2020 Offseason Report Cards for Every NFL Team

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2020

2020 Offseason Report Cards for Every NFL Team

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    Though the 2020 NFL offseason hasn't officially reached its conclusion, most major moves have already been made. The draft is a thing of the past, and the flood of free agency and trade activity has slowed to a trickle.

    By now, each of the 32 teams has essentially laid its foundation for the coming season.

    But how has each fared?

    Every team will be graded on its major offseason moves and how well they address needs, provide value and fit within a franchise's perceived plan for 2020—whether rebuilding, contending or possibly tanking for the future. Both short- and long-term implications will be considered where applicable.

    Let's dig in.

Arizona Cardinals

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    DeAndre Hopkins
    DeAndre HopkinsJeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: A-

    2020 NFL Draft: B+

    Overall: A-

    The Arizona Cardinals are giving second-year quarterback Kyler Murray a chance to succeed in 2020. Trading for star wideout DeAndre Hopkins and retaining receiver Larry Fitzgerald and running back Kenyan Drake will provide him the weapons he needs to grow as an NFL signal-caller.

    Getting Hopkins might have been the steal of the offseason for any NFL franchise.

    Adding free-agent linebacker De'Vondre Campbell bolsters Arizona's 32nd-ranked defense, though it would have been nice to see the Cardinals sign him to something longer than a one-year deal.

    Even though they didn't have a second-round pick due to the Hopkins trade, they did an excellent job of finding value in the 2020 draft.

    Arizona took a premier boom-or-boom-bigger prospect in linebacker-safety Isaiah Simmons. His floor appears to be a multi-faceted defender a la Jabrill Peppers, while his ceiling is an All-Pro at multiple positions. The Cardinals then added a potential future franchise tackle in Houston's Josh Jones during the third round.

    While they are not quite finished with their rebuild, they have set themselves up nicely to be competitive in 2020 and inch toward title contention in the not-too-distant future.

Atlanta Falcons

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    A.J. Terrell
    A.J. TerrellCharlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: C

    2020 NFL Draft: C+

    Overall: C

    The Atlanta Falcons lost some key pieces in free agency, saying goodbye to both tight end Austin Hooper and cornerback Desmond Trufant, who was released. Trading for Hayden Hurst may help replace Hooper, though he is very much unproven in his two pro seasons (just 43 career receptions).

    Replacing Vic Beasley with Dante Fowler Jr. should slightly improve the pass rush, while the addition of Todd Gurley could be a brilliant move if the running back still has enough left in the proverbial tank.

    Taking former Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell at No. 16 was a bit of a draft reach—he was the No. 36 prospect on Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller's big board—but he should help replace Trufant in the starting lineup. Former Auburn defensive lineman Marlon Davidson looks to be a rotational option alongside Pro Bowler Grady Jarrett.

    Meanwhile, former Temple canter Matt Hennessy is a potential future replacement for six-time Pro Bowler Alex Mack.

    There isn't a home-run move to be found in Atlanta's offseason, but the Falcons did get better—or at least younger—at a couple of key positions.

Baltimore Ravens

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    Calais Campbell
    Calais CampbellJames Gilbert/Getty Images

    Free Agency/Trade: B+

    2020 NFL Draft: B

    Overall: B

    The rich got richer, which may be a problem for the rest of the AFC in 2020. The Baltimore Ravens, who went 14-2 last season, may not equal their 2019 record, but they might be a better overall team.

    Trading for Calais Campbell should help improve a pass rush that produced just 37 sacks in 2019. Franchise-tagging Matt Judon also helps ensure that pass rush won't get worse.

    Signing defensive tackle Derek Wolfe while drafting former LSU linebacker Patrick Queen and former Texas A&M defensive lineman Justin Madubuike should help improve a run defense that allowed 4.4 yards per carry in 2019.

    Did the Ravens need another running back after ranking first in rushing offense in 2019? No, and taking one in the second round isn't tremendous draft value. However, Ohio State product J.K. Dobbins has the physical potential to be the heir apparent to Pro Bowler Mark Ingram.

    Former Texas wideout and third-round pick Devin Duvernay gives Lamar Jackson another speedy pass-catcher to threaten opposing secondaries.

    Baltimore will likely be racing toward another AFC North title in 2020.

Buffalo Bills

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    Stefon Diggs
    Stefon DiggsAndy Clayton-King/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: A-

    2020 NFL Draft: B+

    Overall: A-

    Like the Baltimore Ravens, the Buffalo Bills are better now than they were during the 2019 playoffs—at least on paper.

    Buffalo needed a true No. 1 receiver to pair with developing quarterback Josh Allen. It got one by trading for Minnesota Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs. The Bills needed cornerback depth behind All-Pro Tre'Davious White. They got it by adding Josh Norman and E.J. Gaines for a second stint.

    Signing Mario Addison will help boost Buffalo's pass rush, as will adding second-round pick A.J. Epenesa. The former Iowa edge-rusher should be an early impact player and was the 23rd-ranked prospect on Miller's big board. Getting him at 54th overall was a steal.

    The Bills drafted a complementary back to pair with budding star Devin Singletary by taking Utah's Zack Moss in Round 3. Taking Georgia's Jake Fromm in Round 5 won't provide immediate value, but it should give them a long-term backup quarterback.

