NFL Winners and Losers, free agency: New blood? Every division winner took a hit – Yahoo Sports

NFL Winners and Losers, free agency: New blood? Every division winner took a hit – Yahoo Sports

In 15 of the last 16 NFL seasons, at least one team has gone from last place to first and won a division title.

Kansas City Chiefs — Adding safety Tyrann Mathieu was a smart move But you still need to rush the quarterback. Justin Houston was cut and Dee Ford was traded, due to a scheme change. That’s 22 sacks leaving the building. Adding defensive end Alex Okafor helps, but he’s not Houston or Ford.’ data-reactid=”42″>Kansas City Chiefs — Adding safety Tyrann Mathieu was a smart move But you still need to rush the quarterback. Justin Houston was cut and Dee Ford was traded, due to a scheme change. That’s 22 sacks leaving the building. Adding defensive end Alex Okafor helps, but he’s not Houston or Ford.

There’s time for all of those teams to improve their rosters. Although it seems like all the key free agents were spoken before before free agency officially started on Wednesday, there are talented players still available. And all eight of those teams started from a good place, of course. Any of them could win another division title even with some personnel losses. But we can already see the challenges elite teams face. It happens every year, just the way the league likes it.

Here are the rest of the winners and losers from the first few days of free agency, with the caveat that plenty of teams have a chance to improve their teams beyond the first wave of player movement:

Sorry Giants fans, but Beckham landed on a team with a much brighter future. He now pairs with one of the best young quarterbacks in the game, Baker Mayfield, which is a big upgrade from the current version of Eli Manning. Beckham leaves a market that was infatuated with him; surely he won’t miss being on the back page all the time.

And he goes to a city starved for a winner. If he’s a big part of any success the Browns have he’ll be a hero. If the Browns ever win a Super Bowl with Beckham, he’ll reach LeBron levels there.

The Browns are the winner of the offseason, not just for what they did but for the decay of the Ravens, Steelers and Bengals. They’re the AFC North favorites. And nobody on the Browns should be happier to be a part of that ride then Beckham.


Former New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) lands in a pretty good spot with the Browns. (AP)

It’s still strange to see the Packers being aggressive in free agency, after all the years of dormancy under Ted Thompson. New GM Gutekunst clearly believes in using free agency as one tool in roster building, which he should. And he stocked up on defense.

The Packers had to improve the pass rush and did, with former Raven Za’Darius Smith and former Redskin Preston Smith. Za’Darius Smith is particularly intriguing because he can line up just about anywhere in the front seven, and is coming off an 8.5-sack season. Then for good measure, the Packers grabbed safety Adrian Amos from the division rival Bears.

The Packers now can go into the draft, where they have three top 44 picks (a trade down with the Saints last year will pay off with an extra first-round pick) without any glaring needs. They could take a playmaking tight end at No. 12 overall, perhaps get help for the offensive line or continue to add to the front seven. They’re in a spot to take the best possible players that fall to them.

The Packers had a bad 2018 season, but there’s still a lot of talent and, of course, Rodgers. Maybe new coach Matt LaFleur helps as well. Green Bay didn’t have the splashiest free-agent haul, but it could end up being one of the most impactful.

arguments over whether Le’Veon Bell did the right thing by holding out last year. There’s nuance to his New York Jets deal that can be debated, when it comes to guaranteed money and how it compares to other backs. But a little more than $13.1 million per season isn’t what he was after.’ data-reactid=”111″>Running backs still aren’t getting paid. You can easily find arguments over whether Le’Veon Bell did the right thing by holding out last year. There’s nuance to his New York Jets deal that can be debated, when it comes to guaranteed money and how it compares to other backs. But a little more than $13.1 million per season isn’t what he was after.

Matt Patricia: A lot has been said over the years about the track record of Bill Belichick assistants as head coaches. The tl;dr version: It’s not good.’ data-reactid=”120″>Matt Patricia: A lot has been said over the years about the track record of Bill Belichick assistants as head coaches. The tl;dr version: It’s not good.

One problem has been that old Patriots coaches seem to have a blind spot for old Patriots players .Instead of just acquiring good players, they look for the magic dust left over from knowing “The Patriot Way.”

And that brings us to the 2019 Detroit Lions.

Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab‘ data-reactid=”152″>Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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