1 Move Every NFL Team Should Make Before the 2019 Season Begins

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2019

1 Move Every NFL Team Should Make Before the 2019 Season Begins

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    The wait for NFL football is almost over, folks. The Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos face off in the Hall of Fame Game on August 1, which will officially kick off the 2019 preseason. That's mere weeks away.

    Most significant offseason moves have already been made. While roster shuffling will occur throughout the preseason as players are waived and claimed, most coaching staffs are fully assembled, and the majority of key roster spots have been filled.

    But there's still room for moves to be made. In fact, some need to happen before the start of the regular season Sept. 5. Whether it's addressing talent deficiencies, settling positional competitions or doing a little contractual housekeeping, every team has at least one big decision left to make.


Arizona Cardinals: Add a Veteran Tight End

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Barring an unforeseen development, the Arizona Cardinals will go into 2019 with rookie quarterback Kyler Murray under center. What's one thing that almost always helps a young signal-caller? Having a reliable safety valve at tight end.

    The Cardinals don't have that. They have Ricky Seals-Jones, who was merely serviceable last season, and offseason acquisition Charles Clay, who wasn't even that. The two combined for just 527 yards receiving, production teams hope to get out of one average starting tight end.

    Some options are still out there in free agency, including former Cardinal Jermaine Gresham, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and even Antonio Gates. More options should become available during preseason roster cuts. The Cardinals need to add a tight end before the start of the season because the duo of Seals-Jones and Clay isn't likely to instill confidence in Murray early on.

Atlanta Falcons: Add a Veteran Running Back

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    Danny Karnik/Associated Press

    With any luck, the Atlanta Falcons will have a healthy Devonta Freeman at running back in 2019. It would still be smart, however, to add a veteran running back to help replace the departed Tevin Coleman.

    Even when Freeman was healthy, Coleman was a big part of the Falcons offense. In 2017, for example, Coleman racked up 628 yards rushing and 299 yards receiving while spelling Freeman.

    The Falcons do have Ito Smith on the roster, but he was underwhelming as a rookie in 2018. He caught 27 passes but averaged a mere 3.5 yards per carry.

    Free agents the Falcons could consider include Corey Grant, LeGarrette Blount, Jacquizz Rodgers and Stevan Ridley. Others will become available as teams make final roster cuts right before the start of the regular season.

Baltimore Ravens: Bring Back Michael Crabtree

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    Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

    The Baltimore Ravens are hoping to see second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson grow into a franchise passer this season. They revamped their receiving corps in the offseason, drafting Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin while also taking a flier on journeyman Michael Floyd.

    However, there's no telling when Brown, the first receiver drafted this year, will be available and if he'll be the same dynamic speedster he was at Oklahoma. Brown underwent Lisfranc surgery earlier in the offseason, which could be problematic for a pass-catcher who wins almost exclusively with speed.

    Baltimore would be wise to bring back veteran wideout Michael Crabtree as insurance. He was productive enough in 2018—54 receptions and 607 yards—and he's familiar with most of the Ravens' offensive personnel.

    While the Ravens are clearly looking to get younger and more dynamic on offense, there's seemingly no reason not to sign Crabtree for at least the coming season.

Buffalo Bills: Trade LeSean McCoy

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    Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

    The Buffalo Bills added quite a bit to their backfield this offseason. They signed Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon and used a third-round pick on Florida Atlantic's Devin Singletary. This begs the question: Why is LeSean McCoy still on the roster?

    McCoy was merely serviceable for much of 2018, averaging 3.2 yards per carry. He still offers something as a pass-catcher—he had 34 receptions—but he is no longer a franchise back. McCoy is also set to cost Buffalo more than $9 million for the coming season.

    While he appears to have lost a step, some team must be willing to give McCoy a chance. The Bills need to identify that team and get whatever they can in return. This would clear valuable cap space and also open the way for guys like Singletary to prove their worth in the Bills offense.

Carolina Panthers: Add a Veteran Quarterback

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    Mike McCarn/Associated Press

    Will Cam Newton be fully healthy and in pre-injury form in 2019? This is the biggest question facing the Carolina Panthers, and the reality is they don't have an answer. While Newton does appear to be recovering well from shoulder surgery, there's no telling how things will play out under live fire and over a full 16-game slate.

