2007 NFL Breakdown Preview – American Football Conference ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>
* All stats are 2006
The Ravens recently lost (DE) A.Thomas to free agency, but secureda replacement by signing (LB) J.Johnson (16 TKL, 1.5 sacks). Ravensacquired (DB) K.Thomas (4 sacks, 39 TKL) from Buffalo. Eight yearveteran (LG) E.Mulitalo was let go for (G) D.Dockery (WAS). (RB)M.Smith (INJ) has re-signed a one year deal after having surgeryon his neck. Smith will be best used on special teams. (RB) J.Lewisis still in negotiations with Ravens, while still checking freeagency market. He has currently signed with Cleveland.
The Bills and (DT) D.Walker (27 TKL, 6 sacks) aren’t SeeingEye to eye these days. Waker is refusing to attend minicamp untilhe’s gets a contract extension. Bills acquired (RB) J.Scoby(SEA) to help with their special teams and for back up. He returned17 kickoffs for 315 yrds before breaking his arm. The Bills 12thround draft pick, (RB) M.Lynch (CAL) is looking to back up veteran(RB) A.Thomas (2 TD, 378YDS) .Lynch is an all-star player fromCalifornia who recorded back to back +1000 yard seasons. He’sthe next big star. (TE) K.Everett is looking to be tight end afterinjuring himself in camp last year. Everett is being comparedto Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow Jr. all tocome out of Miami.
The Bengals released (DT) S.Adams (2 sacks, 10 TKL) and signedK.Allen (INJ) from Green Bay. (LB) C.Miller (66 TKL, 1 sack) thelast of the Bengals free agents re-signed for 1 year. Bengalsalso re-signed their top (RB) K.Watson who ran for 138 yards andreceived 23 catches for 213 yards.
Cleveland made big offensive moves this off season. (RB) J.Lewis(9 TD, 1,132 yds) (BAL), (QB) B.Quin (ND), (OL) E.Steinbach (IWA),(OT) S.Mckinney (TEX), (OT) J.Thomas (WIS) are all new to theBrowns. Cleveland’s also signed (FB) J.Niklos and (WR) E.Hill,both NFL European players, to a one year contract. With superstarB.Quin coming into the picture, it’s not sure whether (QB)D.Anderson (5 TD, 8 INT, 56 PCT) will get the start. Rookie (CB)E.Wright is in a battle for a starting cornerback job along withveterans like D.Holly (5 INT) and K.Wright.
The Broncos acquired a couple of monster defensemen, (DT) J.Kennedy(33TKL, 1 Sack) from St.Louis and (DT) S.Adams () from Cincinnati.They also picked up a couple wide receivers, Q.Morgan (DEN) andB.Stokley (IND). The biggest trade for Denver was getting (CB)D.Bly (46TKL, 3INT) (DET) and (RB) T.Henry (1,211YDS, 7TD) (TEN).Denver traded away (RB) T.Bell (DET).
The Texans signed college (QB) J.Zabranski (13-0) as a free agentover the off season. He had three straight seasons passing above2.500 yds, for Boise State. Apparently Zabranski is getting alongreally well with (WR) A.Johnson (103REC, 1,147YDS, 5TD) and newlyacquired (RB) A.Green (1,059YDS, 5TD) (GB). Houston also acquired(LB) S.Barber from Philadelphia. Texans traded (QB) D.Carr (CAR,(LB) T.Evans (NO), (LB) A.Peek (CLE), (RB) D.Williams
The Colts claimed (DB) A.Perkins from Cleveland and (TE) M.Seidmanfrom Carolina. The Colts lost free agents (DB) N.Harper (58 TKL,3 INT) and (DB) J.David (48 TKL, 2 INT) over the off season. Theywere the starting cornerbacks for the last three seasons. Hopingto take his place is K.Hayden. Hayden has been the number onetop reserve for the last two seasons. He’s ready to go!
The Jaguars released franchise player (S) D.Darius to go foryounger and faster players. Looks like (QB) D.Culpepper mightbe coming to Jacksonville, even though they have (QB) B. Leftwichand (QB) D.Garrard. Jaguars picked up (WR) D.Northcut (22 Rec,228 Yds) from Cleveland and (TE) J.Wiggins (46 Rec, 386 yds, 1TD) from Minnesota. While giving up (TE) K.Brady (NE) and (WR)C.Hankton (MIN)
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are trying to switch to a younger team. It looks likesecond year (QB) B.Croyle will be battling D.Huard for a startingposition after the loss of (QB) T.Green (MIA). The Chiefs acquired(MLB) N.Harris (42TKL, 2sacks, 3INT) (MIN), (DE) A.Boone (22 TKL,2 sacks,) (CHI), (C) J.Darche (SEA), (LB) D.Edwards (97 TKL, 2.5SACKS, 3 INT) (SD) AND (DT) R.Edwards (KC). The Chiefs departedwith (KR/WR) D.Hall (STL), (LB) K.Mitchell (NYG), (DT) R.Sims(TB) (CB) L.Walls(STL).
