Baltimore celebrates the Ravens' Super Bowl victory

The Baltimore Ravens celebrated the second NFL title in franchise history with a Charm City parade on Tuesday.

Baltimore Ravens fans blow horns during a victory ceremony at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 in Baltimore. The Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers in NFL football's Super Bowl XLVII 34-31 on Sunday. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)(AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Baltimore Ravens fans blow horns during a victory ceremony at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 in Baltimore. The Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers in NFL football's Super Bowl XLVII 34-31 on Sunday. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)(AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Baltimore Ravens fans blow horns during a victory ceremony at City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 in Baltimore. The Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers in NFL football's Super Bowl XLVII 34-31 on Sunday. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)(AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Sam Muffoletto, 21, and Phil Luzi, 21, hold up signs and a home-made Super Bowl trophy as they wait for the start of Baltimore's celebration for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens at Ravens stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. Officials expect about 100,000 people to attend the events. (AP Photo/Alex Dominguez)
Sam Muffoletto, 21, and Phil Luzi, 21, hold up signs and a home-made Super Bowl trophy as they wait for the start of Baltimore's celebration for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens at Ravens stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. Officials expect about 100,000 people to attend the events. (AP Photo/Alex Dominguez)
Sam Muffoletto, 21, and Phil Luzi, 21, hold up signs and a home-made Super Bowl trophy as they wait for the start of Baltimore's celebration for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens at Ravens stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013. Officials expect about 100,000 people to attend the events. (AP Photo/Alex Dominguez)
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2012, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates after scoring a one yard touchdown during the second half of the AFC Championship NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, in Foxborough, Mass. Two things have been consistent for Patriots over the past decade: Tom Brady and reaching the AFC championship game. The Patriots 40-year-old quarterback will try to lead his team to a place in its seventh straight conference title game when it hosts the Titans. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
Patriots chase 7th straight AFC title berth against Titans
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2012, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates after scoring a one yard touchdown during the second half of the AFC Championship NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, in Foxborough, Mass. Two things have been consistent for Patriots over the past decade: Tom Brady and reaching the AFC championship game. The Patriots 40-year-old quarterback will try to lead his team to a place in its seventh straight conference title game when it hosts the Titans. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2012, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates after scoring a one yard touchdown during the second half of the AFC Championship NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, in Foxborough, Mass. Two things have been consistent for Patriots over the past decade: Tom Brady and reaching the AFC championship game. The Patriots’ 40-year-old quarterback will try to lead his team to a place in its seventh straight conference title game when it hosts the Titans. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2012, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates after scoring a one yard touchdown during the second half of the AFC Championship NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, in Foxborough, Mass. Two things have been consistent for Patriots over the past decade: Tom Brady and reaching the AFC championship game. The Patriots’ 40-year-old quarterback will try to lead his team to a place in its seventh straight conference title game when it hosts the Titans. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2012, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates after scoring a one yard touchdown during the second half of the AFC Championship NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, in Foxborough, Mass. Two things have been consistent for Patriots over the past decade: Tom Brady and reaching the AFC championship game. The Patriots’ 40-year-old quarterback will try to lead his team to a place in its seventh straight conference title game when it hosts the Titans. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
As we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we are reminded of those individuals right here in our city that are keeping Dr. King's dream alive. We commend Erricka Bridgeford, co-founder of the Baltimore Ceasefire movement, for organizing two 72-hour ceasefire weekends in hopes of reducing violence. The slogan "Nobody Kill Anybody" was resonated throughout the city, along with peaceful protests and community events. And the effort continues with the next Ceasefire weekend being held from Feb. 2-4. We commend Ericka Alston-Buck, founder of the Kids Safe Zone, for providing a safe place for children and teenagers all year round. She consistently exposes the children of west Baltimore to opportunities beyond their environment. And, we also commend Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson for his many contributions in the community. His teammates nominated him for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which is one of the most humbling honors a player can receive. His generosity has helped hundreds of Baltimoreans in need. Dr. King's holiday is more than a day off. It's a time to reflect on his legacy and an opportunity to think about what we can do to keep his dream alive.
Editorial: Baltimoreans keeping Dr. King's dream alive
As we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we are reminded of those individuals right here in our city that are keeping Dr. King's dream alive. We commend Erricka Bridgeford, co-founder of the Baltimore Ceasefire movement, for organizing two 72-hour ceasefire weekends in hopes of reducing violence. The slogan "Nobody Kill Anybody" was resonated throughout the city, along with peaceful protests and community events. And the effort continues with the next Ceasefire weekend being held from Feb. 2-4. We commend Ericka Alston-Buck, founder of the Kids Safe Zone, for providing a safe place for children and teenagers all year round. She consistently exposes the children of west Baltimore to opportunities beyond their environment. And, we also commend Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson for his many contributions in the community. His teammates nominated him for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which is one of the most humbling honors a player can receive. His generosity has helped hundreds of Baltimoreans in need. Dr. King's holiday is more than a day off. It's a time to reflect on his legacy and an opportunity to think about what we can do to keep his dream alive.
As we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we are reminded of those individuals right here in our city that are keeping Dr. King's dream alive. We commend Erricka Bridgeford, co-founder of the Baltimore Ceasefire movement, for organizing two 72-hour ceasefire weekends in hopes of reducing violence. The slogan "Nobody Kill Anybody" was resonated throughout the city, along with peaceful protests and community events. And the effort continues with the next Ceasefire weekend being held from Feb. 2-4. We commend Ericka Alston-Buck, founder of the Kids Safe Zone, for providing a safe place for children and teenagers all year round. She consistently exposes the children of west Baltimore to opportunities beyond their environment. And, we also commend Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson for his many contributions in the community. His teammates nominated him for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which is one of the most humbling honors a player can receive. His generosity has helped hundreds of Baltimoreans in need. Dr. King's holiday is more than a day off. It's a time to reflect on his legacy and an opportunity to think about what we can do to keep his dream alive.
Editorial: Baltimoreans keeping Dr. King's dream alive
