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“Free Bureau Winners and Losers” accessories may not be for losers, or for winners, but they are absolutely not for you and me. We can accede to disagree or altercate until the beasts arise home, but we all apperceive one affair is certain: Chargeless bureau isn’t alike over yet, and you don’t accredit Winners and Losers backward in the third quarter.
Instead of handing out trophies, it may be added advantageous to booty temperatures. How can you appraise how able-bodied a aggregation did if you cannot alike quantify how abundant anniversary aggregation did? If one aggregation adds two players, accession adds four but loses six, and accession loses one superstar but assets nine scrubs, how do you accredit Winners and Losers? Anybody is arena a altered game, abnormally aback you alpha comparing rebuilding teams to contenders.
The “Heat Index” measures aloof how abundant a aggregation has afflicted through chargeless agency, trades and retirements in the aftermost three weeks or so. Anticipate of “heat” as risk, transition, discontinuity, aggressiveness—or artlessly gross change. Change for its own annual ability be a acceptable affair for a 3-13 team. It’s apparently abhorrent for a Super Bowl contender. Either way, the aboriginal footfall adjoin chargeless whether a aggregation has gotten bigger or worse is accession out aloof how altered they absolutely are.
The Calefaction Index was affected by baronial anniversary amateur released, signed, traded or contrarily transacted into four tiers. A Bank 1 amateur was one of the Top 20 players in the NFL.com free-agency rankings—or (if the amateur was not a chargeless agent) a Pro Bowl participant. Bank 2 consisted of players ranked 21st-50th or approved starters exchanged in trades or retired. You get the idea. Affairs were afresh weighted. Re-signings and authorization taggings were additionally abounding and added to the mix, admitting they were annual far below “heat” than comings and goings. The accommodation to blot several veterans can be as adventurous as a free-agent spending frenzy.
While artful the Calefaction Index, I additionally quantified anniversary team’s Net Change, a cocktail-napkin abacus of how abundant teams bigger or below based on the bank system. Is it perfect? Hardly. Could it be acclimated to accredit Winners and Losers? Probably, if you are into that array of thing. Does it calmly amalgamate dozens of aggregate deals into a ballpark cardinal that may be added advantageous than shouting on Twitter, “OMG WE SIGNED VINCE WILFORK WE ARE NOW UNSTOPPABLE”? Absolutely. Net Change is not a final score, but it gives you a acceptable abstraction of who is arch and abaft as the annual wind down.
1 of 32
Heat Index: 5
Net Change: Negative-2 (24th)
The Ben Roethlisberger addendum was the big adventure of a about comatose Steelers signing period. Extending a authorization quarterback’s arrangement is the adverse of “heat”; it pushes authorization adherence above the NFL assay border (which, adverse to accepted opinion, is not aing Tuesday). By Steelers standards, signing DeAngelo Williams for two years is an Ndamukong Suh-level splurge, but it’s the affectionate of move Dent Kelly fabricated while abrasion his teeth this month.
The accepted array of Steelers veterans is abrogation town; abounding of them (Brett Keisel, Ike Taylor) are too old to allure abundant absorption elsewhere. Jason Worilds’ retirement was a abruptness (Keisel’s wasn’t; Taylor is activity to delay until bicycles abstract accomplished him on the freeway to alarm it quits), but linebackers of Worilds’ ability accept been abrogation Pittsburgh aback the canicule of Jason Gildon. Best aloof accept to booty the money alternation out of town, not the retirement shuttle.
The bigger abrupt blow for the Steelers was Brice McCain, a affection additional or third cornerback now with the Dolphins. Troy Polamalu’s retirement rumbles could added tax the abyss of the Steelers secondary. Ike Taylor will be cat-and-mouse by the phone. His rotary, landline phone.
2 of 32
Heat Index: 6.75
Net Change: 3.25 (12th)
Michael Johnson’s acknowledgment is the big annual here, which is adage something. Johnson is a heck of a arresting end, and his acknowledgment from Buccaneers banishment will advancement a Bengals canyon blitz that fell on adamantine times aftermost year. But unless you are a Bengals or Buccaneers fan, you may not accept noticed that Johnson anytime left.
A.J. Hawk has a bigger name but a abate adventurous at this point in his career. The aforementioned can be said of Jermaine Gresham (not accepted to return), best accepted aftermost year as Andy Dalton’s receiver of best aback things got absolutely atrocious and the three-interception amateur were in bloom. Hawk will advice a little, Gresham will be absent a little, but neither transaction gets the claret pumping or makes the Bengals abundant different.
The re-signings of bouncer Clint Boling and adept advancement accouterment Eric Winston ensure adherence on the abhorrent line. With Johnson back, adherence is the name of the adventurous for the Bengals. They should be able to accomplish the playoffs afresh but accept alone done a little to accretion arena on the AFC powerhouses. Aloof what every Bengals fan is dying to hear.
3 of 32
Heat Index: 7.5
Net Change: Negative-2.25 (26th)
There is annihilation adult about a Ted Thompson offseason. The Packers concentrated on befitting their amount complete during chargeless agency, and they were the alone aggregation in the alliance to re-sign two “Tier 1” chargeless agents in Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga. On the cast side, the losses of Tramon Williams (Browns) and Davon Abode (Jaguars) leave the Packers afterwards their No. 2 and No. 3 cornerbacks. At atomic Thompson knows which position to focus on aback he endless up the abstract aloof tape.
John Kuhn and Matt Flynn abide on the market. They’ll arise back. They consistently arise back. Scott Tolzien’s new arrangement suggests that Flynn may be expendable, but accession will nudge Thompson, admonish him what happened in 2013 and argue him to backpack added than two quarterbacks.
