2017 NFL Transactions
Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Updated Daily.
November 2, 2017
Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck QB placed on IR D Grade
Andrew Luck may as well take 2017 off like Ferris Beuler. The Colts are 2-6 and there is really no reason to play him. The Colts will have a lot of issues in 2018. Tony Mario talked about how many issues the Colts have in his new Power Rankings. The Luck injury is a tough break for the Colts, but the decision to sit him for the rest of the year is the smart one.
Houston Texans: Deshaun Watson QB placed on IR F Grade
Deshaun Watson showed a lot of heart this year. I had the Texans going 7-9, but they will be lucky to match that. You are looking at a team that will go anywhere between 3-13 and and 7-9 and could end up at 5-11 if you average those two to find the common median. Tom Savage was awful for Houston versus Jacksonville and now Savage has to carry the team with Watson out for the rest of the season due to Deshaun Watson tearing his ACL during practice today.
October 31, 2017
Philadelphia Eagles: Trade for Jay Ajayi RB. A+ Grade
Philadelphia upgraded their running back situation. They are no longer in the market for a running back. They probably won't get a running back in my updated 2018 NFL Mock Draft.
Miami Dolphins: Trade for 2018 fourth round pick. F Grade
Miami could have gotten a lot more for Ajayi. This pick clearly gets an F grade.
Buffalo Bills: Trade for Kelvin Benjamin WR. A+ Grade
Buffalo no longer has a huge need at wide receiver. They still may get a weapon in the second round, but they probably won't take a receiver in the first round now.
Carolina Panthers: Trade for 2018 third and 2017 seventh round picks. F Grade
Carolina could have gotten a slightly more for Benjamin. This pick clearly gets an F grade.
October 30, 2017
Seattle Seahawks: Trade for Duane Brown LT. A+ Grade
Seattle needed a left tackle. Duane Brown can be that guy. This also gives Seattle the luxury to trade out of the first round or take the best available player rather than draft for need.
Houston Texans: Trade for 2018 third and 2019 second B+ Grade
Houston didn't win this trade. They got great value in return though. Their fifth became a third so I'm bumping Houston up to a B+ grade.
New England Patriots: Trade for 2018 second round pick A+ Grade
Right now if the season ended today this would be the thirty third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. New England is practically getting a first round pick for Jimmy despite picking very early in the second round.
San Francisco 49ers: Trade for Jimmy Garoppolo QB B Grade
San Francisco got a trial with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. I'm giving them a B grade cause this could pan out down the road.
October 26, 2017
Jacksonville Jaguars: Trade For DT Marcel Dareus. A+ Grade
Jacksonville even added more depth to an already loaded defensive line. Excellent trade by Jacksonville that warrants an A+ grade.
Buffalo Bills: Trade Marcel Dareus for 2018 6th round pick F Grade
Buffalo got played on this deal. Horrible trade for the Buffalo Bills who now need to reload at defensive tackle in the 2018 NFL Draft.
August 30, 2017
Pittsburgh Steelers: Sign Joe Haden CB to 3-year $27-million dollar deal. A+ Grade
Pittsburgh got a premier #1 field cornerback. Pittsburgh still needs more pieces to defeat the Patriots, but with Edelman out for the year getting Haden gives Pittsburgh a shot to limit what Brady can do to their secondary.
Cleveland Browns: Release Joe Haden CB F Grade
Joe Haden was Cleveland's best cornerback. Sure releasing him saves over $14-million, but why in the hell would you release Haden when Brock Osweiler and Cameron Erving are still on this roster.
August 29, 2017
Detroit Lions: Re-Sign Matthew Stafford QB 5-year $135-million A Grade
Matthew Stafford earned this extension and Detroit had to pay him. Stafford had more fourth quarter comebacks than any quarterback in the NFL over the past three years.
San Francisco 49ers: Trade Vance McDonald TE and 2018 fifth round pick for 2018 fourth round pick C Grade
San Francisco now has tow second round picks, two third round picks, and two fourth round picks. That's the only thing I like about this trade.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Trade 2018 fourth round pick for Vance McDonald and 2018 fifth round pick B+ Grade
Pittsburgh upgraded at tight end. The Steelers only have two major needs at 3-4 middle linebacker and getting a successor to Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh had nothing to lose and everything to gain by making this trade.
Kansas City Chiefs: Trade 2019 fourth round pick for Reggie Ragland 3-4 MLB A+ Grade
Reggie Ragland would probably do better in a 3-4 defense. The Chiefs gave Buffalo very little to get him.
Buffalo Bills: Trade Reggie Ragland for 2019 fourth round pick F Grade
Buffalo gave up on Reggie Ragland too soon. I don't understand why they traded him in the first place.
June 22, 2017
Oakland Raiders: Re-Sign Derek Carr QB 5-year $125-million A Grade
Derek Carr earned this extension and Oakland had to pay him. Carr has been one of the more selfless quarterbacks that is a team first guy and he is now getting $25-million dollars a year which is the highest amount by any quarterback in the NFL. The previous highest paid quarterback Andrew Luck has playoff wins on his resume whihch is something Carr doesn't have yet which is the only reason this got an A grade instead of an A+ grade.
June 21, 2017
New England Patriots: Sign David Harris MLB 2-year $5-million A+ Grade
Why in the hell did the Jets release David Harris. New England easily gets an A+ grade for snagging Harris up.
June 18, 2017
Tennessee Titans: Sign Eric Decker WR 1-year $4-million A+ Grade
Decker can be a #2 target next to Corey Davis in Tennessee. Decker is on a one-year prove it deal which is why I love this signing.
April 17, 2017
Carolina Panthers: Re-Sign Kawann Short DT 5-year $80-million A Grade
Short earned this extension. This sets up Carolina's defensive line for years to come at defensive tackle.
April 13, 2017
Indianapolis Colts: Sign Jonathan Hankins 3-4 RE 3-year $30-million A- Grade
I like Hankins. I gave the Colts an A- grade since he's playing 3-4 right end instead of nose tackle.
Tennessee Titans: Release Jason McCourty CB B Grade
I really dislike this move. McCourty was a leader on this team, but I also understand why the Titans did this from a business standpoint. McCourty saves $7.5-million against the cap.
April 10, 2017
Chicago Bears: Release Tracy Porter CB A Grade
Cutting Tracy Porter saves $3.45 million against the cap. The Bears have Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller at cornerback. Chicago had the luxury of cutting Porter here.
April 9, 2017
Atlanta Falcons: Re-Sign Desmond Trufant CB 5-year $68.75-million A Grade
Atlanta has Desmont Trufant and Robert Alford locked up for the next four years at least at cornerback. Jalen Collins also has two more years under contract at the nickel.
April 7, 2017
San Francisco 49ers: Release Tramaine Brock CB A Grade
Cutting Tramaine Brock saves $3.55 million against the cap. The 49ers need multiple cornerbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft.
April 5, 2017
New Orleans Saints: Release Luke McCown QB A Grade
I like this move for the Saints. Releasing McCown saves $1.5-million in cap space. This move also pretty much confirms that the Saints will draft a quarterback at some point in the 2017 NFL Draft.
April 4, 2017
Philadelphia Eagles: Trade 2017 third round pick for Timmy Jernigan DT and 2017 third round pick A- Grade
I like this trade for the Eagles. They fill a need at defensive tackle. They still have issues at both cornerback spots as well as running back.
New Orleans Saints: Trade Timmy Jernigan and 2017 third round pick for 2017 third round pick A Grade
Baltimore now picks at 74 and 78 in the third round. This is a good trade for the Ravens as they now have two third round picks in the top 80.
March 31, 2017
Minnesota Vikings: Sign Case Keenum QB 1-year $2-million A Grade
The Vikings need insurance at quarterback if Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater are not ready. Case Keenum gives you that insurance even though he's not a long-term solution.
Miami Dolphins: Sign T.J. McDonald FS 1-year $775,000 B Grade
The Dolphins got a starting free safety for 8 games. They also brought in Nate Allen so McDonald is basically a depth player unless Allen screws up which I believe he will. Upgrades over Allen and McDonald are needed long-term, but the Dolphins seem contempt with their free safety situation in 2017 so they may not draft a free safety this year.
March 28, 2017
Dallas Cowboys: Re-sign Jason Witten TE to 4-year $29.6-million A+ Grade
This is an awesome signing. This signing pretty much means Witten will finish his career with the Cowboys. Dallas has a window of opportunity to be competitive for the next three seasons and should remain a force on offense.
Philadelphia Eagles: Sign Chris Long LE 2-year $4.8-million A Grade
The Eagles got a good short-term replacement to Connor Barwin. Chris Long is a great addition for the Philadelphia Eagles.
March 26, 2017
Chicago Bears: Release Rey Maualuga MLB A+ Grade
Cincinnati saved $3.7-million in cap space by cutting Rey Maualuga. They paid Kevin Minter more money and may want Reuben Foster at 9.
March 24, 2017
Chicago Bears: Sign Mark Sanchez QB to 1-year $2-million D+ Grade
Considering that Mark Sanchez got cut by Denver after being traded there its hard to give Mark Sanchez anything abouve a D grade. Sanchez is a borderline third stringer at this point.
March 22, 2017
Miami Dolphins: Re-sign Kiko Alonso ROLB to 4-year $28.91-million B Grade
This is a solid signing. Only reason Miami did not get an A grade for giving Alonso this much money is due to his injury history.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Sign Mychal Rivera TE 2-year $3.25-million B Grade
The Jaguars brought in Mychal Rivera to compete with Marcedes Lewis for the starting tight end job. This also gives the Jaguars insurance to develop a tight end if they choose to draft one on day 2.
March 21, 2017
New England Patriots: Re-sign Keenan Robinson MLB to 1-year $3-million A+ Grade
Keenan Robinson can be a great starter when he's healthy. The problem is he has durability concerns, but I can understand the Giants bringing him back for hardly anything.
New Orleans Saints: Sign Manti Te'o MLB to 2-year $5-million A Grade
New Orleans brought in Manti Te'o for depth at middle linebacker. Te'o can be a good backup at middle linebacker.
Indianapolis Colts: Sign Kamar Aiken WR 1-year $2.6-million B- Grade
The Colts get Kamar Aiken here. This signing gives the Colts more receiver depth for the short-term, but its not a signing I'm thrilled about since the Colts have good receivers for Luck when healthy.
March 20, 2017
New York Jets: Sign Josh McCown QB to 1-year $6-million C+ Grade
Josh McCown initially wanted the same one-year deal as Ryan Fitzpatrick. I'll give the Jets a C+ grade for getting McCown at only half of the price he wanted.
March 19, 2017
Cincinnati Bengals: Sign Kevin Minter MLB to 1-year $4.25-million C Grade
Cincinnati is paying Kevin Minter more than Rey Maualuga. I don't understand why.
Indianapolis Colts: Sign Sean Spence 3-4 MLB 1-year $2.5-million A Grade
The Colts get Sean Spence here. Spence was okay in Tennessee, but he's a downgrade over D'Qwell Jackson.
March 17, 2017
Seattle Seahawks: Re-sign Luke Willson TE to 1-year $1.8-million A Grade
Seattle gets their #2 tight end back for next to nothing. This also gives Nick Vannett another year to develop.
Indianapolis Colts: Re-sign Darius Butler CB 1-year $3-million A Grade
The Colts get their nickel cornerback here. Butler would be a good nickel corner.
