NFL Training Camps 2022: Schedule and Top Storylines to Watch
Are you ready for some football? Well, fortunately there's not too much longer to wait. The return of the NFL is almost here.
Rookies are set to report to training camp next week, while the majority of NFL camps will have mandatory report dates for all players the week after. A few teams are getting an early start, though. That includes the Las Vegas Raiders, who will fully open camp on Wednesday.
Once all players across the league have reported, the road to the 2022 season will be on. Three weeks of preseason games will take place in August, then the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams will kick off the regular season with an exciting matchup against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 8.
With football just around the corner, here's the upcoming schedule for training camp and the preseason, followed by several storylines to follow the rest of the summer.
Training Camp and Preseason Schedule
July 20: Las Vegas Raiders report
July 23: Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams report
July 26: Other 29 NFL teams report
Aug. 4: Hall of Fame Game between Jacksonville and Las Vegas
Aug. 11: Preseason Week 1 begins
Aug. 18: Preseason Week 2 begins
Aug. 25: Preseason Week 3 begins
Some Notable Faces in New Places This Summer
The offseason can bring plenty of notable changes; that's been the case this year. Some big-name players have switched teams and will be heading into their first training camps with new organizations. So it will be interesting to watch how they jell with their new teammates and in new systems.
Russell Wilson is now the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos after getting traded by the Seattle Seahawks in March, ending his 10-year tenure with the team. The 33-year-old will now play in a highly competitive AFC West and routinely go head-to-head with a trio of talented quarterbacks: the Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, the Los Angeles Chargers' Justin Herbert and the Las Vegas Raiders' Derek Carr.
Baker Mayfield got dealt from the Cleveland Browns to the Carolina Panthers just earlier this month, and he'll now be part of a preseason QB battle against Sam Darnold and rookie Matt Corral. Mayfield will be the favorite, though, and he could even be under center for a much more intriguing matchup against the Browns in Week 1.
In addition to Denver and Carolina, the Indianapolis Colts (Matt Ryan) and the Washington Commanders (Carson Wentz) were among the other teams to trade for a new starting quarterback this offseason.
It wasn't only QBs on the move, though. Tyreek Hill is now the Miami Dolphins' No. 1 wide receiver. A.J. Brown (Philadelphia Eagles), Davante Adams (Las Vegas Raiders) and Amari Cooper (Cleveland Browns) are other WRs who swapped teams. Finally, Khalil Mack is now with the Chargers, set to form a potent pass-rushing duo with Joey Bosa in Los Angeles.
These players will soon be on the field with their new teams and it's going to look weird to see them in those uniforms at first. But it will be fun to watch how the landscape of the league could develop after these changes that have occurred.
Will Browns Need to Prepare for 2022 Without Watson?
The Cleveland Browns will also have a new quarterback in 2022, with Mayfield's four-year stint with the franchise now over. It just isn't clear who will be under center for the team in Week 1.
There isn't any question about who the Browns' starting QB is. That's Deshaun Watson, who they acquired in a March trade with the Houston Texans and then signed to a five-year, $230 million contract. However, Watson could soon receive a suspension from the NFL due to numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct.
Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported that the announcement of a Watson suspension "may or may not be before camp." It's unknown how long the 26-year-old QB may be suspended for, but Cleveland might have to prepare to be without him for an extended period.
If that's the case, the Browns will likely turn to Jacoby Brissett, who signed with the team after spending one season with the Miami Dolphins. The 29-year-old quarterback hasn't put up huge numbers with inconsistent playing time over his first six years in the NFL, so he'd be a clear step down from Watson at the position.
But Brissett may spend training camp and the preseason preparing for an opportunity to lead Cleveland's offense, however long the team may need that to be. Though nothing is clear about the Browns' QB depth chart until the NFL announces their decision on Watson.
Rookie QBs Set to Battle for Starting Roles
There was only one quarterback selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft. But there could be more than one rookie QB under center during Week 1 of the upcoming season, as several quarterbacks will be looking to win jobs this preseason.
Let's start with the lone first-rounder, Kenny Pickett. He may have the best opportunity to be a Week 1 starter in 2022, as he'll be battling with Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph for the Pittsburgh Steelers' job. Trubisky signed during free agency and could be the early front-runner, but the 24-year-old Pickett could earn the position with a strong camp.
Corral will be looking to impress this summer and earn playing time in Carolina. But that seems much less likely now that Mayfield has arrived, which could leave Corral as the clear No. 3 behind him and Darnold.
The Atlanta Falcons dealt Ryan and could now turn to a rookie. While they signed Marcus Mariota in free agency, they also used a third-round draft pick on Desmond Ridder. Even if Ridder doesn't start immediately, he could be Atlanta's QB of the future.
Among the other teams to draft QBs this year was the Tennessee Titans (Malik Willis in the third round) and the Washington Commanders (Sam Howell in the fifth). Although those teams have clear starters in Ryan Tannehill and Wentz, respectively.
Still, it will be interesting to see how this rookie quarterback class develops throughout camp. Plus, injuries and surprise performances happen all the time. So maybe several of these QBs will get on the field early in their NFL careers.