When it comes to the NFL, the spring and summer months are often referred to as the offseason, but that’s when a lot of major decisions are made. Months after the draft, teams still have starting positions to fill. Somewhere, an executive is crunching cap-room numbers in order to keep core players on the roster. Some coaches are also thinking about their strategy as it could be a critical year for their job security. In general, managing a team includes a lot of moving parts. Who’s going to take over a vacant starting position? Are any players due for new contracts? This upcoming season is no different. Decisions have to be made, and questions are being asked. In this post, we are going to look at some major decisions happening in the NFL.
Let’s start with the Denver Broncos, and more specifically what kind of future head coach Vance Joseph has with the team. Normally, a head coach heading into the second season isn’t usually in the hot seat. However, Denver Broncos GM, John Elway, might have lit a fire under Joseph after there were rumblings that he might get fired after just one season. Why? The Broncos finished 5-11 last year, which is their worst record since 2010. In that season, head coach Josh McDaniels got fired 12 games into his second season, so there is definitely some precedent. For some reason in today’s league, front offices don’t seem to have much by way of patience, especially when they’re losing. While it looks like the Broncos might have an easy start to the season, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he won’t get let go later on.
Green Bay Packers
During training camp, Green Bay Packers linebacker Jake Ryan tore his ACL. This is only making their defense’s attempt to improve, worse. GM, Brian Gutekunst must make a decision about what he’s going to do now. Does he stick it out with rookie third-round pick Oren Burks, or sign a veteran to fill in this gap? According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Packers have discussed adding NaVorro Bowman to their lineup. The Packers could also lean on the rookie who provides more flexibility in coverage because of his two-year experience as a defensive back. Gutekunst has options as Bowman doesn’t appear to have offers at the moment. Will they play Burks and see where it takes them? Or will they sign Bowman given his experience?
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers have a tough pick to make when it comes to who will play right guard. Their options are – 2013, first-round pick Johnathan Cooper and 2016 first-round pick Joshua Garnett. Garnett has suffered a knee injury during training camp and is looking for a second opinion on what his treatment could be. For now, he’s going to be able to avoid surgery. Cooper, participated in 11-on-11 drills to help with his recovery from offseason knee surgery. While he’s had some injuries over the years, he ended up starting 13 games for the Dallas Cowboys last year. Both Garnett and Cooper missed the preseason opening game against the Cowboys. If neither are able to get past their injuries, the 49ers may have to sift through summer roster cuts in order to fill the void on the offensive line.