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50 Bold Predictions for the 2021 NFL season

A new year is upon us, here’s how it will go.

Right after the Super Bow a year ago I wrote 50 Bold predictions for the 2020 season. As you would expect, some of them look laughable in hindsight such as my prediction that Drew Lock would receive MVP votes. Others look far better, such as my prediction Trevor Lawrence would land with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

With 2020 more than a month old now and the NFL season coming to a close, now is a perfect time to look ahead to what the new league year will bring.

“Bold”

1. The Broncos will not sign a quarterback who started more than nine games in 2020.

2. Drew Lock will lead the 2021 Broncos in pass attempts.

3. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will not play in Super Bowl LVI.

4. Von Miller will notch 10+ sacks.

5. Justin Simmons will be a Bronco.

6. Deshaun Watson will win MVP.

7. Jurrell Casey won’t be a member of the 2021 Broncos.

8. Drew Brees retires from the Saints.

9. George Paton picks up Bradley Chubb’s fifth year option

10. Dak Prescott will play for the Dallas Cowboys.

Impudent

11. Bud Dupree does not return to the cap strapped Pittsburgh Steelers.

12. Xavier Rhodes makes twice what he earned in free agency last year.

13. A.J. Green plays his final season outside of Cincinnati.

14. Justin Fields falls out of the top five picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.

15. Trey Lance plays more than Jordan Love in his first season in the NFL and looks bad.

16. Derrick Henry hits the wall.

17. Sammy Watkins resigns with the Chiefs for peanuts.

18. Matt Nagy will be the first coach fired in 2021.

19. Vic Fangio will be the second coach fired in 2021.

20. Mac Jones looks better than Zach Wilson in year one.

Brash

21. Micah Parsons goes in the first 16 picks of the NFL Draft.

22. The Pittsburgh Steelers do not make the NFL playoffs.

23. Somehow the Saints do .

24. Troy Hill becomes a member of the Denver Broncos.

25. Melvin Gordon does not finish with 1,000 yards rushing.

26. Justin Herbert suffers a sophomore slump that’s hidden by “QBWinz.”

27. Tom Brady vs. Bill Belichick reaches comical proportions as the Patriots flounder again.

28. Mike McCarthy is fired on Black Monday.

29. The San Francisco 49ers make the NFC Championship game.

30. Mike Zimmer is canned after the Vikings offense tanks their season.

Daring

31. Cut from the Chargers, Chris Harris Jr. signs with the Kansas City Chiefs.

32. Kareem Jackson makes his first Pro Bowl.

33. Alexander Johnson doesn’t lead the Broncos in tackles.

34. Jaylen Waddle is the first Alabama receiver drafted.

35. Nick Foles starts more games than Cam Newton.

36. George Paton drafts a running back.

37. Denver will not spend big in free agency, leading to unrest among Broncos Country.

38. The Tennessee Titans finish the year with one of the 10 worst records in football.

39. By season’s end a certain divorce in Seattle looms large.

40. Joe Burrow does not finish among the top 12 quarterbacks in year two.

Brazen

41. The Arizona Cardinals make the playoffs.

42. Trevor Lawrence wins OROY without breaking a sweat.

43. Micah Parsons gets votes for DROY, but Baron Browning wins it.

44. Jerry Jeudy makes the Pro Bowl.

45. Dre’Mont Jones gets snubbed after a breakout season.

46. Josh Allen and Shaq Barrett vs. Bradley Chubb becomes a huge debate in September.

47. Fangio’s defense finishes the year as a top 10 unit by DVOA.

48. Derek Carr locks in his status as the second best quarterback in the AFC West.

49. Drew Lock gets benched during the 2021 season but regains his job by season’s end.

50. The Denver Broncos do not make the playoffs or finish with another top 10 pick.

Your Broncos’ News

Denver Broncos hire assistant coach; sign defensive lineman - Mile High Report

The Denver Broncos have signed a defensive tackle and hired a strength and conditioning coach on Thursday.

Source: Deshaun Watson ‘intrigued’ by the Broncos - Mile High Report

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports the Broncos make Watson’s list. Sounds like the Jets don’t.

Who should the Denver Broncos chase in free agency? - Mile High Report

With the 6th most cap room in the NFL, George Paton has a chance to add talent to the roster.

