4 NFL teams that won, 3 that lost the 2020 offseason


The 2020 NFL Draft wrapped up, which for most teams across the league was the final piece of the offseason puzzle. Although there is still plenty of time for teams to make moves before the season begins, the majority of them take place during free agency and the draft.

Let’s run through which teams won and lost the offseason so far this year.

The winners

Baltimore Ravens
Key additions: DE Calais Campbell; WRs Devin Duvernay and James Proche; RB J.K. Dobbins; LB Patrick Queen; DT Justin Madubuike

The Ravens finished last season 14-2, but came up short in the playoffs. This offseason, they just needed to a couple more pieces to make them Super Bowl contenders. Baltimore’s first step was to improve the pass rush, which ranked 19th in the league in sack percentage (6.37 percent). Campbell, who was traded from Jacksonville, will change that immediately — he had 31.5 sacks over his last three seasons.

Drafting Ohio State’s Dobbins in the second round was a surprise even to the Ravens. They didn’t think he would still be available at No. 55 overall, and him being the No. 1 RB on their board made him impossible to pass up. The Ravens now get to add Dobbins to their rush attack, led by Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram, that set a league record of 3,296 yards last season. Not a single Ravens wideout had over 600 receiving last year, though Duvernay from Texas and SMU’s Proche, who both had over 1,000 yards last season, can improve that group.

Texas A&M’s Madubuike helps fill a big void at defensive tackle left by Michael Pierce. First-round pick Queen out of LSU adds speed to the Ravens’ defense — he can shed blockers and shoot the gap to end plays on a dime.

Cincinnati Bengals
Key additions: DT D.J. Reader; S Vonn Bell; CB Trae Waynes; QB Joe Burrow; WR Tee Higgins; LBs Logan Wilson, Akeem-Davis Gaither, and Markus Bailey

Second-year head coach Zac Taylor is in the middle of rebuilding on both sides of the ball after the Bengals finished 2-14 in 2019. Cincinnati had the fourth-worst total defense last season. The secondary, which gave up a league-worst 12.7 yards per completion, will be boosted by Bell and cornerback Waynes, who defended a combined 13 passes last season. Cincy was also dead last in rush yards allowed, but prized free agent signee Reader, who had 52 tackles for the Texans last season, will help fix that. Linebacker has been a problem area for the Bengals lately — they’ve given up 4.7 yards per carry in both 2018 and 2019. Cincy waited until Round 3 to address the position, but Wilson out of Wyoming (third round), Appalachian State’s Davis-Gaither (fourth round), and Purdue’s Bailey (seventh round) could end up being steals. All three of them could’ve been drafted earlier than they were.

On offense, it starts with Burrow. The No. 1 overall pick is the expected starter and the Bengals are hoping, their next franchise QB to replace Andy Dalton. Burrow had one of the best seasons for a quarterback in the history of college football last season for LSU. To surround him with more talent, the Bengals drafted Higgins out of Clemson, who will be a lethal combo with A.J. Green.

Miami Dolphins
Key additions: CB Byron Jones; DE Shaq Lawson; LB Kyle Van Noy; QB Tua Tagovailoa; OT Austin Jackson, G Robert Hunt

The Dolphins have had just two winning seasons since 2008, but second-year head coach Brian Flores is looking to change that. Miami is undergoing a complete rebuild, which means it needed just about everything this offseason. The biggest decision the Dolphins made was drafting their franchise QB of the future, Tagovailoa, at No. 5 overall. The former Alabama passer is expected to take the starting job. Drafting offensive linemen in the first two rounds, USC’s Jackson and Louisiana’s Hunt will give the rookie some much-needed protection, too.

On defense, Miami made a splash when it landed Jones, the former Dallas Cowboys lockdown cornerback, in free agency. Jones will start opposite Pro Bowler Xavien Howard. The Dolphins didn’t stop there, though. They also used the No. 30 overall pick to select 2020’s top slot corner, Auburn’s Igbinoghene. Miami’s secondary looks poised to dominate in an AFC East without Tom Brady. To improve its league-worse pass rush, Miami also signed Lawson from Buffalo and Van Noy from the Patriots — both had a career-high 6.5 sacks in 2019.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Key Additions: QB Tom Brady; TE Rob Gronkowski; OT Tristan Wirfs; RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn; S Antoine Winfield Jr.; DT Khalil Davis

The Buccaneers are starting a new era without Jameis Winston, who had just one winning season in Tampa. Bruce Arians’ team was an obvious winner this offseason, first by landing quarterback Tom Brady and then convincing the Patriots to trade a newly un-retired Rob Gronkowski.

