NFL

Pressure Is Mounting Quickly On These Controversial NFL Stars

Darren - August 5, 2022
NFL

Pressure Is Mounting Quickly On These Controversial NFL Stars

Darren - August 5, 2022
USA Today Sports

Zach Wilson

Wilson had a tough 2021 season as a rookie signal-caller but that’s not surprising. The Jets entered rebuild mode under Robert Saleh and chucked the rookie straight into the mix. He frustrated many fans with some of his decisions but another franchise may not have put him in that position (via Daily Mail).

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Now the Jets have provided him with more weapons and protection. It’s time for the young QB to show why the Jets picked him ahead of Mac Jones and Justin Fields. He doesn’t want to be Sam Darnold 2.0 but the pressure is mounting ahead of the opening game.

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Davante Adams

The Packers surprised many people when they extended Aaron Rodgers’ contract but allowed Adams to leave. Their loss appears to be Las Vegas’s gain because he’s one of the best wide receivers in the league. Meanwhile, he rejoins his old Fresno teammate and friend Derek Carr.

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Their relationship will be one of the most intriguing this season because they may wreak havoc. However, there is pressure on the pair to deliver in one of the most competitive divisions. Adams will have a massive role in any success that the Raiders achieve in 2022 (via Sportskeeda).

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Josh McDaniels

McDaniels is one of the most compelling NFL coaches as we enter the 2022 season. He flunked in Denver before he rejoined Bill Belichick’s staff as an offensive coordinator. Then he rebuilt his reputation and became a six-time Super Bowl winner in the process (via Las Vegas Review-Journal).

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Failed head coaches rarely receive a second opportunity. However, the Raiders saw enough in McDaniels and respected his work in New England. But if McDaniels blows this second chance he’ll never receive another one. If he wants to be the man in charge then he can’t succumb to the pressure.

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Deebo Samuel

Samuel’s contract holdout was one of the most dramatic stories of the 2022 offseason. For a couple of weeks, it appeared as though he was moving to the New York Jets. In the end, he agreed on a massive new extension after the Niners decided that they wanted to keep him (via ClutchPoints).

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However, this was a tumultuous summer for the star wide receiver after he received hate mail and death threats. It remains to be seen how quickly fans forget about this summer. If he strikes up a good understanding with Trey Lance then he can put this behind him but there’s a lot of pressure.

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Russell Wilson

There is massive pressure on Wilson to settle quickly in Denver and lead them on a playoff run. The most delusional members of the fanbase think that they’re going to win the Super Bowl. It’s more likely that the team goes through a period of transition this season before contending in 2023.

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Wilson is learning a new playbook and playing for a different team for the first time in a decade. It’s a massive change in his life but he has the talent to lead the Broncos forward. He is a perennial MVP contender and this may be his best chance of sealing that elusive personal honor (via Fox Sports).

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Baker Mayfield

Mayfield enters 2022 with a gigantic chip on his shoulder. He has a massive point to prove after his unceremonious break-up with the Cleveland Browns. Now he’s desperate to succeed in Charlotte and prove that his former franchise made a huge mistake (via Sportskeeda).

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He will compete with Sam Darnold for the starting spot but it’s obvious that he has the advantage if the Panthers were willing to give up valuable draft resources to trade for him. Mayfield is superb on his day but inconsistency stains his game. A glance at Odell Beckham Jr.’s Super Bowl ring shows why some people doubt the former Heisman Trophy winner.

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Aaron Rodgers

The spotlight is on Rodgers after his high-profile contract dispute with the Packers. Green Bay agreed to pay him an outrageous amount of money to stay for three years. Then they traded his best weapon to the Raiders in a move that confuses everybody (via Sporting News). Will Rodgers even complete his contract in Wisconsin?

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Rodgers was the babyface to Tom Brady’s heel for most of his career. That’s because he played for a less successful franchise that didn’t cheat as much. Now he’s shown his true colors and the pressure is on him to deliver. But Rodgers has failed to carry the franchise on his back so it’s unlikely he will now.

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Trevor Lawrence

Few players are facing as much pressure as Lawrence after a tough rookie season. The former Clemson superstar’s first year was a write-off under Urban Meyer. Now there’s the hope of moving forward with Doug Pedersen stepping into the Jacksonville hot seat (via Bleacher Report).

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Lawrence was one of the most hyped players of the decade but didn’t live up to expectations. Most people agree that wasn’t his fault because of the Jaguars’ craziness. But he must improve and show why experts considered him the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck.

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DeShaun Watson

Watson won’t play for at least the first six weeks of the season after a judge ruled that he violated the NFL’s code of conduct. Jacoby Brissett is keeping his seat warm but the Browns want Watson to step in quickly. If he does play there will be massive pressure on his shoulders for a combination of reasons.

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Firstly, he must convince Cleveland fans that they can support them after he destroyed his image. The best way to do this is to deliver on the field and justify the Browns’ massive outlay. That’s not a guarantee because Watson hasn’t played since 2020 and may not be sharp (via The Athletic).

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Lamar Jackson

Critics continue to doubt Jackson but this is a foolish error. The former MVP is one of the league’s most talented and unique quarterbacks. However, he indeed suffered a regression over the past couple of seasons. Meanwhile, there are questions about his commitment to the Ravens.

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Now there is more pressure mounting on Jackson to revive his career and remind the world of his capabilities. ESPN left Jackson out of their list of top-10 NFL quarterbacks of the moment. This would have been unthinkable in 2019 so it’s time for him to explode this season (via USA Today).

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Mike McCarthy

McCarthy knows that his job is hanging in the balance at the moment. The Dallas Cowboys improved in 2021 after blowing the previous season. Now it’s time for them to become a competitive contender again. There’s no room for a humiliating postseason exit or a regular season meltdown (via Dallas News).

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Many people think that McCarthy is the reason why Aaron Rodgers only has a single Super Bowl ring. They think his conservative nature restrained his quarterback and question if he’s the man to get the best out of Dak Prescott. Jerry Jones says that he has another option so there’s pressure on his head coach already.

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Christian McCaffrey

McCaffrey became the highest-paid running back in history when the Panthers extended his deal in 2018. He only played 10 games over the next two seasons because injuries prevented him from playing. Now he’s hoping to bounce back and prove that the Panthers made the right decision.

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There’s no questioning his commitment nor the statement that the Panthers made at the time. Hindsight is a great thing but nobody knew he would be battling his body. There is a lot of pressure on McCaffrey but he is the type of athlete to embrace his responsibilities (via 247 Sports).

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Ezekiel Elliot

There’s a significant chance that Elliot won’t be playing in Dallas next season. That’s because they haven’t guaranteed any of his $90 million contract from 2023 onward. In short, Elliot is playing for his future and the pressure is mounting. He hasn’t been brilliant for the past couple of years so it’s not a given that he’ll stay.

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Elliot says that he’s not feeling it but fans don’t agree. Some said that he was either putting on a brave face or displaying arrogance. The running back is one of the most visible and controversial players on ‘America’s Team.’ They may not be sad to see the back of him because of his drama (via The Spun).

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Kyler Murray

Murray is a happy man after the Cardinals broke the bank to keep him in Phoenix. He’s even more satisfied after they removed a controversial film study clause from his contract. However, the fact that they included this in the first place suggests some skepticism around their quarterback’s commitment.

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There is a sizable contingent of NFL and even Cardinals fans who believe that Murray is one of the league’s most overrated players. He has incredible confidence but there is a lot of pressure on him to live up to his new deal. It’s time for Murray to deliver and lead them to the postseason (via The Ringer).

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