Potential cap cuts from around the NFL that should intrigue the Broncos - Mile High Report

One team’s dead cap is another team’s treasure.

Throwing deep and quarterback accuracy in the NFL - Mile High Report

Does throwing many deep passes negatively impact NFL QB accuracy?

Underdogs

Then, in July, the lockout ended. The very next day, I got an invitation to Broncos training camp. I had to fly out to Denver immediately.

It was actually kind of bittersweet because, yeah, I was getting the opportunity I had wanted so badly … but I had to leave Leah behind in Kansas. It was definitely a rough stretch. I was working hard to make the team in Denver, and when it got stressful — which was a lot — I would just call Leah. She was somebody I could talk to. Someone I could lean on. Over time, she became the core of my support.

Report: Jets hire Steve Scarnecchia as chief of staff - ProFootballTalk

There, according to the Falcons’ media guide, Scarnecchia was “responsible for coordinating the Falcons meeting and practice schedules and football calendar, managing the football budget and orchestration of team and staff events as well as providing administrative assistants to the coaching and operations staff.”

Scarneccia has stayed in the background since 2010 when he was fired by the Broncos for filming a 49ers walkthrough before a game in London. The NFL fined the Broncos $50,000 and coach Josh McDaniels $50,000 for the incident.

NFL News

Do Denver Broncos fans like Tom Brady now? - Mile High Report

In the afterglow of Super Bowl LV, it seems like we do

J.J. Watt can still be a major force for the right NFL team

Now that the Texans have released J.J. Watt, some lucky NFL team is about to get a great pass-rusher at a bargain price.

Cal McNair: We expect Deshaun Watson to remain a Texan - ProFootballTalk

“There is a lot of misinformation out there, I’ll leave it at that,” McNair said. “Today we want on focus on J.J. Deshaun is our quarterback, he is a Texan, and we expect him to remain a Texan, and we’ll leave that.” Word earlier this week is that the Texans are holding firm when it comes to not trading Watson, but there’s been little sign that he’s come around to a more positive view of the organization. His comment regarding Watt’s departure doesn’t suggest that this move is going to change his mind, but it’s status quo on his front for the time being.

2021 NFL draft: With Jags watching, Trevor Lawrence shines at pro day

Did Lawrence need this session to, um, solidify his draft stock? Likely not. The Jacksonville Jaguars own the first overall selection, and it would be considered a massive upset to see them select any other player. Still, other teams came ... just in case. Representatives from the owners of seven of the top 10 selections were reportedly in attendance: the Jaguars, Jets, Dolphins, Falcons, Eagles, Broncos and Panthers also were there. According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, more than half the league — 17 teams — had representatives at Lawrence’s event.

As contract decision looms, Ben Roethlisberger has not met with Steelers - ProFootballTalk

Roethlisberger told Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today that he has not met with the Steelers.

Fritz Pollard Alliance: Chris Doyle hire a ‘failure of leadership’ by Jaguars

Fritz Pollard Alliance takes aim at the Chris Doyle hire in Jacksonville - ProFootballTalk

“At a time when the NFL has failed to solve its problem with racial hiring practices, it is simply unacceptable to welcome Chris Doyle into the ranks of NFL coaches,” Graves said in a statement released on Friday afternoon. “Doyle’s departure from the University of Iowa reflected a tenure riddled with poor judgment and mistreatment of Black players. His conduct should be as disqualifying for the NFL as it was for the University of Iowa. Urban Meyer’s statement, ‘I’ve known Chris for close to 20 years,’ reflects the good ol’ boy network that is precisely the reason there is such a disparity in employment opportunities for Black coaches.”

Chris Doyle resigns from Jaguars a day after taking the job - ProFootballTalk

“Chris Doyle came to us this evening to submit his resignation and we have accepted,” Jaguars coach Urban Meyer said in a statement. “Chris did not want to be a distraction to what we are building in Jacksonville. We are responsible for all aspects of our program and, in retrospect, should have given greater consideration to how his appointment may have affected all involved. We wish him the best as he moves forward in his career.”

Doyle departed Iowa last summer with a $1.1 million separation agreement after he was accused of making racist comments and belittling players. He denied any “unethical behavior or bias” based on race.