September could not have come faster. It has felt like an eternity since we last turned on the tube to obsessively watch the most violent, yet entertaining sport in the world. That being said, the 214 day NFL offseason did not lack in excitement as the crazy storylines piled up.
The most newsworthy event of the summer was unquestionably San Francisco 49’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem throughout the preseason. Instead of standing up to honor the United States, the sixth year signal caller chose to kneel down during the anthem, citing that he will not stand up for a nation that oppresses people of color.
His actions sparked immediate backlash from people across the country with naysayers expressing that Kaepernick is being disrespectful to the people who serve and protect our nation and enable him to play the game that he loves.
Despite all the negative reaction, numerous players have sided with the Nevada graduate in his protest, including the Seattle Seahawks’ Jeremy Lane and 49er’s teammate Eric Reid. Expect Kaepernick and an increasing amount of players to continue the protest throughout the season.
Shifting focus to another quarterback, Tom Brady will not begin the season as the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback for the first time since the 2002 campaign. The four-time Super Bowl champion will serve his four game suspension for his supposed role in the infamous “Deflategate” incident of the 2015 American Football Conference Championship game.
Jimmy Garoppolo will take the reigns of the offense for the first four weeks and look to quietly manage the offense until number 12 triumphantly makes his return against the Cleveland Browns in October. Dolphins and Bills fans rejoice; they only have to face Brady once this year.
Continuing with the quarterback theme, Teddy Bridgewater of the Minnesota Vikings will miss the entire season after he gruesomely dislocated his knee and tore his ACL in practice. The incumbent starter was poised to have his best season yet for the Vikes after finishing a 2015 season in which he tossed 14 touchdowns to only nine interceptions.
Sam Bradford, a player who is now becoming somewhat of a journeyman in the league, will most likely become the guy who hands the ball off to Adrian Peterson 65 times each game.
In other news, Johnny Manziel is now officially out of the NFL, as the Cleveland Browns made their first smart move since 2007 and cut ties with the Texas A&M product. Not to be forgotten, Tim Tebow, the NFL’s favorite man to scrutinize, has signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets of the MLB.