Rating Tremendous Bowl champions’ offseasons

Three years in the past, the New England Patriots have been coming off their unimaginable comeback victory in opposition to the Atlanta Falcons in Tremendous Bowl LI and rolling by means of an impressive-looking offseason that appeared to have them nicely arrange for a repeat. They didn’t repeat, although they got here very shut, dropping 41-33 in Tremendous Bowl LII to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Assessments of that Patriots offseason proved fairly correct. Free-agent signing Stephon Gilmore turned a famous person, they managed to get a second-round decide for Jimmy Garoppolo in October after turning down affords all spring and summer time, and Brandin Cooks had 1,082 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. Our rating, three years in the past, of the Patriots’ 2017 offseason as one of the best by any Tremendous Bowl champion within the salary-cap period, held up.

However as a result of there have been three seasons performed since then, and since the present defending Tremendous Bowl champion Kansas Metropolis Chiefs appear to be having a reasonably excellent offseason themselves, we thought we might return and replace that piece with the previous three Tremendous Bowl champs to see the place they ranked. Right here is your replace, from worst to first:

Tremendous Bowl title: XLVII

Previous to this staff, no defending Tremendous Bowl champion had misplaced greater than 5 starters the next offseason. Baltimore mentioned goodbye to eight, together with Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Anquan Boldin, Matt Birk and Paul Kruger. It did handle to signal Elvis Dumervil off the well-known Denver Broncos fax miscue, and whereas first-round draft decide Matt Elam did not pan out, the Ravens received Brandon Williams within the third and Rick Wagner within the fifth. Essentially, this was an offseason during which the core of a Tremendous Bowl champion was gutted by retirements and departures. Baltimore went 8-Eight and missed the playoffs in 2013.

Tremendous Bowl title: XL

Corridor of Fame operating again Jerome Bettis introduced his retirement following the Steelers’ Tremendous Bowl title in his hometown of Detroit. The offseason appeared to get higher, because the Steelers added security Ryan Clark in free company and drafted Santonio Holmes and Willie Colon. However quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was injured in a bike accident and in addition had an emergency appendectomy simply earlier than the beginning of the 2006 season. He missed the opener and completed that season with a career-high 23 interceptions and a career-low 59.7 completion proportion because the Steelers went 8-Eight and missed the playoffs.

Tremendous Bowl title: XXXVII

The Bucs had a depressing offseason off the sphere, the place three gamers, together with operating again Michael Pittman, have been arrested. Studies surfaced of rigidity between coach Jon Gruden and common supervisor Wealthy McKay. Tremendous Bowl MVP Dexter Jackson signed with Arizona. The staff needed to journey to Tokyo to play its first preseason sport. Tampa Bay went 7-9 in 2003 and missed the playoffs.

Tremendous Bowl title: XXX

The lack of Tremendous Bowl MVP Larry Brown in free company was nothing in comparison with the off-field points that befell this staff’s key offensive stars. Vast receiver Michael Irvin was suspended for the primary 5 video games of the season after pleading no contest to felony cocaine possession. Tight finish Jay Novacek suffered an damage that value him all the season. All of this led as much as a critical Week 1 damage to operating again Emmitt Smith (technically not the offseason). On the plus facet, they did add security George Teague in free company, they usually chosen longtime center linebacker Randall Godfrey within the second spherical of the draft. The 1996 Cowboys received the NFC East at 10-6 however misplaced to Carolina within the second spherical of the playoffs.

Tremendous Bowl title: XXXV

The Ravens selected to not re-sign quarterback Trent Dilfer and changed him with Elvis Grbac. Working again Jamal Lewis tore his ACL in coaching camp and was misplaced for the season. With Priest Holmes having signed with the Chiefs, this left the Ravens skinny at operating again and price them a significant a part of their offense. They ended up going 10-6 and reaching the playoffs as a wild card, beating the Dolphins within the first spherical however dropping to the Steelers within the second.

Tremendous Bowl title: XXXIX

Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis left to turn out to be coach at Notre Dame. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel left to turn out to be coach of the Cleveland Browns. For cap causes, the Patriots launched cornerback Ty Legislation, who would find yourself with 10 interceptions for the division-rival Jets in 2005. And in February, star linebacker Tedy Bruschi suffered a stroke and missed seven video games within the 2005 season whereas recovering. The Patriots went 10-6 and repeated as AFC East champs. However after beating the Jaguars within the first spherical, they misplaced to the Broncos within the second, ending their shot at a three-peat.