    With the New England Patriots getting weaker—again, on paper—during the offseason, Buffalo becomes the clear favorite in the AFC East.

Carolina Panthers

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    Teddy Bridgewater
    Teddy BridgewaterMark Black/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: C+

    2020 NFL Draft: B

    Overall: B-

    It's fair to question the Carolina Panthers' decision to release quarterback Cam Newton, though the hiring of Matt Rhule and a new regime did set the stage for a fresh start at the position. Trading 2019 starter Kyle Allen to the Washington Redskins was perhaps an even more questionable decision. It leaves Carolina banking on Teddy Bridgewater's ability to stay healthy and play at the high level he did in 2019.

    While filling in for an injured Drew Brees, Bridgewater went 5-0 as a temporary starter for the New Orleans Saints.

    Trading Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner for left tackle Russell Okung was not a shrewd long-term move, but it will likely pay immediate dividends in the pass-protection department. Signing Robby Anderson and tight end Seth DeValve should help add some punch to Carolina's passing attack.

    Losing cornerback James Bradberry was tough, but Carolina was smart not to overpay to keep him.

    The Panthers went all defense in the 2020 draft, kicking things off by taking former Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown seventh overall. That wasn't a sexy pick, but he's a plug-and-play defensive anchor and a potential 10-year starter.

    Drafting former Penn State pass-rusher Yetur Gross-Matos and Southern Illinois safety Jeremy Chinn should help turn around a defense that allowed the second-most points in the NFL last season.

    It would have been nice to see Carolina put even more pieces around Bridgewater, but this is still a better squad on paper than it was with a sidelined Newton last season.

Chicago Bears

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    Cole Kmet
    Cole KmetMichael Conroy/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: C

    2020 NFL Draft: B+

    Overall: C+

    The Chicago Bears' offseason looks a lot better if the 2018 trade for Khalil Mack is factored in, which it isn't for grading purposes. That deal left Chicago without a first-round pick in the draft, a valuable commodity given such a deep talent pool.

    The Bears did get some good value out of that pool by snagging former Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet and former Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson in Round 2. Both project as future long-term starters, and seeing either go at the bottom of Round 1 would have been unsurprising.

    Yes, the selection of Kmet was a good one even after Chicago signed Jimmy Graham to a two-year, $16 million deal. That deal, however, was not a good move in and of itself. Graham is little more than a capable red-zone target at this point in his career.

    With this a make-or-break year for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, the trade for Nick Foles was a smart move. Acquiring Andy Dalton or Cam Newton would likely have provided Chicago with a better potential long-term option, but Foles can at least be a capable starter in 2020 if he beats out Trubisky.

    Adding pass-rusher Robert Quinn was a fantastic move as he should be an upgrade over former first-round disappointment Leonard Floyd.

    Depending on how things shake out at quarterback, the 2020 Bears should more closely resemble the 2018 playoff version than the underwhelming 2019 incarnation.

Cincinnati Bengals

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    Joe Burrow
    Joe BurrowCharlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: B+

    2020 NFL Draft: A

    Overall: A

    The Cincinnati Bengals have their new quarterback of the future in reigning Heisman winner and No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow. The former LSU standout was the cleanest quarterback prospect in this draft and has a higher ceiling than Andy Dalton did in Cincinnati.

    While Burrow (6'3", 221 lbs) is almost identical to Dalton (6'2", 220 lbs) physically—and it's easy to forget Dalton is a three-time Pro Bowler—he could bring additional poise and more of a winner's mentality to the team's most important position.

    "He doesn't get flustered," former Bengals quarterback Kenny Anderson said, per Geoff Hobson of the team's official website. "He looks like he's a pretty confident guy without being cocky, but he's confident."

    If Burrow develops into a true franchise quarterback, little else Cincinnati did this offseason will matter.

    However, the Bengals did a good job adding additional value in free agency and the draft. Trae Waynes and D.J. Reader do not make for headline-grabbing free-agent additions, but they are solid starting-caliber players. Second-round pick and former Clemson wideout Tee Higgins can be Burrow's future No. 1 target.

    Franchise-tagging A.J. Green should help provide Burrow's current top target.

    A lot is going to hinge on when and if Burrow is able to start this season—Dalton's release leaves Ryan Finley as the top veteran option—but Cincinnati should not be in the running for the first overall pick for the second consecutive year.

Cleveland Browns

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    Jack Conklin
    Jack ConklinBrett Carlsen/Getty Images

    Free Agency/Trade: A

    2020 NFL Draft: A-

    Overall: A-

    The Cleveland Browns were the "winners" of the 2019 offseason after adding Kareem Hunt and Odell Beckham Jr. However, their 2020 offseason may prove to be the real winner for the franchise.

    Cleveland's biggest weakness last season was an inconsistent offensive line. The Browns addressed it by signing right tackle Jack Conklin and drafting former Alabama tackle Jedrick Wills 10th overall. They further improved the offense by retaining Hunt as a restricted free agent and adding Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper.

    If the Browns offense isn't vastly improved this season, the blame will fall squarely on new head coach Kevin Stefanski and quarterback Baker Mayfield.