March 16, 2017
Atlanta Falcons: Sign Dontari Poe DT to 1-year $8-million A+ Grade
Dontari Poe fills a huge need for the Falcons at defensive tackle. I love this signing for the Falcons because it means that 4-3 right end and right guard are Atlanta's only remaining offseason needs.
Los Angeles Rams: Sign Connor Barwin 3-4 LOLB 1-year $6.5-million A+ Grade
Connor Barwin will thrive in Wade Phillips system. This Rams defense is better than people think.
Baltimore Ravens: Sign Brandon Carr CB 4-year $24-million B- Grade
Baltimore overpaid Carr. You can also argue that there is a huge drop off at cornerback in the 2017 NFL Draft now after Marshon Lattimore so this signing isn't as bad as it appears.
Oakland Raiders: Sign Jared Cook Jr. TE to 2-year $12.2-million A Grade
Oakland needs a number one tight end. This is a good move if Cook can stay healthy. I would have liked to see Clive Walford start in year 3, but I have no problem with him being a #2 tight end to Jared Cook Jr.
Minnesota Vikings: Sign Latavius Murray RB 3-year $15-million A Grade
Minnesota got a younger version of Adrian Peterson at a much cheaper rate. My only reason for giving the Vikings an A grade instead of an A+ grade is because Murray is not a pass catcher.
March 15, 2017
New England Patriots: Re-sign Dont'a Hightower MLB to 4-year $43.5-million A+ Grade
New England had to bring back Hightower if they had any shot of repeating as Super Bowl Champions in 2017-2018. The New England Patriots are now overwhelming favorites to win Super Bowl 52.
Baltimore Ravens: Trade Jeremy Zuttah C and 2017 sixth round pick for 2017 sixth round pick A Grade
Baltimore was going to release Zuttah. They deserve some credit for moving Zuttah.
San Francisco 49ers: Trade 2017 sixth round pick for Jeremy Zuttah C and 2017 sixth round pick A Grade
I love this move for San Francisco. David Kilgore is solid at center, but Zuttah is a huge upgrade. Awesome job by John Lynch and company to find an upgrade at center. Zuttah's run blocking will help Carlos Hyde get 1,000 rushing yards in 2017.
Minnesota Vikings: Re-sign Terence Newman CB 1-year $3.5-million B Grade
Minnesota brought back Terence Newman on a one-year prove it deal for depth. Is Trae Waynes not ready to start or does Minnesota want to keep their depth in tact. That's what I am trying to figure out. Still this is a solid signing that warrants a B grade.
March 14, 2017
Seattle Seahawks: Sign Eddie Lacy RB 1-year $4.25-million A+ Grade
Great move by Seattle. Give Eddie Lacy a one-year prove it deal.
New England Patriots: Sign Rex Burkhead RB to 1-year $3.15-million C Grade
So we're replacing LeGarrette Blount witht he poor mans Danny Woodhead. Nice.
March 13, 2017
Oakland Raiders: Sign Cordarrelle Patterson WR to 2-year $8.5-million C- Grade
Oakland has three starting receivers returning plus Andre Holmes for depth who got re-signed. I really do not understand giving this much money to Patterson unless they put him on Special teams.
Los Angeles Rams: Sign Kayvon Webster CB 2-year $8-million B+ Grade
Kayvon Webster was Denver's nickel cornerback. He compliments Trumaine Johnson well plus he's familiar with Wade Pillips system which is why I like this signing.
Indianapolis Colts: Re-sign Robert Turbin RB 2-year $2.7-million B Grade
Robert Turbin complimented Frank Gore at times in 2016. I think the Colts could get a running bck for depth later in the draft, but they seem contempt with their current running back situation.
Kansas City Chiefs: Sign Nick Foles QB 2-years $11-million A+ Grade
I love the signing of Nick Foles as a backup. He will do better with Doug Peterson coaching him.
March 12, 2017
Detroit Lions: Sign T.J. Lang RG 3-year $28.5-million A+ Grade
Detroit lost Larry Warford to the Saints and they wisely replaced him with a better pass blocker in T.J. Lang who played for the Division Rival Green Bay Packers.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Release Roy Miller DT B Grade
I like Roy Miller. The Jaguars have Malik Jackson and Calias Campbell at defensive tackle though.
March 11, 2017
New England Patriots: Sign Kendall Wright WR 1-year $4-million A+ Grade
Chicago has Kevin White and Cameron Meredith on the outside. Kendall Wright compliments both receivers perfectly in the slot. Wright is competing with Markus Wheaton for a slot receiver job too.
Buffalo Bills: Re-sign Jordan Mills RT 2-year $3.8-million C- Grade
This offensive tackle class sucks. Jordan Mills is awful, but I can understand why the Bills brought him back temporarily.
New England Patriots: Sign Lawrence Guy DT 4-year $20-million C+ Grade
New England overpaid Lawrence Guy. At the same time, I have a hard time believing Bill Belichick won't get the best out of him since he can be used as a 4-3 left end or a 4-3 defensive tackle like Jared Odrick.
Denver Broncos: Sign Domata Peko NT 2-year $9-million C Grade
The 6-3 322 lb Domata Peko has been used as a 4-3 defensive tackle his entire career. Peko has the body and build to be a 3-4 nose tackle, but is unfamiliar with the 3-4 scheme. This could either be a really good or really bad signing. However when you consider that the 2017 NFL Draft is thin at nose tackle you cannot fault Denver too much for this signing.
Green Bay Packers: Sign Lance Kendricks TE to 2-year $4-million A+ Grade
I said Lance Kendricks was a #2 tight end not a #1 tight end when the Rams drafted him out of Wisconsin. Kendricks failed with the Rams because he was used as a #1 tight end plus he had to deal with numerous quarterbacks like Sam Bradford, Austin Davis, Nick Foles, Case Keenum, and Jared Goff get him the football. Aaron Rodgers is better than all five of those quarterbacks combined plus he will be used as a#2 tight end behind Bennett and may have to compete with Richard Rodgers for that job assuming Rodgers does not get cut.
Buffalo Bills: Re-sign Lorenzo Alexander ROLB 2-year $9-million A+ Grade
Lorenzo Alexexander had 10 sacks as a 3-4 right outside linebacker in 2015. Buffalo is moving to the 4-3, but I believe Alexander can still be a dependable starter at right outside linebacker.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sign J.J. Wilcox FS 2-year $6.25-million B Grade
Personally, I love the signing of Wilox. I'd give this an A grade signing, but I'm also penalizing Tampa Bay for bringing back the mediocre Chris Conte as a backup safety for depth.
Kansas City Chiefs: Re-sign Daniel Sorensen SS 4-years $16-million D Grade
I think it is irresponsible to pay Sorensen $4-million a year to be a backup strong safety to Eric Berry. He was used as a 3-4 middle linebacker, free safety, and strong safety for depth though in cover 1 situations and was effective.
March 10, 2017
New England Patriots: Trade 2017 first and third round picks for Brandin Cooks WR B Grade
Brandin Cooks is coming off of two consecutive 1,000 yard seasons in New Orleans. It's a solid trade, but this isn't a player New England needed. Sure Cooks gives you speed and top spin. He's lined up at flanker receiver despite his lack of size. All Brandin Cooks does is provide you with a more polished version of Malcolm Mitchell. I personally don't understand why the Patriots made this decision. Any other NFL team would have gotten a D grade for trading Cooks. New England is getting spared with a B grade solely due to Belichick's credo as an NFL Head Coach. New England does not pick in the first two round and now has picks 72, 96, and 118 in the first four rounds.
New Orleans Saints: Trade Brandin Cooks and 2017 fourth round pick for 2017 first round pick A Grade
New Orleans wanted a second first round pick. The Saints got the 32nd and 103rd overall draft picks. I love this trade for the Saints in such a deep draft and you can easily argue they won this trade.
New England Patriots: Trade 2017 second round pick for Kony Ealy LE B+ Grade
Carolina misused Kony Ealy as a 4-3 right end. He will be better as a 4-3 left end in New England. New England also got the 72nd pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Carolina Panthers: Trade Kony Ealy and 2017 third round pick for 2017 second round pick B- Grade
Carolina gave up Kony Ealy their 4-3 right end and the 72nd pick for the 2017 second round pick at 64 that the Patriots owned at the end of the second round. I gave the Panthers a B- grade for this transaction.
Green Bay Packers: Sign Martellus Bennett TE 3-year $18.45-million B Grade
Martellus Bennett is solid. He could have some success in Green Bay. I don't see him having the same success in Green Bay that he had in New England.
Indianapolis Colts: Sign Jabaal Sheard 3-4 ROLB 3-year $25.5-million C Grade
I like Sheard in a 4-3 defense. I hate Sheard in a 3-4 defense. The Colts have disappointed in Free Agency getting Jabaal Sheard, John Simon, and Barkevious Mingo as pass rushers. SHeard is still the best of those three pass rushers which is why I cannot give this lower than a C grade.
Minnesota Vikings: Sign Mike Remmers RT to 5-year $30-million D Grade
Minnesota clearly overpaid for Mike Remmers. I don't know what Riley Reiff got paid, but I'm sure it was less than what Remmers got. Minnesota gave a right tackle 30-million which is just irresponsible.
Miami Dolphins: Sign Lawrence Timmons MLB 2-year $12-million A+ Grade
Miami got Lawrence Timmons for the same salary that the Patriots got Alan Branch. Are the Steelers too cheap to pay Timmons $7-million a year? I can understand the Steelers not paying $10-million a year, but being too cheap to pay $6-million a year is completely inexcusable by the Steelers. Fantstic signing by the Dolphins that totally warrants an A+ grade.
Washington Redskins: Sign Terrell Pryor WR 1-year $8-million A+ Grade
Washington deserves an A+ grade for getting Pryor for such a cheap rate. Pryor's Agent deserves an F grade for persuading Pryor to take such a bad deal.
Denver Broncos: Sign Menelik Watson RT 3-years $18.3-million B+ Grade
This is a nice signing. He's someone that can challenge Donald Stephenson for a right tackle job.
March 9, 2017
New England Patriots: Sign Stephon Gilmore CB 5-year $65-million A+ Grade
This is a fantastic signing. Stephon Gilmore is a lot better than Logan Ryan.
Philadelphia Eagles: Sign Alshon Jeffrey WR 1-year $14-million A Grade
This is a great signing. Alshon Jeffrey could have a huge year with a one year prove-it deal.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Sign A.J. Bouye CB 5-year $67.5-million D Grade
This is a terrible signing. A.J. Bouye is a nickel corner at best who got lucky in a contract year with Kareem Jackson and Kevin Johnson dealing with injuries. The fact that Bouye is making that much is absolutely insane and I still believe Marshon Lattimore is in play for Jacksonville at 4.
Tennessee Titans: Sign Logan Ryan CB 3-year $30-million A Grade
This is a solid signing. Pairing Logan Ryan up with Jason McCourty is an awesome idea.
Arizona Cardinals: Re-sign Chandler Jones 3-4 ROLB 5-year $83-million C Grade
Chandler Jones got overpaid. At the same time, this is one player outside of Patrick Peterson that the Cardinals have to keep on their defense at any cost.
Baltimore Ravens: Re-sign Brandon Williams NT 5-year $54-million A Grade
Brandon Williams is one fo the NFL's best nose tackles. Baltimore was not going to replace him in the draft and he's getting peanuts compared to what Dontari Poe will receive.
Cincinnati Bengals: Re-sign Dre Kirkpatrick CB to 5-year $52.5-million A+ Grade
Pittsburgh was bidding on Dre Kirkpatrick too. Dre Kirkpatrick is someone who Cincinnati needed to bring back at any cost.
