Grading the NFC East Offseason, so far.

Washington Redskins

Biggest Move: Signing Alex Smith

619225826.0Redskins are hoping for a healthy Jordan Reed to add to the weapons they already have

An un-noticed powerhouse is being crafted in Washington.

The Washington Redskins will enter the 2018 NFL season with nine first-round and six second-round picks on their roster – the talent on this team is undeniable, and this is why I believe the Redskins are making a serious playoff run this season.

After losing Kirk (you like that) Cousins to the Vikings they Redskins traded for former Pro Bowl Quarterback Alex Smith who supposedly was interested in joining the Redskins for one reason – this team is built to win. There are very little issues with the Redskins offence at the moment, and with the upcoming draft, they could potentially add another solid running-back or guard to join Smith, although I would be surprised if the Redskins did not use their 13th pick for the defensive side of the ball.

Smith will drop into a very protected Quarterback position, nestling in behind two All-Pro offensive linemen (Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff) and will have a multitude of receivers to target such as the first-round pick Josh Doctson in one side, and super fast Paul Richardson on the other side – not to mention Jamison Crowder taking over the slot position. Smith will also hopefully have the Redskins former All-Pro TE Jordan Reed back to full health, and Joe Grudens preferred two tight end sets, Vernon Davis will also look to play a larger part in the future offence, who has already caught 30 touchdowns from Smith in his career – immediately having chemistry will be a huge positive factor.

I understand I have concentrated on the offence mainly with the Redskins, but seriously, holy crap they look good. However, this concentration on the offensive side of the ball is not to say that the defensive is an issue. It is a testament to Dan Snyders patience looking at the talent on the defensive side of the ball, with two first-round picks on the defence so far. The Redskins also will almost definitely use their first-round pick to acquire either Derwin James (Safety, FSU) or Vita Vea (DT, Washington) adding another first-round pick to their already stacked defence.

Liams’ Grade: A+
Frasers’ Grade: B+

New York Giants

Biggest Move: Acquiring Nate Solder

1-Odell-Beckham-Jr-New-York-Giants1Will the return of Odell bring a winning season for the Giants?

A lamb roaring like a lion

The New York Giants started the off-season with a bang starting with the signing of ex-Panthers running back Jordan Stewart. Although coming off a less than productive season  Jordan Stewart still totalled 680 yards with 6 touchdowns, whilst sharing snaps with rookie Christian McCaffrey. This signing was the first of the Giants blockbuster offseason and definitely filled a hole Paul Perkins could not fill.

The next signing was (in my opinion) the best move of the whole 2018 off-season bar none. The Giants signed Nate Solder to a four-year $62million ($34.8million guaranteed) contract which allows them to move Ereck Flowers to Right Tackle, or inside to Guard whilst also opening up draft options for a ‘win-now’ season. Also, for an extra win, the Giants could potentially cut Solder after two years with very little cap-penalty ($8million in 2020, $4million in 2021).

It is also interesting that 2020 is the year that Eli Mannings contract is up for renewal so the addition of Solder in this format may be insinuating that the Giants still believe in the lesser Manning brother to captain their ship for the next few years. If this is true, the Giants may be more than just QB hungry in the draft, potentially building a roster to make a Lombardi run before Mannings contract is up – Win now, rebuild later strategy.

The Giants also are awaiting the return of their All-Pro, lights out receiver Odell Beckham Jr, who is coming of a season-ending injury. The Giants other receivers just could not handle the load last year, and I believe that the Giants should look to pick up another wide receiver in the draft as currently the Giants are over the cap limit and therefore cannot make any FA moves without cutting or sorting player contracts.

Liams Grade: B+
Frasers Grade: A

Philadelphia Eagles

Biggest Move: Signing of More Defensive Weapons

im-1803Have the Eagles done enough to make another Lombardi run?

The Super Bowl LII champions surprised everyone time and time again last season, going from nobodies to underdogs to Super Bowl champions and although I am an avid Patriots fan, I have to admit the Eagles really impressed me last season and (as much I don’t want to admit it) it was kinda cool to see them win the Bowl for the first time. However, were the Eagles one-season wonders? With 13 players from the Super Bowl roster due to hit FA, the Eagles had a problem on their hands entering the offseason.

It’s hard to believe, but the Eagle somehow managed to make their defence even better. They signed ex-Seahawk DE Michael Bennet to add extra pressure to any QB facing them. Bennet is an older player (32 years old) with a loud mouth but even his less productive season last year still totalled 8.5 sacks throughout his sixteen games played. The risk of bringing in Bennet’s loud mouth and attitude into the locker room is a risk worth taking, especially since the Eagles traded almost nothing for him (Wr Marcus Johnson, 5th round pick). In addition to the Michael Bennet pick up, the Eagles also buffed up their Cornerback position with the acquisition of Daryl Worley. Although Worley is still a big question mark in productivity, the very fact the Eagles managed to get anything for Torrey Smith who was due to eat up $5million in cap space this season this move was amazing. Also adding to the line, the Eagles signed Ngata who has missed 14 games over the last two years on a $2.6million guarunteed contract, which seems like a stretch for a 34-year-old player.

