NFC Offseason Grades

I finally was able to finish my offseason grades this past week. So, on this wonderful Friday, let’s look at how each NFC team has done over the past few months.

Thumbnail credits: MLive, Arizona Sports

NFC East

 

Dallas Cowboys

Grade: A-

Notable Additions: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, QB Andy Dalton, DT Gerald McCoy, DT Dontari Poe, WR CeeDee Lamb, CB Trevon Diggs

Notable Departures: CB Byron Jones, Edge Robert Quinn, WR Randall Cobb, C Travis Frederick, TE Jason Witten

The Boys did just about as well as they could have done under their current circumstances. They extended Amari Cooper, but Dak Prescott is still franchise tagged. Losing Byron Jones, Robert Quinn, and Travis Frederick will really hurt. However, they made up for the loss of Quinn with McCoy and Poe, while patching up the secondary with Diggs and Clinton-Dix. CeeDee Lamb may have been the biggest steal of the Draft, too. Amari, Lamb, and Michael Gallup will form one of the best receiver trios in the league. So, Jerry Jones & Co. made out just fine. 

 

New York Giants

Grade: B+

Notable Additions: CB James Bradberry, LB Blake Martinez, LB Kyler Fackrell, OT Andrew Thomas, S Xavier McKinney

Notable Departures: QB Eli Manning, LB Alec Ogletree

This was a solid, concise offseason for NYG. James Bradberry will be there instant CB1. Andrew Thomas may not have been the most talented OT in this Draft class, but he’s the most pro-ready. Martinez and Fackrell may not be long term solutions, but they’ll do for now. Finally, the sneaky pick of Xavier McKinney gives the GMen one of the league’s most youthful secondaries.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

Grade: A

Notable Additions: CB Darius Slay, DT Javon Hargrave, CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, WR Jalen Reagor, QB Jalen Hurts

Notable Departures: S Malcolm Jenkins, RB Jordan Howard, OT Jason Peters, OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Some people didn’t share this feeling, but I loved this Eagles offseason. Darius Slay is the lockdown guy they need, and Robey-Coleman will help in the slot. Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave are two of the best interior D-Linemen in the NFL, and now they’re on the same squad. The Draft was what Eagles fans griped about. However, Reagor will provide some needed speed, while Hurts is great insurance. Think of it this way Eagles fans: if Hurts never plays a down, that means Wentz will be healthy the whole time, but if Wentz goes down, you guys have a very capable QB to fill in. That’s a win-win if you ask me. 

Detroit Lions vs. Los Angeles Chargers - September 15, 2019
(Image from MLive)

Washington Redskins

Grade: B-

Notable Additions: CB Kendall Fuller, LB Thomas Davis, Edge Chase Young, RB Antonio Gibson

Notable Departures: CB Josh Norman, CB Quinton Dunbar, OG Ereck Flowers, OT Trent Williams

The ‘Skins did fine these past few months, but not nearly enough to put them in a winning position. Chase Young is an absolute beast, and Antonio Gibson could be a focal point next season, but otherwise, no real improvements were made. The O-Line is still in shambles, and Dwayne Haskins will only have Terry McLaurin to throw to. Adding Young is great, but Ron Rivera and his crew will have to do much more next offseason to vault into contention. 

chase young skins
(Image from NBC Sports)

NFC North

 

Chicago Bears

Grade: C-

Notable Additions: Edge Robert Quinn, TE Jimmy Graham, QB Nick Foles, WR Ted Ginn Jr., CB Artie Burns, TE Cole Kmet, CB Jaylon Johnson

Notable Departures: Edge Leonard Floyd, LB Nick Kwiatkowski, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, CB Prince Amukamara, OG Kyle Long, TE Trey Burton, WR Taylor Gabriel

It’s pretty hard for me to find positives here. Robert Quinn has surged the past few years, but he’s already 30 and they gave him a monster 5-year, $70M deal. For this to be worth it, he’ll have to put up 8.0+ sacks per year until he’s 35, which won’t happen. Not only that, but they also added Jimmy Graham and Nick Foles, who are both well past their primes. I like their selections of Jaylon Johnson and Cole Kmet, but Kmet won’t even get a full workload until Graham is gone. Chicago better hope Foles still has some magic left because otherwise, they haven’t improved at all. 

