This NFL offseason has been one of the best ones in recent memory. There was a record setting amount of trades, a crazy and wild free agency period and to top it all off, one of the most hyped/anticipated drafts we have ever seen. Now let’s take a look at some teams who have had the best offseason this year.
*in no particular order
Los Angeles Chargers
Best Move: Signing Casey Hayward to a contract extension
Worst Move: Not re-signing Tre Boston
Underrated Move: Signing Mike Pouncey
Best Draft Pick: Derwin James
The Chargers are one of the best teams in the NFL in my honest opinion. They have one of the best rosters in the league before the season ended, and they still do now. Mike Pouncey hitting the free agent market late in the process was a blessing for them as they were able to add an upgrade among the offensive line. Another blessing that came to LA was Derwin James falling to them at pick 17. They get another great player in an already great secondary that includes Casey Hayward and Jason Verrett. If the Chargers secondary wasn’t elite already, it should be now. The one piece that they could still add is Tre Boston. Boston had a very good year in 2017 and was unrecognized during the season and in free agency. Unfortunately for him the market for free agent safeties this off-season has been non-existent with some decent players such as Kenny Vaccaro, Eric Reid, and TJ Ward not cashing in, in free agency. Fortunately for the Chargers if they chose to re-sign Boston closer to training camp he wouldn’t be as expensive as maybe he thought he was. If they paired him up with James, a secondary consisting of Casey Hayward, Jason Verrett, Tre Boston, and Derwin James would be one of the league’s best. The Chargers are a young an upcoming team and IF they manage to stay healthy throughout the year, they could end up making some noise in the post season.
New York Giants
Best Move: Hiring Pat Shurmur
Worst Move: Minor front office changes
Underrated Move: Signing Cody Latimer
Best Draft Pick: Will Hernandez/Saquon Barkley
After having the worst season in franchise history, the Giants had a pretty impressive offseason based on the bar being set so low. They hired Pat Shurmur who is one of the best offensive minds in today’s game and is a quarterback guru who has been apart of Nick Foles’ 2013 27 TD-2 INT year, and part of Sam Bradford’s and Case Keenum’s career revivals in Minnesota. He will help the Giants offense actually function and finally crack 30 points a game which they haven’t done in two years. An extremely underrated move in my opinion was the signing of Cody Latimer. Although he hasn’t put up big numbers in Denver, Shurmur is known for bringing out the best of players in his offense. If he pans out he could be a decent number 2 or 3 receiver. Another huge move they made was bolstering the offensive line, the addition of Nate Solder will give Eli Manning that blind side protection that he has been missing for years, also with the addition of Will Hernandez in the draft. Although first round pick Saquon Barkley will make a huge impact right away, the player that Hernandez is and that he fell to them in the second round, I believe to be the best value out of all their picks. While their off-season has been great so far, and Dave Gettleman looks good as of now I do have to question the hiring of him. After the disastrous season that they had and the bad drafts that they’ve had in recent years the best that John Mara could have came up with is Dave Gettleman? You would think that you would want to start over fresh but instead you go with a guy who was in the previous regime and decided to hire him right away when there were guys like Eliot Wolf and Nick Caserio who you could have interviewed first. Not only that but only one other member of the front office was fired. While Gettleman looks good now they could have gone out of their comfort zone and hired someone younger with a more long term plan.
Los Angeles Rams
Best Move: Building secondary via free agency and trades
Worst Move: Trading Alec Ogletree to the Giants
Underrated Move: Franchise tagging Lamarcus Joyner
Best Draft Pick: Micah Kiser
The Rams have had one the best off-seasons in recent memory, they were probably the most active team trading wise in the past few years. They completely revamped their secondary with the additions of Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib via trades, you can’t also forget Sam Shields as well in free agency. To go along with that secondary one of the great players that no one is talking about is Safety Lamarcus Joyner, he’s super underrated and is bound to have a breakout year. One of the moves that I think was questionable was trading Linebacker Alec Ogletree to the Giants. Although he had an off year in 2017, he was definitely the leader of that defense. Players that have a leadership role and that have high character are hard to replace. However, they feel like they have that guy in their 5th round draft pick; Micah Kiser. There were so many moves that the Rams have made this of-season, there really isn’t one that is too detrimental to their team. They’re a young team who keeps on getting better and are considered to be one of the top teams in the league.
Best Move: Hiring Matt Nagy
Worst Move: Not signing Cameron Meredith to his tender
Underrated Move: Drafting James Daniels
Best Draft Pick: Roquan Smith
The Chicago Bears had a quiet offseason in a sense that it has not gained nearly enough recognition from the media. They fire John Fox, hire a young offensive guy in Matt Nagy, get two very good receivers in free agency, a pass-catching tight end, and get possibly the linebacker in the draft. For as poorly run as the Bears have been for the past decade, they finally have something to be excited about. You have your quarterback of the future who already has a year under his belt and actually give him some weapons on the outside. The Bears have the potential of being the Rams of this year, if they play well with a bit of luck they are definitely a sleeper to make the wild card this year. I also like how they are keeping continuity in keeping Vic Fangio who is extremely underrated as a defensive coordinator. I can’t wait to see what he does with a linebacker like Roquan Smith, who is an absolute animal and arguably the best defensive player in the draft. He should be a staple of the Bears defense for years to come. While I do like most of their moves in this off-season, I do have to question not signing the tender for Cameron Meredith who is a very good receiver and would have been a nice complement to the Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel. The future in Chicago is bright.
Best Move: Drafting Baker Mayfield
Worst Move: Trading for Tyrod Taylor
Underrated Move: Signing Chris Hubbard in free agency
Best Draft Pick: Baker Mayfield
Next to the Rams, the Browns probably had one of the most active offseasons as well. They traded for Jarvis Landry, Damarious Randall, and Tyrod Taylor. They signed Darren Fells, Carlos Hyde, and re-signed Josh Gordon. They definitely have too many good pieces on offense now to not succeed. John Dorsey has done a really great job so far in his first off-season as General Manager in trying to make the Browns competitive. I love the pick in Baker Mayfield, they need someone who is clutch and is going to bring a new type of attitude to Cleveland. A very underrated move is signing Chris Hubbard in free agency, he is easily one of the more underrated tackles in the league and should solidify the right side of the offensive line. One move I do have to question is trading for Tyrod Taylor and taking on that huge contract. Despite what Hue Jackson says Tyrod is a bridge quarterback for Mayfield until he is ready, which I don’t expect to be too long. Mayfield was one of the most ready quarterbacks in this draft in my opinion and they should play him sooner rather than later. I understand Tyrod being the bridge for a quarterback that would benefit from sitting like Josh Allen or Sam Darnold but Baker just needs to play and show what he’s got.