Taking a trip down memory lane to the free agency frenzy, this time was filled with craziness and surprising moves made by both teams and individual players. Some moves were expected, some came with surprise.
With all of the moves and acquisitions throughout the offseason, we could be in for high scoring games with specific teams. Based off the offseason, teams like the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and the Jacksonville Jaguars could be near the top as a couple of the high scoring offenses’ next season.
Which offensive players will make their mark on their offensive unit in 2018?
QB Kirk Cousins
Just one game away from the Super Bowl last season, the Vikings locked up the best quarterback on the market in Kirk Cousins. Cousins comes from a Washington offense who battled through various amount of injuries and unproductive plays. The Redskins franchise tagged Cousins twice in his career instead of giving him a long-term deal.
With Cousins signing a three year-deal, in which all of the money is guaranteed, he gets an upgrade in wide receivers and a running game. Stefan Diggs, Adam Thielen, and Kyle Rudolph make up a dangerous receiving core and have been productive with quarterbacks who did not have the talent that Cousins has.
When was the last time Cousins was able to rely on a strong running game in his career? In recent years, he never had a go-to running back that can take the pressure off of him. He’ll have Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray who run the ball hard and can get the job done on the ground.
Cousins is walking into a perfect situation with the Vikings and he could be the missing piece to put the Vikings on top in the NFC.
TE Jimmy Graham
Arguably one of the best signings, if not the best. The Green Bay Packers provided Aaron Rodgers with a premier tight end who will look to excel in a Green Bay passing offense. Graham is a dangerous vertical threat tight end in the league and Rodgers will have the opportunity to utilize Graham in the passing offense. With Jordy Nelson now in Oakland, Graham could become Rodgers go-to guy.
WR Michael Crabtree
The Baltimore Ravens were able to get their number one receiver problems solved by signing Crabtree almost immediately after his release from the Oakland Raiders. Joe Flacco gets himself a productive and veteran receiver who is great in the redzone. With the Ravens still not having a big steady running game, it’s expected to see the Ravens continue to throw the ball and Crabtree making a big impact for them.
WR Allen Robinson
One of the many great free agent signings by the Chicago Bears, Robinson was the best receiver in free agency, even coming off an ACL injury last season. Robinson will become the number one receiver for Mitchell Trubisky and his production should very well increase.
In Jacksonville, the Jaguars seem to becoming more of a run-first team with Leonard Fournette. Even with them locking up Blake Bortles, the team decided not to bring back Robinson and they also released Allen Hurns.
Going to Chicago, this could setup Robinson for a comeback year under new, offensive head coach Matt Nagy, who has helped boosted the passing game with the Bears over free agency. Expect Robinson to come back stronger and make an immediate impact for the second year quarterback in Trubisky and Bears offense overall.
RB LeGarrette Blount
From winning a Super Bowl ring the past two years with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, Blount is heading to Detroit to give the Lions a little upgrade to the non-existent run game. Matthew Stafford will have pressure taken off of him this season. Blount is a big time back who can truck defenders and push to get the extra yardage.
He will be a great addition in the redzone for the offense. He may not have the same year he did in 2016 with the Patriots, but expect him help the Lions offense in a major way when it comes to the redzone.
RB Jerick McKinnon
In a now established 49ers offense with Jimmy Garoppolo, McKinnon walks into a perfect scenario in San Francisco. McKinnon was never going to be the main running back in Minnesota, but with the 49ers, he’ll get more playing time and increase his productivity.
Having arguably the best offensive-minded head coach in Kyle Shanahan, McKinnon is due for a breakout year with the 49ers. With his ability to catch out of the back field and the speed that he provides, it gives that offense a boost that they need to put points on the board.
Brandon Ray is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the Buffalo Bills. Follow him on Twitter at @brandon_ray79.