The offseason still has plenty of road left ahead, but for the most part, the heavy lifting has been dealt with.
While we won’t know the real results of free agency and the draft until the players actually hit the field, let’s take a look at the best and worst move each team has made since the end of the 2016 season, starting with the NFC East.
EAST | NORTH | SOUTH | WEST
Best: Re-tooling secondary at draft
Due to a tight salary cap, Dallas had to say goodbye to four members of its secondary through free agency without much money to replace them. However, the Cowboys stayed calm and took advantage of a deep defensive back draft class, selecting potential starting cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis on Day 2. In the sixth round, safety Xavier Woods and corner Marquez White were also added for depth.
Worst: The Tony Romo saga
Truth be told, the Cowboys have had a very positive offseason, but the back-and-forth nature of the Romo saga wasn’t a great look. In March, it was reported that Dallas planned to release Romo, but after a handful of teams expressed interest in picking him up, the quarterback went from cap casualty to trade bait. Then, after weeks of no word on his future, Romo surprisingly retired in favor of a broadcasting career. That may have explained the flip-flopping, but still, it looked bad.
New York Giants
Best: Signing Brandon Marshall
The Giants made a major upgrade to their offense prior to free agency by keeping Marshall in New York but changing his jersey. The veteran gives the Giants a threat on the outside who will create more room for Odell Beckham Jr., and also provide the young receiver with a solid mentor.
Worst: Not addressing O-line needs
The biggest need for the Giants entering this offseason was along the offensive line – and everybody knew it. While the team made decent upgrades at other positions, only veteran backup D.J. Fluker and sixth-rounder Adam Bisnowaty were added on the O-line. Without a star running back, the Giants will be reliant on their air attack in 2017.
Best: Prioritizing Carson Wentz’s weapons
The Eagles drafted their franchise quarterback last offseason, and they bought him some toys this year. Heading into his second campaign, Wentz received major upgrades with veterans Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith re-shaping his receiver corps. Philadelphia also spent two fourth-rounds picks and one fifth to look for depth at pass-catcher and running back as future investments.
Worst: Eating Chase Daniel’s contract
A lot can change in one year, apparently. After bringing Daniel over with Doug Pederson from Kansas City on a three-year, $21-million deal in 2016, the Eagles released the backup quarterback, giving him a total of $11.1 million for one pass. Daniel is a perfectly fine backup, who will now cost the Eagles over $4 million to play against them.
Best: Drafting Jonathan Allen 17th overall
Washington didn’t get caught overthinking at the draft, and was lucky enough to have solid picks fall to each of its first four selections – none more surprising than Allen in the first round. The Alabama product was widely projected to be at least a top-15 pick – possibly even in the top three. Instead, Allen was an easy selection for the general manager-less Redskins, and could be a starting defensive end for the next decade.
Worst: Firing GM Scot McCloughan on free-agency day
Everything about this reeks. McCloughan had made some very good decisions through the draft and free agency during his short time with Washington before the rest of the front office apparently got jealous and fired him. There were also reports leaked from the team that McCloughan was drinking on the job, which have been denied by anyone who might have known – only further embarrassed the organization. To top it off, not retaining any key free agents is a great way to anger your fans.
AFC (Thursday, May 11)
EAST | NORTH | SOUTH | WEST
Copyright © 2017 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.