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Perfect Off-Season: AFC South Edition!

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

There's no such thing as "perfect", but in this scenario I get to play GM for a day and pretend the offseason are perfect!

This series is dependent on every other team, so you won't see the same player be signed to multiple teams.

BUT, this won't be insanely detailed, and it will be mainly offense based. So, I will mention the salary cap and draft pick implications, but I'm not going to include an entire salary cap breakdown.

I'm always making changes to the past articles based on edits to the new ones, so if you want to check out the old ones the links are below!

That being said, let's breakdown the AFC South and what moves I think each team should be making in the 2022 Offseason!

Indianapolis Colts

Last Year's Record: 9-8

2022 Estimated Cap Space: $40,852,327

2022 Draft Picks: 2nd (1), 3rd (1), 4th (1), 5th (2), 6th (1), 7th (2)

Notable Free Agents; Eric Fisher (OT), T.Y. Hilton (WR), Xavier Rhodes (CB), Marlon Mack (RB), and Matt Pryor (OT).

The Colts have a ton of cap space to work with going into the off-season, and there's a good chance that T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle retire, and I would imagine they at least retain Matt Pryor.

Now let's breakdown the offseason in it's main pillars, coaching changes, free agency, and the draft.

Coaching; With Matt Eberflus leaving for the Chicago Head Coaching job, the Colts have hired DB Coach Alan Williams as their defensive coordinator. Other than that, no changes are expected to the coaching staff.

Free Agency; The Colts were a game away from being a playoff team last year, which means they are a few improvements away from getting there next year. If I'm the Colts, here are some moves I'm making on offense.

+ Marlon Mack (RB)

+ Allen Robinson (WR)

+ Ashton Dulin (WR)

+ Zach Ertz (TE)

+ Mo Alie-Cox (TE)

- T.Y. Hilton (WR)

- Zach Pascal (WR)

- Jack Doyle (TE)

Due to coming off a serious injury and the lack of production this past year, also the lack of interest at the trade deadline, my expectation is Marlon Mack returns to the Colts on a vet minimum.

As I mentioned previously, Hilton is likely going to retire and the Colts need some answers at Wide Receiver. Allen Robinson was severely underutilized last year, especially compared to the year prior. He can make an impact in a new scene and be a valuable asset.

As for Tight End, isn't it about time Ertz reunited with Wentz and Reich? This would give Wentz a weapon he could rely on and make financial sense for the Colts.

For the rest of the team, it's important that the Colts improve defensively and stay competitors. They need to target a CB and maybe even a pass rusher. Guys like Patrick Peterson, Charvarius Ward, and Chris Harris should be on their radar.

2022 NFL Draft; Ultimately, even with some minor holes on defense, some of their biggest issues seem to come from the offensive side. With no first round pick, currently I have them drafting (QB) Sam Howell in the 2nd Round. I also have them selecting (WR) Romeo Doubs in the 3rd Round for extra receiver depth.

So altogether, here's what the Colts' starting offense would look like in 2022...

QB - Carson Wentz

RB - Jonathan Taylor

WR - Michael Pittman

WR - Allen Robinson

TE - Zach Ertz

How do we feel about the #Horseshoes heading into 2022?

Jacksonville Jaguars

Last Year's Record: 3-14

2022 Estimated Cap Space: $59,381,838

2022 Draft Picks: 1st (1), 2nd (1), 3rd (2), 4th (1), 5th (1), 6th (4), 7th (2)

Notable Free Agents; Cam Robinson (OT), Andrew Norwell (OL), D.J. Chark (WR), and Laquon Treadwell (WR).

The Jaguars have a ton of cap space, and they should be buyers. But now is still a growing year, to invest as a "win now" team wouldn't make sense. The Jaguars need to invest in young talent and build a solid core. Any cap space they don't use will just transfer to next year anyway.

Now let's breakdown the offseason in it's main pillars, coaching changes, free agency, and the draft.

Coaching; The Jaguars are still without a head coach, a defensive coordinator, and likely an offensive coordinator after a disastrous season. For a while, Byron Leftwich seemed to be THE guy, and over time things have shifted. I think with Tampa Bay going downhill post Brady retirement, Leftwich could bring some considerable talent with him as far as coordinators go, and he was originally drafted by the Jaguars. He would be my pick.