Los Angeles Chargers: Sign Russell Okung LT 4-years $53-million B Grade
I have mixed feelings about this signing. Okung can be a solid addition when healthy. At the same time it also sort of feels like the Chargers are using misdirection with King Dunlap's injury history.
Carolina Panthers: Sign Matt Kalil LT 5-years $55-million B- Grade
There is no question that Matt Kalil is an upgrade over Michael Oher at left tackle and now with right tackle Mike Remmers gone, Oher is probably moving back to right tackle. I like that Carolina was able to kill two birds with one stone from that aspect. At the same time, Kalil has been injury prone the last two years. He gets to play with his brother Ryan Kalil though.
Cleveland Browns: Sign Kevin Zeitler RG 5-years $60-million A+ Grade
This is an awesome Free Agent signing. Having Joel Bitonio and Kevin Zeitler at guard for the next five years will really open up the rest of the offense.
Chicago Bears: Release Jay Cutler QB A+ Grade
This is a smart decision. Chicago needed to move on from Jay Cutler plus he saves $14-million.
New England Patriots: Sign Alan Branch DT 2-year $12-million B Grade
This is a solid signing. Alan Branch provides leadership for the Patriots even though he may not be a tier 1 defensive tackle.
Cleveland Browns: Sign Joel Bitonio LG 5-year $51.2-million A Grade
I like Joel Bitonio. Durability issues with him being injured in 2016 make you question this signing, but he's a fantastic starter when healthy.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sign DeSean Jackson 3-year $35-million B Grade
This is a solid signing. DeSean Jackson is not a big target. However he is a deep threat. He can play as a slot receiver or be a #2 target downfield.
Cleveland Browns: Sign J.C. Tretter C 3-year $16.57-million A Grade
I like J.C. Tretter. Green Bay has Cory Linsley and Tretter finally deserved an opportunity to be a starting center.
Miami Dolphins: Place Level 3 Tender on Kiko Alonso ROLB A Grade
The Dolphins paid Alonso $3.91-million for a level 3 tender. A team that wants Alonso has to give Miami a 2017 first round pick.
Chicago Bears: Sign Quintin Demps SS 3-year $13.5-million C Grade
Quintin Demps stepped up in a contract year. Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of his.
Buffalo Bills: Release Aaron Williams SS B Grade
Aaron Williams struggled all season. Buffalo needed to replace Williams and brought in Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde to compete for the starting job.
Los Angeles Rams: Sign Robert Woods WR 5-years $39-million C- Grade
Robert Woods was a #2 receiver in Buffalo. He has the size of a slot receiver had a minimum of 40 receptions each season in Buffalo.
Los Angeles Rams: Sign Andrew Whitworth LT 3-years $33.75-million A+ Grade
Jared Goff gets a legit blindside. Whitworth will bring a sense of leadership to the Los Angeles Rams which is why I love this deal.
March 8, 2017
New England Patriots: Trade 2017 fourth round pick for Dwayne Allen TE A+ Grade
I like Dwayne Allen better than Martellus Bennett. Excellent trade by the Patriots.
Indianapolis Colts: Trade Dwayne Allen and 2017 sixth round pick for 2017 fourth round pick Ryan Grigson Grade
Indianapolis gave up Dwayne Allen and 200th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft for the 137th pick. I joked about how the ghost of Ryan Grigson continues to haunt the Colts ever since they lost the coin toss to the Vikings at the NFL Combine. Well Chris Ballard is doing much of the same.
Cincinnati Bengals: Re-sign Brandon Lafell WR 2-year $10-million B Grade
This is a solid signing. Andy Dalton needs A.J. Green, Brandon Lafell, and Tyler Boyd at full health if he wants to rebound next season.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Sign Barry Church SS 4-year B Grade
This is a solid signing. Barry Church is a better player than Jonathan Cyprien. Taking Church may help you win now, but it could also hurt you 3-4 years down the road where as drafting Jamal Adams or Malik Hooker will benefit 3-4 years down the road. Jacksonville is tired of losing which partially why the Jaguars went after Church.
San Francisco 49ers: Sign Brian Hoyer QB 2-year $12-million dollar deal C- Grade
Brian Hoyer is familiar with Kyle Shanahan's system. You can argue he's a downgrade over Kaepernick, but he can fill in while San Francisco's rookie develops.
San Francisco 49ers: Sign Marquise Goodwin WR 2-year $8-million dollar deal C- Grade
Marquise Goodwin is a slot receiver at best. San Francisco needs at least three receivers though.
Baltimore Ravens: Release Elvis Dumervil 3-4 LOLB B Grade
It's not going to be easy to replace Elvis Dumervil. At the same time thsi kind of feels necessary with Dumervil clearing up $6-million in cap space.
New York Giants: Sign Brandon Marshall WR 2-year $11-million dollar deal A Grade
Brandon Marshall usually takes a two-year deal as a #1 target. I'm a little curious to see what he does as a #2 target next to Odell Beckham Jr. In years past Marshall would have an awesome first year and an awful second year in a contract year. I'm intererested to see what he does as a secondary target so I give this an A grade.
March 7, 2017
Houston Texans: Re-sign Shane Lechler P 1-year $2-million A+ Grade
This is a solid signing. Shane Lechler may be effective with a one year prove-it deal.
Houston Texans: Re-sign Nick Novak K 1-year $1.15-million A+ Grade
This is a solid signing. Nick Novak may be effective with a one year prove-it deal.
Carolina Panthers: Re-sign Charles Johnson LE 2-year $9.5-million B Grade
This is a solid signing. Charles Johnson gives Carolina stability at 4-3 left end.
Carolina Panthers: Re-sign Fozzy Whittaker RB 2-year $2.5-million B Grade
This is a solid signing. This is about the right price for a depth player at running back.
Arizona Cardinals: Re-sign Jermaine Gresham TE 4-year deal D Grade
Jermaine Gresham is an effective tight end. He's not a tight end that warrants a four year deal.
New England Patriots: Place Level 3 Tender on Malcolm Butler CB A Grade
The Patriots keep their field cornerback. Obtaining Malcolm Butler requires you to give the New England Patriots a first round pick.
Denver Broncos: Place Level 2 Tender on Todd Davis 3-4 MLB A Grade
Denver made another awesome level 2 tender. The only linebacker in this years draft that can start over Todd Davis right away is Reuben Foster. Great decision by Denver that warrants an A grade.
Denver Broncos: Place Level 2 Tender on Brandon McManus K A+ Grade
Brandon McManus is not someone Denver can replace. This was an awesome tender because if anyone wants McManus they have to give Denver a second round pick.
New England Patriots: Place Level 1 Tender on Cameron Fleming RT A Grade
The Patriots keep Fleming for depth. If someone wants Fleming they have to give the Patriots a 2017 fourth round pick. There are offensive tackles like Julie'n Davenport, Conor McDermott, and Adam Bisnowaty that the Patriots can reach out to on day 3 if someone makes an offer for Fleming. Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon are back as starters.
Los Angeles Chargers: Release Brandon Flowers CB C+ Grade
Brandon Flowers is a guy that I believe can be an effective nickel cornerback, but he's not the field corner he once was in Kansas City. He was making too much at $7-million a year so releasing him to save $7-million against the cap which you can use to get a nickel corner in the draft when this years draft is loaded at cornerback.
March 2, 2017
New York Jets: Release Brandon Marshall WR B+ Grade
Brandon Marshall underperformed this season, but is still the best receiver on this roster when healthy. He doesn't deserve $7.5-million from the Jets in 2017. At the same time there is a good chance that Mike Williams is gonna fall out of the top 5 of the 2017 NFL Draft with the Titans leaning defense instead of wide receiver at 5. If the Jets knew this, they did a great job anticipating when to part ways with Brandon Marshall.
New England Patriots: Release Sebastian Vulmer RT C Grade
I honestly think Vulmer is better than Marcus Cannon when healthy. At the same time the Patriots made a questionable decision earlier in the regular season when they gave Marcus Cannon a 4-year extension. That's really the biggest reason why the release of Sebastian Vulmer was inevitable. Releasing Vulmer saved $3.125-million against the cap.
Tennessee Titans: Re-sign Matt Cassel QB 2-year $5.25-million F Grade
The reason the Titans are getting an F grade is because Matt Cassel is getting $1-million dollars more than James Harrison. Cassel is probably a better option than any quarterback in the draft. I guess I'm just disgusted that Cassel got more than Harrison to ride the bench. This will cost the Titans $2.75-million against the cap.
March 1, 2017
Pittsburgh Steelers: Re-sign James Harrison 3-4 ROLB 2-year $3.5-million A+ Grade
The Steelers got Harrison back for next to nothing since they are only paying $1.75-million against the cap to renew him for two years. I almost feel like giving the Steelers two pluses to make an A++ grade. Now they have enough cap space to bring back Lawrence Timmons. If Timmons leaves the Steelers will draft an inside linebacker in the first round otherwise they will take the best player on their board for depth at 30.
Los Angeles Rams: Franchise Tag Trumaine Johnson CB 1-year $16.742-million A- Grade
The Rams needed to bring back Trumaine Johnson at any cost after losing Janoris Jenkins. I just don't know how I feel about franchise tagging him.
San Francisco 49ers: Release Colin Kaepernick QB C Grade
San Francisco needed to release Colin Kaepernick. The reason they are getting a B- grade is because I'm unsure if the quarterback they bring in to replace him will be better. At this point the quarterback cannot be worse than what Kaepernick was last year so I'll give this a B- grade after initially giving it a C grade.
February 28, 2017
Kansas City Chiefs: Re-sign Eric Berry SS 6-year $78-million $40-million guaranteed A+ Grade
The Chiefs made an excellent decision by locking up Eric Berry who is the NFL's top strong safety. This was an awesome decision by Kansas City.
Cleveland Browns: Re-sign Britton Colquitt P 4-year deal B Grade
The Browns needed to bring back Colquitt. I'm giving the Browns a B grade and need to re-visit this re-signing once we know the financial terms of the contract.
Washington Redskins: Franchise Tag Kirk Cousins QB 1-year $23.94-million B Grade
The Redskins need to keep Kirk Cousins at any cost. They get a B grade instead of an A grade though because they failed to give Cousins a long-term extension.
New York Jets: Release Darrelle Revis CB A Grade
The Jets saved $9-million against the cap. Revis had an off the field incident where he got into a brawl in Pittsburgh. Plus this is one of the deepest cornerback groups in years.
Minnesota Vikings: Release Adrian Peterson RB A Grade
The Vikings saved $18-million against the cap. Adrian Peterson declined and got injured showing he was past his prime this season.
Kansas City Chiefs: Release Jamaal Charles RB A Grade
The Chiefs saved $6-million against the cap. Charles only played 5 games over the last two years with his durability becoming too much of a liability.
Cleveland Browns: Place Level 2 Tender on Isaiah Crowell RB A Grade
The Browns needed to secure Isaiah Crowell. Crowell is Cleveland's starting running back and bringing him back means Crowell and Johnson can split carries again. IF Cleveland does not get Crowell back they get a third second round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Place Exclusive Rights Tender on Adam Humphries WR A+ Grade
The Buccaneers get Brate back. Not only do they get Brate back, they also get to tender Brate again as an RFA in 2018 if he does well.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Place Exclusive Rights Tender on Cameron Brate TE A+ Grade
The Buccaneers get Humphries back. Not only do they get Humphries back, they also get to tender Humphries again as an RFA in 2018 if he does well.
