Today, Bleacher Report tells us the most surprising move EVERY NFL team didn't make this offseason. Every single NFL team had to decide on at least one surprising move they didn't make. There's no way (for the sake of pageviews) every NFL team didn't make a surprising decision. There's nothing like a little second-guessing based on what the media or fans think a team should have done in the offseason.
Sometimes we know exactly what a team needs in order to improve heading
into the next season, and the powers that be totally disregard what
seems like the best thing for the organization. This can leave fans and
media alike shocked and concerned.
course the fans and the media are always correct about what the best
thing for the organization may be. So it's surprising these NFL teams
don't listen to fans and the media. After all, when has the media or fans ever been wrong?
Let's start the slideshow!
Adding a Game-Changer
A game-changer is a guy who is elite at his position and can turn a game around single-handedly with superior skill.
why didn't the Dolphins add one of those many game-changers that were
available this past offseason? There were game-changing players
available everywhere on the free agent and trade market. All the Dolphins had to do was just pick one.
Receiver Hakeem Nicks would have been a highly affordable option to help bolster the passing game.
to "bolster the passing game" means Nicks would be a game-changer?
Perhaps the author has a different definition of "game-changing" than I
do. I would not consider Nicks to be an elite receiver at this point in his career.
Brent Grimes is one of the best players at his position, but he is a
fringe star at best in this league after dealing with a severe injury in
So Brent Grimes is one of the best players at his position, but he is a fringe star because he suffered an injury in 2012. Hakeem Nicks is one of the best players at his position, and he also suffered injuries in 2012 and 2013, but he's still considered elite? Consider me confused.
Darrelle Revis is another name that would have been worth considering.
he only cost $12 million to acquire! The Dolphins did draft Jarvis
Landry, but I guess he doesn't count as a "game-changer," or as "elite" is better known, someone who
can "help bolster the passing game."
New England Patriots
Adding More Receiving Weapons for Tom Brady
mean other than signing Brandon LaFell and drafting Jeremy Gallon while
hoping that the two rookies from last year (Dobson and Thompkins) can
take a step forward? Nah, probably best to give up on them after one
With that said, you have to wonder how secure the Patriots feel having
Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola as the starting flankers. Behind these
two is a lot youth and inexperience. This system is notoriously
challenging to master, and some players never end up panning out.
The same could be sad for any young or inexperienced wide receiver trying to master any NFL team's offensive system. Receivers don't pan out all the time, even those that don't play for New England.
The Broncos have taken a similar and perhaps even more desperate
approach to the offseason—but at the end of the day, only one team can
Congratulations on being the AFC representative in the Super Bowl, Denver Broncos!
New York Jets
Adding More Offensive Weapons
of signing Eric Decker and drafting Shaquille Evans, Jalen Saunders,
Quincy Enuwa and Jace Amaro? The Jets added four offensive weapons in
the draft and signed one in free agency.
Adding three draft picks to the wide receiver position last week was the
implementation of quantity over quality. Perhaps this was in the hopes
that one of these mid- to late-round prospects would become a
Oh, so these players who
were drafted don't count because they are mid-to-late round prospects.
Got it. I guess a second-round pick is a mid-round selection? How many
draft picks does the author think the Jets had early in the 2014 draft?
The Jets drafted offensive skill position players with 3 of their first 5
Trade Ray Rice for Extra Draft Picks
LOL'ing right now. Let's see...running backs are being devalued, Ray
Rice just signed a new large contract and there is a video of him
dragging his wife off an elevator after punching her? Why wouldn't a
team give up extra draft picks for him?
It's like the author doesn't understand that other NFL teams know the same things that the Ravens know about Ray Rice.
Last year Rice struggled with injuries and put up his worst numbers as a
pro. He claims to be back to full health and is looking forward to a
rebound season. He is in the third year of a six-year deal and is
expected to count $8.75 million against the salary cap this year. His
price certainly exceeds the 3.1 yards per carry and four rushing
touchdowns he had in 2013.
So it wouldn't be hard at all to trade Rice for extra picks! Every NFL team wants a running back in legal trouble who carries a high cap figure!
Trading him for extra draft picks could have saved the team money while
allowing it to add more youth and depth on the roster. The Ravens could
have even used the extra pick to take one of the talented young running
backs available in this class.
Here in dream world this is a fantastic idea. In the real world, where GM's don't actively look to make bad trades this isn't such a great idea.
It’s reasonable to consider the possibility that the smallish Rice, who
runs like a power back at times, has too much mileage and will never be
what he used to be.
It's also reasonable to consider the possibility that other NFL teams know this and wouldn't give up a draft pick or draft picks to acquire Rice. It seems the author has Bill Simmons Trade Disease where he thinks a trade that only one team would realistically consider is a brilliant trade idea.
These are good practical football reasons to move on from Rice if him
punching the woman he now wants to marry isn’t a good enough reason for
Yes, but give me a reason why a team would trade for him.
