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Thursday, May 26, 2022

The NFL’s 10 Biggest Stories in 2021, From Aaron Rodgers’ Drama to Legendary Quarterbacks Saying ‘Sayonara’

The NFL has had its fair share of drama over the past year, with Aaron Rodgers and other quarterbacks holding out in a contract dispute that threatened to lead to an apocalypse. As we head into 2021, it appears Roger Goodell is finally making some strides towards restoring order as he’s been accused of extortion following his suspension of two-time MVP Tom Brady.

The “nfl season 2021-22” is the upcoming NFL season. The NFL has 10 big stories that will take place during the year.

As was the case during the 2010s, the NFL in 2021 belonged to the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Even in a league that produces so much money each year, there isn’t much room for personal development.

Brady’s achievement and Rodgers’ turmoil were only two of the most memorable storylines in professional football in the last year. Indeed, there has been so much that it only seemed proper to offer a year in review.

This list included any NFL-related events that occurred in the calendar year 2021. This contains the following chapters in concerns that started before this year, such as the current epidemic. NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) is disqualified since it is primarily related to college football.

The most memorable narratives stack up as follows, taking into account the aforementioned prerequisites:

Dak Prescott is rich, healthy, and has a winning record.

You’ve already heard the tale. Prescott sustained a major ankle injury in October 2020, ending his season after only five games. In March, the Cowboys inked the outstanding quarterback to a four-year, $160 million contract deal. Despite the injury, the Mississippi State product got a guaranteed $95 million when signing and will get a further $31 million in March 2022.

For the time being, it looks like the Cowboys made the proper decision. In his first 14 starts, Prescott had a 68.7% completion percentage, 3,928 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. In Week 15, the Cowboys secured the NFC East and are headed to the playoffs for the first time in three years. Jerry Jones could still know what he’s doing now and then.

The ‘ManningCast’ (also known as ‘Monday Night Football With Peyton and Eli’) is a sports podcast hosted by Peyton Manning and Eli Manning.

Peyton Manning has accepted the Monday Night Football booth gig after years of speculation. To some extent, yes. He and his younger brother, Eli, agreed to present a simulcast on ESPN2 for the 2021 football season, where they would invite guests, including current players, instead of dissecting the game in a typical context.

The ManningCast was not only a ratings success, but the relaxed environment enabled some of the game’s biggest names, like Tom Brady, to drop by and feel at ease. However, it seems that a rumored jinx involving active players losing their next game after joining the Manning brothers has frightened those active players away.

Marshawn Lynch, a former Pro Bowl running back, swore on the radio in late October, prompting Peyton to apologize when the show resumed. In recent editions, ManningCast has taken a safer approach, often calling on broadcasters and celebrities. If the current ManningCast played like it did in Week 3, with double birds and everything, it would likely go higher on this ranking.

8. Drew Brees and other NFL veterans bid their last farewells… we believe

Drew Brees is the all-time passing yardage leader in the @NFL (80,358). He passed to a total of 115 players, including himself. Brees has the most career yards on passes. 9,709 Colston, Marques 4,869 4,725 Michael Thomas pic.twitter.com/vwqdnee7Em Jimmy Graham

March 14, 2021 — Elias Sports Bureau (@EliasSports)

Drew Brees, Larry Fitzgerald, and Philip Rivers all look to be done for the 2020 season, barring any unexpected comebacks. While the first two will almost certainly be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this decade, Rivers’ candidacy is significantly more debatable.

Julian Edelman, a former Super Bowl MVP, Maurkice Pouncey, a five-time All-Pro center, and famous kicker Adam Vinatieri have all retired in recent months. Jason Witten, who had previously retired after the 2017 season before returning in 2019, has announced his retirement for the second time.

Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers is likely to head the pack of players who will retire following the 2022 season. Next year, though, don’t expect to see Tom Brady in this column.

7. Rookie quarterbacks have had a fairly dismal year.

In the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, five quarterbacks were chosen. Only one quarterback, New England’s Mac Jones, has thrown more touchdowns than interceptions as a full-time starter before Week 17. Trey Lance, the third overall selection, has three touchdowns and just one interception in five games and one start for San Francisco.

Trevor Lawrence of Jacksonville tossed three touchdowns in his first game, but six in the following 14. Zach Wilson has done little to persuade Jets supporters that better times are on the way. Justin Fields of Chicago has had some good moments, but not at the level that his supporters had hoped for.

Fans of football should keep a watch on Houston’s Davis Mills (the 67th overall selection), who has thrown 12 touchdowns to nine interceptions and has shown signs of improvement in recent weeks. If anything, he may deter the Texans from drafting a quarterback in the first round next spring.

6. The league’s recent COVID-19 issues and Omicron surges

There were 262 player positives from the start of the regular season through the Super Bowl last year.

In the month of December alone, there have been over 400 player positives.

December 27, 2021 — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)

COVID-19 may not have even merited its own slot if we had released this list on December 1st. Players were certain to test positive and miss games, but the league performed significantly better than it did last year, during the pandemic’s first season.

