NFL Spotlight: Storylines To Keep
Your Eye On This Season
It doesn't seem possible, but the NFL is bigger now than it has ever been. The sport's popularity continues to rise, deflecting controversy and shrugging at scandals as fans tune in on televisions, smartphones and handheld game systems to watch their favorite teams battle it out. For every die-hard fan counting down the days until kickoff and rearranging their fantasy football lineup on a daily basis, there are even more casual game day viewers who haven't been following every storyline since Peyton Manning hoisted his last Lombardi Trophy. Read on to get the scoop on some of the bigger stories that were going on this summer before the season finally starts.
Even most of Tom Brady's most bitter rivals can't stand hearing about the Deflategate debacle anymore. New England's superstar quarterback has finally submitted to the pressure, choosing to accept his four-game suspension which will start at the beginning of the season. Although it's not enough of a suspension to count the Patriots out of the playoff picture, the more interesting story will be how Brady and the Patriots respond when the two-time MVP takes the field. In the meantime, expect to hear the NFL's most annoying word thrown around quite a bit during the first few weeks of the season.
Stars In Different Skies
There weren't any major tectonic shifts in the NFL's landscape during the off season, with many star players hit with the franchise tag or signing long-term deals with their current teams. But if you're trying to figure out how your home team's division and conference rivals size up, there's a couple interesting transfers that could make an impact. The Patriots added a second pillar to their tight end team with Martellus Bennet, the Titans delivered some running talent to their up-and-coming quarterback with DeMarco Murray and the Texans took on a new look with Brock Osweiler under center and Lamar Miller in the backfield. It will also be interesting to see longtime Bear Matt Forte suit up in Jets green and Robert Griffin III stand by in Cleveland.
Live From Los Angeles
For the first time since 1994, the Rams are back in Los Angeles. After moving to St. Louis for over two decades and winning the big game in one of the most exciting contests in recent memory, owner Stan Kroenke finally got the go-ahead to take his team back to the most famous city on the west coast. The move came as a surprise, given that the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders have also made it known that their preferred future destination is Los Angeles. Anyone feeling a little bad for St. Louis shouldn't be too dispirited. Keeping the team would have caused the city some serious financial problems.
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