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Sport Biggest remaining question for every NFC team

00:37  17 may  2018
00:37  17 may  2018 Source:   thescore.com

Malachi Flynn transferring to San Diego State

  Malachi Flynn transferring to San Diego State Washington State sophomore averaged 15.8 ppgMalachi Flynn, a 6-foot-1 transfer from Washington State, pledged Monday to the Aztecs, giving coach Brian Dutcher a high-scoring guard with two years of eligibility remaining.

Every franchise in the league still has major issues to address before the gridiron violence resumes. From uncertainty surrounding the performance of aging quarterbacks to the impact of new ownership, here are the biggest questions for all 16 NFC teams

Here's a look at the biggest remaining weak spot for every NFC team Running back, another low-leverage spot, offers its own questions in Ty Montgomery and bruising rookie Jamaal Williams.

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The NFL is winding down for the summer. Free-agent cash has been spent, draft classes selected, and while rosters around the league are far from set, we now have a firm grasp of how each team is set up for the upcoming season.

No team is perfect, though. Every franchise in the league still has major issues to address before the gridiron violence resumes. From uncertainty surrounding the performance of aging quarterbacks to the impact of new ownership, here are the biggest questions for all 16 NFC teams:

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NFC I AFC (May 17)

Arizona Cardinals

Can the offensive line protect whoever wins the starting job? - The Cardinals tied for third in sacks allowed last season; they also have two quarterbacks atop their depth chart - Sam Bradford and rookie Josh Rosen - who both have injury histories, with the former having one of the lengthiest in NFL history. Justin Pugh and Andre Smith were added to the line in free agency, but the unit is still one of the weakest in the league. Whether it's Bradford or Rosen under center in Week 1, the Cardinals' top priority is stabilizing their protection.

Atlanta Falcons

Can Steve Sarkisian fix the offense's woes in the red zone? - In 2016, under offensive wizard Kyle Shanahan, the Falcons' offense turned red-zone chances into touchdowns roughly 64.5 percent of the time (eighth-best in the league), according to teamrankings.com. A year later, however, the Sarkisian-led unit plummeted to around 45 percent (23rd-best), a disaster considering the team's plethora of weapons. The under-fire Sarkisian needs to get the Falcons back on track with essentially the same skill group. Maybe that Julio Jones guy could be useful?

Biggest remaining question for every AFC team

  Biggest remaining question for every AFC team The NFL is winding down for the summer. Free-agent cash has been spent, draft classes selected, and while rosters around the league are far from set, we now have a firm grasp of how each team is set up for the upcoming season. No team is perfect, though. Every franchise in the league still has major issues to address before the gridiron violence resumes.

The team 's biggest area of weakness remains at cornerback. Its first pick in three of the last four drafts has been on a defensive back, but that hasn't led to immediate returns. One of the most complete teams in the NFC , the Vikings are loaded at many positions.

Finishing up on the NFC side of things, I analyze the rosters of the Cardinals, Rams, 49ers and Seahawks, to point out the biggest areas of need for each squad with the main phase of free agency and the draft in the past. This division is in a state of transformation, but every team still has major

Carolina Panthers

What does new ownership mean for the Panthers? -It seems like a Diddy-Curry-Kaepernick ownership faction was too good to be true, as billionaire Ben Navarro is reportedly set to land the franchise for a record $2.2 billion and is apparently looking to add some star power to his group in Peyton Manning. Now that the sale is effectively done, major questions will need to be answered, from the team's future in Carolina to the new owner's day-to-day involvement.

Chicago Bears

Can Matt Nagy build a top offense with his new weapons? - The Bears aggressively upgraded their offense this offseason, giving incoming offensive-minded head coach Nagy some exciting toys to play with. How quickly and effectively Nagy can integrate the likes of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, and rookie Anthony Miller into a unit that already boasts Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, and of course Mitch Trubisky, will likely determine how far Chicago can go in 2018.

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FBO: Biggest post-draft needs in NFC West. 1543dVince Verhei. In this post-draft edition of Plugging the Holes, Football Outsiders will look at the largest remaining personnel needs of every team , division by division.

Barnwell: Offseason moves to improve every NFC team . The big question , then, is whether the Cardinals try to do something about Tyrann Mathieu's deal. » • Biggest remaining need for all 32 » • Are Vikings NFC fave with Cousins?

Dallas Cowboys

Who will step up to replace Dez Bryant and Jason Witten? -One-hundred and thirty-two - that's the number of catches the Cowboys need to redistribute following the release of Bryant and the retirement of Witten. Dallas has a lot of bodies, but few quality pass-catchers. Maybe Allen Hurns bounces back, or perhaps Michael Gallup turns into an instant star? Whoever it is, the Cowboys need to quickly determine who will be Dak Prescott's go-to guy.

Detroit Lions

Will the running game finally produce? - The last time the Lions had a 100-yard rusher in a game, the "Harlem Shake" dance was taking over the Internet. Fast-forward nearly five years, and the Lions are still pouring resources into fixing the ground game, which ranked dead last in 2017. Detroit signed LeGarrette Blount in free agency and drafted fellow runner Kerryon Johnson and mauler Frank Ragnow. The Lions don't need a dominant ground game with Matthew Stafford under center, but it's past time the team gave its quarterback some backfield support.

Green Bay Packers

Can the young secondary grow up fast enough to help Aaron Rodgers pursue his second ring? - The Packers' pass defense - or lack thereof - has held back the team's pursuit of a second title in the Rodgers era. Outside of veterans Tramon Williams and Davon House, Green Bay is banking on a youth movement to reinvigorate the unit. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (25), Kevin King (23), Jaire Alexander (21), and Josh Jackson (21) should all play critical roles and will be under immense pressure to come together quickly in order to give Rodgers the support he needs.

