Broad Street Breakdown….NFL Offseason So Far

Bryan Wislosky, Columnist

Well it’s almost March which means we are getting into the heart of the NFL offseason.  The NFL Scouting Combine started this past week with over 100 hopeful NFL prospects participating in the drills.  This year there is also a plethora of high profile free agents hitting the market, especially at the wide receiver position.  Oh, and also the situation regarding Peyton Manning’s future, just in case you didn’t hear.  It’s just over six months until week 1 of the 2012 NFL season, and with all these major offseason stories to follow, the landscape of all of football will be bent backwards by then.

            With the Combine comes thoughts of April’s NFL Draft.  Will the Colts take Andrew Luck?  What will the St. Louis Rams do with the second pick?  Is Heisman Winner, Robert Griffin III, a better pick than Luck?  And most importantly, will fat Andy finally stop trying to outsmart everyone and actually make a move to push the Eagles in the right direction?  Even though I will be more focused on who Philadelphia will take with their first pick, hopefully a linebacker, the majority of football fans will be looking at the Colts.  With Peyton Manning owed a massive bonus at the end of March and having the opportunity to draft a quarterback with the most promise since Manning, the Indianapolis Colts need to decide if they want to keep their 4 time MVP QB or cut him loose and start over with Luck.  Rumors surfaced this week that the most probable destination for Manning is the Miami Dolphins.  I personally think Indy should draft Luck and keep him under Peyton’s wing for two years, but that’s just my opinion.

            Rookies won’t be the only players calling new cities home in September.  2012 has quite an impressive free agent class, headlined by Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Ravens running back Ray Rice, although both of them are likely to remain with their current teams.  The big story in free agency this year is the laundry list of wide receivers on the list.  Notables include Dwayne Bowe (Chiefs), Marques Colston (Saints), DeSean Jackson (Eagles), Vincent Jackson (Chargers), Mario Manningham (Giants), Mike Wallace (Steelers), Reggie Wayne (Colts), and Wes Welker (Patriots).  Now Pittsburgh’s Wallace is a restricted free agent, so they have a very good chance of resigning him, but everyone else is basically free game.  Personally, I’m waiting to see what Philly does about their Prima Donna WR.  Just as early as the end of the 2010 season, DeSean Jackson was adored in Philadelphia.  He was known as the most explosive player in the league and essentially ended the New York Giants season with a game ending punt return to cap an incredible three touchdown deficit comeback.  However, at points this season, he was doing his best Terrell Owens impression and didn’t even look like he wanted to play.  By the end of the season, it appeared he realized he was being a baby and actually started to try.  I think they should give him the franchise tag and focus on giving LeSean “Shady” McCoy and contract extension so he doesn’t become a free agent next offseason.

            Also a minor note, Reebok’s contract with the NFL ran out, and Nike scooped it up.  So Nike will now be making NFL jerseys.  They are also planning make many different jerseys for each team, like they do for the Oregon Ducks.  So it definitely appears as though the NFL is entering into a strange new world.