Enjoying the break from football this offseason?
Yeah, me neither. Apparently the entire NFL felt the same way, as the free agency market was squeezed quicker than pool jokes about the Jacksonville Jaguars. I was going to play Monday Morning General Manager and tell every team the moves that they should make this offseason, but no, they had to go ahead without my faux-expert insight.
Don’t worry, though. Asinine Analysis will not be quieted by mere news, and is back to dissect the good moves, bad moves and hopeful moves for each and every team this offseason, leading into the 2015 NFL Draft.
Our first targets: the teams of the AFC East.
The Good: How do you make a good defense better and your team that is inches away from being considered a Canadian team more interesting? You make your head coach Rex Ryan.
In only three months, Rex has created another quarterback controversy with a different team, reignited his personal feud with the New England Patriots, re-colored the tattoo he has of his wife, all but told his brother to get a haircut and go on a diet and organized a solid offense that can live or die with its quarterback.
So really, all Rex did was change the color of his hat and sweater while constructing the New York Jets 2.0. That’s not entirely a bad thing.
The Bad: The Bills really got kicked in the teeth when they traded away linebacker Kiko Alosno. Not just in regards to their defense, either. Bills fans really latched onto Kiko, making giant signs featuring his head, designing t-shirt lines portraying “The Legend of Kiko,” and singing songs of his epic adventures while eating buffalo wings and beef on weck. Now they have “Shady” McCoy, who looks primed to become the next, under-performing C.J. Spiller. At least Fred Jackson hasn’t retired yet.
The Hopeful: All the “hopeful” that the Bills could get went into drafting wide receiver Sammy Watkins last year after trading up with the Cleveland Browns. So far so good, but now the Bills don’t have a first round draft pick to be hopeful. The best that they can do is hope that a decent offensive lineman drops down to the middle of round two, and Rex doesn’t have enough pull about the draft selection that they pick up a defensive back.
The Good: The biggest name to hit the open market was the Detroit Lions’ former defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. You may remember Suh from such plays as “stomp the lineman on the arm” or “try to accidentally crush Aaron Rodgers’s leg.”
But behind that soft, loveable, fine-inducing demeanor is the sort of defensive force that the Miami Dolphins have been lacking since Jason Taylor, both in talent and swagger.
The Bad: If you thought Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was going to get a decent safety-valve at tight end this season, you are going to be extremely disappointed. After opening up their checkbook for Suh, the Dolphins didn’t have enough left over for one of Julius Thomas’s arms, let alone his whole body.
So the Miami Dolphins did what any budgeted team would do this season: picked up Jordan Cameron’s medical insurance and hope for the best.
The Hopeful: The Dolphins picked up Kenny Stills to beef up their receiving corps, but they don’t have much for Tannehill to throw it up to when in the end zone. Arizona State’s wide receiver Jaelen Strong could be that guy. Strong may be a little slower than last year’s breakout wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr, but he can go get the rock when Tannehill throws one of his slow, lifeless lobs into the end zone.
New England Patriots
The Good: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick won another Super Bowl and didn’t hang up their jersey and sleeveless hoodie, so everything else about the future of the New England Patriots is par for the course.
Who cares if the team doesn’t have a #1 receiver, changes running backs more frequently than I change my shoes, and has a defense that feeds on the AFC East’s inept offenses? With the Brady-Belichick bromance, a Super Bowl is always possible. Like last year.
The Bad: Like the teams before them, the New England Patriots felt the sting of Darrelle Revis, mercenary of the gridiron. Even worse, Revis went back to the New York Jets, the team which he had previously helped turn into a formidable foe and not just a scrimmage-level opponent on the schedule.
The Hopeful: The Pats are at the back of the draft pack, but that’s where they usually start out. In a few weeks, they’ll wheel and deal and end up with about five second-round picks this year, which they will use to plug up their defense and possibly grab an even shorter wide receiver than Julian Edelman or Danny Amendola.
New York Jets
The Good: I had the most peculiar dream five years ago about the New York Jets. You (Darrelle Revis) were there. And you (Antonio Cromartie) were there. The Jets were in the playoffs. They even made it to the AFC Conference Championship game! Twice!
Now the band is back together in the secondary, older, wiser, a little more broken, but still better than what the Jets had. Add to that a new general manager in Mike Maccagnan, a new defensive-minded head coach in Todd Bowles, a new headcase wide receiver in Brandon Marshall and a beard to go with Nick Mangold’s in Ryan Fitzpatrick, and you have the makings of a… well, some sort of football team.
The Bad: Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith are competing for the quarterback position. It’s so painful that Jets fans will latch onto whatever zany rumor that comes along about Philip Rivers making his way to New York.
For instance, I am ready and waiting to rename Friday as “Phriday” if that ever happens. Which it won’t.
The Hopeful: The general hope is that the #6 pick of the NFL draft will be enough to get Marcus Mariota. That way, the Jets can A) trade the pick for an aging quarterback that they can slide in behind center, B) pick up Mariota and try to develop a franchise quarterback for the third time in a row or C) draft another defensive back in memory of Rex Ryan. Hey, it could happen.
Patrick Emmel is a sports humorist who once punted a soccer ball fifty yards to his teammate, who then scored the only goal for his college intramural soccer team’s season. Seriously, that kick was placed PERFECTLY. He is also still a believer that Colt McCoy is going to break out as an NFL quarterback. You can read more of his obnoxious commentary at This Jeer In Sports and heckle him on Twitter @Patrick_AE.