Thirty-one NFL teams earned at least a C-minus mark in our 2016 offseason grades featuring insights from ESPN Insider analysts Bill Polian, Louis Riddick, Mark Dominik and Field Yates. Then there were the Cleveland Browns, who pared back an already shaky roster to an extent that our analysts thought might be the point of no easy return.
Two contenders and two recently rebuilding teams earned "A" grades, but in some cases, our analysts agreed to disagree. Should the Green Bay Packers be more proactive in acquiring veteran talent in free agency? Did the Philadelphia Eagles have a coherent plan at quarterback? Did the Denver Broncos mismanage their quarterback and running back situations? Questions such as these have no absolute answers. The value is in the discussion.
Extended: P Marquette King
Re-signed: FS Nate Allen, WR Seth Roberts, WR Andre Holmes, LT Donald Penn, OLB Aldon Smith, CB Neiko Thorpe, T Matt McCants, DE Shelby Harris, QB Matt McGloin, DE Denico Autry, LB Korey Toomer, TE Gabe Holmes
Analysis: The veteran additions far outweigh the veteran subtractions for the Raiders, building upon a trend that gained momentum last offseason. General manager Reggie McKenzie looks like he knew what he was doing all along.
"They have cleaned out the malcontents and underperformers, cleared cap space and slowly but surely added good players," Polian said. "Kudos to ownership for staying the course."
Trading up for quarterback Connor Cook in the fourth round seemed a little surprising with Derek Carr firmly established as the long-term starter, but Riddick thought Carr would benefit from another talented, young player pushing him. Dominik also endorsed the move. Yates thought the Raiders should have done more to address their running back situation, but he gave them an 'A' grade while stopping short of saying Oakland had arrived as a true threat to win the AFC West.
"They want to be the toughest team in the room, and it permeates from the coach on down," Yates said.
Riddick was particularly high on first-round pick Karl Joseph, while Polian had some reservations about the former West Virginia safety producing as a rookie. Riddick thought Joseph had shown strong command of the game before the snap, evidenced by his footwork, eye placement, play-entry angles, how he breaks on the ball and how he strikes ball carriers.
"There is nothing Joseph can't do," Riddick said.
Dominik and Riddick both singled out third-round defensive lineman Shilique Calhoun as an intriguing prospect to watch.
"I just like everything they are doing," Riddick said. "They are setting themselves up to make a serious push in the AFC West. No one wants to give Oakland credit because they will say the culture is not conducive to sustainable success, but that team is about to become a bully again."