Season wrap: What went incorrect, what’s subsequent for non-playoff groups

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The NFL common season got here to a detailed on Sunday. What’s subsequent for the groups that did not make the playoffs? NFL Nation digs in.

AFC EAST | AFC NORTH | AFC SOUTH | AFC WEST


NFC EAST | NFC NORTH | NFC SOUTH | NFC WEST

AFC EAST

What went incorrect: The Dolphins’ season was doomed from the beginning by way of competing for a playoff spot. Miami had arguably the NFL’s least proficient roster due to an offseason filled with transport away veterans and selecting to not adequately exchange them. The commerce of deal with Laremy Tunsil and receiver Kenny Stills per week earlier than the season and security Minkah Fitzpatrick per week later put out a message that the Dolphins have been planning for 2020 and past. However coach Brian Flores’ bunch refused to stop, in some way profitable 5 of their final 9 video games after being one of many worst groups in NFL historical past by way of level differential. Wins over the AFC East champion Patriots and NFC East-leading Eagles are indicators of the workforce’s progress. Gaping expertise holes have been an excessive amount of to make extra progress in 2019, and there shall be loads of work to do within the offseason, however the Fins have the cash and draft capital to take a major step in 2020.

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Largest offseason query: How will they make the most of their three first-round picks, and can one be on a franchise quarterback? Dolphins normal supervisor Chris Grier shall be crucial decision-maker in April’s draft with the ability to make a major push towards reshaping his workforce nearer to being a contender. The Dolphins are the one workforce with three first-round picks, and the primary of these picks shall be No. 5 total. Quarterback, offensive deal with and edge rusher are clearly the Dolphins’ largest wants, and they need to handle these spots a minimum of as soon as within the first two rounds. If LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is off the board, Grier should determine whether or not they really feel strongly sufficient about injured Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama or Justin Herbert of Oregon to take them or punt their seek for a franchise quarterback to 2021. Tradition seems to be set. Now they’ve to search out the gamers. Although quarterback is probably the most notable gap for Miami, the Dolphins are prone to spend most of their important assets to solidify the traces. — Cameron Wolfe

What went incorrect: Adam Gase’s first season was bizarre. The Jets received six of their final eight video games to complete 7-9, averting complete catastrophe, however they did it in opposition to the NFL’s best schedule. Watch out for idiot’s gold. The workforce, unable to deal with Sam Darnold’s three-game sickness, was out of competition by Halloween. The offense, underneath Gase’s route, was noncompetitive till it perked up in November. Accidents have been an element on either side of the ball. The protection adjusted; the offense not as a lot. By some means, Gase held the workforce collectively when it sank to 1-7, however he should do a greater job in a number of areas. Darnold improved, however he did not make the massive, second-year leap that was anticipated. The stress shall be on him and Gase in 2020.

Adam Gase helped the Jets win seven video games in 2019, however he might want to see enchancment in a number of areas subsequent season. David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports activities

Largest offseason query: Can first-year normal supervisor Joe Douglas save the Jets? Yeah, it is a broad query, however the hopes of this moribund franchise relaxation on him. His first order of enterprise is making selections on operating again Le’Veon Bell (attainable commerce), large receiver Robby Anderson (free agent) and security Jamal Adams (attainable commerce or contract extension). Ideally, you’d prefer to hold all three, however economics play a giant function. Predictions: Adams stays; Bell and Anderson don’t. Douglas should focus closely on an offensive line decimated by accidents and age. The Jets by no means will get an correct learn on Darnold till they put a succesful line in entrance of him; do not be stunned if they’ve 4 new starters in 2020. — Wealthy Cimini

AFC NORTH

What went incorrect: Every part went south when large receiver A.J. Inexperienced suffered a season-ending ankle harm through the first apply of the preseason. The mix of a comparatively inexperienced teaching employees, ageing veterans and unproductive years from latest draft picks led to the worst season in franchise historical past. The 2 good issues to return from this season: establishing the tradition first-year coach Zac Taylor needed; and the No. 1 total decide within the 2020 draft.

