Every NFL Team's Best, Worst Offseason Move

Russell S. Baxter@@BaxFootballGuruContributor IMay 18, 2015

Every NFL Team's Best, Worst Offseason Move

0 of 32

    Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

    It's the middle of May, and we'll keep it simple here…for a change.

    Here's a list of the best and the worst offseason moves by each of the 32 NFL teams. From trades to free agency to the draft and more, we'll tell you how each club has done this year to date by giving you our pick for each franchise’s best and worst move in 2015.

    For some teams, you could have made strong cases for a lot of the good and the bad. For other clubs, finding a positive and/or a negative proved to be difficult.

    Either way, it will be interesting to see what other moves are ahead for each franchise as they look to reach Super Bowl 50.

Arizona Cardinals

1 of 32

    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Signed G Mike Iupati

    Anytime you can upgrade a unit on your team and do it at the expense of a divisional opponent, you have pulled off a great move.

    Iupati is a three-time Pro Bowler who immediately improves the Cardinals offensive line and also gives head coach Bruce Arians hope that his ground attack won’t be finishing 31st in the league in rushing yards for a second straight year.

    Worst: Released WR/KR Ted Ginn

    While the former first-round draft choice didn’t add much as a pass-catcher this past season (14 receptions for 190 yards), Ginn is always a factor on special teams and did take back a punt for a score in a Week 2 win over the New York Giants.

    While return duties could fall to wide receivers John Brown and rookie J.J. Nelson, would it be impossible if we saw Patrick Peterson back handling punts?

Atlanta Falcons

2 of 32

    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Signed OLB Brooks Reed

    Only the Cincinnati Bengals totaled fewer sacks than the 22 racked up by the Atlanta Falcons this past season. The team added defensive end Adrian Clayborn in free agency and drafted Vic Beasley with the eighth overall selection last month, but Reed figures to put up bigger numbers than his days with the Houston Texans since Watt’s-His-Name won’t be in the way.

    Worst: Released G Justin Blalock

    Given the state of the Falcons offensive line the last two years, it was surprising that the team would let go of a veteran who in eight seasons had started 125 out of a possible 128 regular-season games.

    Blalock has yet to latch on elsewhere, but some other team is going to get a very solid veteran.

Baltimore Ravens

3 of 32

    Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Re-signed RB Justin Forsett

    One year after finishing 30th in the league in rushing and gaining a franchise-low 1,328 yards as a team on the ground, the Baltimore Ravens were pleasantly surprised by the performance of Forsett.

    The journeyman running back earned Pro Bowl honors by finishing fifth in the league with 1,266 yards rushing, while the team ranked eighth in the NFL in the same category. General manager Ozzie Newsome re-signed Forsett to a three-year, $9 million deal in March.

    Worst: Released WR/KR Jacoby Jones

    The speedy wide receiver’s work as a pass-catcher was limited in 2014, as he pulled down just nine passes for 131 yards. But Jones remains a very consistent big-play threat on returns and really blossomed in this aspect with the Ravens.

    In three years with Baltimore (including playoffs), he returned a total of six kicks for touchdowns (one punt, five kickoffs)—including a Super Bowl-record 108-yard kickoff trek for a score in the team’s win over the San Francisco 49ers in 2012.

Buffalo Bills

4 of 32

    Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Traded for RB LeSean McCoy

    This past season, only four teams in the league gained fewer yards rushing than the Buffalo Bills.

    General manager Doug Whaley and new head coach Rex Ryan wasted little time remedying that situation by trading for McCoy, who led the NFL in rushing back in 2013 (1,607 yards) and totaled 1,319 yards on the ground this past season. It cost the Bills inside linebacker Kiko Alonso, who missed all of 2014 with a knee injury.

    Worst: Did not draft a quarterback

    Yes, the team invested a first-round pick on EJ Manuel in 2013 and traded for veteran Matt Cassel this offseason. The Bills also signed free-agent Tyrod Taylor (Baltimore Ravens), and Jeff Tuel remains on the roster. But not only did Whaley pass up on selecting a signal-caller in the draft, he also did not sign an undrafted free agent.