February 27, 2017
Pittsburgh Steelers: Re-sign Antonio Brown WR 4-year $68-million C Grade
The Steelers needed to bring back Brown despite his shenanigans on the football field and in the community. He's too damn talented and every team in the league wishes they had Brown. That being said, I'm not sure if Brown deserves $17-million a year. Brown is one-year older than Julio Jones and Jones only makes $13-million a year compared to Brown who makes $17-million a year.
Kansas City Chiefs: Re-sign Laurent Duvernay-Tardif RG 5-year $42.5-million D Grade
The Chiefs made a horrible decision by overpaying a mediocre right guard when they could have paid Eric Berry or Dontari Poe long-term. This is the worst decision the Chiefs made as a franchise since spending a top 5 pick on Glenn Dorsey back in the 2008 NFL Draft, but giving Duvernay-Tardif this long-term contract created enough cap space to bring back Eric Berry.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Franchise Tag Le'veon Bell RB 1-year $12.337-million A Grade
The Steelers should tag Bell. If he gets suspended again before the season that will be a clear indicator that its time to move on. There are also rumors about Bell having offseason surgery so I can understand why Pittsburgh is hesitant to give Bell a long-term deal.
Los Angeles Chargers: Franchise Tag Melvin Ingram RE 1-year $16.995-million C Grade
The Chargers could have gotten another defensive end to replace Ingram in the draft. Los Angeles goes from having $26-million to spend on Free Agents to $9-million just by tagging Ingram.
New York Giants: Franchise Tag Jason Pierre-Paul LE 1-year $16.995-million B Grade
The Giants have so many holes heading into Free Agency. I feel like they are one team that cannot afford to franchise tag players.
Arizona Cardinals: Franchise Tag Chandler Jones 3-4 ROLB 1-year $16.995-million A Grade
Chandler Jones had 11 sacks with the Arizona Cardinals in 2016. He made left tackles in the NFC West quiver in fear and deserves to be paid.
Carolina Panthers: Franchise Tag Kawaan Short DT 1-year $13.468-million A Grade
Kawaan Short is probably the biggest asset on Carolina's defensive line. You will have him and Lotulelei in contract years next season plus Vernon Butler for depth once again.
February 26, 2017
Carolina Panthers: Re-sign Mario Addison DE to 3-year $22.5-million dollar extension C Grade
Mario Addison is a good depth player. He doesn't deserve this much and Kony Ealy who got outplayed by Michael Sam at Missouri is a terrible starter at 4-3 right end. Carolina probably won't draft a defensive end at 8 now.
February 25, 2017
New York Jets: Release Nick Mangold C D Grade
The Jets saved $9-million against the cap. At the same time, this was a bad move since the Jets were already $12-million under the cap. You can argue that Mangold isn't worth $9-million a year, but with the Jets releasing both offensive tackles plus Ben Ijalana being a Free Agent it felt like they should have kept Mangold with a lackluster offensive line group and an even worse draft class on the offensive line.
New York Jets: Release Erin Henderson 3-4 MLB A Grade
The Jets have David Harris and Darron Lee. Henderson cleared up $2.57-million against the cap.
February 24, 2017
San Francisco 49ers: Sign Earl Mitchell DT to 4-year $16-million dollar deal F Grade
San Francisco gave a backup a 4-year deal. This signing warrants an F grade.
February 23, 2017
Denver Broncos: Release Russell Okung LT C Grade
Denver didn't want to pay Russell Okung $11-million a year. I'm not sure if there is anyone in Free Agency or the draft who is an upgrade over Okung. At the same time, I can understand from a business standpoint why Denver didn't overpay Okung which is why the Broncos get a C grade.
New York Jets: Release Breno Giancomi RT C- Grade
The Jets should be able to replace Breno Giancomi in the 2017 NFL Draft. With both tackles plus backup Ben Ijalana being Free Agents, I have to think the Jets will target an offensive tackle relatively early in the draft now at some point in the second round. Giancomi cleared up $4.5-million.
New York Jets: Release Nick Folk K F Grade
The Jets will not be able to replace Nick Folk in the 2017 NFL Draft. Releasing Folk only saved $3-million so I really question the Jets decision to release Folk here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Release Alterraun Verner CB A Grade
I like Alterraun Verner as a depth corner, but no way he is worth $6.5-million. Tampa Bay played nickel on 82 percent of their plays, but they can reload at cornerback in either Free Agency or the 2017 NFL Draft in what is a loaded cornerback class.
February 22, 2017
Jacksonville Jaguars: Trade 2018 seventh round pick for Branden Albert LT B Grade
Branden Albert is a far better left tackle than Kelvin Beachum. Albert does have some durability concerns and that's why I gave the Jaguars a B grade instead of an A+ grade even though this is a really good trade for Jacksonville if Albert stays healthy.
Miami Dolphins: Trade 2017 seventh round pick for Julius Thomas TE A+ Grade
Miami is giving up next to nothing for Julius Thomas. Jordan Cameron and Dion Simms were both Free Agents. Thomas is familiar with Gase's system and there were rumors about Miami and Jacksonville trading Julius Thomas for Branden Albert in a swap.
February 20, 2017
Jacksonville Jaguars: Release Jared Odrick DT C Grade
Jared Odrick is one of the best players on the Jaguars. He saves $8.5-million against the cap though so I cannot fault this decision entirely though.
February 16, 2017
Jacksonville Jaguars: Release Kelvin Beachum LT C Grade
Dave Caldwell deserves some criticism for offering Kelvin Beachum a 4-year $40-million dollar contract. Beachum deserves some criticism for not signing that contract because the first year of that contract required him to take a $1.5-million dollar paycut. The Jaguars will not find an upgrade over Beachum in the 2017 NFL Draft. Luckily there are good Free Agents available.
Miami Dolphins: Release Mario Williams RE A+ Grade
The Dolphins need a new starting 4-3 right end. Mario Williams only had 1.5 sacks and really disappointed. Miami needs to find a 4-3 right end in either Free Agency or the 2017 NFL Draft. Releasing Williams cleared up $8.5-million.
Miami Dolphins: Release Earl Mitchell DT A+ Grade
Earl Mitchell lost the starting spot across from Ndamukong Suh to 2015 second round draft pick Jordan Phillips. Releasing Mitchell saved Miami $4-million against the cap which is why the move was necessary since no backup is worth $4-million.
Miami Dolphins: Release Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB A+ Grade
The Dolphins need another cornerback for depth in the 2017 NFL Draft. This was a good release by Miami.
February 15, 2017
Kansas City Chiefs: Release Nick Foles QB A+ Grade
I love Nick Foles ability as a quarterback. Kansas City had to release him though in order to have enough money to bring back Eric Berry or Dontari Poe.
New York Jets: Release Ryan Clady LT C+ Grade
The Jets will not be able to replace Ryan Clady in the 2017 NFL Draft. At the same time they needed to release Clady to save cap space. That's why the Jets got a C+ grade because cutting Clady saved $10-million against the cap.
February 13, 2017
New York Giants: Release Victor Cruz WR A+ Grade
Victor Cruz is a solid slot receiver when healthy. He's not worth $7.5-million though. I completely understand and support the decision by the Giants though. New York is losing a ton of defensive players on the front 7 to Free Agency so I'm kind of curious about what they do following the release of Victor Cruz.
New York Giants: Release Rashad Jennings RB A+ Grade
The Giants have Paul Perkins. New York also saves $2.5-million by releasing him.
February 11, 2017
Minnesota Vikings: Release Brandon Fusco RG F Grade
First off the Vikings never replaced John Sullivan at center. Second Matt Kalil and Andre Smith are both Free Agents at left tackle and right tackle. Third Fusco lined up at left guard, center, and right guard throughout his career with the Vikings. Fusco is still an elite talent in my eyes when healthy and far better than last years Free Agent signing in Alex Boone.
Releasing Fusco had a dead cap penalty of $1.6-million. Even if releasing Fusco saved $3.9-million, releasing Fusco actually gave the Vikings less cap space reducing their cap room from $22-million to $21-million. Unless the Vikings plan on putting Sam Bradford in a wheelchair like Joe Swanson on Family Guy, I don't understand what exactly they are trying to accomplish.
Teddy Bridgewater won't play in 2017 and Adrian Peterson will likely be traded released so Minnesota could be one of the worst NFL teams next season even if this defense keeps opponents to 17 points per game because right now I see an offense that can only score 10-16 points per game tops on a weekly basis plus the Vikings gave up their 2017 first round pick for Sam Bradford. Hopefully Zigy Wilf remains patient without firing Rick Speilman or Mike Zimmer in 2018 because the Vikings have a defense that's built to win long-term, but the offense is going through a huge rebuilding phase that needs to be straightened out over the next two seasons before the Vikings can contend again.
February 9, 2017
Indianapolis Colts: Release D'Qwell Jackson 3-4 MLB D Grade
D'Qwell Jackson was the Colts best player on defense. I really don't understand this decision. I'm guessing the Colts will target someone to compliment Antonio Morrison from the 2016 NFL Draft in either Free Agency or the 2017 NFL Draft. Releasing Jackson saved $5.5-million but it also gave the Colts over $2-million in dead cap penalties barely improving the Colts cap room from $59-million to $61-million.
February 8, 2017
Philadelphia Eagles: Release Leodis McKelvin CB A+ Grade
Leodis McKelvin absolutely sucked for the Eagles. Philadelphia saved $3.2 million for cutting him, improving their cap space from $12-million to $15.2-million. McKelvin isn't even worth $2-million so this was an outstanding decision to release him.
Green Bay Packers: Release Sam Shields CB A- Grade
I feel like Sam Shields could have a comeback season in 2017 causing the Packers to make a move that may bite them in the rear end. He's not worth $8.5-million though so I support the Packers decision to save $8.5-million against the cap since they can use that money to bring back Nick Perry.
February 7, 2017
Green Bay Packers: Release James Starks RB B- Grade
The Packers have Eddie Lacy and and Christine Michael entering Free Agency. Green Bay only cleared $2.8-million by releasing Starks and now you have no running backs outside of wide receiver/running back T.Y. Montgomery on your depth chart to top that off.
Cleveland Browns: Release Josh McCown QB A Grade
Josh McCown has been effective at times. He underperformed this season though so I completely support the decision to release him and have Robert Griffin III and Cody Kessler battle for the starting job.
Cleveland Browns: Release Tramon Williams CB A+ Grade
Tramon Williams entered Training Camp as the #2 boundary cornerback on Cleveland's depth chart. He fell to the #4 cornerback at the dime. There isn't a single dime cornerback in the NFL worth $6-million dollars plus the Browns can get a cornerback for depth in the draft.
January 23, 2017
Cleveland Browns: Re-sign Jamie Collins LB to 4-year $50-million dollar contract. B- Grade
The Browns needed to secure Jamie Collins. Collins can play 4-3 right outside linebacker, 4-3 middle linebacker, or 4-3 left outside linebacker. He's great at tackling and dropping back into coverage. Cleveland is moving to a 4-3 defense so Collins should revert to his Patriots form when he was a top 5 outside linebacker in the league, but he may end up playing the MIKE linebacker spot too.
His base salary will be higher than Luke Kuechly's which is the only thing keeping me from giving the Browns an A grade at the moment. Cleveland had $107-million in cap space before bringing back Collins. Now they only have $94-million possibly less once we see the official cap hit and dead cap. It feels like they overpaid Collins even though they needed to keep him which is why the Browns got a B- grade here.
