All 32 of the NFL’s mandatory minicamps will conclude Friday, making way for the slowest period of the offseason.
With limited media access and an inability for teams to conduct full-contact practices under the CBA, many of the questions raised since the end of the 2016 season have yet to be answered. Here are seven of the most pressing:
Who is leading the Browns’ and Jets’ QB competitions?
The head coaches of the Browns and Jets recently admitted they still don’t know who will start under center for their respective clubs.
The Jets are likely doomed with whoever they start, whether it be Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, or Christian Hackenberg. But who the Browns start will speak loudly about how they view themselves in 2017, as Brock Osweiler, Cody Kessler, and DeShone Kizer have varying levels experience and potential.
Will Darrelle Revis sign?
There hasn’t been much buzz about Revis landing with a new team this season other than a tweet from Dez Bryant.
Revis will likely demand an offer of at least $6 million, as the Jets are on the hook to pay out the remaining $6 million of his old deal if he doesn’t find a new team. At 31 years old, with a clearly declining skill set, Revis isn’t worth that much per season. But he’s only one year removed from his last Pro Bowl, and still deserves some type of role in the NFL.
Who is the Saints’ starting RB?
Through voluntary minicamp, both Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson rotated between snaps with the first-team offense and taking rests. In mandatory camp this week, both players split time again with the first-team offense, giving little indication of who the preferred back is.
While both have said they’re helping each other out in different capacities, Ingram said he’s not afraid to compete with Peterson, and the veteran back isn’t ready to admit they’re in a competition.
Will the Lions have a strong offensive line?
The legitimacy of Matt Stafford’s protection has been shaky this offseason.
Things looked great early on, as the Lions signed Rick Wagner and T.J. Lang to bolster the offensive line, but 2016 first-round left tackle Taylor Decker underwent shoulder surgery that will keep him out the next four-to-six months. In response, the Lions traded for Greg Robinson from the Rams on Thursday, though the former second overall pick was been disappointing in his first three seasons.
Offensive line was supposed to be a strength for the Lions in 2017, but without a reliable blindside protector, things are in doubt.
Can Ty Montgomery be a starting RB?
The Packers found success in switching Ty Montgomery from receiver to running back in the middle of last season, while not relying on him to fulfill all the responsibilities of a typical starting back.
After entering the offseason as a full-time running back, Montgomery will be expected to know all the tricks of the trade if he’s to win the starting job. Pass blocking is a huge part of the game he needs to improve on, but without contact at minicamp, neither he or the Packers will be able to accurately tell if he can protect Aaron Rodgers.
What will the Jaguars’ offense look like?
The Jaguars began their offseason program by regularly discussing Blake Bortles’ throwing motion and ability to lead the offense.
Recently, though, the team has showed they’re focused on being a run-first offense with Leonard Fournette on board. Head coach Doug Marrone claimed he would prefer to run the ball every play.
The offensive line isn’t necessarily built to help Fournette punish defenses, but putting everything in Bortles’ hands hasn’t worked out in the past.
How will the Panthers use Christian McCaffrey?
Due to a rule for players coming out of Stanford, McCaffrey wasn’t able to attend Panthers minicamp until Thursday, limiting his knowledge of and familiarity with the offense.
McCaffrey can be a versatile piece for any offense, especially as a receiver, but the Panthers rarely target running backs in the passing game. They’ll need to modify their offense to use him effectively, but without him on the field, it’s tough to make the adjustments.
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