Building a successful franchise could arguably be one of the toughest challenges in all of sports. Especially in the National Football League where there are so many variables that act as weights on a balance between having a winning and losing season. An injury here or there can cost a championship contender to falling so far as to win only a handful of games.
That’s why offseason moves, both big and small in scale of player popularity, are so vital to a team’s overall chances of success. Paying a star player too much can result in the team not having the funds to keep key players in other parts of the team. Team officials also have to keep an eye on prospective backups in the event of season-ending injuries.
In today’s plugged-in society, football fans and experts are often critiquing many of the moves being made by all 32 NFL teams. They’ll give offseason grades just before the start of training camp. They’ll use those moves to decide who has the best chance of winning the Super Bowl; even before the start of the first preseason game.
With the 2016 season currently underway, many of the moves some NFL teams made to prepare for this season have already come under some scrutiny. The following are the top 15 NFL offseason moves that teams have already started regretting.
15 Pittsburgh: Green replaces Miller at TE
Heath Miller’s retirement after last season placed a big hole for the Pittsburgh Steelers to fill within their offense. It’s certainly difficult to replace someone who played 11 seasons, missed only eight regular season games and had 45 career touchdown receptions. Pittsburgh certainly tried Ladarius Green to a four-year, $20 million contract. However, many had concerns with Green coming off of offseason ankle surgery.
14 Detroit Lions can’t replace Calvin Johnson
Calvin Johnson had earned the nickname Megatron when he was with the Detroit Lions. From 2007 to 2015, he finished with 11,619 receiving yards and 83 touchdowns. The news of his sudden retirement would certainly leave a gaping hole for the Lions to fill. It also didn’t help that the Lions were able to find someone within a very weak wide receiver market – although Marvin Jones should help a little bit.
13 Lack of veteran backup QB for Seattle
There’s no denying the fact that the Seattle Seahawks have complete faith in Russell Wilson as their franchise quarterback. Through the first four seasons in his professional career, he has yet to miss a single practice, let alone a single game. But the NFL can be a cruel game where injuries can really ruin a season for a championship contender. Wilson’s ankle injury in the season opener against the Miami Dolphins has fans worried about how it will limit him for the rest of the season.
12 Indianapolis playing too conservative
The AFC South was surprisingly competitive last season, mostly due to Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck dealing with injuries. But the defending AFC South champion Houston Texans made some big moves in an effort to keep their spot at the top of the division. Additionally, both the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be very difficult teams as they continue their progression.
11 Chicago cuts K Gould; signs Barth
Robbie Gould’s departure from the Chicago Bears was not very well liked among Chicago football fans. While he struggled last season with the Bears, he was still one of the more accurate kickers in NFL history. Gould had a career percentage of 85.4 percent through 11 seasons, including making 23 of 31 from 50 yards and farther. Considered a cost-cutting measure, the Bears decided to sign Connor Barth to a one-year contract.
10 Green Bay waives “goodbye” to All-Pro Guard
Just before the start of the 2016 regular season, the Green Bay Packers made one of the more interesting roster moves. The Packers decided release offensive lineman Josh Sitton. While he is at the age of 30, he is considered by many in the league to be one of the offensive guards in the NFL. Green Bay is going to have to make some decisions with signing many of their stars on the offensive line next offseason.
9 Denver Broncos’ quarterback struggles
It’s hard to imagine a defending Super Bowl championship team would have so many problems with their offense one season later. After Peyton Manning was able to get his send off last season, the Denver Broncos had a lot of work to do to replace a sure-fire Hall of Fame quarterback. The first move the Broncos made was trading with the Philadelphia Eagles for Mark “Mr. Butt Fumble” Sanchez. But he was quickly cut by the team before the start of the season.
8 Philadelphia gives QB Daniel $21 million
With Doug Pederson leaving the Kansas City Chiefs to become the next head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, veteran backup quarterback Chase Daniel also made the move to Pennsylvania. But the Eagles front office may have overpaid him with a three-year, $21 million deal. It would have made sense for a dependable backup option to play behind rookie Carson Wentz this season.
7 Carolina lets CB Norman leave for D.C.
One of the main reasons why the Carolina Panthers found themselves in the Super Bowl last season was a strong defense. That defensive unit was led by cornerback Josh Norman, who had four touchdowns, three first downs and 48 tackles. Two of those interceptions were returned for touchdowns to add to a powerful Carolina offense.
6 Houston signs Osweiler for too much
While it was a shame for the Denver Broncos to allow quarterback Brock Osweiler to leave the team for the free agent market after last season, the Houston Texans may have paid a little too much for someone with limited experience as a starting quarterback in the NFL. In the first seven starts of his career, Osweiler had 1,967 yards with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. Truly, he should be a starter in the league.
5 Vikings give up a lot for QB Bradford
The Minnesota Vikings suffered a big blow to their season when quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a freak knee injury. With losing their starter for the seasons, and possibly into next season, the Vikings had to find someone to help lead a talented offense and defense that was being considered a potential NFC Champion. While there are some veteran quarterbacks Minnesota targeted, they chose to trade with the Eagles for Sam Bradford.
4 Green Bay signs TE Cook
Jared Cook has found some success as a tight end during his NFL career, but he’s never really been considered a top option that championship-caliber teams would put on their roster. The Green Bay Packers signed Cook over this past offseason, but many fans and experts were quick to point out that he dropped nearly 50 catchable passes last season.
3 Cleveland signs RGIII
The Cleveland Browns have never had a great history with quarterbacks, with an infamous storefront jersey that started with Tim Couch in 1999. The list of names since then had grown to 24. If it wasn’t for the store owner retiring the jersey, the 2016 season would have added a few more names. The Browns signed former Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III to a two-year, $15 million contract.
2 Seahawks sign OT Webb
The majority of the Seattle Seahawks roster looks to be among the best in the league. They have one of the best quarterbacks, a very good wide receiving corps and the best scoring defense in the league. The biggest weakness that the Seahawks have is the offensive line. The departure of reliable veteran Russel Okung is just another example of the Seahawks losing talented tackles and guards.
1 Tampa Bay picks kicker in second round
Obviously, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren’t happy with how Connor Barth was doing last season. There were a number of unrestricted free agent placekickers Tampa Bay could have looked at, which included Mason Crosby, Nick Novak and Josh Brown. But Tampa Bay decided to go to the NFL Draft. Tampa Bay decided to select former Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo – in the second round.
Because the Buccaneers felt they couldn’t wait to draft a kicker until later, they hoped it would have worked. But he struggled in the preseason with missed extra points. Those struggles seem to have followed him into the 2016 season. Again, the team decided to make him their second round choice over going after a proven veteran kicker already in the league.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!