In what appears to be a repeat of the 2017 offseason, the NFC is stacked with talent this year, and the 2018 NFL Draft has not even taken place yet. Over the past few years, the NFC has been a carousel with a new team coming to the forefront seemingly every year. It is currently by far the more unpredictable conference of the two in the NFL. Some teams may constantly maintain prominence, but not many in the NFC can do so.
Free agency has brought a new dynamic to the NFC, as it does every year. A sizable slice of notable free agents signed with NFC teams, and these signings will reshape every division in the conference. The Chicago Bears signed wide receivers Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel, who have been stars in the past. The San Francisco 49ers signed former Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman to bolster their secondary and seem to be surging back to prominence after sitting in the basement of the NFC over the first half of the 2017 season. Then there are teams like the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings who have acquired complementary pieces to their already dynamic rosters such as Sheldon Richardson and Patrick Robinson. Both teams are considered to be a force to be reckoned with next year, although you can never predict the NFC due to the level of parity present.
One team in particular looks like a daunting force set to dominate the rest of the NFC next season. Despite the lack of consistency in the conference, the Los Angeles Rams look like an absolute tour de force that will cause trouble for the remaining teams in its division and many other teams. Like San Francisco, they have made several moves to upgrade their defensive backfield, including trading draft picks for stalwart cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. The Rams have made another noteworthy move recently by signing Ndamukong Suh, a perennial contender for best defensive tackle in the NFL. They already have a star defensive tackle in Aaron Donald, and the interior of their defensive line just got even deadlier. Suh is only under contract for one year, but Los Angeles has the opportunity to sign him to an extension if he plays well enough next season, which will spell disaster for the rest of the entire league, let alone the NFC.
Even teams in the NFC like the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are currently considered to be weakened could have a chance next season. This is not just because of injury possibilities, but also due to the talent and promise they possess. The Seahawks are receiving more weapons for quarterback Russell Wilson’s arsenal, and the Buccaneers received star defensive end Jason-Pierre Paul in a trade with the New York Giants, along with Eagles standout Vinny Curry to provide a boost to their pass rush.
All told, the NFC will be unpredictable next season, just like it always is. That is all the more reason to be excited for what the 2018 NFL season may bring.