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Largest offseason query: Final offseason, the Bengals made their first teaching change since 2002, however they stored the remainder of the roster comparatively intact. The query at this level shall be how a lot the entrance workplace will overhaul the workforce now that Taylor has been on the job for a full season. The Bengals have a key choice to make with Inexperienced, an unrestricted free agent who shall be eligible for the franchise tag. And operating again Joe Mixon might be searching for a brand new deal after back-to-back 1,00Zero-yard seasons. — Ben Child

What went incorrect: The place to even start? Freddie Kitchens struggled to adapt as first-year head coach. Quarterback Baker Mayfield took a step again after stable rookie season. Extensive receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was injured all season, and the Browns could not get him the ball. The offensive line was a large number. Myles Garrett swung a helmet at Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and obtained suspended indefinitely. An overhyped offense by no means discovered its footing with Kitchens calling performs — apart from handing off to operating again Nick Chubb. And a depleted protection capitulated down the stretch.

Largest offseason query: The Browns must determine who will take over for Kitchens, who was fired on Sunday. The Browns ought to be capable of appeal to a big-name head coach; regardless of its underachieving season, Cleveland has playoff-caliber expertise. Past that, the Browns should handle a restricted offensive line that did its half to handcuff the downfield passing sport, and so they’ll have so as to add some desperately wanted depth alongside the line of defense and at security. — Jake Trotter

What went incorrect: The offense. The Steelers had a full complement of wholesome offensive gamers just for the primary two weeks, and the wheels rapidly got here off with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s elbow harm and subsequent transfer to injured reserve. The offense struggled to place factors on the board with Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges at quarterback, and it did not assist that the highest two offensive threats in JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner missed 4 and 5 video games, respectively. Conner additionally did not make it to halftime in two different contests. Whereas the Steelers put collectively a protection able to contending for championships, the offense barely scraped by. A few of that must be remedied when Roethlisberger returns in 2020 from a surgical procedure that reportedly reattached three tendons in his proper elbow.

Largest offseason query: Exterior of Roethlisberger’s journey again, the largest query going through the Steelers is the way forward for Bud Dupree. The opposite half of the fierce exterior linebacker tandem with T.J. Watt, Dupree emerged as a power in his contract 12 months with 10.5 sacks getting into Week 17. Now the Steelers must determine if he’s well worth the cash that may include a tag and new contract. Although the wage cap may high $200 million and Antonio Brown’s contract is coming off the books, the Steelers nonetheless haven’t got a lot wiggle room, with about $5 million in cap house. That is partly due to Roethlisberger’s $33.5 million cap hit. It could take some artistic accounting to maintain Dupree round — however Pittsburgh is thought for getting probably the most out of its cap state of affairs. — Brooke Pryor

AFC SOUTH

What went incorrect: The Colts have been rocked when quarterback Andrew Luck introduced his retirement two weeks earlier than the beginning of the common season. The Colts weathered the storm early, beginning 5-2, which included victories over playoff-bound Kansas Metropolis and Houston. However then accidents, lack of depth and quarterback points caught up with the Colts. Tight finish Eric Ebron was misplaced for the season after 11 video games, and Devin Funchess performed lower than a full sport, whereas fellow wideouts Parris Campbell and T.Y. Hilton missed video games. And that is simply on offense. On protection, All-Professional linebacker Darius Leonard, cornerbacks Kenny Moore and Pierre Desir and security Malik Hooker all missed three video games. The Colts did not have a lot depth to make up for the accidents. Mix that with regressed play by Luck’s substitute, Jacoby Brissett, because the season progressed and the Colts went right into a downward spiral they could not overcome. They went from being in first place within the division to shedding six out of seven video games and lacking the playoffs for the fourth time in 5 seasons.