As we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we are reminded of those individuals right here in our city that are keeping Dr. King's dream alive. We commend Erricka Bridgeford, co-founder of the Baltimore Ceasefire movement, for organizing two 72-hour ceasefire weekends in hopes of reducing violence. The slogan "Nobody Kill Anybody" was resonated throughout the city, along with peaceful protests and community events. And the effort continues with the next Ceasefire weekend being held from Feb. 2-4. We commend Ericka Alston-Buck, founder of the Kids Safe Zone, for providing a safe place for children and teenagers all year round. She consistently exposes the children of west Baltimore to opportunities beyond their environment. And, we also commend Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson for his many contributions in the community. His teammates nominated him for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which is one of the most humbling honors a player can receive. His generosity has helped hundreds of Baltimoreans in need. Dr. King's holiday is more than a day off. It's a time to reflect on his legacy and an opportunity to think about what we can do to keep his dream alive.
As we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we are reminded of those individuals right here in our city that are keeping Dr. King's dream alive. We commend Erricka Bridgeford, co-founder of the Baltimore Ceasefire movement, for organizing two 72-hour ceasefire weekends in hopes of reducing violence. The slogan "Nobody Kill Anybody" was resonated throughout the city, along with peaceful protests and community events. And the effort continues with the next Ceasefire weekend being held from Feb. 2-4. We commend Ericka Alston-Buck, founder of the Kids Safe Zone, for providing a safe place for children and teenagers all year round. She consistently exposes the children of west Baltimore to opportunities beyond their environment. And, we also commend Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson for his many contributions in the community. His teammates nominated him for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which is one of the most humbling honors a player can receive. His generosity has helped hundreds of Baltimoreans in need. Dr. King's holiday is more than a day off. It's a time to reflect on his legacy and an opportunity to think about what we can do to keep his dream alive.
Editorial: Baltimoreans keeping Dr. King's dream alive
As we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we are reminded of those individuals right here in our city that are keeping Dr. King's dream alive. We commend Erricka Bridgeford, co-founder of the Baltimore Ceasefire movement, for organizing two 72-hour ceasefire weekends in hopes of reducing violence. The slogan "Nobody Kill Anybody" was resonated throughout the city, along with peaceful protests and community events. And the effort continues with the next Ceasefire weekend being held from Feb. 2-4. We commend Ericka Alston-Buck, founder of the Kids Safe Zone, for providing a safe place for children and teenagers all year round. She consistently exposes the children of west Baltimore to opportunities beyond their environment. And, we also commend Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson for his many contributions in the community. His teammates nominated him for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which is one of the most humbling honors a player can receive. His generosity has helped hundreds of Baltimoreans in need. Dr. King's holiday is more than a day off. It's a time to reflect on his legacy and an opportunity to think about what we can do to keep his dream alive.
As we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we are reminded of those individuals right here in our city that are keeping Dr. King's dream alive. We commend Erricka Bridgeford, co-founder of the Baltimore Ceasefire movement, for organizing two 72-hour ceasefire weekends in hopes of reducing violence. The slogan "Nobody Kill Anybody" was resonated throughout the city, along with peaceful protests and community events. And the effort continues with the next Ceasefire weekend being held from Feb. 2-4. We commend Ericka Alston-Buck, founder of the Kids Safe Zone, for providing a safe place for children and teenagers all year round. She consistently exposes the children of west Baltimore to opportunities beyond their environment. And, we also commend Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson for his many contributions in the community. His teammates nominated him for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which is one of the most humbling honors a player can receive. His generosity has helped hundreds of Baltimoreans in need. Dr. King's holiday is more than a day off. It's a time to reflect on his legacy and an opportunity to think about what we can do to keep his dream alive.
Editorial: Baltimoreans keeping Dr. King's dream alive
As we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we are reminded of those individuals right here in our city that are keeping Dr. King's dream alive. We commend Erricka Bridgeford, co-founder of the Baltimore Ceasefire movement, for organizing two 72-hour ceasefire weekends in hopes of reducing violence. The slogan "Nobody Kill Anybody" was resonated throughout the city, along with peaceful protests and community events. And the effort continues with the next Ceasefire weekend being held from Feb. 2-4. We commend Ericka Alston-Buck, founder of the Kids Safe Zone, for providing a safe place for children and teenagers all year round. She consistently exposes the children of west Baltimore to opportunities beyond their environment. And, we also commend Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson for his many contributions in the community. His teammates nominated him for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which is one of the most humbling honors a player can receive. His generosity has helped hundreds of Baltimoreans in need. Dr. King's holiday is more than a day off. It's a time to reflect on his legacy and an opportunity to think about what we can do to keep his dream alive.
Important 2018 offseason dates for Baltimore Ravens
<p>The 2017 fantasy football season is still warm, and the Super Bowl is still nearly a month away. Does that mean it’s too early to turn the page to 2018? Of course not. Fantasy football has become a year-round endeavor, and it won’t be long before we’re talking about free agency, the draft, mini-camps and OTAs. At that point, it might as well be the 2018 NFL season.</p><p>With that in mind, below are SI.com’s first fantasy football rankings for the 2018 season. Many of these players, most notably guys like Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landry and Kirk Cousins, may be on new teams next season, and these rankings assumed a league-average landing spot for all free agents. We’ve also included rookies sure to be hot commodities in the fantasy world, like Saquon Barkley and Nick Chubb.</p><p>Running backs reign supreme at the top of the overall rankings, and while Todd Gurley just finished off a season for the ages, a familiar name finds himself in the top spot. Until further notice, the fantasy football world still belongs to Le’Veon Bell. Get players Nos. 2 through 100 below.</p><h3>Top 100</h3><p><strong>1. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers</strong></p><p>Todd Gurley may have been the top player in 2017, but the fantasy football world still belongs to Bell. He just put the finishing touches on his third season with at least 1,800 total yards and nine touchdowns in the last four years. He’s the best bet to return first-round value, and his versatile skill set makes him the ideal player for the modern NFL. No other player can match Bell’s floor/ceiling pairing.</p><p><strong>2. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams</strong></p><p><strong>3. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers</strong></p><p><strong>4. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals</strong></p><p><strong>5. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys</strong></p><p><strong>6. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants</strong></p><p><strong>7. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans</strong></p><p><strong>8. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints</strong></p><p><strong>9. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints</strong></p><p><strong>10. Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs</strong></p><p><strong>11. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons</strong></p><p><strong>12. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers</strong></p><p>Gordon may not be the flashiest player in the league, but the bottom line is he delivers for his fantasy owners. He set career highs in 2017 with 1,105 rushing yards, 58 receptions, 476 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Now entering his fourth season and a key member of a strong Chargers offense, Gordon should be a safe pick late in the first round or early in the second round of 2018 fantasy drafts.</p><p><strong>13. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars</strong></p><p><strong>14. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings</strong></p><p><strong>15. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals</strong></p><p><strong>16. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers</strong></p><p><strong>17. Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints</strong></p><p><strong>18. Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots</strong></p><p><strong>19. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers</strong></p><p><strong>20. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots</strong></p><p><strong>21. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers</strong></p><p><strong>22. Saquon Barkley, RB</strong></p><p>A rookie has led the NFL in rushing both of the last two seasons (Ezekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt). Barkley is this class’s best bet to extend the streak to three years. Barkley will be a high first-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft, and while his landing spot matters, he’s going to have a ton of fantasy value regardless of which team selects him.</p><p><strong>23. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons</strong></p><p><strong>24. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills</strong></p><p><strong>25. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs</strong></p><p><strong>26. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers</strong></p><p><strong>27. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings</strong></p><p><strong>28. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks</strong></p><p><strong>29. Jay Ajayi, RB, Philadelphia Eagles</strong></p><p><strong>30. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans</strong></p><p><strong>31. Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears</strong></p><p><strong>32. Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins</strong></p><p><strong>33. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks</strong></p><p><strong>34. Tyreek Hill, RB, Kansas City Chiefs</strong></p><p><strong>35. Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars</strong></p><p><strong>36. Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers</strong></p><p><strong>37. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots</strong></p><p><strong>38. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans</strong></p><p>Watson was well on his way to a top-five season at the quarterback position before tearing his ACL in practice. Assuming he’s ready to go for Week 1, there’s every reason to believe he will pick up right where he left off. With an elite receiver in DeAndre Hopkins and high-level rushing skills, Watson has the ceiling to the be No. 1 fantasy quarterback in all scoring formats.</p><p><strong>39. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers</strong></p><p><strong>40. Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots</strong></p><p><strong>41. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals</strong></p><p><strong>42. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts</strong></p><p><strong>43. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles</strong></p><p><strong>44. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts</strong></p><p><strong>45. Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns</strong></p><p><strong>46. Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans</strong></p><p><strong>47. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins</strong></p><p><strong>48. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings</strong></p><p><strong>49. Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens</strong></p><p><strong>50. Samaje Perine, RB, Washington Redskins</strong></p><p><strong>51. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers</strong></p><p>It wasn’t just Aaron Rodgers’s injury that led to a down season for Nelson. He’s not the deep threat he once was, and while his chemistry with Rodgers is unparalleled by any other quarterback/receiver pairing, he doesn’t have the fantasy ceiling he once did. Davante Adams is the No. 1 receiver in Green Bay now, and there remains a chance that Nelson is playing his football elsewhere next season.</p><p><strong>52. Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons</strong></p><p><strong>53. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys</strong></p><p><strong>54. C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos</strong></p><p><strong>55. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers</strong></p><p><strong>56. Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders</strong></p><p><strong>57. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers</strong></p><p><strong>58. Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions</strong></p><p><strong>59. Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins</strong></p><p><strong>60. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles</strong></p><p><strong>61. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles</strong></p><p>Wentz’s recovery from his ACL tear will be one of the biggest storylines of the 2018 preseason. We’re slotting him here for now, but that assumes he’ll be ready to go for Week 1. Given the timing of his injury, that is far from a guarantee. If Wentz isn’t ready for the start of the season, he won’t be the only Eagle to tumble down the fantasy rankings.</p><p><strong>62. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints</strong></p><p><strong>63. Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins</strong></p><p><strong>64. Derrius Guice, RB</strong></p><p><strong>65. Nick Chubb, RB</strong></p><p><strong>66. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks</strong></p><p><strong>67. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals</strong></p><p><strong>68. Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans</strong></p><p><strong>69. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos</strong></p><p><strong>70. Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers</strong></p><p><strong>71. Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams</strong></p><p><strong>72. Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins</strong></p><p>Cousins will be this offseason’s most interesting free agent. At this point, it seems likely that he won’t be back in Washington. That will make him the most sought after player in the league. Cousins may never be a top-flight quarterback, but he’s unquestionably suited to lead a Super Bowl contender. He’ll likely be a QB1 no matter where he ends up, and he’ll almost certainly increase the value of the players around him.</p><p><strong>73. Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys</strong></p><p><strong>74. Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions</strong></p><p><strong>75. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots</strong></p><p><strong>76. D’Onta Foreman, RB, Houston Texans</strong></p><p><strong>77. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams</strong></p><p><strong>78. Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts</strong></p><p><strong>79. Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns</strong></p><p><strong>80. Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers</strong></p><p><strong>81. Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers</strong></p><p>It was mostly a lost season for Olsen, but he proved just how good he still is when healthy. The Panthers will address the receiver position during the offseason, but Olsen is likely to remain Cam Newton’s top target. Olsen is one of the few reliably productive tight ends in the league, and has the ability to play his way into the same territory as Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce.</p><p><strong>82. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders</strong></p><p><strong>83. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers</strong></p><p><strong>84. Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears</strong></p><p><strong>85. Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco 49ers</strong></p><p><strong>86. Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants</strong></p><p><strong>87. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams</strong></p><p><strong>88. Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers</strong></p><p><strong>89. Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans</strong></p><p><strong>90. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers</strong></p><p><strong>91. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions</strong></p><p><strong>92. Cameron Meredith, WR, Chicago Bears</strong></p><p>Meredith was one of the most popular players in the fantasy community last summer before tearing his ACL in the Bears third preseason game. Remember, the Bears were ready to lean on him as their No. 1 receiver, and while they’ll certainly be aggressive with the position in free agency and the draft, Meredith should have a big role in 2018.</p><p><strong>93. Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots</strong></p><p><strong>94. Pierre Garçon, WR, San Francisco 49ers</strong></p><p><strong>95. Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets</strong></p><p><strong>96. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams</strong></p><p><strong>97. Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants</strong></p><p>There’s sure to be plenty of change for the Giants in 2018 after a disastrous 2017 season, and Shepard could end up making this ranking look foolishly low. He won’t have the same target share next season with a healthy Odell Beckham, but the right coach and quarterback could make something interesting out of the Giants offense. Even if Shepard is the third option in the passing game behind Beckham and Evan Engram, he’ll have a high ceiling every week.</p><p><strong>98. Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers</strong></p><p><strong>99. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns</strong></p><p><strong>100. Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens</strong></p>
Way-Too-Early 2018 Fantasy Football Rankings

