The NFL offseason is a time for teams to regroup and assess everything that went right and wrong about the past season. They make tweaks and often overhaul player personnel in an attempt to increase their chances of improving in the next year. For some teams, these changes lead to varied results, but for a select few they lead to an opportunity to make it to the Super Bowl.
The two teams that get to the biggest game of the year usually make that happen in the offseason. Whether it's by way of the NFL Draft or the free agency period, some teams have management that's willing to make the right, albeit risky, moves in order to guarantee a shot at playing in Atlanta in February.
So the question remains: Which teams had the best offseason? Let's have a look!
It proves difficult to not improve after pulling off the second-ever 0-16 season in NFL history. But the Browns future looks bright after a series of moves that brought in veteran talent to supplement a culture-changing youth movement. Cleveland made the first big splash of the offseason by trading for quarterback Tyrod Taylor from the Buffalo Bills -- a move that added a stable passer to their roster for the first time in years. Taylor is a competent passer who makes limited mistakes, but still isn't going to light any opposing defenses up consistently. But while Taylor is under center, he'll also be playing the role of mentor to first overall pick Baker Mayfield. The Browns invested their future in Mayfield and seem to be putting the right pieces around him to aid his development in the long run. As far as options for Taylor and Mayfield, the Browns traded for pass catcher Jarvis Landry from the Dolphins, who should fit nicely into their slot receiver role.
Cleveland also had the fourth overall pick in the NFL Draft, adding Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward to their secondary. Factor in the addition of cornerbacks E.J. Gaines and T.J. Carrie and the Browns are forming a formidable unit in the last layer of their defense.
New York Giants
After a disappointing 2017-18 campaign, the New York Giants made some big moves towards their future this offseason. The paramount moves weren't even bringing in certain players, though, but were rather the hiring of Dave Gettleman as general manager and Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as head coach. These two coming into the franchise adds a stability and structure that has been absent from the Giants since Tom Coughlin stepped down as head coach in 2016. Long-time quarterback Eli Manning looked like he was on his way out of New York, but the new leadership decided to rebuild around the franchise quarterback rather than move on from him. New York invested heavily in their offensive line, spending $62 million over four years to capture the signature of left tackle Nate Solder.
The Giants also added the most physically gifted player in the NFL Draft in Saquon Barkley. They selected the running back from Penn State with the second overall pick and are expecting Barkley to be a cog in their offense for many years down the line.
And while it wasn't exactly a transaction, the Giants management can consider it a success that they held on to superstar receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham was openly upset about his contract situation with the team, but is still planning to attend training camp and won't appear to holdout during the offseason -- a win for New York.
Sometimes things can be put really simply. When you are a team coming off of a 13-3 season and you add a franchise quarterback to your roster, you're in a good spot. The Vikings signed Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million contract this offseason in hopes that he will be the catalyst to getting them to the Super Bowl this year. Cousins is following up three straight seasons of over 4,000 yards passing and was this offseason's hottest free agent.
The Vikings also bolstered their defensive line with the addition of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. The 295-pound defensive goliath made his name as the anchor of the New York Jets defensive line before being traded to the Seattle Seahawks on the final year of his contract last season.
Los Angeles Rams
Stars are attracted to Los Angeles and the Rams proved that this offseason. Through a couple of savvy moves, the Rams have put together one of the most frightening defensive units in recent history. LA acquired cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib to their secondary and brought in defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to team up with superstar Aaron Donald in the trenches. Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips should be like a kid in a sandbox with all of the defensive toys he has to play with this upcoming season. And while he's playing, the rest of the NFL will be shaking in their cleats at the thought of having to face this elite defense.
Secure Your Spot at Super Bowl LIII
These offseason moves don't guarantee any of these teams a trip to Super Bowl LIII, but you can secure your spot today! Regardless of who the two teams are that make it to the final game, it promises to be a piece of history and you can experience it as a VIP! 2019 Super Bowl Ticket Packages are on sale now for a premium fan experience that cannot be matched anywhere else. Enjoy VIP hospitality access, hotel accommodations, transportation and more!
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