Levi ChappellComment

The NFL Offseason (Part 3 of 3): One Need Each Team Must Address Before Next Season

Levi ChappellComment
The NFL Offseason (Part 3 of 3): One Need Each Team Must Address Before Next Season

I will break down one pressing need that each team must address before next season starts. It could range from signing a certain position, hiring personal, addressing a need through the draft, and more. 

New Orleans Saints: 

The Saints have a couple of pressing needs this offseason, but I see two that rise above the others. They need to find some new blood among pass catchers. Yes, Michael Thomas is turning out to be a superstar, but other than him the tank is a bit bare. Ted Ginn is 33, Willie Snead completely disappeared last year, Brandon Coleman has never been able to put it together, and Coby Fleener has never lived up to his contract. I could see the Saints drafting Christian Kirk or James Washington in the 1st round. It would also be awesome to see a Brees-Graham reunion in NOLA. 

Biggest need: This one is pretty simple, re-sign your hall-of-fame QB by any means necessary. I understand that you need to look to the future and eventually address that position, but Drew Brees is the best QB that the team will ever have, so get a deal done. Sign and play him until the wheels fall off! 

New York Giants: 

If there was one thing that I got correct about last NFL season, it was that the Giants would stink... and boy did they stink. It'll probably be easier to name the positions that don't need to be addressed. They have a really good defensive line and some very talented and young pass catchers. I will throw a couple of needs out there... The running game needs some serious help. The Paul Perkins hype train got derailed before it even left the station and Orleans Darkwa had a fine season but will not help New York in the long run. There is serious consideration that the Giants should select Saquon Barkley at #2.

The other position is obviously finding the QB of the future. This could very well be their number one need, but I keep reading that they believe in Eli and think he has a couple more years of production. If that is the case... 

Biggest need: They need to address the awful offensive line. If they are going to trot Eli out there for another couple seasons, that means that they should be trying to compete. There is no way on God's green earth that they can compete with that offensive line. There are definitely some upgrades on the offensive line that are available through free agency and I expect New York to sign at least a couple of offensive lineman. Help keep Eli standing! 

New York Jets: 

The Jets are another team that have a lot of holes on both sides of the ball. The defense of the ol' green and white used to be their bread and butter, but that has not been the case for the past couple of years. After trading away Sheldon Richardson, cutting Muhammed Wilkerson, and now the possibility of Demario Davis not being re-signed, the defense looks to have more holes in it than a big chunk of swiss cheese (I had to get a swiss cheese reference somewhere in this article).

Another area that needs help is pass catching. Two of the best pass catchers on the Jets may not be on the team at the start of the year. Matt Forte, one of the best pass catching RB's of all-time has retired, and Robby Anderson who had a fantastic and promising year has got in to quite a bit of legal trouble. Right now the receiving core is Jermaine Kearse, an up-and-down ASJ, and Quincy Enuwa who is coming off a serious neck surgery. None of that sounds too promising. 

Biggest need: This one is pretty obvious... QB. Josh Mccown did a fantastic job for that team, bridging the gap between competing and rebuilding. There is still a chance that he gets resigned. But they need to find the future in New York (sound familiar to another New York team?). The name that keeps coming up is Kirk Cousins. I think his decision will come down to the classic dilemma of money vs. winning/competing. If Kirk values winning and wants to try and win a superbowl, Minnesota is the correct destination. But the Jets can throw straight cash at Kirk in the form that not many other teams can do. They could also build him a bronze statue in front of the stadium and declare the day that he signs with the Jets a city holiday. But if they do not land Cousins, I would expect them to draft the top QB available at #6, which could possibly be Rosen or Mayfield. 

Oakland Raiders: 

The Raiders could use some consistency on the defensive and offensive lines. In 2016, the offensive line was one of the best, but took a huge step back in 2017, all while getting another year older. The defensive line was also inconsistent. Khalil Mack is fantastic, and Bruce Irvin has been good at times... but other than those two, the entire rest of the team had 12.5 sacks last season. 

Biggest need: What happened to Derek Carr? I think it can attributed to a couple of things... the poor offensive line play, WR's dropping passes, and more importantly, a really inconsistent and underwhelming running game. So the Marshawn Lynch gamble did not work out... Say what you will about Latavius Murray, but the running game was much more functional and effective when he was there. They need to figure out the running game. The Raiders don't pick until #41 in the draft, but they could still get a quality RB at that position (Dalvin Cook went #41 in 2017). I don't see Barkley or Guice making it that far down the board, but Chubb, Michel, or Jones could all be there. Draft a stud RB! 

Philadelphia Eagles: 

The Eagles obviously do not have many holes. They could acquire a couple of more weapons for Wentz and co. on the offensive side of the ball. Torrey Smith is set to make 5 million this year, so the Eagles may cut him to save the money. Trey Burton is a free agent and will most likely sign "starter-type" money somewhere else. That leaves Ertz, Jeffery, and Agholor as your top 3 pass catchers. That is not a bad group, but Jeffery is injury prone (he already had to have another surgery this offseason) and the jury is still out on Agholor. Some depth or a solid WR2 could help the Eagles.

Biggest need: The biggest need I see for the Eagles is at linebacker. They had quite a productive year even after Jordan Hicks ruptured his achilles. Mychal Hendricks and Nigel Bradham both had great years, but Bradham is a free agent and Hendricks is making a lot of money which will most likely not allow the Eagles to re-sign Bradham. Hicks will be coming off a serious injury and you can never be sure what level the player will return to. Draft or sign a quality LB!

