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Five biggest NFL offseason storylines

7:42 AM ET

SAN FRANCISCO — As a final days of a 2015 deteriorate breeze down, it’s roughly time to change a spotlight toward a offseason. Here are a storylines that will browbeat a weeks ahead, including a intensity depart of a few of a league’s longtime stars.

1. Fall of a legends

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning could good be personification a final diversion of his iconic NFL career Sunday in Super Bowl 50, while Lions far-reaching receiver Calvin Johnson, Seahawks using behind Marshawn Lynch and Packers linebacker Julius Peppers competence have already played theirs. Justin Tuck announced his retirement. During their careers, all of those players were as good as any during their positions.

Manning now gets his possibility for a Super Bowl storybook finale that John Elway, Michael Strahan, Jerome Bettis and Ray Lewis once experienced, a ultimate capper to an all-time career. Manning competence be a biggest name to leave a league, yet he won’t be a usually one. Chances are Johnson retires, something a Lions have famous was entrance for a while, and that he reinforced to conduct manager Jim Caldwell a day after a unchanging deteriorate ended. When Detroit interviewed coaches in 2014, they were told afterwards of a concerns doctors had for Johnson’s longevity and a condition of his ankles, so it’ll be no warn if he walks divided now.

As for a other important players, Seahawks ubiquitous manager John Schneider already has pronounced it is his bargain that Lynch is “leaning towards retirement.” Peppers is a nine-time Pro Bowl preference who finished it sound like he has played his final game. And this list doesn’t even embody former all-time good defensive behind Charles Woodson, who announced this would be his final deteriorate before a Raiders’ final home game. So this could figure adult as utterly an offseason for goodbyes — and utterly a intensity Hall of Fame Class of 2021.

2. Remember a Titans

For carrying so many debility on a roster, Tennessee certain is handling from a position of strength. The Titans have a No. 1 collect and their quarterback of a future, environment them adult to breeze any actor they wish or to auction off a collect to a organisation many unfortunate for a quarterback. If Tennessee stays during 1, NFL crew executives pronounced this week that there was a genuine possibility a Titans would take Ole Miss descent tackle Laremy Tunsil. That would give them bookend tackles with Taylor Lewan to strengthen Marcus Mariota and to run a round for years to come.

But if Tennessee wants, it could trade a No. 1 altogether collect to Cleveland (No. 2), San Diego (No. 3), Dallas (No. 4), San Francisco (No. 7) or any organisation looking to leapfrog a others to breeze a quarterback. Cleveland has been in this position before, perplexing to go adult one mark to secure a actor it wants. Back in a 2012 draft, Cleveland traded mixed picks to Minnesota to pierce adult one spot, from No. 4 to No. 3, to secure a breeze rights to Alabama using behind Trent Richardson. The Browns were disturbed that a Buccaneers wanted Richardson during No. 5. But former Tampa Bay ubiquitous manager Mark Dominik reliable Richardson never was an option, and so a Browns gave divided picks for nothing. This time, they competence have to trade picks to Tennessee to kick other teams to their QB of choice.

3. Let’s make a deal

This year’s free-agent category doesn’t embody an Ndamukong Suh, a franchise-type actor who is accessible to strech a open marketplace yet being tagged. On paper, a good organisation of players is set to turn unlimited giveaway agents, yet some will be tagged and others sealed to long-term deals before their contracts expire.

Tampa Bay and Doug Martin are approaching to figure out a understanding that works for both sides, that would take one of a tip using backs off a marketplace before he gets there. Washington and quarterback Kirk Cousins are going to try to do a same. The Broncos are approaching to use their authorization tab on Von Miller, with a Jets doing a same with Muhammad Wilkerson. Miami could presumably use a tab on pass-rusher Olivier Vernon. But it should be remarkable that any good actor who reaches a marketplace is going to income in. This offseason, some-more teams are approaching to have some-more tip room than ever before. So a players who play it right could measure big.

4. Revisiting 2012

Just as Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were a headliners of a 2012 breeze class, they will be in a headlines again this offseason, despite for wholly opposite reasons. At some point, a Colts are approaching to pointer Luck to a understanding that will connect him to Indianapolis and safeguard that generations of destiny Lucks are taken caring of for life. When this understanding gets done, it is projected to be for 5 or 6 years, during an normal of between $23 and 25 million, with somewhere in a closeness of $65 to 70 million guaranteed. Indianapolis has put off signing Luck; it can’t put it off any longer.