The 2017 fantasy football season is still warm, and the Super Bowl is still nearly a month away. Does that mean it’s too early to turn the page to 2018? Of course not. Fantasy football has become a year-round endeavor, and it won’t be long before we’re talking about free agency, the draft, mini-camps and OTAs. At that point, it might as well be the 2018 NFL season.

With that in mind, below are SI.com’s first fantasy football rankings for the 2018 season. Many of these players, most notably guys like Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landry and Kirk Cousins, may be on new teams next season, and these rankings assumed a league-average landing spot for all free agents. We’ve also included rookies sure to be hot commodities in the fantasy world, like Saquon Barkley and Nick Chubb.

Running backs reign supreme at the top of the overall rankings, and while Todd Gurley just finished off a season for the ages, a familiar name finds himself in the top spot. Until further notice, the fantasy football world still belongs to Le’Veon Bell. Get players Nos. 2 through 100 below.

Top 100

1. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Todd Gurley may have been the top player in 2017, but the fantasy football world still belongs to Bell. He just put the finishing touches on his third season with at least 1,800 total yards and nine touchdowns in the last four years. He’s the best bet to return first-round value, and his versatile skill set makes him the ideal player for the modern NFL. No other player can match Bell’s floor/ceiling pairing.

2. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams

3. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

4. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

5. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

6. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants

7. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

8. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

9. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

10. Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

11. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

12. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

Gordon may not be the flashiest player in the league, but the bottom line is he delivers for his fantasy owners. He set career highs in 2017 with 1,105 rushing yards, 58 receptions, 476 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Now entering his fourth season and a key member of a strong Chargers offense, Gordon should be a safe pick late in the first round or early in the second round of 2018 fantasy drafts.

13. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

14. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

15. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

16. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

17. Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints

18. Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots

19. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

20. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

21. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

22. Saquon Barkley, RB

A rookie has led the NFL in rushing both of the last two seasons (Ezekiel Elliott, Kareem Hunt). Barkley is this class’s best bet to extend the streak to three years. Barkley will be a high first-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft, and while his landing spot matters, he’s going to have a ton of fantasy value regardless of which team selects him.

23. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

24. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills

25. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

26. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

27. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

28. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks

29. Jay Ajayi, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

30. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

31. Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears

32. Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins

33. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

34. Tyreek Hill, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

35. Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

36. Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers

37. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

38. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans

Watson was well on his way to a top-five season at the quarterback position before tearing his ACL in practice. Assuming he’s ready to go for Week 1, there’s every reason to believe he will pick up right where he left off. With an elite receiver in DeAndre Hopkins and high-level rushing skills, Watson has the ceiling to the be No. 1 fantasy quarterback in all scoring formats.

39. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

40. Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots

41. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

42. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

43. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

44. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

45. Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns

46. Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans

47. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins

48. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings

49. Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

50. Samaje Perine, RB, Washington Redskins

51. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers

It wasn’t just Aaron Rodgers’s injury that led to a down season for Nelson. He’s not the deep threat he once was, and while his chemistry with Rodgers is unparalleled by any other quarterback/receiver pairing, he doesn’t have the fantasy ceiling he once did. Davante Adams is the No. 1 receiver in Green Bay now, and there remains a chance that Nelson is playing his football elsewhere next season.

52. Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

53. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

54. C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos

55. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

56. Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders

57. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

58. Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions

59. Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins

60. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

61. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

Wentz’s recovery from his ACL tear will be one of the biggest storylines of the 2018 preseason. We’re slotting him here for now, but that assumes he’ll be ready to go for Week 1. Given the timing of his injury, that is far from a guarantee. If Wentz isn’t ready for the start of the season, he won’t be the only Eagle to tumble down the fantasy rankings.

62. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

63. Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins

64. Derrius Guice, RB

65. Nick Chubb, RB

66. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks

67. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

68. Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans

69. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos

70. Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

71. Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams

72. Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins

Cousins will be this offseason’s most interesting free agent. At this point, it seems likely that he won’t be back in Washington. That will make him the most sought after player in the league. Cousins may never be a top-flight quarterback, but he’s unquestionably suited to lead a Super Bowl contender. He’ll likely be a QB1 no matter where he ends up, and he’ll almost certainly increase the value of the players around him.

73. Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys

74. Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions

75. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

76. D’Onta Foreman, RB, Houston Texans

77. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams

78. Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts

79. Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns

80. Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers

81. Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers

It was mostly a lost season for Olsen, but he proved just how good he still is when healthy. The Panthers will address the receiver position during the offseason, but Olsen is likely to remain Cam Newton’s top target. Olsen is one of the few reliably productive tight ends in the league, and has the ability to play his way into the same territory as Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce.

82. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders

83. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers

84. Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears

85. Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco 49ers

86. Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants

87. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams

88. Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers

89. Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans

90. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

91. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

92. Cameron Meredith, WR, Chicago Bears

Meredith was one of the most popular players in the fantasy community last summer before tearing his ACL in the Bears third preseason game. Remember, the Bears were ready to lean on him as their No. 1 receiver, and while they’ll certainly be aggressive with the position in free agency and the draft, Meredith should have a big role in 2018.

93. Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots

94. Pierre Garçon, WR, San Francisco 49ers

95. Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets

96. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

97. Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants

There’s sure to be plenty of change for the Giants in 2018 after a disastrous 2017 season, and Shepard could end up making this ranking look foolishly low. He won’t have the same target share next season with a healthy Odell Beckham, but the right coach and quarterback could make something interesting out of the Giants offense. Even if Shepard is the third option in the passing game behind Beckham and Evan Engram, he’ll have a high ceiling every week.

98. Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

99. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns

100. Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens

FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le&#39;Veon Bell (26) plays in an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh. The running back is fresh heading into Sunday&#39;s playoff game against Jacksonville. Bell only had 15 carries in the teams&#39; first meeting this season. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
Business plan: Bell ready to carry heavy load for Steelers
FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) plays in an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh. The running back is fresh heading into Sunday's playoff game against Jacksonville. Bell only had 15 carries in the teams' first meeting this season. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le&#39;Veon Bell (26) plays in an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh. The running back is fresh heading into Sunday&#39;s playoff game against Jacksonville. Bell only had 15 carries in the teams&#39; first meeting this season. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) plays in an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh. The running back is fresh heading into Sunday's playoff game against Jacksonville. Bell only had 15 carries in the teams' first meeting this season. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) plays in an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh. The running back is fresh heading into Sunday's playoff game against Jacksonville. Bell only had 15 carries in the teams' first meeting this season. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2017, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) celebrates a 39-38 win over the Baltimore Ravens in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh. In voting announced Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, Antonio Brown is one of four repeaters from last season on The Associated Press 2017 NFL All-Pro Team, and the only unanimous choice. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
The Patriots are rested, recharged and rankled
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2017, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) celebrates a 39-38 win over the Baltimore Ravens in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh. In voting announced Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, Antonio Brown is one of four repeaters from last season on The Associated Press 2017 NFL All-Pro Team, and the only unanimous choice. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2017, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) celebrates a 39-38 win over the Baltimore Ravens in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh. In voting announced Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, Antonio Brown is one of four repeaters from last season on The Associated Press 2017 NFL All-Pro Team, and the only unanimous choice. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2017, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) celebrates a 39-38 win over the Baltimore Ravens in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh. In voting announced Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, Antonio Brown is one of four repeaters from last season on The Associated Press 2017 NFL All-Pro Team, and the only unanimous choice. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2017, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) celebrates a 39-38 win over the Baltimore Ravens in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh. In voting announced Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, Antonio Brown is one of four repeaters from last season on The Associated Press 2017 NFL All-Pro Team, and the only unanimous choice. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
<p>The Buffalo Bills are in the playoffs for the first time this decade and begin their quest for their first postseason victory in over two decades when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Wild Card Game.</p><p>The Bills&#39; last playoff appearance was against the Tennessee Titans in the 1999 playoffs and were done in by the &quot;Music City Miracle.&quot; The Bills got into the playoffs this season after the Baltimore Ravens lost on a last-minute touchdown pass to the Cincinnati Bengals.</p><p>The Jaguars, who won the AFC South, are also returning to the playoffs after a long drought.</p><p>Jacksonville last appeared in the playoffs in 2007 and this season boasted a defense that ranked second in total defense, sacks, interceptions and points allowed and first in passing defense.</p><h3>How to Watch</h3><p><strong>Time:</strong> Sunday, January 7, 1:05 p.m. ET</p><p><strong>TV channel: </strong>CBS</p><p><strong>Live stream:</strong> <a href="https://www.cbs.com/all-access/live-tv/?intcid=CIA85fa358" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:CBS Sports All Access" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">CBS Sports All Access</a>, <a href="https://www.cbssports.com/mobile" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:CBS Sports App" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">CBS Sports App</a></p>
How to Watch Bills vs. Jaguars: Live Stream, TV Channel, Game Time

The Buffalo Bills are in the playoffs for the first time this decade and begin their quest for their first postseason victory in over two decades when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Wild Card Game.

The Bills' last playoff appearance was against the Tennessee Titans in the 1999 playoffs and were done in by the "Music City Miracle." The Bills got into the playoffs this season after the Baltimore Ravens lost on a last-minute touchdown pass to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Jaguars, who won the AFC South, are also returning to the playoffs after a long drought.

Jacksonville last appeared in the playoffs in 2007 and this season boasted a defense that ranked second in total defense, sacks, interceptions and points allowed and first in passing defense.

How to Watch

Time: Sunday, January 7, 1:05 p.m. ET

TV channel: CBS

Live stream: CBS Sports All Access, CBS Sports App

Many watching or participating in the parade wore bags over their heads -- as these fans did at the end of the Cleveland Browns&#39; game against the Baltimore Ravens on December 17, 2017 (AFP Photo/Jason Miller)
Many watching or participating in the parade wore bags over their heads -- as these fans did at the end of the Cleveland Browns' game against the Baltimore Ravens on December 17, 2017
Many watching or participating in the parade wore bags over their heads -- as these fans did at the end of the Cleveland Browns' game against the Baltimore Ravens on December 17, 2017 (AFP Photo/Jason Miller)
FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2004, file photo, Tennessee Titans&#39; receiver Derrick Mason, right, hugs kicker Gary Anderson after his game-winning fourth quarter touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during their AFC wildcard playoff game in Baltimore. Tennessee rumbles into Kansas City for the wild-card round Saturday in its first postseason trip since 2008, when the Titans were the AFCs top seed. If they can waltz out with a win, like they did last regular season, it would be their first playoff victory since January 2004. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy, File)
Chiefs, Titans meet to end years of postseason futility
FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2004, file photo, Tennessee Titans' receiver Derrick Mason, right, hugs kicker Gary Anderson after his game-winning fourth quarter touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during their AFC wildcard playoff game in Baltimore. Tennessee rumbles into Kansas City for the wild-card round Saturday in its first postseason trip since 2008, when the Titans were the AFCs top seed. If they can waltz out with a win, like they did last regular season, it would be their first playoff victory since January 2004. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy, File)
<p>Former Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson on free agency: &#39;I don&#39;t know what&#39;s going to happen next year&#39;</p>
Former Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson on free agency: 'I don't know what's going to happen next year'

Former Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson on free agency: 'I don't know what's going to happen next year'

<p>Former Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson on free agency: &#39;I don&#39;t know what&#39;s going to happen next year&#39;</p>
Former Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson on free agency: 'I don't know what's going to happen next year'

Former Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson on free agency: 'I don't know what's going to happen next year'

<p>Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson on Ravens: &#39;Our offense was not good&#39;</p>
Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson on Ravens: 'Our offense was not good'

Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson on Ravens: 'Our offense was not good'

<p>Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson on Ravens: &#39;Our offense was not good&#39;</p>
Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson on Ravens: 'Our offense was not good'

Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson on Ravens: 'Our offense was not good'