    If Newton struggles or gets reinjured, the Panthers will have to turn to a mostly unproven player in his stead. Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinicke and Will Grier are on the roster, but they have a mere two NFL starts between them.

    The veteran quarterback market isn't great—highlighted by the likes of Mark Sanchez, Josh Jackson and Brock Osweiler—but at least those players have starting experience. Convincing former Panthers backup Derek Anderson to come out of retirement might be another possibility.

    Ideally, Carolina can find a better option late in the preseason as roster cuts commence. Once the Panthers have fully evaluated their young quarterbacks, adding a veteran to the mix should be the next step.

Chicago Bears: Trade for Robbie Gould

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    This may be the most obvious potential move on this list. The Chicago Bears need a kicker. Former Bears kicker Robbie Gould sounds like he'd like to return to Chicago.

    "I'm at a point in my career where my family is what's going to dictate the decisions that I make," Gould recently told NBC Sports Chicago (via NBC Sports Bay Area).

    Gould was given the franchise tag by the San Francisco 49ers and is engaged in a bit of a contract standoff. The Bears could likely put a stop to it by dealing for their former specialist and convincing him to finish his career in Chicago.

    This would be a win-win situation for the Bears and Gould. It would leave the 49ers looking for a kicker, of course, but at least they wouldn't be wondering if and when Gould will report.

Cincinnati Bengals: Add a Veteran Tight End

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    Gary Landers/Associated Press

    For most NFL players, injuries are part of the game. Unfortunately for Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert, injuries have largely been the defining aspect of his career. Eifert has suffered numerous significant injuries since being drafted in 2013 and has missed 34 games over the past three seasons.

    Cincinnati brought Eifert back on a one-year deal this offseason and hopes this is finally the year he returns to full health and Pro Bowl form. Given his injury history, however, the Bengals should prepare for him to potentially miss an extended period.

    The Bengals drafted Drew Sample in the second round, but they would be wise to add a veteran to the mix as well. Current options include the likes of Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Dion Sims, Antonio Gates and former Bengal Jermaine Gresham.

    Eifert could remain healthy in 2019. Sample could prove to be a reliable starter from Day 1. If the Bengals want to to get the most out of Andy Dalton in Zac Taylor's new offense, however, they had better establish a Plan C.

Cleveland Browns: Add a Veteran Offensive Tackle

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    On paper, the Cleveland Browns don't have many roster holes. What they do have is a surprising lack of depth at the offensive tackle position, which could become a problem in Baker Mayfield's second season.

    Both right tackle Chris Hubbard and left tackle Greg Robinson return. However, while the Browns line played well as a unit down the stretch—Mayfield was sacked just five times in the final eight games—neither tackle should be called elite. Pro Football Focus ranked Hubbard and Robinson 50th and 63rd, respectively.

    Behind them, the Browns have Kendall Lamm, Brad Seaton, undrafted free agent Brian Fineanganofo and undrafted free agent Ka'John Armstrong. Should either of the incumbent starters struggle or suffer an injury, Cleveland could be in trouble.

    The free-agent tackle market isn't stellar at the moment, though veterans like Donald Penn, Byron Bell and Ryan Schraeder are available. Cleveland's best bet may be to grab a veteran during leaguewide roster cuts.

    Either way, they need to upgrade the depth at tackle before Week 1.

Dallas Cowboys: Get Dak Prescott's Contract Done

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is eligible for a contract extension. The Cowboys need to get one done before the going rate for quality starters goes up even more. Dallas has already seen the bar raised by Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who signed a four-year, $128 million extension this offseason.

    "Every day they wait, it's costing them money," former Cowboys great Michael Irvin told 105.3 The Fan, per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News.

    The tricky piece for Dallas is the fact that wideout Amari Cooper and running back Ezekiel Elliott are also eligible for new contracts. However, quarterback is the most difficult position to replace in the NFL, and it's the one the Cowboys need to address now.

Denver Broncos: Give Drew Lock at Least Two Preseason Starts

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The Denver Broncos are going to find themselves in a difficult situation this preseason. Projected starter Joe Flacco is new to the franchise and will need first-team work with the offense. However, rookie second-round pick Drew Lock is the future in Denver, not Flacco, and the Broncos need to figure out how soon that future can begin.

    Flacco was good but certainly not great in 2018 with a passer rating of 84.2. If that's the best the Broncos can hope for this season, they may want to turn things over to Lock sooner than later.

