Eagles QB situation, Boldin trade headline offseason superlatives
The bulk of free agency is finished and the 2013 draft is in the books, meaning NFL teams are set, for the most part, on the personnel front. The usual doses of spring practice and preparation remain between now and the start of training camp for the 2013 season; but with the roster-building largely over, it seems like a good vantage point to review the league's offseason and hand out some hardware for the hits, the misses and everything in between. Everybody loves superlatives...
And even on defense, things remain somewhat murky. Billy Davis is coordinating a unit in the midst of a transition to a 3-4 formation, but the Eagles say they'll still feature a 4-3 look at times, as well as the 4-3 "Under,'' a gap-control front that has its proponents throughout the league.
With a minimum of eight new starters, a rookie NFL head coach, and someone other than Andy Reid calling the shots in Philly for the first time since Bill Clinton was in his second term, the Eagles have more unknowns than any team in the league. New is everywhere you look in Philadelphia -- which is the newest development of all for a team that had led the league in stability for seemingly forever.
Most debunked piece of conventional wisdom
The NFL tried to signal its lack of interest and enthusiasm for this year's quarterback draft class, but we thought it was just being coy. So did Geno Smith, Ryan Nassib and Barkley, who all got served a slice of humble pie when the picking started. It was a good reminder to stay away from the word "always'' when it comes to draft projections, and take into account the outlier year in every scenario.
Best trade value
Worst deadline performance
Best kick save and a beauty
Worst poker face
Best win-now move
Most surprising contract
Most improved (in a hurry)
Best buzz kill
Worst negotiating stance
Best nearly unnoticed work
More good work was done in the draft, with the Raiders trading down from No. 3 to No. 12 to reacquire a second-round selection, and picking up instant starters in cornerback D.J. Hayden, offensive tackle Menelik Watson and linebacker Sio Moore. Oakland has plenty of work left to do, but some of the heavy lifting has been done.
Much ado about very little award
Best job of reporting the NFL
New team, but same old foot in the mouth award
Shortest lived title
There are no losers in this saga, unless Tony Romo was hoping to be king of the NFL salary mountain at some point this offseason.
Failing to get the message award
Biggest over-reaction award
This furor too shall pass as players learn the new rule, with education and adaptation doing plenty to mitigate the change in time. It's a common sense step in the move to try to limit brain trauma, and no less a physical-style running back than the great Jim Brown said he never used his head as a weapon while running his way to the Hall of Fame. Player safety initiatives are almost all met these days with predictions of gloom and doom for the game. But the game changes, and then endures. And it will once again, even if the helmet goes back to being used for its original purpose, protection rather than punishment.