Our off-season trackers cover all of the important moves that each team makes between the end of the 2016 season and the start of the 2017 one.

logo-cardinals ARIZONA CARDINALS

SIGNED: Jarvis Jones – The Cards added to the defensive line by signing the former first round pick away from the Steelers. (14/3)

FRANCHISED: Chandler Jones – No real surprise that the Cardinals take steps to retain one of the NFL’s most productive defensive threats, but will it now be at the expense of other potential free agents such as Calais Campbell? Watch this space. (28/2)



SIGNED: Andrew Whitworth – Whitworth isn’t the player he was a couple of seasons ago, but the former Bengals left tackle is still miles better than any lineman the Rams had on the roster in 2016. (09/3)

HIRED: Matt LaFleur –  The man who has done a lot behind the scenes to settle Matt Ryan now gets the task of running the Rams’ offense and trying to get some production out of Jared Goff. It is a tough first gig in the coordinator seat, but you’ve got to start somewhere and if he makes a success of the mess in LA the sky could be the limit for LaFleur.



ACQUIRED: Jeremy Zuttah –  The Niners traded sixth round picks with the Ravens for the veteran center as they try to fix an offensive line that was looking pretty frazzled by the end of 2016. (16/3)

SIGNED: Kyle Juszczyk – Shanahan likes big, versatile, fullbacks and Juszczyk will do for him what Patrick DiMarco did in Atlanta. (08/3)

SIGNED: Bryan Hoyer  – The Niners at last added a quarterback to the roster. Hoyer will have an interesting role, either as a backup to another veteran (Cousins? Romo?) or as a mentor to a young draft pick. (08/3)

CUT: Antoine Bethea  – This looks like nothing more than a move to free up some cap space. Linebacker is arguably the one area where the Niners have some strength in depth and Bethea is still enough of a player to contribute somewhere. (08/3)

CUT: Torrey Smith – No surprise here, as Smith’s production declined just as quickly as everyone else’s did in San Fran under Chip Kelly. The one-time speedster is not probably a number three at best somewhere, but there are enough receiver-needy teams out there for him to be confident of a new contract somewhere. (07/3)

RELEASED: Colin Kaepernick – Technically, Kaepernick voided his contract in order to try and find a new team. Whilst he will almost certainly have to take a pay cut, there are enough quarterback-needy teams out there, especially ones such as the Jets and the Bears who can’t really afford to develop a high draft pick, to ensure that he gets plenty of attention. (02/3)

SIGNED: Earl Mitchell – The veteran DT was released by the Dolphins earlier this month. It is a measure of how sluggish the market for defensive linemen is that he attracted interest from several teams before settling for a side in transition but where he figures to be a significant player if – and he lost most of 2016 to injury – he can stay healthy. (27/2)

HIRED: DeMeco Ryans – OK, so there are lots of coaching hires going on as Kyle Shanahan builds his squad, but this is one of the surprises. Ryan brings his playing career to an abrupt halt to join the bottom rung of the coaching ladder as a quality control coach. (22/2)

SIGNED: K’Waun Williams – And in another surprise hire, the Niners pick up cornerback Williams, who has been out of football after falling out with the Browns over the treatment of an ankle injury in 2015. His grievance hearing for that is scheduled for May and his new bosses will be hoping that he can then turn his attention to bolstering a fairly porous secondary. (22/2)


SIGNED: Eddie Lacy – Have the Seahawks found the next Beast Mode? Well, Lacy certainly brings the powerful downhill running style, but his ability to keep himself fit and at a sensible weight has always been in doubt. (14/3)

SIGNED: Blair Walsh  Walsh was cut by the Vikings in the middle of last season and is almost certainly here to act as insurance against Steven Hauschka leaving in free agency. If Hauschka – who missed some crucial kicks towards the end of 2016 – stays then the equally-fallible Walsh could find himself searching for yet another team.



Richard O'Hagan
Writer on such diverse topics as sport, music, theatre, law and politics. Author of 'Eddie the Sheep'. Supporter of underachieving teams, including the Chicago Bears from before that brief, heady, period in the mid-1980s when they were actually any good. All I want for Christmas is a Jim McMahon away shirt.
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