    Denver should give Lock at least two starts during the preseason. He'll almost certainly start the final preseason game, when starters typically sit. However, the Broncos should give him an additional start alongside the first-team offense—even if only for a series or two—for evaluation purposes.

    Should Flacco struggle in the regular season, the Broncos need to know what they have in Lock.

Detroit Lions: Bolster the Pass Rush

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    The Detroit Lions upgraded one edge-rusher spot by signing Trey Flowers in free agency. While he should be a better option—particularly in Matt Patricia's defense—than the departed Ezekiel Ansah, Flowers is still simply replacing a player.

    In a division that features Aaron Rodgers, Mitchell Trubisky and Kirk Cousins, the Lions need to outright improve their pass rush.

    It would be smart to add another edge-rusher or two before the start of the regular season.

    The veteran market isn't all that appealing, but there are some intriguing value options—including Nick Perry, Dion Jordan and Michael Johnson. Adding one would be sensible, and Detroit could again address the edge position when teams start making their roster cuts.

Green Bay Packers: Give Jace Sternberger the Starting Nod for the Preseason

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    Mike Roemer/Associated Press

    Jimmy Graham will be the Green Bay Packers' starting tight end in 2019. He's due to earn $12.7 million for the season and has nearly that much in dead money on his contract. However, Graham has just $3.7 million in dead money remaining after this season, and the Packers may well decide to cut him.

    Graham was a fine tight end for Green Bay last season, but he wasn't special. He was good between the 20s—he had 636 yards receiving—but he wasn't much of a red-zone threat and finished with just two touchdowns.

    Tthe Packers need to see what they have in rookie third-round pick Jace Sternberger. The Texans A&M product racked up 832 yards and 10 touchdowns last season for the Aggies and may be exactly what Aaron Rodgers needs down by the goal line.

    Graham will need a little preseason work to further absorb Matt LaFleur's offense, but he's a nine-year veteran who doesn't require a full preseason to prepare. The Packers should give first-team reps to Sternberger—both to allow him to better contribute this season and to determine how feasible it would be to release Graham in 2020.

Houston Texans: Bolster Offensive Line Depth

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was sacked an alarming 62 times in 2018. While some of those sacks were Watson's fault—he's still learning how quickly an NFL pocket can collapse—it's fair to say the Texans line wasn't good.

    Houston addressed the line in the offseason, drafting Tytus Howard and Max Scharping and taking a flier on Matt Kalil. However, there's no guarantee that a player coming off injury and a pair of rookies will immediately make the Texans line better.

    It would behoove the Texans to continue bolstering the offensive line with veteran depth. Options include tackle Donald Penn and guard Brandon Fusco. Others will become available near the end of the preseason.

    There isn't much downside to adding veteran offensive-line talent. When's the last time a team complained about having a quality backup? Houston needs to make a move to ensure the line isn't the same liability it was a season ago.

Indianapolis Colts: Lock Up Eric Ebron

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The Indianapolis Colts took a chance on tight end Eric Ebron last offseason. He rewarded them with 750 yards and 13 touchdowns in a Pro Bowl campaign. Ebron is now in the final year of his contract, and the Colts should go ahead and extend him.

    There is some risk involved in giving Ebron a new deal after just one season. He wasn't as productive in Detroit, and his stellar year may have been an aberration. However, there's an even greater risk involved with not getting a deal done.

    Ebron is just 26 years old, and with another Pro Bowl campaign, he'd become one of the most coveted free agents on the market next offseason. This would, at best, drive up his price tag for Indianapolis and, at worst, cause the Colts to lose him altogether.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Sign Eric Berry

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    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    Thanks to the addition of quarterback Nick Foles, the Jacksonville Jaguars offense will receive plenty of attention this season. Before the season, though, the Jaguars should give a little more attention to their defense—the unit that helped them reach the AFC title game two years ago.

    Since December, Jacksonville has parted with safeties Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church, which removes a lot of talent from the roster. The Jags could replace it by adding three-time All-Pro Eric Berry.

    While Berry is 30 years old and dealt with a heel issue for much of 2018, he did return to play two regular-season games and once in the playoffs.

    Signing Berry would be a gamble, as there's no guarantee he'll ever be an All-Pro talent again. However, it's a gamble that Jacksonville can and should make before the regular season gets underway.