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Largest offseason query: The Colts gave Brissett a two-year, $30 million contract extension per week after Luck’s retirement, however there are professional questions on Brissett’s potential to be the franchise’s starter going ahead. No one anticipated Brissett to be Luck. With the assistance of a top-five dashing assault, Brissett ran the offense properly early within the season. He even made the Texans pay for daring him to throw the ball when he tossed for 326 yards and 4 touchdowns with no interceptions in opposition to them. Brissett, who missed a sport due to a knee harm, obtained worse later within the season due to his lack of accuracy. Brissett went into Week 17 ranked 30th within the NFL in passing yards per sport (198.6) and 25th in completion charge (61.6%). The door is not shut on Brissett because the Colts’ beginning quarterback, however you possibly can count on GM Chris Ballard so as to add competitors to that place through the offseason. — Mike Wells

What went incorrect: The place to start out? Linebacker Telvin Smith deciding in April he wasn’t taking part in this 12 months. Quarterback Nick Foles struggling a damaged collarbone within the season opener. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey demanding, and forcing, a commerce. The ambiance contained in the constructing that, per league sources, was brought on by govt vp of soccer operations Tom Coughlin. Even with that, the Jaguars have been Four-Four heading into the London sport in opposition to Houston with rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew. They have been within the hunt for the division title earlier than the season fell aside with a five-game shedding streak. Accidents to defensive deal with Marcell Dareus and linebacker Myles Jack damage the protection. The shortage of a reliable tight finish restricted the offense. The offense averaged 11.Four factors, and the protection gave up 34.Eight factors per sport through the shedding streak. It was made completely clear through the skid that the Jaguars’ expertise stage, particularly on protection, had dropped considerably since 2017.

Largest offseason query: No matter which regime is in cost — there reportedly is an effective probability GM Dave Caldwell and coach Doug Marrone shall be again — the Jaguars have to determine what they’ll do at quarterback in 2020. Will they let Foles and Minshew battle all through the offseason? Will they identify Foles the starter? They’re choosing within the high 10 within the draft, so the chance to seize one of many quarterbacks (Justin Herbert, Tua Tagovailoa or Jake Fromm) shall be there. That will be an attention-grabbing transfer, as a result of there are such a lot of wants elsewhere (inside line of defense, tight finish and offensive line), and there is no assure the rookie signal-caller would get on the sphere. — Mike DiRocco

AFC WEST

What went incorrect: Begin 10 snaps into the season opener when the Broncos’ largest signing in free company — proper deal with Ja’Wuan James — suffered a knee harm that largely ended his season (he performed 63 snaps). Then add linebacker Bradley Chubb tearing an ACL in Week Four, the Broncos utilizing three beginning quarterbacks and the workforce shedding three video games within the remaining 22 seconds. In brief, little or no went in keeping with plan for the Broncos, as they by no means recovered from an Zero-Four begin and missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. By the point December rolled round, rookie quarterback Drew Lock was behind middle, and the Broncos had the third-youngest energetic roster within the league. So the makeover is essentially underway.

Drew Lock might be the Broncos’ quarterback of the longer term. AP Picture/Jack Dempsey

Largest offseason query: Is Lock lastly the reply at quarterback? He’s the seventh totally different beginning quarterback since Week Eight of the 2017 season — a span of 40 video games, or a special beginning quarterback each 5.7 video games — so that does not assist. However the Broncos went into the ultimate week of the season with the No. 27-ranked scoring offense, No. 28 total, and so they had scored 16 or fewer factors seven instances. Lock is on the entrance burner of the fixes to return, and he’ll nearly definitely be the starter in 2020, however the Broncos want to debate Joe Flacco’s future. If Flacco — who has two years left on his contract — is not on the roster, Lock is the one quarterback underneath contract for subsequent season. So, the Broncos have to look within the draft and free company to deal with their offensive line and the depth chart total at quarterback. — Jeff Legwold

What went incorrect: Getting into Week 17, the Chargers had a minus-16 turnover differential, tied with the Bengals for worst within the NFL. Quarterback Philip Rivers should do a greater job of caring for the soccer if he returns in 2020. His 23 turnovers, together with 18 interceptions, are probably the most Rivers has had in a single season since 2016.

Largest offseason query: Rivers is 38 years outdated and within the remaining 12 months of his deal. Though Rivers has stated he needs to proceed taking part in, the Chargers’ brass has not stated it needs him again. The Chargers additionally transfer into SoFi Stadium subsequent season, and so they might be searching for star energy on the quarterback place to assist construct the fan base in Los Angeles. — Eric D. Williams

What went incorrect: Accidents caught as much as the rebuilding Raiders and, as veteran left guard Richie Incognito stated of a Week 12 blowout loss on the Jets, they have been “uncovered.” A four-game shedding streak noticed Oakland drop from 6-Four to 6-Eight, however a feel-good victory on the Chargers shockingly stored the Raiders alive within the playoff race getting into the season finale at Denver. All issues thought-about, going 7-9/Eight-Eight was an enormous enchancment from Four-12 in Jon Gruden’s first season again as coach. And in case you had stated in coaching camp the Raiders can be within the hunt come Week 17, you’ll have taken it. After which some. It is unlucky that the ultimate sport in Oakland, when the Raiders blew a 10-point lead within the final five-plus minutes, ended with followers showering the sphere with boos and trash.

