With the NFL Preseason looming just one week from today, teams still find themselves unable to put all their assets on the field as signings have yet to be fully completed, and some trades and personnel moves have yet to wrap up across the league.
It’s been an exciting and enjoyable offseason this year (so long as you don’t reside in an NFL team’s front office) being as though the lockout has forced teams into an all-out scramble to sign players and acquire new talent before the preseason begins in a matter of weeks. For many of us sports fans the onslaught of trades, player cuts and new deals happening daily has led to an overwhelming bevy of information being produced from each team in the league on a daily basis, with some teams signing and releasing as many as 20 players in a given day during the past two weeks.
Thus, we’ll take a little time to evaluate some of the recent moves over the next few days, now that most of the leagues’ rosters have been all but solidified, and look for who came out best in the trade market, and which teams will likely be contenders ahead of the 2011-12 NFL campaign. For today, let’s take a look at two teams with the best trade outcomes, and the highest probability for success this season.
Offseason Trade Winners: The Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia went nuts in the offseason. Building on their powerful offense led by Michael Vick, the Eagles went towards securing some of the finest names in the defensive business in order to shore up what was last season at times a sieve of a secondary. Locking in perhaps the best cornerback in the league in Nnamdi Asomugha to a five-year deal, as well as trading back-up QB Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for one of their best assets, cornerback Dominique Rogers-Cromartie. Add in the addition of defensive end Jason Babin who signed into a five-year contract, defensive linemen Cullen Jenkins who signed for five years as well, and the addition yesterday of defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove (to fill in for the loss of Mike Patterson, out due to brain condition) and the Eagles have dramatically improved their defensive unit heading into the new season. The only question that remains now of course is, can the Eagles put all these talented names together with only a week before preseason starts, and a month before the regular season commences? While time may quickly tell on that matter, it’s no doubt that the Eagles have built up well for the long haul, and will be an exciting team to watch on both sides of the ball once the pieces fit together.
A Team to Pay Attention To:
New England Patriots – signing Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco.
Perhaps two of the bigger question marks during the offseason, these two veteran presences could spell either a disaster or another genius move by Bill Belichick. I vote for the latter, knowing the way Belichick commands the respect of his players, and knowing the drive these two players will likely have playing for a title contender. As of right now, Bodog Sportsbook has the Pats as a 13-2 favorite (slightly better than the 7-1 odds on the champion Green Bay Packers), and it could have very much to do with these two additions, provided they pay off as many in the New England area are hoping.