Ryan Mallett, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Jeraud Powers, CB, Baltimore Ravens
Matt Elam, SS, Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens 2017 Offseason Recap: Baltimore has $13,810,289 for 2017 at the moment. The only four starters that the Ravens are losing are Kyle Juszczyk, Ricky Wagner, Lawrence Guy, and Brandon Williams.
Zachary Orr who complimented C.J. Mosley at 3-4 middle linebacker retired. Now Baltimore will need another middle linebacker to compliment Mosley which they will find in Free Agency or the 2017 NFL Draft.
Baltimore is expected to let Wagner, Guy, Williams, Powers, and Elam walk. Baltimore already has huge needs at cornerback, 3-4 middle linebacker, 3-4 outside linebacker depth, and wide receiver. When you consider they will also need a right tackle, 3-4 left end, nose tackle, and strong safety for depth you can argue they are in the worst situation of the four AFC North teams with under $15-million to spend on Free Agency and lots of holess to fill.
2017 Baltimore Ravens Offseason Needs
Baltimore Ravens 2017 Free Agents
Cedric Peerman, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Eric Winston, RT, Cincinnati Bengals
Wallace Gillbery, RE, Cincinnati Bengals
Brandon Thompson, DT, Cincinnati Bengals
Randy Bullock, K, Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals 2017 Offseason Recap: Cincinnati has $41,995,339 for 2017 at the moment. Bringing back left tackle Andrew Whitworth, right guard Kevin Zeitler, and field cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick is manageable, but it would also likely cut their cap space in half leaving them with $23-million dollars.
Whitworth and Zeitler are gone. Clint Boling is the only guaranteed starter on an extremely unstable Bengals offensive line with Russell Bodine being expendable. Bringing back Andre Smith at right tackle and starting Cedric Ogbuhei doesn't do anything long-term since Ogbuhei sucked at right tackle. I guess it eliminates right tackle as a team need though.
2017 Cincinnati Bengals Offseason Needs
Cincinnati Bengals 2017 Free Agents
Austin Pasztor, RT, Cleveland Browns
Stephen Paea, DT, Cleveland Browns
Tramon Williams, CB, Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns 2017 Offseason Recap: Cleveland only loses 5 players to Free Agency. They also have $102.346,421 to spend on players plus three of the top 33 picks in the 2017 NFL Draft as well as four of the top 51 picks. If a team gives Isaiah Crowell an offer the Browns would get a third second round pick.
Cleveland could release Joe Haden and draft another cornerback at 12. Releasing Haden saves the Browns $8-million dollars and would still give the Browns the most cap space of any NFL team, but barely the most cap space. I doubt Haden goes anywhere.
Cleveland extended Joel Bitonio at left guard. They also signed right guard Kevin Zeitler. The Browns overpaid Kenny Britt as well at wide receiver. This likely indicates that Spencer Drango and Shon Coleman will compete for the right tackle job next season. Cleveland should still get a center for depth to push Cameron Erving for the starting center job, but the offensive line is far more stable than what it was.
2017 Cleveland Browns Offseason Needs
Cleveland Browns 2017 Free Agents
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Cody Wallace, C, Pittsburgh Steelers
Ricardo Matthews, 3-4 LE, Pittsburgh Steelers
Shamarko Thomas, SS, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 Offseason Recap: Pittsburgh has $23,615,733 for 2017 at the moment thanks to franchise tagging Le'veon Bell and extending James Harrison. Pittsburgh just needs to bring back Timmons and get depth in the draft. Pittsburgh has Karlos Williams to replace DeAngelo Williams along with Mike Matthews to replace Cody Wallace.
Pittsburgh has Karlos Williams as a fill in player for DeAngelo Williams, Zach Mettenberger as a fill in player for Landry Jones, and Mike Matthews as a fill in player for Cody Wallace.
Pittsburgh will go Best Player Available for most of the draft unless Lawrence Timmons walks. If that happened Pittsburgh would look at a middle linebacker at 28.
2017 Pittsburgh Steelers Offseason Needs
Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 Free Agents
Jonathan Grimes, RB, Houston Texans
Ryan Griffin, TE, Houston Texans
Oday Aboushi, LG, Houston Texans
Antonio Smith, 3-4 LE, Houston Texans
Houston Texans 2017 Offseason Recap: Houston has $23,396,261 for 2017 at the moment. All of their starters except for nose tackle Vince Wilfork will be back. Wilfork is a Free Agent, but he's also expected to retire.
Houston isn't really losing a lot. I think both J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney will be used in the 5-technique next season since Clowney did better on the defensive line.
That's why its hard to see the Texans passing on a 3-4 right outside linebacker at 25. Both T.J. Watt the brother of J.J. Watt and Takkarist McKinley are both logical options in the first round for the Texans. Houston could look at a quarterback if they want to replace Brock Osweiler.
Houston has Kareem Jackson, Jonathan Joseph, and Kevin Johnson. They can afford to lose A.J. Bouye plus someone will overpay for him and end up regretting it.
The Texans need multiple safeties thanks to the departure of Quentin Demps. I think the Texans will pursue one safety in Free Agency and the other in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Houston has to find a new quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft. Brock Osweiler is no longer on the roster and finding a quarterback is the Texans biggest need.
2017 Houston Texans Offseason Needs
Houston Texans 2017 Free Agents
Jordan Todman, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Erik Walden, 3-4 LOLB, Indianapolis Colts
Chris Carter, 3-4 LOLB, Indianapolis Colts
D'Qwell Jackson, 3-4 MLB, Indianapolis Colts
Akeem Ayers, 3-4 MLB, Indianapolis Colts
Darryl Morris, CB, Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts 2017 Offseason Recap: Indianapolis has $53,238,812 for 2017 at the moment. They have quarterback Andrew Luck, left tackle Anthony Costanzo, right tackle Joe Haeg, center Ryan Kelly, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, and tight end Dwayne Allen all locked up until 2020 on offense. The Colts can gain an additional $9-million in cap space if they release their field corner Vontae Davis who covers receivers better than anyone on the roster. Davis covers most of the opponents #1 receivers. The Colts new GM who replaces Ryan Grigson will have his work cut out for him.
Indianapolis is so depleted at outside linebacker that it's not even funny. Indianapolis will need multiple starters to play 3-4 outside linebacker. Indianapolis may even draft additional guys for depth as well. Outside linebackers like Nick Perry and Jarvis Jones understand the 3-4 defense and should be on the market come March. You may even be able to get DeMarcus Ware of the Denver Broncos for a discount price. Indianapolis has to come out guns blazing looking for outside linebacker help with $59-million in 2017 for Free Agency with lots of money to spend.
Indianapolis loses nickel corner Darius Butler and quarter cornerback Darryl Morris to free agency. I think the Colts will let both of those corners go, but the bigger question is do they release Davis to clear up cap space. Indianapolis has needed a boundary cornerback next to Davis since 2015 and the Colts don't just need a starter next to him, they need depth at cornerback too.
You got two second round picks ready to start though in Clayton Geathers at strong safety and T.J. Green at free safety. Mike Adams is back as well.
Indianapolis has their offense set for the next three years. I expect them to use this window of opportunity to rebuild the defense and emerge into a potential contender in 2017 depending on who they get in Free Agency.
2017 Indianapolis Colts Offseason Needs
Indianapolis Colts 2017 Free Agents
Denard Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Arrelious Benn, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Luke Joeckel, LG, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jared Odrick, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars
Tyson Alualu, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jordan Hill, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars
Roy Miller, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars
Sen'Derrick Marks, DT, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars 2017 Offseason Recap: Jacksonville has $70,979,709 for 2017 thanks to releasing Kelvin Beachum. The Jaguars should have enough money to spend on key positions and traded a 2018 seventh round pick for Branden Albert.
Jacksonville will probably need a left guard to replace Luke Joeckel as well as a left tackle. The Jaguars could consider LSU running back Leonard Fournette at 4, but that only occurs if the Jaguars address their secondary in Free Agency. Pittsburgh left guard Dorian Johnson is someone Jacksonville could spend a day 2 pick on in the second or third round.
Jacksonville cut every defensive tackle that I said they needed to cut in order to take Jonathan Allen at 4. They got Calias Campbell to play next to Malik Jackson at defensive tackle. Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler are two effective defensive ends.
Jacksonville's been extremely aggressive getting Calias Campbell to replace Jared Odrick. Barry Church the Dallas Cowboys strong safety is in Jacksonville and the Jaguars have A.J. Bouye as a nickel cornerback now delegating Aaron Colvin to a dime role that suits him better. Jalen Ramsey wil get promoted from boundary cornerback to field cornerback in year two. The Jaguars still need another cornerback in Free Agency.
Jacksonville signed Mychal Rivera from the Raiders. Rivera and Marcedes Lewis are both #2 tight ends though.
These signings alter the Jaguars draft strategy completely. Jacksonville will either go with Marshon Lattimore or Leonard Fournette at 4. The other possibility is O.J. Howard. I expect the Jaguars to target a tight end and left guard on day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft before using day 3 picks on depth players.
2017 Jacksonville Jaguars Offseason Needs
Jacksonville Jaguars 2017 Free Agents
Karl Klug, 3-4 LE, Tennessee Titans
Jason McCourty, CB, Tennessee Titans
Rashad Johnson, SS, Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans 2017 Offseason Recap: Tennessee has $58,639,464 for 2017 at the moment. The Titans have most of the pieces they want in place.
Former Jaguars strong safety Jonathan Cyprien becomes the newest Titan. The Titans added Logan Ryan at cornerback as well to compliment Jason McCourty. I also believe the Titans are looking at a defensive player at 5, but they have an abundance of holes as well.
2017 Tennessee Titans Offseason Needs
Tennessee Titans 2017 Free Agents
E.J. Manuel, QB, Buffalo Bills
Reggie Bush, RB, Buffalo Bills
Jerome Felton, FB, Buffalo Bills
Brandon Tate, WR, Buffalo Bills
Chris Gragg, TE, Buffalo Bills
Zach Brown, 3-4 MLB, Buffalo Bills
Aaron Williams, SS, Buffalo Bills
Colt Anderson, SS, Buffalo Bills
Robert Blanton, FS, Buffalo Bills
Sergio Brown, FS, Buffalo Bills
Corey Graham, FS, Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills 2017 Offseason Recap: Buffalo has $18,185,833 for 2017 at the moment. Buffalo chose to keep Tyrod Taylor.
Buffalo is losing five wide receivers to Free Agency. Robert Woods is now on the Rams after being the teams #2 receiver and slot receiver Marquise Goodwin is on the 49ers. Percy Harvin who was a fill-in #4 receiver retired. Justin Hunter is in Pittsburgh after signing with the Steelers. To make matters worse Stephon Gilmore is now on the New England Patriots.
Buffalo got Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer at safety. These are solid safeties, but not elite ones.
2017 Buffalo Bills Offseason Needs
Buffalo Bills 2017 Free Agents
T.J. Yates, QB, Miami Dolphins
Dion Simms, TE, Miami Dolphins
Dominique Jones, TE, Miami Dolphins
Mario Williams, RE, Miami Dolphins
Jelani Jenkins, ROLB, Miami Dolphins
Donald Butler, LOLB, Miami Dolphins
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins 2017 Offseason Recap: Miami has $41,050,292 to spend on Free Agents and the draft. Miami had $37-million and released 3 players to save $13-million dollars, but they also traded for Julius Thomas putting them at $42-million.
