With the NFL universe on hold, it seems like a decent moment to continue our big-picture look at how each franchise performed during the offseason player-acquisition process. I'm going to go over all 32 teams and rank their work. The rating will be based on how well they addressed needs through free agency and the draft.
I'll also give my thoughts on whether or not each team improved or got worse this year.
Here we go:
Teams that made improvements: Arizona, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Miami, New England, New York Giants, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee
Teams that got worse: Chicago, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Houston, Kansas City
Let's start with some good news for Raiders fans. Oakland has come away from its pre-draft visit with Desir Jones saying he'd like to play for the Raiders. They also had a good workout by former first-round pick Jalen Richard. These are signs that general manager Mike Mayock found a way to improve his team through the draft. Last year's draft was considered one of Mayock's best efforts, so this is no small feat.
The biggest question mark for the Raiders is at wide receiver.
The NFL appears to be OK as it is now, with 32 clubs. However, the league, like any company, is always searching for ways to boost income, and here are ten locations that deserve an NFL expansion club.
Los Angeles would be the obvious choice, but the city has already got one team. The Rams are based in Los Angeles County at the Coliseum in downtown LA. The Chargers also play in LA, but they use the Rose Bowl as their home stadium. San Diego is a pretty popular vacation destination, so we can assume that many people are not interested in watching football there.
Miami was a last-minute addition to the NFL when the Browns moved to Baltimore. The Dolphins replaced them as the only franchise in Miami-Dade County. They played their first two seasons (1966 and 1967) at Joe Louis Arena, now known as the Civic Center. The next year they moved into Sun Life Stadium.
New York is another big market that hasn't gotten an NFL team since the Giants left for San Francisco. There's already a team in New Jersey called the Jets, and they play in New York City at Yankee Stadium. It's believed that the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars wanted to move his team to New York, but he didn't have permission from the league office. Thus, the Jaguars remain in Jacksonville.
We've even seen a trade result in a title a few seasons later. A change frequently appears to energize the organization, providing the blank slate required to shake off the NFL doldrums (at least in recent years). From most recent to oldest, here's a look at all 11 NFL clubs that have migrated over the years.
The Cleveland Browns were an original AFL team (1947), but they moved to Baltimore after just one season. The move was challenged in court, but it was determined that the Browns had violated their television contract with ABC by moving out of town. Thus, the Ravens are now the only remaining franchise product of the old Cleveland Browns organization.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were a new team when they arrived in 1976, but they've since gone back in time - twice! The first time was in 1977, when they moved to New York City and were renamed the Jets. Then again in 1984, when they returned to Tampa and re-branded themselves as the Buccaneers. This makes them the only team to play in two different cities during their first three seasons.
The Oakland Raiders used to be members of the AFL, but they became an NFL team in 1973. In 1977, the Raiders moved to Los Angeles and were renamed the Raiders LA. After three seasons, the team returned to Oakland where they remain today. This is the only current team to have played in another city before its current location.
We need to keep track of who is where as free agents move, trades take place, and the NFL Draft brings in a slew of new faces. Each team's roster page provides some background information on each player. We provide details on their physical characteristics, birthdays, experience, college information, and draft information.
The site also includes links to relevant news articles for many players. For example, an article on Jason Pierre-Paul's contract situation can be found by clicking on his name.
Finally, we want users to understand that making decisions about players is difficult because not all information is available publicly. For example, a coach might decide not to release a player's medical records even though they are required by law to be made available.
User awareness programs such as this one help us understand the needs of students who use our services. We rely on this feedback to develop resources that most benefit students.
The majority of the pre-merger NFL clubs would remain in the NFC, while the AFL teams would remain in the AFC. To balance things out, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Baltimore were assigned to the AFC, while the NFC equalized the competitive power of its East and West divisions rather than grouping clubs geographically. The merged league would feature eight teams from the NFL and eight teams from the AFL.
The NFL had the first pick in the draft, which they used to select American football player Art Donovan from Columbia University. The AFL used the first overall selection to select Texas A&M quarterback Jerry Tubbs. In addition to selecting best players available, head coaches in both leagues also had the ability to select players that were not selected by other teams. This gave them greater control over their rosters and allowed them to make trade-up or -down moves. For example, Phil Villapiano of the Chicago Bears selected Billy Howton with his first selection after becoming the first ever rookie head coach. Howton traded away his first round pick and acquired three others in order to select Purdue halfback Ron Burton. After failing to select any players during the first two rounds, Green Bay's new head coach, Dan Devine, selected Georgia center Jim L. Mora with the third overall selection of the 1964 draft.
In the AFL, Houston drafted UCLA linebacker Carl Eller with the first overall selection. He was followed by Boston's Jack Concannon with number two overall selection.