Summary of the N.F.L. Off-Season
May 29, 2019
Throughout the 2018-2019 season, the Baltimore Ravens changed the face of their team completely. For the past decade, the offense of the team was led by Quarterback, Joe Flacco. Flacco became a celebrated leader for the team as he was crowned MVP in Super Bowl XLVII in 2012, where he defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31. For the 2019-2020 season, the position of Quarterback has been shifted to the promising Lamar Jackson after the team traded Flacco to the Denver Broncos. In the time in which Jackson started, the team led the league in rushing yards and qualified for the playoffs, where the San Diego Chargers defeated them. Following this defeat, second string Quarterback, Robert Griffin III resigned for two seasons. Plus, the rushing advantage for the Ravens grew more versatile and dangerous as former tailback for the New Orleans Saints, Mark Ingram joined the team. On the defense, a notable change is the release of Free Safety, Eric Weddle. Overall, the team has become an even greater threat to its surrounding opponents. Undoubtedly, the team has a chance to redirect its course from contenders to champions.
The city of Cincinnati has lost its faith in its football team and organization. Under the leadership of Head Coach, Marvin Lewis, the Bengals have either been disqualified from the playoffs or lost in the first round each season for nearly two decades. Following the season, the Bengals terminated him from the staff after an egregious performance each season. For the Head Coach position, the General Manager selected and hired former Quarterback Coach for the Los Angeles Rams, Zac Taylor. Following that, on March 18, 2019, the Bengals released Middle Linebacker, Vontaze Burfict and resigned their strong, agile tight end, Tyler Eifert. Although, fans of the team are skeptical as to if Eifert will recover and perform at a high level after suffering from a number of devastating injuries.
The past of the Cleveland Browns has been ridden with loss and little to no success. In fact, the Browns became the second team to hold the record of 0-16 in the 2017-2018 season. However, following the 2018-2019 season, fans believe that their team has had a complete change in the right direction. With Baker Mayfield, the team was able to hold the record of 7-8-1, a major difference from the failure of the previous season. Though the team was not able to join the contenders of the playoffs, the current off-season has proved that the team will be there in the following season. The team began to change as Freddie Kitchens was named Head Coach. Then, the team gained amazing talent in the trade for Odell Beckham Jr. and signing the former dynamic Tailback from the Kansas City Chiefs, Kareem Hunt. However, the signing of Hunt has led to controversy across the nation after he was cut from the Chiefs for battery and assault against a woman in a hotel after a dispute. Though Hunt will join the team for the next season, he will not be eligible to play until the ninth game of the regular season after serving an eight game suspension. Through all of it though, the city of Cleveland no longer just waits for a playoff game, the fans anticipate a Super Bowl victory.
While other cities are continuing to succeed, the Pittsburgh Steelers are beginning to fail. In the 2018-2019 regular season, their performance resulted in a losing record of 7-8-1 and being removed from the playoffs. Following that, the team chemistry became chaotic, beginning with star Wide Receiver, Antonio Brown requesting to be traded and not attending team practices. Media has inferred that Brown and his teammate, Quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger no longer communicates with one another nor are the two friends. In fact, Brown has stated that the Steelers lack a ‘mutual respect’ for its players. “Things are not getting better. They’re not changing,” Brown angrily confirmed. In the current off-season the team has traded Brown to the rebuilding Oakland Raiders for a third and fifth round draft selection. While Brown parts ways from the team he has loyally been apart of for nearly a decade, we the fans understand that if the team, and Head Coach, Mike Tomlin, are not willing to change given its loss of talented Running Back, Le’Veon Bell and most recently Antonio Brown, their dynasty may have already fallen.