Largest offseason query: Is Derek Carr the quarterback to steer the franchise to Las Vegas? And may GM Mike Mayock and Gruden nail one other draft class and, lastly, get a front-line large receiver? Earlier than accidents to Johnathan Abram, Isaiah Johnson, Hunter Renfrow, Foster Moreau, Trayvon Mullen and Josh Jacobs, the Raiders had probably the most instantly productive rookie class in franchise historical past. Mayock and Gruden have two first-round picks subsequent 12 months and, as Gruden notes, the Raiders have 5 picks within the high 90 picks. The failed Antonio Brown experiment value the Raiders dearly too, as Gruden had constructed the offense across the temperamental wideout’s talent set. Alas, Carr, for all his strengths and weaknesses, really didn’t have an elite group at receiver, and it confirmed. Gruden stated it could not be arduous to evaluate Carr’s play this offseason, regardless of all the turnover round him at receiver, operating again and on the offensive line. Keep tuned. — Paul Gutierrez

NFC EAST

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Dak Prescott scrambles then throws a 13-yard landing go to Ezekiel Elliot who’s ready on the sting of the top zone.

What went incorrect: How about every part. The Cowboys have been disjointed all the season. This was a workforce that was constructed on a extremely paid offensive line with Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and La’el Collins and the highest-paid operating again in Ezekiel Elliott, however they by no means actually excelled within the operating sport. Quarterback Dak Prescott had profession highs in passing yards and landing passes and had two 1,00Zero-yard receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup however the numbers have been principally empty. On protection, they might not have an effect on the quarterback sufficient, didn’t take the ball away sufficient and couldn’t make sufficient huge performs. And it is troublesome to depart out the particular groups with 10 missed area aim makes an attempt by Brett Maher earlier than his launch, the bottom gross- and net-yard punting numbers and poor protection and return items. The Cowboys talked about complementary soccer and by no means actually performed it. That is why they are going to be residence when the playoffs begin subsequent week.

Largest offseason query: There are many questions for this workforce, however on the high of this listing is: Who would be the subsequent coach? It definitely will not be Jason Garrett. He entered the season with out a contract extension and wanted to win. He did not, so the Cowboys are prone to thank him for 9 years, keep in mind how they rebuilt with him on the fly from 2011 to ’13 and made the playoffs 4 instances from 2014 to ’19. Proprietor Jerry Jones believes he has a roster that may win huge, so he has to get this rent proper. Will he take a step again and try to rent a big-name coach, as he did in 2003 when Invoice Parcells got here to the Cowboys? Will he go the faculty route, as he did with Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer, with any individual equivalent to Lincoln Riley, City Meyer or Matt Rhule? Jones has stated of us can be embarrassed on the measurement of the verify he would write to win one other Tremendous Bowl. Possibly he’ll try to show that in his subsequent teaching rent. — Todd Archer

What went incorrect: Every part. Even Saquon Barkley had a down 12 months. However the Giants by no means had an opportunity defensively with the expertise stage on that facet of the ball. In the event that they needed to have any probability of profitable video games this season, it needed to be on the energy of their offense. However they struggled, benched quarterback Eli Manning for rookie Daniel Jones in Week Three, turned over the ball at an alarming charge and have been within the backside half of the league in scoring. The Giants truly completed within the backside half of the league in offense and protection. It is arduous to win that method. A minimum of there have been constructive indicators with Jones, who produced a minimum of 4 touchdowns in 4 totally different begins.

