The NFL off-season usually tells us which teams are the more serious contenders

It has often been said the last few years that NFL seasons can be both won or lost in the off-season.

In fact, is not uncommon in this modern NFL to see the teams that had great off-seasons be the ones in major contention for a Lombardi. Just look at the last several seasons- most of the conference champions and SB winners had extremely active off-seasons. These teams were both strategic and aggressive in their off-season moves and it translated into playoff wins.

Look at some of the teams that were consensus choices as having a great off-season:

  • 2020- Tampa Bay, led by the strategic moves of GM Jason Licht signed FA Tom Brady (after releasing former #1 pick Jameis Winston), traded for TE Rob Gronkowski, franchise tagged LB Shaq Barrett, re-signed FA DL Ndamukong Suh, and drafted T Tristen Wirfs, among several other big moves. They went on to win the NFC Championship and SB 55.
  • 2021- LA Rams– led by GM Les Snead, the rams were very aggressive in the 2021 off-season. They traded former #1 pick QB Jared Goff and draft picks for Det QB Matt Stafford, signed CB Jalen Ramsey (who they acquired in a trade in 2019) to a 5 year/100 mil deal, traded for Edge rusher Von Miller, and signed FA WR Odell Beckham during the season. And that’s just the big moves. The rams won the NFC championship and SB 56.
  • 2022 Filly– Look I hate the eagles but their GM Howie Roseman led a very successfully aggressive off-season last spring. The eagles traded for WR AJ Brown, traded WR Jalen Reagor to the Vikings for 4th and 7th round picks, signed FA LB Hassan Reddick, traded for DB CJ Gardner-Johnson, and several other key moves. And they still have 4 picks in the top 100 in this year’s draft. The eagles won the NFC championship for the 2nd time in 5 years with two completely different built rosters.
  • 2022 KC chiefs- the chiefs led by GM Brett Veach were aggressive again, despite Pat Mahomes’ big contract taking up so much cap space. They traded their #1 receiver Tyreek Hill, released S Tyrann Mathieu, signed FA WR JuJu Smith, acquired SB hero WR/PR Kadarius Toney in an Oct trade with the giants, and got great production late in season from 7th round RB Isaiah Pacheco. The chiefs won their 3rd AFC championship in 4 years and their second SB in 4 years.

Bottom Line- having a great off-season plan and executing it well is step one in putting your team in position to have a great season. What happens the next 2 months will tell us a ton about this team’s ability to compete for a championship in 2023.

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