The Biggest Mistake Each NFL Team Made In The Past Year
Money floating around, players traveling from coast to coast, and fans with mixed emotions are what go on during the NFL offseason. During the offseason, there is so much action between players departing their teams and signing to new ones, college kids being drafted to the NFL, and retirements. The offseason many times may be more exciting than the playoffs, which we saw that this past offseason compared to the 2016 playoffs.
These moves that are made in the offseason are made to help benefit the future of the team, to help them get to the Super Bowl. Scouts and coaches spend hours and days trying to find out which players are needed to help their team succeed and which players don’t affect their success. Unfortunately, these people don’t always make the best decisions.
Many times, we see players go to other teams and succeed, or big signings that become busts. Other times we see teams unable to address problems they have throughout the offseason. Sometimes fans even question why a team made a move that they do. No one is perfect, and these NFL teams definitely aren’t. Mistakes are made, and fans will weep about those mistakes. Some teams correct those mistakes, where others completely disregard them. Mistakes are a part of life, but for many NFL teams, their mistakes have prevented them from making it to the playoffs. Any decision or blunder made dating back to the beginning of the 2016 calendar year is eligible for this list.
Here are The Biggest Mistakes Each NFL Team Has Made In The Past Year:
32. ARIZONA CARDINALS: NOT DRAFTING CARSON PALMER’S REPLACEMENT
Either the Cardinals are expecting Carson Palmer to play until he’s 45, or they’re expecting Blaine Gabbert to takeover and become the savior of the organization. But even in his best year being 2015, Gabbert only threw for 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Gabbert doesn’t seem to be the long-term solution for the Cardinals, and with Palmer at 37 years old, it’s shocking that the Cardinals didn’t trade up in the 2017 NFL Draft to pick up a young quarterback.
As many teams that are in playoff contention look to build a team to “win now,” teams also need to prepare for the afterlife of these older players. The Cardinals have both Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald going into their last few years, so this team may want to look for their future quarterback as soon as possible. But with so many options at the quarterback position this offseason, it seems that this organization isn’t too worried about the future as others are.
31. ATLANTA FALCONS – POOR COACHING DECISIONS IN SUPER BOWL
Many teams sadly have to make improvements to make the Super Bowl, this team just couldn’t keep a lead in a Super Bowl game. Heading towards the final two minutes of the 3rd quarter in Super Bowl XLI, the Atlanta Falcons were leading Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. With fans turning their televisions off and carrying on with the night, the Patriots refused to give up, and the Falcons failed to hold their ground.
Slowly, but surely, the Patriots kept on battling and making the stops necessary to stay in the game. Somehow, someway, the Patriots had the ball with a little more than two minutes left in the game, down eight points. The Patriots took the ball down the field, scored, and got the two-point conversion. The game then went to overtime, where James White scored the game winning touchdown to defeat the Falcons.
Had the Falcons ran the ball at the end of the game and stayed within field goal range, Brady would have his third Super Bowl loss, and Matt Ryan would become a superstar. However, the poor coaching decisions at the end of the game, as well as the inability to secure the win, and give the Atlanta Falcons their first ever Super Bowl victory.
30. BALTIMORE RAVENS – FAILURE TO FIND EDGE RUSHER
With one of the best offenses in the league playing against them year after year for the AFC North, a team a year out of playing in a playoff game, and one of the top upcoming teams in the league, the Ravens need to find their replacement for Terrell Suggs. Suggs still at age 34 is dominating the AFC North, finishing the 2016 season with eight sacks. But this team needs to replace Suggs, just like they needed to find a way to replace Ray Lewis. The Ravens did draft Tyus Bowser, but fans may be unsure if he can provide the same contribution that Suggs has throughout his career. The Ravens have been known for that war type defense that fights till the whistle blows, and they need to make sure they bring in the right guys to continue to do the job right.
29. BUFFALO BILLS – DIDN’T UPGRADE WIDE RECEIVER POSITION
A question lingering throughout the AFC East is, how do you possibly gain control of the AFC East and surpass the super-villains, the New England Patriots. The Miami Dolphins just scratched the surface of the playoffs last year, finishing the season as the 4th seed. But there’s another team who could be a serious threat as well, the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills have been scrutinized that Tyrod Taylor cannot help this team become a playoff team, but even with a poor wide receiver group that ranked 31st in the NFL last season. Taylor has the ability to help this team fight against the Patriots, but he’s going to need some help from his receiver core. This team already has the best run game in the NFL, all they need is a complement to Sammy Watkins and this team could be dangerous. The Bills failed to sign a player to help Taylor, and with Watkins trying to come back from a foot injury, the team makes it even harder on the young quarterback.
28. CAROLINA PANTHERS – UNABLE TO FULLY PROTECT CAM NEWTON
Cam Newton used to be on top of the world, and now, he has defenders on top of him as he takes hit after hit. It seemed in 2015 that Newton was constantly running around torching defenses, where in 2016, he was running for the fear of constant sacks. What’s even worse is that the Panthers didn’t do much to help Newton.
With injuries diminishing the Panthers offensive line, they didn’t do much to help bring in backup plans for the 2017 season. When injuries occur, you can never be certain that players will go back to their original form. This team was beat by injuries, and who knows if they’ll be able to come back. With a quarterback that likes to both throw the ball and run, this team needs to make sure Newton is protected, or else his career will end soon today. The Panthers did not do enough to their offensive line to help bring them back to their 2015 form.
27. CHICAGO BEARS – TRADED UP FOR MITCHELL TRUBISKY
We still don’t understand the offseason for the Chicago Bears, and fans may never know. Even after the Bears signed Mike Glennon to a three-year $45 million deal, they traded up in the 2017 NFL Draft to pick up Mitchell Trubisky.
Fans just want to know, why? What is the point of signing an expensive deal with Glennon, to trade draft picks to get Trubisky? The Bears traded their 2017 third and fourth-round pick, as well as a 2018 fourth-round pick, to move up one spot in this year’s draft. Many mock drafts didn’t even anticipate the 49ers to select Trubisky, so even if the Bears really wanted Trubisky, they had a good shot of just grabbing him at the 3rd overall pick.
On top of all this, Trubisky only has one year of experience and he’s going to be learning behind a quarterback who only has two true years of experience. It seemed that the Bears were sold on Glennon, but then traded away everything for Trubisky.
26. CINCINNATI BENGALS – NOT TRADING A.J. MCCARRON
With many quarterbacks aging, and teams looking to find the identity to their organization, A.J. McCarron is an easy catch for teams to go after. The Bengals already have Andy Dalton who seems to be the sure starter for the future, so McCarron isn’t fully needed in Cincinnati. The Bengals just a year out of their playoff season, could easily find a trade partner that departs McCarron and brings in some new players at positions they need filled. The Bengals may want to wait for more teams to offer more, but that could also hurt McCarron’s stock.
Teams may feel that two years after McCarron shined, he may be rusty with sitting on the sidelines for so long. With him being a restricted free agent in 2018, who even knows what the restrictions may be. With the Bengals looking to win now, the best possible situation with McCarron is to trade him before he leaves on his own terms.