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Largest offseason query: Who stays and who goes on the high of the totem pole? The Giants went 5-11 within the first 12 months of GM Dave Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur. They could not high that in 12 months 2. That is a number of shedding. Will possession scrap it and begin over with the workforce presumably being in worse form than once they arrived, aside from having Jones? A minimum of they drafted and developed Jones. That’s their finest argument for one more 12 months. — Jordan Raanan

What went incorrect: Every part went incorrect. Perennial Professional Bowl deal with Trent Williams held out due to medical and contractual causes, finally ripping the franchise for the way it dealt with the state of affairs. Tight finish Jordan Reed by no means performed due to a concussion. Working again Derrius Guice damage his knee twice and performed in 5 video games. The three quarterbacks weren’t in place to assist a lot due to mixture of harm, newness and inexperience. And the protection underachieved as soon as once more. The Redskins have tried to construct a run-stopping unit, but they have been one of many worst within the NFL on this space, hovering within the backside third all season. It rapidly added as much as bother and led to the firing of coach Jay Gruden after on Zero-5 begin. Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins regarded actual unhealthy in his first couple appearances, however steadily improved as a starter, offering hope for the longer term.

Largest offseason query: Who’s in cost? Redskins proprietor Dan Snyder should determine who he needs to run soccer operations. Bruce Allen is gone, and the Redskins want new blood on the soccer facet. A number of names have been talked about, together with former Ohio State coach City Meyer (although one supply referred to as that transfer for Meyer uncertain) and former Houston Texans normal supervisor Rick Smith. The Indianapolis Colts’ director of faculty scouting Morocco Brown additionally served because the Redskins’ director of professional personnel for six years. They may additionally promote from inside. After which it is about who would be the subsequent coach. Ron Rivera, who will interview with the Redskins on Monday, and Marvin Lewis have been talked about, because the Redskins seem to need somebody with NFL head-coaching expertise. This shall be Snyder’s seventh full-time rent since shopping for the workforce in 1999. Not one of the earlier six exited Washington with a profitable document. The Redskins can supply a stable younger base of expertise, however there is a historical past of shedding and non-football individuals making soccer selections that would steer some candidates away. With plummeting attendance and an indignant fan base, Snyder should get these selections proper. — John Keim

NFC NORTH

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Eddy Pineiro drills the 26-yard area aim to present the Bears the 21-19 victory over the Vikings.

What went incorrect: Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky regressed in 12 months 2 underneath coach Matt Nagy, who struggled to search out any rhythm calling performs. The offensive line went by way of spells when it blocked poorly. Extremely paid and/or extremely drafted tight ends Trey Burton and Adam Shaheen have been full busts. The Bears by no means really dedicated to operating the ball with rookie David Montgomery. Exterior of workforce MVP Allen Robinson and the late emergence of large receiver Anthony Miller, the offense was a complete catastrophe.

Largest offseason query: Trubisky. The Bears have to determine the subsequent step with the disappointing former second total decide. Do they transfer on? Do they train Trubisky’s fifth-year choice and usher in actual competitors for him within the offseason? Chase Daniel, whom Chicago paid $6 million in 2019, will not be actual competitors. It appears extremely unlikely the Bears signal Trubisky to any type of extension — he hasn’t earned it. Till the Bears repair quarterback — the place have you ever heard that earlier than — they may by no means be a perennial playoff workforce. The quarterback wasn’t the one situation, however Trubisky’s limitations have been a giant motive the Bears missed the playoffs for the eighth time in 9 seasons. — Jeff Dickerson

What went incorrect: The Lions’ protection struggled all 12 months lengthy on protection, permitting quarterback after quarterback to shred them. The protection has been nearly traditionally terrible, giving up a median 400 yards per sport — near the typical Detroit allowed in its winless 2008 season. Offensively, the Lions discovered one thing till quarterback Matthew Stafford suffered a season-ending again harm in opposition to Oakland on Nov. Three. Detroit, which had hovered round .500 with Stafford taking part in at a Professional Bowl stage, steadily fell aside and did not win a sport in November or December. Coach Matt Patricia and normal supervisor Bob Quinn will return for 2020, however count on different employees modifications to be coming as early as this week.

