Dec 7, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) motions prior to the snap in the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
16. San Diego Chargers (9-7 in 2014)
"It should be mostly business as usual for the Chargers this season. Sure, fans will miss Ryan Mathews for the five games he might have played. And Nick Hardwick, Jarret Johnson and (if he goes elsewhere) Dwight Freeney are guys you would have liked to have around the young players in the locker room. That said, it will be nice to have Danny Woodhead back healthy. Oh, and add some offensive line help in the draft. On a completely random note: We had a good debate in the NFL.com back offices (where Watergate happened) about whether you would rather have Philip Rivers or Russell Wilson to winone game tomorrow, no supporting cast included, everything else being equal. Thoughts?"
15. Carolina Panthers (7-8-1 in 2014)
"For the record, I think Carolina wins the NFC South this season. Not only did the Panthersbecome the first team in the history of the division (which was born out of realignment in 2002) to finish first back-to-back, now they will become the first to three-peat. All they need is a WR2, an RB2, O-line help, a DE and an SS. I would like an SS, as well. Give me a ’68, blue with white stripes, man."
14. Houston Texans (9-7 in 2014)
"Hard to gauge how fans feel about the Andre Johnson departure. Though he was one of the best players since Y2K, I didn’t really hear the outrage over the Texans’ top all-time player being cut.Still, I like the club not only re-signing Ryan Mallett but also taking a flier on Brian Hoyer. Getting Rahim Moore, Vince Wilfork and Cecil Shorts in free agency was nice, too. Besides, it’s not like Houston let Johnson go to a division rival or anything."
13. Baltimore Ravens (10-6 in 2014)
"Baltimore, despite being a quality playoff team that darn near knocked off the Patriots, is at 13. Why? Well, who’s going to play on the defensive line? Who’s even rotating in on the defensive line? The front seven lost several quality players this offseason. The offense lost Torrey Smith.How healthy is Dennis Pitta? These are tough questions. You have to love Justin Forsett being re-signed, though. He merely asked for a team to “go” with him. He was tired of being stuck in the friend zone. You see, kids, this is why you don’t take someone’s — I mean, a team’s — phone calls right after breaking up with them. Send it to voicemail. Make ’em wonder. OK, um, on to the Texans …"
12. Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1 in 2014)
"If re-signing Rey Maualuga and Clint Boling are the kinds of offseason moves that get you fired up, the Cincinnati Bengals are the team for you. Boy, that Marvin Lewis was right about his organization being aggressive in free agency. It’s, uh, really been … something. Did you hear Cincysigned A.J. Hawk? Oh, and the Bengals are paying a guy who got four sacks last year $20 million over the next four years. There’s your $40 million of cap space at work."
11. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6 in 2014)
"Chip Kelly sure has been in the news a heckuva lot of late. Unreal how that roster has been made over in short order — and the work continues. DeMarco Murray and Sam Bradford generated plenty of buzz, but one wonders how much the Green Bays, Dallases and Seattles of the world are quaking in their cleats about the prospect of facing Jordan Matthews and Riley Cooper at wideout. And with Evan Mathis on the block and Todd Herremans gone, will there be continuity up front? Will it be better than it was early last year, when the deck was reshuffled several times due to injury? While everyone gets excited about Murray, and while Ryan Mathews takes his eighth tour of the facility, maybe we should focus on the defensive moves (which I think were stronger)."
10. Detroit Lions (11-5 in 2014)
"Tough to rate the Lions. Wondering how their fans feel? You can’t expect a team to lose a player like Ndamukong Suh and not have its supporters stomp their feet on something. It’s frustrating.Nick Fairley going to the Rams didn’t make it better. There is the newly acquired Haloti Ngata to ease matters. Yet, as big a force as he’s been, Ngata is 31. I like Detroit to pick up another DT or a corner early in the draft. And I’ve noticed fans are less sad about the departure of Reggie Bush than they are about losing Suh. Shocking."
9. Kansas City Chiefs (9-7 in 2014)
"The Chiefs are nipping at the Broncos’ heels in the AFC West after adding Jeremy Maclinand Ben Grubbs. Now, we’ve certainly heard all the wisecracks about whether Maclin will catch a touchdown, and how no wideout in Kansas City reached the end zone last year. Not to worry; we won’t exhaust that joke. No, I think Maclin’s 80-1,178-0 stat line will make him a truly valuable draft pick in fantasy. As far as the real draft goes, I have the Chiefs taking a safety or wideout at 18th overall. Maybe an ILB in the early rounds, as well."