View Full Version : Ranking teams by offseason outlook

02-12-2014, 12:03 PM
Ranking teams by offseason outlook (http://nfl.si.com/2014/02/12/nfl-power-rankings-offseason-outlook/3/)
Now that the season is over, the real reality checks come in for NFL teams. How adeptly have they stocked their rosters? How well have they balanced their salary cap budgets? Do they have the right coaches and executives in place to pick the right talent and develop it accordingly?

Over the next three months, between free agency and the draft, each team will certainly discover just how well they’ve prepared. Using a five-point scale (5 being the best, 1 — or in some cases lower — the worst) across four categories (pending free agents, cap space, amount of draft picks, track record of GM/management) SI’s Chris Burke and Doug Farrar preview the offseason outlook for every NFL team, from the best situations to the worst.

1. (tie) Jacksonville Jaguars

Breakdown: FAs: 2.5 | Cap: 5 | Draft: 4.5 | GM: 2 | TOTAL: 14

All systems go on the rebuilding process this offseason. The Jaguars have a projected $50 million available in cap space for 2014, and they’re in possession of 10 draft picks. Three of those selections land in Round 4, with another three in Round 5, so Jacksonville could dominate early on the draft’s final day. The big-name free agent here is long-time Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew. His future appears to be elsewhere. — Chris Burke

8. (tie) Houston Texans

Breakdown: FAs: 3 | Cap: 2 | Draft: 4 | GM: 3 | TOTAL: 12

The Texans have the typical seven-pick allotment in the draft, but their spot atop each of the rounds bumps them up in the scoring. That positioning obviously is especially valuable in Rounds 1-3, before the supplemental picks kick in. The cap situation is muddled at best — Houston is projected to be less than $4 million clear. Will that make up the Texans’ minds for them when it comes to their free agents like Antonio Smith? RB Ben Tate is as good as gone. – CB

24. (tie) Tennessee Titans

Breakdown: FAs: 2 | Cap: 2 | Draft: 3 | GM: 2.5 | TOTAL: 9.5

Right now, Tennessee’s big question is whether quarterback Jake Locker is the future of the franchise. The main issue of the last few seasons — whether running back Chris Johnson would stick around — is just about moot. Tennessee will move on without the former rushing champ and his $10 million cap hit. New head coach Ken Whisenhunt will endeavor to do with Locker what he was able to accomplish with several other star quarterbacks through his coaching career, while the Titans front office will try to build around Locker with the $6.3 million in cap they currently have, and the added bounty Johnson’s release will give them. – DF

Indianapolis Colts

Breakdown: FAs: 2 | Cap: 4 | Draft: 1 | GM: 2.5 | TOTAL: 9.5

The Colts have more than 20 in-house free agents, chief among them safety Antoine Bethea and cornerback Vontae Davis. Will Donald Brown or Ahmad Bradshaw return? How about role players like Cassius Vaughn or Pat Angerer? GM Ryan Grigson is carrying more cap space than all but three teams (Oakland, Jacksonville and Cleveland), so he should be able to mold this roster as he sees fit. Of course, he also does not have a first-round pick because he traded it for Trent Richardson. – CB

31. Dallas Cowboys

Breakdown: FAs: 3 | Cap: 0 | Draft: 3 | GM: 0 | TOTAL: 6

The Cowboys are currently looking at a deficit of nearly $24 million. Jason Hatcher bolting in free agency would leave a huge gap up front on defense, but the other losses look to be minimal (counting Anthony Spencer, who spent 2013 on IR). The biggest problem here remains Jerry Jones’ authority. — CB


02-12-2014, 12:44 PM
I bet indy really wished they had that 1st round pick right about now