5 Bold NFL Predictions for Summer 2024

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Bold predictions are designed to be a little “out there,” so let’s dream big.

The NFL season gets underway in 96 days, and the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are favored to win the chip. So, well before that, let’s take a stab at some bold summer predictions for the NFL, not necessarily Vikings-themed.

5 Bold NFL Predictions for Summer 2024

Via bold prediction, they’re listed below, ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = boldest prediction). Vikings-related bold predictions can be read here.

5. Michael Thomas Signs with Broncos or Bills

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The Bills have a bunch of “guys” at wide receiver, but outside of Keon Coleman, each has a limited upside. If Thomas can stay healthy — a big if — he can catch slants in Buffalo.

A reunion with Sean Payton in Denver also checks out, so let’s go with Buffalo or Denver for Thomas’ next employment stop.

4. Sam Darnold Looks like the Real Deal in Minnesota

Minnesota quarterback S. Darnold addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center during OTAs. Darnold joined the Vikings’ roster in March 2024 during free agency, on deck as a Kirk Cousins replacement and sharing the QB room later with rookie passer J.J. McCarthy of Michigan.

Every spring and summer, Darnold plays like a madman at training camp — in a good way — and 2024 will be no different. Folks will monitor his camp battle with rookie passer J.J. McCarthy with a watchful eye, but when the dust settles, it will become rather obvious that Darnold is Minnesota’s QB1.

This doesn’t mean McCarthy will struggle or anything of the sort. It’ll simply be a no-brainer that Sam Darnold is the QB1 to start the regular season, and McCarthy will watch and learn for a significant portion of 2024.

3. Calais Campbell to Dolphins

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A six-time Pro Bowler, Campbell is nearing the end at age 37 and will [hopefully] latch on somewhere for a final season or two before too long. That will be the Miami Dolphins, and his career will come full circle, as Campbell played college ball at Miami.

It also helps that the Dolphins are a contender. Campbell should chase a ring.

2. Deebo Samuel Traded to Bills or Chargers

The Vikings Have Daunting
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San Francisco employs Brandon Aiyuk, drafted Ricky Pearsall + Jacob Cowing, and recently signed JaQuan Jennings to a sweet little contract. Samuel is getting “up there” at age 28, as weird as that may sound. The 49ers could strike while the iron is hot and probably retrieve a 3rd- or 4th-Round pick for Samuel’s services.

The trade partner will be the Bill or Chargers, clubs that need WR beef. Deebo’s the beef.

1. Sam Howell Wins QB1 in Seattle over Geno Smith

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Howell took way too many sacks in Washington last season, and when a new regime entered the backdoor, he was promptly shipped west. Thankfully for his sake, dethroning Geno Smith at training camp and in the preseason isn’t some ginormous task.

With the right coaching and mentorship, Howell can blossom into a mid-tier quarterback — perhaps like someone in Ryan Tanehill’s heyday territory — and start in the NFL. That will begin this summer, as the 23-year-old will knock Smith from Seattle’s QB1 post.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.