The 2020 NFL offseason is yet to reach its official conclusion; however, most of the crucial moves have been made already. There have been lots of ups and downs, surprises and setbacks, and eventually, all the 32 teams have managed to lay their foundation for the next season; where none of them are prepared to offer a single inch to their opponents! Well, that’s how the NFL has been right from the beginning. It is all about tough competition, where every single team sweat and bleed to get hold of the title. This is why offseason grades are so important. This is something that would determine the fate of a team in the coming season. Better the grade, higher are the chances for a team to perform better.
How did they Fare?
Every single team will be given a grade, based on its offseason moves and also on the fact as to how well they have managed to address their needs, provide fit and value within the perceived plan of franchise for the year 2020; whether it is rebuilding, tanking for the days to come or contending. Both long and short term implications will be taken into consideration, wherever they are applicable. Let’s find out!
Arizona Cardinals: The Arizona Cardinals have decided to give one more chance to Kyler Murray, who is their second-year quarterback. They have decided to trade for their star wideout; DeAndre Hopkins and retained the receiver, Larry Fitzgerald. Besides, they have also decided to retain their running back, Kenyan Drake. Getting hold of Hopkins is said to be the steal of the season; and is a big achievement for the franchise. They have decided to add more strength to their defense and have gone for De’Vondre Campbell, for a one year deal.
Atlanta Falcons: The Atlanta Falcons did lose some of their key assets in the form of Austin Hooper, who was one of their star tight end, along with Desmond Trufant; their reliable cornerback. Both of them had to be released. They have traded Hayden Hurst for Hooper; however, his past two seasons hasn’t been quite as expected. According to the critics, he failed to meet the expectations and couldn’t do justice to his potential. However, they have managed to get hold of a strong side, with a reasonably sharp attacking line. They too have decided to strengthen their defense. Their team is a good combination of young and experienced players.
Baltimore Ravens: One of the main issues for AFC 2020, is the fact that the rich got even richer. Last season, Baltimore Ravens went 14-2; which might not equal their record of 2019; however, they have managed to build a better team this time. They have traded Calais Campbell, which would certainly help them strengthen their team. They have also signed defensive tackle Derek Wolfe, as they have drafted linebacker Patrick Queen. Overall, Baltimore Ravens have managed to pull up quite a strong team, and are expected to perform well in the coming season.
Buffalo Bills: On paper, like Baltimore Ravens; the Buffalo Bills are a stronger side than they were last season. They desperately needed a good receiver who could pair with their upcoming quarterback Josh Allen. They got hold of one by trading Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings. Besides, they also needed a cornerback, which they have managed to get hold of in the shape of E.J Gaines and Josh Norman. They have signed in Mario Addison; this will help them to boost their pass rush. They have also added another second-round pick; who is A.J.Epenesa. Overall, Buffalo Bills have managed to form a strong team, with some of the most experienced players available. Besides, they also have a couple of young blood in their team, who can add that extra edge, which every franchise looks forward to. The Buffalo Bills didn’t have a strong team in the past season. However, this time around; at least on papers; they are believed to be a far better team. According to some experts, they are going to give some real-time fight to their opponents. However, it all boils down to how they perform on the field. Given the expectations which they have set for their fans; they really need to pull up their socks this time.
Carolina Panthers: Carolina Panthers has been criticized for releasing their quarterback Cam Newton. However, the fact that they hired Matt Rhule, would certainly add more strength to their team. They have traded Kyle Allen to the Washington Redskins; however, this was a questionable decision. Again, like other teams, Carolina Panthers have also managed to add some additional strength to their team. Compared to the last season, it is being said that they have a better team this time. Though they have let go of some of their key players, who have been real assets for their team; yet, they still have a very formidable lineup which can pose a threat to any other team fighting for the title.
Chicago Bears: This time around, the offseason for Chicago Bear has been much better and compared to the year 2018. They have traded Khali Mack, which can prove to be a bit costly for them; however, they have managed to get hold of the cornerback Jaylon Johnson. As mentioned, compared to 2018, they have a much better team, which has a very balanced one.
This was a brief overview of the offseason performance on some of the top teams of the NFL. Not all of them managed to pull up a good show. Some of them did fairly exceptionally well, while some couldn’t manage to pick the players whom they had targeted. It needs to be mentioned in this context that teams which were strong last season, have managed to retain their strength; while on the other hand, the weaker teams couldn’t manage to add anything significant to their bench. The NFL offseason has been an interesting one like it always has been.