Found July 17, 2013 on Football and Futbol:
  Going into this off-season sports nuts and analysts alike knew that this off-season had the potential to be the most interesting off-season in recent history and one of the most interesting in NFL history, In my opinion, it did not disappoint. The first few weeks of free agency left fans heads spinning with the Chiefs making huge acquisitions in Alex Smith and Andy Reid, to Welker going to Denver after a season  where it seemed New England was discretely shoving Welker out the door, to Miami landing home run hitting Mike Wallace for young upstart Ryan Tanehill. No matter what team your rooting for you were most likely effected by the ripples of this off-season. Here I wanted to touch on some of the most compelling team story lines going into this season, these are going to be interesting to watch play out. Kansas City Chiefs: Okay, I thought I’d go with the elephant in the room right off the bat. Last year was some of the worst football I have ever watched from a team, despite having 6 pro bowlers (3 of which coming from their freak line backing core) they went 2-14, a really, really bad 2-14 seeing as the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t even HAVE A LEAD until the OT thriller in Week 10 against Pittsburgh (which they lost). But this year I would not be surprised if they actually make the playoffs (that’s right I said it.)  With acquisitions , of game manager Alex Smith and head coach Andy Reid, along with the lowkey addition of talented former Colts wide receiver Donnie Avery and defense that’s on the come up lead by Tamba Hali and defensive end Justin Houston, the Chiefs have all the tools to make some noise as a potential wild card team and maybe even knock off Manning’s Broncos once this year, stay tuned in to Kansas City. Cleveland Browns:  The Cleveland Browns finished 5-11 this past season, at first look this may look like your average Cleveland Browns season but going back and recapping all these games, alot of them were actually close that were decided by a possession or so, this season could’ve easily been 6-10, 7-9 or even 8-8. My gut is telling me the Browns are about to put that division on notice, with the addition of Paul Kruger, who brings a pass rushing, “Willish” linebacker into an already solid line backing core, to win in the AFC North you need defense and the ability to run the ball and on paper the Cleveland Browns look like they might fit that bill. New Orleans Saints: We all already know how Drew Brees and the Saints offense can get down so this really has nothing to with the offensive side of the ball, but all eyes in NO should be on that defense. The Saints are getting Sean Payton back this year good news I know, but wait it gets seemingly better. The Saints were able to land defensive guru Rob Ryan to help with their atrocious defense ( aloud 440.1 total yards) and drafted promising young saftey Kenny Vaccaro, and though passing on Jarvis Jones I think It was a smart draft choice to go saftey in a division with Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, and Josh Freeman plus in my opinion you’ve got two ends with raw talent in Akiem Hicks and Cameron Jordan who are perfect fits and can be molded into premiere ends in Rob Ryan’s defense. Miami Dolphins: Joe Philbin promised he was going to make a splash (Im sure the pun was intended) in south beach as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, and showed it with his very first move. Philbin saw potential in his young QB, he knew all he needed was a premier target to really begin to make use of Tanehill’s talent, enter: Mike Wallace. Mike Wallace was probably the biggest acquisition for any team in this off-season. Not only can get by the defense with his Olympic sprinter esque speed, but he has proven he can go across the middle and get the 50/50 balls for you. Not only was did they get extremely better on the offensive side if the ball (also signing former Jets tight end Dustin Keller) with the acquisition of former ravens linebacker Daniel Ellerbe, The Dolphins have went from a conference bottom dweller to a potential 10-6 and wildcard birth and dare I say, MAYBE a win over New England? Minnesota Vikings: Just as everyone thought the fire was dying out in the Vikings/Packers rivalry, do to Green Bays over whelming talent compared to Minnesota, Greg Jennings may-as-well have poured gasoline on it. With Minnesota’s addition of Greg Jennings to an offense that was lacking a number target who wanted to be there (cough cough Percy Harvin) not only does it potentially re-fuel this rivalry, but this might be the piece AP, Ponder and Co. Needed to get over the “hump” that is Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The NFC is near impossible to pick right now Im not sold on a playoff birth for Minnesota yet but I will predict a 10-6 season for them as Greg Jennings finds his way in this offense. Arizona Cardinals: For those of you who do your homework, take a look at the front 7 of The Arizona Cardinals, now add Superstar Patrick Peterson, and College sensation Tyrann Mathieus to that, scary huh? That’s why I’ve got this Arizona defense as my sleeper of the year, teams will rue the day they let Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieus team up again like their old LSU days. Carson Palmer is likely to win the starting job in the desert and though Arizona will have to wait another year for Johnny football, Palmer should be able to get them through the year, with an injured McFadden and average joe receiving core in Oakland Palmer still managed to complete 60+ % of his passes. With Fitz and red zone threat Micheal Floyd, Cardinals fans should remain patient and look forward to next off-season while still enjoying Larry Fitzgerald grab passes over 3 defenders.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Browns Training Camp Storylines: Brandon Weeden

Training camp is just around the corner. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll take a look at some of the bigger storylines facing the Browns as they start preseason… As an old offensive and defensive linemen, I would love to say that the biggest story of camp is who grabs the guard spots. Or maybe the defensive line rotation. But I’d be fooling myself. The biggest question...