    Defensively, Cleveland should be a better team, as well.

    Damarious Randall is out at safety. In are Karl Joseph and rookie second-round pick Grant Delpit. The Browns also improved their defensive front by signing Andrew Billings and snagging a potential draft steal in Missouri's Jordan Elliott.

    "Not only was he the highest-graded interior defender in all of college football last season, but Elliott earned the highest grade of any interior defender in this draft class across the 2018 and 2019 seasons combined," Pro Football Focus' Ben Linsey wrote.

    PFF's love of Elliott falls in line with Cleveland's analytics-driven front office comprised of Paul DePodesta and new general manager Andrew Berry.

    While Mayfield's development will be the No. 1 storyline in Cleveland this year, the Browns should now be the playoff team many expected them to be last season.

Dallas Cowboys

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    Dak Prescott
    Dak PrescottRon Jenkins/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: C+

    2020 NFL Draft: A

    Overall: B

    The early offseason was an interesting time for the Dallas Cowboys. They were unable to reach a long-term extension with quarterback Dak Prescott and lost No. 1 corner Byron Jones. However, they did franchise-tag Prescott and locked up wideout Amari Cooper with a five-year, $100 million deal.

    Dallas lost edge-rusher Robert Quinn but added defensive tackle Dontari Poe, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. The Cowboys re-signed linebacker Sean Lee and center Joe Looney while adding offensive lineman Cameron Erving and quarterback Andy Dalton.

    The last two additions were strong insurance moves given the retirement of center Travis Frederick and the uncertainty surrounding Prescott's contract status.

    In the draft, the Cowboys prioritized value over need and ended up adding some potential franchise cornerstones in former Oklahoma wideout CeeDee Lamb and former Alabama corner Trevon Diggs. Lamb was considered among the best receivers in the draft.

    "His routes will need to become more efficient and crisp to beat man-to-man coverage against NFL size and speed, but his ball skills and explosiveness with the ball in his hand should allow teams to scheme him into explosive opportunities right away," NFL Media's Lance Zierlein wrote of the former Sooner.

    Prescott's future in Dallas remains a sizeable question mark, but the Cowboys have done enough to be in the NFC East title race even if he chooses to hold out this season.

Denver Broncos

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    Jerry Jeudy
    Jerry JeudyMichael Conroy/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: B+

    2020 NFL Draft: A-

    Overall: B+

    The Denver Broncos are set to give second-year quarterback Drew Lock a proper audition in 2020.

    The Broncos drafted a pair of premier receiving prospects, taking Alabama's Jerry Jeudy and Penn State's KJ Hamler in the first and second rounds, respectively. The addition of free-agent guard Graham Glasgow and rookie third-round pick Lloyd Cushenberry should help solidify the interior line in front of Lock.

    The signing of running back Melvin Gordon was a luxury move, but it should immediately take pressure off the young quarterback. Gordon is a known commodity who will command the attention of opposing defenses.

    Denver also made some tremendous moves to improve its defense, trading for defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and cornerback A.J. Bouye. It also re-signed defensive tackle Shelby Harris and drafted former Iowa cornerback Michael Ojemudia.

    Losing longtime starter Chris Harris Jr. at cornerback hurts, but the Denver defense has the potential to be even better than last year's 12th-ranked unit.

    Much will depend on Lock's development and the early impact of Jeudy and Hamler, but Denver should be considered a potential postseason darkhorse.

Detroit Lions

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    Jamie Collins
    Jamie CollinsCharles Krupa/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: C+

    2020 NFL Draft: A

    Overall: B-

    The Detroit Lions continue to morph into the New England Patriots of the midwest. Head coach Matt Patricia has more former Patriots at his disposal after the team acquired linebacker Jamie Collins, defensive tackle Danny Shelton and safety Duron Harmon.

    Detroit further improved its defense by signing linebacker Reggie Ragland and drafting pass-rusher Julian Okwara and former Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah, who was the third overall selection and the No. 3 prospect on Miller's big board. While trading away Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay can be viewed as a misstep, Okudah should provide an adequate replacement.

    Expect Detroit's 31st-ranked defense to take positive steps this season.

    Offensively, the Lions did little aside from signing wideout Geronimo Allison and drafting former Georgia running back D'Andre Swift. The selection of Swift could indicate that Detroit is not sold on the long-term prospects of oft-injured running back Kerryon Johnson.

    Losing Graham Glasgow hurts the depth at center and guard.

    This is a make-or-break year for Patricia and the Lions. Ideally, an improved defense will make enough headway to keep him employed for at least another season.

Green Bay Packers

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    Jordan Love
    Jordan LoveCharlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: C-

    2020 NFL Draft: C

    Overall: C-

    The Green Bay Packers appear to be entering a transition period. While this reality isn't going to delight the fanbase, the new front office appears set on moving in a different direction. And with that in mind, the Packers' offseason isn't quite as bad as it might otherwise look.

    Drafting Jordan Love in the first round was a surprise. However, it does potentially set Green Bay up at the game's most important position for the foreseeable future. Picking up pieces like Boston College running back AJ Dillon and Cincinnati H-back Josiah Deguara should help head coach Matt LaFleur better implement a balanced offense.