Largest offseason query: There are a number of, beginning with who shall be operating Detroit’s protection, however the underlying urgent query is the place does cornerback Darius Slay play in 2020? Slay had been a attainable commerce candidate earlier this season. With one 12 months left on his contract, do the Lions attempt to transfer him or hold him with a brand new deal? What makes this extra intriguing is the fact Patricia and Quinn have of needing to win in 2020 — Lions possession stated Detroit have to be a playoff contender subsequent season — and Slay, a three-time Professional Bowler, is likely one of the higher corners within the league. There’s a lot to be sorted between now and the draft in April, and what the Lions select to do with Slay may dictate a number of Detroit’s offseason. — Michael Rothstein

NFC SOUTH

What went incorrect: The Falcons obtained off to a foul begin at 1-7 and could not get well. There have been holes on either side of the ball, with the offensive line failing to do its half to guard Matt Ryan or open holes within the run sport, and the protection struggling to cease opponents and create turnovers. Coach Dan Quinn made important modifications going into the season by appointing himself the defensive coordinator, Dirk Koetter the offensive coordinator and Bob Kotwica the special-teams coordinator. These modifications, nevertheless, weren’t sufficient to spark a turnaround. Quinn even surrendered the defensive playcalling to deal with head-coaching duties, and it appeared to assist later within the season. Shifting assistant head coach Raheem Morris from large receivers coach to protection to work with the defensive backs supplied the largest spark. However by that point, it was too late. Sure, the Falcons performed significantly better in second half of the schedule, together with street wins over New Orleans and San Francisco after the bye. Possibly that may create some momentum for subsequent season.

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The Falcons go deep within the playbook as Matt Ryan finds offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo for the 35-yard landing.

Largest offseason query: Proprietor Arthur Clean made a dedication to Quinn and normal supervisor Thomas Dimitroff for 2020 by retaining each, however will the Falcons make the required changes to be contenders subsequent season? Some of the important modifications is having Quinn and Dimitroff report back to workforce president Wealthy McKay, who will monitor issues 4 instances per week on the workforce’s apply facility. Each McKay and Dimitroff expressed no concern concerning the workforce’s salary-cap state of affairs regardless of so many high-dollar contracts awarded to high gamers. The Falcons began the method of making cap room by restructuring the contract of quarterback Matt Ryan and defensive deal with Grady Jarrett. Clean instructed ESPN the workforce must proceed to prioritize addressing the offensive and defensive traces, the identical areas that have been the principle focus final offseason. — Vaughn McClure

What went incorrect: It started when quarterback Cam Newton suffered a foot harm within the third preseason sport after which aggravated it in a Week 2 loss to Tampa Bay, finally leading to him being shut down for the season. Backup Kyle Allen held issues collectively after the Zero-2 begin to get Carolina to 5-Three, however then he started turning the ball over and costing the Panthers photographs at profitable shut video games. What was in step with Newton and Allen was the lack to attain potential profitable or tying touchdowns contained in the 5-yard line within the closing minutes with arguably the league’s finest offensive weapon in operating again Christian McCaffrey. Accidents additionally have been an element. Professional Bowl defensive finish/deal with Kawann Brief (rotator cuff) performed two video games. Deal with Dontari Poe (quad) went on injured reserve. The defensive stress that had Carolina main the league in sacks halfway by way of the season went away and led to breakdowns throughout the board, notably within the run protection. All this value coach Ron Rivera his job. Tight finish Greg Olsen summed it up finest after the workforce’s seventh straight loss, saying it was a “collective failure” from gamers to administration to coaches.

Whoever is employed because the Panthers’ subsequent head coach will most likely have a say on whether or not or not the workforce will carry Cam Newton again in 2020. Jacob Kupferman/Getty Photographs

Largest offseason query: What to do with Cam Newton? If wholesome, do you retain him for the ultimate 12 months of his contract in a prove-it 12 months? Do you launch or commerce him to clear $19.1 million underneath the cap, room that might be used to increase McCaffrey and assist rebuild the roster? Finally, this shall be as much as the brand new coach and if he needs Newton or a contemporary begin. There aren’t any ensures the reply is with Kyle Allen or third-round decide Will Grier. After the quarterback dilemma, solidifying the offensive and defensive fronts needs to be a precedence, notably the left deal with spot that has been a catastrophe. Whether or not to stay with tight finish Greg Olsen, 34, is also an element due to his age and salary-cap determine ($11.Eight million) for 2020. The talent positions with McCaffrey and large receivers DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel are stable. However it all begins with determining the quarterback spot. — David Newton