That in itself would be enough to put them in the winners category, but the Bucs had one hell of a draft. They got Iowa’s Wirfs, who could turn out to be the best tackle in this draft, with the No. 13 pick. The Bucs didn’t re-sign right tackle Demar Dotson this offseason, and they needed an upgrade from him anyway to give the 43-year-old Brady the best possible protection. Vanderbilt’s Vaughn, who has been an underdog his entire college career, has the potential to have a breakout rookie campaign at running back.

On defense, the Bucs were able to retain Shaq Barrett, Ndamukong Suh, and Jason Pierre-Paul in free agency. That keeps the core of Tampa’s front seven that finished first in rush defense in yards allowed. Minnesota’s Winfield Jr. is a ballhawk who could start at safety as a rookie. Davis, who had a career-high eight sacks last season for Nebraska, further boosts Tampa’s pass rush, which the Bucs still needed after free agency.

The losers

Atlanta Falcons
Key additions: RB Todd Gurley; LB Dante Fowler Jr.; CB A.J. Terrell; DT Marlon Davidson

The Falcons might go through coaching change in 2020 if Dan Quinn’s team finishes with a third straight losing season. The way this offseason has gone for Atlanta, it doesn’t look too good. The Falcons signed Gurley, who is among the best backs in the league — when healthy. But his health has been a concern, especially lately. Signing Fowler Jr. from the Rams bolsters the Falcons’ pass rush, but they could have used another edge rusher this offseason to complement him.

In the draft, Terrell out of Clemson was worthy of a first-round pick, but it’s unclear how quickly he can pick up the pieces after the departure of Desmond Trufant. Auburn’s Davidson can help right away from the inside. Aside from Terrell and Davidson, the Falcons didn’t really draft anyone who looks like they can come in and make an immediate impact. Those players are exactly the type Quinn needs, since he’s presumably on his last life in Atlanta. It’s even more disappointing considering the Falcons tried and failed trading up to get a bigger-name prospect early in the first round.

Green Bay Packers
Key additions: WR Devin Funchess; QB Jordan Love; TE Josiah Deguara; RB AJ Dillion

Green Bay was just a few weapons on offense away from making a Super Bowl last season, losing in the NFC Championship to the 49ers. Unfortunately, the Packers’ offseason as a whole was a big ol’ yikes. Aside from signing Devin Funchess from the Colts, Green Bay made no other receiver acquisitions in the draft or in free agency. The Packers didn’t have a playmaker at receiver aside from Davante Adams last season, and they did nothing to solve that this offseason.

The most puzzling move of the offseason was how Green Bay traded up to get Love, since the Packers still have some guy named Aaron Rodgers under contract. The Utah State quarterback will likely need at least a few years before he’s even ready to play. Drafting him doesn’t help this team get any closer to a Super Bowl right away. Running back AJ Dillon from Boston College and Cincinnati tight end Josiah Deguara aren’t the missing pieces on offense, either. It’s unclear what exactly the Packers were thinking this offseason.

Philadelphia Eagles
Key additions: CB Darius Slay; WR Jalen Reagor; QB Jalen Hurts; WR Marquise Goodwin

Philadelphia needed help on both sides of the ball to become a legitimate NFC contender once again. This offseason, the Eagles’ biggest need on defense was cornerback. The most notable thing the Eagles did was trading for former Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay and giving him a $50 million extension, making him the highest-paid corner in the league. The Eagles didn’t re-sign five-time Pro Bowler Malcolm Jenkins, and instead is moving cornerback Jalen Mills to safety. As good of a move as getting Slay was, the Eagles didn’t get another corner this draft, which was strange.

The Eagles’ biggest need on offense was receiver, and they waited until the draft to address it. Philadelphia took TCU’s Reagor in the first round, despite LSU’s Justin Jefferson still available. Jefferson to the Eagles was a popular mock pick leading up to the draft. They also acquired Goodwin in a trade with San Francisco, but he’s had under 400 yards receiving in each of his last two seasons.

In a surprise pick, the Eagles used their only second-round pick on Hurts, the former Alabama and Oklahoma quarterback, in the second round. The No. 1 question with this pick is: how will they use Hurts? The Eagles have made it clear that Carson Wentz is their quarterback, so it seems probable that Hurts can be used as a gadget player. There have been reports that Hurts might be used as a “straight up running back,” but if the Eagles wanted a back, there were plenty of them available in Round 2.

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