Kiko Alonso may be moving to right outside linebacker. Now Miami's two biggest defensive needs are 4-3 right end and 4-3 middle linebacker. Getting a 4-3 left outside linebacker and a left guard are also needs. Again this depends entirely on what the Dolphins do in Free Agency.
I gave the Miami Dolphins a cornerback in the first round of my mock. All of Miami's cornerbacks are under contract until 2019. Its highly unlikely that the Dolphins spend a first round pick on a cornerback.
Miami is gonna go a defensive end or linebacker with their first two picks. They traded ofr Julius Thomas at tight end and added Anthony Fasano for depth.
Miami exceeded expectations last season. Miami's pass rushers and cornerbacks have to play much better next season if the Dolphins want to return to the playoffs. There is no question that Miami has one of the best offenses in the NFL right now and the Dolphins seem like a team that will be in a lot of shootouts in 2017 as long as Ryan Tannehill and their offensive line stays healthy.
2017 Miami Dolphins Offseason Needs
Miami Dolphins 2017 Free Agents
LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots
Brandon Bolden, RB, New England Patriots
Michael Floyd, WR, New England Patriots
Sebastian Vollmer, RT, New England Patriots
New England Patriots 2017 Recap: New England has $62,792,426 for 2017. The Patriots did not franchise tag Dont'a Hightower or Logan Ryan. Chris Long is also expected to test Free Agency. Right now the Patriots have to be the favorite to win the AFC in 2017, but if they lose all 3 of those players, then I think Pittsburgh would become the favorite in the AFC.
New England traded for Dwayne Allen who will replace Martellus Bennett. The Patriots also signed Stephon Gilmore from the Bills to replace Logan Ryan.
Bringing back Alan Branch gives the Patriots depth at defensive tackle. Its likely that New England will not target a defensive tackle in the draft until late the draft like in the sixth or seventh round.
New England brought back Hightower. They also have run first linebackers in Elandon Roberts and feeney under contract as well as pass first linebackers that drop back into coverage like Van Noy and McClellin. THe Patriots added Kony Ealy via trade and Lawrence Guy in Free Agency. New England has to be the overwhelming favorite to repeat with these additions.
2017 New England Patriots Offseason Needs
New England Patriots 2017 Free Agents
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, New York Jets
Kellen Davis, TE, New York Jets
Ryan Clady, LT, New York Jets
Nick Mangold, C, New York Jets
Breno Giancomi, RT, New York Jets
Erin Henderson, 3-4 MLB, New York Jets
Bruce Carter, 3-4 MLB, New York Jets
Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets
Nick Folk, K, New York Jets
New York Jets 2017 Offseason Recap: New York has $33,778,320 million to spend. The Jets cut a lot of players for Free Agency.
The Jets deserve a lot of credit for clearing up their cap space. Shoring up the offensive line will be the biggest priority for the Jets outside of improving their horrendous secondary. They started with adding Kelvin Beachum at left tackle and brought back Ben Ijalana at right tackle.
2017 New York Jets Offseason Needs
New York Jets 2017 Free Agents
Justin Forsett, RB, Denver Broncos
Jordan Norwood, WR, Denver Broncos
Vance Walker, 3-4 RE, Denver Broncos
Billy Winn, 3-4 LE, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos 2017 Offseason Recap: Denver has $42,064,799 to spend on Free Agents. Many are speculating that Denver will make a splash for Tony Romo.
Denver could draft Ryan Ramczyk out of Wisconsin or Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson at 20 to be a blindside. That comes down to whether the Broncos release Okung. Vance Joseph believes Ramczyk is a future left tackle in the NFL. Also Denver got Domata Peko to replace Sylvester Williams.
Getting a running back for depth with Forsett gone as well as a slot receiver to replace Norwood would be nice. These are not top priorities for the Broncos though.
Shane Ray showed he's more than capable of replacing DeMarcus Ware. Getting outside linebacker depth with Ware and Watson gone as well as depth at the 5-technique behind Jared Crick and Derek Wolfe with one more 5-technique player to be used for depth along with Adam Gostis will be key though.
Kayvon Webster will be a Free Agent. Bradley Roby has been a dime cornerback on Denver's depth chart with some experience at the nickel for the first three years of his rookie contract. I expect Denver to use a fifth year player option on Roby and finally move him over to the nickel cornerback role this season. Denver can find another corner to replace Webster for depth in this extremely deep cornerback class.
Overall Denver is in a pretty good state as a franchise and could easily rebound next season. The big question is whether John Elway wants to make a power play move at quarterback even if it costs him Okung who is a very effective left tackle when healthy.
2017 Denver Broncos Offseason Needs
Denver Broncos 2017 Free Agents
Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs 2017 Offseason Preview: The Chiefs will have $9,592,207 in cap space thanks to the release of Nick Foles after previously having $3-million. Releasing running back Jamaal Charles, 3-4 middle linebacker Derrick Johnson, and backup quarterback Nick Foles saves $18-million dollars. Releasing Foles saves the Chiefs $10.75-million while releasing Alex Smith in 2018 saves the Chiefs $17-million. Taking a developmental quarterback to groom at 27 isn't as farfetched as it seems.
Kansas City gave Berry a 6-year extension. The Chiefs will let Poe test Free Agency. Kansas City brought in Bennie Logan on a one year prove it deal to play with Jaye Howard.
The Chiefs have most of the pieces of a championship contender in place. The key will be to retain as many players on defense while drafting offensive players hoping to stay under the cap.
2017 Kansas City Chiefs Offseason Needs
Kansas City Chiefs 2017 Free Agents
Kellen Clemens, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
Jeremiah Attaochu, 3-4 LOLB, Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers 2017 Offseason Recap: The Chargers will have $5,190,314 in cap space after franchise tagging Melvin Ingram. The Mike McCoy regime is finally over and Chargers fans will have a new coach patrolling the sidelines next season.
Now the Chargers are the Los Angeles Chargers. They are also switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 so the Chargers may be closer to contention then people realize.
The Chargers brought in Russell Okung at left tackle. They are likely going to move left tackle King Dunlap to right tackle and right tackle Joseph Barksdale may move to right guard where D.J. Fluker played before Los Angeles released him.
2017 Los Angeles Chargers Offseason Needs
Los Angeles Chargers 2017 Free Agents
Matt McGloin, QB, Oakland Raiders
Perry Riley, MLB, Oakland Raiders
Brynden Trawick, SS, Oakland Raiders
Oakland Raiders 2017 Offseason Recap: The Oakland Raiders will have $42,931,487 in cap space. Re-signing Malcolm Smith as a right outside linebacker on the weak side is the top priority. I feel like the rest of their players are expendable though. Oakland will need one middle linebacker and running back. Malcolm Smith walked so right outside linebacker becomes a need.
Latavius Murray exceeded 1,000 rushing yards in 2015. He also had a career high 12 rushing touchdowns this season despite only having 788 rushing yards. Murray has 0 career receiving touchdowns in three years with the Raiders.
Doug Martin only makes just over $5.5 million in 2017 and their is no dead cap penalty for releasing him. If the Raiders want to bring Murray back that's the kind of offer they need to make Murray. Either Murray takes that kind of offer or you cut ties with him to draft Christian McCaffrey at 24.
Oakland also needs a 4-3 middle linebacker. With tackling machines like Zach Cunningham, Anthony Walker Jr., and Raekwon McMillan on the board along with other effective linebackers like Jarrad Davis, Kendall Beckwith, and Jalen Reeves-Maybin.
What the Raiders do with Murray dictates whether they go running back and middle linebacker in the draft before adding depth or whether they go middle linebacker and add depth later. Besides a running back if Murray leaves and a middle linebacker you need offensive tackle depth at both left tackle and right tackle, tight end depth, defensive tackle depth, cornerback depth, along with depth at both strong safety and free safety.
The Raiders may not be able to get depth players at all those with just five draft picks in rounds 3-7. You are looking at seven players for depth even if you bring back Murray. Oakland will probably sign a few Free Agents for depth just to make their draft strategy a little more easier.
Oakland will relocate to Las Vegas in 2018-2019. The Oakland Raiders can end things in Oakland with a bang though by making a potential Super Bowl run in 2017-2018 if they ace this offseason the way they aced the past three off seasons. This all comes down to how healthy Derek Carr is, but I think you are looking at an AFC West winner that can potentially make the AFC Championship game worst case scenario as long as Carr is healthy. Oakland will be that deep in 2017-2018.
2017 Oakland Raiders Offseason Needs
Oakland Raiders 2017 Free Agents
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
Marques Wilson, WR, Chicago Bears
Logan Paulsen, TE, Chicago Bears
Mike Adams, LT, Chicago Bears
Nick Beckton, LT, Chicago Bears
Cornellius Washington, 3-4 LE, Chicago Bears
Sam Acho, 3-4 ROLB, Chicago Bears
Jonathan Banks, CB, Chicago Bears
Chris Prosinki, SS, Chicago Bears
Connor Barth, K, Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears 2017 Offseason Recap: Chicago has $51,366.002 for 2017 at the moment. The Bears will have about $67-million to spend on Free Agents and draft picks if they release starting quarterback Jay Cutler. Releasing Cutler does not come as a surprise, but bringing Mike Glennon in as a starter is sort of puzzling and I expect the Bears to draft another quarterback at 34. Quentin Demps is also coming to Chicago as a safety.
Chicago is losing Alshon Jeffrey and Marques Wilson to Free Agency in 2017. The only objective thing I can say about the Bears receivers is that they have the injury prone Kevin White, the aging Eddie Royal, and the upcoming Cameron Meredith all under contract in 2017. Unless a slot receiver with the skills of John Ross makes it to the second round, it's highly unlikely the Bears draft a receiver if they are contingent with those targets starting in 2016.
Corey Leno sucks at left tackle. His backups Mike Adams and Nick Benton are both set to be Free Agents. Chicago may end up going with a left tackle rather than a wide receiver in the second round if the guy they want is there.
Starting 3-4 left end Akeim Hicks saves Chicago $5-million against the cap. If Chicago releases him that should be a clear tell that the Bears would rather have Jonathan Allen over any quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft with the third pick in the draft.
Chicago is losing some backups for depth. I'm not sure what the Bears will do with kicker Connor Barth. Barth turns 31-years-old in April and had his worst field goal percentage since 2009 in 2016.
Chicago has an outstanding running game and this defense can be a force if they avoid injuries like the ones that they suffered in 2016. Losing field cornerback Kyle Fuller to a season ending injury really hurt the Bears.
I'm amazed that Chicago Bears head coach John Fox did not get fired. I'm even more amazed that he's coaching the North team in the 2017 Senior Bowl. If the Bears draft a quarterback at 3 and fire John Fox in 2018 it would hinder that quarterback's development which is why they may wait until 2018 to take a quarterback with Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez under contract. Chicago's biggest need is left tackle and this is a weak left tackle group which is why Chicago may draft for value instead of drafting for need by taking the best overall players on their board.
2017 Chicago Bears Offseason Needs
Chicago Bears 2017 Free Agents
Dan Orlovsky, QB, Detroit Lions
Anquan Boldin, WR, Detroit Lions
Matthew Mulligan, TE, Detroit Lions
Clay Harbor, TE, Detroit Lions
Devin Taylor, LE, Detroit Lions
Rafael Bush, FS, Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions 2017 Recap: Detroit has $31,797,575 for 2017 at the moment. The Lions can bring back most of their starters and stay under the cap and go with Christian McCaffrey who would be an upgrade over their four running backs under contract.
