The offseason for the NFL may not be as exciting as the regular season, but every year there are a number of teams that seek to turn their franchises around.
While they may not have great records or looking to solidify a spot in the playoffs this upcoming season in the eyes of their fans, these teams still deserve recognition as exciting teams to watch this year. With the NFL Draft and offseason transactions coming to a close, here are the top five teams looking to improve this year and begin their comeback:
1. New York Jets, 2018 record: 4-12
New uniforms are not the only thing that will change this year and it appears that the New York Jets are in full rebuild mode. Accompanying the new look is a revamp. On defense, the New York Jets have acquired big names such as linebacker C.J. Mosley and drafted defensive tackle Quinnen Williams from Alabama.
On offense, the most notable signing is running back Le’Veon Bell who adds a level of depth to the run game and allows for a new offensive scheme. The Jets did not make many transactions but are most notable for making it’s biggest changes at the management and coaching level.
With brand new management all across the board and new coaching, this year will test what Sam Darnold can become and where the New York Jets franchise will go in the following years.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars, 2018 record: 5-11
The Jacksonville Jaguars had a disappointing 2018 season after going to the playoffs the previous year and looking for more. The star here is quarterback Nick Foles, who led the Philidelphia Eagles to their first Super Bowl win, and is looking to prove himself as a permanent starter on an NFL team.
While it is a test for Foles himself, it also implicates a brand new one for the offense as well. With Leonard Fornette and the offensive line coming in healthy this season, the Jaguars are looking to redeem themselves under new Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo.
On the defensive side of the ball, the defense was never a concern for the team as the offense was this last season. Draft pick and linebacker Josh Allen is the main acquisition looking to start on the defense.
This year will be the redemption for various players in terms of their career and the team as a playoff contender.
3. Washington Redskins, 2018 record: 7-9
What was a decent team with great potential, turned into one barred by injuries. From the quarterback and offensive line to secondary and the receiving core, everything seemed to fall apart in a short amount of time.
The Redskins were on a good run up until the second half of the season where six of their losses occurred. Following the theme of new quarterbacks similar to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Washington Redskins are appearing with their new quarterback.
Whether draft pick Dwayne Haskins or Case Keenum takes the starting job, a healthy offensive line and the team as a whole will be put to the test and demonstrate what the Redskins are capable of.
The competition between Haskins and Keenum is one in question for the Redskins offense and one that will determine the production of the offense.
In terms of new players, linebacker Montez Sweat and quarterback Dwayne Haskins will be the players to watch on their debut with the team.
4. Arizona Cardinals, 2018 record: 3-13
Whenever a team ends up with the worst record in any league, their performance next season is always a marvel — whether it be for the better or the worse.
With the Cleveland Browns turning their offense around with a new quarterback, the Arizona Cardinals took a bold move by trying to replicate the success by drafting a quarterback and hiring a new head coach again. Drafting Kyler Murray was a decision questioned by many and the first pick will always have the pressure to live up to their spot on the draft.
However, most importantly, the fate of the Cardinals lies in the young quarterback and the accompanying new head coach Kliff Kingsbury. While a huge renovation isn’t expected for the season, the season will determine whether the decisions and management of the team should be made by someone else.
Of course, the favorites of Larry Fitgerald and Patrick Peterson are players to continue watching on this team and what roles they’re going to play on the team this year.
5. Miami Dolphins, 2018 record: 7-9
Comeback players are always a favorite spectacle to see in the NFL and this is what we might get. What brings the Miami Dolphins to attention are quarterbacks Ryan “Magic” Fitzpatrick and former Arizona Cardinal Josh Rosen.
Whether it be a story about Fitzpatrick becoming a true starter and overcoming his issues with inconsistency or one about Josh Rosen turning his career in the right path and demonstrating that the Cardinals were mistaken.
On the other hand, the story can turn around and cause prolonged quarterback trouble for the Miami Dolphins and raise questions in the front office.
A team with the comeback player of the year or a team that has fallen into a vicious cycle of busts? That is the main question at play and this season will determine if Miami needs a “Miami Miracle” to resolve their case.