With the NFL preseason just starting, here are five storylines to follow.
Belichick vs Brady
After the New England Patriots missed the playoffs with a 7-9 record, and Tom Brady won his seventh Super Bowl in Tampa, the pressure is now on Bill Belichick to prove that he does not need Tom Brady.
However, having had players pull out of the season and others contract the virus, Belichick cannot be judged too harshly.
For Brady, he has proven that he does not need Belichick to win a ring. However, adding his second ring outside of New England and his eighth overall, would further prove Brady did not need Belichick.
Wentz and Indianapolis
In mid-March, the Indianapolis Colts traded for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.
The Colts received Wentz while sending a 2021 third round pick and a conditional 2022 second round pick. A conditional pick is when there is an agreement that the pick can change based off the performance of the traded player.
Ever since Andrew Luck retired, the Colts have struggled to find their quarterback. Wentz was the favourite for MVP in 2017 – Indy will hope he can regain that form.
Chiefs comeback or Super Bowl hangover?
After losing a very one-sided Super Bowl 31-9 to Tampa Bay, the Chiefs have an uphill battle going into the 2021/2022 season.
Getting back to the Super Bowl after losing is a very difficult task. In the past 30 years, only two teams have managed this. Those teams are the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills.
Seeing how the team plays at the end of preseason, when teams start to put stronger line ups out, could show if they are on their way back or if they are heading the same way as the Atlanta Falcons did in 2017 after they also lost to Tom Brady in the Super Bowl.
Watson and Houston
Throughout the offseason there have been allegations against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
There have now been ten police complaints against Watson and Houston are listening to trade offers.
It will be interesting to see if any teams trade for Watson.
Now that Watson has reported to training camp, we will be able to see this situation unfold as teams look to trade for the three-time Pro Bowler.
Julio Jones new beginnings
In a blockbuster trade last month, wide receiver Julio Jones was traded to the Tennessee Titans.
The Falcons sent Jones and a 2023 sixth round pick to Tennessee in exchange for a 2022 second round pick and a 2023 fourth round pick.
When Jones is healthy, he is a consistent 1,000-yard receiver, having seven such campaigns so far in his career.
With Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill having a high completion percentage, this will help with getting the ball to Jones, who is a big-time playmaker.
Now we just need to see if they can develop the chemistry on the field and preseason is the perfect time for that.