    Given Manuel’s lack of development to date and the inconsistency of Cassel, not adding a young quarterback was somewhat surprising.

Carolina Panthers

5 of 32

    Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Drafted T Daryl Williams

    Despite a second straight NFC South title (albeit with a 7-8-1 record), the Carolina Panthers' biggest issue this past season was at tackle, more specifically on the left side, as Byron Bell struggled mightily and wasn’t re-signed this offseason. On the right side, Nate Chandler was injured, missed the stretch run and was replaced by Mike Remmers.

    Enter Williams, a fourth-round pick from the University of Oklahoma this year. Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer points out that the massive lineman could push for a starting job sooner than later.

    Worst: Signed T Jonathan Martin

    We already mentioned the struggles of Bell, and while the Panthers did add onetime first-round pick Michael Oher to play left tackle, he struggled in his latter days with the Baltimore Ravens and had his issues with the Tennessee Titans this past season.

    So why add Martin, dealt from the Miami Dolphins last offseason to the San Francisco 49ers, where he struggled mightily replacing right tackle Anthony Davis?

Chicago Bears

6 of 32

    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Best: Signed SS Antrel Rolle

    Over the past two seasons, the Chicago Bears have allowed a combined 920 points (28.9 points per game) and a disturbing 93 offensive touchdowns. The additions of new head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio are noteworthy, as the team will make the switch to the 3-4 defense.

    While he certainly has some mileage on him, Rolle is a tone-setting defender who should rectify some of the team’s issues at safety.

    Worst: Did not re-sign OLB Lance Briggs

    This is a tough call when it comes to one of the Bears’ most reliable players since 2003. The problem is that injuries have made Briggs, a seven-time Pro Bowler, less dependable the last two years, as he’s missed a total of 15 contests over that span.

    Adjusting to Fangio’s 3-4 defense would indeed be a challenge for the 12-year veteran, but his savvy alone was worth a roster spot for a team with its share of youth on the front seven.

Cincinnati Bengals

7 of 32

    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Re-signed LG Clint Boling

    The Cincinnati Bengals have done a tremendous job in the draft in recent years, and that success has been a catalyst for a team-record four straight playoff appearance.

    They nabbed Boling in the fourth round in 2011 from the University of Georgia, and he’s been the Bengals’ primary starting left guard each of the past three seasons. The club rewarded him with a five-year, $26 million deal on the first day of the free-agency period.

    Worst: Signed CB Brandon Ghee

    A third-round pick by the Bengals in 2010, Ghee spent four years with the team, played very sparingly and never picked off a pass. He spent this past season with the Tennessee Titans after being signed and cut by the San Diego Chargers last offseason.

    The Bengals have brought back their share of former players this offseason (Michael Johnson, Josh Johnson and Pat Sims), but the return of Ghee ranks as a bit of a surprise.

Cleveland Browns

8 of 32

    Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Drafted NT Danny Shelton

    While the Cleveland Browns' quarterback situation remains a question mark (free-agent pickup Josh McCown is the starter for now), what can’t be disputed was the team’s rushing defense from a year ago: The club allowed 141.6 yards per game on the ground, the worst such figure in the league.

    Shelton hopes to clog the middle for Mike Pettine’s team, one that must face the likes of Justin Forsett, Jeremy Hill and Le’Veon Bell at least twice in 2015.

    Worst: Signed QB Thaddeus Lewis

    In this year’s draft, no team selected more players (12) than the Browns. But not one of those picks was spent on a quarterback.

    Granted, the team signed McCown as a free agent this offseason, but he comes off a miserable year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Johnny Manziel is hoping to make a big comeback this year, and Connor Shaw remains on the roster. But bringing back Lewis, who was with the team from 2011-12 and has six starts in his career (one with the Browns), is a head-scratcher.

Dallas Cowboys

9 of 32

    Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Named Scott Linehan offensive coordinator

    The well-traveled coach was the team’s designated passing-game coordinator in 2014 but was in charge of calling the offensive plays and did quite the job, to say the least.