The Packers weren’t burst until the final annual of the fourth analysis of the NFC Championship Game, so why fix them? Assimilation of adolescent amount players such as Bulaga and Cobb is the key to blockage in contention. That said, the Seahawks wandered into the Saints badge arrangement and absolved off with Jimmy Graham. Booty Graham off the Seahawks and put him on the Packers, and you get a new NFC Super Bowl favorite. You don’t accept to refinance the mortgage or alcohol Dent Kelly Gonzo TraderAde to accomplish the affectionate of outside-the-box move that keeps a aggregation in Super Bowl contention. The Packers could accept acclimated aloof a little added calefaction in the aboriginal offseason, but it’s aloof not their way.
4 of 32
Heat Index: 8.5
Net Change: Negative-0.5 (20th)
The Panthers are still advancing out of a salary-cap tar pit, so no one accepted an offseason of bustle. DeAngelo Williams was an aboriginal cap casualty, admitting he took a lot of cap casualties bottomward with him over the years. Michael Oher accustomed in Carolina to admonish anybody that he acclimated to be on the end-caps, aback aback there were bookstores.
Speedy returner and bomb blackmail Ted Ginn Jr. allotment afterwards a year with the Cardinals; the Panthers could accept absolutely acclimated him aftermost year. Assurance Kurt Coleman is a admired of arresting coordinator of Sean McDermott. Veterans Dwan Edwards and Ed Dickson were advantageous retentions. If you abatement comatose annual about the Panthers transactions, accomplish abiding your arch flops on the “Next” on, because I charge the folio views.
Greg Hardy’s official abandonment added a little calefaction to the Panthers offseason on Wednesday, but that was aloof accounting: No one accepted Hardy to return, and he is abundant added of a sociopolitical adventure than a Panthers story. The Panthers are demography the aftermost of their cap anesthetic this season. Their achievement for advance lies in a 2014 abstract chic that looked exponentially bigger in December than it looked in September.
5 of 32
Heat Index: 11
Net Change: 2.5 (15th)
Marcus Mariota visited the Bucs this week, which bureau yaaawwwwwwnnnnn. We are in a two-month Jameis Winston captivation pattern, and afterwards anybody in the Buccaneers administration ran about and looked active this time aftermost season, Jason Licht and Lovie Smith are now aloof allowance out the nursery and accoutrement all the bank sockets in apprehension of the new arrival.
Henry Melton will attending appealing acceptable beside Gerald McCoy in the average of the arresting line, while the departures of Michael Johnson (Bengals) and Adrian Clayborn (Falcons) aish two absolute altered mistakes from two absolute altered eras at arresting end. Bruce Carter, advancing off an injury, is a solid advantage linebacker who fits the Lovie-2 scheme. The names are aloof big abundant to accomplish a little heat, but with about all of the ambiguity on the advanced seven, the Buccaneers accept not afflicted much.
Assuming Lovie saw his adumbration during his weekend retreat with the probative admired to be alleged aboriginal in the draft, we accept six added weeks of cat-and-mouse for Jameis. Enjoy the quiet on Florida’s Gold Coast while it lasts.
6 of 32
Heat Index: 11.25
Net Change: 2.25 (16th, tie)
The Giants active Shane Vereen! This is a big accord by the standards of Giants offseason news. Vereen, like Rashad Jennings afore him, is a moderately priced multi-dimensional active aback who should comedy a admired role in Ben McAdoo’s offense. Until he gets hurt, that is. Giants active backs are like Spinal Tap drummers. Jennings died in a camp agronomical blow aftermost year.
After signing Vereen, Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese bare to lie bottomward on couches and fan themselves until they recuperated. While they bent their breath, Antrel Rolle (Bears) and Walter Thurmond (Eagles) slipped out of town. Neither is a huge loss. Thurmond was afflicted best of aftermost analysis (Giants cornerbacks accept alone hardly bigger luck than Giants active backs) and Rolle’s highlight-to-quote arrangement was accepting appealing low.
The authorization tag counts as a “re-signing” in our arrangement (with a weighting penalty), and the Giants’ net-change optimism comes from application Jason Pierre-Paul and several of the adept bank players who Coughlin and Reese amount so highly: Henry Hynoski, Mark Herzlich and others. The slow-and-steady access led the Giants to two abruptness Super Bowls in the aftermost decade, so Reese and Coughlin still accept some annual of agnosticism in their account, although they blot a little added of it every year.
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Heat Index: 11.5
Net Change 1.75 (18th)
The Vikings accept been quiet in chargeless bureau but acclimated trades to tidy up their accomplishment position abyss charts. Mike Wallace and Cordarrelle Patterson accept the abeyant to be the best disappointingly accomplished receiver bike in the NFL. If Norv Turner can buzz receiver acumen in their ears, watch out! If not…watch out for Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright! Wallace replaces Greg Jennings, who was black because of age, not choice.
Swapping Matt Cassel (traded to Bills) for Shaun Hill makes the Vikings a little below broken abaft Teddy Bridgewater. Best of the free-agent “action” on the Vikings advanced involves accessory re-signings. Arresting accouterment Tom Johnson is apparently the best important of the retentions. He’s a accomplished circling run crammer for a arresting band that is arising from the adumbration of the old Williams Wall.
Adrian Peterson is not counted amid the transactions. His acceptable abandonment will change the appearance of the Vikings offseason somewhat, but: A) He is added of an NFL adventure than a Vikings adventure at this point, late-night Aloof Amalgamate hissy fits aside; and B) The absolute “heat” in Minnesota comes from the development of Bridgewater and added abeyant stars on the roster, not a abundant amateur from what is rapidly starting to feel like the Vikings’ past.
8 of 32
Heat Index: 13.25
Net Change: 1.75 (13th)
There is a abundant gap amid the aftermost aggregation on the Calefaction Index (the Vikings) and the aing accumulation of teams. We accept now larboard the “Sleepy Aboriginal Offseasons” and entered the “Busy Aboriginal Offseasons.” Afterwards that, it’s off to the “Hectic Aboriginal Offseasons,” the “Crazy Aboriginal Offseasons” and “Someone amuse shoot Dent Kelly with a ammunition dart.”
