With the preseason of OTAs, minicamps and other team activities well under way, we can take a look at how everyone’s roster stands.
Of course, the caveat is always “we won’t know until we see the first game,” but we can talk about who each team lost, who it added and what each thing means.
A “key” loss is a player who not only was rated highly, but had a significant impact for his team on the majority of the snaps on the field. In other words, stats aren’t the end-all, be-all.
For example, Brian Urlacher’s last few years for the Chicago Bears weren’t statistically impressive, but his loss (both while hurt in 2012 and after he was cut and retired) reverberated hugely in that defense.
That’s because Urlacher was the quarterback of the defense, and when that leadership was gone, it was awfully hard to replace.
A “key” add is, in many ways, more speculative. After all, aside from a player like Peyton Manning arriving on your team, we don’t know if a player’s skills will translate to his new team.
In fact, even when Manning joined the Denver Broncos there were concerns about his health and impact. A better example might be a guy like Santonio Holmes. Holmes looked like a great idea for the New York Jets after a big 2009 and three other solid seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but ultimately he was never a great fit for that offense and didn’t pay off.
For our purposes, a “key” addition will be someone who addressed a need or changes the face of some aspect of the team he arrived at.
With all that out of the way, let’s start this ball rolling.