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NFL's Top 7 Offseason Storylines Left to Resolve Before Training Camp

Personnel members, coaches and players are returning from vacation and preparing to go back to their respective facilities with training camp around the corner. The past few weeks were the quietest part of the NFL offseason, but the pace is about to pick up.

There are a few remaining unresolved situations that we have monitored for several weeks and in some cases, months. There should be answers to most of these fairly soon.

Here are the offseason dominoes we’re waiting to see fall. 

Top 7 Remaining Offseason Storylines

Notable Free Agents Still Remain

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and running back Dalvin Cook were recently released and have garnered interest from multiple teams. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, cornerback Marcus Peters, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and running backs Leonard Fournette, Kareem Hunt and Ezekiel Elliott have been available the entire offseason.

At this point, available players might wait for a potential training camp injury, which happens every year. This recently happened with the New York Jets when safety Chuck Clark tore his ACL, leading to Adrian Amos getting signed to a one-year contract worth up to $4 million.

Franchise Tag Extension Candidates

The deadline to extend players who were franchise-tagged this offseason is coming up Monday, July 17, at 4 p.m. ET. Giants RB Saquon Barkley, Raiders RB Josh Jacobs and Cowboys RB Tony Pollard are the three players seeking new deals, and deadlines often bring out the best offers from teams.

Jaguars TE Evan Engram was in this group until Sunday, when he and the team agreed to a new deal.

Barkley and the Giants have had on-and-off discussions throughout the offseason, and it’s gotten contentious at times. There is a leaguewide belief that the sides will make one final effort to split the differences and get a deal done.

The Raiders and Jacobs have not had many discussions on a deal, and the tone for the past several months is that it’s unlikely to happen.

The Cowboys have historically gone down to the wire with their first-time franchise-tagged players, striking a deal at the buzzer twice (Dez Bryant in 2015 and Ken Hamlin in 2008) and getting no deal done several times despite ongoing discussions (Dalton Schultz in 2022, Dak Prescott in 2020, Demarcus Lawrence in 2018 and Anthony Spencer in 2012). They’ve had talks with Pollard, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if this also goes to the very end.


>>READ: Predicting Extensions for Tagged Stars

Mega Contract Extensions

There are several players who are in line for record-setting extensions, and those may get done in the near future. Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow are in line to reset the quarterback market.

>>READ: What Contracts Could Look Like for Herbert, Burrow?

Justin Jefferson will reset the receiver market, T.J. Hockenson could try to reset the tight end market, and Nick Bosa could reset the pass-rush market. DL Chris Jones, Edge Brian Burns, WR Mike Evans and CB Trevon Diggs are other names to watch.

Potential Alvin Kamara Suspension

Alvin Kamara recently agreed to plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge of breach of peace for his involvement in a 2022 fight in Las Vegas. The NFL typically waits for criminal cases to conclude before subjecting players to discipline under the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy.  The policy establishes a baseline punishment of a six-game suspension for assault, which can be increased or decreased depending on aggravating or mitigating factors. The league will review Kamara's case to determine the appropriate course of action.

Finalization of Washington Commanders Sale

In late June, NFL owners were notified to keep their schedules clear for a special league meeting in Minnesota on July 20. Owners will vote to ratify the sale of the Washington Commanders from Daniel Snyder to Josh Harris. Snyder's tenure in Washington will conclude with a significantly higher number of negatives than positives.

Open Trade Requests

Buccaneers LB Devin White and Cardinals safety Budda Baker requested trades earlier this offseason, citing concerns about their contract situations. Baker has two years left on an extension he signed in 2020, while White is entering the final year of his rookie deal.

Each team said they have no intentions of doing a trade, and White and Baker attended the mandatory minicamp. If their contract situations remain unresolved in the next week, there might be a possibility of potential "hold-ins" during training camp.

Brock Purdy’s Recovery From Elbow Surgery

All indications suggest that Brock Purdy is on track or even slightly ahead in his recovery process. He has followed the throwing progression program prescribed by his doctors, which he was told to do three months after surgery on his throwing elbow. The 49ers expressed optimism that he could be ready around the time of training camp. He is expected to be the Week 1 starting quarterback.

The 49ers added Sam Darnold on a one-year, $4.5 million deal in free agency (with an upside to earn $11.5 million), and they have former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance, who has been mentioned in trade rumors this offseason. Those two will compete in camp, and that’s another big storyline to follow.

>>READ: 7 Training Camp Battles for Key Spots