Kansas City Chiefs: Release or Suspend Tyreek Hill

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    The Chiefs were quick to move on from Kareem Hunt after video emerged of him kicking and shoving a woman. They haven't been as quick to act on wideout Tyreek Hill after allegations of child abuse surfaced and audio emerged where he was heard threatening fiancee Crystal Espinal. Though Hill has met with NFL investigators, the league has also refrained from taking action.

    There are likely two reasons why the Chiefs haven't handed down discipline as fast as they did in Hunt's case. For one, elite receivers are harder to replace than running backs in the NFL. Two, there isn't video for the public to see.

    While the law didn't find Hill guilty of child abuse, the wideout did plead guilty to domestic assault and battery after strangling and beating a then-pregnant Espinal in college. This makes the verbal threat to Espinal all the more disturbing and should cause Kansas City to show Hill that such behavior is unacceptable.

    If the Chiefs don't want to part with Hill, that's their prerogative, but they absolutely should discipline him. If not banishment, then a suspension with no more chances to follow.

Los Angeles Chargers: Add a Veteran Offensive Tackle

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Chargers have one of the more complete rosters in the NFL. However, they do have room for an upgrade at one position: right tackle. Sam Tevi was serviceable at best as a starter there in 2018, and he was a liability at his worst.

    Pro Football Focus ranked Tevi 74th among offensive tackles last season.

    While the Chargers did bring aboard offensive tackle Trey Pipkins in the third round of the draft, they should add some veteran depth to the competition. Some decent options remain available—including Donald Penn, Byron Bell and Jermon Bushrod—and more should hit the market before September.

    The Chargers simply don't have a reason to risk letting the right tackle position again be a weakness in 2019.

Los Angeles Rams: Add a Veteran Guard

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    The Los Angeles Rams lost one of their best players when guard Rodger Saffold departed for the Tennessee Titans in free agency. Saffold finished the 2018 season ranked ninth among guards by Pro Football Focus.

    For now, the Rams are working to replace him with internal candidates such as Joseph Noteboom, Jamil Demby and Aaron Neary, though Neary will open the season on suspension for a violation of the league's substance abuse policy.

    If the Rams want to ensure they have the right replacement for Saffold, they should add another veteran guard to the mix. Players like Brandon Fusco and Chance Warmack are available to be signed now. At the very worst, one of them could help drive competition in training camp and during the preseason.

Miami Dolphins: Pick a Starting Quarterback Before the Preseason

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    Mark Brown/Getty Images

    Presumably, the Miami Dolphins want to use 2019 to evaluate the franchise-quarterback potential of Josh Rosen. If this is indeed the case, then Miami should name him the starter and give him the entire preseason to prepare for that role.

    If the Dolphins are more interested in just trying to win a couple of games before potentially landing a top draft pick to use on a quarterback—with Rosen more of a fallback option—then journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick should be named the starter sooner than later.

    Allowing an open quarterback competition that lasts into the preseason would only pull the Dolphins a little in each direction and wouldn't do much good for whoever does eventually earn the starting nod. Though if Miami is tanking, then perhaps that's the point.

    If the Dolphins do have a clear goal in mind for the season, they need to pick a starting quarterback now and ride with him for as long as possible.

Minnesota Vikings: Trade Trae Waynes

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    Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes was a fine player in 2018—Pro Football Focused ranked him 48th at his position. Waynes is not an elite cornerback, however, and he is a player the Vikings could afford to part with.

    CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported in February that Minnesota was shopping Waynes. The team should go ahead and get a deal done.

    Not only would dealing Waynes get the Vikings something in return, but it would also provide valuable cap relief. Minnesota is $14.1 million over the cap. Releasing Waynes isn't really an option, as his entire $9.06 million salary became fully guaranteed at the start of the new league year in March.

    With players like Xavier Rhodes, Mackensie Alexander and Mike Hughes on the roster, Minnesota can and should view Waynes as a trade chip.

New England Patriots: Extend Quarterback Tom Brady

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    Unless the New England Patriots know something that we don't—namely that Tom Brady is considering retirement after the 2019 season—it would be wise for the organization to go ahead and get an extension done with its franchise quarterback.