The 2017 NFL playoffs will begin without the Baltimore Ravens, but the team kept its fans cheering all the way to the bitter end. There will be plenty to remember, like the emergence of players like Alex Collins. There was also the steadiness of veterans whose names we called time and again like Terrell Suggs, Benjamin Watson and Justin Tucker. But there was also the sea of purple that became the team's largest opposition -- empty seats. The Ravens will have to devise its toughest game plan yet in re-engaging with its fans. Regardless of the reasoning -- be it protests, economics or weather -- the image of vacant sections at a must-win game and others were jarring. I think we can all agree that the beauty of America is our freedom of speech and to protest -- be it with our dollars as fans, or our actions as players. It is a freedom that is at the bedrock of our nation's founding, but this discourse only works when we listen to each other. The Ravens got an earful from all sides, but all can't talk at once. We must all listen at some point to move forward. Fans and teams alike will need to listen this off-season.
Editorial: Ravens face tough battle to re-engage fans
The 2017 NFL playoffs will begin without the Baltimore Ravens, but the team kept its fans cheering all the way to the bitter end. There will be plenty to remember, like the emergence of players like Alex Collins. There was also the steadiness of veterans whose names we called time and again like Terrell Suggs, Benjamin Watson and Justin Tucker. But there was also the sea of purple that became the team's largest opposition -- empty seats. The Ravens will have to devise its toughest game plan yet in re-engaging with its fans. Regardless of the reasoning -- be it protests, economics or weather -- the image of vacant sections at a must-win game and others were jarring. I think we can all agree that the beauty of America is our freedom of speech and to protest -- be it with our dollars as fans, or our actions as players. It is a freedom that is at the bedrock of our nation's founding, but this discourse only works when we listen to each other. The Ravens got an earful from all sides, but all can't talk at once. We must all listen at some point to move forward. Fans and teams alike will need to listen this off-season.
The 2017 NFL playoffs will begin without the Baltimore Ravens, but the team kept its fans cheering all the way to the bitter end. There will be plenty to remember, like the emergence of players like Alex Collins. There was also the steadiness of veterans whose names we called time and again like Terrell Suggs, Benjamin Watson and Justin Tucker. But there was also the sea of purple that became the team&#39;s largest opposition -- empty seats. The Ravens will have to devise its toughest game plan yet in re-engaging with its fans. Regardless of the reasoning -- be it protests, economics or weather -- the image of vacant sections at a must-win game and others were jarring. I think we can all agree that the beauty of America is our freedom of speech and to protest -- be it with our dollars as fans, or our actions as players. It is a freedom that is at the bedrock of our nation&#39;s founding, but this discourse only works when we listen to each other. The Ravens got an earful from all sides, but all can&#39;t talk at once. We must all listen at some point to move forward. Fans and teams alike will need to listen this off-season.
Editorial: Ravens face tough battle to re-engage fans
The 2017 NFL playoffs will begin without the Baltimore Ravens, but the team kept its fans cheering all the way to the bitter end. There will be plenty to remember, like the emergence of players like Alex Collins. There was also the steadiness of veterans whose names we called time and again like Terrell Suggs, Benjamin Watson and Justin Tucker. But there was also the sea of purple that became the team's largest opposition -- empty seats. The Ravens will have to devise its toughest game plan yet in re-engaging with its fans. Regardless of the reasoning -- be it protests, economics or weather -- the image of vacant sections at a must-win game and others were jarring. I think we can all agree that the beauty of America is our freedom of speech and to protest -- be it with our dollars as fans, or our actions as players. It is a freedom that is at the bedrock of our nation's founding, but this discourse only works when we listen to each other. The Ravens got an earful from all sides, but all can't talk at once. We must all listen at some point to move forward. Fans and teams alike will need to listen this off-season.
The 2017 NFL playoffs will begin without the Baltimore Ravens, but the team kept its fans cheering all the way to the bitter end. There will be plenty to remember, like the emergence of players like Alex Collins. There was also the steadiness of veterans whose names we called time and again like Terrell Suggs, Benjamin Watson and Justin Tucker. But there was also the sea of purple that became the team&#39;s largest opposition -- empty seats. The Ravens will have to devise its toughest game plan yet in re-engaging with its fans. Regardless of the reasoning -- be it protests, economics or weather -- the image of vacant sections at a must-win game and others were jarring. I think we can all agree that the beauty of America is our freedom of speech and to protest -- be it with our dollars as fans, or our actions as players. It is a freedom that is at the bedrock of our nation&#39;s founding, but this discourse only works when we listen to each other. The Ravens got an earful from all sides, but all can&#39;t talk at once. We must all listen at some point to move forward. Fans and teams alike will need to listen this off-season.
Editorial: Ravens face tough battle to re-engage fans
The 2017 NFL playoffs will begin without the Baltimore Ravens, but the team kept its fans cheering all the way to the bitter end. There will be plenty to remember, like the emergence of players like Alex Collins. There was also the steadiness of veterans whose names we called time and again like Terrell Suggs, Benjamin Watson and Justin Tucker. But there was also the sea of purple that became the team's largest opposition -- empty seats. The Ravens will have to devise its toughest game plan yet in re-engaging with its fans. Regardless of the reasoning -- be it protests, economics or weather -- the image of vacant sections at a must-win game and others were jarring. I think we can all agree that the beauty of America is our freedom of speech and to protest -- be it with our dollars as fans, or our actions as players. It is a freedom that is at the bedrock of our nation's founding, but this discourse only works when we listen to each other. The Ravens got an earful from all sides, but all can't talk at once. We must all listen at some point to move forward. Fans and teams alike will need to listen this off-season.
The 2017 NFL playoffs will begin without the Baltimore Ravens, but the team kept its fans cheering all the way to the bitter end. There will be plenty to remember, like the emergence of players like Alex Collins. There was also the steadiness of veterans whose names we called time and again like Terrell Suggs, Benjamin Watson and Justin Tucker. But there was also the sea of purple that became the team&#39;s largest opposition -- empty seats. The Ravens will have to devise its toughest game plan yet in re-engaging with its fans. Regardless of the reasoning -- be it protests, economics or weather -- the image of vacant sections at a must-win game and others were jarring. I think we can all agree that the beauty of America is our freedom of speech and to protest -- be it with our dollars as fans, or our actions as players. It is a freedom that is at the bedrock of our nation&#39;s founding, but this discourse only works when we listen to each other. The Ravens got an earful from all sides, but all can&#39;t talk at once. We must all listen at some point to move forward. Fans and teams alike will need to listen this off-season.
Editorial: Ravens face tough battle to re-engage fans
