The 2018 NFL Season is four months away, rookie minicamps are finished, and teams are awaiting mandatory minicamps the second week of June. The upcoming season promises to hold all the drama and intrigue of the most popular scripted dramas. 13 of 16 teams in the NFC could compete for six playoff berths. The Cleveland Browns will be appearing on HBO’s popular docuseries Hard Knocks while the Los Angeles Rams made a huge splash in free agency and are a legitimate contender for the title. San Francisco, with new franchise QB Jimmy Garoppolo and his former teacher the past 4 seasons, the ageless Tom Brady, draw high eagerness to measure results.

Plus, Carson Wentz and DeShaun Watson are expected to return from injury. These are just some of the storylines making the upcoming NFL season one of the most anticipated in history.

The Cleveland Browns

Set to appear on Hard Knocks, new franchise QB Baker Mayfield, a new administration in the front office and fresh off a 0-16 season. The Browns’ mountain of draft picks were the most popular storyline in the months leading up to the draft because the organization had two top-five selections, selecting Mayfield at one overall and Ohio State CB Denzel Ward. Fans will be intrigued by when the Browns are going to win their first game, every aspect of every game this season will be heavily analyzed.

The Los Angeles Rams

Second-year head coach Sean McVay, third-year QB Jared Goff, a fearsome defensive line interior pairing Aaron Donald with Ndamukong Suh, newly acquired shutdown corners, and perhaps the most complete RB in the NFL today, Todd Gurley, has the Rams looking for a title this season. While Goff may give the Rams a legitimate ten-year window for a title, the pieces added defensively this season may only be together for one season.

Aaron Donald needs to be paid $20MM annually while both Gurley and Goff will need new contracts in the next two years. Observing Sean McVay handle the salary cap will fascinate.

Tom Brady, the ageless wonder

Entering his age 41 season, the questions remains how much longer future Hall of Fame and GOAT Tom Brady can play MVP football.

This past season, he became the oldest player to win the MVP Award and has indicated he has every intention to return this season, perhaps under a new contract. New England has not been able to mask the tension over the Jimmy Garoppolo trade to San Francisco nor the tension between Brady and head coach Bill Belichick with Brady’s personal trainer being banned from team facilities this past season. Brady and Belichick are once again the pre-season favorites to win the 2018 title. When will the decline for Brady begin? Drama.

Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers

Brady’s former protégé was traded to the Niners this past season at the deadline, shocking fans, as Jimmy G was the heir apparent to Brady’s empire.

Garoppolo made his first start for San Francisco Week 13 against the Houston Texans and promptly won his next five starts giving him a 7-0 career record. He was awarded a massive contract extension paying him $28 million annually, the Niners drafted the franchise left tackle Mike McGlinchey and added offensive weapons to Garoppolo’s arsenal. The 49ers are fully expected to contest the LA Rams for the NFC West crown this upcoming season.

Carson Wentz and DeShaun Watson returning

Wentz was the league’s MVP until his injury in Week 14 while Watson was shattering every NFL rookie record when he tore his ACL in October 2017. While both are expected to return from their ACL injuries, the question remains when.

Wentz tore his ACL in December 2017, would there be any point in activating him with four weeks remaining in the season? I would not be surprised at all if Wentz spends the entire season on injured reserve. Watson, on the other hand, because his injury occurred earlier in the season, has a legitimate chance to return Week 9 after the Texans’ bye week and a full 13 months of recovery. Will either play at the same level when they return from the injury? Intrigue.