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While every team brings a different strategy to the table, the perfect scenario is to land the best player Let's play matchmaker for the NFC with one ideal pick for each club. Though they don't have any glaring holes in the lineup, the Falcons' biggest loss of the offseason was nose tackle Dontari Poe.

Los Angeles Rams

How will the star additions jell with the young core? - With Jared Goff and Todd Gurley on controlled rookie contracts for the foreseeable future, the Rams loaded up on star veterans to push them over the edge. Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, and Ndamukong Suh undoubtedly make L.A. better, but it's no easy task to integrate outspoken - and sometimes volatile - vets into a young team that's still growing, especially for a coach as inexperienced as Sean McVay.

Minnesota Vikings

Can Kirk Cousins take the offense to the next level? - Despite paying Cousins an NFL record $30 million per season, the Vikings don't need, nor expect him to play, like an elite quarterback. But, Minnesota does need to get its monies worth. The Vikings' offense was 10th in scoring and 11th in passing in 2017, so while there's room for improvement, a significant jump is a tall task - but one that Cousins will need to be equal to in order to prove the Vikings' historic investment was worth it.

New Orleans Saints

Is Marcus Davenport the final piece to the championship puzzle? - Believing they were another top pass-rusher away from the second title of the Drew Brees-Sean Payton era, the Saints made a blockbuster move to jump up for Davenport. New Orleans gave up its 2019 first-rounder to snag the defensive end, so he'll be under enormous pressure to produce from Day 1. Brees turns 40 before next year's Super Bowl; he simply doesn't have the time to wait for Davenport to find his feet at the pro level.

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Scott Kacsmar identifies the biggest post-draft need for every NFC East team . In this post-draft edition of Plugging the Holes, Football Outsiders will look at the biggest remaining personnel need of every team , going division by division.

New York Giants

Does Eli Manning have enough left in the tank? - The Giants have gone all-in on the 38-year-old Manning. If he has a Pro Bowl-worthy season left in him, New York could be contenders. But, if the regression he has shown of late is more about his age and less about his previously-weak supporting cast, it won't matter how many highlight-reel plays Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. produce.

Philadelphia Eagles

Will Carson Wentz be ready for Week 1? - The reigning champs have few concerns, and even the uncertain status of Wentz is softened by the presence of Nick Foles. Still, while Wentz is "very confident" he'll be healthy for the season opener, it's likely he won't be the force of nature he was in 2017. Wentz should eventually get up to speed, but how the Eagles manage his return will be vital to their chances of repeating.

San Francisco 49ers

Does Jimmy Garoppolo have the weapons to live up to his mammoth contract? - Armed with the second-most cap space in the league entering free agency, the 49ers eschewed most of the big-name offensive players available, inking only running back Jerick McKinnon to a surprisingly large contract. Head coach Kyle Shanahan's system is a star-maker, but opting not to surround Garoppolo with as much top talent as possible is a choice the 49ers will have to answer for if the $137-million man struggles early on.

Seattle Seahawks

Was enough done to fix the offensive line? - A different year but the same question for the Seahawks' faithful. Due to his woeful protection, Russell Wilson was battered and bruised to such a degree that it's a miracle he made it through 2017 in one piece. Seattle did little this offseason to address the issue - though the team's limited resources was likely a factor in the lack of moves - outside of bringing in two blocking tight ends, and are apparently banking on their current unit making a significant leap under a new position coach. For a retooling team that looks set to rely on Wilson more than ever, opting to essentially stand pat is a risky strategy.

Ex-Memphis guard Jamal Johnson is transferring to Auburn

  Ex-Memphis guard Jamal Johnson is transferring to Auburn Guard Jamal Johnson is transferring from Memphis to Auburn. Auburn announced Saturday that Johnson has signed a financial aid agreement. He will have three years of eligibility remaining after redshirting next season.The 6-foot-3, 178-pounder started 27 games and played in 34 for Memphis last season. He averaged 6.9 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.Johnson was second on the team with 47 3-pointers. He came off the bench the first seven games but had six 3-pointers and 18 points in his starting debut against Bryant.The Birmingham native was a first-team all-state pick as a senior.

With that in mind, we look ahead to the divisional-round matchups with one big question for each of the eight teams . Keenum has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league this year, and assuming he keeps it up, the Vikings could be the most complete team in the NFC .

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Can Jameis Winston fix consistency issues and reach his star potential? - For three seasons, we've waited for that moment, that breakout performance from Winston - the one where everything clicks and his enviable skill set is maximized. Adding DeSean Jackson last year was meant to be the final piece to the puzzle, but the same accuracy and game-to-game consistency issues plagued Winston. An improved running game could be the real final piece, but the clock is ticking for Winston to prove he's the guy instead of just a guy.

Washington Redskins

Who will be Josh Norman's running mate? - Beyond star cornerback Norman, the Redskins face great uncertainty at the position. After sending Kendall Fuller to Kansas City as part of the Alex Smith trade, seasoned veteran Orlando Scandrick is the favorite to earn the starting job next to Norman, while Fabian Moreau and Josh Holsey will fight it out to be the primary slot corner. The pass defense was a strength for Washington last season; they can't afford for it to be a weakness next year.

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10 good players still lingering on the NFL free-agent market .
We tend to think of free agency as a “March thing,” but high-quality players continue to linger on the free-agent market as June arrives. Here are 10 who could make an impact somewhere this season…1. QB Colin Kaepernick: We’ve been over this.2. WR Dez Bryant: The three-time Pro Bowler was released by the Cowboys in April at the age of 29. At the very least, he can be a top-end No. 2 target. Look for him to catch on somewhere as an injury replacement in August.3.

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