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2021 Offseason Personnel Moves Tournament – AFC East

Date:
July 6, 2021 12:31 PM
July 6, 2021 12:33 PM

2021 Offseason Personnel Moves Tournament – AFC East

 

(Same intro everyday) We’re going to have a daily series (11 days) taking a look at the offseason moves for all the NFL teams – looking at the key adds and losses in personnel this offseason 2021 (whether free agent, draft, or trade).

I like to list out the key adds next to the key losses and just look at the lists for each team and see what their thinking was and if all the maneuvering made them better…or worse…or A LOT better…or A LOT worse – to help me digest the offseason impact to Fantasy performance and to over/under win total handicapping. So, we’re doing that with this series and having some fun with our research…pitting the teams in a tournament style format and evaluating who had the better offseason moves…with the winner advancing on until we have just one winning team of ‘best offseason’.

This season, we're looking at free agency and trades PLUS key draft picks (according to CFM/us)…and it’s not just me (RC) making the call on ‘who wins’ – a three person committee will vote (and provide commentary to their vote) and the majority vote winner moves on. RC + FFM analyst Ross Jacobs + The Computer (an RC program designed to try to evaluate the moves by talent and positional importance, etc.) – I (RC) pick my winner before I see what The Computer thinks, for fairness. RC and Ross make their choices without knowing what the other picked as well.

We’ll look at a division a day and declare a divisional winner, then the AFC and NFC finals and then a Final 2/Super Bowl to declare an overall offseason 2021 winner.

Here we go…

 

Buffalo vs. NY Jets:

 

BUFFALO BILLS

Key Personnel Adds: DE Gregory Rousseau (draft), QB Mitch Trubisky (FA), WR Emmanuel Sanders (FA), LB Tyrell Adams (FA), RB Matt Breida (FA), OT Spencer Brown (draft), OT Tommy Doyle (draft)

Key Personnel Losses: WR John Brown (FA), WR Andre Roberts (FA)

 

NEW YORK JETS

Key Personnel Adds: DL Carl Lawson (FA), QB Zach Wilson (draft), WR Corey Davis (FA), WR Keelan Cole (FA), DT Sheldon Rankins (FA), RB Tevin Coleman (FA), OG Elijah Vera-Tucker (draft), WR Elijah Moore (Draft), RB Michael Carter (draft), CB Jason Pinnock (draft)

Key Personnel Losses: QB Sam Darnold (trade…I would call this ‘key’, but…), OG Pat Elflein (FA), DL Henry Anderson (FA)

 

Commentary/voting…

RC: What’s striking to me about the Buffalo Bills offseason is – they didn’t lose any key players. They are keeping their people and keeping continuity. Huge upgrade at backup QB. A couple of useful hands out of the draft. A positive offseason for the Bills.

However, the Jets are in this tournament to potentially go all the way. Just ridding themselves of Sam Darnold is one of the best moves of the offseason…but then adding the best QB in the 2021 NFL Draft in his place was a win-win maneuver. Arguably, the best draft in the NFL in 2021 and adding Carl Lawson and Keelan Cole are nice upgrades, and the Cole move shows the GM is smart…this whole offseason shows he is smart (or lucky).

WINNER = NYJ

 

ROSS: This was a successful off-season for the Bills. Once you build up a power team it's easy to get complacent or just run out of resources to keep the core together, but the Bills not only managed to keep it together, they actually improved in some facets.

However, the Jets are the easy pick here. It's hard not to improve when you're as bad as they were last year. Henry Anderson is their only real loss, and they added lots of solid players at other positions. The biggest change of course is the addition of Zach Wilson along with Vera-Tucker. The easiest way to start winning games is to grab an above average QB and give him a good offensive line. The Jets did exactly that and are therefore easy favorites to win this entire tournament. Winner = Jets

 

THE COMPUTER: Winner = NYJ 77%/23%

 

The Jets advance (3-0) to the AFC East Finals

 

==================================

 

Miami vs. New England…

 

MIAMI DOLPHINS

Key Personnel Adds: DE Jaelan Phillips (Draft), WR Jaylen Waddle (draft), SAF Javon Holland (draft), OG Liam Eichenberg (draft), WR Will Fuller (FA), QB Jacoby Brissett (FA), DT Adam Butler (FA), LB Benardrick McKinney (traded for)

Key Personnel Losses: Ereck Flowers (traded away), OLB Shaq Lawson (traded), OLB Kyle Van Noy (released), DT Davon Godchaux (FA), QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (FA), Ted Karras (FA)

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Key Personnel Adds: OLB Matt Judon (FA), TE Jonnu Smith (FA), TE Hunter Henry (FA), DB Jalen Mills (FA), WR Nelson Agholor (FA), DT Davon Godchaux (FA), WR Kendrick Bourne (FA), OLB Kyle Van Noy (FA), RB Rhamondre Stevenson (draft), DE Ronnie Perkins (draft), DT Christian Barmore (draft), QB Mac Jones (draft), Henry Anderson (FA), Trent Brown (traded for), Ted Karras (FA)

Key Personnel Losses: OG Joe Thuney (FA), DT Adam Butler (FA), WR Julian Edelman (released), OT Marcus Cannon (traded)

 

Commentary/voting…

 

RC: Miami let their best QB go…that’s already trouble for your offseason – getting worse at QB is damning. Outside of that, a bunch of names sloshed around that didn’t make Miami any better or worse outside of QB. They did add a couple WRs, which is low NFL impact…but even worse/more useless when you get worse at QB.

I do not understand this offseason, and I do not understand what Miami has done with 2-3 years of tanking/hoarding draft picks – and yet they are going ‘backwards’ as a team and key players don’t seem to want to play there. Who wouldn’t want to play in Miami? Yet, key players have been wanting out before and after the Brian Flores era.

