There has been a crazy amount of player movement in the opening weeks of NFL free agency, and the power structure across the league has shifted to a certain extent.
With so much drama across the NFL, the pressure will be increasing on certain quarterbacks to get the job done this coming season, for one reason or another.
3. Deshaun Watson
After being unhappy with the direction his former team, the Houston Texans, were heading in, Watson finally got his wish and was traded to the Cleveland Browns just days ago.
He will also have a reliable wide receiver to target, as Amari Cooper will be trading in his 10-gallon Texas hat for some snow boots as another new member of the Browns.
Over the last couple of years, the Browns have possessed some high-end talent, such as QB Baker Mayfield (OK, high-end may be giving him too much credit) and wideout Odell Beckham Jr., leading some to believe that they were going to become a legitimate AFC contender.
Other than an appearance in the Divisional Round, it hasn’t really panned out.
He’ll have to deliver because some think his trade won’t turn out well for Cleveland.
Remember when people were talking about the “new look Browns” when they had Baker, Odell, and Jarvis. Times have changed, results prolly won’t lol https://t.co/QVZpLFbmu6
— Opp Pack Giannis (@Lil_Giannis) March 18, 2022
DeShaun Watson: "I don't want to play for the Cleveland Browns"
Cleveland Browns: "We'll give you more guaranteed money than any player in history."
DeShaun Watson pic.twitter.com/TeZTiDTSGw
— Sean Thurmond (@seanthurmond) March 18, 2022
The Browns should certainly have the talent to reach the playoffs, although it won’t be easy in the stacked AFC.
2. Derek Carr
After sneaking into the playoffs by the slimmest of margins, Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders will have a couple of shiny new toys in all-world wideout Davante Adams and pass rusher Chandler Jones.
Now, some are picking the Raiders to win the loaded AFC West and possibly even reach the Super Bowl.
Such expectations from frustrated Raiders fans mean there is plenty of pressure on Carr.
He has certainly been a good, sometimes a very good QB since the Raiders took him in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
But the question has always been if he has what it takes to reach the elite level, like the other three signal-callers in his division.
The presence of Wilson, Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert in the AFC West, plus key defensive additions by the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers mean that the Raiders could conceivably finish last in the division.
In addition, Carr is entering the final year of his contract. Although the Raiders have reportedly begun talking to him about a new contract, there have also been rumors that the team was looking to move away from him.
There seems to never be a shortage of drama and intrigue for the silver and black, and this season, those qualities will certainly be in abundance.
1. Aaron Rodgers
After speculation that he was at odds with Green Bay Packers management and that he would leave the team, Aaron Rodgers got the new contract he wanted.
However, it at least partly led to the team trading Adams, leaving Rodgers bereft of his first mate.
Although the 38-year-old is the proud owner of a world championship ring, some perceive his era in Green Bay as a disappointment because he only has one such ring.
Now that Rodgers has gotten what some claim he wanted most – big bucks – he will have to keep the Packers near the top of the NFL’s pecking order, with or without big weapons at the skill positions.
He has already become something of a polarizing figure lately, on and off the field, and if Green Bay has a disappointing season, Rodgers will likely become the sole scapegoat.