The end of the Super Bowl marks the end of one season for fans, and the beginning of a new season for players, agents and owners.
The NFL offseason is a time for teams that were on the verge of playoffs to make those key changes and a time for struggling teams to turn their franchise around.
It all started the Monday after the NFL regular season ended when the offseason began for many teams, better known as Black Monday. Seven NFL head coaches were fired. That is more than the amount of head coaches fired on Monday after the regular season in the last three seasons combined. To make it even worse, five general managers joined those coaches on the unemployment line.
The Ravens won the Lombardi trophy on Feb. 3. It didn’t take long for NFL teams to begin going through their respective rosters to see what changes needed to be made.
It started right away with the Detroit Lions cutting one of their young wide receivers, Titus Young. Young was a second-round pick of the Lions in 2011 with high hopes of becoming that speed receiver to compliment Calvin Johnson on the other side. Young was not out of a job very long, as the St. Louis Rams claimed him off waivers. The transactions did not stop there for the Lions. They proceeded to cut starting defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and starting right guard Stephen Peterman.
Other teams like the Cleveland Browns and the Buffalo Bills have not wasted time in hiring new head coaches, and then analyzing their rosters. The Browns cut starting defensive end Frostee Rucker after just one season with the team. Rucker was the Browns top free agent signing last season, and hoped to improve a weak defensive line. The Bills have cut two veterans on their defense in linebacker Nick Barnett and safety George Wilson. The Bills are looking to get younger and faster on defense with guys who can stop the run, and Barnett and Wilson were not in their plans.
The previous Super Bowl winner, New York Giants, have not been quiet about their activity this offseason. The Giants have cut a list of players, starting with notable running back Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw had been a key player for the Giants the last couple seasons in helping them win a championship, but after injuries and the rise of David Wilson, the Giants no longer saw a future with Bradshaw.
The Giants have also cut veteran defensive players Michael Boley and Chris Canty. Both of these guys were a huge help to the Giants, but after missing the playoffs, something was bound to change on defense.
The biggest offseason news came Monday morning when the Philadelphia Eagles announced they were going to re-sign quarterback Michael Vick to a one-year contract that could be worth close to $10 million dollars. Vick was plagued with injuries last season and was not able to lead the Eagles for much of the season.
The Eagles let down a lot of people this past season after they were thought to make the playoffs and even be a contender for the Super Bowl. Jeffrey Lurie wasted no time in firing head coach Andy Reid and then hiring Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. Kelly was the hot coach this offseason, and the Eagles were able to bring him in after he told Oregon that he would return for another season. The offense Kelly likes to run is a run first, pass second offense, and with Vick running it, the new-look Eagles could be dangerous.
There is no one Kelly would rather have running his high-powered offense at quarterback than Vick. Vick is the perfect fit for Kelly; the only question will be if he can stay healthy. Vick is very grateful for this chance to play under Kelly, as it looks like it could be his very last.
The offseason is just beginning in the NFL and will only continue to get better as the NFL draft comes in April and then free agents begin to sign.
The offseason is a stressful time for all those involved, and this year looks to be no different as notable free agents Joe Flacco, Ryan Clady, Dwayne Bowe, Greg Jennings, Mike Wallace and many others look to either re-sign or take their talents elsewhere.