The NFL pulled it off.
Super Bowl LV saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers crowned as champions of the league on Sunday, Feb. 7, with Tom Brady claiming the seventh Lombardi of his illustrious career. The game thus closed the books on a 2020 season that many doubted would even kick off, let alone reach a final conclusion.
Now, with the confetti having settled, everyone's eyes turn toward the 2021 offseason and just how NFL Free Agency and the NFL Draft will play out. We here at NBC Sports EDGE are doing the same, as our own Hayden Winks has begun the immense task of conducting a full offseason preview for every team in the league. Every day, from now until five days before start of free agency, Hayden will release a column following the order of the first round of the 2021 draft.
You can find every column written so far, as well as the full order and each column's release date below. But before we get to the previews, a message from Hayden on behalf of all of us here at NBC Sports EDGE.
I wanted to take a moment for Chris Wesseling who passed away before his 47th birthday. Wesseling’s life story is unlike most, going from being a mailman to blogger to Rotoworld foundation setter ultimately all the way to NFL Media. His wit, deep knowledge of football, and detailed note taking made him a football industry star and all played into how he helped grow the Rotoworld brand in the 2010s. While Wesseling was a fantastic writer (my blurb and column training here often consisted of “that’s how Wesseling did it”), he was an even better podcaster because of his non-football outlook and his authentic relationships. Few have had his life perspective, and nobody could translate it into words more eloquently on air. For the thousands of us who were never lucky enough to meet him, including myself, Wesseling felt like a friend. And for those who were friends with him, Wesseling felt like a hero.
Wesseling’s impact has ripple effects -- he was a professional mentor to RotoPat and Josh Norris who are mentors to me for example -- and will continue rippling through the lives of many football writers, cancer patients, friends, husbands, and fathers for years to come. Because he was so open with his life, there’s a treasure trove of clips and tweets floating around the internet from him that are worth finding. The “Wess” episode from the Around the NFL Podcast, “Chris Wesseling Tackles the Big C” episode from Rotoviz, and the “History of Rotoworld” episode from Rotoviz are great places to start. But if you’re short on time, I’ll leave you with a random tweet of his coming minutes after a crazy 2018 Chiefs/Rams game that just about broke me this weekend: “One thing cancer taught me last year: in a world determined to sell us fake plants and microwave breakfast, he who experiences the most pure moments wins. Put a four-hour moment on the scoreboard for the good guys.” Let’s go experience some pure moments, and hopefully they include a few more 54-51 finishes on Monday Night Football.
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2021 NFL Offseason Team Preview Schedule
10. Dallas Cowboys
11. New York Giants
18. Miami Dolphins
20. Chicago Bears (February 28)
21. Indianapolis Colts (March 1)
22. Tennessee Titans (March 2)
23. Seattle Seahawks (March 3)
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (March 4)
25. Los Angeles Rams (Match 5)
26. Cleveland Browns (March 6)
27. Baltimore Ravens (March 7)
28. New Orleans Saints (March 8)
29. Buffalo Bills (March 9)
30. Green Bay Packers (March 10)
31. Kansas City Chiefs (March 11)
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (March 12)
And if you're curious about which dates are key for the NFL offseason, including NFL Free Agency and the 2021 NFL Draft, we've got you covered below.
Key Dates to Know in the NFL Offseason:
February 23 – March 9 at 4:00 p.m. ET: Franchise & Transition Tags
March 15 – 17: Legal negotiating window ahead of NFL Free Agency
March 17 at 4:00 p.m. ET: New League Year & Free Agency Begin
April 5: New Coaches Can Begin Offseason Workout Programs
April 19: All Other Coaches Can Begin Offseason Workout Programs
April 29 – May 1: The 2021 NFL Draft from Cleveland, Ohio