My goal with the Offseason Preview series is to get caught up with each team’s 53-man roster, offensive and defensive schemes, team needs, and offseason capital within a 10-minute read. The basics will be at the top — cap space, draft picks, cut candidates, notable departures — and the film and analytics takes will be at the bottom. I hope to write these in a way that they’re referenceable throughout not just free agency and the NFL Draft, but also the 2021 season as we look into weekly matchups. The offseason is the time for me to get outside of our fantasy football bubble and learn more about what’s going on at the other positions.
Before we get to the previews, I wanted to take a moment for Chris Wesseling who passed away before his 47th birthday. Wesseling’s life story is unlike most, going from being a mailman to blogger to Rotoworld foundation setter ultimately all the way to NFL Media. His wit, deep knowledge of football, and detailed note taking made him a football industry star and all played into how he helped grow the Rotoworld brand in the 2010s. While Wesseling was a fantastic writer (my blurb and column training here often consisted of “that’s how Wesseling did it”), he was an even better podcaster because of his non-football outlook and his authentic relationships. Few have had his life perspective, and nobody could translate it into words more eloquently on air. For the thousands of us who were never lucky enough to meet him, including myself, Wesseling felt like a friend. And for those who were friends with him, Wesseling felt like a hero.
Wesseling’s impact has ripple effects — he was a professional mentor to RotoPat and Josh Norris who are mentors to me for example — and will continue rippling through the lives of many football writers, cancer patients, friends, husbands, and fathers for years to come. Because he was so open with his life, there’s a treasure trove of clips and tweets floating around the internet from him that are worth finding. The “Wess” episode from the Around the NFL Podcast, “Chris Wesseling Tackles the Big C” episode from Rotoviz, and the “History of Rotoworld” episode from Rotoviz are great places to start. But if you’re short on time, I’ll leave you with a random tweet of his coming minutes after a crazy 2018 Chiefs/Rams game that just about broke me this weekend: “One thing cancer taught me last year: in a world determined to sell us fake plants and microwave breakfast, he who experiences the most pure moments wins. Put a four-hour moment on the scoreboard for the good guys.” Let’s go experience some pure moments, and hopefully they include a few more 54-51 finishes on Monday Night Football.
Offseason Preview Dates
By the original 2021 NFL Draft first round draft order:
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (February 9)
2. New York Jets (February 10)
3. Houston Texans (February 11)
4. Atlanta Falcons (February 12)
5. Cincinnati Bengals (February 13)
6. Philadelphia Eagles (February 14)
7. Detroit Lions (February 15)
8. Carolina Panthers (February 16)
9. Denver Broncos (February 17)
10. Dallas Cowboys (February 18)
11. New York Giants (February 19)
12. San Francisco 49ers (February 20)
13. Los Angeles Chargers (February 21)
14. Minnesota Vikings (February 22)
15. New England Patriots (February 23)
16. Arizona Cardinals (February 24)
17. Las Vegas Raiders (February 25)
18. Miami Dolphins (February 26)
19. Washington Football Team (February 27)
20. Chicago Bears (February 28)
21. Indianapolis Colts (March 1)
22. Tennessee Titans (March 2)
23. Seattle Seahawks (March 3)
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (March 4)
25. Los Angeles Rams (March 5)
26. Cleveland Browns (March 6)
27. Baltimore Ravens (March 7)
28. New Orleans Saints (March 8)
29. Green Bay Packers (March 9)
30. Buffalo Bills (March 10)
31. Kansas City Chiefs (March 11)
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (March 12)
Free agency begins on March 17 at 4:00 p.m. EST.
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