The NFL season ended; the drama won't die anytime soon. No league better promotes itself in the offseason than the NFL, with the scouting combine, free agency, draft and workouts. As the offseason begins, a few stories stick out:
Robert Griffin III's recovery » This matters not only to Redskins fans, but to the NFL in general. If Griffin recovers well from offseason knee surgery and can start the season on time, it should make the Redskins a strong contender. But if not they'll have to go with Kirk Cousins. Despite playing well in one game, Cousins has an awful lot to prove.
Joe Flacco's contract » Flacco could command a deal worth at least $20 million a season, a sum that sounded too high -- until the postseason. But if they don't sign Flacco -- and the strength of their team has shifted from defense to offense -- then what? There's no legitimate alternative. The Ravens, in general, could be facing a lot of change already. Linebacker Ray Lewis has retired; safety Ed Reed is a free agent and receiver Anquan Boldin could be a salary cap casualty.
Philadelphia's offense » It's great to have a system, but it's better to have the players. And until coach Chip Kelly gets the right players it'll be difficult to run the offense he used at Oregon. Will they keep quarterback Michael Vick? He can run, but his passing accuracy and penchant for turnovers are troublesome no matter the system. But with receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin and running back LeSean McCoy, Kelly has talent available.
The No. 1 draft pick » This year, there's no quarterback worthy of the top choice for only the fourth time in 16 years. So take your pick: Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel? Or Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner? Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, who could play in 4-3 or 3-4 front, is another option.
HGH testing » NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last week he expects there to be testing for human growth hormone before the start of next season. Many players applaud that stand, but negotiations remain between the union and the NFL over the details.
- John Keim