 

Detroit Lions

Grade: B+

Notable Additions: CB Desmond Trufant, LB Jamie Collins, S Duron Harmon, DT Danny Shelton, OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, CB Jeffrey Okudah, RB D’Andre Swift, Edge Julian Okwara

Notable Departures: CB Darius Slay, DT Damon Harrison, DT A’Shawn Robinson, LB Devon Kennard, OT Rick Wagner, OL Graham Glasgow

Detroit did what had to be done with Darius Slay. Replacing him with Trufant and Okudah was a savvy move, though. Duron Harmon, Jamie Collins, and Danny Shelton are all solid as well, adding to the Patriots-like scheme of the Lions. D’Andre Swift will be a nice complement for Kerryon Johnson. Evidently, this is a run first team. 

jeff okudah lions
(Image from Buckeyes Wire)

Green Bay Packers

Grade: D-

Notable Additions: LB Christian Kirksey, WR Devin Funchess, OT Rick Wagner, QB Jordan Love, RB AJ Dillon

Notable Departures: OT Bryan Bulaga, LB Blake Martinez, LB Kyler Fackrell, TE Jimmy Graham

The Packers failed miserably this offseason. They went 13-3 last season and should’ve gone all-in on getting Aaron Rodgers another Super Bowl. Instead, their offense got worse and they drafted his replacement. They lost Bryan Bulaga and Jimmy Graham and replaced Bulaga with Rick Wagner, a big downgrade. In the Draft, they completely ignored their biggest need, wide receiver. They took Rodgers’ replacement, Jordan Love, and took AJ Dillon, who will be their third-string running back this season. Both of them may be good in the future, but they’ll likely provide no value in 2020. That’s where my problem is because they should be building for right now. 

 

Minnesota Vikings

Grade: B+

Notable Additions: DT Michael Pierce, WR Justin Jefferson, CB Jeff Gladney, OT Ezra Cleveland, CB Cameron Dantzler

Notable Departures: WR Stefon Diggs, Edge Everson Griffen, CB Xavier Rhodes, CB Trae Waynes, CB Mackensie Alexander

The Vikings are in one of the worst cap space situations in the NFL, so considering that fact, they did very well. Losing Stefon Diggs and Xavier Rhodes seemed inevitable. They drafted very well to replace those two with Justin Jefferson, Jeff Gladney, and Cameron Dantzler. I also really like Ezra Cleveland. They still have plenty of holes on their roster, but they moved in a positive direction this offseason. 

 

NFC South

 

Atlanta Falcons

Grade: B

Notable Additions: RB Todd Gurley II, Edge Dante Fowler Jr., TE Hayden Hurst, CB AJ Terrell, DT Marlon Davidson

Notable Departures: TE Austin Hooper, CB Desmond Trufant, RB Devonta Freeman, Edge Vic Beasley, LB De’Vondre Campbell

I like Atlanta’s free agency class, but not their Draft. Gurley, Fowler, and Hurst will all contribute immediately. However, AJ Terrell was a HUGE reach, and even if he booms, they’ll still be weak at cornerback. After losing Trufant, they should’ve done more for their secondary. So, the Falcons’ defense will wallow in mediocrity once again. 

 

Carolina Panthers

Grade: B

Notable Additions: QB Teddy Bridgewater, WR Robby Anderson, OT Russell Okung, DT Derrick Brown, Edge Yetur Gross-Matos, S Jeremy Chinn

Notable Departures: LB Luke Kuechly, QB Cam Newton, CB James Bradberry, OG Trai Turner, TE Greg Olsen, DT Dontari Poe, DT Gerald McCoy, Edge Mario Addison

Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, and Greg Olsen were the faces of the Panthers, but they’re all gone in one offseason. The other five notable players they lost were also huge playmakers. That makes it pretty clear this team is going into a full rebuild. They overpaid Teddy Bridgewater, but they still could easily move on from him in 2021. Robby Anderson was a nice pick up. Their draft was the strong point of their offseason. Derrick Brown should be a monster, creating space for Yetur Gross-Matos to dominate. Jeremy Chinn could very well be the next Luke Kuechly for this defense. They still need a few more defensive weapons, but they’re on the right track for this rebuild.

derrick brown panthers
(Image from College and Magnolia)

New Orleans Saints

Grade: A-

Notable Additions: S Malcolm Jenkins, WR Emmanuel Sanders, QB Jameis Winston, OG/C Cesar Ruiz, Edge Zack Baun

Notable Departures: QB Teddy Bridgewater, OG Larry Warford, S Vonn Bell, CB Eli Apple, WR Ted Ginn Jr.

