Well I’ve gotten over the Super Bowl hangover and thought I’d have a quick look at each and every team and think about a few things that I think they should do. Now, as is well known, I’m not a GM or a coach (much to my chargrin) so this is just my opinion. Agree or disagree with it as you choose and I welcome discussion and your opinion! Now, on with the show!
- Draft Joe Burrows. If you’re moving on from Andy Dalton then it’s a no brainer to take the best quarterback in the draft. Hopefully he won’t ‘pull an Eli’ and sulk on the draft stage in Las Vegas. When the Bengals meet with him they need to show him they’re serious about gunning for a Super Bowl in the next five years.
- Franchise tag AJ Green. The former Pro Bowl wide receiver was out injured last year and is about to hit free agency. Tag him (or agree a short term deal) and see what condition he’s in for 2020 before deciding whether he’s worth a long term deal
- Trade Geno Atkins. The Bengals should be in full rebuild mode and trading Atkins (who has been a hell of a player for the Bengals) will allow them more draft picks
- Draft Chase Young. Don’t mess around with being in this position – get the best player in the draft with the second pick.
- Build around the defence. If they do take Young, then like the 49ers they have a lot of draft capital on the defensive line. As such they should continue to build around that strength and add another cornerback (or two) and a fast linebacker
- Develop a better running game. Give Haskins a full year at QB but have a good look at the running game to support him. There’ll be some decent options in the second round or else a free agent like Carlos Hyde would be worth a look.
- Do not trade Darius Slay! With Matt Patrica at the healm I would expect the defence to be the strength of this team so keep your best players!
- Trade down in the draft. There’ll be someone wanting to get Tua as a QB and looking to trade up. The number three pick could yield some good value, especially if the ask is from Miami to move back to number 5.
- Insure Kerryon Johnson. Last year was the first time the Lions had a legit threat at running back until Johnson went out injured. They need to get more support around him.
New York Giants
- Sort out the fumble issues. Need to work really hard in the off season to lessen the chance of Daniel Jones’ fumbling. Sam Darnold came in to the NFL with question marks about fumbling and they sorted it out through a lot of work.
- Improve the O-Line. Linked to the above is to try and protect Jones as much as possible whilst also trying to provide more gaps for Barkley to run through. Could consider Jack Conklin as a new right tackle who looks likely to leave the Titans.
- Revamp the defence. Aside from a few choice pieces, a lot of draft capital and free agency should be spent on the defence and getting that unit up to something that resembles an NFL defence
- Do the due dilligence on all the QBs available. It’s likely that the Dolphins will take Tua in the first round but his injury history scares me. It’s not just the hip injury, it’s the previous troubles he’s had with ankle problems. Miami should take a look at every quarterback available and decide if the risk is worth it for Tua.
- Spend on the O-Line. Whether it’s protecting a new QB or helping to build a run game, the Dolphins need serious upgrades to the O-Line
- Build the D-Line. The best teams have the best players ‘in the trenches’. As well as the O-Line, the Dolphins need to develop a defensive line that can hurt the opposition.
- Resign Hunter Henry. Yes he’s had injury issues but he’s a good young tight end, and if the Chargers do decide to draft a young QB then his best friend will be a good tight end.
- Keep Derwin James fit. When he’s in the team the team plays at another level so make sure he’s 100% fit come the start of the 2020 season.
- Find some fans. You may think this is a small point, but the Chargers have been playing in a small home stadium which has been hosting more away fans than home! Can’t imagine how tough it must be for the players and they’re about to move into a much bigger stadium! Whether it’s signing some star free agents or drafting a young hyped quarterback, the Chargers need to figure out how to keep home fans into the stadium.
- Sign Christian McCaffrey to a long term deal. With Newton oft injured, McCaffrey has become the heart and soul of the offence. He’s not just a running back, he lines up all over the park. Get him signed to a long term deal now so it’s not hanging over the team for the whole year.
- Restock on defensive backs. Eric Davies and Tre Boston are impending free agents, the Panthers need to get better in the defensive backs.
- Make a decision on Cam. If he’s going to be the quaterback in 2020 then get behind him. If not, then move him on to another team and take what capital they may be able to get.
