There’s usually a rule of thumb for supporting an NFL franchise – because of salary cap, your team can’t be bad forever, unless you’re a Cleveland Browns fan.
Well, boyo – one of those truths remains intact for 2019, but the fine city of Cleveland is about to welcome one hell of a football team in the upcoming season.
It rises with the moon, as we say – and here are three teams very much about to be rising into Super Bowl contention and staying there for the foreseeable future.
The Colts go first because they’re probably already a Super Bowl contender.
Good news for them and exceptionally bad news for everyone else in the league is that, besides the above, they’ve also got the most cap space of any team through next season.
You can make a very good argument that the NFL is about being bad at the right time, and the Colts were just that. It enabled them to select Andrew Luck – the most surefire home run pick of any player in the last decade.
He’s back healthy, his offensive line are excellent and will maintain his health, they have legitimate Pro Bowlers on the defensive side of the ball and they’re sat pretty with $122 million to play with in the off-season.
Already, they must be considered a Super Bowl favourite for the coming year.
Here is the key to success in the NFL: a savvy quarterback, a top-tier pass rusher, a lockdown cornerback and good leadership.
The Browns are a good head coaching appointment away from being one of the best teams in the NFL. Myles Garrett, when bookended with another capable rusher, could lead the league in sacks.
Denzel Ward has flashed that he’s as good as anyone in the league man-to-man and Baker Mayfield is en route to LeBron James status in Ohio.
They’ve got 47 players signed up for next year, leaving just six players left for their active roster to be filled. Of course, they can cut here and there, but with the nucleus already in place, they’ve got $88 million to flaunt on premium acquisitions.
They’re a left tackle and a solid wide receiver away from having a top-ten NFL roster, and with that comes a change in mentality.
How ‘bout them Cowboys, eh?
Here are the key numbers for Jerry Jones’ much-hated team of lone-star shooters: 9, 48 and 51.
The team in its current makeup has taken nine wins in a mighty tough division. They’ve already got 48 players signed through 2019 and they have $51 million with which to make improvements.
You may not like them – very few people may like them – and, worst of all, Conor McGregor actually does like them, but they’re here to stay.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 15, 2018
Dak Prescott, whatever comes of his career, was a risky draft pick three years ago.
He had countless issues coming out of college with his on-field play and in reality, anything other than an average career as a backup coming out of Mississippi State was likely a bonus.
But here we are, accepting his faults and applauding an organisation that may not have upstanding moral fibre, but has outstanding desire to win and strive for excellence.