Tremendous Bowl title: XLIX

Shane Vereen, Vince Wilfork, Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner have been among the many free-agent departures following New England’s fourth Tremendous Bowl title. The Patriots did add Dion Lewis in a transfer that was unheralded on the time however proved important. Factor is, every part concerning the 2015 Patriots’ offseason was consumed by the Deflategate saga, which lastly turned of their favor proper earlier than the season when Tom Brady’s suspension was overturned by a choose and he was allowed to play in Week 1. The Patriots reached the AFC Championship Recreation, the place they misplaced to Peyton Manning & Co. in Denver.

Tremendous Bowl title: XXVIII

Coming off two straight Tremendous Bowl titles and looking out like a staff for the ages, the Cowboys have been stricken by high-level infighting that resulted within the departure of coach Jimmy Johnson. Proprietor Jerry Jones employed faculty buddy Barry Switzer to switch Johnson. The staff additionally misplaced linebacker Ken Norton Jr. in free company and offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who left to turn out to be the pinnacle coach in Washington. The Cowboys did handle to snag Corridor of Fame offensive lineman Larry Allen within the second spherical of the 1994 draft, however that draft class was not noteworthy in any other case. Whereas the 1994 Cowboys went 12-Four within the common season, they might lose within the NFC Championship Recreation to the 49ers.

Tremendous Bowl title: XXIX

The 49ers noticed star cornerback Deion Sanders go away as a free agent and signal with the rival Cowboys, whereas operating again Ricky Watters signed with the Eagles. They misplaced key elements of their teaching employees, too. Offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan left to turn out to be head coach of the Broncos (and took quarterbacks coach Gary Kubiak with him), whereas defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes left to educate the Eagles (although the Niners did exchange him with a man named Pete Carroll). The 49ers’ 1995 draft yielded simply 4 picks, and the first-rounder was huge receiver J.J. Stokes. The 1995 Niners have been 5-Four after 9 video games however received their subsequent six en path to an NFC West title. They misplaced at house within the divisional spherical of the playoffs to Brett Favre and the Packers.

Tremendous Bowl title: XXXIII

Corridor of Fame quarterback John Elway retired after a second straight Tremendous Bowl title and was changed by Brian Griese. This offseason additionally marked the tip in Denver for legendary security Steve Atwater, who wound up enjoying one 12 months for the Jets earlier than retiring. Linebacker Al Wilson was the staff’s first-round decide and have become a star, however the 1999 draft was an total disappointment for the Broncos, who would go 6-10 and end fifth within the AFC West.

Tremendous Bowl title: 50

Corridor of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning retired, and in a second shock to the Broncos’ system, inheritor obvious Brock Osweiler spurned them and took extra money to signal with Houston. Additionally they noticed defensive lineman Malik Jackson signal with the Jaguars and linebacker Danny Trevathan signal with the Bears. One optimistic was the long-term extension they reached with Tremendous Bowl MVP Von Miller, retaining him from having to play on the franchise tag. They drafted quarterback Paxton Lynch within the first spherical — a transfer on which the jury remains to be out. The 2016 Broncos went 9-7 however completed third in a tricky AFC West and missed the playoffs.

Tremendous Bowl title: LIII

After what seems to have been Tom Brady’s final Tremendous Bowl title as a Patriot, Rob Gronkowski introduced his retirement and defensive lineman Trey Flowers and offensive lineman Trent Brown signed huge free-agent offers elsewhere. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores left to turn out to be coach of the Dolphins and took three assistant coaches with him. Revered line of defense coach Brendan Daly left for Kansas Metropolis and “character coach” Jack Easterby left for Houston, the place he now has a distinguished position within the entrance workplace. They employed Greg Schiano as defensive coordinator, however he bailed out earlier than the season began. Not a lot went proper final offseason for the Patriots, and whereas they did rebound with a 12-Four common season and an 11th straight division title, they limped by means of a 2-Three end and misplaced their wild-card playoff sport to the Titans.

Tremendous Bowl title: XLII

Corridor of Fame defensive finish Michael Strahan retired following the Giants’ Tremendous Bowl upset of the unbeaten Patriots. Edge rusher Osi Umenyiora suffered a season-ending damage throughout the offseason. The staff traded tight finish Jeremy Shockey, who was within the coaches’ doghouse anyway, to the Saints and misplaced Reggie Torbor, Kawika Mitchell, William Joseph and Gibril Wilson in free company. The positives included a draft that introduced in Kenny Phillips, Terrell Thomas and Mario Manningham. And the 2008 Giants posted one of the best report of any Tom Coughlin Giants staff ever at 12-Four earlier than dropping to the division-rival Eagles within the playoffs.

