Crown Em, offseason champs. Every year there rages a great debate, who is the offseason champion? Today I bring you three options, with my eye on free agency all week here, are three teams, and a sleeper that I think have a chance at the crown at being offseason champs.
1. Baltimore Ravens
Perhaps no team has added more A1 defensive studs than the Ravens. Through additions of players like Calais Campbell and Michael Brockers. Both of which are Pro Bowl level NFL line players. Though Campbell had a down year in 2019 he still recorded 6.5 sacks for the Jaguars defense. Where Campbell excels though is what he does on film, he is still one of the best run-stuffers in the league. Michael Brockers adds another premier run-stuffer to the bunch as well. Though his numbers were down in 2019 as well, the Ravens are gambling but if they hit they could win big on defense. Meanwhile with the defensive holes now plugged the Ravens have added draft capital. That stemming from a trade of Hayden Hurst to the Falcons for a second-round pick. The Ravens can now use that capital to look for another running back and a wide receiver to help develop Lamar Jacksons‘ passing attack. The Ravens did well this offseason, a reason to believe they are the offseason champs thus far.
2. Arizona Cardinals
The trend of big-time trades paying off continues. How can a team that fleeced the Texans for the best receiver in football not be considered offseason champs? There is simply no way around it. With the addition of DeAndre Hopkins, the Cardinals now have one of the most fascinating wideout cores in the league. Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald, and Christian Kirk, that is one nasty three-headed monster. Not to mention developing speed demon, Andy Isabella. The Cardinals still have holes on the offensive line. They also have the eighth pick in the draft and are in an excellent position to address that need. Offseason champs? They are certainly in the running.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Keep your best defensive player, check. Keep a somehow ageless Jason Pierre-Paul who had eight sacks last year, check. Sign the biggest free agent in NFL history arguably and become a destination for free agents, check. Three signings, that is it. Tom Brady changes a lot though. The Bucs are not done adding. They are a trade destination defensively; Todd Gurley could make sense as a back up to Ronald Jones 2. Tampa is most certainly in the running for offseason champs.
Sleeper: Philadelphia Eagles
They’ve flown under the radar. Big moves have been made though. They retained safety Rodney McLeod. Cut safety Malcolm Jenkins to save cap, McLeod is not a big downgrade on Jenkins. Add a top ten cornerback in Darius Slay for less than a second-round pick. Continue to strengthen one of the best defensive line units in the league with Javon Hargrave. That is a huge signing. Hargraves had a down year in 2019 but at his peak has been one of the most disruptive defensive line players in the AFC. The Eagles still need to do massive rebooting at wideout. That said Robby Anderson and Emmanuel Sanders are still available and the Eagles have about 35 million in cap space to work with. Plus the draft, they are in the picture for offseason champs.
I’ll go with the Ravens as offseason champs. Simply because they have the best looking all-around roster in the NFL now I would argue. They should be looking to reload with young offensive skill players in the draft. Congrats Ravens, thus far, 2020 offseason champs.
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