Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick MahomesCharlie Riedel/Associated Press
Before we delve into the top storylines from the offseason, take a look at some of the other happenings across the league that will likely come up in discussion early on.
Baltimore Ravens Cut Earl Thomas III
The Baltimore Ravens parted ways with Earl Thomas III after his altercation with safety Chuck Clark at camp. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the team’s leadership council motioned to sever ties with the three-time All-Pro.
The Ravens released Thomas on Aug. 23. He remains unsigned. Though the 11th-year veteran expressed interest in playing for the Dallas Cowboys during the 2017 campaign, the club isn’t interested in him, per the Dallas Morning News.
Patrick Mahomes Signs 10-Year, $450 Million Extension with Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs signed quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a 10-year, $450 million megadeal. He’s certainly earned every penny. The 24-year-old is one of two players in NFL history with 5,000-plus passing yards and at least 50 touchdowns in a single season. He just led his team to its first Super Bowl victory since the 1969 term as the Super Bowl LIV MVP.
More impressively, general manager Brett Veach extended Mahomes at an eye-popping number and still retained defensive tackle Chris Jones and extended tight end Travis Kelce. Many have joked the team turned off salary-cap restrictions to retain premium players. The Chiefs kept their core intact to try to repeat as champions.
Raiders Move to Las Vegas
The Raiders moved from Oakland to Las Vegas this offseason. The NFL has embraced the city and would’ve hosted the draft there if not for the COVID-19 pandemic. The Silver and Black won’t have fans at Allegiant Stadium this season, but the team will enjoy the look of a new home. Owner Mark Davis coined it “the Death Star.”
In Week 2, the Raiders will play their first home game—against the New Orleans Saints in a Monday Night Football matchup.
Miami Dolphins Roll the Dice on QB Tua Tagovailoa
Leading up to the draft, a lot of speculation surrounded the Miami Dolphins, who had three first-round picks and a need at quarterback with 37-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick penciled in as the starter. For the most part, mock drafts connected Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert to the club in the No. 5 spot.
Tagovailoa went into the draft process with question marks about his durability. While at Alabama, he underwent surgeries on his ankle and hip. At one point, Tagovailoa said he didn’t know if his hip would fully heal:
“It’s just hard, especially with the injury,” Tagovailoa said. “No one can really tell if it’s going to heal correctly, if it isn’t.”
Yet the Dolphins selected Tagovailoa, which suggests he passed the eyeball test with the organization. He won’t start Week 1, but eventually Miami will insert him into the lineup for Fitzpatrick.
Philadelphia Eagles Acquire All-Pro CB Darius Slay
The Philadelphia Eagles have struggled to field a solid cornerback group in recent seasons. Because of injuries, Ronald Darby missed 20 games in three campaigns with the team. Sidney Jones never panned out into a consistent starter, and the front office released him Saturday.
The Eagles sent 2020 third- and fifth-round picks to the Detroit Lions for Darius Slay. He’s going to man the boundary as a cornerstone of the pass defense. This seems like a shrewd move with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott coming off his best season with career highs in passing yards (4,902) and touchdown tosses (30).