    Led by running back DeMarco Murray and arguably the league’s best offensive line, the Dallas Cowboys finished second in the NFL in rushing yards, totaled at least 20 attempts in all 16 regular-season games and amassed at least 120 yards on the ground in a dozen outings.

    Worst: Did not draft a running back

    With Murray off to Philadelphia via free agency, the Cowboys’ current depth chart at running back includes 2015 free-agent pickup Darren McFadden as well as Lance Dunbar, Joseph Randle, Ryan Williams and undrafted free agent Synjyn Davis from Georgia Tech.

    But why not invest one of the club’s eight picks on some help for the backfield?

Denver Broncos

10 of 32

    Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Franchised WR Demaryius Thomas

    It’s been a strange offseason for the Denver Broncos, who have seen their share of key departures on both sides of the football. Perhaps the only thing that bothers quarterback Peyton Manning more than an injured quad is arguably a lot of change.

    The offensive line is in flux (again), and targets such as tight end Julius Thomas and wide receiver Wes Welker are no longer with the team. Making sure Demaryius Thomas, second in the NFL in catches (111) and receiving yards (1,619) in 2014, isn’t going anywhere is certainly a plus.

    Worst: Traded C Manny Ramirez

    While he comes off a disappointing season in which he struggled at both center and right guard (see Pro Football Focus), it was still surprising that the team opted to move Ramirez, who was dealt to the Detroit Lions, with whom he began his career.

    Before that draft-day trade, the Broncos obtained center Gino Gradkowski from the Baltimore Ravens, but he had his ups and downs when he played briefly for John Harbaugh’s club. Has Denver really upgraded the position?

Detroit Lions

11 of 32

    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Traded for DT Haloti Ngata

    Yes, we are aware that the five-time Pro Bowler is not as young or perhaps as talented as defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. But the former Baltimore Ravens standout was not a bad pickup for the Detroit Lions, who had a hole or two (or three) to fill at the position.

    Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin needs to get the most out of the nine-year pro, who was suspended the final four games of 2014 but did help the Ravens finish fourth in the league in rushing defense.

    Worst: Did not re-sign DT C.J. Mosley

    Losing both Suh and Nick Fairley was hardly a surprise. The Lions also wound up trading defensive end George Johnson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Mosely filled in well for Fairley during the second half of 2014 and made a career-high eight starts, totaling 26 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble this past season. The 10-year pro remains unsigned.

Green Bay Packers

12 of 32

    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Re-signed WR Randall Cobb

    The former second-round pick was inked to a four-year, $40 million deal this offseason. In four seasons and a total of 52 regular-season games, Cobb has totaled 227 for 3,049 yards and 25 scores, 12 of those touchdowns coming in 2014, when he was named to his first Pro Bowl.

    The four-year pro comes off the most productive season of his brief career, finishing second on the team with 91 catches for 1,287 yards and the aforementioned dozen touchdowns. He and teammate Jordy Nelson (13) combined for more than half of quarterback Aaron Rodgers' 38 touchdown passes this past season.

    Worst: Did not re-sign CB Tramon Williams

    The Packers did a terrific job bringing back many of their own free agents in 2015, but it was somewhat surprising they opted not to retain Williams, who signed with the Cleveland Browns this offseason.

    In eight seasons with Green Bay, the former undrafted free agent and one-time Pro Bowler missed just one game (2011), totaled 28 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries and was a starter at both cornerback spots.

    The Browns pick up a very experienced and reliable defender, but it’s a significant loss for the Pack.

Houston Texans

13 of 32

    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Signed WR Cecil Shorts

    The decision to cut loose veteran wideout Andre Johnson was a difficult one for the Houston Texans, as the team parted ways with the most consistent player in the franchise’s brief history. But Shorts is a solid addition to pair with emerging big-play performer Andre Hopkins.

    The signing of free-agent wide receiver Nate Washington was a good move as well, but we will lean slightly to the former Jacksonville Jaguar.

    Worst: Released C Chris Myers

    While the 10-year pro has probably seen better days, you can’t overlook the fact that Myers started every game at center for the Texans the past seven years and earned a pair of Pro Bowl invitations.

