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Ten Thoughts on the NFL

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

1) The craziest nugget to come out of Super Bowl LI is that the 6 point margin of victory in the Patriots 34-28 win against the Falcons was the largest point differential of all the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick Super Bowls.

In their last 7 Super Bowls, of which the Pats have gone 5-2, the margin of victory was a slim 3.7 points. In New England’s first two Super Bowls, both loses, the margin of victory was 25 points.

2) The mystery of Tom Brady’s missing Super Bowl jersey still hasn’t been solved, but CSI: NFL may have a new case to unravel. Brett Favre recently revealed that his Super Bowl winning jersey was missing too.

Since the “crime” was committed back in 1997 at the New Orleans’ Superdome, I wonder what the statute of limitations is in the state of Louisiana.

3) One mystery has been solved however, as the game winning football has been discovered.

Then again, considering those sneaky Patriots, I suppose it could be an impostor football.

4) Possible top draft pick Myles Garrett (Texas A&M) caused a minor stink last week, when a video of him joking that the Dallas Cowboys should trade up to #1 overall to take him surfaced. Some fans were quick to take him to task for the comment, but he said he was just kidding around about the Cowboys picking him so he could stay in Texas.

The odds are good that he’ll end up going 1st overall to the Cleveland Browns, and he recently said, “it doesn't matter to me, I'll play wherever they put me. If you go in there with a mindset that you're gonna turn things around and make that contagious and people start to believe in it, you can turn into a winning program wherever you go."

5) The New York Giants have released wide out Victor Cruz, who just hasn’t been the same player since his injury. He missed all of the 2015 season and last year he only managed 39 receptions and 586 yards. I’m sure someone will take a chance on him as a #2 or a slot guy, but at 30 years old, his career may be over.

6) So apparently the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons have a serious rivalry.

Serious enough that someone decided to use Mardi Gras as a vehicle to take a shot at the Falcons.

7) ESPN is predicting that the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears are the two most likely destinations for Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo. The article is worth checking out just to see the neat uniform graphic they have changing with Romo as you scroll through the pages.

Dallas owner Jerry Jones may prefer to trade him out of the NFC, so he doesn’t have the “possibility to come back and beat us."

8) If I only had 51 catches in my three year career that has been marred by thigh, back and shoulder injuries, I’m not sure I’d be boasting about how I’m going to dominate the playing time at my position. But Baltimore Raven’s tight end Crockett Gillmore is really confident in himself heading into the 2017 season.

“I don’t want to come off the field. All downs, every down, and [I want to be] the guy,” Gillmore said last week. “There’s no reason I shouldn’t be. There’s no reason I can’t be. That’s great we have nine tight ends. They’re going to enjoy the bench. That’s just reality. I’ll tell them. They know.”

They actually have 6 TEs on the roster, including Dennis Pitta who just notched 86 receptions last year. I would imagine TE needy teams will be monitoring what the Ravens to this offseason with this talented group.

9) Wednesday, February 16th is the first day teams can announce if they plan to slap one of their free agents with the franchise tag. Most teams wait until we’re closer to the March 1st deadline before announcing something, and the Chicago Bears are one team the league will have their eye on the next couple weeks.

The Bears have a decision to make on wide out Alshon Jeffery, and at least one NFL analyst believes the Bears will let Jeffery walk.

“On one hand, Jeffery has missed 11 games the last two seasons because of injuries and suspension. He'll cost $17.5 million if the Bears tag him for a second consecutive year,” says NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal. “On the other hand, this Bears regime is coming off a three-win season with few top-shelf players and more cap room than it knows what to do with.” Rosenthal calls it a coin flip, and that “General manager Ryan Pace is stuck in a difficult spot, but I'd ultimately guess Jeffery strikes it rich elsewhere.”

ESPN’s Field Yates believes the Bears should tag Jeffery because he’s “a uniquely talented player for a team that has little else in the wide receiver cabinet and has the money to retain him.” Having the cap space isn’t the only reason you should sign a player, but it’s a factor the Bears have to weigh for the length of the long term deal.

This story will hang over the Bears until they make a decision, then it will be second guessed and rehashed all through the 2017 season.

10) Here’s an interesting mock draft.

NFL.com’s Charley Casserly, a former NFL executive, has the Bears going in a direction I’ve yet to see, with Marshon Lattimore, the corner from Ohio State. Lattimore will probably be the 1st corner off the board, but I haven’t seen him going this high all mock draft season. The redshirt sophomore had four interceptions while being named First Team All-Big Ten in 2016. Casserly says, “In the NFC North, you need cornerbacks with terrific cover skills; Lattimore fits the description.”

The Bears do need better corners and they may address the position in free agency as well as the draft.

Casserly’s mock also featured the Browns trading the 12th overall pick for New England’s Jimmy Garoppolo, and he only has 1 quarterback being picking in the 1st round.

I’ll be dropping my first mock draft later this week, so stay tuned!