    Losing right tackle Bryan Bulaga in free agency hurts, and his replacement, free-agent addition Rick Wagner, represents a step down. However, replacing linebacker Blake Martinez with Christian Kirksey could be an improvement over the long term.

    Parting with Jimmy Graham only affects the franchise as it relates to cap space. He was a situational tight end—and often an afterthought in Green Bay's offense. Free-agent addition Devin Funchess will likely take over that role.

    What's disappointing about the Packers' offseason is that this is a team that played in the NFC title game in 2019. LaFleur and general manager Brian Gutekunst don't seem to actually view this as a championship-caliber team and made the long-term process an offseason priority.

    This has been a disappointing offseason for Packers fans. But a few years from now, it may be graded more favorably.

Houston Texans

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    Brandin Cooks
    Brandin CooksJohn Hefti/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: D

    2020 NFL Draft: C-

    Overall: D+

    Bill O'Brien appears to be a competent head coach for the Houston Texans. His prowess as a general manager, however, is questionable.

    Houston didn't have a first-round selection in this year's draft due to last year's trade for Laremy Tunsil, who was just signed to a massive three-year, $66 million extension.

    Even more questionable than the Tunsil deal was O'Brien's decision to trade away DeAndre Hopkins. Houston did acquire running back David Johnson in the trade, but Johnson is a proven No. 1 receiver who possessed a ton of chemistry with quarterback Deshaun Watson.

    Signing Randall Cobb and trading for Brandin Cooks does not make up for dealing Hopkins.

    The Texans did better in the draft, getting solid value out of second-round pick and former TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock and their third-rounder, former Florida edge-rusher Jonathan Greenard. However, they did little to improve last year's 29th-ranked pass defense.

    Houston drafted Greenard and former Penn State corner John Reid while re-signing Bradley Roby and Phillip Gaines. Those moves are not suddenly going to give the Texans an upper-echelon pass defense. Potential playoff opponents like the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs will continue to be mismatches.

    The Texans are still contenders in the AFC South, but they are not a lock for the postseason.

Indianapolis Colts

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    Philip Rivers
    Philip RiversCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: B

    2020 NFL Draft: B

    Overall: B

    The Indianapolis Colts should also be in the AFC South mix this season, provided free-agent addition Philip Rivers is an upgrade at quarterback over Jacoby Brissett. Rivers brings plenty of winning experience to the table, as does trade acquisition DeForest Buckner.

    While the addition of Rivers is only beneficial in the short term, Buckner can be a long-term centerpiece in Indianapolis. The team signed him to a four-year, $84 million extension.

    The Colts kept their offensive line intact by re-signing left tackle Anthony Castonzo. They replaced tight end Eric Ebron with Trey Burton and replaced cornerback Pierre Desir with Xavier Rhodes. While those are largely one-for-one replacements and not upgrades, they keep the overall talent level from dipping.

    Meanwhile, the drafting of former USC wideout Michael Pittman Jr. and former Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor helps improve Indianapolis' talent level. Pittman should immediately become the No. 2 receiver opposite T.Y. Hilton. Taylor will partner with Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines to give the Colts one of the league's best backfields.

    Indianapolis also snagged former Washington quarterback Jacob Eason in the fourth round. He's a fine developmental prospect who might just be the Colt's potential quarterback of the future, especially because they should be too competitive to be in the mix for a top signal-caller in next year's draft.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    C.J. Henderson
    C.J. HendersonMichael Conroy/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: C

    2020 NFL Draft: A

    Overall: B

    The Jacksonville Jaguars weren't particularly active in the free-agent and trade markets, though they did deal Nick Foles and considered trading both defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and running back Leonard Fournette.

    Given Ngakoue's vocal desire to be traded, keeping him may actually be detrimental.

    Adding linebacker Joe Schobert was a smart move for the defense, though by giving him more than $10 million per season, Jacksonville may have overpaid. Trading A.J. Bouye created another hole in the secondary—the Jaguars traded Jalen Ramsey during the regular season—though the drafting of former Florida corner CJ Henderson should help fill it.

    The draft is where Jacksonville really shined this offseason. Henderson was a perfect match of need and value at ninth overall, and the Jaguars grabbed a premier pass-rushing prospect by taking LSU's K'Lavon Chaisson at No. 20.

    Chaisson was Miller's ninth-ranked overall prospect.

    The Jaguars also added a potential No. 2 receiver to pair with DJ Chark Jr. in Colorado product and second-round selection Laviska Shenault Jr.

    Will the Jaguars be a possible playoff contender in 2020? That will depend almost exclusively on the play of quarterback Gardner Minshew II. Offseason moves alone won't make Jacksonville a contender, but they will help set the stage for a long-term turnaround.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    Clyde Edwards-Helaire
    Clyde Edwards-HelaireMichael Conroy/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: C+

    2020 NFL Draft: C

    Overall: C+

    The Kansas City Chiefs are defending Super Bowl champions. There's absolutely nothing wrong with them maintaining the status quo, which is largely what they have done this offseason.

