The 2021 NFL offseason has been a whirlwind of big trades, disgruntled star players, draft picks, and Covid-19 vaccine and protocol controversies. Between Julio Jones' impromptu appearance on Undisputed and Aaron Rodgers' sticky situation in Green Bay, the offseason has been monumental, to say the least.
Amid the constant drama, some franchises carved out some time to strengthen their rosters, while others are still grappling with off-field issues. Going by the dry ink on the contracts so far, here's a look at which teams have improved their rosters, and which teams still have work to do.
Which NFL teams are winning this offseason so far?
There was only one answer to this question once the Atlanta Falcons bit the bullet.
The Titans made the winners list by simply acquiring one of the best wide receivers in the league, Julio Jones, this offseason. They didn't have to give up too much to get the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver either, and while he has a hefty salary this year, this is a top, top move.
Restructuring quarterback Ryan Tannehill's contract was an easy sell after he was given another lethal weapon in Jones. The Titans also signed veteran linebacker Bud Dupree and cornerback Janoris Jenkins to help shore up a leaky defense.
If one of these veterans works out, Tennessee could be heading to the Super Bowl in 2022.
Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes couldn’t have asked the Chiefs front office for much more this offseason. After the Super Bowl debacle, Kansas City went out during free agency and signed two big-time offensive linemen to help protect their star QB, Patrick Mahomes.
They signed two-time Super Bowl-winning guard Joe Thuney and traded for former Baltimore Ravens tackle Orlando Brown Jr. These two offseason moves should help Patrick Mahomes lead the Chiefs to another playoff run in 2021.
Jags fans finally have something to be hopeful for after the team drafted quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the number one overall pick in this year’s NFL draft. Lawrence has been hailed as the greatest quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck.
Jacksonville also drafted his Clemson teammate, running back Travis Etienne, giving the Jags another weapon on offense. These are exciting times in Jacksonville, and no one's being sarcastic this time.
The offseason losers so far
No matter which way you cut it, some teams have simply missed the mark so far this offseason. Whether it's dealing with unhappy star players pushing their weight around or questionable recruitment, these teams clearly have a lot of work to do before kickoff.
Green Bay Packers
After making back-to-back NFC Championship games, the Green Bay Packers looked set for another successful NFL season in 2021. That all changed on day one of the NFL draft when news broke that star quarterback and reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers wanted to be traded.
This story has dominated the NFL news cycle all offseason and continues to be a massive distraction for the franchise.
Second-year QB Jordan Love is currently taking first-team snaps at OTAs and Rodgers has still not returned to Green Bay. For their part, the Packers have stood firm on their stance that they will not trade Aaron Rodgers.
Until this situation is resolved, though, Green Bay will be in a state of flux. Not a good look for an NFL franchise with lofty aspirations.
The Houston Texans franchise is probably in the worst position of any current NFL team. Star quarterback Deshaun Watson requested a trade immediately after last season ended and is now involved in a sexual assault lawsuit.
It looks highly unlikely that Watson will play for Houston this season and the QB may have already played his last game in a Texans uniform. The ongoing Watson drama has not helped the new GM and head coach as the pair look to rebuild the franchise.
Las Vegas Raiders
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr could be scrambling for his life this NFL season. The Raiders front office essentially took a hammer to the walls of the offensive line, trading away three of its starting offensive linemen, meaning Derek Carr will be protected by a young and inexperienced group in 2021.
Adding to Carr’s issues is the fact that Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson have been linked to the Raiders this offseason. The longtime starting QB even went as far as to declare that he would rather retire than play for another NFL team.