Even after the Super Bowl, the AFC North likes to keep things interesting.
The Ravens are in their last season of the Ozzie Newsome era. The Browns could look to add Nick Foles to their quarterback carousel after he led the Eagles through the playoffs. Ryan Shazier is making progress, but he has a long way to go.
Shazier has been seen standing several places now.
Whether it was on Instagram with Ben Roethlisberger or at a Pittsburgh Penguins game, Shazier has been showing off his progress after a terrible spine injury during the Steelers’ last game against the Bengals. It left him unable to walk for several months.
It is great to see him standing, but reports are coming out that he isn’t walking on his own still. Reports that Shazier confirmed himself.
It is sad that he isn’t as far along as we expected, but it is great to see him making progress after such a scary injury.
Meanwhile, the Ravens are about to watch an era come to an end.
Newsome has confirmed this will be his last season with the team. He has been with the team sine they moved from Cleveland, but he officially became the general manager in 2002. It was a significant move considering he was the first African-American general manager in NFL. He has helped build a consistent winner in Baltimore and even a Super Bowl winner in 2012.
The Ravens have also made the playoffs eight times with the teams that Newsome has constructed. Despite having early success with draft picks and free agents, the past few years The Ravens have struggled to consistently add talent the way he is accustomed to.
A huge part of this is the deal the Ravens had to give Joe Flacco following his Super Bowl win. Ever since he has been one of the highest paid players in the NFL, and the Ravens have been forced to let several players go they would normally like to keep.
It also doesn’t help that Newsome hasn’t had the same kind of success in the draft, players like C.J. Mosley and Ronnie Stanley excluded obviously. The miss on Breshad Perriman is still being felt as last season it was obvious there still wasn’t enough offensive talent around Flacco. His inability to become Torrey Smith has really hurt this team.
It has been a solid run, but if you are in the league long enough, you are bound to run into a rut like this. At least he can walk away knowing he did an incredible job.
The Browns may look to make a splash this offseason.
It is no secret that the team is looking for a quarterback, whether that be through free agency, trade, drafting or any combination of the three. There is an obvious question after the Super Bowl though, would the Browns trade for Foles after his Super Bowl run?
It is rare that a Super Bowl winning quarterback is available to acquire right after winning the Super Bowl, but the Eagles aren’t going to be sitting Carson Wentz, so it is likely the Eagles will move Foles this offseason.
The first couple of dominoes that have to fall for this to happen include Kirk Cousins signing somewhere else in free agency. The Browns wouldn’t have to give anything up to acquire Cousins, aside from likely making him one of the highest paid players in NFL history, but the Browns have a ton of space to work with. That would be the ideal situation for the Browns.
If Cousins signs somewhere else, then it is a matter of which Vikings’ quarterbacks make it to free agency. Odds are Minnesota will keep Case Keenum and Teddy Bridgewater while letting Sam Bradford walk, but again, whoever leaves could be on the Browns radar as a bride quarterback to whoever they take with the first overall pick.
If the Browns miss out on all their free agent targets, then I think that is when Foles becomes an actual option. Although, the asking price for a Super Bowl-winning quarterback may be a little too rich for the Browns’ blood. It hurts the Eagles if AJ McCarron is also available for trade at a lesser price.
Overall, the simple answer is a lot of things have to go wrong for the Browns to end up trading for Foles. If he is their first target, then they are doing it wrong. It is as simple as that.
Also, the Browns’ roster is a lot different from the Eagles, and I think that transition would be a poor one for Foles.