    Ben Jones, a fourth-round pick in 2012 and starter at both right and left guard in his brief career, takes over for Myers.

Indianapolis Colts

14 of 32

    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Signed RB Frank Gore

    The Indianapolis Colts have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2007, when Joseph Addai managed the feat.

    Gore, the all-time rushing leader for the San Francisco 49ers with 11,073 yards, has reached the 1,000-yard mark eight times in 10 seasons—including each of the last four years. He should immediately upgrade the league’s 22nd-ranked ground attack from a season ago.

    Worst: Signed WR Vincent Brown

    In three seasons with the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders (Brown missed all of 2012), the former second-round pick has totaled 72 catches, three for touchdowns.

    The Colts have all kinds of talent when it comes to pass-catchers, including 2015 first-round pick Phillip Dorsett, so it will be interesting to see how much longer Brown remains on the roster.

Jacksonville Jaguars

15 of 32

    Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Signed TE Julius Thomas

    The Jacksonville Jaguars have scored the fewest points in the league each of the past two seasons and their offensive unit has totaled a combined 47 touchdowns in 32 games over that span. On the other hand, Thomas has totaled a dozen touchdown receptions in each of the past two years with the Denver Broncos24 scores in a total of 27 games.

    Meanwhile, Jacksonville’s passing attack has produced only 31 scores in 32 contests dating back to 2013.

    Worst: Did not re-sign WR Cecil Shorts

    The Jaguars have three young receivers in Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, but the loss of Shorts robs quarterback Blake Bortles of a more experienced wideout.

    In four seasons and a total of 50 games with the Jaguars, the former fourth-round pick from Mount Union totaled 176 receptions for 2,343 yards and 12 touchdown grabs. In 2014, Shorts played in only 13 games but still led Jacksonville with 53 catches.

Kansas City Chiefs

16 of 32

    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Signed WR Jeremy Maclin

    You do the math: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith threw 18 touchdown passes in 2014, none of those to a wide receiver.

    Jeremy Maclin of the Philadelphia Eagles comes off a season in which he totaled 85 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s reunited with head coach Andy Reid, who made the former University of Missouri wideout a first-round pick with the Birds in 2009.

    Worst: Did not franchise C Rodney Hudson

    Adam Teicher of ESPN.com states that another Missouri Tiger could play a pivotal role on the Chiefs offense this season, as 2015 second-round pick Mitch Morse prepares to battle for the starting center job. Kansas City lost the underrated Hudson to the Oakland Raiders in free agency; it was somewhat surprising the team didn’t take steps to keep its solid center.

Miami Dolphins

17 of 32

    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Best: Signed DT Ndamukong Suh

    The Miami Dolphins haven’t reached the playoffs since 2008, and despite chances to get back to the postseason in recent years, their defense has failed them in recent years. In 2014, the club’s run defense fell apart down the stretch, and the decision to sign Suh should rectify that issue.

    The four-time Pro Bowler’s presence should also be a good thing for defensive ends Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon.

    Worst: Released WR Brian Hartline

    The parting of ways with wide receiver Mike Wallace seemed inevitable by season’s end, and the decision to cut loose Brandon Gibson wasn’t shocking as well. Plus, the Dolphins weren’t going to match the Buffalo Bills’ hefty offer sheet to tight end Charles Clay.

    But releasing Hartline was a bit of surprise, considering that in 2013 he led the club in catches (76) and receiving yards (1,016).

Minnesota Vikings

18 of 32

    Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Re-signed DT Tom Johnson

    While head coach Mike Zimmer got a lot out of his defense in his first season with the Minnesota Vikings, the team still had its deficiencies when it came to stopping the run.

    Johnson, who played just 444 snaps according to Pro Football Focus and finished second on the team with 6.5 sacks, wasn’t a liability when it came to rushing defense but excelled at harassing opposing quarterbacks up the middle.

    Worst: Released WR Greg Jennings

    Yes, the team gave up a fifth-round draft choice this year to obtain wide receiver Mike Wallace from the Miami Dolphins. But why not retain Jennings, who totaled 127 catches for 1,546 yards and 10 scores in 31 games with the team, and give second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater some more experience at the receiver position?