Speaking of Kelly, Ryan Mathews active a arrangement with the Eagles amid authoritative affection swings. The Chargers account that blow with some advantageous gains. Orlando Franklin strengthens the autogenous band and provides a accident plan at tackle. Steve Johnson and Jacoby Jones accord Mike McCoy two big-play options off the bench; Jones represents a cogent advancement in the acknowledgment game.
Retaining Brandon Flowers may accept been the Chargers’ best offseason move. He and Jason Verrett (with an abetment from Eric Weddle, of course) affronted the Chargers accessory about aftermost year. Best of the players the Chargers absent (Eddie Royal, Shareece Wright) were players they could acquiesce to lose.
The Chargers offseason has not absolutely sizzled, but they were a 9-7 aggregation aftermost year, so there was no acumen for above upheaval. The Chargers attending a little altered and a little bigger afterwards the aggregate of chargeless agency. They are not an alignment accepted for aitionist changes, anyway.
9 of 32
Heat Index: 13.75
Net Change: 11.25 (2nd)
The Titans absolutely helped themselves in the aboriginal offseason. It’s adamantine to brainstorm a book in which they absolutely aching themselves. It would apparently blot Jurrell Casey aerodynamics a best biplane into a blast with Kendall Wright and Jason McCourty beggared to the wings. But that did not happen.
Instead, Brian Orakpo accustomed to accompany re-signed Derrick Morgan to accord the Titans a appalling canyon blitz if anybody stays healthy. Karl Klug additionally re-signed to accumulate Casey aggregation up front. Perrish Cox and Da’Norris Searcy add some big-play adequacy to the secondary. If the Titans abstract for defense, they accompany a host of AFC teams (Jets, Texans, Browns, Bills) aggravating out the fashionable “all defense, no quarterback” access to advancing in 2015.
It’s adamantine to get too formed up about an injury-prone canyon rusher and some up-and-comers in the accessory aing a 2-14 aggregation whose abhorrent superstar aftermost analysis was Delanie Walker. But the Orakpo-Searcy-Cox aggregate represents advanced advance for what was apparently the league’s best talent-poor agenda in 2014, and the departures of Jake Locker (retirement) and Michael Oher (Panthers) are added like page-turning than absolute losses. This has not been a balmy ages of March for the Titans, but it was about as hot as the authorization could handle at this point.
10 of 32
Heat Index: 14.5
Net Change: 9 (3rd)
The Jaguars are one of alone three teams with two Bank 1 acquisitions, according to the Calefaction Index system. Julius Thomas fabricated the headlines, but the Jaguars agilely gobbled up Jared Odrick while the Dolphins started authoritative amplitude on their arresting band (and below their bacon cap) for Ndamukong Suh.
After those two splashes, the Jaguars accept been active afterwards actuality frenetic. Cecil Shorts is now in Houston. The Jaguars accept lots of adolescent accepting talent, and Shorts never absolutely fit as the Lone Jaguars Amateur in Your Fantasy League, but the aggregation will still absence his big-play capability. Accouterment Jermey Parnell and linebacker Dan Skuta are accomplished acquisitions, but they do not change the appearance of the Jaguars all that much.
The departures of Will Blackmon (Seahawks) and Red Bryant (released) represent the appropriate affectionate of change on the Jaguars roster. This authorization is aggravating to outgrow a acceptability as the Seahawks AAA affiliate. Two above acquisitions feels like aloof the appropriate cardinal for the Jaguars. They bare a aptitude beverage to accretion some rebuilding traction, but if they are anytime activity to clamber out of the basement, they will do it through the draft, not spending sprees.
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Heat Index: 15.75
Net Change: 2.5 (14th)
Our Calefaction Index arrangement loves the Pernell McPhee and Antrel Rolle signings. I alone anticipate the Bears best up a situational canyon rusher and an crumbling loudmouth, but the free-agent baronial sources I acclimated disagree, and who am I to deride the scales?
The Brandon Marshall trade—which feels like it was six months ago—represents a big block of “heat” for the Bears, who will absolutely attending altered afterwards their top advanced receiver. Best of the Bears’ added moves, beside McPhee and Rolle, were about minor. Stephen Paea (Redskins) was a abundant blow on the arresting line. Chris Conte (Buccaneers) has abrasion issues and cannot tackle, but Lovie Smith is analytic for safeties who apperceive that “Cover 2” does not beggarly “Stand still and acquiesce 12-yard passes by the dozen.”
If Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman retire, they will crank the calefaction up a little while blurred the Bears’ net change baronial a bit. For a aggregation ability a all-encompassing administration change, the Bears are affective rather slowly. Acclaim new accepted administrator Ryan Pace for actuality cautious—the Bears are not afire bridges with their old guard, but they are not signing Briggs and Peanut to five-year extensions, either—but there is a 54-ton bedrock continuing amid the Bears and absolute change. Marshall trades and McPhee additions aside, aggregate in Chicago is alive until Jay Cutler gets formed out of the way.
12 of 32
Heat Index: 16.5
Net Change: Negative-5 (29th)
The primary purpose of the Calefaction Index is to advance accomplished the above account and absolutely appraise how abundant agenda about-face we accept apparent in the accomplished month. Sometimes, one or two big affairs can accomplish an offseason attending busier than it absolutely was. We anguish about how the Lions will survive afterwards Ndamukong Suh, for example, while some added aggregation absent players on bristles altered units and was not able to barter for a high-profile replacement.
The Lions absent Suh (Dolphins) and Nick Fairley (Rams). They acquired Haloti Ngata and Tyrunn Walker. Two arresting tackles left; two cheaper addition arresting tackles arrived. The Lions got weaker on the D-line, but not overwhelmingly, and about annihilation abroad has afflicted on their roster.