The Eagles also stacked their Linebacker core with the resigning of Nigel Bradham and signing of ex-Broncos Linebacker Corey Nelson who will bring added depth and also special teams experience.

However as good as they pick-ups were, the Eagles lost some key players this offseason that makes me doubt how effective they will be in the coming season. The Eagles lost a big-time Super Bowl player in Vinny Curry and old reliable target Brent Celek.

Liams Grade: A-
Frasers Grade: B

Dallas Cowboys

Biggest Move: Signing Cameron Fleming

zeke-week9-1800Is anyone else excited for more Zeke leaps?

The Cowboys are coming off a 9-7 win/loss season which isn’t too bad seeing as their star running back Zeke was only on the field for 10-games however it wasn’t the season that Cowboy fans hoped for considering their blockbuster season the year before. So what did the Cowboys do to enhance their Lombardi chances this year? Answer: Nothing much.

The Cowboys added the speedster duo of Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson for Dak Prescott to target in 2018, however, the signings of these two wide receivers creates questions surrounding Dez Bryant’s future (read more herepotentially removing the most consistent Cowboys receiver over the last few seasons. I have delved more deeply into the replacement of Dez in the blog ‘the future of #Dezcaughtit?’ so will continue further on into the offseason movements.

The Cowboys also signed ex-Packers linebacker Joe Thomas who may help to add some extra QB pressure for the Cowboys. However, Thomas only recorded 6 tackles and 0.5 sacks in his 2017 season so his ability to do anything for the Cowboys is seriously in question.

Apart from these moves, the Cowboys have not really done much, to the disappointment of Cowboys fans. The Cowboys will have to make very wise picks in the 2018 draft, but it will be interesting to see where they go with their 19th pick. There is a 50/50 chance that WR Calvin Ridley is still available by pick 19 and he would be a really good match for Dallas. Apart from Ridley, SS Derwin James and LB Roquan Smith could also be good fits for the Dallas defence.

Liams Grade: C-

Frasers Grade: C-

What grade does your team receive? Are you happy with your teams’ offseasons moves or were you expecting more?

Grading the AFC East offseason…So far

Miami Dolphins

Biggest move: Signing of Josh Sitton

Juice says goodbye to the beaches of Miami and hello to the winless Browns

Above Average, but still not good.

The Fins have made a lot of preseason moves, some very controversial, losing and signing in players in much-needed positions. Last year Miami placed 29thin rushing averaging only 86.8 yards per game. Miami lost key offensive linemen including 3-time Pro-Bowler Pouncey and versatile tackle and guard Bushrod. However, with the $7million the Phins saved with these moves, Miami traded for center Daniel Kilgore and veteran guard Josh Sitton.

The Dolphins brought in a couple of sturdy receivers in Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola who combined for 1213 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns in the 2017 regular season both playing from the 3rd string or lower on the depth chart. However, the Phins also lost one of their most consistent players in Jarvis ‘juice’ Landry when they traded him to the Browns for a 4th round pick in 2018and a7th in 2019 (which in my opinion is way too low a price for him.)

Miami still has a Quarterback problem to sort out even after the signing of Brock Osweiler, with the (already low) productivity of Tannehill being in question after his injury. The Dolphins have the 11th overall pick in the draft and could look to sort their problem with the Oklahoma Sooners Heisman winner Baker Mayfield who has shown interest in playing with the Phins on social media. Overall the Dolphins have had a confusing offseason with some very good moves and some more questionable ones. They still have some holes to fill such as Running back and Quarterback but strengthened key needs for the future season. However, that doesn’t make up for the loss of key players so my overall grade so far is…

Fraser’s Grade: C+
Liam’s Grade: C-

New England Patriots

Biggest move: Loss of Nate Solder

Edelman’s looking for a new roommate as New England say goodbye to Danny

 Waiting for the next undersize, white, Superbowl hero.

The 5x Super Bowl champions have had crazy offseason, as usual. The departure of Pro Bowl and Super Bowl 49 hero Malcolm Butler and shifty running back Dion Lewis to the Tennessee Titans will cause a bit of a sting around the Patriot nation and bring a question to those areas for the future season. However, New England also brought in players to fill holes in much-needed positions even though they only ranked 25thoverall in cap space with $15 million and many unrestricted free agents to resign.

The Biggest loss for the Patriots is the loss Nate Solder who been protecting Brady for 6 years with very little injuries along the way. The former All-Pro left New England to play for the struggling New York Giants and left the G.O.A.Ts blindside protection to experienced left tackle LaAdrian Waddle, who just signed a 1-year extension with the organisation. With the help of legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia Waddle had a productive last season when Solder was injured but will not be able to bring what Solder does to the locker room.

The Patriots filled some holes on defence with the signings of big defensive end Adrian Clayborn and twin brother of Devin, Jason McCourty. The Patriots defence finished 29th overall with the 3rd worst pass defence and 13th worst run defence. McCourty in his last season with the Winless Browns had 14 pass deflections and 3 interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. His added athleticism and chemistry with his brother should bolster the Patriots pass defence and Clayborn will provide a much-needed improvement to the struggling D-line, partnering with newly acquired former First-rounder Danny Shelton and rising star linebacker Marquis Flowers, who I believe will become a solid, Pro Bowl worthy linebacker next season.

