We’ve almost seen each of the free agents find new homes, and mostly figured out where each team is at going into the NFL Draft. We’ve got a roundup for each division after almost two full weeks (and most of the big signings in the books), and we’ll be putting them out over the next week or so. According to the NFL’s “Top 101 Free Agents” chart, 83% have found new homes, so we’ve got a solid look at who is going where.
Next up we’ve got the AFC South, who saw a whole lot of mediocrity again in 2016, and will look to beef up some of the competition with some shakeups at the top of the division.
The Texans made more than a few splashes in the offseason already, but it’s about what they gave up rather than what they got. The Texans shipped failed experiment Brock Osweiler out of town, and had to attach a draft pick to do it. They then played the Romo lottery and lost, and now sit without a decent QB as we head into training camps. But that’s not even the beginning of their struggles: the Texans are the only team in the NFL that hasn’t signed free agent, and has instead lost serviceable linebacker John Simon and do-everything corner AJ Bouye. There is very little case to be made that they’ve gotten any better.
The Colts came into this offseason with the sole mission of finding Andrew Luck some help to get the Colts back into the postseason. They let some aging players walk to beef up the defense, adding Margus Hunt and Jabaal Sheard to the defensive line, and stealing John Simon away from Houston. The addition of Barkevious Mingo is also a sneaky pickup, as he’s got some upside. The offensive side of the ball hasn’t seen much of an upgrade however, and that’s worrisome with a weak offensive line draft upcoming. Just where exactly is the help for Luck going to come from? Getting Erik Walden a deal done also seems like it should be more of a priority than it’s been.
The Jaguars were a colossal disappointment this past season, and are looking at every possible avenue for a return to some kind of hype. And yet again, the Jags are looking to spend in free agency. The loss of Prince Amukamara isn’t going to hurt as much as expected, but the losses of Kevlin Beachum off the O-Line and Johnathan Cyprien at safety are concerning. Still, the Jaguars brought in quite the replacements in AJ Bouye at corner, who’s got every look of being a stud. They then added Barry Church from Dallas, who was among the best safeties in the NFC a year ago. And the big haul: they somehow maneuvered Calais Campbell from the Cardinals to beef up that D-line. Now, I refuse to get too caught up on the Jaguars offseason winning, because that’s yet to translate to some field success, but it’s hard not to see progress. Expect Jared Odrick to get extended soon.
The Titans got about as close to the postseason as you possibly can a year ago, and are looking for that elusive next jump in the next year of Marcus Mariota. They’ve got most of their roster already locked up for next year, but he loss of Chance Warmack will hurt that offensive line. Still, I like the additions of Johnathan Cyprien and Logan Ryan big time, and think that will immediately upgrade the secondary. They still need some offensive line insurance, but I like the depth their adding to the holes that need them. Losing Kendall Wright will also take some of the familiarity from Mariota, but he should be able to adjust pretty well.