Tremendous Bowl title: XLVI

Their free-agent losses have been all guys who have been about executed anyway, together with Brandon Jacobs, Mario Manningham and Aaron Ross. And so they managed to signal tight finish Martellus Bennett on a budget for one season earlier than his profession actually took off. The Giants’ draft was an 0-for-7 catastrophe, although, and this was a roster that wanted extra work than its stewards thought. The 2012 Giants managed the identical regular-season report (9-7) because the 2011 staff did, however this time it wasn’t ok to get them into the playoffs.

Tremendous Bowl title: LII

Key free-agent losses included tight finish Trey Burton, operating again LeGarrette Blount, NFC Championship Recreation star cornerback Patrick Robinson and pass-rusher Vinny Curry. Additionally they misplaced a few key items of their offensive teaching employees, as quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo left to turn out to be the Vikings’ offensive coordinator and offensive coordinator Frank Reich received the Colts’ head-coaching job after Josh McDaniels’ shock choice to again out of it.

The Eagles did handle to maintain backup quarterback Nick Foles after he received Tremendous Bowl MVP in Carson Wentz’s absence, which helped when Wentz received damage once more late within the 2018 season. Foles helped lead the Eagles to a 3-Zero end that earned them a 9-7 report and a wild-card playoff spot. They beat the Bears in Chicago within the first spherical earlier than ending their title protection with a divisional-round loss in New Orleans.

Tremendous Bowl title: XXXIV

Aside from the retirement of beloved coach Dick Vermeil, the offseason following the Rams’ solely Tremendous Bowl title was uneventful. They promoted offensive coordinator Mike Martz, however the one different change was a change to navy and gold uniforms. St. Louis introduced again successfully the identical roster and began the season 6-0. The 2000 Rams remained an offensive juggernaut. Their 540 factors scored have been on the time the second-highest single-season whole in league historical past and nonetheless ranks seventh. However their protection did not maintain up — the Rams gave up 471 factors, which ranked final within the league — they usually limped to the end line, ending 10-6 and dropping to the Saints within the first spherical of the playoffs.

Tremendous Bowl title: XLI

The Colts misplaced Professional Bowl sort out Tarik Glenn to retirement and noticed another key items (Brandon Stokley, Dominic Rhodes, Mike Doss, Nick Harper) depart as free brokers. They did handle to re-sign star edge rusher Dwight Freeney, although, they usually held issues collectively nicely sufficient to go 13-3 — one sport higher than the 12 months earlier than. The season ended with a disappointing playoff loss to the Chargers.

Tremendous Bowl title: XLIV

New Orleans misplaced veteran linebacker Scott Fujita to the Browns in free company and did not actually exit and add anybody. The Saints did decide up tight finish Jimmy Graham within the third spherical of the draft. However this was mainly a established order offseason forward of an 11-5 12 months that ended with a surprising “Beast Quake” loss to the 7-9 Seahawks within the first spherical of the playoffs.

Tremendous Bowl title: XLV

Inexperienced Bay launched linebacker Nick Barnett and misplaced defensive sort out Cullen Jenkins to the Eagles in free company. Per Packers customized, they did not make any huge additions of word in free company, although they did re-sign fullback John Kuhn and huge receiver James Jones and drafted huge receiver Randall Cobb and cornerback Davon Home. This is not a staff that wanted a lot tinkering. The 2011 Packers went 15-1 however misplaced at house to the eventual Tremendous Bowl champion Giants of their first playoff sport.

Tremendous Bowl title: XLVIII

The Seahawks suffered some notable free-agent defections, together with Golden Tate, Brandon Browner, Breno Giacomini and Walter Thurmond. However Seattle had a deep roster and centered on extensions for core gamers together with Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman. The staff returned to the Tremendous Bowl and regarded poised to repeat as champs earlier than Malcolm Butler’s fateful goal-line interception of Russell Wilson gave the title again to New England.

Tremendous Bowl title: XXXI

Fairly strong offseason right here. Yeah, they misplaced veteran tight finish Keith Jackson to retirement. However star receiver Robert Brooks would return from a critical knee damage and win Comeback Participant of the Yr in 1997. The Packers had a great draft that yielded offensive lineman Ross Verba and security Darren Sharper with the primary two picks. This group was going so nicely, it misplaced quarterbacks coach Marty Mornhinweg to San Francisco and changed him by selling Andy Reid. Brett Favre & Co. received again to the Tremendous Bowl the subsequent season however misplaced to John Elway and the Broncos.

