Robert Mays, The Athletic HQ

Robert Mays

The Athletic HQ

Chicago, IL, United States

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Past articles by Robert:

Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin's inevitable rise – The Athletic

As he preps for his first Super Bowl, Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin is a player whose greatest strength is the lack of a weakness. → Read More

Could 2020 Be the End of the Saints’ High-Wire Act?

For years, New Orleans has been drafting well and pulling off magical feats against the salary cap. But as Drew Brees ages and a cap decline looms, this may be the last year the team can pull it off. → Read More

Can Ryan Tannehill and the Titans Replicate Their Success in 2020?

Tennessee stunned the league last season with its miraculous run to the AFC championship game. This offseason, the team doubled down on the approach that got it there—but is it sustainable? → Read More

The Ripple Effects of Patrick Mahomes’s Massive 10-Year Extension

The Chiefs QB is now locked in under the richest contract in sports history. But how will this deal affect short-term negotiations for Dak Prescott and Deshaun Watson—and the long-term market at the position? → Read More

What Cam Newton Means for the Patriots’ Post-Brady Evolution

Bill Belichick is known for making adjustments to stay ahead of the curve, but Newton’s signing represents a marked shift that could overhaul New England’s offense completely → Read More

How the 49ers’ Approach to Receivers Could Affect the Rest of the NFL

Before last season, Deebo Samuel was largely an afterthought. But after a breakout year in an offense tailored to his strengths, he’s become a point of fascination—and now other teams are trying to mimic his success. → Read More

Can the Bears Find Their Way Out of No-Man’s-Land?

Chicago is in a precarious position: A best-case scenario season likely doesn’t end with a Super Bowl win, and a worst-case scenario season means another year of mediocrity. How will they get out of this rut? → Read More

Can Stefon Diggs Emerge as a Superstar in Buffalo?

The Bills sent a hefty haul of draft picks to the Vikings this spring in the hopes that Diggs can become their true no. 1 wideout. Will the long-overshadowed receiver live up to expectations? → Read More

Breaking Down Every NFC Division After the Draft and Free Agency

The Bucs have a new identity. The Cardinals have DeAndre Hopkins. And the Packers and Eagles have high-profile backup QBs. How could this offseason’s move shape the 2020 conference landscape? → Read More

How the 2020 First-Round Quarterbacks Will Shape Their Teams’ Futures

From slam-dunk picks like Joe Burrow to surprises like Jordan Love, Thursday night was dominated by QBs. What do their landing spots say about each franchise’s plan—and long-term outlook? → Read More

How a Generation of Playmaking Stars Changed QB Scouting Forever

For decades, QBs who could extend plays and make off-schedule throws were considered a luxury. Not anymore. The prototype NFL passer is changing—look no further than the 2020 draft. → Read More

The 2020 Wide Receiver Class Is One of the Deepest Ever. And It’s Just the Beginning.

There are plenty of exciting pass catchers at the top of big boards this year, but the level of mid-round talent is arguably even more impressive. How did we get here? And what does this mean for future NFL drafts? → Read More

Ranking the 32 Most Valuable NFL Draft Picks of the 21st Century

The NFL draft is all about finding value. And these players—from Reggie Wayne to Rob Gronkowski to Aaron Donald—have provided their teams with the biggest returns on investment of the past 20 years. → Read More

Jordan Love Is the Most Polarizing Prospect of the 2020 NFL Draft

The Utah State product is a boom-or-bust QB in every sense of the phrase—but that won’t necessarily stop a franchise from taking him in the top 10 → Read More

Dak Prescott’s Value Shouldn’t Be a Debate

After months of negotiating, the Cowboys and their star QB have yet to agree on a long-term extension. Now reports suggest that a deal could surpass $35 million annually—and he’s worth it. → Read More

The Five Teams That Have More Questions Than Answers After the First Week of Free Agency

Following a frenzied few days on the open market, the Vikings, Lions, Rams, Texans and Bears all find themselves in uncertain situations. Will they be able to get back on track? → Read More

Why Tom Brady Chose the Buccaneers

The greatest quarterback of all time is going to … Tampa Bay? It may seem like an odd marriage at first, but a deeper look at the details shows this union makes plenty of sense for both sides. → Read More

The Texans Have No Clear Plan, and Now They Don’t Have DeAndre Hopkins Either

Houston coach Bill O’Brien has been making strange personnel moves for over a year, but shipping away the league’s best receiver is the most baffling → Read More

The Top Eight Defensive Free Agents in the NFL’s 2020 Class

This year, the market may seem like it’s centered on QBs, but between Chris Harris Jr., Byron Jones, and others, this defensive group could land some big-money deals, too → Read More

How the NFL’s New CBA Could Shape 2020 Free Agency

What does the passing of the new deal mean for this year’s market? → Read More