Then there was December, which brought the Omicron variety. COVID-19 breakouts forced the NFL to reschedule three Week 15 games. In recent weeks, a number of starting quarterbacks and head coaches have tested positive for the drug. During that time, however, no games were canceled by the league.

From December 1 to December 27, the NFL saw over 400 players test positive. When the playoffs come, don’t be shocked if Omicron keeps at least one superstar on the bench.

5. Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are once again competitors.

Standings in the AFC East with two weeks to go:

1. Expenses (9-6) 2. New England Patriots (9-6) Dolphins are number three (8-7)

Schedules that remain:

BUF: against. ATL; NYJ: vs. NE vs. JAX, NE vs. JAX, NE vs. JAX, MIA MIA: vs. NE at TEN

If the season ended today, all three teams would be in the playoffs.

December 28, 2021 — Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN)

When the Patriots fell to 2-4 in mid-October, there were legitimate concerns about Bill Belichick’s future in New England. After more than two months, the eight-time Super Bowl winner is once again a contender for Coach of the Year.

The Patriots have a great chance to win the AFC East again, thanks in large part to Jones’ brilliance at quarterback (67.2 completion % and 18 touchdowns to 12 interceptions) and a strong defense (a league-best 17.3 points per game). So much for Belichick’s plans to retire to the Florida Keys at the end of the season.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in 2020.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in 2020. Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans did not play in 2021 because to legal difficulties | Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here’s a short rundown of Watson’s predicament: From March 16 to April 14, 23 lawsuits alleging sexual harassment and assault were filed against him. Despite the fact that he is being investigated by the Houston Police Department and the FBI, he has yet to be charged with a crime as of publishing. A court approved orders to examine Watson’s social media accounts, including Instagram and Cash App, according to ABC 13 in Houston. 

Watson has yet to play a down for the Texans this season, and his future in the league is still up in the air. It’s unclear if the league will take action at a later date.

The Urban Meyer tale is number three. It’s all there.

When the Jacksonville Jaguars were awarded the No. 1 overall choice in the 2021 NFL Draft, supporters felt they had won the lottery. Under Meyer’s supervision, what seemed like a gorgeous dream swiftly turned into a nightmare. Is there anything further we can say about the footage of him at an Ohio bar?

Meyer was dismissed by the Jaguars in mid-December after the team had had enough. The team has not yet stated who will take his position, nor had Meyer revealed his future intentions as of publishing.

2. Tom Brady may, in fact, be immortal.

Brady never surpassed 40 throwing touchdowns once in his 18 seasons as the Patriots’ full-time starting quarterback. The 44-year-old has already thrown 77 regular-season touchdowns against just 23 interceptions in two seasons with the Buccaneers. The three-time NFL MVP has a good chance of adding a fourth to his illustrious career.

Most significantly, he won his eighth Super Bowl in February and is leading the Buccaneers to a second straight championship. Brady will become the NFL’s oldest starting quarterback next season, barring injury, and he shows no signs of slowing down.

1. Aaron Rodgers is a drama junkie who despises the cancel culture.

“I understand I’m in the crosshairs of the woke mob right now, so before the last nail in my cancel culture coffin is driven in, I’d want to clear the air.”

— Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers criticizes the NFL’s “witch hunt” over a photo of his immunization status. twitter.com/dVAaSjItOa

November 5, 2021 — The Recount (@therecount)

Aaron Rodgers’ 2021 — and by that, we mean the full year, not just the season — can be divided into various sections. Then there came the defeat in the NFC Championship Game in January. Then there was Rodgers’ rumored dissatisfaction with the Packers’ organization, which lasted all summer until he returned to the club on the eve of training camp.

Everything was OK until Rodgers, who had never been vaccinated, tested positive for COVID-19 in early November and appeared on The Pat McAfee Show to explain himself. Rodgers sparked a viral uproar after referencing “cancel culture,” spreading disinformation about vaccinations, admitting he solicited comments from podcast host Joe Rogan, and criticizing the NFL’s policies months after stating he’d been “immunized” against the virus.

Rodgers recently returned to McAfee’s program and wondered why “society and the NFL [haven’t] spoken about actual treatment alternatives” after apologizing for deceiving people. “If science can’t be questioned, it’s not science anymore,” he added, citing ivermectin, which the FDA has ruled isn’t proved to cure COVID-19. It’s a piece of propaganda.”

Rodgers had a 68.0 completion %, 3,689 yards, 33 touchdowns, and four interceptions entering Week 17. Even if Rodgers eventually makes it to the Super Bowl for the first time since February 2011, we advise Packers fans not to treat COVID-19 with ivermectin.

“Over 423 million doses of COVID-19 vaccination were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, to November 1, 2021,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccines against COVID-19 are both safe and efficacious.”

RELATED: NBC Sports’ Mike Florio Proposes the NFL Rebrand in the Image of Iconic Coach John Madden

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The “nfl regular season” is a 10-month long event that takes place from September to January. The NFL’s biggest stories in 2021 will be Aaron Rodgers drama, legendary quarterbacks saying ‘sayonara’, and the new kickoff rule.

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