    Kansas City made an effort to retain its own players, franchise-tagging defensive lineman Chris Jones and re-signing cornerback Bashaud Breeland, quarterback Chad Henne, wideout Demarcus Robinson and running back Damien Williams.

    The Chiefs didn't draft for value, adding former LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire at the bottom of Round 1 and linebacker Willie Gay Jr. in Round 2. Running backs rarely represent value in Round 1, while Gay was graded as a third-round pick by Miller.

    However, Edwards-Helaire will add another element to Kansas City's explosive offense, and Gay should help improve the 26th-ranked run defense. Third-round pick and former TCU offensive tackle Lucas Niang may be a future starter along the line.

    Did the Chiefs get better during the offseason? Maybe not. But considering they're already the team to beat, that's OK.

Las Vegas Raiders

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    Henry Ruggs III
    Henry Ruggs IIIVasha Hunt/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: A

    2020 NFL Draft: C

    Overall: B

    The Las Vegas Raiders deserve a lot of credit for addressing needs while not chasing many high-price-tag players in free agency. While additions like safety Damarious Randall, tight end Jason Witten, safety Jeff Heath and guard Eric Kush aren't going to turn many heads, they do give Las Vegas a better and deeper roster.

    The Raiders' biggest addition, linebacker Cory Littleton, should instantly improve the team's pass defense and run defense at the second level. He was a pricey signing at three years and $35.3 million, but he'll have a major impact.

    As a rebuilding team, the Raiders nailed free agency. They weren't quite as stellar when it came to the draft, though.

    Henry Ruggs III has the potential to be a premier wide receiver at the next level, but he may be more of a speedster than a true No. 1 option. The Raiders made him the first wideout off the board at No. 12. Seven spots later, they drafted former Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette.

    Arnette, the 13th-ranked corner on Miller's big board, was a reach, plain and simple.

    Las Vegas then used a third-round pick on former Kentucky running back Lynn Bowden Jr. He may prove to be a fine pro, but with Josh Jacobs and Jalen Richard in Las Vegas' backfield, he doesn't address a need.

    The Raiders may not be a playoff team in 2020, but they'll be better, and their long-term outlook is bright.

Los Angeles Chargers

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    Justin Herbert
    Justin HerbertCollin Andrew/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: B+

    2020 NFL Draft: C+

    Overall: B-

    For the Los Angeles Chargers, the 2020 offseason will eventually be graded by the development of quarterback Justin Herbert. L.A. made the former Oregon signal-caller the sixth overall pick in the draft. That decision could pay off in a big way or bust out in epic fashion.

    "Herbert has a high ceiling and is the most physically gifted quarterback in the draft, but he doesn't have as many 'wow' plays as expected for someone with his traits, experience and potential," Zierlein wrote of the ex-Duck.

    Trading back into the first round for former Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray was an aggressive move that will pay more immediate dividends than the Herbert selection.

    In free agency, L.A. traded for Pro Bowler Trai Turner and added Bryan Bulaga at tackle, two moves that should immediately improve the offensive line. The Chargers also added Chris Harris Jr. to the secondary, signed defensive tackle Linval Joseph and extended running back Austin Ekeler. They franchise-tagged tight end Hunter Henry.

    While the Chargers did part with Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon, they have a bridge quarterback in Tyrod Taylor and a capable backfield comprised of Ekeler, Justin Jackson and rookie fourth-rounder Joshua Kelley.

    Los Angeles has the potential to field an elite defense in 2020, and if Taylor can play an above-average brand of ball, it could be back in the playoff mix.

Los Angeles Rams

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    Andrew Whitworth
    Andrew WhitworthRick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: D+

    2020 NFL Draft: C+

    Overall: C

    The Los Angeles Rams re-signed left tackle Andrew Whitworth, and that's the extent of the high-impact moves they made during the early offseason—at least in terms of positive impact. They also cut Todd Gurley, traded away Brandin Cooks and replaced Dante Fowler with Leonard Floyd.

    Given Floyd's price tag (one year, $10 million) and production (18.5 sacks in four seasons), the last one is a tough move to get behind.

    The Rams didn't have a first-round pick because of their trade for Jalen Ramsey. In the second round, they added potential replacements for Gurley and Cooks, respectively, in Florida State's Cam Akers and Florida's Van Jefferson.

    In Round 3, L.A. added a potential long-term replacement for Fowler in Alabama's Terrell Lewis and a replacement for retired safety Eric Weddle in Utah's Terrell Burgess.

    This offseason was largely about managing roster turnover. Given the uncertain nature of draft picks, however, the Rams could be a worse team in 2020.

Miami Dolphins

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    Tua Tagovailoa
    Tua TagovailoaVasha Hunt/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: B+

    2020 NFL Draft: A

    Overall: B+

    If fifth overall pick and former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa can stay healthy and live up to his potential, the Miami Dolphins will look back on the 2020 offseason as a franchise turning point. Tagovailoa has even more physical upside than Joe Burrow, but his injury history, which includes a dislocated and fractured hip in 2019, is significant.

    The Dolphins likely reached for former USC offensive tackle Austin Jackson—he was Miller's 38th overall prospect and drafted at No. 18—but if he develops into a long-term starter, that won't matter. Auburn corner Noah Igbinoghene and Alabama defensive tackle Raekwon Davis round out what could be a spectacular draft class.

