Jamal Adams (Jets safety)
Adams is one of the premier safeties in the NFL and he kicked and pouted and fussed and criticized the Jets until management finally packaged him to a franchise that is closer to winning a Super Bowl.
Now he has to go out there and clearly improve a Seattle Seahawks secondary that hasn’t been the same since the Legion of Boom days. The Jets didn’t want to give Adams the bag he desired. He will get a chance to prove whether or not the Jets made the right choice.
He’s already taken a vocal leadership position on the team and he seems to really dig HC Pete Carroll.
Cam Newton (Patriots QB)
Newton is the starter in New England and was named a captain, but no matter who you are — even a former MVP — taking over for Tom Brady is like trying to replace Michael Jordan after he left the Bulls. Replacing a living legend is hard enough. Trying to prove to the world that you aren’t washed up adds even more pressure to the mix.
Cam has already begun fusing his culture with the more stoic Patriots way.
The NFL world is going to be very critical of Newton and we are all curious to see how New England will utilize his mobility, strength and speed, as his skill set differs from Brady’s.
Tom Brady (Tampa Bay Bucs QB)
Tom Brady lives life with a chip on his shoulder. The Bucs have restocked and reloaded with Brady and provided the former sixth-round draft pick-turned-GOAT with a trailer load of weapons; Rob Gronkowski and recently signed RB Leonard Fournette just to name a few.
Receivers Chris Goodwin and Mike Evans are studs that caught a large portion of Jameis Winston’s 5,109 passing yards in 2019. People are talking about the Super Bowl, but let’s see them make the playoffs first.
Mike McCarthy (Head Coach Dallas Cowboys)
McCarthy takes over a soap opera Dallas Cowboys team with a disgruntled quarterback who should be motivated to have a career year and prove he deserves the huge contract he craves. In the meantime, $31.4 million isn’t a bad check.
McCarthy was accused of letting the game pass him by in Green Bay after a long run with Aaron Rodgers. It will be interesting to see if McCarthy is finally the guy who can get Dallas — a team that is always among the most talented on paper — to finally elevate to Super Bowl level.
Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs QB)
Mahomes got the biggest bag in NFL history and has already won a Super Bowl. Sustained success in the NFL isn’t a given, but nobody expects Mahomes to take any steps backward. Having won last year in such impressive fashion only raises the stakes and the expectations for a guy who is now considered the No. 1 QB in the league and one of the best ever after just two full seasons. Let’s not forget that he also got married this year so it’s going to be hard to top his last 365 days.
Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens QB)
LJ proved that he can carry a team. The Ravens’ 14-2 record and his 2019 NFL MVP trophy is proof that he is indeed an elite franchise QB. However, his poor playoff performance has raised new questions about his ability to effectively dominate in the passing game. Anything short of a Super Bowl appearance and improved passing accuracy will be a disappointment for Jackson in 2020.
He doesn’t have much room for error or regression.
Dwayne Haskins (Washington Football Team QB)
The New York Giants picked Daniel Jones instead of Haskins and caught some flack. But when Haskins’ rookie season (with an organization in disarray) was more like a nightmare, Giants fans were patting the front office on the back.
Haskins didn’t really get a fair shot as a rookie. His team was trash, ownership remains in chaos and the head coach was on the way out. Let’s see if Haskins can begin to show some promise this season after officially being named the starter.
Kyle Murray to DeAndre Hopkins (Arizona Cardinals Super Connection)
Remember this tandem. If Kyle Murray’s numbers and Texan QB DeShaun Watson‘s numbers flip from last season then you know why. The Texans totally handicapped their own franchise quarterback by dumping his future HOF receiver. Murray will become the immediate beneficiary of adding such a talent to Kliff Kingsbury’s dynamic offense. It’s going to be fun watching these guys ball.
Christian McCaffery (Carolina Panthers RB)
In an era where running backs are devalued and teams don’t want to pay them top dollar, Mccaffrey was able to secure a contract making him the highest-paid RB in the league. Now he has to actually show that he can impact the win-loss column for a team with a new quarterback and new head coach (Matt Rule).