NFL News: Trent Richardson “I have no pain at all”; will be ready for training camp

In a Cleveland.com report by Mary Kay Cabot, Browns second year running back Trent Richardson declared himself 100% healthy and ready to go when the Browns open training camp next week. “I’ll be full-go right from the get-go and y’all out there will see me flying around,” he said. “I can’t wait to get out there and I can’t wait for the first game. I’ve been waiting...

Browns training camp preview: Linebacker

The Browns officially kick off their first training camp under Rob Chudzinski and staff on Thursday July 25. We will break down each position in the weeks leading up to the start of camp with the players currently on the roster. We will now take a look at the linebackers. The Browns biggest makeover on the defensive side of the ball was at linebacker. The Browns are switching from...

G John Greco ‘is a player to watch,’ leads pack for final starting position

The new offensive system also known as the ‘Coryell offense’ employed by new coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner requires the guards to be mobile and have the ability to operate in space. The west coast system used in 2012 by former Browns coach Pat Shurmur the past two seasons didn’t utilize as much movement from the linemen, so the guards who can...

Haslam's company to repay truckers

The truck-stop chain owned by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has agreed to pay back the trucking companies that were cheated out of fuel rebates. A federal judge in Arkansas gave preliminary approval on Tuesday to a class-action settlement that would pay the companies what they are owed with interest. Federal agents raided the Knoxville headquarters of Pilot Flying J earlier...

Trent Richardson says he’s 100 percent, will be ready for camp

  According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Browns running back Trent Richardson has been running pain free and is 100 percent healthy after battling a leg injury this offseason.  He expects to be ready to go for training camp. “I have no pain at all in the leg,” said Richardson. “I’ll be ready for camp and I’ll be ready to go for the season.” Richardson...

Browns’ Trent Richardson expects to be ‘full-go’ for training camp

Since running back Trent Richardson entered the league with the Cleveland Browns, there have been questions surrounding his health and durability. He did nothing to ease those questions last season, as knee and rib injuries limited his playing time and production in 2012. It appeared that it could be more of the same this year, as Richardson suffered a shin injury during the offseason...

Trent Richardson Feels No Pain in Leg

Browns running back Trent Richardson (shin) said he has "no pain at all" in his right leg, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.Fantasy Spin:He also insisted that he'll be ready for the start of training camp on July 25. Richardson sat out the mandatory June minicamp and the final week of OTAs with a muscle strain in his right shin. "I'...

Browns' Barkevious Mingo still unsigned due to 'offset language' battle

With Browns rookies due to report to Berea on Friday, the team and first-round pick Barkevious Mingo are still at odds over his contract, a league source told The Plain Dealer. Specifically, the Browns want offset language in the deal, and Mingo's side does not. Offset language addresses a player who is released before his fully-guaranteed four-year contract has expired. With...

Trent Richardson says he's pain-free: 'I'll be full-go' when camp starts

Trent Richardson has been sprinting pain-free, is 100 percent healthy and expects to be ready for the start of Browns training camp next week. "I have no pain at all in the leg,'' he said by phone before a Tuesday pool workout in Pensacola, Fla. "I'll be ready for camp and I'll be ready to go for the season." Richardson, who sat out the mandatory...

Broncos suspend Matt Russell indefinitely without pay, Tom Heckert one month without pay

Hot News for FO Tom Heckert

Haslam investigation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The truck-stop chain owned by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has agreed to pay back the trucking companies that were cheated out of fuel rebates. A federal judge in Arkansas gave preliminary approval on Tuesday to a class-action settlement that would pay the companies what they are owed with interest. Federal agents raided the Knoxville headquarters...

Forbes ranks Browns 34th most valuable sports franchise in the world

The Cleveland Browns were valued at $987 million dollars according to Forbes Magazine, making them the 34th most valuable franchise in sports. The team sold for $1.05 billion dollars last year, but as you know when you drive the team off the lot they immediately lose value. Actually, Jimmy Haslam purchased 70% of the team from Randy Lerner last season, with an agreement in place...

Pilot Flying J to repay trucking companies

The latest news on the Jimmy Haslam, fuel rebate scandal.
Browns News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.