    Jennings has since signed with the Dolphins.

New England Patriots

19 of 32

    John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Drafted DT Malcom Brown

    The defending Super Bowl champions opted not to re-sign 11-year veteran defensive tackle Vince Wilfork this offseason and obviously had their sights set on the former University of Texas standout, whom they grabbed with the final pick in the first round.

    The New England Patriots won’t waste much time finding out what Brown can do for them.

    Worst: Did not pick up option on CB Darrelle Revis

    Boy, was this a loaded question!

    Yes, there’s a lot to be said about the Patriots’ current issues, but we’ll stay on the field. This past season, Revis looked like his old dominant self, and he and fellow cornerback Brandon Browner brought a lot to a defense that has struggled in recent years.

    But the Pats did not want to foot the bill for Revis, whose career has come full circle after re-signing with the New York Jets this offseason.

New Orleans Saints

20 of 32

    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Signed RB C.J. Spiller

    This past season, the Saints still managed to put their share of points on the board, but their offense just didn’t look the same without multipurpose running back Darren Sproles, a big-play threat on offense and special teams who was dealt to the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Worst: Traded TE Jimmy Graham

    You may want to consider the release of running back Pierre Thomas as well as the deals that sent guard Ben Grubbs and wide receiver Kenny Stills to Kansas City and Miami, respectively. But the loss of Graham is a huge blow to quarterback Drew Brees and a Saints attack that is annually one of the league’s best.

    You can’t simply replace 386 receptions and 51 touchdowns, Graham’s numbers in his five years with the Saints.

New York Giants

21 of 32

    Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Signed RB Shane Vereen

    This past season, the New York Giants' offense was a lot better than people expected, especially if you saw quarterback Eli Manning and Co. during the preseason.

    The experienced signal-caller threw 30 touchdown passes and just 14 interceptions in 2014, and the addition of Vereen, one of the heroes of the New England Patriots Super Bowl XLIX win over the Seattle Seahawks, gives Manning a great pass-catching option out of the backfield.

    Worst: Did not re-sign QB Eli Manning to new contract

    The 11-year pro, whose current deal expires at the end of 2015, still apparently has plenty of good football left in him. But according to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, there’s no rush to get a new deal done, at least on Manning's part. “(The contract) is not something I’m going to argue about or make a fuss about,” said the Giants signal-caller late last month.

    “Eli is back in the building,” added general manager Jerry Reese to Raanan. “He looks great. He is happy to be back. We are glad he is back. We will address that when it is appropriate.”

    Of course, a little peace of mind would not have been a bad move. Stay tuned.

New York Jets

22 of 32

    RICH SCHULTZ/Associated Press

    Best: Drafted DT Leonard Williams

    The New York Jets still haven’t used a first-round draft choice on an offensive player since quarterback Mark Sanchez was picked fifth overall in 2009. Still, it would have been foolish for new general manager Mike Maccagnan to pass on the talented and versatile defensive lineman, a position at which you can never have too many good players.

    The addition of Williams immediately fueled more speculation regarding the future of defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, but that’s a subject for another time.

    Worst: Signed SS Marcus Gilchrist

    According to Pro Football Focus, the former San Diego Chargers defender was on the field for 1,014 plays in 2014. And out of 181 safeties rated by the site, Gilchrist checked in at No. 162.

    The Jets did a tremendous job improving its secondary at the cornerback spot with the additions of Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine, but was acquiring Gilchrist a wise move?

Oakland Raiders

23 of 32

    Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Signed SS Nate Allen

    The five-year pro graded out better than most would think this past season, according to Pro Football Focus, but the acquisition of Allen hopes to solve one very big issue for the Oakland Raiders, who forced a mere 14 turnovers in 16 games this past season.

    In 2014, Allen totaled a team-high seven takeaways for Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles and hopes to bring that opportunistic touch to the Bay Area.