What went incorrect: In his first 12 months in coach Bruce Arians’ offense, quarterback Jameis Winston threw for career-high 5,109 passing yards and 33 touchdowns. However Winston struggled with turnovers, throwing a league-high 30 interceptions and turning the ball over a complete of 39 instances. Opponents scored 112 factors off Winston’s turnovers this 12 months — greater than any participant within the league, in keeping with Elias. On protection, Arians infamously proclaimed “the secondary is fastened” in coaching camp, earlier than seeing his younger group give up a league-leading 298.9 passing yards and 31 factors per sport in Weeks 1-10. They struggled to carry leads and shut out video games, blowing an 18-point lead in opposition to the Giants and a 14-point lead at Seattle. They confirmed important enchancment in Weeks 11-17, although (a few of it as a consequence of a decrease stage of competitors), permitting 224.Three passing yards and 23.67 factors a sport, however it wasn’t sufficient to offset the losses of receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in opposition to the Texans in Week 16.

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Largest offseason query: Will the Bucs carry again Winston, and in that case, what shall be their stage of dedication? A franchise tag? Transition tag? A multiyear contract extension? And if the Bucs carry him again, will Winston reward their religion in him with substantial enchancment within the turnover division or is that this really who he’s as a participant? “It is about 50-50. The corrections have been made, however the outcomes aren’t taking place,” Arians stated, including he thinks a full offseason of learning his personal cut-ups would possibly assist. “That is one of the best lesson you possibly can have. You’ve got been watching another person. You’ve got been watching Carson [Palmer] run the offense or no matter, however [now] you see your self do it.” — Jenna Laine

NFC WEST

What went incorrect: The season was all about progress — and included a number of rising pains. Arizona paired a rookie quarterback with a first-time NFL head coach, so a tough season was to be anticipated. Kliff Kingsbury was studying find out how to coach within the NFL and the way his offense would adapt to the professional sport, whereas Kyler Murray was a rookie quarterback who at instances performed that method. Each confirmed indicators of progress. There have been video games wherein the Cardinals’ offense regarded just like the high-powered, high-scoring scheme that many anticipated when Kingsbury was employed in January. Murray, in the meantime, regarded just like the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback who’s within the combine for Rookie of the 12 months.

Largest offseason query: Can normal supervisor Steve Keim construct this roster to suit Kingsbury’s offense? Keim has bungled the Cardinals’ roster over the previous few years, leaving holes and main questions on either side of the ball, particularly at large receiver, operating again, line of defense and cornerback. For the Cardinals to take the subsequent step underneath Kingsbury in 2020, he wants the suitable gamers to correctly execute his up-tempo, no-huddle offense. And that is all as much as Keim getting him the suitable gamers. — Josh Weinfuss

What went incorrect: The Rams by no means returned to type after their dominant run to Tremendous Bowl LIII. The offense lacked id because it moved away from using operating again Todd Gurley II. Quarterback Jared Goff, taking part in behind an inexperienced and injured offensive line, was inconsistent all through the season. The protection performed dominant at instances however in any other case lacked the game-saving potential it demonstrated a season in the past when the Rams completed 6-1 in one-score video games. In Week 16, the protection allowed the 49ers to twice convert on third-and-16 on a game-winning drive, and in three losses this season the protection allowed greater than 40 factors.

Largest offseason query: How can the Rams match all their wants underneath the wage cap? The Rams signed mega-extensions to a number of gamers, together with Goff, Gurley and defensive deal with Aaron Donald. Plus, the Rams traded 2020 and 2021 first-round picks and a 2021 fourth-round decide to the Jaguars in trade for cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who is also searching for a record-breaking payday. The Rams may have minimal funds to switch the manufacturing of key defensive gamers Michael Brockers, Dante Fowler Jr. and Cory Littleton, who’re pending free brokers. Plus, the workforce should remedy its points on the offensive line — with out a first-round decide — and with left deal with Andrew Whitworth and offensive guard Austin Blythe each pending free brokers. — Lindsey Thiry

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