Griffin will not be signing a understanding like that with Washington — or any organisation for that matter. It simply will be important to see where he signs period, income be damned. Maybe Hue Jackson believes he can assistance revitalise Griffin’s career, and wouldn’t that be ironic, given that Cleveland got outbid by Washington to pierce adult to No. 2 to breeze a former Heisman leader in 2012. Maybe Chip Kelly will be a one who tries to revitalise Griffin in San Francisco. While Luck will be alighting a blockbuster deal, Griffin will simply be looking for a alighting spot.

5. Quarterback questions

It never seems to fail: When it comes to peculiarity quarterbacks and a need for them, direct always exceeds supply. It will be no opposite this year. There are 6 teams in a definitely-need-a-quarterback department: Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Denver, where Peyton Manning could retire and Brock Osweiler is scheduled to turn a giveaway agent. There are a handful of others that will be in a browse-but-might-not-buy department: Arizona, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, New Orleans, New York Jets, San Diego and Washington. Others could be combined to a brew as well, yet roughly half a teams in a joining could be looking tough during quarterback.

The miss of solutions, as usual, is glaring. Cousins, Osweiler and Ryan Fitzpatrick are scheduled to turn giveaway agents, yet any could re-sign with his stream organisation before he ever gets to market. Griffin, Sam Bradford, Colin Kaepernick, Johnny Manziel are other players who could be available. No one knows that quarterback will breeze adult where this offseason, yet we do know this: Not each organisation will solve a biggest need, and there will be some-more teams — many approaching in a tip 10 of a 2017 breeze — still attempting to solve a emanate that drags down franchises and gets group fired.

Other appearing questions

What will a opening-night matchup be?

The Super Bowl leader gets a Vince Lombardi Trophy and — with reduction pushing now yet some-more in Sep — a NFL’s Thursday night regular-season opener.

Denver’s 2016 home report has some-more appealing options than Carolina’s, yet a NFL will find an appealing Thursday night matchup no matter who wins Super Bowl 50.

If a Panthers win on Sunday, their many approaching regular-season opener would be an NFC Championship Game rematch opposite a Arizona Cardinals, who are scheduled to play in Carolina subsequent season. The NFL also could cruise scheduling a Minnesota Vikings or Kansas City Chiefs, yet conjunction of those matchups would reason a interest that a Cardinals would. Arizona substantially wouldn’t be anxious about opening in Carolina, not after what happened in a NFC pretension game, yet it would be a many judicious matchup.

If a Broncos take home a Lombardi trophy, a NFL would have 3 constrained options: a Super Bowl rematch with Carolina, an AFC championship rematch with New England, or it could go off a house and report a Colts and Andrew Luck.

The theory here is that a joining would not open a 2016 deteriorate with a same matchup that finished a 2015 season, so Carolina would be out. New England is always a prime-time draw, yet since of a series of games it has played during night, it competence leave a Colts as a many approaching opening-night competition for Denver.

So for now, a guesses are: Arizona during Carolina (if Panthers win Sunday), and Indianapolis during Denver (if Broncos win).

Which players will Denver and Carolina pay?

For all a advantages of creation it to and winning a Super Bowl, there is a downside: a cost of doing business in a future.

Dallas schooled it behind in a day, after it won a Super Bowls. Seattle schooled it in new seasons, after a new playoff runs. But a serve a organisation goes in a postseason, a some-more players wish to get paid during a suitable time.

No organisation in a joining faces some-more dire contractual situations than a Broncos. Their list of unlimited giveaway agents includes linebackers Von Miller and Danny Trevathan, defensive ends Malik Jackson and Antonio Smith, safeties David Bruton Jr. and Omar Bolden, quarterback Brock Osweiler, using behind Ronnie Hillman, far-reaching receivers Jordan Norwood and Andre Caldwell, and descent linemen Ryan Harris, Evan Mathis and Tyler Polumbus. Their limited giveaway agents embody using behind C.J. Anderson and linebacker Brandon Marshall. Not everybody can get paid.

Denver already has re-signed defensive lineman Derek Wolfe to a large deal, maybe during a responsibility of Jackson. The Broncos have usually one authorization tag, unfailing to go to Miller. The remaining players who don’t pointer long-term deals before a new joining year starts in Mar would be giveaway to appeal offers from other teams. A Super Bowl feat will be only what Denver wanted, yet also costly.

Carolina has contractual issues of a own, yet not utterly as many as Denver. The Panthers’ list of unlimited giveaway agents includes cornerback Josh Norman, who would get a authorization tab if no long-term understanding can be worked out in advance, as good as far-reaching receiver Jerricho Cotchery, reserve Roman Harper, ensure Amini Silatolu, cornerback Charles Tillman and fullback Mike Tolbert. No approach a Panthers are going to let Norman go anywhere.

This is a cost of doing business in a NFL — and a cost any authorization will gladly compensate in sell for a Super Bowl title.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/14709420/five-biggest-nfl-offseason-storylines