Four Down Territory

By Ryan Whitfield

Twitter: @RyanWhitfieldNE

1st Down

Is there any other starting point than Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas’s massive contracts? It’s not Calvin Johnson money (albeit close), but both players won’t be hurting financially anytime soon. A couple takeaways here. You have threats of colusion charges being filed by the NFLPA had the contracts not gotten done, and now both players land 5 year $70 million dollar contracts. Wow! I guess both teams just really nailed the market here. Secondly, I still don’t fully buy in on Thomas, so that contract is insane to me. Sure, maybe someone was bound to give it to him if they didn’t but lets talk about the real elite class in the NFL. Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, Jordy Nelson, Antonio Brown, Julio Jones and AJ Green. Thomas is the next step down to me, a tier behind and benefits from playing with Manning in that offense the last three years. Time will tell, but I would have gone 4 years $44 Million.

2nd Down

Time for my weekly “you all hate the Patriots complaint”. Yes, Odell Beckham Jr.’s catch was insane. But it was also in the regular season, in a losing effort, in a losing season. Malcolm Butler’s catch was an all-time clutch, never forget moment and play. It’s a play that transcends just the ability and skill of the play. It defined a career for Brady, launched Butler to fame and won the damn Super Bowl. Yet the ESPYS give play of the year to Beckham, foolishness.

3rd Down

Over the next few weeks I will be announcing one by one my playoff predictions for this upcoming year starting with two Division Champs each week, and at the end announce my Super Bowl Prediction. Lets start NFC.

  • NFC East – Dallas Cowboys. I know Demarco is gone, but that offensive line is too good, you still have Bryant, Williams and Witten. Add in  a solid draft and they win it.
  • NFC South- Atlanta Falcons. Should be a down year in the South again, but Matt Ryan and Julio is a dynamic connection and after a great draft the Falcons should compete again and win it.

4th Down

The concussion and health issue continues to rear it’s head in the NFL. Earlier this year we saw Chris Borland retire after a great rookie campaign, and now we saw Dan Connolly retire at age 32 with offers on the table, citing that he wanted to leave while healthy and have a future with his family. This reason is becoming a recurring one and something the NFL has to monitor as they continue to make rules to improve player safety.

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