Well, I think I’ve recovered from the Super Bowl. What a week in Miami ending with the Kansas City Chiefs’ first Super Bowl in 50 years. Here are the lessons that teams can take away from the Chiefs’ win.
Now it’s time to focus on the offseason and the upcoming storylines. After a quick break from the mailbag last week during the Super Bowl, let’s get back to it. But first, my regularly scheduled reminder that you can ask me a question for the next mailbag on Twitter or Instagram.
Do you see 17 games coming out of the next CBA? Does it come with each team getting two bye weeks in season? —@countzerokc
Negotiations are heating up as the collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of the 2020 season. Both sides would like to get a deal done before the start of this season to avoid a lockout and also to present a unified front to the networks as rights deals are forthcoming. There’s big money to be made if both sides make nice, which I think they understand.
A way to increase revenue is adding another game and possibly another two playoff teams. More games = higher TV rights deals and more money for all.
Of course, the owners would get more money than the players. Currently, they are proposing moving the players’ cut from 47 percent to 48.5 percent. While that is an increase, I’m not sure it’s enough for the added risk on the players’ bodies. We are partners in this game and should have a 50-50 cut in the profits.
But whether or not I like the revenue split, it appears 17 games is going to happen. When the number of games does increase, another bye week will be added. In addition, the roster size needs to increase from 53 to 58.
With an additional game and two extra weeks, plus another round of playoffs, you need more bodies. The gameday roster is set at 46, and I’d increase that to near 50 as well. Lastly, the NFL needs another IR to return spot.
Biggest free agent of the offseason ending up elsewhere: who and where? —@Dougiedrizzle
Quarterback is the only position that moves the needle for free agent signings. Everyone is hoping Tom Brady is out in New England, but I don’t expect that to happen. His best chance to win is staying in a Patriots uniform.
With Brady likely staying put, I think Cam Newton would be the biggest signing (or trade). It appears the Panthers are going to rebuild on the fly, and I just don’t expect Newton to be part of that, even if he’s healthy.
Injury concerns are part of the Newton discussion, but if we are to assume he’s healthy, then he’s 100 percent starting in the NFL next season. Newton has improved his accuracy and we know he’s a “gamer.” So where would he go? Chicago seems like the obvious answer, but I think the LA Chargers would be the best option. The Chargers need some juice and Newton would bring just that. There’s also plenty of talent to work with in Los Angeles, and I think he’d help the team win.
Is there any quarterback who could have a bounce-back season in 2020? —@sam_thilman
There are two quarterbacks who pop into my head for bounce-back seasons.
The first is Baker Mayfield, who had no chance last season under Freddie Kitchens. Now he’s got a competent head coach and staff, and it appears Mayfield has learned his lesson about handling himself off the field. He spent Super Bowl media week telling anyone who’d listen that he’s changing his approach off the field. He should. But we shouldn’t forget that Mayfield is a talented quarterback who’s got lots of weapons around him. If he fixes his attitude and has a better playcaller, which he does, Mayfield should rebound in his third season with the Browns.