The NFL offseason—a time to forget about last season, whether it turned out to be successful or a failure, and turn the focus to next season. What better time to begin that all-important preparation than offseason OTAs (official team activities)?
We find ourselves fully immersed in the OTA schedule at this point of the spring, and evaluations are pouring in about player performance—or lack thereof. In certain places, say Seattle and Cleveland, rookie players Russell Wilson and Trent Richardson are wowing coaches and fellow teammates already.
However, that is not the case in New England for veteran wideout Anthony Gonzalez.
After many injury-plagued seasons with the Colts, Gonzalez signed a low-risk contract with the Patriots in the offseason to attempt a resurrection of his career. However, it wasn't meant to be; the Patriots cut him on May 29, just 12 days into his stint with the club, making him one of the biggest casualties of the OTA period.
It's not all bad news for players. Just look at 10-year pro cornerback Asante Samuel. After successful tenures as a Patriot and Eagle, he's starting anew in Atlanta and already taking charge of a defense in need of good, veteran leadership.
Samuel, who led the league in interceptions in both 2006 and 2009, should be able to provide that direction and add some real talent in a thin secondary—especially in a division that features Drew Brees and Cam Newton. It already looks like it's a big win for Samuel and the Falcons.
For more on OTA winners and losers, check out Bleacher Report's daily debate.