    While the Dolphins likely overspent on cornerback Byron Jones—he got a five-year, $82.5 million deal—he should help form an elite cornerback duo with Xavien Howard.

    Miami made several other free-agent moves that, while not as attention-getting, should be equally impactful. Adding Emmanuel Ogbah and Shaq Lawson will help strengthen a pass rush that produced just 23 sacks in 2019. Adding linebackers Elandon Roberts and Kyle Van Noy will help head coach Brian Flores employ his version of the multi-faceted New England Patriots defense.

    By signing Jordan Howard and trading for Matt Breida, the Dolphins have given themselves a backfield opposing defenses cannot simply overlook.

    Again, everything is going to hinge on Tagovailoa's future, and that future may not even begin in 2020. However, the Dolphins should still be a much-improved team even if he spends his rookie season learning from the sideline.

Minnesota Vikings

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    Jeff Gladney
    Jeff GladneyCharlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: C

    2020 NFL Draft: A

    Overall: B

    For the Minnesota Vikings, the 2020 offseason has been all about managing the salary cap—they now have more than $12 million in space—and getting younger at some key positions.

    Minnesota traded away Stefon Diggs. It replaced him with first-round pick and former LSU wideout Justin Jefferson. Gone are cornerbacks Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander and Xavier Rhodes. In are rookie draft picks Jeff Gladney, Cameron Dantzler and Harrison Hand.

    The Vikings re-signed kicker Dan Bailey, running back Ameer Abdullah and fullback C.J. Ham. They also inked quarterback Kirk Cousins to a new two-year, $66 million extension.

    On paper, Minnesota appears to be about as good as it was during last year's 10-6 campaign, though the replacement of a few veterans with unproven talent leaves some mystery surrounding the 2020 outlook. However, the Vikings have done a fine job laying the foundation for the next two to three years.

New England Patriots

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    Brian Hoyer
    Brian HoyerDarron Cummings/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: D

    2020 NFL Draft: C+

    Overall: D+

    When a team's top early-offseason moves include franchise-tagging a guard, re-signing a safety and bringing back a former backup quarterback, it hasn't been a great offseason.

    To be fair, it's tough to know exactly what the New England Patriots' game plan is for 2020 and beyond, and tanking for a quarterback like Clemson's Trevor Lawrence could very well be part of that plan. However, if we're assuming the perennial-contender Patriots want to return to the playoffs, this offseason has been a tough one.

    Tom Brady is gone, and the Patriots are left with unproven Jarrett Stidham and career backup/spot-starter Brian Hoyer at quarterback. Defensive standouts like Duron Harmon, Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy are gone, though the Patriots did re-sign Devin McCourty.

    New England also tagged Joe Thuney and replaced retired fullback James Devlin with Danny Vitale.

    In the draft, the Patriots traded out of the first round and scooped up Lenoir-Rhyne safety Kyle Dugger and edge-rushers Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings on Day 2. They also added a pair of tight ends in Round 3, drafting UCLA's Devin Asiasi and Virginia Tech's Dalton Keene.

    The coming season will be all about finding out what the Patriots have in Stidham. He could prove to be the long-term answer at quarterback. But even if he is, this offseason has set the stage for New England to possibly miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

New Orleans Saints

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    Emmanuel Sanders
    Emmanuel SandersSteve Luciano/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: A+

    2020 NFL Draft: B

    Overall: A-

    The New Orleans Saints had arguably the league's most complete roster in 2019, and it somehow got stronger in the offseason.

    New Orleans re-signed quarterbacks Drew Brees and Taysom Hill, along with Pro Bowl guard Andrus Peat. They also added former Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins and a prime backup/developmental quarterback in Jameis Winston.

    The addition of former Broncos and San Francisco 49ers receiver Emmanuel Sanders finally provides New Orleans with a legitimate No. 2 wideout opposite Michael Thomas.

    The Saints made just four selections in the draft, but three of them could turn into impactful players. Former Michigan interior lineman Cesar Ruiz could immediately replace the recently released Larry Warford at guard. Former Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun should help solidify the second level of the defense while chipping in as a pass-rusher.

    Former Dayton tight end Adam Trautman could eventually replace Jared Cook, who is entering the final year of his contract. Seventh-round pick and former Mississippi State quarterback Tommy Stevens is likely headed to the practice squad.

    New Orleans has set itself up nicely for one final run with Brees under center.

New York Giants

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    James Bradberry
    James BradberryMike McCarn/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: C

    2020 NFL Draft: A-

    Overall: B

    The early offseason was a mixed bag for the New York Giants. They overpaid for James Bradberry—he received a three-year, $43.5 million deal—and franchise-tagging underwhelming defensive tackle Leonard Williams may prove to be a mistake.

    However, Bradberry does provide needed talent, as do linebacker Blake Martinez, offensive tackle Cam Fleming and defensive back Nate Ebner.

    New York fared better in the draft, during which it landed a potential new franchise left tackle in Georgia's Andrew Thomas at No. 4 overall. In Round 2, the Giants snagged a first-round talent in former Alabama safety Xavier McKinney.