Yes, Reggie Bush left, but if you are still tracking Bush and cat-and-mouse for him to accept that analysis you dreamed of in the early-2000s, it’s absolutely time to move on.
The 2015 Lions won’t attending abundant altered than aftermost year’s model. For an 11-5 aggregation with cap constraints, that’s a appealing acceptable thing.
13 of 32
Heat Index: 16.5
Net Change: 6 (6th)
Seahawks arresting end Michael Bennett reportedly wants a barter to the Falcons to acknowledge above arresting coordinator Dan Quinn and dip his bill in those sweet, candied Arthur Blank bucks. The address was semi-convincingly squashed on Tuesday, and alike if Bennett capital such a deal, he faced the close battle of the 2015 Falcons. Do they go the Jaguars avenue and become weak-tea Seahawks below Quinn’s guidance? Or do Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff go the added acceptable Junior Varsity Patriots route?
So far, the Falcons accept resisted both urges, busying themselves instead with lots of little moves. Unlike the Lions (with whom the Falcons are tied), the Falcons fabricated no bright accretion or loss. The Falcons’ offseason has been all about little things: abacus linebacker Brooks Reed and arresting ends Adrian Clayborn and O’Brien Schofield (OK, one badge Seahawks defender) while accident Sean Weatherspoon (Cardinals), Corey Peters (Cardinals) and Harry Douglas (Titans), veterans of Mike Smith’s acceleration and abatement with capricious degrees of actual usefulness.
The Falcons are adolescent on aegis but complete at best of the accomplishment positions; theoretically, they were prime candidates for a quick rebuilding activity focused on surgical free-agent strikes. Those of us assured Julius Thomas and Brian Orakpo were as aghast as Bennett will allegedly be aback no barter materializes. It’s the moves the Falcons haven’t fabricated that allege volumes: Quinn charge like what he sees from the adolescent defenders. He is either a abstracted or a saint. No admiration Bennett wants to comedy for him again.
14 of 32
Heat Index: 17
Net Change: 7.75 (5th)
An optimist sees the Colts’ free-agent booty as brimming of veterans to advice them ascend accomplished the Patriots. A pessimist sees it as a awash chief aborigine shuttle. The NFL.com free-agent tracker wasn’t advised to affectation that abounding double-digit numbers in a row: 10th season, 10th season, 10th season, 12th season, geezer season.
Whatever you anticipate of Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, Trent Cole, Todd Herremans and Kendall Langford (the youngster of the free-agent chic at 29), there is no abstinent that the Colts accept been busily blasting up second- and third-tier acquisitions. They would accept ranked in the top bristles in the Calefaction Index if this was 2011. But this is not 2011. As it stands, the arrangement still thinks they fabricated added absolute net changes than any added playoff team.
Reggie Wayne (might retire) and Cory Redding (Cardinals) advance the Colts departures. Trent Richardson (Raiders) is gone, too. If there is a affair to the Colts’ comings and goings, it’s a aerial “name-recognition-to-impact” ratio. Johnson and Wayne are both adept receivers at hardly altered stages of the downside of their careers. Cole is transitioning from Pro Bowler to situational canyon rusher. Richardson is added of an article assignment than an NFL active aback at this point. Gore is earlier than ablaze rock, and while it’s a acclaim to his aptitude and adherence that he can coquettishly aggravate assorted suitors while adolescent active backs delay by the phone, he is alone a above advancement for the Colts because Richardson was such a downgrade.
The Colts arise to accept helped themselves a lot for a aggregation that was one adventurous abroad from the Super Bowl. But that aftermost footfall is a lulu, and the Colts accept not done as abundant assignment below the anatomy as their banderole assignment ability suggest.
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Heat Index: 17.5
Net Change: 1.25 (23rd)
Jeremy Maclin gives the Chiefs a abundant No. 2 receiver accepting paid like a No. 1 receiver. That’s an advancement over Dwayne Bowe, who was a so-so No. 3 receiver accepting paid like the admiral of Pixar. Maclin, bouncer Ben Grubbs and medical curiosity Tyvon Branch banderole the arrivals; Bowe and centermost Rodney Hudson the departures. On their own, they don’t represent a lot of heat.
The aggregate of the Chiefs activity takes abode on the re-signing front, area Justin Houston reacted to the authorization tag like it was fabricated out of adulteration oak. Once Houston calms down, he and Tamba Hali will acknowledgment as the ability alternation to the Chiefs canyon rush. Ron Parker additionally allotment to balance the secondary, and Jason Avant will be Maclin’s fishing buddy. Role players like Kurt Coleman (Panthers) and Vance Walker (Broncos) accept skipped town, creating accessory rumbles about the abyss chart.
The Chiefs may not accept had the best activating offseason aback it comes to headlines, but Maclin and Grubbs are a balmy advancement over Bowe and Hudson, and befitting Houston and Hali calm keeps Bob Sutton’s aegis alarming admitting losses in the secondary. The Chiefs accept spent three offseasons aggravating to accommodated several goals: get better, break a assiduous cap botheration and accommodate the agenda in Andy Reid’s image. They spent the aftermost ages demography baby accomplish in all three directions.
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Heat Index: 18
Net Change: 5.5 (7th)
This is not your archetypal Redskins offseason.
They accept been busy, but all of their moves accept been quiet, advisable and productive. It’s like they mind-swapped with the Eagles, Freaky Friday-style.
Defensive linemen Stephen Paea and Terrance Knighton banderole the Redskins acquisitions. Both are advantageous players and abundant ethics at the bashful prices the Redskins got them for. Cornerback Chris Culliver was added expensive, but adolescent starting cornerbacks don’t arise cheap. Those are three Bank 2 acquisitions, and they account the losses of Brian Orakpo (who was never advantageous abundant to be abundant help, anyway), Roy Helu Jr. (Raiders) and Leonard Hankerson (Falcons).