- Get rid of David Johnson. This is tough ask as his salary is so high. Any trade will likely involve the Cardinals continuing to pay some of the salary but he’s not being used so gry and get something for him.
- Build the O-Line. Many have the Cardinals taking a receiver with their first round pick but I’d be very tempted to getting a piece on the offensive line to try and protect Murray.
- Weapons for Murray. Yes, slightly contradictory to the above but the wide reciever class of this draft is deep and they can get one in the second and third round or else look to free agency.
- Revamp the culture of the team. The culture in Jacksonville since their AFC Championship game has, quite frankly, stunk. With Coughlin gone, Marrone needs to establish a much better culture with far less egos.
- Franchise tag Yannick Ngakoue. If reports are to believed, Ngakoue wants out of Jacksonville and if that’s the case then tag and trade him to try and get some value back.
- Restock at cornerback. Two years ago Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye were the premier defensive back duo in the league. Now they’re both gone and the Jags need some fire power to come in as replacements. They’re probably not high enough in the draft to get Jeff Okudah but if he is there then they should sprint in their card!
- O-Line, no matter what. The Browns have almost everything they need (on paper at least) to compete in the AFC North, aside from an O-Line to protect Baker Mayfield. If there’s a run on linemen in the draft I’d almost consider trading up. Another option would be to trade for Redskins tackle Trent Williams.
- Get Baker back to playing how Baker plays. Give up on the deep balls, get the ball in the hands of Landry and Beckham with quick, short passes and let them get yards with their speed.
- Resign Kareem Hunt. Yes, controvesial given his past but he gives the offence a different type of option compared to Nick Chubb.
New York Jets
- Protect Darnold. Improve the offensive line – don’t care how, just needs to be done.
- Restock at wide receiver. Like the Cardinals, the Jets could go offensive line or wide receiver with their first pick. Whatever it is, like offensive line, the Jets need to bring in more options for Darnold to throw to and help create more space for Le’Veon Bell to run into.
- Keep Jamal Adams happy. Rumous abound last year that Adams was going to be traded. He is the heart of the defense and the Jets would do well to figure out how to keep him happy and keep him in New York.
Las Vegas Raiders
- Make a decision on QB. I think Carr is a decent quarterback but the Raiders are constantly linked with others. Make a decision on who the quarterback is and stick to it. The Raiders aren’t yet in ‘win now’ mode so can afford to build around someone.
- Defense, defense, defense. Needs drastic improvement at all areas.
- Speed at receiver. I would not be shocked if the Raiders drafted Henry Ruggs in the first round who would be the perfect player for the Raiders to stretch the field.
- Find a pass rush. It’s one of the few areas that this team is lacking at. Justin Houston was a good pick up last year but you can’t expect him to be on the field for every play at his age.
- Decision time at QB. Like many, there’s decisions to be made at quarterback with rumours of the Colts being interested in Phillip Rivers or drafting a QB in the first round. Or they can keep Jacoby Brissett. Either way, figure it out.
- Bring in a new kicker. No doubt that Adam Vinatieri is going to the Hall of Fame at some point however his misses last year were costly. Players like Greg Zueerlein or Dan Bailey are also hitting free agency and would represent an upgrade over Vinatieri.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Move on from Winston. Yes he passed for over 5,000 yards last year. Yes he’s got a good arm. Yes he’s had surgery to correct his sight. But I can’t get over 30 interceptions in a year. Find someone else and let Winston be someone else’s problem.
- Sign Shaq Barrett. No one could have predicted the impact that Barrett would have last year. Time to reward him and ensure that the pass rush remains a legit threat.
- Find a running back. It’s been a good while since Tampa had a good running back. I would love to see them try and reunite Arians with David Johnson if they can negotiate a good deal with the Cardinals.
- Find a second weapon for Drew Lock. The Broncos have a legit WR1 in Courtland Sutton. He’ll be better if there’s a threat on the opposite side of the field. The draft is the perfect place to fulfill this need this year.
- Protect Drew Lock. The offensive line has got better but still needs to improve to protect a still young and inexperienced quarterback.
- Replace Chris Harris Jr. Ideally, bring him back but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Harris is one of the leaders on the defence and with $57m in cap space the Broncos could make a run for a premier cornerback.
