This is a partial story from our 2017 Pro Football Weekly NFL Preview Magazine, including in-depth scouting reports for all 32 teams; our “Super 50,” the NFL’s elite, ranked overall and by position; fantasy football 2017 Draft board and so much more. Order your copy, bundled with the 2017 Pro Football Weekly Fantasy Football Guide, here to read the rest.
1. PATRIOTS AREN’T JUST THE BEST — THEY’RE THE BOLDEST
After pulling off the most dramatic Super Bowl comeback ever, Bill Belichick’s Patriots orchestrated perhaps the most aggressive and unorthodox offseason we’ve seen by a defending Super Bowl champion. Largely eschewing the typical growing pains that accompany replenishing via the draft —New England’s four-man class is the smallest by a reigning champ in the common Draft era—he used unrestricted free agency (CB Stephon Gilmore), restricted free agency (RB Mike Gillislee) and, most notably, the trade market (WR Brandin Cooks, DE Kony Ealy, TEs Dwayne Allen and James O’Shaughnessy) to buoy Tom Brady, 40 and seemingly still improving, and his constantly evolving roster.
Indeed, Belichick essentially made every trade but the one we all expected — backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Brady told owner Robert Kraft he plans to play six or seven more years. Meantime, Belichick geared up for their 18th season together like it’s their last.
2. ATLANTA FALCONS: STILL FLYING OR CRASH LANDING?
Only twice in Super Bowl history has the previous year’s loser held a parade after the next season — and neither the 1971 Cowboys, ’72 Dolphins, nor arguably any other club, suffered a loss nearly as stunning as…
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