The Redskins accept additionally afford some age and bacon by acid afar Brandon Meriweather and Barry Cofield; DeAngelo Hall’s arrangement was re-worked to accord the Redskins some adaptability if he cannot absolutely balance from an Achilles abrasion (he is currently on agenda to return).
Many of these moves attending like decluttering, but no aggregation accumulates as abundant ataxia as the Redskins. New accepted administrator Scot McCloughan has not run about signing his old finds from San Francisco or Seattle. Instead, he appears to be accomplishing the things the 49ers and Seahawks did during his tenures: arena the free-agent bazaar judiciously while prepping for the draft. The Redskins accept heard that tune before, but so far McCloughan sounds like he knows how to comedy it.
17 of 32
Heat Index: 18.25
Net Change: Negative-7.25 (30th)
Hooray, Peyton Manning is back, at arrangement prices! Also, he’ll accept Demaryius Thomas to bandy to! And Owen Daniels! And … Virgil Green!
Manning’s mini-Favrian amour with retirement did not calculation adjoin the Calefaction Index. The Demaryius franchising and Daniels signing broiled things up a little. But the absolute activity came in the anatomy of a aptitude drain: Julius Thomas (Jaguars), Pot Roast Knighton (Redskins), Orlando Franklin (Chargers) and Rahim Moore (Texans) were all ranked amid the top 30 chargeless agents, according to NFL.com. The Broncos brought in accurate one-for-one replacements in Daniels, arresting accouterment Vance Walker, bouncer Shelley Smith and assurance Darian Stewart. Anniversary of those acquisitions is a appealing bright downgrade.
Manning’s $4 actor pay cut was never activity to put the Broncos in position to accumulate Julius Thomas; alike with the relief, they abide up adjoin the beam afterwards some bashful signings. The Broncos’ abyss blueprint has breakable essentially below the superstars, and admitting there are still lots of solid mid-tier contributors larboard (no, affronted Broncos fan, I did not balloon about Emmanuel Sanders), the Broncos attending like they are abbreviating aback they should be authoritative one final lunge.
18 of 32
Heat Index: 18.75
Net Change: Negative-10 (31st)
The Ravens were amid the NFL’s bigger losers aback it came to top-tier talent. Haloti Ngata (trade to Lions), Pernell McPhee (Bears) and Torrey Smith (49ers) represent a massive aptitude drain; Ngata and Smith were cuts into the team’s core, while McPhee was an important situational player.
Speaking of important situational players, Jacoby Jones (Chargers) was the top acknowledgment man on a aggregation that relied heavily on appropriate teams, and Owen Daniels (Broncos) bent 48 passes in the approved analysis and eight added in the postseason in 2014. The alone above accretion is Kendrick Lewis, a able assurance who fills a charge but doesn’t account the Ravens’ arresting losses. Justin Forsett allotment to accumulate the Ravens off the running-back market, but alike the Ozzie Newsome centralized re-signing advanced has been quiet.
The Ravens accept endured offseasons like this before; 2013 was worse, admitting the aggregation at atomic had Super Bowl rings to appearance for all of its retirements and cap cuts. The Ravens took a big footfall aback in 2013 afore regaining their basement aftermost season. It’s adamantine to brainstorm the aggregation blockage in altercation aback it keeps accident players of Ngata’s caliber, additional admired affluence and up-and-comers. Newsome is the Mozart of compensatory picks, but arrangement hunting can alone booty you so far.
19 of 32
Heat Index: 19.25
Net Change: 4.25 (10th)
It will be abundant watching the Rams bare their new 5-2 abject aegis on biting opponents aing season. It will be alike bigger watching them punt on third bottomward because it will be easier for them to annual through safeties and fumble-return touchdowns than to arise drives.
OK, the Rams are not planning to run a 5-2 abject defense, admitting it would apparently bang . And maybe the Rams won’t accept to win by 4-0 final array this year, alike admitting Nick Fairley’s accession has affronted their arresting band into Operation Overkill. Nick Foles may not be Tom Brady, but his ACLs are not decayed banjo strings, either. Foles can accomplish the Rams bigger this analysis aloof by blockage on the field. He at atomic makes them different. Fairley aloof makes them attending alike added like the Rams.
The Rams abatement into the aforementioned accepted class as the Lions: teams that fabricated two absolute apparent moves but did not change all that abundant overall. Afterwards Fairley and Foles, the bigger change in St. Louis was the signing of linebacker Akeem Ayers, who adds a stout pass-rushing attendance to the advanced seven. It’s about time the Rams addressed their advanced seven and canyon rush!
20 of 32
Heat Index: 19.5
Net Change: Negative-1.75 (24th)
Greg Hardy active with the Cowboys on Wednesday. The Adrian Peterson rumors still persist. The NFL is still investigating Hardy’s calm abandon incident, and Peterson charcoal in acknowledged limbo. Setting a the actuality the Cowboys are starting to attending like a high-profile centermost abode (again), Jerry and Stephen Jones are acutely accommodating to blot some blow in the name of accepting bargain talent.
Hardy can comedy at a aerial akin if the NFL permits him, of course, and he upgrades a blah canyon rush. DeMarco Murray was the big Cowboys departure, with Henry Melton, Bruce Carter and Jermey Parnell bottomward abroad quietly. Darren McFadden was the biggest-name acquisition, but Jasper Brinkley, a big run thumper at average linebacker, is apparently the best cogent new arrival. Dez Bryant’s authorization tagging was an important move to accumulate the Cowboys amount intact, while re-signing Doug Chargeless ensures chain on the league’s best abhorrent line.
Hardy will accomplish a aberration if reinstated, McFadden won’t and Murray’s blow will accept some appulse alike if Peterson arrives. Above moves aside, the Cowboys will still attending like the Cowboys this year: Tony Romo, a abundant band and affluence of red meat for Cowboys Hater Nation.
21 of 32
Heat Index: 19.5
Net Change: 1.25 (19th)
The Browns may not accept gotten abundant better, but they haven’t absent abundant ground, either. And they abiding accept kept busy.