    McKinney was the 22nd-ranked prospect on Miller's big board.

    New York also added former Connecticut tackle Matt Peart and former Oregon interior lineman Shane Lemieux in Rounds 3 and 5, respectively.

    The Giants have taken major steps to improve the offensive line in front of second-year quarterback Daniel Jones. For that alone, the offseason should be considered a success.

New York Jets

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    Mekhi Becton
    Mekhi BectonMichael Conroy/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: D+

    2020 NFL Draft: B

    Overall: C

    After making a splash by signing Le'Veon Bell last offseason, the New York Jets took a more subdued approach in 2020. New general manager Joe Douglas made some thrifty additions by signing Frank Gore, Gorge Fant and Pierre Desir, though it is fair to wonder if these moves actually make New York better.

    Douglas did not address a woeful pass rush—one that produced just 35 sacks—in free agency or in the draft until he took Florida's Jabari Zuniga in Round 3.

    The Jets took a much-needed offensive tackle in Round 1, but they pulled the trigger on Louisville's Mekhi Becton, which may not pay immediate dividends. Becton is a prospect loaded with upside but lacking polish. He may not become a reliable starter for some time. Seeing as this is a "prove-it" year for quarterback Sam Darnold, that could be an issue.

    New York will likely get more early impact out of second-round selection and former Baylor receiver Denzel Mims.

    "He's a clutch player," former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule said of Mims, per Newsday's Al Iannazzone. "He's someone who goes out there and when it really counts makes big plays. ... He's a guy that Jets fans are going to love."

    Adding former Florida International quarterback James Morgan in Round 4 gives the Jets a long-term backup quarterback and a potential second option if Darnold stumbles in 2020.

    The Jets made some moves that should pay off in the long term, but this will likely again be an average squad in 2020.

Philadelphia Eagles

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    Darius Slay
    Darius SlayPhelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: B+

    2020 NFL Draft: B+

    Overall: B+

    The Philadelphia Eagles are going to miss having Malcolm Jenkins at safety, but they helped balance out the talent level by trading for a legitimate No. 1 corner in Darius Slay. They also helped mitigate the loss of Jenkins be re-signing Jalen Mills and Rodney McLeod while adding Will Parks and Nickell Robey-Coleman.

    Philadelphia also re-signed backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld, a prudent move given Carson Wentz's injury history.

    The Eagles doubled down on Wentz insurance, grabbing former Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts in Round 2. However, he will be more valuable than a typical reserve quarterback. The Eagles plan on using him as an offensive weapon, as well.

    "Taysom Hill [package] on steroids," one source told Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson.

    A round before taking Hurts, Philadelphia selected former TCU wideout Jalen Reagor. He should immediately provide a boost to Philly's receiving corps, which struggled with depth at the end of 2019. Philadelphia added defensive depth later in the draft, grabbing former Colorado linebacker Davion Taylor and former Clemson defensive back K'Von Wallace.

    Expect the Eagles to again contend for the NFC East title in 2020. They've set themselves up to be as competitive as last year, at a minimum.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Eric Ebron
    Eric EbronDoug McSchooler/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: C

    2020 NFL Draft: C+

    Overall: C+

    The Pittsburgh Steelers didn't have much cap space to work with in free agency—they have less than $6 million now—and the results reflect that. They added tight end Eric Ebron, lost defensive tackle Javon Hargrave and gave the franchise tag to edge-rusher Bud Dupree. 

    Pittsburgh also replaced retired guard Ramon Foster with a stopgap option in Stefan Wisniewski.

    In the draft, Pittsburgh added yet another Day 2 receiver to its offense, grabbing former Notre Dame wideout Chase Claypool. It added an edge-rusher in Charlotte's Alex Highsmith and bolstered the backfield with Maryland's Anthony McFarland Jr.

    The selection of McFarland in Round 3 was the only real reach for Pittsburgh. He was graded as a low fourth-round talent by Miller.

    It's worth noting that Pittsburgh didn't have a first-round pick because of the trade for safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. The All-Pro defender doesn't count toward the Steelers' offseason grade since he was acquired in 2019, but he is a more valuable piece than anyone they could've added in this year's draft.

    Pittsburgh did not really improve this offseason, but if Ben Roethlisberger returns to 100 percent health and form, it can be a playoff team.

San Francisco 49ers

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    Javon Kinlaw
    Javon KinlawButch Dill/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: B-

    2020 NFL Draft: B

    Overall: B

    Like the other team in Super Bowl LIV, the San Francisco 49ers largely used the offseason to keep their talent level the same.

    They lost Emmanuel Sanders and signed wideout Travis Benjamin while drafting Arizona State's Brandon Aiyuk in Round 1. They traded away DeForest Buckner and used another first-round pick on former South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. They lost left tackle Joe Staley to retirement and traded for Trent Williams.

    They also re-signed Jimmie Ward, Ben Garland and Arik Armstead.

    The addition of Williams is the only notable risk among these moves, and only because the seven-time Pro Bowler has battled injuries—he last played a 16-game season in 2013—and held out for all of 2019. If he stays healthy and in Pro Bowl form, the move to acquire him will be a home run. San Francisco only surrendered a fifth-rounder and a 2021 third-round pick to acquire him.