Detroit has enough money to retain their starters. Solomon Thomas a left end out of Stanford, Washington receiver John Ross, Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, and Christian McCaffrey could all be options for Detroit at 21. Overall the Lions are in a solid position to contend again in 2017.
Detroit will still have Graham Glasgow and 2015 first round pick Laken Tomlinson as starters if they move on from Larry Warford. Also the Lions signed Ricky Wagner from the Baltimore Ravens to replace Riley Reiff at right tackle.
On defense you brought in Paul Worrilow as a depth player to compliment Tahir Whitehead. Free safety isn't a need right now, because you have Tavon Wilson and Glover Quin under contract.
2017 Detroit Lions Offseason Needs
Detroit Lions 2017 Free Agents
James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers
Don Barclay, LG, Green Bay Packers
Sam Shields, CB, Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers 2017 Offseason Recap: Green Bay has $39,995,981 for 2017. The Packers originally had $35-million before releasing James Starks and Sam Shields.
Running back and 3-4 outside linebacker have to be the top two needs that the Packers can address in Free Agency and the NFL Draft. I also believe the Packers will use a day 2 pick on a left guard. With T.J. Lang on the Lions and J.C. Tretter on the Browns this becomes a bigger priority. Green Bay brought back Davon House to replace Sam Shields. I feel like Green Bay will draft a rookie to compete with House for the nickel job.
Green Bay can win the NFC North again. They just have to bring the right players back and draft for need in day 1 and day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft which will allow them to keep some cap room for when Rodgers contract runs out.
2017 Green Bay Packers Offseason Needs
Green Bay Packers 2017 Free Agents
Shaun Hill, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Matt Asiata, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Zach Line, FB, Minnesota Vikings
Rhett Ellison, TE, Minnesota Vikings
Jake Long, LT, Minnesota Vikings
Brandon Fusco, RG, Minnesota Vikings
Jeff Locke, P, Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings 2017 Offseason Recap: Minnesota has $37,949,218 to spend on Free Agents and the draft. Minnesota can save $18 million if they release Sam Bradford. They will keep Bradford and released Adrian Peterson.
Minnesota does not have a first round pick. The Vikings need to reload on the offensive line as well as add a new running back. The Vikings still have strong depth at cornerback despite losing Terence Newman and Captain Munnerlyn.
Minnesota will also need a new fullback as well as a running back, wide receiver, and tight end for depth. I'd also like to see upgrades at left guard and center, but Minnesota seems contempt with those positions which may be why they miss the playoffs again in 2018. The Vikings also host Super Bowl 52.
Minnesota got Riley Reiff at left tackle and Mike Remmers at right tackle. Offensive tackle is no longer an issue for the Vikings plus they got Latavius Murray at running back too.
Minnesota replaced Chad Greenway with Datone Jones. Now all 3 of Minnesota's starting linebackers are UCLA players.
2017 Minnesota Vikings Offseason Needs
Minnesota Vikings 2017 Free Agents
Aldrick Robinson, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Eric Weems, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Levine Toilolo, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Jacob Tamme, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Tom Compton, LT, Atlanta Falcons
Chris Chester, RG, Atlanta Falcons
Jonathan Babineaux, DT, Atlanta Falcons
Courtney Upshaw, ROLB, Atlanta Falcons
Sean Weatherspoon, LOLB, Atlanta Falcons
Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, Atlanta Falcons
Dashon Goldson, SS, Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons 2017 Offseason Recap: Atlanta has $23,396,261 to spend on Free Agents and the draft. Adding a starting defensive tackle in the 3-technique at 4-3 defensive tackle along with a sack artist as a 4-3 defensive end for depth have to be the top two priorities for Atlanta.
Outside of the defensive line Atlanta can draft for depth in rounds 3-7. You can draft for depth at quarterback, tight end, offensive tackle, outside linebacker, middle linebacker, and safety for depth.
Overall, Atlanta is in a very good position as a team. As long as Atlanta fixes their issues on the defensive line then the Falcons should be able to repeat as NFC South Champions. Otherwise, I think one of the other NFC South teams will reclaim this division in 2017.
Atlanta got Jack Crawford. I think that's a horrible signing though. Atlanta can get a better player in the draft at 31, but signed Dontari Poe to shake things up.
Atlanta got Hugh Thornton for a one-year prove it deal at right guard. The Falcons can pay Thornton less than $1-million a year.
2017 Atlanta Falcons Offseason Needs
Atlanta Falcons 2017 Free Agents
Paul Soliai, DT, Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers 2017 Offseason Recap: Carolina will have $36,588,761 in cap space and can improve on that getting up to $50-million if they release starting running back Jonathan Stewart. Carolina will have their coaching staff back, a lot of starters returning from injuries, a more experienced cornerback tandem with rookies James Bradberry and Daryl Worley entering year two plus the eighth pick in the 2017 NFL Draft which they can use on a running back or a defensive end.
Mario Addison led Carolina's defensive line with 9.5 sacks despite being a rotational guy behind right end Kony Ealy and left end Charles Johnson. Carolina signed Julius Peppers for depth.
The Carolina Panthers kept Stewart and brought back Whittaker. They also brought back Addison and Charles Johnson. Carolina also added Matt Kalil at left tackle and is expected to move Michael Oher over to right tackle. Getting a wide receiver to replace Ted Ginn Jr. is really the only thing the Panthers need to do. Other than that, the Panthers will have far more experience this season and may be poised for an return to the playoffs.
2017 Carolina Panthers Offseason Needs
Carolina Panthers 2017 Free Agents
Tim Hightower, RB, New Orleans Saints
Tavarias Cadet, RB, New Orleans Saints
Tim Lelito, LG, New Orleans Saints
Jahri Evans, RG, New Orleans Saints
Tony Hills, RG, New Orleans Saints
Roman Harper, SS, New Orleans Saints
Shilo Keo, SS, New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints 2017 Offseason Recap: New Orleans has $27,347,284 for 2017 at the moment. The Saints have a few key positions to fill, but overall this is a very stable team on paper. The one big need is a 4-3 left end. Signing Larry Warford gives them an immediate starter at right guard.
Garett Grayson got demoted to the practice squad. There is a very good chance the Saints use a day 2 pick on a quarterback to groom behind Drew Brees.
New Orleans is losing backup strong safeties Roman Harper and Shilo Keo are both Free Agents in 2017. Releasing current strong safety Kenny Vacarro saves $4.5 million against the cap. Vacarro got suspended to end 2016 and New Orleans could put Von Bell next to Da Norris Searcy at strong safety which was his natural position at Ohio State if they really wanted to, but Bell has the versatility to play both safety spots.
New Orleans exceeded expectations down the stretch. One thing that killed them in the first few weeks was Delvin Breaux missing the first six games at cornerback plus boundary cornerback P.J. Williams getting placed on injured reserve. If both of those corners stay healthy in 2017, New Orleans could be a force in the NFC South.
New Orleans got Ted Ginn Jr. from Carolina. They also got a first round pick for Brandin Cooks.
2017 New Orleans Saints Offseason Needs
New Orleans Saints 2017 Free Agents
Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Russell Shepard, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brandon Myers, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Akeem Spence, DT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Daryl Smith, LOLB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Alterraun Verner, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bradley McDougald, FS, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 Offseason Recap: Tampa Bay has $66,136,718 for 2017 at the moment. The scary thing is Tampa Bay can save an additional $10-million if they release running back Doug Martin and right tackle Demar Dotson. Even though both of them got extended there is no dead cap penalty for releasing either player.
Slot receiver Adam Humphries and tight end Cameron Brate are both Exclusive Rights Free Agents. That means Tampa Bay is the only NFL team that can make a qualifying offer to tender both players. I'm guessing both Humphries and Brate will be back.
Backup quarterback Mike Glennon is starting in Chicago starting job elsewhere. A backup quarterback to Winston may be something Tampa Bay adds.
Tampa Bay will likely target a running back in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft like Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, or Christian McCaffrey at 19 if Tampa Bay releases Doug Martin. Rodgers is a Free Agent as well plus backup Charles Simms enters a contract year. Even if Martin returns it's highly unlikely that the Buccaneers do not draft a running back at some point on day 2 or day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft at some point to develop.
Vincent Jackson is a Free Agent, but Tampa Bay brought in Desean Jackson. With Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and Adam Humphries on the roster in the slot, Tampa Bay is set at receiver with starters, but probably will get someone for depth to develop or to compete with the current starters. Cameron Brate is back at tight end too.
Starting center Joe Hawley is a Free Agent. Tampa Bay brought him back.
Tampa Bay needs depth on the defensive line. I can see them drafting a 4-3 defensive end at 19 to play right end while moving Robert Ayers over to left end while Noah Spence moves to left outside linebacker. That would improve Tampa Bay's front 7 in a major way giving Tampa Bay one of the leagues most complete front 7's.
Tampa Bay will still have Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves under contract in 2017. Grimes enters a contract year and Tampa Bay has no depth behind Grimes or Hargreaves at the moment.
Tampa Bay needs a starting safety next to the promising Keith Tandy with Conte and McDougald as Free Agents. The Buccaneers got J.J. Wilcox and brought back Chris Conte for depth.
Tampa Bay exceeded expectations in 2016. Now many Buccaneers fans expect this team to make the playoffs. In order for that to happen they have to address multiple needs in the offseason to solve all their problems. Tampa Bay brought back a lot of players and now the current needs for the Buccaneers are at left outside linebacker and nickel cornerback.
2017 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offseason Needs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 Free Agents
Mark Sanchez, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Kellen Moore, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Lance Dunbar, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Brice Butler, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Gavin Escobar, TE, Dallas Cowboys
Jack Crawford, RE, Dallas Cowboys
Terrell McClain, DT, Dallas Cowboys
Rolando McClain, MLB, Dallas Cowboys
Brandon Carr, CB, Dallas Cowboys
Morris Claiborne, CB, Dallas Cowboys
J.J. Wilcox, FS, Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys 2017 Offseason Recap: Dallas has $3,311,937 to spend on Free Agents. I'm not sure if this number is accurate though since Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith took pay cuts for 2017. Doug Free retired at right tackle and I'm not sure Chaz Green is ready to replace him.
Dallas should have two goals. Getting under the Salary cap and drafting defensive players that can help Dak Prescott win a championship. A lot of people including myself believe Dallas is an early favorite for Super Bowl 52. The Cowboys may be, but right now getting the Salary Cap under control is the top priority.
Dallas brought in Byron Bell, but he sucked at right tackle. Replacing Doug Free with Chaz Green and Byron Bell is bound to backfire.
2017 Dallas Cowboys Offseason Needs
Dallas Cowboys 2017 Free Agents
Ryan Nassib, QB, New York Giants
Josh Johnson, QB, New York Giants
Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants
Bobby Rainey, RB, New York Giants
Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants
Larry Donnell, TE, New York Giants
William Beaty, LT, New York Giants
John Jerry, RG, New York Giants
Marshall Newhouse, RT, New York Giants
Jonathan Hankins, DT, New York Giants
Kelvin Sheppard, MLB, New York Giants
Keenan Robinson, MLB, New York Giants
Mark Herzlich, LOLB, New York Giants
Trevin Wade, CB, New York Giants
Leon Hall, CB, New York Giants
Coty Sensabaugh, CB, New York Giants
Robbie Gould, K, New York Giants
New York Giants 2017 Offseason Recap: New York has a lot of needs and only $13,282,686 in cap space after franchise tagging Jason Pierre-Paul. This pretty much means the Giants won't take a defensive end at 23. The Giants will have their work cut out for them and really only have the luxury of bringing in one expensive Free Agent.