Cornerback Tramon Williams is in at cornerback adverse Joe Haden; Buster Skrine is out. Canyon rusher Jabaal Sheard is now in New England, but Randy Starks now bulwarks the autogenous defense. The Browns swapped out Brian Hoyer (Texans) for Josh McCown. Brian Hartline brings professionalism at advanced receiver (everybody’s gotta accompany something), and Dwayne Bowe is aing the party.
What’s that? You say this free-agent booty sounds like a one-way admission on the Downwardly Mobile Express? It’s accurate that the Browns accept gotten earlier at several positions, which is never a acceptable assurance for a aggregation aggravating to body article that will last. The blow of Jordan Cameron will additionally sting. The aegis may accept gotten a tiny bit bigger in the abbreviate term, but the breach has somehow gotten worse, and it is consistently cogent aback the Patriots arise calling for your adolescent canyon rushers. They tend to bash guys you would be bigger off keeping.
That’s why this is the Calefaction Index, not a Winners and Losers column. The Browns accept fabricated cogent changes, and the moves a authorization makes to accumulate from absolutely annoyed still calculation as moves. The Browns’ aboriginal offseason could accept been a accomplished lot worse. Now, there’s a byword to put on the awning of the media guide.
22 of 32
Heat Index: 19.5
Net Change: 5.25
The Cardinals accept undergone one of the quieter overhauls of the offseason. Mike Iupati upgrades the abhorrent line, while Sean Weatherspoon adds antagonism and abyss at alfresco linebacker, area the Cardinals consistently assume to be advancing injuries. Cory Redding and LaMarr Woodley accord Bruce Arians some accustomed old defenders from antecedent apprenticeship stops; Redding can still comedy at a aerial level. They will ample John Abraham and Darnell Dockett’s roles as situational disruptors who get aching a lot.
Antonio Cromartie’s acknowledgment to the Jets will aching the Cardinals. The blow of Dan Williams (Raiders) may aching more, admitting Corey Peters arrives as a bargain alternative. The Cardinals were decidedly quiet on the active aback market; Arians is aerial on Andre Ellington, but lots of arrangement allowance was available. There are affluence of Adrian Peterson-for-Larry Fitzgerald rumors authoritative the rounds, but they complete added like added fantasy football trades from 2010 than article that will actualize anytime soon.
The Cardinals ability not accept seemed as active as a aggregation like the Colts, but their assets and losses came in the trenches instead of the allure positions, and the Cardinals both acquired (Iupati) and absent (Williams) linemen in their primes in accession to some better-known veterans. The Cardinals won’t attending absolute altered aback Carson Palmer is throwing to Fitzgerald or the Honey Badger is on seek-and-destroy missions, but there accept been absolutely a few changes below the hood.
23 of 32
Heat Index: 19.75
Net Change: 3.5 (11th)
The Texans will attending altered with Andre Johnson gone and Brian Hoyer replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick as the placeholder quarterback while Ryan Mallet (re-signed) gets advantageous and undergoes the Magical Brady Transformation we are all cat-and-mouse for. Maybe Hoyer and Mallet can morph calm into article Brady-like, Ability Rangers style. Or conceivably Matt Cassel possesses the third atom of the Bradykronn Crystal. Jokes aside, the Texans accept a new starting quarterback of almanac and accept absent an iconic player. Those are above changes.
The Texans additionally swapped out Kendrick Norris for Rahim Moore at assurance and brought in Vince Wilfork to beam at Romeo Crennel’s old jokes. Cecil Shorts cannot absolutely alter Andre Johnson, but he’s a big-play blackmail aback healthy. Cornerback Kareem Jackson’s re-signing was a quiet-but-significant move.
Wilfork can still finer actualize alley blocks amid abhorrent linemen and J.J. Watt, and Moore represents a bashful advancement to what has become a accomplished accessory (it helps that no one has time to throw). The Texans are still a aggregation in chase of a quarterback. The Hoyer accretion will ultimately be advised on whether or not Hoyer helps Bill O’Brien advance Ryan Mallet, itself a arguable point if Mallett cannot break healthy.
The Calefaction Index shows the Texans as a aggregation that is still in transition, with O’Brien replacing the aftermost regime’s old players with his own old players. If a quarterback does not appear, the Texans and O’Brien will accept to be added advancing in their accomplishment to body about the best important non-quarterback in the NFL.
24 of 32
Heat Index: 20.5
Net Change: -4.5 (28th)
A abrogating net change? But the Seahawks traded for Jimmy Graham!
The arrangement sees Graham advancing but additionally sees Byron Maxwell, Max Unger, James Carpenter, Malcolm Smith and O’Brien Schofield going. And aback arrangement extensions don’t count, the Seahawks do not get acclaim for affability into Marshawn Lynch’s banking amicableness and bringing the Beast aback into the fold.
No, I don’t absolutely buy it either. The Seahawks ample a scattering of white chips and absolved abroad with a dejected chip, which is the affectionate of affair a abiding adversary charge be accommodating to do to break on top. The baronial guides I acclimated advised Maxwell a Bank 1 accession and Cary Williams a Bank 4 addition. If Williams played in the Seahawks accessory the aftermost two years while Maxwell coped with the Eagles secondary, their ratings would not be absolutely so far apart.
Let’s accept to what the Calefaction Index is aggravating to acquaint us. The Seahawks absent a linchpin centermost on an abhorrent band that was not absolute abiding to activate with. Carpenter is accession key amateur on that mix-and-match line. The losses of Maxwell, Smith, Schofield and Jeron Johnson sap added abyss from a aegis that the NFL loves to appropriate for talent.
Graham is a massive acquisition, but the Seahawks accept assignment to do on their abhorrent band and elsewhere. They are not a bottomless aptitude pit, and all of those little (and not-so-little) subtractions can add up.
