With the NFL draft in the rearview and the vast majority of top free agents under contract, we're entering a bit of a dead period in the offseason. Training camps are still over a month away, and the preseason won't kick off until August.
However, while the NFL news cycle has slowed to a crawl, teams are hard at work preparing for the 2022 season. The majority of them will hold organized team activities this week—a full schedule can be found at NFL.com—and many of them are searching for answers.
While positional battles and roster spots aren't settled during OTAs, teams can get a good idea of how they're shaping up ahead of camp. Here, we'll examine the biggest questions around the league that could find early answers during OTAs or at least in the coming weeks.
Let's dig in.
How Healthy Is Jameis Winston?
Quarterback Jameis Winston was more than serviceable in seven starts for the New Orleans Saints last season. He threw 14 touchdown passes and three interceptions, posted a career-best 102.8 quarterback rating and went 5-2 as the starter before a torn ACL cut his season short.
While Winston isn't likely to do much at Saints OTAs—with the first round scheduled to take place May 24-26—New Orleans should get a good idea of how he's progressing in his recovery. According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Winston appears on track to participate in training camp.
"Saints QB Jameis Winston is progressing on his ACL rehab, and he recently began planting and throwing off play action," Fowler tweeted.
"Saints will likely take it easy with him this offseason, but he's working as if he'll be a full go for training camp."
Winston's health will be crucial to the success of the Saints' 2022 season. New Orleans signed an excellent contingency plan in three-time Pro Bowler Andy Dalton this offseason, but Winston is expected to lead the offense as the team transitions from Sean Payton to new head coach Dennis Allen.
Who's the Early Leader at Quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons?
The Saints aren't the only NFC South team with quarterback questions heading into OTAs. The Atlanta Falcons traded Matt Ryan this offseason and are set to hold a competition between Marcus Mariota and third-round rookie Desmond Ridder.
The Falcons will hold their first round of workouts May 24-26, and Atlanta might get an idea of the early leader.
Mariota has a significant edge in the experience department—the 2015 second overall pick has 61 starts on his resume—but Ridder is determined to push the veteran for the starting job.
"Marcus is a guy who's played a lot of games in the NFL, and obviously, had a tremendous college career," Ridder said, per Armando Salguero of OutKick. "You have to give respect where respect is due ... but at the end of the day—and he knows this, too—it's obviously a competition, or else we wouldn't be here."
Mariota represents a potential feel-good redemption story after fizzling out with the Tennessee Titans. Ridder, who led the Cincinnati Bearcats to the College Football Playoff, could wind up being one of the draft's biggest steals.
This is shaping up to be one of the most exciting quarterback battles of training camp, and we'll get a preview at OTAs.
Can Kenny Pickett Challenge to Be the Pittsburgh Steelers' Week 1 Starter?
The Pittsburgh Steelers are also poised to hold a highly anticipated signal-caller competition of their own. The Steelers made Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett the only quarterback drafted in the first two rounds, and the rookie will presumably have a shot at the starting gig.