Pittsburgh Steelers:

After coming off a disappointing playoff game for the Steelers, they have a couple of needs that need to be addressed. With Martavis Bryant out the door and no consistency at the TE position, the Steelers will need to find a third pass catcher on the team to go along with Brown and Juju. 

Obviously the elephant in the room would be the contract negotiation of Le'Veon Bell. He is a difference maker and an absolute stud. I think the Steelers would be mistaken to let him walk. 

Biggest need: Although the Bell situation is very important, the middle linebacker position must be addressed before anything else. The sad nature of the NFL is that it is a violent sport with many injuries... some of which are lifelong. We are not sure if Ryan Shazier will ever play football again (For his and his family's sake, I hope he doesn't), he still needs help walking. He is obviously a long ways away from ever playing football again. MLB is not a position that the Steelers thought they would need to address, but under the circumstances, it is. They must try and fill the void of Shazier which will be tough. Get well soon Ryan. 

San Francisco 49ers: 

The Niners are an up and coming team. They addressed their QB situation this offseason by making Jimmy G the highest paid player EVER (He has 7 career starts... let that sink in). They could try and sign a top flight WR this offseason. But I dont see that as a major need. Most of the needs come on the defensive side of the ball. The Niners were historically bad on defense at the beginning of the season. They need help in the secondary, particularly the cornerback position. 

Biggest need: This has to be an edge rusher. They drafted Solomon Thomas last year but he really struggled on the outside. They also selected the two big boys from Oregon in recent drafts (Armstead and Buckner), Buckner has been a good player but Armstead has also struggled. The 49ers have to find a way to get to the opposing QB's! 

Seattle Seahawks: 

What was once the best defense in the NFL and debatably the "best defense of all-time"... is now crumbling to pieces. The legion of boom is more like the colony of injury-plagued and over the hill defensive backs. Sherman is coming off an achilles tear, Thomas has publicly spoke about joining another team, and Kam got put on injured reserve. Cliff Avril also got put on injured reserve and may have played his last down as a Seahawk, and some breaking news of Michael Bennett getting traded to the Eagles. All of this spells "overhaul"!

They also need help on the offensive line so that Wilson doesn't get killed in the backfield. I honestly don't know what need is #1. 

Biggest need: I will be as broad as possible... Defense. They seriously need help on the defensive line, at cornerback, and at safety. This is one of those situations where the Seahawks will end up drafting whoever is highest on their draft board as long as it fits the 4 or 5 positions of need. It is sad that the Hawks were never able to win another superbowl with that core. It looks like times are changing and a good majority of the roster will be overhauled. Sell your Thomas, Sherman, Avril, Bennett (too late), and Chancellor Jerseys while you can! Seahawks... draft the top OL, DL, CB, or safety on your draft board! 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

The Bucs are a hard team to figure out. It feels like they should be better than they are. Jameis Winston has been inconsistent ever since being drafted, Doug Martin was never able to find his form again, and they have missed on quite a few draft picks over the past few years (Cough... Roberto Aguayo... 2nd round... 59th overall). The Bucs allowed the most yards per game in the NFL. So ya, they need defensive help. The defensive line and cornerback positions could use some upgrades. 

Biggest need: The defense definitely needs some help, but the Bucs also need a RB. If the Bucs truly believe that Winston is the future, which I think that they still believe in him, then Winston needs a running mate. The Bucs pick at #38 and they are right around the same spot as the Raiders. Chubb, Michel, Jones, or even Penny will most likely be available and could make a big difference for that offense. Get Jameis a top quality running mate in the backfield! 

Tennessee Titans:

The Titans are pretty well set on the offensive side of the ball. They could use a bit of offensive line depth seeing as how two starters are free agents, but at least one of them should get resigned. They have young talent like Corey Davis, Derrick Henry, Jonnu Smith, and Taylor Lewan. They also have some really good vets like Delanie Walker and Rishard Mathews. Most of the help that is needed is on defense. 

Biggest need: Defensive end/edge rusher. Brian Orakpo is 32, Eric Walden is 33, and Derick Morgan will be a free agent. They need some speed and youth on the defensive line (and the linebackers as well). Mike Vrabel is a defensive minded coach and will be looking to the draft to find some youth and speed. Draft an edge rusher or linebacker in the first round! 

Washington Redskins:

The last team on the list, the Washington Redskins. They have already had a pretty interesting offseason involving Kirk Cousins and Alex Smith. They also have quite a few free agents at key positions. The first one that comes to mind is linebacker. A linebacking core of Zach Brown, Mason Foster, and Will Compton is not overwhelming but not below league average either. The problem is that every single one of them is a free agent. The Redskins will most likely get a deal done with Brown. They would like to retain all three, but chances are that will not happen. This will leave at least one, or possibly two starting spots open at linebacker. They may address linebacker and the secondary in the draft.

Biggest need: The Redskins traded for Alex Smith... now its time to get him some weapons. Jamison Crowder had an up and down year, Josh Doctson showed promise but was still inconsistent, Ryan Grant is a free agent, and after the dumpster-fire type of season that Terrelle Pryor had, he will most likely be gone from the team as well. Jordan Reed is never healthy and Vernon Davis is 34 years old. They need some talent and youth. The trade for Smith ended up saving the Redskins some money instead of signing Cousins. I would suggest and hope that they spend that money on some new weapons that are on the free agent market. Sign a WR!