It’s been a big offseason of moves across the NFL, and some teams have really stepped up and used their cap space smartly. Many teams that have struggled recently have aggressively tried to turn their fortunes by adding key free agents and making big trades.
Which teams have done the best with this? Here are five NFL teams that have improved the most during the offseason so far.
The Giants are moving up from a fairly low floor, but they’ve done well this offseason. Their two big moves have come on defense, adding linebacker Blake Martinez and cornerback James Bradberry. Both are solid players who will improve what was a very bad unit last year. The Giants are banking on improvement from Daniel Jones and the health of Saquon Barkley for 2020, and if they get both, they’ll definitely be better. If the defense follows suit, their improvement could be surprisingly quick.
The Raiders, too, are using their ample cap room to improve their defense with some sharp moves. Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski are really smart additions to the team’s linebacker corps, and should be good news for a defense that had its issues last season. Eli Apple is a worthwhile reclamation project at cornerback, and the addition of Jason Witten is an interesting one as well. They’ve also added Marcus Mariota, who should provide competition for Derek Carr. They’re good moves, and the Raiders haven’t really broken the bank, preferring to spread money around to address multiple needs.
The Cardinals probably didn’t think they’d be able to clear David Johnson’s contract off the books without eating some money or dead cap. The fact that they did so while acquiring DeAndre Hopkins is nothing short of a miracle. Keeping Kenyan Drake was smart, and the addition of linebacker Devon Kennard is an underrated move that will certainly improve the defense. Don’t be surprised if the Cardinals take a significant step forward next year.
2. Buffalo Bills
Perhaps the Bills sense opportunity with Tom Brady leaving the Patriots and the AFC East. It would certainly make sense. Their moves have been aggressive and aimed at improving key areas. The Stefon Diggs trade got the most headlines, and could help unlock Josh Allen’s huge arm. He’s understandably excited about the move. Mario Addison’s signing is another good move, and the many members of the organization who used to work for the Carolina Panthers clearly believe they can find something left in Josh Norman. If they do, this has the potential to be a fantastic offseason and a division-winning team.
The Dolphins were regarded as a tanking team in 2019, but things certainly look different now. The team had plenty of cap space and is ready to use it. Byron Jones is the headline addition, pairing up with Xavien Howard to create a strong cornerback tandem. Kyle Van Noy and Shaq Lawson will also help defensively, while Ereck Flowers should bolster the offensive line. The team has a big draft decision coming up, but this franchise finally looks to be on the right track after some very lean years.
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