This is a horrible quarterback class. The Giants have too many needs in both Free Agency and the draft to draft a quarterback. A lot of the quarterbacks from the 2013 NFL Draft like E.J. Manuel, Geno Smith, Mike Glennon, Matt Barkley, Landry Jones, and Ryan Nassib will all be Free Agents. New York can bring one of those quarterbacks in as a backup to Eli Manning for a year without overpaying them. The 2018 NFL Draft will be a much stronger group and that's when the Giants can get Eli's successor.
Bobby Rainey and Rashad Jennings are gone meaning running back is now a possibility again. A new starting tight end is needed with Larry Donnel gone. O.J. Howard may be gone at 22, but will be the shoe in pick at 23 if he's there. David Njoku, Evan Engram, Bucky Hodges, and Gerald Everett are the Giants backup options at tight end.
Left tackle Ereck Flowers and right tackle Bobby Hart will both be back. Someone like Antonio Garcia, Julie'n Davenport, or Connor McDermott in the second round provides depth in the worst case scenario. Best case scenario they beat out Flowers and Hart for the left tackle job causing Flowers to move to right tackle and Hart to move to right guard. That would give the Giants more stability on the offensive line. I cannot see the Giants taking Cam Robinson at 23.
Jonathan Hankins is a Free Agent. If the Giants do not bring back Hankins, then drafting defensive tackle Carlos Watkins or Montravius Adams at 23 becomes extremely likely.
Kelvin Sheppard and Keenan Robinson will both be Free Agents at middle linebacker. Left outside linebacker Mark Herzlich will also be a Free Agent. Zach Cunningham is a tackling machine, but the Giants scouting department will notice his issues with foot speed which is why I don't see them taking him at 23.
Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Eli Apple are all back at cornerback next year. The other remaining cornerbacks are Free Agents. Cornerback depth was an issue for the Giants this year and it will be an issue next year unless the Giants get depth with one Free Agent like Kayvon Webster, Darius Butler, or Captain Munnerlyn for a low fee before drafting someone on day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft to develop.
The New York Giants were supposed to have a banner year in 2016. Despite sweeping the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins in 2016, the Giants appear to have the most issues among the NFC East teams excluding Dallas heading into the 2017 Offseason.
2017 New York Giants Offseason Needs
New York Giants 2017 Free Agents
Stephen Tulloch, MLB, Philadelphia Eagles
Leodis McKelvin, CB, Philadelphia Eagles
Nolan Carroll, CB, Philadelphia Eagles
Dwayne Gratz, CB, Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles 2017 Offseason Recap: Philadelphia has $8,692,349 for 2017 at the moment. Cornerback is really the only position that needs a dire upgrade in terms of getting new starters.
Philadelphia should be able to use their first round pick from the Vikings and their second round pick on a cornerback the Eagles will be in great position.
After the Eagles upgrade the cornerback position, they can use the remaining draft picks to find developmental players for depth as well as building blocks for second year quarterback Carson Wentz who the Eagles traded up to get in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Philadelphia should be a prime contender in 2017 after going 5-1 with both left tackle Jason Peters and right tackle Lane Johnson. Philadelphia went 2-8 without Lane Johnson during his ten game suspension which ended in week 16 of the 2016 NFL Season.
Philadelphia has added Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith in Free Agency. There is no excuse for failure with the abundance of weapons Carson Wentz has plus Chance Warmack goes to Philadelphia on a one-year prove it deal to replace Wisniewski.
The only way the Eagles can screw up the 2017 season is if Lane Johnson gets suspended again, Jason Peters gets injured, or the Eagles incompetent front office ignores cornerback. As long as the Eagles avoid these setbacks, Philadelphia should be an aspiring contender come next season.
2017 Philadelphia Eagles Offseason Needs
Philadelphia Eagles 2017 Free Agents
John Sullivan, C, Washington Redskins
Chris Baker, 3-4 RE, Washington Redskins
Cullen Jenkins, 3-4 LE, Washington Redskins
Greg Toler, CB, Washington Redskins
Duke Ihenacho, FS, Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins 2017 Offseason Recap: Washington has $34,477,921 for 2017 at the moment. Securing Kirk Cousins up to a long-term deal is the top priority, but Washington paid Cousins nearly $24-million to franchise tag him.
Cousins will still have DeSean Jackson, Jameson Crowder, and 2016 first round pick Josh Doctson at wide receiver. Tight end Jordan Reed, the entire backfield, and Washington's entire offensive line returns despite losing offensive coordinator Sean McVay to the Rams as a head coach.
Bringing back Cousins and improving the front 7 are the top two priorities in the nations capital. As long as they address these isues Washington has a good chance to contend in the NFC next season being the early front runner to win the NFC East.
Even though Trent Murphy got suspended, Preston Smith showed incredible promise. Pass rush may not end up being an issue for Washington.
2017 Washington Redskins Offseason Needs
Washington Redskins 2017 Free Agents
Chris Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Stepfan Taylor, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Jeremy Ross, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Earl Watford, RT, Arizona Cardinals
Alex Okafor, 3-4 LOLB, Arizona Cardinals
Marcus Cooper, CB, Arizona Cardinals
Mike Jenkins, CB, Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals 2017 Offseason Recap: Arizona has $17,065,989 for 2017 at the moment. That number will increase from anywhere to $50-million to $55-million if Larry Fitzgerald retires. Fitzgerald decided to return so Arizona will now have $39-million, but they spent $16-million tagging Chandler Jones.
Arizona extended Chandler Jones at 3-4 right outside linebacker, A.Q. Shipley at starting center, and
Arizona's biggest need at the moment is cornerback. They need someone next to Patrick Peterson.
Arizona Cardinals 2017 Free Agents
Arizona's biggest need after cornerback at the moment is quarterback. They need someone to groom behind Carson Palmer, but backup Drew Stanton, and third stringer Zac Dysert are under contract until 2018. Arizona will likely spend a day 2 pick on a quarterback and cut Dysert to save cap space.
Besides cornerback and quarterback, Arizona will need a tight end, a center, a 3-4 middle linebacker, a starting strong safety, a nickel corner in the late rounds, a second strong safety for depth, and running back depth since Arizona cannot enter next season with David Johnson as the only running back on the roster after he got injured in week 17. This is assuming Arizona brings back Chandler Jones. All these other needs get pushed down a round in the draft if Jones does not return to Arizona.
D.J. Humprhies did well at left tackle when Jared Veldheer got injured at left tackle. The bottom line is Arizona is about to enter a huge rebuilding phase unless they bring some of their starters back without going below the $20-million dollar mark in cap space.
2017 Arizona Cardinals Offseason Needs
Los Angeles Rams 2017 Free Agents
Case Keenum, QB, Los Angeles Rams
Benjamin Cunningham, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Stedman Bailey, WR, Los Angeles Rams
T.J. McDonald, SS, Los Angeles Rams
Greg Zeurlein, K, Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams 2017 Offseason Recap: Los Angeles has $36,394,280 for 2017 at the moment after franchise tagging Trumaine Johnson. With no first round pick as a result of the trade with the Tennessee Titans that allowed the Rams to move up for Jared Goff, the Rams are going to have to get multiple wide receivers and hit on both picks with their day 2 draft picks in the second and third round.
The secondary could easily take a step back if Trumaine Johnson leaves. Remember last year Janoris Jenkins suffered a season ending injury and the Rams chose to move on from him. If the Rams make the same mistake with Johnson it will hinder the Rams secondary for years to come and keep the Rams from blossoming into a playoff team even if they hire the right coach while Jared Goff gets his shit together on offense.
The 2017 Offseason will be a critical one for the Los Angeles Rams. You got Andrew Whitworth at left tackle for Goff. Greg Robinson should move to left guard. I think a center and right tackle are possible options now.
2017 Los Angeles Rams Offseason Needs
San Francisco 49ers 2017 Free Agents
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Blaine Gabbert, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Christian Ponder, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Shaun Draughn, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Rod Streater, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Glenn Dorsey, NT, San Francisco 49ers
Michael Wilhoite, 3-4 MLB, San Francisco 49ers
Gerald Hodges, 3-4 MLB, San Francisco 49ers
Nick Bellore, 3-4 MLB, San Francisco 49ers
Phil Dawson, K, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers 2017 Offseason Recap: San Francisco has $76,963,264 for 2017 at the moment. The 49ers will have about $101-million to spend on Free Agents and draft picks if they release starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick which I'm assuming they do. Now San Francisco broought in backup Brian Hoyer to replace Kaepernick and is likely to draft a quarterback at 2 to develop. San Francisco is switching to a 4-3 as well.
Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin are good role players. It's hard to see either thriving though with Brian Hoyer at quarterback. DeShone Kizer may be a player the 49ers target at 2. Malcolm Smith will play right outside linebacker in San Francisco's 4-3 defense with Navarro Bowman at left outside linebacker.
San Francisco has far more needs than the Cleveland Browns who happen to be picking ahead of them in the 2017 NFL Draft. The best players on the board at 2 are the 5-technique and safety positions which surprisingly San Francisco is set at. For starters they need a quarterback in Free Agency as well as a quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft. They need a #1 flanker receiver as well as a #2 receiver so Torrey Smith can move inside to the slot.
I didn't even touch on how the 49ers have needed a #1 field cornerback. This has been a huge need for the 49ers dating back to the 2011 NFL Draft. The 49ers have ignored this need for years and unfortunately the 49ers may have to ignore this need.
The 49ers are going to need at least 3 years of excellent drafting and keeping the right players before they can seriously contend again unless they manage to get Tony Romo in Free Agency and San Francisco's offensive line does an awesome job. I'm not even sure the 49ers front office has the attention span to wait it out for three years with a new GM and new head coach. After firing Jim Harbaugh the 49ers have turned into a more impatient organization than the Cleveland Browns.
2017 San Francisco 49ers Offseason Needs
Seattle Seahawks 2017 Free Agents
Will Tukuafu, FB, Seattle Seahawks
Marcel Reece, FB, Seattle Seahawks
Luke Willson, TE, Seattle Seahawks
Brandon Williams, TE, Seattle Seahawks
Bradley Sowell, LT, Seattle Seahawks
Tony McDaniel, DT, Seattle Seahawks
Michael Morgan, LOLB, Seattle Seahawks
Kelcie McCray, SS, Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks 2017 Offseason Preview: Seattle has $25,931,999 for 2017 at the moment. Seattle needs to draft a a safety for depth or a left tackle with their 26th pick.
Seattle can draft for depth in rounds 2-7. I expect the Seahawks to go after a left tackle in Free Agency.
Tony McDaniel may leave, but Jarran Reed their 2016 second round pick is ready to start next to Rubin at defensive tackle. With Luke Willson and Brandon Williams gone, I expect 2016 third round pick Nick Vannett to emerge as the backup to Jimmy Graham in Seattle.
You have to love Seattle's chances of contending for the NFC next season if they avoid injuries. Upgrading left tackle to find an immediate starter is the top priority. Seattle is one team that has the luxury of trading up for Wisconsin left tackle Ryan Ramczyk and if Denver wanted Ramczyk at 20, Seattle could trade up with Tampa Bay at 19.
Seattle should win the NFC West again. The only question is whether they do well enough to get a first round bye or home field in the NFC since that seems to be the key to their Super Bowl runs.
2017 Seattle Seahawks Offseason Needs