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Sam Farmer: Now that Super Bowl LII is history, it's time to look to the NFL's future

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Football

Football is about moving forward, so even in the immediate afterglow of Super Bowl LII, questions about the NFL in 2018 hang in the air like so much green, gray and silver confetti.

There's uncertainty about stars and stripes -- the future whereabouts of standout players, and where officiating is heading -- the sale of the Carolina Panthers, the league's renewed focus on social justice, and just where some of the most coveted college players might land.

The end of one season marks the beginning of another, with barely enough time for a commercial break.

There's even murkiness surrounding the two quarterbacks from the season's final game, Philadelphia's 41-33 victory over New England in the Super Bowl, which gave the Eagles their first Lombardi Trophy.

Asked after the game if he plans to return for next season, when he'll be 41, Patriots star Tom Brady indicated he would be -- but left that door ever so slightly ajar with: "I expect to be back. It's 15 minutes after the game ended, so I would like to process this. I don't see why I wouldn't be back."

More murky is the future of quarterback Nick Foles with the Eagles. Yes, Foles was the Super Bowl's most valuable player, but the face of the franchise remains Carson Wentz, who is recuperating from a season-ending knee injury. Foles has a year remaining on his contract, but with all the quarterback-needy teams out there, and the prohibitive expense of keeping what amounts to two starting quarterbacks on the roster, all bets are off.

 

At the traditional Monday-after-the-Super-Bowl news conference, featuring the winning coach and the game MVP, the last nine questions to Philadelphia Coach Doug Pederson concerned the task of sorting out next season's quarterback situation.

"I knew I wouldn't get off this stage without answering that question," Pederson said to laughter.

"You know what? We're just going to enjoy this moment. It's not just about one guy. It's about the team."

But the coach also said that he turned to Wentz in the aftermath of Sunday's victory and essentially told him to absorb what he was watching unfold.

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