- This NFL offseason has been quite the wild ride, so we revisit some of our favorite, more lighthearted storylines.
It’s been a long NFL offseason—to be exact, nearly seven months since the Patriots outlasted the Rams 13–3 in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. And even though there’s been no actual football, these almost-seven months have produced quite the whirlwind of news, from Antonio Brown nearly being traded to the Bills and struggling with his helmet and feet this preseason to Robert Kraft being charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution (the trial is currently postponed) to Kyler Murray being taken first overall in the NFL draft.
The MMQB writers and editors look back and pick out their favorite (mostly silly) moments of the offseason. Who’s ready for the regular season? We definitely are.
Odell Beckham Jr. Traded to Browns
Loved everything about the Odell Beckham trade. Loved the shock and disbelief from everyone but Jay Glazer, who took a mountain of crap for predicting it. Love how hype Browns fans are (there’s no party like a Sunday in Cleveland when the Browns are relevant—or at least think they're relevant). Love seeing superstars on the move like I’m running a Madden franchise and throwing away picks in a frantic effort to win now. Love a trade involving a player so mercurial that anybody who claims to know who won the deal at this early stage is—as an ex’s best pal once said of me—‘either a liar or an idiot.’ — Robert Klemko
Antonio Brown’s Blond Mustache
Antonio Brown dyeing his mustache blond really took things to a new level. It’s difficult now to think back to that time since we’ve had so much AB-related drama since. He had that near-encounter with Buffalo and the cryotherapy chamber mishap causing blistered feet and, of course, the helmet. But that blond mustache was out of left field, and it really was the milestone that helped me realize there was no way he was staying in Pittsburgh. Mr. Big Chest got his way. — Jonathan Jones
Quarterbacks Chugging Beer
I thoroughly enjoyed the quarterbacks chugging beer news cycle that happened earlier this summer. It all started when Packers LT David Bakhtiari aggressively chugged his beer and then a second beer on the jumbotron at a Milwaukee Bucks playoff game. He then challenged his quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was also at the game, to do the same. Rodgers gave it a half-hearted attempt, not coming anywhere close to finishing his beer, which was only 2/3rds of the way full.
The next day, Lions QB Matthew Stafford chugged at a beer at a bar, and made it look easy.
A week later, Bears QB Mitch Trubisky joined in and chugged against his right guard Kyle Long at the White Sox game while backup QB Chase Daniel filmed video. Long beat Trubisky, but Trubisky had no trouble finishing his beer.
Then Patrick Mahomes took his turn, and Josh Allen. Baker Mayfield shotgunned a beer at an Indians game, and Tom Brady chugged his beer in what appeared to be two gulps at the Patriots’ ring party. It was a nice offseason diversion, and I only wish every starting quarterback had participated so we'd have some real power rankings to debate. — Kalyn Kahler
Daniel Jones’s Rise in the Eyes of the Media, Embodied by One Photo
This photo is perfect.
Look at Daniel Jones, the new toast of New York, surrounded by a swarm of reporters as erstwhile Super Bowl hero Eli Manning, mouth slightly agape, struggles to put on a shoe. I know that Tom Rock was very careful to explain the context around it, that Manning had just as many people around him when he spoke. That this is simply not a big deal at all.
It symbolizes so much about the NFL and the media that covers it. How quickly we move on to the next shiny thing. It was not long ago that Eli was a hero, with the town up in arms over the end of his games played streak. It was not long ago that Jones was a joke, his sixth overall draft selection gleefully ridiculed in the press. But after a couple sharp preseason games, Jones was thrust into the center of the frame, Manning relegated to its outer edge, no longer the focus.
This has the potential to be an iconic photo no matter how Jones’s career plays out. Let’s say Manning has a bounceback campaign and leads the Giants to a surprise 11-5 record and a playoff win for old times’ sake. This photo exemplifies his ability to block out distractions, focus on whatever menial task is in front of him and win football games. That’s just our Eli, Giants fans would say. Always in control of the situation. Let’s say Jones takes over in Week 6 and launches a Hall of Fame caliber career of his own. This photo will forever be stripped of its original context to represent the passing of the torch.
It means nothing and everything, all at once. An instant meme for our time. It’s perfect. — Mitch Goldich
The NFL Draft Angering the Bachelorette Parties of Nashville
The 2019 NFL draft was hosted in the fine city of Nashville for the first time ever this year, and the event earned spectacular reviews, outperforming nearly all expectations. The draft’s main stage was positioned on Broadway, right in the heart of downtown, and a record-breaking 600,000 people descended on the city for the event, generating $132.8 million in direct visitor spending.
Who was not impressed by the three-day event? Those attending bachelorette parties that were also hosted in Nashville that same weekend. Recently Nashville has become one of the most popular spots for bachelorette parties; you can only imagine the surprise of the matching-tshirt-wearing, selfie-taking groups of people when they arrived only to find the NFL had already taken over the city. (However I find it hard to believe that not one person in these groups chose to search ‘Nashville events’ or something of that ilk to see what else was going on in the city that weekend...) — Bette Marston
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