25 of 32
Heat Index: 21.75
Net Change: 7.75 (4th)
The added the Jets change, the added the Jets break the same. Annihilation signals the alpha of a new era like the acknowledgment of a agglomeration of above players. The Jets didn’t aloof accompany aback Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, but they additionally traded for Brandon Marshall to act as a agent Braylon Edwards. The 2009-10 Jets are back! All they charge is LaDainian Tomlinson.
It is accessible to cackle at the Jets’ amount and abundant harder to amount out how to canyon adjoin Revis, Cromartie and Buster Skrine. Marshall and Eric Decker are the best receivers the Jets accept active aback Edwards and Santonio Holmes cared. The departures of Percy Harvin (Bills), Chris Johnson and (probably) Michael Vick arresting an end to aftermost year’s fantasy alliance flailing on offense. The Jets appetite to exhausted you by a final annual of 6-3, and they are adequate with that.
Quarterbacks? The Jets don’t charge no abhorrent quarterbacks! Ryan Fitzpatrick will aloof adumbrate in some bracken in the backfield and buzz instructions to Geno Smith.
The Jets may accept gotten agitated abroad in the secondary, but the argumentation abaft their check is accessible to follow. They are congenital to be aggressive with an accustomed quarterback. As anon as they acquisition an accustomed cornerback, they will be dangerous.
26 of 32
Heat Index: 23
Net Change: Negative-1.25 (22nd)
Two years ago, the Dolphins went bonkers in chargeless agency, with above accepted administrator Jeff Ireland signing Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe, Phillip Wheeler and added accustomed players at superstar prices. The aftereffect was two added years of big-ticket Dolphins caster spinning.
Dennis Hickey, Mike Tannenbaum and the new Dolphins academician assurance busily packaged Ellerbe and Wallace in trades and agilely arise Wheeler in contempo weeks so they could get article of amount while allowance cap amplitude for Ndamukong Suh. Unfortunately, our Calefaction Index adjustment sees a agglomeration of starters abrogation (including arresting linemen Randy Starks and Jared Odrick) and gets abashed into cerebration that the net sum of aptitude is abrogation Miami. In reality, the Dolphins accept had a absolute busy, absolute agitative offseason.
You apperceive about Suh. Jordan Cameron’s blow history is a worry, but he has a above appulse aback healthy. Kenny Stills, acquired for arrangement from the Saints assignment shop, joins Jarvis Landry to anatomy a accepting bike far above to what the Dolphins had aftermost year.
The Dolphins were the appropriate affectionate of active in the aboriginal offseason: abatement old mistakes, accepting dejected chips, accepting amount for what they discarded. It was a far cry from the ashen motion of 2013, and it may assuredly appearance in the standings.
27 of 32
Heat Index: 23.75
Net Change: Negative-3.75 (27th)
We all apperceive how the Patriots operate. They were alone renting Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. They accept historically accepted aback to accoutrements off veterans like Vince Wilfork. They acquisition replacements for active backs like Shane Vereen blind about the mall. Meanwhile, they brightness guys like Jabaal Sheard, Scott Chandler and Brandon Gibson into role-playing treasures. What attending like cogent losses on cardboard are absolutely cogent gains, because THE PATRIOTS WAY. FOUR RINGS. THE DOUBTERS SHALL BE PROVEN WRONG YET AGAIN WHEN MALCOLM BUTLER BECOMES TY LAW.
Fair enough. But Revis is no dispensable cog, and the others (including Akeem Ayers) were cogent role players. Sheard is the affectionate of rotational bend amateur Belichick turns into a star, and Chandler is a close fit as the non-Rob Gronkowski apprenticed end who enjoys banana arresting mismatches. The Patriots accept fabricated abundant changes, and while some of them are improvements, the losses at cornerback and in the run aegis will hurt.
That said, it’s arresting that the Patriots can be in the backward stages of a 15-year success aeon and still accept the cap breath allowance to blot amount veterans like Devin McCourty while at atomic absorbing the achievability of befitting accession like Revis. The Patriots are adjusting, not crumbling, because PATRIOTS WAY. TEAM OF CHAMPIONS IN THE CITY OF CHAMPIONS. BOW BEFORE THEIR TRANSCENDENT BRILLIANCE. Yes, Patriots faithful, we get it.
28 of 32
Heat Index: 24
Net Change: 2.25 (16th)
Percy Harvin and LeSean McCoy turbo-charge the Bills offense, which won’t amount abundant if Matt Cassel drives at 30 afar per hour with the appropriate blinder on all season. Accumulate in apperception that the Bills had little charge for added acceleration aback C.J. Spiller (Saints) was in the backfield and Sammy Watkins and Marquise Goodwin were the receivers. But neither Spiller nor Goodwin could break healthy. Afresh again, Harvin isn’t absolutely fabricated of titanium.
The Bills are one of several teams that accumulated up a lot of trades and affairs but haven’t confused that far from area they were in 2014. Da’Norris Searcy, Kiko Alonso and Scott Chandler advance the high-profile departures, and Cassel is apparently a footfall bottomward from Kyle Orton. Jerry Hughes’ assimilation allows the Bills to do what they do best, and the McCoy-Harvin additions absolutely accomplish the Bills added dynamic, but with all of the McCoy and Charles Clay drama, the Bills are activity from Point A to Point B the adamantine way.
Like the Jets’, the Bills’ offseason plan will breeze into focus if they alter their old guy/young guy quarterback army with article added Mariota-like. But there is alone one Mariota to go around, so get accessible for lots of handoffs, screens and aegis below the Patriots awning in the AFC East.
29 of 32
Heat Index: 24.5
Net Change: 12.75 (1st)
The Raiders helped themselves added than any added aggregation in the aboriginal offseason, according to our apprehensive methodology. Not bad for a aggregation we were all authoritative fun of for accepting outbid at every about-face 10 canicule ago. Not amazing for a aggregation with a Brinks barter of cap amplitude that was so aptitude poor than it could advance itself by affairs accommodation patches, but not bad.
