5. A Professional Sports Team Announces Relocation in 2019
This one is probably the tamest of all the predictions I’m going to make, because this has been hinted at for a while. The Arizona Coyotes, who are always seemingly in a state of stadium limbo, are reportedly up for sale. Tilman Fertitta, the owner of the Houston Rockets, had been rumored to be interested in purchasing the Coyotes to move them to Houston, so I’d say there’s a pretty good shot this happens.
Outside of hockey, though, multiple baseball teams could be looking to move. The A’s, who are looking for a new ballpark, and the Tampa Bay Rays, whose Ybor City ballpark idea got shot down, might look at the possibility of relocation. The Angels, who don’t have a lease beyond 2020, could get a jump start and announce relocation as well.
I’m not including the Raiders in this, because they are seemingly forced to relocate, but it will only be a one-year pit stop before Vegas.
4. The Cleveland Browns Earn a First Round bye
The AFC was awful this past year. With all the coaching turnover, and the relatively weak selection of coaches that took open AFC jobs, it’s destined to be awful again next year. And Cleveland is going to seize that opportunity.
The Steelers are going through more drama than the average middle schooler, the Ravens snuck into the playoffs, but left a lot to be desired, and the Bengals still have Andy Dalton and a bad defense. I don’t think any of these teams enter 2019 as a serious threat, but Cleveland does.
Ever since Freddie Kitchens took over as the offensive coordinator, Cleveland has been one of the best offenses in football. Baker Mayfield broke Peyton Manning’s rookie touchdown record, despite only playing 13 and 1/2 games, some of which with Hue Jackson and Todd Haley. The offensive line stood miles ahead of every other team in terms of keeping the quarterback upright.
The Browns also get a third place schedule next year, facing the Broncos and Titans along with the bad AFC East. The NFC West should be a bit of a gauntlet for them, but assuming they take care of business against inferior teams, which they have been the second half of 2018, the Browns are going to have 11-12 wins, which should be enough to get a first round bye. And playoff football in Cleveland, Ohio.
3. Kyler Murray is the #1 Overall Pick in the NFL Draft
Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray, who was drafted by the A’s 9th overall in the 2018 MLB draft, has been reported to be declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft and seemingly foregoing his commitment to Oakland.
Kyler instantly jumps Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins as the best quarterback in the class, and he will more than likely be picked ahead of Haskins next May. However, I’ve said before that Haskins won’t go number one, so why will Kyler?
Now, there are two quarterbacks seemingly want, and with the Giants waiting for one at sixth overall, there are only five spots to trade up into. Now, with two teams likely tying to move up, it’s possible they call Arizona about the first pick, and get Kyler at one.
Or it’s possible Kliff Kingsbury just takes the guy he said he would with the first pick of the draft…
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2. Both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign in Chicago
If I would have written this back in November, it wouldn’t have been that bold. Now, however, after hearing about the Cubs’ budgetary issues, this seems almost impossible. However, I don’t think it is.
The Cubs were rumored last year to now have interest in starting pitcher Yu Darvish before they got him for almost a 40% discount. Then they pounced. Who says they won’t do the same for Bryce Harper, assuming they can move a little bit of money?
It’s not very likely, but all I’m saying is that it isn’t impossible to think that the Cubs, who have 9 digits worth of salary coming off the books in the next couple years, add Kris Bryant’s best friend to their roster. If they can even come close in salary, I think Bryce wants to be a Cub.
As for Manny Machado, I think he may have one foot already in a White Sox uniform. The Sox have added his training partner (Jon Jay) and his brother-in-law (Yonder Alonso), and it’s looking more and more like Machado will be playing on the South Side of the second city next year.
1. The Steelers earn the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft
Ok, this one is farfetched. But, I can totally see it.
Mike Tomlin is not fit to be the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. This much is obvious by now. After the debacle involving Le’Veon Bell this past year, and the impending crisis involving Antonio Brown, it’s clear Terry Bradshaw was right for criticizing him a couple years ago.
Terry Bradshaw doesn't think Mike Tomlin is a great coach, but he thinks he's a great cheerleader pic.twitter.com/l3npOWzWvt
— 💡 (@ViewsFromThe50) December 24, 2016
If there’s one thing you can’t do in the NFL, it’s win with a bad coach. For any additional proof, please look at the 2018 Cleveland Browns. And it isn’t like the team is crazy talented anymore, either.
Le’Veon will be gone. Antonio Brown will be traded or be holding out. Ben Roethlisberger isn’t the MVP level quarterback he was just a few years ago. Pittsburgh’s season has a very good chance of going belly-up very fast next year.
I said earlier that their division is weak, but Pittsburgh may be the runt of the litter. Cleveland’s a good football team, and Cincinnati is adding a McVay disciple I think will do a good job. There’s three wins and a tie that are no longer guaranteed next year. They also get a second-place schedule and to face the NFC West.
If they truly have faith in Mike Tomlin, a massive mistake in and of itself, they are looking at easily double digit losses next year. And they may win the race for Tua.