The Patriots offseason is fully underway and the mental genius of Belichick is paying off once again. With the draft coming up New England should look to add another Left Tackle to add to the depth chart rotation and possibly add another late-round Wide Receiver to make up for the recent departure of Danny Amendola and remove some of the strain from Edelman who is returning from an ACL injury this season.

James Harrison is supposedly in talks with New England about re-signing for the 2018 season, and this is a move I would like to see happen. I also would like to see another young quarterback on the roster, because there is no way Hoyer is the future of New England. Bill has supposedly shown interest in Kyle Lauletta from the University of Richmond, so a combination of him and another young gun (Maybe Manziel?) could provide a good competition for second string.

Frasers Grade: B+
Liam’s Grade: B-

New York Jets

Biggest move: Trade up to 3rd overall pick via Colts

Old man McCowan ain’t no Tom Brady

Wait… the Jets done good?

The Jets had a surprisingly good season by their records last year, finishing with a record of 5-11, obviously, in terms of competing teams, this is not a ‘good’ season however many critics were predicting a 0-16 season. I knew what Josh McCown could do though, I always believed in him.

Although Josh had a productive season throwing for an impressive 2926 yards and 18 touchdowns through 14 games, McCowan is not getting any younger and will be 39 this Independence Day. The Jets seem to be looking to re-build and McCowan is not ageing like Brady, so his future in the league is always in jeopardy; the Jets seem to have acknowledged this and made moves in the upcoming draft. The trade to 3rd overall pick is smart as it gives the Jets lots of prospects at quarterback; selections including the controversial Baker Mayfield and USC leader Sam Darnold. Although in the mix, I don’t believe they will get a shot at drafting Josh Rosen who if doesn’t go first pick to the Browns, surely goes second pick to the Giants.

The Jets also signed former All-Pro rookie Teddy Bridgewater who is coming of a near career-ending ACL injury. I like Teddy B and the stats show that he was a good Quarterback throwing for 3231 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015 (the year before he got hurt). I have a soft spot for the guy but it will be a tough road back to the top and the Jets may still have to look elsewhere for their franchise Qb.

The Jets are rebuilding well but I don’t see them doing anything spectacular this season but give it a season or two and we might see playoff contenders that make the AFC East competitive. If they keep Todd Bowles I don’t doubt they’ll go far.

Frasers Grade: B-
Liam’s Grade: C+

Buffalo Bills

Biggest Move: Trading of Tyrod Taylor

The Buffalo Bills are the new Cleveland Browns

This years 0-16 team, the Cleveland Browns Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills have been very quiet this offseason, most media news from the team has been filled with rookie receiver Zay Jones’s criminal activity rather than trade moves. However, one of the major moves from the Bills is moving on from Tyrod Taylor.

The Bills GM has never seemed to like Tyrod, benching him at multiple points over the past 2 seasons even though Tyrod had thrown for 5822 yards and 31 touchdowns in just 30 games. During these seasons Tyrod also used his athleticism to get out the pocket rushing for 1007 yards and 10 touchdowns. Although maybe not franchise quarterback numbers, it shows that Tyrod is highly productive under centre. The Browns have gotten themselves a quarterback that their inevitable First Round pick rookie can sit under for a year, learning the ropes without the weight of the Cleveland QB curse on his shoulders. Whilst on the other side, the Bills have to put their hopes in either Nathan ‘pick’ Peterman, who will not be able to run a race let alone a struggling offence for a year, or A.J McCarron, the untested, unproven ex-Bengal. The Bill will surely make moves in the draft for a QB however even if they do select a future QB with the 12th Overall pick, the absence of any experienced Qb on the roster to mentor them should send warning signals to Bills fans everywhere.

The only positive thing the Bills seem to have done this offseason is bolstering their defensive line with the addition of Star Lotulelei and Trent Murphy. The Bills placed 29th in rush defence last year so these additions should help fill a huge need. However, although they sorted their defensive troubles up front, the Bills also traded cornerback E.J Gaines to the Browns (who seem to be on an AFC east yard sale) so they will need to pick up another slot cornerback (and if you’re playing the Pats twice a year you need a good one) in the draft or later in free agency.

The Bills offseason, in my opinion, has been woeful so far. They have excellent wide receivers but no solid quarterback to throw to them and have one of the best running backs in the league in LeSean ‘shady’ McCoy but also lost their starting left tackle. The whole organisation seem to be going two steps forward four steps back, taking tips from the Browns it seems. General manager Brandon Beane said “we are very low on money” so the Bills are going to need to perform a miracle in this year’s draft to even dream of making back to the playoffs or even posting a winning season in 2018.

Frasers Grade: F
Liam’s Grade: D-

Stay tuned for your favourite teams’ division that will be coming soon! What would you rate the teams mentioned so far? let us know below!