Tremendous Bowl title: XLIII

The defending champion Steelers centered on contract extensions for key veterans and locked up James Harrison, Hines Ward, Brett Keisel, Heath Miller, Max Starks and others. They misplaced cornerback Bryant McFadden and receiver Nate Washington in free company. The draft introduced huge receiver Mike Wallace, cornerback Keenan Lewis, offensive lineman Kraig Urbik and defensive lineman Ziggy Hood. No main points right here, however the Steelers’ 9-7 report in 2009 wasn’t ok to get them into the playoffs.

Tremendous Bowl title: XXXVI

After profitable their first Tremendous Bowl title, the Patriots would attain the playoffs in 13 of the subsequent 15 years; nonetheless, 2002 was not considered one of them. They traded high wideout Terry Glenn to the Packers, then added future Tremendous Bowl MVP Deion Department and fellow wideout David Givens within the draft. General, this was a wonderful offseason. Achieved with quarterback Drew Bledsoe (who’d been changed the 12 months earlier than by some sixth-rounder from Michigan), the Patriots dealt Bledsoe to Buffalo for a 2003 first-round decide. A four-game October dropping streak did them in, and whereas New England completed 9-7 within the first season in Gillette Stadium, it wasn’t ok to get the Patriots into the postseason.

Tremendous Bowl title: XXXII

John Elway thought-about retiring after his first Tremendous Bowl title, however he did not. The truth is, other than Corridor of Fame sort out Gary Zimmerman, who retired, the Broncos suffered no main losses in any respect within the 1998 offseason. They did not even lose an assistant coach! First-round draft decide Marcus Nash was a bust, and the long-term deal they gave star operating again Terrell Davis did not work out past 1998. However this staff had a really clear offseason, and it is no shock it began the 1998 season 13-Zero and repeated as Tremendous Bowl champs.

Tremendous Bowl title: XXXVIII

Sturdy offseason right here. The Patriots signed veteran operating again Corey Dillon, who would rush for 1,635 yards in 2004, and drafted franchise mainstay Vince Wilfork and tight finish Benjamin Watson within the first spherical. This staff went 14-2 for the second 12 months in a row and is the latest to repeat as Tremendous Bowl champion.

Tremendous Bowl title: LI

Driving the momentum of their 25-point comeback within the Tremendous Bowl, the Patriots got here out swinging within the offseason. They signed free-agent Stephon Gilmore away from Buffalo. They traded for Brandin Cooks, Dwayne Allen and Kony Ealy. They snagged operating backs Mike Gillislee from Buffalo and Rex Burkhead from Cincinnati. They rejected all makes an attempt by different groups to commerce for backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, held on to disgruntled cornerback Malcolm Butler and stored offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels regardless of his receiving curiosity elsewhere as a head coach. Losses included Martellus Bennett, Chris Lengthy, Logan Ryan and LeGarrette Blount, however they have been in a position to exchange these guys and took place as shut as they may to a sixth title in Tom Brady’s age-40 season.



Stephen A. Smith argues with Chiefs huge receiver Sammy Watkins and Marcus Spears concerning the staff’s probabilities of turning into a dynasty within the coming years.

Tremendous Bowl title: LIV

The Chiefs trailed the 49ers 20-10 midway by means of the fourth quarter of the Tremendous Bowl, however every part has gone their method since. They got here again to attain three touchdowns within the last seven minutes, then barreled into an offseason that noticed them return 20 of their 22 starters. In line with ESPN Stats & Info analysis, the one champs to return extra starters within the salary-cap period have been the 2011 Packers, who went 15-1 earlier than being upset by the Giants within the divisional spherical. Of the 18 who performed 10 or extra video games final season, all 18 are again. Analysis by the Elias Sports activities Bureau says that is essentially the most for a defending Tremendous Bowl champ for the reason that 1981 Raiders.

The Chiefs are also bringing again their whole teaching employees — head coach, coordinators, all people. The final champions to do this, the 2014 Seahawks, made it again to the Tremendous Bowl and got here inside a few yards of repeating. The Chiefs have quarterback Patrick Mahomes and star defensive lineman Chris Jones signed to long-term offers. They even discovered a approach to reconfigure Sammy Watkins’ contract to assist hold him on the staff. “Run it again,” they’re saying in Kansas Metropolis, and they’re set as much as take their finest shot at a repeat.

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