Going Big on a Free Agent
Imagine if they would have made a run for Darrelle Revis, Jared Allen and/or Julius Peppers?
Then they would have possibly signed a guy on the downside of his career and potentially paying him for past production?
They should have tried to land a safety like T.J. Ward, Donte Whitner or
Jairus Byrd. Adding a presence like that could end up being the
difference between a playoff appearance and a Super Bowl ring.
I think Ward, Whitner, and Byrd are great players but they are not the difference in a playoff appearance and a Super Bowl ring. All things being equal, none of these safeties are worth 3-4 playoff victories.
Drafting Secondary Early and Often
On the size tip, the Steelers added DE Stephon Tuitt and NT Daniel
McClullers. Tuitt stands 6’5”, 304 pounds, while McClullers measures in
at a whopping 6’7”, 352 pounds.
The strategy seems to be—win the battle up front with brute strength
while outrunning the opponents from the flanks. This is exactly what
they need to do to get back to Super Bowl-caliber level.
Yeah, but the Steelers should have drafted players in the secondary early and often AND drafted brute strength and speed with those picks as well. I'm sure the NFL wouldn't have noticed if they had drafted two players with one draft pick.
I do love how the author says the Steelers draft strategy was exactly what they needed to do in order to get back into the Super Bowl, but he also criticizes them for not drafting more players in the secondary with the picks. Can't have it both ways.
However, one critical area of the defense remains too slow, too
old and lacking in depth. Starting cornerbacks Ike Taylor and William
Gay are serviceable players, but they lack top-end speed. This is
critical when competing against today’s offenses.
Maybe the Steelers are trying to increase pressure on the opposing quarterback, which in turn would allow their serviceable secondary to not be such a liability.
The author doesn't actually list what he thinks is the most surprising move the Jaguars didn't make this offseason. I guess Bleacher Report had to fire some of their editors to make room for the influx of writing talent they have seen over the past year. Presumably, improving the pass rush was the surprising move the Jags didn't make.
With that said, the pass-rushing unit could've certainly used some more TLC this offseason.
For several years, Jacksonville Jaguars fans have been clamoring for a
pass-rusher. Needless to say, the team has failed to prioritize the
position year after year.
Why don't the Jaguars listen to their fans. They could have Tim Tebow as their quarterback right now!
Sign Young Free Agents
Surprisingly they opted out of overpaying for young talent with
promising futures in favor of cheaper veterans who are entering the back
nine of their NFL careers.
Why didn't the Raiders choose to overpay for talent? It seems like that's worked out so well for them in the past that they would try it again. Why did they choose to sign cheaper veterans with proven production who aren't all on the downside of their careers instead of overpaying young talent in the hopes they get a return on their investment? WHY???????
Aside from that, their additions this offseason have taken on the look
of a team desperate to win now while disregarding the need for building a
The Raiders completely disregarded their need to build a dynasty. They had a chance to build one and said, "Fuck that, we don't want a dynasty."
Adding guys like QB Matt Schaub, WR James Jones, RB Maurice Jones-Drew,
CB Carlos Rogers, DE Antonio Smith, DE Justin Tuck and LB LaMarr Woodley
to short-term contracts is essentially renting veterans for a year and
starting all over next offseason.
The better idea would have been to overpay young talented players (you know, all those young talented players available in free agency) in free agency and then take a cap hit when they have to start all over in a season or two.
GM Reggie McKenzie is on the hot seat this year and understands that if
he fails to show significant improvement this season he’ll likely be
sent packing. He seems to believe that if he can’t save his job now, he
won’t be able to continue building through the draft like he prefers.
Why is McKenzie choosing to sign veterans to short contracts? Because he selfishly wants to win football games now. He shows no regard for the future by not locking the team into large free agent deals and has signed productive veterans to short-term contracts. He's trying to improve the team in the short-term and give the team cap room in the long-term. McKenzie is trying to improve the team and win now to keep his job. What a selfish asshole.
New York Giants
Drafting a Tight End
Tight end is a glaring weakness when you look at the names currently on
the roster. Adrien Robinson is expected to start and is followed by
Kellen Davis and Larry Donnell. If you don’t know who these people are,
don’t worry, you’re not alone.
If Robinson falters, it could be a long road for Eli and the G-Men.
Right, the Giants entire 2014 season hinges on whether they get the production they need from the tight end position or not. If Adrien Robinson isn't very good, there's no way the Giants bounce back and have a great season. Tight end is really the only position that determines a team's success during a season.
Keeping DeSean Jackson
When you release a productive and dynamic playmaker like DeSean Jackson,
it’s going to leave a hole on your roster that won't get filled
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly attempted to throw some
dirt on that hole by drafting Oregon receiver Josh Huff and highly
productive Vanderbilt wideout Jordan Matthews. Both players had
productive college careers and were brought in specifically out of
The Eagles currently have Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin penciled in as the starters.