Free Agency; I already mentioned that the Jaguars should be cautious buyers with all their cap. So, if I'm the Jaguars, here are some moves I'm making on offense.

+ Blaine Gabbert (QB)

+ Dare Ogunbowale (RB)

+ Laquon Treadwell (WR)

- C.J. Beathard (QB)

- Carlos Hyde (RB)

- D.J. Chark (WR)

- Tavon Austin (WR)

Trevor not only needs a seasoned veteran to back him up, but one who knows Jacksonville like Gabbert does. Plus with the connection to Leftwich it wouldn't be hard to get him in Jacksonville.

Let D.J. Chark and Tavon Austin walk, build up the WR core with young guys including talent in the draft. Allow Lawrence to build a rapport with the guys he has and continue to insert young weapons.

I talked about the young talent they should pursue, and here are some names who would make a great addition. Guys like Charvarius Ward, Mike Hughes, Levi Wallace, Keanu Neal, Jabrill Peppers, Haason Reddick, Rashaan Evans... well you get the point.

2022 NFL Draft; The Jaguars have plenty to work with as far as draft picks go, including the first overall pick. Originally, I wanted them to take a defensive end, but considering their left tackle is leaving in free agency, I now have them taking (OT) Evan Neal first overall. In the second round I have them selecting (DE) Drake Jackson to help improve their pass rush as well as former Clemson teammate to Lawrence (WR) Justyn Ross.

So altogether, here's what the Jaguars' starting offense would look like in 2022...

QB - Trevor Lawrence

RB - James Robinson

RB - Travis Etienne

WR - Laviska Shenault

WR - Marvin Jones Jr.

WR - Justyn Ross

TE - Dan Arnold

We like that leading into 2022 #DUVAL?

Tennessee Titans

Last Year's Record: 12-5

2022 Estimated Cap Space: -$7,302,461

2022 Draft Picks: 1st (1), 3rd (1), 4th (2), 5th (1), 6th (2)

Notable Free Agents; Ben Jones (OL), Harold Landry (OLB), Anthony Firkser (TE), and Jayon Brown (LB).

The Titans are sitting in the negative as far as cap space goes, and they aren't exactly loaded up on draft picks. They will need to be selective in their offseason moves...

Now let's breakdown the offseason in it's main pillars, coaching changes, free agency, and the draft.

Coaching; No changes are expected to the Tennessee Titans coaching staff this upcoming off-season.

Free Agency; It's going to be a tight squeeze to sign new faces, but this is nearly a Super Bowl Team. So, if I'm the Titans, here are some moves I'm making on offense.

+ Logan Woodside (QB)

+ D'Onta Foreman (RB)

+ Sammy Watkins (WR)

+ Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (WR)

+ Cameron Batson (WR)

+ Jared Cook (TE)

+ Geoff Swaim (TE)

- Dontrell Hilliard (RB)

- Jeremy McNichols (RB)

- Marcus Johnson (WR)

- Chester Rogers (WR)

- Anthony Firkser (TE)

Woodside is an exclusive rights free agent, meaning he likely isn't going anywhere and will continue to serve as Tannehill's backup. But I don't think the Titans are done adding to the QB room just yet...

Foreman was a great backup to Henry and filled in as a starter while he was injured, and with Evans still under contract, the two of them are solid for depth.

With both Julio and AJB injured at different points in the year, it was increasingly difficult for Tannehill to move the ball. Watkins is a vet who could be signed for less than $5 Million and add to the WR core.

Jared Cook is familiar with Tennessee, they actually drafted him back in 2009. With Cook aging, maybe he will want to end his career where he started. He can still make plays and he had a cap hit of just $4.5 Mil for the Chargers last year. Firkser alone had $3 Mil hit last year.

Some other cuts the Titans can make include Ben Jones, Jayon Brown, and Rashaan Evans. Both of which alone saves 14.9 Million, which would cover both Cook and Watkins. Plus there's always ways to adjust contracts to different years and save money elsewhere. Guys like Cunningham and Julio will likely see some time of cut.