    It would have been nice to see San Francisco add more insurance at the tackle spot—it did draft West Virginia's Colton McKivitz in Round 5—but overall, it figures to again have a championship-caliber roster.

Seattle Seahawks

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    Phillip Dorsett
    Phillip DorsettRon Schwane/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: C-

    2020 NFL Draft: C

    Overall: C-

    It was a fairly underwhelming early offseason for the Seattle Seahawks. Their biggest moves included acquiring complementary receiver Phillip Dorsett and re-signing one-time Seattle standout Bruce Irvin.

    They did not do enough to address a pass rush that produced just 28 sacks in 2019.

    Yes, adding Irvin will help, as will the second-round addition of Tennessee's Darrell Taylor. However, they may not represent significant upgrades over 2019 pass-rushers Ezekiel Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney, both of whom remain unsigned.

    The selection of Taylor may have been a reach—Miller graded him as a high third-round pick. The first-round selection of former Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks, Miller's fifth-ranked linebacker, was a stretch, as well.

    Seattle did trade for cornerback Quinton Dunbar, but that move and the aforementioned pass-rushing additions are the only transactions the team made to address its 27th-ranked pass defense.

    While the Seahawks may be a playoff team again in 2020, they are not likely to be a significantly improved one.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Tom Brady
    Tom BradyBill Sikes/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: B+

    2020 NFL Draft: A

    Overall: A-

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the biggest splash of free agency by landing six-time champion Tom Brady. While the move doesn't do much for Tampa's long-term outlook, it does open a legitimate two-year championship window.

    The Buccaneers also traded for Brady favorite Rob Gronkowski, giving them arguably the league's best tight-end trio in Gronk, O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. Tampa also did an excellent job retaining key defenders like Shaquil Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh.

    On the opening night of the draft, the Buccaneers traded up to snag former Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs. He should be an immediate upgrade over the departed Demar Dotson at right tackle and an O-line anchor long past the Brady era.

    Tampa also snagged a starting-caliber safety in Minnesota's Antoine Winfield Jr. and a starting-caliber running back in Vanderbilt's Ke'Shawn Vaughn. Those are additions that should respectively help improve Tampa's 30th-ranked pass defense and further support Brady.

    The league seems to believe Tampa Bay will be a significantly improved team in 2020 as the Buccaneers were given the maximum of five prime-time games on the schedule. Significantly improved is exactly what the Buccaneers will be provided Brady stays healthy and upright for the entire season. 

Tennessee Titans

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    Ryan Tannehill
    Ryan TannehillJohn Raoux/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: B-

    2020 NFL Draft: B

    Overall: B

    Perhaps the Tennessee Titans' two best moves of the offseason were locking up quarterback Ryan Tannehill with a four-year deal and franchise-tagging running back Derrick Henry. They were the driving forces behind Tennessee's offense in 2019. However, losing right tackle Jack Conklin hurts in a big way.

    Replacing pass-rusher Cameron Wake with Vic Beasley was an underrated free-agent move that could pay off big if Beasley can rediscover his Pro Bowl form of 2016.

    The Titans may have reached a bit for Georgia offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson at No. 29, but he's a potential replacement for Conklin on the right side. Grabbing LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton at No. 61 represented better value.

    Wilson was the seventh-ranked tackle on Miller's big board, and Fulton was the 48th overall prospect.

    Tennessee also landed a replacement for complementary back Dion Lewis by grabbing Appalachian State product Darrynton Evans.

    The Titans' overall talent level is roughly on par with what it was at the end of 2019. Considering their 2019 season ended in the AFC title game, that isn't a bad thing.

Washington Redskins

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    Chase Young
    Chase YoungRick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Free Agency/Trade: C+

    2020 NFL Draft: B+

    Overall: B

    In free agency, Washington did a respectable job addressing its 18th-ranked pass defense. Though no real splash moves were made, it brought in Ronald Darby, Sean Davis and Kendall Fuller. It also added seasoned vet Thomas Davis, which should bring a little leadership to the linebacker corps.

    Trading for quarterback Kyle Allen gives new head coach Ron Rivera a familiar second option to compete with Dwayne Haskins under center. Franchise-tagging guard Brandon Scherff was a necessary move, as was trading offensive tackle Trent Williams, who had zero interest in playing for the franchise again.

    Failing to adequately replace tight ends Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed is a mark against Washington.

    In the draft, Washington made the smart choice and plucked former Ohio State pass-rusher Chase Young with the second overall selection. Trading out of the No. 2 spot was an option, but Young is worth passing on extra draft capital.

    "Young possesses superior traits and the ability to wreck and alter offensive game-plans as a perennial All-Pro," Zierlein wrote.

    The Redskins added a rotational/receiving back by taking Memphis' Antonio Gibson in Round 3 and grabbed a potential future starter in former LSU offensive tackle Saahdiq Charles one round later.

    While Washington may still be considered an NFC East bottom-feeder, it should feature an improved defense in 2020. More importantly, it should have a better idea of its quarterback situation heading into 2021.


    All contract and cap information via Spotrac.


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