- Change the strength and conditioning programme. Injuries have been a huge issue for the Falcons in the last few years. They need to look at their preseason programmae and change it as best they can to prevent further injury nightmares.
- Revamp the pass rush. Defence was a big issue for the Falcons last year and with the Falcons (correctly) letting Vic Beasley go, the Falcons need to look at improving the pass rush unit. Unfortnately with very limited cap space, free agency isn’t the place to restock. There’s potential in the draft with the likes of AJ Epenesa, K’Lavon Chasson or Yetur Gross-Matos.
- Resign Austin Hooper. Hooper quietley became a key weapon for the Falcons offense and would be a big loss if they saw him walk.
- Sign Dak Prescott. Not much else to say here really. They should have done it last year when it probably would have been cheaper but there you go. If they can’t get the deal done then slap the franchise tag it is.
- Sign Amari Cooper. Again, not a lot else to say. Michael Gallop had a good year last year but he’s not a WR1, Cooper is.
- Draft a safety. It’s been a glaring hole in the Dallas defence for a while and with corner Byron Jones likely leaving, the backfield will need restocking and this is a good place to start.
- Find a backup QB. Big Ben will be back next year but he’s not getting any younger or less fragile so find a decent backup for him and don’t rely on Mason Rudolph or Devlin Hodges.
- Resign Bud Dupree. Had a great year last year and important to bring him back to keep the defensive unit strong.
- Do not bring back Brown or Bell. Rumours have circulated that the Steelers would consider bringing either of their former stars back. Tomlin did so well last year with this team and another years experience and their No.1 QB back, they could be dark horses for the AFC – why upset the apple cart with either of those two egos?
- Fix Trubisky. Probably easier said than done but Trubisky took a reall backward step in his third year. Head coach Nagy needs to put a gameplan in place that suits his young signal caller.
- Find a better Tight End. Trey Burton isn’t the answer at tight end and Trubisky would be well served by having a reliable big bodied receiver in the middle of the park.
- Get the defence hunting again. The once feared Bears pass rush was a bit lame last year, registering 32 sacks which was 24th in the league. It’s not terrible and doesn’t need wholesale changes but get Khalil Mack and co really going again.
- Get Todd Gurley back. The risk of injury led to the Rams protecting Gurley last year so we never saw the best of him. Yes, there’s a risk but you can minimise it by having adeuqate backups – just get Gurley playing well again.
- Resign Andrew Whitworth. Get it done because without him there could be trouble. The Rams should also find a suitable replacement for the veteran tackle as the 2020 season might be his last (if 2019 wasn’t).
- Get the magic back in McVay. McVay’s stock dropped last year and he was overshadowed in the NFC West by Kyle Shanahan in terms of the ‘offensive genius’ label. McVay needs to get back to what he does best which is running an amazing offence.
- Find some cornerbacks. A distinct lack of fit cornerbacks made it pretty easy to throw against the Eagles in 2019. However it’s done, the Eagles need to restock in the backfield.
- Find some receivers. Like cornerbacks, the Eagles were down to bear bones at receiver with Josh McCown limbering up on the sideline at one stage ready to come on.
- Keep Wentz fit. Last year was better in terms of fitness for Wentz but at the critical juncture of a playoff game he went off injured again. Whether it’s physilogical or psychological, the Eagles need their QB1 on the field at all times.
- Find a big receiver. With John Brown and Cole Beasley they’ve got small, shifty receivers that can stretch the field. They just need a big target for Josh Allen to target whether it be a tight end or wide out.
- Stock up at running back. Devin Singletary had a good breakout year and hopefully will be great in 2020. However, the Bills need to find an adeuqate replacement to ensure that Singletary remains fit.
- Stay stingy. The Bills defence gave up only 14.8 points per game last year, second only to the Patriots. They need to maintain this level of defence if they’re to challenge the Pats in the AFC East.
New England Patriots
- Resign Brady. I know, he wasn’t as good last year as he once was but that’s not to say he was dreadful, and realistically is the future hall of fame quarterback and GOAT worse than anything else they could have?
- Sign a new tight end. Whether it’s Hunter Henry, Austin Hooper or picking one high in the draft, the offence was better with a good tight end.