    Worst: Signed QB Christian Ponder

    The 12th overall pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2011 was a big-time disappointment and put that team in a position where they used another first-round selection in 2014 on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Former starter Matt McGloin remains on the roster, and the team added undrafted free agent Cody Fajardo earlier this month.

    Was Ponder the best solution to back up Derek Carr? In four seasons to date, the former Florida State product has thrown 38 touchdown passes, 36 interceptions, lost 11 of his 20 fumbles and has been sacked 95 times. There’s the 639 yards rushing and seven scores, but Ponder was still an interesting choice.

Philadelphia Eagles

24 of 32

    Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Signed RB DeMarco Murray

    When you opt to trade away the NFL’s leading rusher in 2013, it doesn’t hurt to add the guy who totaled a league-high 1,845 yards on the ground this past season. The team also added Ryan Mathews to the backfield and already has versatile Darren Sproles as well, but Murray is the headliner.

    If he can remain relatively healthy again, there’s no reason to believe he couldn’t win a second straight rushing title.

    Worst: Signed QB Tim Tebow

    If the point was to sign the well-traveled quarterback with the opportunity to deal fellow reserve Matt Barkley, that idea has failed to date.

    We are just intrigued by the notion that the Eagles now have five quarterbacks on their current roster, a quintet that combined for eight starts in 2014—all by Mark Sanchez.

    So how much time on the field will Tebow actually see this upcoming season?

Pittsburgh Steelers

25 of 32

    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Re-signed QB Ben Roethlisberger to contract extension

    Three Super Bowl appearances in his first seven NFL seasons, two resulting in wins, may have been enough to give Big Ben a lifetime contract after 2010 (he did sign a $100 million-plus deal in 2008). Now the 11-year signal-caller has the all-time numbers to go with the accomplishments.

    And given the state of the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense these days, Roethlisberger’s play is more important than ever.

    According to Spotrac, the organization inked the productive quarterback a four-year, $87.4 million extension in March.

    Worst: Cutting ties with defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau

    Perhaps the time had come for the storied defensive mind and Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback to move and heir apparent Keith Butler to take his place. But why does one get the feeling that LeBeau is going to help turn things around for the Tennessee Titans’ woeful defensive unit this upcoming season?

    Still, the Steelers did finish a mediocre 18th in the league in total yards allowed and gave up the sixth-most passing yards in the league in 2014.

St. Louis Rams

26 of 32

    Mark Tenally/Associated Press

    Best: Traded for QB Nick Foles

    We have heard for any number of years that the St. Louis Rams were just a consistent quarterback away from making some noise in the very loud NFC West. Now one of the more talented defensive squads in the league has Foles on the other side of the line of scrimmage.

    While he missed the final eight games of 2014 with the Philadelphia Eagles due to a broken collarbone, he’s also thrown nearly three times as many touchdown passes (46) as interceptions (17) in 28 regular-season games.

    Worst: Signed DT Nick Fairley

    The free-agent addition of the 13th overall pick in 2011 now gives the Rams five former first-round selections on their defensive front. But with other needs and holes to plug on the team, the decision to add Fairley was indeed a strange one, especially when you consider his inconsistent play.

San Diego Chargers

27 of 32

    Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Drafted RB Melvin Gordon

    The Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals were the only teams in the league to gain fewer rushing yards than the San Diego Chargers in 2014. Injuries to Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead were factors, but Branden Oliver and Donald Brown could not pick up the slack.

    The Colts moved up two spots in the first round last month to grab Gordon, who they hope will make life easier for veteran quarterback Philip Rivers.

    Worst: Did not sign veteran center

    It’s no wonder that the Chargers were inconsistent on offense this past season. According to Chargers.com, the team started an unprecedented five different centers in 2014, the most by any team since the merger.

    Chris Watt, a third-round pick in 2014, has the job for now, but it’s surprising that the team hasn’t signed the likes of Chris Myers or Lyle Sendlein.

San Francisco 49ers

28 of 32

    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Best: Signed WR Torrey Smith

    The San Francisco 49ers scored 100 fewer points in 2014 (306) than they did the previous year, and the team’s passing attack ranked 30th in the NFL in yards gained and produced just 20 scores. Smith comes off a season in which he finished second on the Baltimore Ravens with only 49 catches but did lead the club with 11 touchdown receptions.