The 2017 NFL playoffs will begin without the Baltimore Ravens, but the team kept its fans cheering all the way to the bitter end. There will be plenty to remember, like the emergence of players like Alex Collins. There was also the steadiness of veterans whose names we called time and again like Terrell Suggs, Benjamin Watson and Justin Tucker. But there was also the sea of purple that became the team's largest opposition -- empty seats. The Ravens will have to devise its toughest game plan yet in re-engaging with its fans. Regardless of the reasoning -- be it protests, economics or weather -- the image of vacant sections at a must-win game and others were jarring. I think we can all agree that the beauty of America is our freedom of speech and to protest -- be it with our dollars as fans, or our actions as players. It is a freedom that is at the bedrock of our nation's founding, but this discourse only works when we listen to each other. The Ravens got an earful from all sides, but all can't talk at once. We must all listen at some point to move forward. Fans and teams alike will need to listen this off-season.
<p>At some point this weekend, I expect the Patriots—either owner Robert Kraft or coach Bill Belichick, or both—could come out swinging against <a href="http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/page/hotread180105/beginning-end-new-england-patriots-robert-kraft-tom-brady-bill-belichick-internal-power-struggle" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Seth Wickersham’s ESPN story" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Seth Wickersham’s ESPN story </a>detailing multi-headed struggles atop the best current franchise in American professional sports. I expect there to be mass speculation that this is Belichick’s last season coaching the Patriots. But let me raise this one question as we ponder the possible end of a great generation of football: Isn’t it amazing that Kraft and Belichick, along with quarterback Tom Brady, have lasted 18 years together?</p><p>Think of it: Belichick got divorced from the late Browns owner, Art Modell, after five oft-contentious years as Cleveland coach. Belichick lasted one day as the HC of the NYJ, resigning his Jets coaching job in early 2000 because he didn’t respect the team president and didn’t know who the owner of the team would be. Kraft, who bought the Patriots in 1994, had Bill Parcells as coach for three years, and Parcells forced his way out after complaining that Kraft wouldn’t let him pick the players. Then Kraft had Pete “Feelin’ Groovy” Carroll as coach for three years but felt like the franchise was treading water.</p><p>Remember the beginning of the Kraft-Belichick marriage? There is no way, no how, that any thinking person would have expected their relationship to last 18 years. Three, maybe. Four, tops. In January 2000, after firing Carroll, Kraft had his eyes on a defensive assistant from the Parcells staff—Belichick—and no one could dissuade him. At the time Kraft was fairly tight with Modell, then the owner of the Baltimore Ravens. There were others around the league who told Kraft to be wary of the uber-private Belichick, and how hard Belichick was to work with.</p><p>Kraft remembers the exact words of Modell’s don’t-hire-Belichick warning in 2000. “He said if I did it, I’d be making the biggest mistake of my life,” <a href="https://www.si.com/mmqb/2017/01/30/robert-kraft-patriots-nfl-super-bowl-51-falcons-peter-king" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kraft told me last January," class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kraft told me last January,</a> on the verge of winning his fifth Super Bowl with Belichick as coach.</p><p>So if this great era of the Patriots is over—and I don’t assume it is, at all—just realize how excellent it’s been: five Super Bowl wins (and favored to make it six in the next month), seven conference championships, 15 division titles, 12 or more wins in each of the past seven seasons. With the same quarterback. It’s better than Green Bay with Lombardi, Pittsburgh with Noll, San Francisco with Walsh.</p><p>The Wickersham story, and <a href="https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/01/05/new-england-patriots-espn-story-response" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:the Patriots’ group denial" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">the Patriots’ group denial</a>, is still fresh, and I hope to have more of substance on it in my Monday Morning Quarterback column<em>. </em>But Albert Breer <a href="https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/01/05/tom-brady-bill-belichick-robert-kraft-new-england-patriots-espn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:made a good point earlier today at The MMQB" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">made a good point earlier today at The MMQB</a>. Kraft is 76, but he’s not going anywhere. Brady is 40, and he’s not retiring. Of the three men, Belichick, 65, might have the lightest tether to Foxboro a month from now.</p><p>If Belichick decided at the end of this season that he’s had enough of New England, what might he do? The Giants have tremendous admiration for Belichick, who spent 12 of his 43 NFL coaching seasons as a Giants’ assistant. Could New York engage Kraft in trade discussions for Belichick? Would Bostonian GM Dave Gettleman of the Giants use the second pick in the 2018 draft to entice Kraft, and would Belichick like to spend, say, five twilight head-coaching seasons trying to win one more ring in a place he loved? Or would the Giants take one of Belichick’s young lieutenants, coordinator Matt Patricia or Josh McDaniels (the two are interviewing for the vacant New York coaching gig today), and try to recreate the Belichick greatness in East Rutherford?</p><p>The Giants aren’t the only team that might be jonesing for Belichick. What about former New England personnel men Bob Quinn (GM in Detroit) and Jon Robinson (GM in Tennessee)? Quinn has a head-coaching opening, and Robinson might. Both are indebted to Belichick, have quarterbacks 30-or-younger who could be big winners, and might be enticing for Belichick. He was born in Nashville. His first full-time position-coaching job in the NFL was in Detroit.</p><p>It’s fun to play those what-if games. Let’s play out two other scenarios:</p><p>• Belichick could just be ready to retire. Not that he’s shown signs of that—he certainly does not appear to be burned out. But imagine being 65, having done the same thing for 43 years in a row, and having climbed to the peak of the business, and to be a no-doubter for the Mount Rushmore of coaches in the 98-year history of the game you’ve made your life’s work. This is a guy who has Sun Tzu on his home bookshelf. At some point, can’t you imagine Belichick saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice to see what Australia’s like in December?”</p><p>• Belichick could be energized by one more shot of a remade coaching staff with two or three years more of Brady—or even one more of Brady and then a couple with, say, Lamar Jackson as his passer-in-waiting. I say Jackson, but who knows which rookie quarterback the Patriots will like. Belichick’s the kind of guy who is into finding solutions to problems. Say McDaniels leaves, and Belichick makes receivers coach Chad O’Shea his offensive coordinator, and gives him an offseason project of getting a first- or second-round quarterback ready to play on opening day 2019? This is all just spit-balling. But Belichick does love inventing new stuff out of whole cloth.</p><p>So we’re left to make best guesses about the future of the Patriots. I do think the next month could provide quite a bit of clarity. I could argue that a Kansas City-Pittsburgh-Minnesota road to a sixth Super Bowl could be one of the Patriots’ toughest to a crown, and who knows how success or failure in the next month will influence Belichick.</p><p>Football’s a tough business. What the Patriots have done in 18 years likely will never be done again by an NFL team. You might focus on storm clouds over Foxboro right now, and rightfully so; I’ll focus on them too. But I’ll be amazed the thing’s lasted this long.</p><p><strong><em>Question or comment? </em></strong><em>Email us at <span>talkback@themmqb.com</span>.</em></p>
Kraft, Belichick and Brady: The Marvel Is That the Patriots Dynasty Has Lasted This Long

