The annual offseason ritual of free agents and trades has taken it’s toll on some of the NFL tickets we’ve come to expect t produce big wins. That ritual seems to have hit hard this season as some teams make some surprising moves, either to bolster their rosters or let loose some big names.
Pity the Baltimore Ravens. It took one Super Bowl win to completely tear apart a defense that has dominated the NFL for the last decade. Ray Lewis is gone into retirement, Ed Reed will be suiting up for the Houston Texans, the linebacker corp is decimated. Where will the Ravens find players to rebuild this thing? Some blame the Joe Flaco contract but I think this is just Super Bowl-itis to the extreme.
Then there’s the whole Wes Welker deal. Is there any sense to letting this player go? Well, the Patriots are pretty well set with short pass catchers right now with two good tight ends. Welker is very good but he’s not stretching the field. So, something had to give.
Brian Urlacher is leaving the Bears and doesn’t seem too happy about it. Let’s face it, Urlacher has been around for over a decade and he’s been pretty consistently injured for the last couple of seasons. If healthy, Brian Urlacher still has something to give. Hopefully that’s the case and some savvy NFL team will get themselves and excellent leader and pretty good linebacker for a year or two. Or somebody will spend money on an injured NFL legend.
The other side is that I’m seeing some teams making themselves dangerous through key pickups. Keep an eye on the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, who filled some weak spots or improved in key areas. Likewise, the new regime in Kansas City looks to have made some needed improvements although it will be some time before we can judge accurately.