The end of an era
All good things must come to an end; whether it be a particularly tasty meal, an enthralling TV show, or the career of your favorite athlete. Regardless of their success, all the world’s most famous sports stars must ultimately surrender to the one opponent they can’t defeat – age.
Tom Brady is currently walking that fine line
The NFL’s beloved golden child Tom Brady is currently walking that fine line. The 44-year-old quarterback shocked the world by announcing his retirement earlier this year, only to go back on the decision citing “unfinished business.”
What that “unfinished business” could possibly consist of – given Brady’s record seven Super Bowl titles – is unclear, but fans will certainly accept his continued presence with open arms. That is, everybody except the one who paid $518,628 for Brady’s ‘last career touchdown ball:’
Despite deciding to return for his 23rd season, it’s now clear that Brady is halfway out the door. The last throw of the QB’s career will mark the end of an era, but perhaps his exit will allow a new star to shine. The NFL certainly isn’t short on promising young quarterbacks, and VegasSlotsOnline News has taken a look at three who might take up the mantle once Brady bids farewell.
Patrick Mahomes II
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes II has already clocked up 151 touchdowns in his five-season professional career. In just his first full year as a starter in 2018, Mahomes made everyone stand up and take notice when he won NFL MVP. The QB completed 66% of his passes during that season, passing for a total of 5,097 yards.
the youngest player ever to secure Super Bowl MVP honors
Mahomes already earned one Super Bowl win when the Chiefs completed a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in 2020 and became the youngest player ever to secure Super Bowl MVP honors. At only 26 years of age, the Texan has plenty more time to add more trophies to his collection.
Bleacher Report took to Twitter in 2020 to highlight Mahomes’ impressive accolades:
Much like Brady with the New England Patriots, Mahomes is beginning to create a legacy for himself with the Chiefs, playing for them every season of his professional career to date. He has a long way to go before he matches the GOAT’s 20 seasons for the Patriots, but he is certainly on the way.
For his career, Mahomes has a quarterback rating of 105.8, well above Brady’s 97.6. That success looks likely to continue into the 2022-2023 season, as the Chiefs are among the favorites to win Super Bowl LVII, at odds of +900 with DraftKings. If Mahomes wins again, he will surely cement his name in NFL legend.
Joe Burrow has already set the league alight despite completing only one full professional season. His impact on the Cincinnati Bengals team has been, frankly, unquestionable. In his first injury-free season, he helped them win the AFC North, led them to their first playoff victory in 31 years, and, most importantly, guided the team to its first Super Bowl since 1989.
one of the youngest quarterbacks to start in the Super Bowl
Although Cincinnati ultimately failed to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy, Burrow became one of the youngest quarterbacks to start in the Super Bowl at the age of 25. He may not have joined the winners club with Brady, who amazingly secured his first title at the age of 24, but he did win Comeback Player of the Year after his rookie season ended with an ACL tear.
A firm favorite with Bengals fans, the young QB took to Twitter after the Super Bowl loss to apologize to his supporters:
What about his prospects for the future? Well, the Bengals definitely aren’t among the favorites to win Super Bowl LVII, priced at +2200 with FanDuel. Anything certainly seems possible with Burrow leading the way, however – just look at how they turned a 21-3 deficit into a 27-24 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs.
With plenty more seasons to come in his promising career, Burrow could well join the greats of NFL history if he continues to perform. Whether the Bengals are the best team to help him achieve that greatness is another story altogether.
Something surprising about our final candidate is that he actually received no scholarship offers after leaving high school. Josh Allen famously had to write to more than 1,000 college coaches before securing just one offer from the University of Wyoming. In August of last year, he signed an extension to his Buffalo Bills contract worth $258m.
That new contract will make the 25-year-old the fourth highest-paid quarterback in 2022, behind Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, and Patrick Mahomes:
Through sheer grit and determination, Allen has made a name for himself as one of the quarterbacks of the future. He improved on his stats greatly in the 2020-2021 season, becoming one of the most dangerous QBs in the league. Continuing on this trajectory, he threw for 4,407 passing yards and 36 touchdowns last season.
an AFC Championship Game appearance in each of his four seasons
Not only has he improved his own performances, but Allen has dragged the Bills along with him. He led the team to an AFC Championship Game appearance in each of his four seasons as a starter. Although they haven’t managed to make it to the Super Bowl with Allen at the helm so far, he has undoubtedly increased their chances.
As per Allen’s contract, he will remain the Bills QB until at least 2029, meaning he has plenty of time to carve out the kind of legacy for himself that Brady cemented with the Patriots. With the Bills favorites to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy in 2023 – priced at +650 with DraftKings – it seems the 2022-2023 season could be Allen’s time to really show what he is made of.