As the regular season ends, the NFL playoffs will begin for a handful of AFC and NFC teams.
On the outside looking in are the rest of the NFL teams, teams that didn’t qualify for the postseason and are, instead, looking towards the offseason.
While free agency looms and a number of head coaching vacancies that were created in the past 24 hours, fans of teams left out of the playoff picture are looking to the 2018 NFL Draft as a beacon of hope for their team’s future.
As of the end of Week 17, here is the up-to-date draft order of the 1st round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
1. Cleveland Browns (0-16)
2. New York Giants (3-13)
3. Indianapolis Colts (4-12)
4. Cleveland Browns (via HOU, 4-12)
5. Denver Broncos (5-11)
6. New York Jets (5-11)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11)
8. Chicago Bears (5-11)
9a. Oakland Raiders (6-10)
10a. San Francisco 49ers (6-10)
11. Miami Dolphins (6-10)
12. Cincinnati Bengals (6-10)
13b. Green Bay Packers (7-9)
14b. Washington (7-9)
15. Arizona Cardinals (8-8)
16. Baltimore Ravens (9-7)
17. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7)
18. Seattle Seahawks (9-7)
19c. Dallas Cowboys (9-7)
20c. Detroit Lions (9-7)
*21. Buffalo Bills (9-7)
*22. Tennessee Titans (9-7)
*23. Atlanta Falcons (10-6)
*24. Carolina Panthers (11-5)
*25. Buffalo Bills (via KC, 10-6)
*26. Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6)
*27. New Orleans Saints (11-5)
*28. Los Angeles Rams (11-5)
*29. Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)
*30. Minnesota Vikings (13-3)
*31. New England Patriots (13-3)
*32. Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)
a, b and c denote coin flip will determine order of tied teams
* Playoff teams that have no established order at this time. Order will be determined at the conclusion of the Super Bowl.
Rutgers Brings Back Greg Schiano with Eight-Year, $32 Million Deal
Rutgers is bringing back Greg Schiano as their head coach following a lengthy negotiation process that has led to an eight-year, $32 million deal, according to ESPN.
“Today we open the next great chapter for Rutgers Football,” Rutgers athletic director Pat Hobbs said. “Coach Schiano is absolutely the best person to lead our program. He brings a quality of leadership and integrity that will make all of us proud in the years ahead. I couldn’t be more excited for our student-athletes and our fans.
“A lot of hard work lies ahead, but we will all keep chopping together with Coach to achieve success in the Big Ten. We all know what the goal is and we all must do our part. I can’t express enough appreciation to Greg and Christy Schiano, the first family of Rutgers Football. Welcome back!”
Schiano went 68-67 from 2001-2011 as Rutgers head coach.
“Rutgers University and this football program have meant the world to me and my family,” Schiano said in a statement put out by the school. “I arrived here in 2000 with the goal to build a program that would be a source of pride for the state of New Jersey and develop great young men. I look forward to embracing that challenge once again. This is a great opportunity for all of Rutgers to pull together to get us back to where we all know we belong. It will take everyone on this campus and in the State of Rutgers to get this done.”
Schiano left Rutgers in 2012 to become the head coach of the Tamp Bay Buccaneers, in a tenure that lasted just two years.
“I commend Rutgers Athletics Director Pat Hobbs and Coach Schiano for reaching an agreement following very complex negotiations to bring on this new, exciting chapter for Rutgers Athletics,” Rutgers President Robert Barchi said. “We are all thrilled to welcome Coach Schiano. He is the right coach at the right time to build our Big Ten football program into a long-running source of pride for Rutgers.”
Ole Miss Fires Matt Luke
Ole Miss is moving on from head coach Matt Luke, who was fired on Sunday following three seasons at the helm of the Rebels.
“After evaluating the overall trajectory of our football program, we did not see enough momentum on the field and determined a change is necessary in order for our student-athletes to compete at the highest level” Athletics director Keith Carter said in an official statement.
“While improvements were evident in certain aspects of the program, we are judged ultimately by our record, and, unfortunately, we did not meet the standard of success that we expect from our program. We will always be grateful to Coach Luke for his leadership, particularly from a recruiting, academic and overall culture standpoint. At the same time, winning is important, and we know that we can compete for championships at Ole Miss.
“A search is underway to find a new head coach who can build a complete program that attracts top talent, develops them as young men and sustains a winning mentality. We will be looking for the leadership, energy and commitment to excellence necessary to compete in the Southeastern Conference and galvanize our passionate fan base.”
Luke compiled a 15-21 record during his tenure at Ole Miss.
According to the Clarion Ledger’s Nick Suss, the firing of Luke was not well-received by some of the players, with some storming out of the team meeting angry over the decision.
Many are speculating that the Egg Bowl was what set the firing in motion. However, it is worth noting that attendance was becoming an issue in the midst of a losing season, and with a new athletic director in the fold, change was likely coming sooner or later.
Oklahoma’s Grant Calcaterra Retires
Oklahoma Sooners’ tight end Grant Calcaterra has officially announced his decision to retire from football due to multiple concussions, including one that he suffered during a recent practice.
“Football has been the biggest thrill of my life, and it kills me to know it’s over,” Calcaterra said during a video he posted on Twitter. “But I’m confident God does everything for a reason, and he has a plan for me. I believe football was preparing me for this moment my entire career.”
“I gave everything I had to this team and this game,” Calcaterra continued. “I’d like to think it might have caused an impact on this university, this football program and all the people around me.”
To everybody who’s been a part of my football journey, Thank You.
Philippians 1:6 pic.twitter.com/OmOlUsLiMV
— Grant Calcaterra (@grcalcaterra) November 22, 2019
Calcaterra earned first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2018 following an impressive season in which he caught 26 receptions for 396 yards and 6 touchdowns. Calcaterra was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection as a freshman in 2017.
Calacaterra said that he’s on track to graduate from Oklahoma in May and that he plans to return home to California to pursue a career as a firefighter.
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