At some point this weekend, I expect the Patriots—either owner Robert Kraft or coach Bill Belichick, or both—could come out swinging against Seth Wickersham’s ESPN story detailing multi-headed struggles atop the best current franchise in American professional sports. I expect there to be mass speculation that this is Belichick’s last season coaching the Patriots. But let me raise this one question as we ponder the possible end of a great generation of football: Isn’t it amazing that Kraft and Belichick, along with quarterback Tom Brady, have lasted 18 years together?

Think of it: Belichick got divorced from the late Browns owner, Art Modell, after five oft-contentious years as Cleveland coach. Belichick lasted one day as the HC of the NYJ, resigning his Jets coaching job in early 2000 because he didn’t respect the team president and didn’t know who the owner of the team would be. Kraft, who bought the Patriots in 1994, had Bill Parcells as coach for three years, and Parcells forced his way out after complaining that Kraft wouldn’t let him pick the players. Then Kraft had Pete “Feelin’ Groovy” Carroll as coach for three years but felt like the franchise was treading water.

Remember the beginning of the Kraft-Belichick marriage? There is no way, no how, that any thinking person would have expected their relationship to last 18 years. Three, maybe. Four, tops. In January 2000, after firing Carroll, Kraft had his eyes on a defensive assistant from the Parcells staff—Belichick—and no one could dissuade him. At the time Kraft was fairly tight with Modell, then the owner of the Baltimore Ravens. There were others around the league who told Kraft to be wary of the uber-private Belichick, and how hard Belichick was to work with.

Kraft remembers the exact words of Modell’s don’t-hire-Belichick warning in 2000. “He said if I did it, I’d be making the biggest mistake of my life,” Kraft told me last January, on the verge of winning his fifth Super Bowl with Belichick as coach.

So if this great era of the Patriots is over—and I don’t assume it is, at all—just realize how excellent it’s been: five Super Bowl wins (and favored to make it six in the next month), seven conference championships, 15 division titles, 12 or more wins in each of the past seven seasons. With the same quarterback. It’s better than Green Bay with Lombardi, Pittsburgh with Noll, San Francisco with Walsh.

The Wickersham story, and the Patriots’ group denial, is still fresh, and I hope to have more of substance on it in my Monday Morning Quarterback column. But Albert Breer made a good point earlier today at The MMQB. Kraft is 76, but he’s not going anywhere. Brady is 40, and he’s not retiring. Of the three men, Belichick, 65, might have the lightest tether to Foxboro a month from now.

If Belichick decided at the end of this season that he’s had enough of New England, what might he do? The Giants have tremendous admiration for Belichick, who spent 12 of his 43 NFL coaching seasons as a Giants’ assistant. Could New York engage Kraft in trade discussions for Belichick? Would Bostonian GM Dave Gettleman of the Giants use the second pick in the 2018 draft to entice Kraft, and would Belichick like to spend, say, five twilight head-coaching seasons trying to win one more ring in a place he loved? Or would the Giants take one of Belichick’s young lieutenants, coordinator Matt Patricia or Josh McDaniels (the two are interviewing for the vacant New York coaching gig today), and try to recreate the Belichick greatness in East Rutherford?

The Giants aren’t the only team that might be jonesing for Belichick. What about former New England personnel men Bob Quinn (GM in Detroit) and Jon Robinson (GM in Tennessee)? Quinn has a head-coaching opening, and Robinson might. Both are indebted to Belichick, have quarterbacks 30-or-younger who could be big winners, and might be enticing for Belichick. He was born in Nashville. His first full-time position-coaching job in the NFL was in Detroit.

It’s fun to play those what-if games. Let’s play out two other scenarios:

• Belichick could just be ready to retire. Not that he’s shown signs of that—he certainly does not appear to be burned out. But imagine being 65, having done the same thing for 43 years in a row, and having climbed to the peak of the business, and to be a no-doubter for the Mount Rushmore of coaches in the 98-year history of the game you’ve made your life’s work. This is a guy who has Sun Tzu on his home bookshelf. At some point, can’t you imagine Belichick saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice to see what Australia’s like in December?”

• Belichick could be energized by one more shot of a remade coaching staff with two or three years more of Brady—or even one more of Brady and then a couple with, say, Lamar Jackson as his passer-in-waiting. I say Jackson, but who knows which rookie quarterback the Patriots will like. Belichick’s the kind of guy who is into finding solutions to problems. Say McDaniels leaves, and Belichick makes receivers coach Chad O’Shea his offensive coordinator, and gives him an offseason project of getting a first- or second-round quarterback ready to play on opening day 2019? This is all just spit-balling. But Belichick does love inventing new stuff out of whole cloth.

So we’re left to make best guesses about the future of the Patriots. I do think the next month could provide quite a bit of clarity. I could argue that a Kansas City-Pittsburgh-Minnesota road to a sixth Super Bowl could be one of the Patriots’ toughest to a crown, and who knows how success or failure in the next month will influence Belichick.

Football’s a tough business. What the Patriots have done in 18 years likely will never be done again by an NFL team. You might focus on storm clouds over Foxboro right now, and rightfully so; I’ll focus on them too. But I’ll be amazed the thing’s lasted this long.

Question or comment? Email us at talkback@themmqb.com.

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