    Brady is one of the best values in the NFL, as he's the 19th-highest-paid signal-caller in terms of yearly earnings. While he deserves a raise, this isn't about doing right by Brady or about avoiding a contract standoff in 2020—Brady has never been the kind of player to put himself above the good of the franchise.

    But getting a deal done now would help New England assess its cap situation for next offseason. This, in turn, would give the team an idea of which players it could bring in next offseason. For a franchise that often looks to acquire veteran talent rather than drafting and developing its own, this would be a huge benefit.

New Orleans Saints: Pick Up a Veteran Running Back

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    Bill Feig/Associated Press

    The loss of running back Mark Ingram II in free agency shouldn't be overlooked. While the New Orleans Saints still have 2017 Offensive Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara, Ingram was the perfect physical complement to the two-time Pro Bowler's shifty outside running style.

    While offseason acquisition Latavius Murray is a physical enough runner, he isn't the same kind of battering-ram back that Ingram was.

    The Saints would be wise to add another hard-hitting runner before the start of the regular season. There are a couple of intriguing options available, including LeGarrette Blount and Alfred Morris. Both are tough inside runners who could spell Murray and Kamara in short-yardage situations and wear down defenses late in games the way Ingram often did.

New York Giants: Give Daniel Jones the Starting Nod for the Preseason

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    The New York Giants know exactly what they have in quarterback Eli Manning. What they don't know, exactly, is what they have in sixth-overall pick Daniel Jones. He'll eventually take over for Manning as the team's franchise quarterback at some point, but New York cannot be sure when he'll be ready.

    This is why the Giants should give Jones the starting nod for the preseason. Manning will presumably open the season as the starter, which means Jones won't get much practice time with the first-team offense moving forward. If he's allowed to start during the preseason—even if just for a series or two at a time—the Duke product will get valuable experience. The Giants, meanwhile, will get an idea of how Jones performs in live game action.

    After 15 NFL seasons, Manning doesn't need the preseason reps. New York should give as many of them as possible to the rookie.

New York Jets: Add a Veteran Receiver

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    Seth Wenig/Associated Press

    The New York Jets are hoping that Sam Darnold can make the jump to being a full-fledged franchise quarterback in 2019. Unfortunately, they haven't surrounded him with an elite cache of receiving talent, which could hinder his development.

    The Jets have some good receivers, to be sure. Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa have both flashed potential in the past. New York also added Jamison Crowder and Josh Bellamy in the offseason.

    The group is still on the underwhelming side, however, and the Jets cannot expect a second-year quarterback to elevate the talent around him the way a guy like Tom Brady or Drew Brees can. Instead, they should look to bolster the receiving room by adding someone like Michael Crabtree or Pierre Garcon before the preseason or by trading for a veteran on a more loaded roster.

Oakland Raiders: Add a Veteran Tight End

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    John Hefti/Associated Press

    The Oakland Raiders lost Pro Bowl tight end Jared Cook in free agency, which leaves them thin at the position. The good news is that the team appears to be confident in tight end Darren Waller, who is entering his fourth year after missing 2017 because of a suspension.

    "Darren has the skill set, he has the want-to, he has the aggression to do it; now he just has to go do it," quarterback Derek Carr said, per Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area.

    The bad news is there is little depth behind Waller aside from rookie fourth-round pick Foster Moreau. The Raiders can address this by signing a veteran free agent such as Dion Sims,  Antonio Gates or Lance Kendricks (who could face league discipline for marijuana possession) by seeking a trade or sorting through the preseason cut pile.

Philadelphia Eagles: Bolster the Pass Rush

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Nick Foles (now with the Jaguars) have rightfully received a lot of credit for the Philadelphia Eagles' success over the last two seasons. However, the defense deserves its own fair share of credit.

    Unfortunately, that unit lost a pair of premium pass-rushing pieces in the offseason. The Eagles traded Michael Bennett to New England, and Chris Long embarked on retirement. The team still has Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett, but Long and Bennett were responsible for 15.5 sacks last season—a difficult amount of production to replace.

    Some options are available in free agency, like Michael Johnson, Dion Jordan and Nick Perry. The Eagles should add one of them before September, even if only for depth.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Add a Veteran Receiver

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    At first blush, it appears as though the Pittsburgh Steelers will be able to overcome the loss of wideout Antonio Brown with few hiccups. JuJu Smith-Schuster has legitimate No. 1 receiver potential—he had 1,426 yards last season, after all—and the Steelers added a couple of pieces in the offseason.

