also has superb talent at other major positions across the field. On the defensive side of the ball, they have one of the best defensive lineman in the game, in Haloti Ngata. Ngata is known to clog up the middle, and prevent the opposing rusher from getting any space. His presence also allows the Ravens defense to rush the passer at will, and allows them to be one of the most feared defenses in the NFL.
The Ravens also possess two of the best linebackers in football, in Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs. Lewis is an all-time great, as he is a winner of both a Super Bowl MVP and a Defensive Player of the Year. Suggs has splashed onto the scene in recent years, as he recorded a career high 11.5 sacks last season. A perennial Pro Bowler, Suggs is known as one of the best pass rushing linebackers in all of football. The Baltimore defense also possesses one of the best safeties in the NFL, in Ed Reed. Reed, like Lewis, is a Baltimore legend, and has been an interception machine for most of his career.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Ravens possess the best fullback in football in Vontae Leach. He opens up lanes for Ray Rice, and helps make the Baltimore running game one of the best in the game. Baltimore also boasts star wideout Anquan Boldin, who they acquired from the Arizona Cardinals in 2010. Boldin has been a superb receiver since he entered the league, as has had many 1,000 yard seasons throughout his illustrious career.
The Baltimore Ravens possess some of the most talented players in football, and combine just enough star veterans with terrific young players. If Baltimore can put it all together, and find a way to beat the Steelers aging defense, then they could emerge as the next big dynasty in the NFL.
General manager Mike Tannenbaum and head coach Rex Ryan have helped form one of the most talented teams in all of football. In recent years, they have claimed young talent Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis and David Harris in the NFL Draft. Each one is known as one of the best players at their respective positions. Gang Green also claimed Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene in the 2009 NFL Draft. Each have had their growing pains, but as key pieces to the Jets' offense, they have unlimited potential.
Rex Ryan has formed one of the best defenses in the NFL in the last few seasons. He brought over star defenders Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard from Baltimore, and has built young talent at key positions since his arrival in 2009. Led by one of the best cornerback duos in football and a superb linebacking corps, the Jets defense is unanimously feared throughout the league.
The Jets have made huge splashes in free agency the last two years, as they have claimed offensive stars Santonio Holmes, Ladanian Tomlinson, Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason. They have also locked up young superstars D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, Santonio Holmes, David Harris and Antonio Cromartie to long-term contracts.
New York has some of the best management and coaching in football, and along with a superb defense and star offensive pieces still in development, they could build on two consecutive AFC Championship appearances, and eventually build one of the most successful dynasties in NFL history.
Coming off a Super Bowl winning season, the Green Bay Packers are on top of the football world, and it looks like they may be there for a while. They claim one of the best quarterbacks to hit the NFL this decade in Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has a cannon for an arm and is known to be one of the most clutch players in the league today. He has made Green Bay love him, and made them quickly forget about Brett Favre. Coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons, the Super Bowl MVP could be a future MVP winner as well.
The Packers also boast one of the best defenses in the NFL, led by stars Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson, who have claimed the last two Defensive Player of the Year awards. They have come up with clutch plays numerous times the last few seasons, and have emerged as one of the most feared groups in football.
Green Bay possesses one of the best management and coaching groups in football, and have built one of the best football teams since the early 2000 Patriots. If anyone were to form a successful and formidable dynasty, it would be the team that made the NFL legendary. The Green Bay Packers could become one of the best teams to ever hit the National Football League.
Fresh off a huge splash in 2011 free agency, the Philadelphia Eagles are the favorites to win the Lombardi Trophy this season. The Eagles boast one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. Their quarterback, Michael Vick, can throw and run at will, and is one of the most exciting players in football. He plays with a chip on his shoulder, and he has been unstoppable since his release from prison for dogfighting.
Philadelphia also boasts young offensive stars like LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. McCoy is one of the most dynamic rushers in the game today, as he possesses both outstanding speed and agility, and is a major factor in both the running and passing game. Jackson is one of the most energetic wide receivers in the league today, as he possesses outstanding speed. He is a dangerous big play candidate, and can run past any corner into the end zone if not double-covered. Maclin is another speedy and talented wide receiver. He is a big play target, but unlike Jackson, can catch short targets as well.
The Eagles major splash in free agency made them one of the most dynamic group of defenders in the NFL. Philadelphia acquired the most coveted free agent on the market in Nnamdi Asomugha. Asomugha is a perennial Pro Bowler, and is one of the best cornerbacks in the game today. The Eagles also acquired another Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from Arizona. They now boast three Pro Bowl corners, and have the best tandem in the NFL right now at that position. Philadelphia also strengthened their defensive line, as they signed Pro Bowler Jason Babin and star tackle Cullen Jenkins to long term-contracts.
The Eagles also stacked up on the offensive side of the ball, adding dynamic rusher Ronnie Brown, former Pro Bowler quarterback Vince Young and starting right tackle Ryan Harris. Each can add superb depth to the Philadelphia roster, and provides much needed injury relief for their offensive stars.
The Philadelphia Eagles are now the sexy pick for the Lombardi Trophy, and with the star talent they possess, nothing is unreachable. If everything comes together, the City of Brotherly Love could not just claim its first Super Bowl title, but have an incredible dynasty that could include several titles.
The San Diego Chargers have possessed a terrific team for most of the decade, but are always unable to get over the hump. But with the pieces they have, San Diego could be in line for more than one Lombardi Trophy.
The Chargers are led by star quarterback Philip Rivers. Rivers is a perennial Pro Bowler, and is on the list of elite quarterbacks of this era that included Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. The San Diego star could be in line for an MVP, and with his ability, could lead them to greatness.
The Bolts also boast young running back Ryan Matthews. Matthews disappointed in his first season, as he dealt with numerous injuries. But if he can remain healthy, the former first round pick could end up as one of the elite quarterbacks in the league. The 23-year-old has unlimited potential, and could help San Diego have one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. San Diego also possesses star wideout Vincent Jackson. Jackson ranked as the best receiver in football in 2009, but missed much of last year due to a holdout. But now with his contract settled, he could end up as a big and dangerous target for Philip Rivers for years to come.
San Diego also has some key role players, such as wide receiver Malcom Floyd and fullback Mike Tolbert. Floyd is a consistent and balanced weapon in the Charger offense, and helps open up routes for Jackson. Tolbert is a star fullback, and is known for his bruising running and tremendous blocking. He is a terrific goal line runner, and helps change the pace from the speedy running style of Ryan Matthews.
The Chargers defense is another feared asset, as they ranked as the No. 1 overall defense last season. They locked up star safety Eric Weddle to a long-term contract this offseason, and they boast many key weapons that contribute into making their defense into one of the best in the league.
The Bolts possess both terrific veteran and young talent, and if they can manage to fix their problem areas (SPECIAL TEAMS), than they could form one of the best teams in the NFL for the next several seasons. The great city of San Diego could be celebrating its first Lombardi Trophy in a few months.