This is all going to end badly for Miami…the Tua flop is going to cost many people their jobs.

The Patriots are obviously going to ‘win’ this matchup of the offseason by the sheer volume of adds. But looking at the names – I have believed all along that they reached and/or overpaid for marginal talents throughout the free agent period. If I were the KC Chiefs, and you offered me every single player the Pats signed in free agency 2021 for Joe Thuney (who KC grabbed from NE in free agency), I would reject it – and that tells you all you need to know about all the players Belichick got in free agency. Give me Thuney and with the remaining money/salary cap, compared to all of NE’s wild overspends, I could’ve done much better filling WRs and TEs and defensive bodies.

The NE Draft is where the hope is – hope that Mac Jones is a legit NFL starter, a Brady-a-like. And hope that Christian Barmore is a Pro Bowl DT someday (I think he can be).

WINNER = New England, but it was an expensive, desperate reach of a win. The Belichick coaching and GM tree is falling apart…and now his own tree has an infestation problem.

 

ROSS: I don't understand what Miami is doing. They added lots of interesting pieces to their team last year and the improvement showed. This year they just spun their tires. For every decent player they added they lost another at the same position that was arguably as good/better than the one they added. Except for one position. Turning this team over from Fitzpatrick to Tua is monumentally stupid and is going to drag this team down for years. They lose this matchup almost by default for that move alone.

RC can bash New England's off-season all he wants; they improved. They added solid talent to the defense in Judon, Van Noy, Godchaux, Mills, Perkins, Barmore, and Anderson. They added solid talent to the offense in Brown, Karras, Jonnu, Henry, Agholor, Bourne, Stevenson, and Jones. How is that not a net improvement over where they were last year even if you think overall the players were relatively mediocre? The Patriots didn't even have mediocre last year especially at the offensive skill positions! And, of course, we haven't even mentioned they are getting Dont'a Hightower back from his year off. Just the sheer number of players added that will start for this team is impressive. New England's star may be fading in the long run, but at least for 2021 they appear to be back in the mix based on this haul.

Winner = NE

 

THE COMPUTER: Winner = 69%/31% NE

 

The Patriots advance (3-0) to the AFC Finals.

 

**************************

 

***The 2021 FFM Draft Guide Package is now available – see the FFM homepage for more information, including Combo deals with the In-Season Package and Dynasty Stash reporting.

2021 College Football Metrics subscriptions are still available – all the NFL Draft/rookie prospect scouting reports, Dynasty Rookie Draft (weekly top 350) coverage and analysis PLUS our annual Devy scouting report/rankings summer series begins in July.***

 

*************************

 

AFC EAST FINALS

 

NY Jets vs. New England…

 

NEW YORK JETS

Key Personnel Adds: DL Carl Lawson (FA), QB Zach Wilson (draft), WR Corey Davis (FA), WR Keelan Cole (FA), DT Sheldon Rankins (FA), RB Tevin Coleman (FA), OG Elijah Vera-Tucker (draft), WR Elijah Moore (Draft), RB Michael Carter (draft), CB Jason Pinnock (draft)

Key Personnel Losses: QB Sam Darnold (trade…I would call this ‘key’, but…), OG Pat Elflein (FA), DL Henry Anderson (FA)

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Key Personnel Adds: OLB Matt Judon (FA), TE Jonnu Smith (FA), TE Hunter Henry (FA), DB Jalen Mills (FA), WR Nelson Agholor (FA), DT Davon Godchaux (FA), WR Kendrick Bourne (FA), OLB Kyle Van Noy (FA), RB Rhamondre Stevenson (draft), DE Ronnie Perkins (draft), DT Christian Barmore (draft), QB Mac Jones (draft), Henry Anderson (FA), Trent Brown (traded for), Ted Karras (FA)

Key Personnel Losses: OG Joe Thuney (FA), DT Adam Butler (FA), WR Julian Edelman (released), OT Marcus Cannon (traded)

 

RC: Zach Wilson is better than Mac Jones…at the most key position, the Jets had a huge upgrade and the Pats a nice/good one maybe but not as good as the Zach Wilson bump.

You could say Lawson v. Judon cancels out.

I’ll take Keelan Cole/Corey Davis/Elijah Moore over Nelson Agholor/Kendrick Bourne.

I’ll take Carter over Stevenson at RB.

Trent Brown vs. Vera-Tucker may end up a wash, or close…and then NE losing Thuney is a massive hit looking at the O-Line moves.

Christian Barmore is a big win for NE, and they overspent on two decent TEs which doesn’t trip my trigger. Barmore and Jonnu does not make up for the loss of Thuney.

Basically, what I’m saying is…WINNER = Jets

 

ROSS: I think RC and I might disagree here, but I can honestly see the argument either way. New York did a fantastic job grabbing the best QB in the draft and giving him another good lineman to protect him. They also drafted a possible sneaky good receiver and a nice RB. Outside of that though I don't love their free agent grabs. It was an ok haul I guess, but did they really improve all that much with Davis, Cole, Rankins, and Coleman?

The Patriots meanwhile look like they got upgrades at literally every position. Again, no matter what you think of the overall quality of their free agents they are still significant improvements over what they fielded last year. Two solid TE's, two solid receivers, two solid pass rushers, two very good DT's, a solid LB, a very good tackle, a good guard/center, and a solid at worst, possibly very good QB. They did lose a great guard, but guards aren't that hard to replace. How does that group not win this just on sheer volume? I love Zach Wilson as much as anyone, but he isn't beating the Patriots alone. My vote is with the Patriots. WINNER = Patriots

 

THE COMPUTER: Winner = NYJ 70%/30%

 

The Jets advance to the AFC Final Four (2-1).

 


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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>