New Orleans had a very underrated offseason. They lost pretty much nothing, while adding Malcolm Jenkins and Emmanuel Sanders. Plus, Zack Baun was the best interior OL in the class and Zack Baun is as versatile as they come. If the Saints can’t figure out a way to make the Super Bowl this year, they probably never will. 

 

Tampa Buccaneers 

Grade: A-

Notable Additions: QB Tom Brady, TE Rob Gronkowski, OT Tristan Wirfs, S Antoine Winfield Jr., WR Tyler Johnson

Notable Departures: QB Jameis Winston, WR Breshad Perriman, OT Demar Dotson

“TB12” in “Tompa Bay”. As a Pats fan, that hurts to write, but as an NFL fan, it should be fun to watch. Gronk and Brady are back at it again with Bruce Arians, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin in Tampa. Tristan Wirfs was my top offensive tackle of the draft, so I fully support that choice. Tyler Johnson was an underrated selection who could start in the slot very soon. My only criticism would be that they didn’t do enough for their O-Line. They may have success, but Tom will take his fair share of hits. 

Image: Carolina Panthers v New England Patriots
(Image from NBC News)

NFC West

 

Arizona Cardinals

Grade: A+

Notable Additions: WR DeAndre Hopkins, DT Jordan Phillips, LB De’Vondre Campbell, LB Devon Kennard, LB/S Isaiah Simmons, OT Josh Jones

Notable Departures: RB David Johnson, TE Charles Clay

The Cardinals easily had the best offseason in the NFL in my opinion. You get an automatic A if you land the best receiver in the league for a second-rounder. Not only that, but they drafted the most versatile defensive player we’ve seen in years, Isaiah Simmons. Otherwise, Josh Jones was a steal in the third round, and they patched up holes with Jordan Phillips, De’Vondre Campbell, and Devon Kennard. Watch the Cards make a push for a playoff berth next season. 

dhop cardinals
(Image from Arizona Sports)

Los Angeles Rams

Grade: C+

Notable Additions: Edge Leonard Floyd, DT A’Shawn Robinson, RB Cam Akers, WR Van Jefferson, Edge Terrell Lewis

Notable Departures: WR Brandin Cooks, RB Todd Gurley II, Edge Dante Fowler Jr., LB Cory Littleton, CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, S Eric Weddle, Edge Clay Matthews

The Rams have lost much more than they’ve gained during these past few months. Cam Akers and Van Jefferson were nice picks, but otherwise, there aren’t many bright spots here. In this loaded division, their the worst team in my mind. 

 

San Francisco 49ers

Grade: B+

Notable Additions: OT Trent Williams, DT Javon Kinlaw, WR Brandon Aiyuk

Notable Departures: DT DeForest Buckner, WR Emmanuel Sanders

The Niners’ addition list is short, but sweet. They lost Buckner and Sanders, but replaced them with Kinlaw and Aiyuk in the draft. Those two should be stars in red and gold. Plus, the addition of Trent Williams was necessary after Joe Staley retired. So, the Niners didn’t really improve, they just did a nice job of staying where they are. 

 

Seattle Seahawks

Grade: C

Notable Additions: TE Greg Olsen, CB Quinton Dunbar, WR Phillip Dorsett, LB Jordyn Brooks

Notable Departures: Edge Jadeveon Clowney, WR Josh Gordon, Edge Ezekiel Ansah, OT George Fant, C Justin Britt, OL DJ Fluker, LB Mychal Kendricks, S Tedric Thompson, DT Al Woods, OT Germain Ifedi

In my mind, the Seahawks hurt themselves this offseason. In 2019, they were 29th in sacks with Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah. So, how are they gonna do without those two? Likewise, they allowed the 9th most sacks last season with George Fant, Germain Ifedi, and DJ Fluker. So, how are they gonna do without those three? Greg Olsen can hopefully be solid for them, and I would’ve said the same about Quinton Dunbar, but who knows what his future holds (he picked up armed robbery charges this offseason). Jordyn Brooks looks good, but was a complete reach at #27 overall. At the end of the day, Russell Wilson always has a chance at making the playoffs, but it would be incredible for him to do that this year.

I’ve get plenty more content scheduled for this summer, so let’s keep it rolling! Stay safe.

-Sam

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