With the bulk of free agency over, it's time to look at which teams did the most to improve their squads, and which teams saw notable players leave during free agency. Contract values matter—overpaying for talent hurts you, while signing players for a value helps. In short, these are the teams that shopped wisely, finding bargains both big and small.
The New York Jets, led by head coach Rex Ryan, have picked up former Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. Former Jets QB Mark Sanchez was later signed by the Eagles to a one year deal, so the two teams essentially swapped backup quarterbacks.
There's nothing like a draft going perfectly to revitalize a team's fortunes. When you nail multiple draft choices in a year, you're getting an influx of talent for years to come. Of course, it's easier to nail draft choices when you're picking high in the draft. It's more impressive to find gems in the later rounds then it is to pick the best player with the top pick—finding Tom Brady in the sixth round is more impressive than finding Peyton Manning with the first pick.
A legend of the National Football League has passed away. Ralph Wilson, founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills, died on Tuesday afternoon. He was 95 years old. Wilson was one of the original founders of the American Football League, bringing professional football back to Buffalo for the first time since 1949 and the All-American Football Conference.
If you're looking for a top-flight defensive end, you are in luck. With the cap space that the Oakland Raiders enjoy, it's surprising they haven't already locked Houston up on a long-term deal. Houston is a physical specimen at 6'3", 300 lbs. He can play anywhere on the defensive line, and even as an outside linebacker in a pinch. He's a solid pass rusher, and angreat run stopper. Some though the Raiders would slap the franchise tag on him, but the deadline has come and gone.
The NFL offseason has seen plenty of rumors flying here and there. There is plenty of time before the start of training camp so rumors are tiny morsels that fans can chew on until they get their football fix in the Fall. The latest such rumor to come down the pike is the Raiders working on a deal to get Kirk Cousins for their quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Neither QB is exactly setting the league on fire but they have their purpose.
While I don't think Florida State is on their way to a dynasty, I don't see anyone else contending with Florida State for two reasons: what they return and their schedule. That makes them good college football picks for next season.
Take your mind back, if you can, to the offseason of 2012, just after Drew Brees signed his new contract with New Orleans. That left two quarterbacks atop the free agent market—Peyton Manning, coming off of a lost season in Indianapolis due to a neck injury, and Matt Flynn, who had just thrown for 480 yards against the Lions in relief of Aaron Rodgers.
Well, another football season is behind us and for the first time in eight years, the SEC cannot say they are champs. However, they can say they had a team in the last eight BCS Championship games, and if you count the LSU-Alabama matchup, that is nine SEC teams than played for the BCS championship in eight years.
In the 2011 season, the Baltimore Ravens and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers experimented with using tablets instead of the traditional playbook. This year, most of the NFL will be on some type of tablet technology. There is more to this switch than simply the cool factor. This new technology may change the brains of this brawny sport.
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