    They drafted Diontae Johnson in the third round and signed veteran Donte Moncrief to provide depth.

    It wouldn't hurt to add a bit more veteran talent to the receiver room, though. Smith-Schuster hasn't proved that he can be as successful without Brown opposite him, Moncrief has been inconsistent throughout his pro career, and Johnson is unproven.

    Bringing in a guy like Michael Crabtree or Pierre Garcon would give the Steelers options, even if they ultimately parted ways before the end of the preseason.

San Francisco 49ers: Trade Robbie Gould

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    Robbie Gould's situation with the 49ers was previously addressed, but it bears repeating here. San Francisco should try to move the one-time Pro Bowler to Chicago or another team in need of kicking consistency.

    The 49ers need to work out a trade sooner rather than later. Their deadline to reach an extension with Gould is July 15. After that, Gould will either have to play on the franchise tag or not at all in 2019.

    Dealing the 14-year veteran would almost certainly net the 49ers something of notable value and would allow them to focus on finding Gould's successor. If they wait longer, they run the risk of getting nothing in return, not having Gould and having to audition other specialists for the job.

Seattle Seahawks: Sign Antonio Gates

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    Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

    Though his Seattle Seahawks career was on the up-and-down side, tight end Jimmy Graham at least gave the team a legitimate receiving threat at the position. He had some great showings too, like his 10-touchdown campaign in 2017 and his 923-yard season the year prior.

    Though Nick Vannett and Will Dissly have shown flashes of promise, neither represents the same kind of threat. Seattle should bolster its tight end room by adding future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates, who isn't ready to retire.

    "I just don't see myself walking away with this taste," Gates said after the Los Angeles Chargers' latest playoff loss, per ESPN's Eric D. Williams.

    Gates, 39, is at the back end of his career and would be more of a short-yardage/red-zone target than a field-stretcher. However, he is still a savvy veteran whom opposing defenses would have to account for. Though he said he would like to return to the Chargers, Seattle is a team that could provide him with a chance to chase a ring before retirement.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sign Morris Claiborne

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    Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

    If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hope to be competitive in an NFC South division that features Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, they need to strengthen their depth in the secondary. Last season, the team allowed an average of 259.4 passing yards per game, seventh-most in the NFL.

    New defensive coordinator Todd Bowles could and should look to add a familiar face to the back end of the defense. Cornerback Morris Claiborne not only knows Bowles' scheme from his time with the New York Jets, but he's also available and could likely be had on a team-friendly deal.

    The potential to get the 29-year-old on the cheap is important for the Buccaneers, who are roughly $10 million over the cap. Their cap space will grow as they cut down to 53 players, but they're not in a position to hand out hefty contracts before the start of the season.

Tennessee Titans: Lock Up Safety Kevin Byard

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    James Kenney/Associated Press

    Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard is in the final year of his rookie contract. The Titans would be wise to get a new deal done this offseason in order to avoid a standoff with him—or, worse yet, losing him in 2020.

    Byard is going to want a sizable new deal, and plenty of teams will be willing to give it to him if he becomes available. He was a first-team All-Pro in 2017, and he was an elite safety again this past season.

    Pro Football Focus ranked him fourth overall at the position for 2018.

    The only way that waiting benefits Tennessee is by having Byard at a rookie rate for one more season. Considering that the Titans are more than $10 million under the cap, this shouldn't be a factor.

Washington Redskins: Bolster the Receiving Corps

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    Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

    Whether or not it happens in Week 1, the Washington Redskins are likely to start rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins at some point in 2019. If they're going to set him up for success, they need to strengthen their receiving corps before the real games get underway.

    The group of Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Brian Quick and third-round rookie Terry McLaurin is a bit underwhelming, to say the least. Doctson was the most productive of the bunch last season, and he had just 532 yards and two touchdowns.

    There are some veteran options still out there, including Pierre Garcon, Mike Wallace, Brandon LaFell and Darrius Heyward-Bey. More will become available as teams work to trim down their rosters to the final 53. Trading for a receiver on the roster bubble is another option the Redskins could explore.

    Whichever route they decide to take, they must improve their receiver depth chart before the start of the regular season.


    All contract and cap information via Spotrac.