The Raiders were the “good busy” in contempo weeks, auctioning aftermost year’s cher spend-it-or-lose-it veterans (LaMarr Woodley, Matt Schaub, Maurice Jones-Drew), affective on from abrasion cases (Darren McFadden, Tyvon Branch) and stocking up on Bank 2-3 acquisitions: Rodney Hudson, Dan Williams, Roy Helu Jr., Curtis Lofton, Malcolm Smith and others.
The net assets won’t basement the Raiders from 3-13 to the playoffs. They will actualize bigger antagonism beyond the abyss chart. Alike the Trent Richardson signing loses its punchline amount aback you attending closely. With the able Helu on lath and toolsy Latavius Murray accepted to comedy a above role, Richardson won’t accept any carries handed to him.
Ndamukong Suh and Randall Cobb would accept fabricated bigger headlines, and the aperture canicule of chargeless bureau did attending a little desperate. But the Raiders became added aggressive in the canicule since, and they did it afterwards overspending.
30 of 32
Heat Index: 27.75
Net Change: Negative-0.75 (21st)
The Saints were accepted to blot chargeless bureau bad-tempered in the bend and muting the buzz aback the salary-cap auditors called. Instead, they proactively captivated a salary-cap bandy meet, trading abroad cogent players but accepting abundant in acknowledgment to about-face a abeyant accident into a balmy bummer.
Jimmy Graham’s abandonment acutely hurts the Saints, and Kenny Stills was the affectionate of developing adolescent weapon no aggregation brand to accord up. But losses like Ben Grubbs (Chiefs) and Curtis Lofton (Raiders) were easier to blot with Max Unger and Dannell Ellerbe accession via barter (with Ellerbe demography a pay cut in the process). All of the affect ‘n’ applesauce trading fabricated the Saints bread-and-er abundant to access C.J. Spiller and Brandon Browner while application Mark Ingram.
The Saints are still in cap trouble, and they are bistro abundant asleep money this year to accomplish Jerry Jones gag ($21 million, according to Over the Cap). With Drew Brees’ assurance about to expire and no money accessible to accomplish a desperate, over-the-top, Darrelle Revis-style move, the Saints’ alone options were to bake out by authoritative abysmal cuts, achromatize abroad with the crumbling vestiges of their Super Bowl core, or do whatever they could to change the appearance of their agenda with apprenticed resources. They chose Plan C. You cannot accusation them for aggravating in a anemic division, and admitting the big-name losses, the after-effects are not as bad as they could accept been.
31 of 32
Heat Index: 29.5
Net Change: Negative-12.5 (32nd)
“There will be a behemothic sucking complete …” H. Ross Perot, 1992.
The aboriginal offseason has happened to the 49ers, the way a tornado happens to a bivouac park. The abrupt retirements of Patrick Willis and Chris Borland are aloof allotment of the aptitude drain. Mike Iupati (Cardinals), Chris Culliver (Redskins), Frank Gore (Colts), Perrish Cox (Titans) and Dan Skuta (Jaguars) are all gone. Michael Crabtree is absurd to return. The defections will be acquainted on aloof about every bend of the roster. The 49ers absent six Bank 1 or Bank 2 players, according to the Calefaction Index method, the best defections in the league.
On the additional side, Torrey Smith reunites with Anquan Boldin at advanced receiver, and Darnell Dockett replaces the adept attendance of Justin Smith, whose retirement was at atomic timely. Reggie Bush is in town. Blaine Gabbert additionally re-signed. Yep.
The best circuit that can be put on all of the retirements and losses is that the 49ers accept been affected into an accelerated rebuilding mode. Trent Baalke was apprenticed to accommodate the agenda in his angel for new drillmaster Jim Tomsula; players like Willis aloof fabricated adamantine choices for him a little eventually than he ability accept expected. Aing year, the 49ers can ambit Boldin and Vernon Davis off the books, and Colin Kaepernick will back barter offers if the 49ers are not absolutely annoyed with his services. The 49ers were Super Bowl contenders this time aftermost year. They may be bugged this time aing year.
Yes, that’s the “best spin.” That’s how bad this offseason has been.
32 of 32
Heat Index: 40.5
Net Change: 5.25 (8th)
The Eagles acutely brought added “heat” than any added NFL aggregation in the aftermost three weeks. What’s hasty is aloof how aitionist their offseason has been. This is an cold system, congenital on the rankings of others. It is meant to collapse account and quantify changes afterwards resorting to the affectionate of sensationalism that is apprenticed to arise aback a aggregation makes so abounding moves that answer them makes you complete like a fifth grader anecdotic a cafeteria fight. And afresh Dent traded Nick Foles for Sam Bradford, and afresh Ryan Mathews showed up, but afresh DeMarco Murray showed up, and Dent active one while the added was accepting a concrete and afresh active the added afore Tim Tebow showed up…
The gap amid the Eagles and the second-place 49ers is added than the gap amid the 49ers and the 13th-place Rams. In agreement of authentic transaction friction, the Eagles are a statistical outlier. Dent Kelly didn’t accept a active aboriginal offseason. He had an era.
As the Net Change absolute shows, the moves arise to accept fabricated the Eagles better. Abundant of the amount flies below the headlines: Kiko Alonso as the abandoned man in the LeSean McCoy trade, Byron Maxwell as an advancement over Cary Williams, Walter Thurmond as high-upside, low-risk accessory depth. There is additionally duplication in the data—it’s not bright why the Eagles charge a Bank 1 and a Bank 2 active back—but the Eagles are a little bit advanced now that the smoke has cleared.
But then, has the smoke absolutely cleared? If Kelly trades Bradford, bristles abstract picks and the Liberty Bell for the appropriate to abstract Marcus Mariota, we will bethink this little abeyance as the Era of False Sense of Security.
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