If Maclin, Matthews and Huff (three guys who had zero production last year) combine for 82 catches, 1332 yards and 9 touchdowns then they literally would have filled the hole in the Eagles roster left by DeSean Jackson. Sure, it took three players, but Jackson's production can be replaced this season with these three players. So he can be replaced overnight.
Changing Their Name
Really? You are surprised the Redskins didn't change their name? What indication did Daniel Snyder give at any point in the last year that he would change the Redskins name?
According to Mike Holmgren per NBC’s Pro Football Talk,
even he thinks the Redskins are due for a new name. He went on to add,
“I think it’s the right thing to do. Now, apparently 50 Senators also
agree with me.”
I'm confused. Why would "even" Mike Holmgren think the Redskins need a new name? Has Holmgren previously said the Redskins didn't need a new name? I just have a lot of questions because the author seems to indicate by using the word "even" in this context that Mike Holmgren thinking the Redskins need a new name is surprising or should carry more weight than that of a retired NFL head coach.
Green Bay Packers
Drafting Tight End Crockett Gillmore
Whatever the case may be there, Crockett Gillmore is the tight end who
was drafted the very next pick and is a much more productive and
impressive prospect from what I can tell in scouting them both.
Maybe Bleacher Report did have to fire a lot of the editors to make room for the new writing talent. I miss a word or two in a sentence, no doubt about that, but shouldn't there be an editor who can fix this sentence almost a month after the column was originally posted. So I would say the most surprising move Bleacher Report didn't make was hire more editors for their columns.
Drafting Anthony Barr or Aaron Donald
Yes, it's surprising the Falcons chose to protect their franchise quarterback. Why on Earth would they choose to do that?
OLB Anthony Barr and DT Aaron Donald were the best available
pass-rushing options when they opted for Matthews with the sixth overall
They chose to protect their franchise quarterback because the NFL is a quarterback dominated league. What a crazy decision.
Offensive line is a huge need but one that could have been filled later
in the draft. Dominate pass-rushers were off the board early this year,
and the Falcons missed out on a key opportunity to address a critical
No, they chose to address a critical need and then fill the pass rusher need in free agency. The Falcons did draft Ra'Shede Hageman in the 2nd round and if the author saw Hageman in college then he would know he could be a pretty good interior pass rusher from the defensive tackle spot.
New Orleans Saints
Adding More Pass Rush
This offseason there were several viable options worth exploring in free
agency, but it seemed as though the team was not interested in spending
the money in that way. Adding a guy like Michael Bennett could have
been a huge boost to the Saints' Super Bowl hopes.
Two issues here:
1. Michael Bennett has played his entire career in a 4-3 defense. How does the author know Bennett would be successful in the predominantly 3-4 defense that the Saints tend to run?
2. Two NFL teams did offer Bennett more money and he chose to stay in Seattle. How does the author know the Saints didn't try to add Bennett? That's the issue with second-guessing these NFL teams and naming the surprising moves the team didn't make. Perhaps the team did try to make these moves and couldn't get a deal done.
Signing WR Hakeem Nicks
This guy loves himself some Hakeem Nicks.
Carolina drafted Kelvin Benjamin with its first pick, and he will give
Newton a reliable target, but the Panthers still need an additional
receiver or two. Besides, Benjamin is raw and completely unproven as a
guy who can fill the role as a No.1 WR.
He's unproven as a guy who can fill the role of a #1 wide receiver mostly because he's a rookie and has never played an NFL game. Every rookie is unproven to fill any role on an NFL team before he actually plays an NFL game. Also, the Panthers receivers suck, but they aren't going to ask Kelvin Benjamin to be the #1 receiver if he isn't showing he's ready for this task. Just because he's the team's first round pick doesn't mean he's the team's new #1 wide receiver.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Giving Rookie QB Brett Smith Some Time
Yes, it's surprising the Buccaneers didn't keep an undrafted rookie quarterback around. What a shock.
I firmly believe this is a kid who belongs in the NFL and can have a lot of success under the proper tutelage.
New offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford has a reputation for being great at developing quarterbacks.
This is the list of Tedford quarterbacks:
Tedford has a reputation for being great at developing COLLEGE quarterbacks. As the author said in regard to Kelvin Benjamin, he is completely unproven as a guy who can develop an NFL quarterback.
Not Bringing in Josh McCown
It's surprising the Cardinals, who already have a starting quarterback, didn't sign a free agent quarterback who wanted a starting job?
The Cardinals should have pushed hard to aquire veteran QB Josh McCown
during free agency to not only provide insurance to Palmer, but to
compete for the starting job in an open competition.
And what could go wrong in this situation if there ends up being a quarterback controversy? Aren't those types of controversies usually productive for NFL teams?
Bleacher Report has improved, but as long as they employ the "overly-long slideshow with the last slide of one slideshow being the first slide in the next slideshow" concept I'm afraid I'm still going to think of some of the writing as a ploy for pageviews.