With the first NFL preseason game coming up this Sunday between the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans, football is back! Throughout the past five months, it seems that the NFL offseason has been crazier than ever. Here are some of my picks for the best and worst of the last few months…
Best Trade: Falcons Get Gonzalez
Needing another passing threat, the Falcons traded their 2010 second-round draft pick for future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez. This trade was a steal for the Falcons. Not only do they receive a 10-time Pro Bowler (the most of any tight end), but this will take some of the pressure off star wide receiver Roddy White. Defenses will have to worry about two Pro Bowl pass catchers who last season racked up a combined 2,440 yards. With this trade, the Falcons are destined to be a serious contender in the NFC.
Best Free Agent Signing: Redskins Add Run-Stuffer
With the NFC East is the toughest division in football, and the Washington Redskins found themselves at the bottom of the division last year. With a record of 8-8 and the release of defensive end Jason Taylor, the ‘Skins needed some help. Although defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth signed for the second-highest guaranteed salary ever (just recently surpassed by Detroit Lions top pick Matthew Stafford), he is sure to help a struggling defensive line. Last season, Haynesworth had 8.5 sacks for the Titans, more than a third of the Redskins’ sack total (24). He is sure to improve the ‘Skins’ chances of making the playoffs next season.
Worst Draft Pick: Raiders Select Heyward-Bey
Who knows what the Oakland Raiders were thinking when they past on Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree to take Maryland’s Darrius Heyward-Bey. While Heyward-Bey ran the fastest 40-yard dash at this year’s NFL combine, his statistics from last season don’t even come close to Crabtree’s stats. Crabtree had more than twice as many receptions and his receiving yards nearly doubled Heyward-Bey’s. Crabtree also had nearly four times the number of touchdowns.
Best Draft Pick: Crabtree to the Niners
While the Oakland Raiders passed on Michael Crabtree, the San Francisco 49ers didn’t make the same mistake. With the 10th pick, the Niners addressed one of their biggest needs by taking Crabtree, who spent most of last season burning some of the nation's top teams, including Oklahoma, Texas, and Oklahoma State. Crabtree proved that he can do great things against great defenses, and that shouldn’t change come the start of the season.
Worst Coaching Change: Broncos Fire Shanahan
After one of the most stunning collapses in Denver Broncos history, the team felt it was necessary to fire Super Bowl winning coach Mike Shanahan. Of all the changes to try and put the Broncos back into the playoffs, this was a mistake. After 14 successful seasons, the Broncos should not have fired Shanahan after one lousy year. And just look what his replacement has done. New coach Josh McDaniels managed to trade away Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Culter to the Chicago Bears, and now Number 1 receiver Brandon Marshall is unhappy. Unfortunately, the Broncos are nowhere close to being a playoff contender.
Best Decision: Brett Gets it Right
After nearly coming out of a second retirement, the Brett Farve saga is officially 100 percent over (we think). The three-time MVP and 10-time Pro Bowler decided not to sign with the Minnesota Vikings, basically saying he can’t put up the numbers he wants to put up. By remaining retired, Farve won’t completely turn against the Green Bay Packers fans who loved him for so many seasons. Farve made a sensible decision I don’t think he will regret.
Like most of you, I can’t wait to see how these offseason moves play out in what promises to be a fantastic season!
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