- FInd a new O-Line coach. Legendary O-Line coach Dante Scarnecchia has retired and if Brady is going to see through the season he needs the replacement O-Line coach to be just as good, if not better (if that’s possible)
New Orleans Saints
- Resign Brees. See above regarding Brady and replace with Brees.
- Find another receiver. Michael Thomas is awesome but how much better might he be if there was a legit threat on the other side of the field.
- Find 2018 Alvin Kamara. 2019 Alvin Kamara was pretty ordinary, he can be so much better (and worth that top pick in fantasy, not that I’m bitter)
- Insure Davin Cook. Cook had a great season and if he’s not there, then neither is the Vikings offence.
- Get rid of Xavier Rhodes. He was a liability in 2019, time to cut him loose.
- Replace Everson Griffen. Griffen has been a great player for the Vikings but it’s time to move on, unless Griffen agrees to a team friendly deal.
- Keep building the O-Line. Laremy Tunsil was a good start, but he can’t protect Watson by himself.
- Sign Tunsil to a new deal. Speaking of, the Texans should get Tunsil’s contract sorted out now, leaving it later will be more expensive.
- Keep Will Fuller fit. Imperative for this offence to be successful is a fit Will Fuller. If there are doubts about the ability to keep him on the field then an adequate replacement should be found.
- Resign Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney’s stat line wasn’t amazing in Seattle during his one season there but he was better than anything else they had. Important to bring him back where I think he’d improve further.
- Improve the D-Line. It’s not just the edge that needs solidifying, the whole defensive line in Seattle is not what it once was.
- Strengthen the O-Line. The unit wasn’t as bad as it has been in previous years but there’s still a reliance of Wilson getting himself out of trouble.
- Depth at running back. The Ravens game plan revolves around the running game and it’s important that there’s quality depth behind Mark Ingram.
- Find an edge rusher. The Ravens could tag Matt Judon but realistically he’s probably not worth the cost. The Ravens could look at hte draft where there should be some talented edge rushers towards the end of the first round.
- Resign Jimmy Smith. The cornerback tandem of Smith and Peters looked good. Ravens are in ‘win now’ mode whilst Jackson is on a rookie deal so spend the money on keeping the veteran cornerback.
- Resign or tag Ryan Tannehill. Let Mariota go and get behind Tannehill who proved he has the ability to be a good quarterback in the Titans system.
- Resign or tag Derek Henry. Based on a quirk with the current CBA, the Titans could tag both (one with the franchise tag and one with the transition tag – though this could be nulled if a new CBA is agreed). Either way, important also to keep Henry in Nashville.
- Find a new tight end. Another running theme, but Delanie Walker isn’t getting any younger and this team is better with a top rate tight end lining up.
Green Bay Packers
- Get some more weapons. Rodgers is still a great quarterback but he’d be better with some more weapons both at wide out and tight end.
- Resign Bryan Bulaga. Need to keep Rodgers up right so he can throw touchdowns to those new weapons.
- Improve the interior D-Line. The edge rush was much improved in 2019 but there hasn’t been a real presence in the middle since BJ Raji retired.
San Francisco 49ers
- Resign Arik Armstead. Overall factor is to try and keep as many of the 2019 group together but Armstead had a breakout season in 2019 and needs to be kept for the future be that a new deal or a tag.
- Improve at safety. Jimmie Ward has been a decent player for the 49ers but there could be better out there in the draft – Xavier McKinney or Grant Delpit for example if they chose not to trade out of the first round.
- Resign Emmanuel Sanders. I doubted the decision to bring Sanders in during the season but I was wrong. The veteran wide out proved an inavaluable source of leadership to what is a young receiving corps and a legit weapon for Jimmy Garoppolo (when he can find him!)
Kansas City Chiefs
- Tag Chris Jones. One of the best players in the NFL, if they can’t get a deal done then he should be tagged. If there’s really no hope for a deal then trade him for some good value.
- Improve at running back. The offence was explosive but it could improve with a legit threat at running back. McCoy is gone, as is Spencer Ware and Damien Williams is inconsistent.
- Sign Patrick Mahomes. Do it now before it gets more expensive. Even so, it’s not going to be cheap.