    We will find out just how much quarterback Colin Kaepernick digs the long ball.

    Worst: Cut ties with head coach Jim Harbaugh

    The organization maintained some continuity with the promotions of Jim Tomsula (head coach), Geep Chryst (offensive coordinator) and Eric Mangini (defensive coordinator). Still, despite a disappointing 8-8 showing in 2014, Harbaugh fashioned a 44-19-1 record and took the Niners to three straight NFC title games, including Super Bowl XLVII in 2012.

    It’s a shame that he and general manager Trent Baalke could not iron out their differences.

Seattle Seahawks

29 of 32

    Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Signed CB Cary Williams

    Why isn’t Jimmy Graham listed here? As far as we are concerned, he’s an added luxury when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks. Williams may be more of a necessity, considering the team lost cornerback Byron Maxwell in free agency and both Richard Sherman and Jeremy Lane are recovering from offseason surgery.

    Williams did not have the best of years in the Philadelphia Eagles secondary, but his style of play is a solid fit for the Legion of Boom.

    Worst: Traded C Max Unger

    Yes, dealing the former Pro Bowl pivot enabled the Seahawks to obtain three-time Pro Bowl tight end Graham. But it also cost the team a first-round draft pick in the process. Are the two-time NFC champs secure with Lemuel Jeanpierre, who has started seven games at the position over the past four seasons?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

30 of 32

    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    Best: Released DE Michael Johnson

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers inked the former Cincinnati Bengals defender to a five-year, $43.75 million deal last offseason, but he underperformed for a team that won only two games in 2014.

    The Bucs cut Johnson loose after one season, and he re-signed with Cincinnati this offseason. The decision to part ways with Johnson, along with 2014 free-agent picks Anthony Collins and Josh McCown, were all wise moves.

    Worst: Did not re-sign LB Mason Foster

    The former third-round pick in 2011 from the University of Washington was a very productive player for the Buccaneers for four seasons, although he was limited to only 10 games in 2014. Tampa’s defense disappointed in many aspects this past year, but it was still surprising that the club didn’t try harder to retain Foster, who inked a deal with the Chicago Bears.

Tennessee Titans

31 of 32

    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Best: Signed FS Da’Norris Searcy

    Searcy may have been the most overlooked free safety in the league the past two seasons and was a big part of the NFL’s fourth-ranked defense in 2014 with the Buffalo Bills.

    The Tennessee Titans have been woeful when it comes to stopping any team in recent years, so the addition of the productive defender is a big step in the right direction.

    Worst: Released SS Bernard Pollard

    While the physical defender missed the final 11 games of 2014 due to a ruptured Achilles tendon, it was still somewhat surprising that the Titans released him after only two years and 21 games.

    Pollard remains unsigned and may not be grabbed by a team until he’s 100 percent healthy, but Tennessee needs all the help it can get on defense.

Washington Redskins

32 of 32

    Luis M. Alvarez/Associated Press

    Best: Drafted T Brandon Scherff

    The Washington Redskins and new general manager Scot McCloughan surprised many on the night of April 30 by taking the sturdy University of Iowa blocker, who is slated for duty at right tackle this season.

    It’s a sound move for a team looking to re-establish a ground game that still features running back Alfred Morris but slumped to 19th in the NFL in rushing in 2014.

    Worst: Released DT Barry Cofield

    The Redskins have done a lot of things right this offseason and could enjoy a bounce-back year. Unfortunately, this is a what-have-you-done-lately-for-me league, and the once-dependable Cofield was limited to eight games and just three starts in 2014—each career lows.

    The Redskins have moved forward with Terrance Knighton, Stephen Paea and Ricky Jean-Francois but could regret not waiting for Cofield to return to full health.

    All free-agent information and player signed/transactions are courtesy of Spotrac. Depth chart information comes via Ourlads. Unless otherwise noted, all player and team statistics come from Pro Football Reference and ESPN.com.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.