A fact of life with the National Football League is that the season is now a full 12 month proposition. Sure, there are no games going right now and the preseason will not kick off until August but the plotting, scheming, drafting, coaching, and organizational moves never end.
The NFL is the king of sport betting because it has learned to market and promote what goes on off the field as much as what goes on during the games themselves. There is no off season or break, just different segments to the NFL calendar year.
The coaching carousel and “Silly Season” has just ended with Greg Schiano leaving the college ranks ofRutgersto take over the woeful Tampa Bay Buccaneers and now free agency and the draft will be on the minds of everyone.
The big question as the off season kicks off is the status of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who just saw his little brother Eli win his second Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants at “The House That Peyton Built,” Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Colts and host to this year’s Super Bowl. Peyton has but one Super Bowl ring and his team was fully exposed as unprepared to win without him as Indy went 2-14 as Peyton missed the season. The Colts are expected to use their number one overall draft to select Stanford QB Andrew Luck and the $28 million question is whether they ask Peyton back for a last and final run while Luck awaits his turn or if the Colts throw Luck right into the fire. The Green Bay Packers kept veteran Brett Favre around for a final run at glory in 2007 while top draft pick Aaron Rodgers learned the ropes. But Peyton himself was thrown right into the fire as a rookie with the Colts. It won’t be an easy decision.
Meanwhile, one has to wonder if the New England Patriots will make it back to Super Sunday, as they were proven to be a cast of overachievers in this year’s AFC title run. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Houston all figure to be challenging, and the New York Jets will be shopping for a quarterback to take them to glory.
The NFC will be looking quite strong as Green Bay, Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta, and San Francisco all can lay claim to being the top shelf favorites heading into the off season.