2022 NFL Draft; In the 1st Round I have the Titans selecting (OT) Bernard Raimann, and without a 2nd Round pick, I have the Titans also selecting (QB) Desmond Riddler in the 3rd Round.

So altogether, here's what the Titans' starting offense would look like in 2022...

QB - Ryan Tannehill

RB - Derrick Henry

WR - A.J. Brown

WR - Julio Jones

WR - Sammy Watkins

TE - Jared Cook

Are we ready to #TitanUp for 2022?

Houston Texans

Last Year's Record: 4-13

2022 Estimated Cap Space: $17,964,388

2022 Draft Picks: 1st (1), 2nd (1), 3rd (2), 4th (1), 6th (3), 7th (1)

Notable Free Agents; Tyrod Taylor (QB), David Johnson (RB), Desmond King (CB), and Justin Reid (S).

The looming question heading into 2022, what to do with Deshaun Watson. That question being answered sets up this entire team for the future, and I'll answer that in just a second!

TRADE; I have the Houston texans trading (QB) Deshaun Watson to the Carolina Panthers in return for a '22 1st Rounder, a '23 1st Rounder, and a '23 3rd Rounder.

This sets up the Texans very well for the next few years and gives them a TON of flexibility.

Now let's breakdown the offseason in it's main pillars, coaching changes, free agency, and the draft.

Coaching; Currently, the Texans are still without a head coach, and some of their lead candidates are former QB Josh McCown, former Dolphins HC Brian Flores, Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon, and Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell (who looks set up to become the Vikings HC after the Super Bowl). Brian Flores would likely be the best option here, but he is currently involved in a lawsuit against the NFL, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, and New York Giants.

So the next best option, and the seemingly favorite is former QB Josh McCown. This guy is a fantastic mentor, and with a decent pair of coordinators could have a lot of success with his first head coaching gig.

Free Agency; Similar to the Jaguars, the Texans are in a "acquire young talent" type of situation. So, if I'm the Texans, here are some moves I'm making on offense.

+ Teddy Bridgewater (QB)

+ Sony Michel (RB)

+ Demarcus Robinson (WR)

+ Danny Amendola (WR)

+ Ricky Seals-Jones (TE)

- Tyrod Taylor (QB)

- David Johnson (RB)

- Royce Freeman (RB)

- Chris Moore (WR)

- Chris Conley (WR)

- Jordan Akins (TE)

Davis Mills lead what become a very impressive 2021 campaign at QB. Now with Tyrod Taylor walking away, I think the Texans should sign Teddy B as a high upside backup.

Sony was very impressive in his time with Rams, and really showed why he was drafted in the 1st Round originally. Him and Rex Burkhead highlight the team's depth at RB before heading into the NFL Draft.

Demarcus Robinson has been a bit underwhelming with the Chiefs lately, but when given the chance he has played well. He provides depth for the Texans and can operate as the team's WR3. As long as Amendola doesn't retire, he also played a crucial role for the Texans to top off the year as well.

Let Jordan Akins walk and Brevin Jordon build off a successful rookie season. Add Ricky Seals-Jones and depth behind him after how he filled in for Washington last season.

In the offseason, I would like to see the Texans prioritize the offensive line to held build a solid foundation. They have enough cap space and even more so now with Watson out, so they can keep guys like King and Reid.

2022 NFL Draft; With their newly acquired picks from trading Watson, here's what I have the Texans doing in the 2022 NFL Draft. In Round 1, I have them taking Kayvon Thibodeaux (DE) and Tyler Linderbaum (OL). In Round 2, I have them taking (LB) Christian Harris, it's an area they are particularly weak on. Finally, in Round 3 I have them taking (RB) Isaiah Spiller and (WR) Jahan Dotson.

So altogether, here's what the Texans' starting offense would look like in 2022...

QB - Davis Mills/Teddy Bridgewater

RB - Sony Michel/Isaiah Spiller

WR - Brandin Cooks

WR - Nico Collins

TE - Brevin Jordan

How are all you #Texans feeling about the team for 2022?



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