NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
GET: WR Brandin Cooks, CB Stephon Gilmore, TE Dwayne Allen, RB Mike Gillislee, LB David Harris, WR Phillip Dorsett, CB Johnson Bademosi, DE Cassius Marsh, RB Rex Burkhead, DE Lawrence Guy
LOSE: RB LeGarrette Blount, LB Jabaal Sheard, LB Rob Ninkovich, OT Sebastian Vollmer, TE Martellus Bennett, DE Chris Long, CB Logan Ryan, DL Kony Ealy, RB Tyler Gaffney, TE Rob Housler, WR Andrew Hawkins, QB Jacoby Brissett, LB Marquis Flowers
RE-SIGNS: LB Dont’a Hightower, CB Malcolm Butler, DL Alan Branch, OL Cameron Fleming, CB Duron Harmon
DRAFT: 3rd round: LB Derek Rivers, Youngstown State OT Antonio Garcia, Troy 4th round: DE Deatrich Wise Jr., Arkansas 6th round: OT Conor McDermott, UCLA
SUMMARY: New England has a scary roster. They lost some big names: Blount, Sheard, Ninkovich, Vollmer, Bennett. They added some big names: Cooks, Gilmore, Allen, Harris. The scariest name of all? Tom Brady. Brady’s revenge came to fruition and it was very sweet. The greatest of all time cannot be overlooked and should not be doubted. The Patriots are once again the surest bet in the AFC East and most likely to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Stephon Gilmore and Malcolm Butler should be one of the strongest corner duos in football. The receiving core has taken a hit. Julian Edelman will miss the season, putting Brandin Cooks in a more pressurized situation. Brady will be more than up to the task, with a healthy Gronkowski returning. The rushing game will likely dimish and I’m interested to see how Belichick adjusts, but it’s improbable that it causes any significant problems. New England has always been productive at substituting screens for the running game. If New England matches their 15.6 points allowed per game last year, they’ll be unstoppable.
Brady, Cooks, Chris Hogan and the Patriots defense, against a weak AFC East, should all thrive.
SCHEDULE PROJECTED RECORD:13-3
Week 1: vs. KC Week 2: @NO Week 3: vs. HOU Week 4: vs. CAR Week 5: @TB Week 6: @NYJ Week 7: vs. ATL Week 8: vs. LAC Week 9: BYE Week 10: @DEN Week 11: @OAK Week 12: vs. MIA Week 13: @BUF Week 14: @MIA Week 15: @PIT Week 16: vs. BUF Week 17: vs. NYJ
GET: S Micah Hyde, WR Jordan Matthews, CB E.J. Gaines, FB Patrick DiMarco, G Vladimir Ducasse, K Steven Hauschka, LB Gerald Hodges, CB Shareece Wright, LB Ramon Humber, WR Andre Holmes, RB Joe Banyard
LOSE: WR Sammy Watkins, CB Ronald Darby, CB Stephon Gilmore WR Robert Woods, CB Corey Graham, LB Reggie Ragland, RB Mike Gillislee, K Dan Carpenter, WR Anquan Boldin, S Aaron Williams, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, WR Dezmin Lewis, WR Marquise Goodwin, WR Justin Hunter, QB E.J. Manuel
RE-SIGNS: QB Tyrod Taylor, LB Lorenzo Alexander, C Eric Wood, WR Corey Brown, P Colton Schmidt, FB Mike Tolbert, WR Brandon Tate
DRAFT: 1st round: CB Tre’Davious White, LSU 2nd round: WR Zay Jones, East Carolina G Dion Dawkins, Temple 5th round: LB Matt Milano, Boston College QB Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh 6th round: LB Tanner Vallejo, Boise State
SUMMARY: The Bills have done what any smart team would do at this point: trade assets for picks and get ready for the future. The AFC East has already been won.
The Bills’ top four receivers from last year are all gone (Woods, Goodwin, Watkins, Hunter). The Bills’ top two corners (Gilmore, Darby) are both gone. They’ve infused youth into their lineup, saved some cap space and gained future considerations. They’re now in the best position of the three AFC East teams to surpass New England once Brady retires. If he retires.
Buffalo still has a capable defensive line, although they finished 29th against the run last year. That number should change with Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott coming in to coach the Bills. Micah Hyde is a nice addition to the secondary. Buffalo still sports a strong offensive line that hosted the best running game in the league last year, with an average of 164.4 a game. The issue is, with no receivers to fear on the outside, teams will likely stack the box against Buffalo this year, making it hard for LeSean McCoy to replicate his 5.4 average, 1,267 yards and 13 touchdowns.
I think Buffalo will still surpass the Dolphins, narrowly, but they simply can’t contend with New England.
LeSean McCoy won’t rack the numbers up like he did last year, but is likely to run a lot this season.