The Dolphins didn’t do too much shuffling around. Theysigned T.Green (7 TD, 9 INT, 1,342 YDS) over the off-season. It’snot sure what will happen to D.Culpepper () although there’ssome interest coming out of Jacksonville. They got (K) J.Feely,(TE) D.Martin () (GB), J.Porter () (PIT) and (DT) K.Traylor ()(MIA). The most notable departures are (QB) J.Harrington (ATL)and (RB) D.Barnes (NYJ)
New England Patriots
The Patriots have signed (WR) R.Moss to a one year contract.Moss (3 TD, 553 yds) struggled with Oakland, so the Raiders tradedhim to New England, for a fourth-round selection. The Patriotsalso lost (DE) M.Hill over the summer, due to a Jet Ski accident.Patriots re-signed (LB) J. Seau for a second season. Seau playedin the first 11 games of the 2006 season and recorded 70 tackles,before breaking his arm. Patriots sign veteran (DE) A.Thomas (11sacks, 1 Int) from Baltimore. Patriots sign (CB) T.James (4 Int)from Cincinnati, who will back up franchise player (CB) A.Samuel(10 Int). Even though Samuel has not accepted the teams offer.(RB) C.Dillon (13 TD, 812 yds) was released from the team. It’snot sure if he’ll retire or sign elsewhere.
New York Jets
NY Jets (G) P.Kendall, a 12-year veteran, has asked to be tradedor given a new contract. It’s not likely that the Jets willre-negotiate his contract because they did that last year, inwhich he signed a four year deal. Can you say “GREEDY”?The Jets acquired (DE) E.Hicks (KC Chiefs all-time sack leader44.5) along with (DE) D.Bowens (5 sacks)(MIA), (DE) K.Coleman(25 TKL, 4 sacks)(DAL) and (DE) A.Wadsworth (not played since2000) to help build up their defense. It seems the Jets are happywith their offence. (QB) C.Pennington’s looking good atminicamp according to (WR) L.Coles (6 TD’s, 91 REC’s).Jets also picked up (RB) D.Barnes to back up (RB) C.Martin who’sspent 2006 season recovering from knee surgery.
The Raiders need to do a lot of work in the off season. Theyrevamped their whole offense, first by getting rid of (WR) R.Moss(NE). Raiders then went out and got (WR) T.Taylor (57REC, 651YDS,3TD) (MIN), (RB) J.Griffith (23REC, 168, 3TD) (ATL) and (RB) D.Rhodes(641YDS, 5TD) (IND). That’s a good start! Then they addedsome defensive backs C.Johnson, B.Ward and re-signed D.Starks.Raiders also drafted top rookie (QB) J.Russell (LSU). Russellsgot a bullet for an arm and coach says he will fit in nicely asback up.
Steelers back up (NT) C.Hoke has re-signed with the team. Hebacked up C.Hampton who was injured most of season. Top two draftpicks (LB) L.Timmons and (LB) L.Wooley are at minicamp and lookingto compete for linebacker after (LB) J.Porter signed with Miami.Steelers have picked up (DE) N.Eason (15 TKL) from Cleveland tofill in for (DE) R.Bailey, who signed with Arizona. (OT) M.Starkshas signed again with Steelers. Starks started 14 games last seasonbefore injuring his knee. Look for rookie (OT) W.Colon, who filledin the last two games for Starks, to push for a starting position.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers didn’t do too much shuffling around duringthe off season. They re-signed (OG) K.Dielman () after he becamea free agent and kept the same team as 2006. The Chargers usedtheir draft pick to pick up (WR) C.Davis (LSU) who is extremelyfast and explosive. M.Schottenheimer was let go as coach and replacedwith offensive coordinator Norv Turner. C.Hart (39 TKL, 3 INT)and rookie E.Weddle (Utah) will compete for strong safety afterthe release of T.Kiel. (LB) D.Edwards was released to Kansas City.
With P.Jones in legal trouble and the Titians not wanting him.(CB) K.Herndon (67 TKL, 1 INT) was picked up, from Seattle, andwill be taking his place. The Titians picked up free agent (DB)N.Harper (58 TKL, 3 INT) from the Colts. (RB) C.Brown resignedwith the Colts to be back up to starter T.Henry (7 TD, 1,211 yds),when experienced (RB) L.White showed up to camp overweight. (WR)K.Johnson(4 TD, 814 yds) may sign with Tennessee; he met withteam officials recently.