SCHEDULE PROJECTED RECORD:6-10
Week 1: vs. NYJ Week 2: @CAR Week 3: vs. DEN Week 4: @ATL Week 5: @CIN Week 6: BYE Week 7: vs. TB Week 8: vs. OAK Week 9: @NYJ Week 10: vs. NO Week 11: @LAC Week 12: @KC Week 13: vs. NE Week 14: vs. IND Week 15: vs. MIA Week 16: @NE Week 17: @MIA
GET: S T.J. McDonald, QB Jay Cutler, LB Rey Maualuga, LB Lawrence Timmons, CB Alterraun Verner, C Ted Larsen, DE William Hayes, TE Julius Thomas
LOSE: OT Brandon Albert, DE Mario Williams, DT Earl Mitchell, DE Jason Jones, CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, DE Dion Jordan, TE Jordan Cameron
RE-SIGNS: DE Cameron Wake, LB Kiko Alonso, WR Kenny Stills
DRAFT: 1st round: LB Charles Harris, Missouri 2nd round: LB Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State 3rd round: CB Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson 5th round: G Isaac Asiata, Utah DT Davon Godchaux, LSU 6th round: DT Vincent Taylor, Oklahoma State 7th round: WR Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech
SUMMARY: The Miami Dolphins are trending down. Ryan Tannehill has lost his right to the title “franchise quarterback.” Adam Gase may be the only person associated with the Dolphins excited about the arrival of Jay Cutler. Starting corner Tony Lippett and Tannehill are done for the year. A young receiving core has promise and Jay Ajayi will have a chance to prove he’s not a fluke. The offense was ninth in rushing last year, a number heading downhill with Cutler behind center fresh off shoulder surgery. They were 26th with Tannehill in the aerial attack category last year. Cameron Wake had a third of Miami’s sacks last year (30.0, ranked 23rd). There’s a lot of pressure on a lot of individuals on this team. I’m not buying it.
Jay Ajayi’s the surest bet, though Jarvis Landry is worth WR2 consideration.
SCHEDULE PROJECTED RECORD:5-11
Week 1: vs. TB Week 2: @LAC Week 3: @NYJ Week 4: vs. NO Week 5: vs. TEN Week 6: @ATL Week 7: vs. NYJ Week 8: @BAL Week 9: vs. OAK Week 10: @CAR Week 11: BYE Week 12: @NE Week 13: vs. DEN Week 14: vs. NE Week 15: @BUF Week 16: @KC Week 17: vs. BUF
NEW YORK JETS
GET: G Brian Winters, CB Morris Claiborne, DE Kony Ealy, S Terrence Brooks, QB Josh McCown, OT Kelvin Beachum, WR Jermaine Kearse, K Chandler Catanzaro, RB Jordan Todman, TE Chris Gragg, DT Mike Pennel
LOSE: DT Sheldon Richardson, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, WR Brandon Marshall, CB Darrelle Revis, C Nick Mangold, WR Eric Decker, OT Breno Giacomini, S Calvin Pryor, S Marcus Gilchrist, LB David Harris, K Nick Folk, WR Devin Smith, CB Dexter McDougle, QB Geno Smith
RE-SIGNS: LB Bruce Carter
DRAFT: 1st round: S Jamal Adams, LSU 2nd round: S Marcus Maye, Florida 3rd round: WR ArDarius Stewart, Alabama 4th round: WR Chad Hansen, California 5th round: TE Jordan Leggett, Clemson DE Dylan Donahue, West Georgia 6th round: RB Elijah McGuire, Louisiana-Lafeyette CB Jeremy Clark, Michigan CB Derrick Jones, Ole Miss
SUMMARY: No team lost more notable names than the New York Jets this offseason. Management tried to remove every one of their franchise staples. They were mostly successful.
Let’s not sugarcoat it. The New York Jets are gonna suck. They had the worst turnover differential in the league last year (-20) and were one of five teams to finish with at least a -10 (Rams, Browns, Jaguars, Bears). They also scored 17.2 ppg, third-worst in the NFL. Quincy Enunwa is out for the year, leaving second-year receiver Robby Anderson as the number one target opposite Jermaine Kearse. Matt Forte is nearing the end of his career but might still have a little game left. Neither Bryce Petty nor Christian Hackenberg looks to be the answer at quarterback. Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams should provide some entertainment on the defensive line, but it’s gonna be hard to find other success points.
No fantasy assets here.
SCHEDULE PROJECTED RECORD:2-14
Week 1: @BUF Week 2: @OAK Week 3: vs. MIA Week 4: vs. JAC Week 5: @CLE Week 6: vs. NE Week 7: @MIA Week 8: vs. ATL Week 9: vs. BUF Week 10: @TB Week 11: BYE Week 12: vs. CAR Week 13: vs. KC Week 14: @DEN Week 15: @NO Week 16: vs. LAC Week 17: @NE