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Neil Reynolds' Countdown to 2020… 10 winners of the offseason

It has been another headline-filled offseason across the NFL with the usual array of high-profile moves, intriguing draft picks and anticipation for the new campaign to get underway.

While some individuals and teams have taken hits over the spring, there have been others who have enjoyed a very positive and exciting few weeks, whetting the appetite for the 2020 campaign.

Here are 10 winners of the NFL offseason...

1.      Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs have not only upgraded an offense that ranked third in the NFL a year ago with the additions of quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski, they have become relevant and one of the most talked-about teams in the league. Tampa Bay fielded a highly-efficient offense that racked up 397.9 yards per game in 2019 and that was with Jameis Winston throwing 30 interceptions and having at least another 20 dropped. Brady will take care of the ball and should benefit from some outstanding weapons.

2.      Cleveland Browns

Let's fire up the Cleveland Hype Train one year later than expected! Okay, Browns fans still need to be cautious in their optimism, but there is reason for hope heading into 2020. Cleveland hit on some serious areas of need in adding tackles Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills via free agency and the draft. Austin Hooper also comes on board at tight end, teaming with David Njoku in what could be a dynamic partnership.

3.      Jarrett Stidham

Throughout the offseason we wondered if the Patriots would keep Brady. And when they moved on, we wondered if they would prefer a veteran such as Andy Dalton, Teddy Bridgewater or Cam Newton over second-year quarterback Stidham. But they ignored all of the veterans on the market and didn't so much as glance at passers in the draft. This is Stidham's ship to be steered through post-Brady waters.

4.      Denver Broncos

This could easily see Drew Lock being listed as the winner. Lock showed the Broncos enough at the end of his rookie year and John Elway has built young talent around him. Jerry Jeudy is a pro-ready receiver who can line up opposite Courtland Sutton, second-round wideout K.J. Hamler can fly and fourth-round tight end Albert Okwuegbunam was one of Lock's favourite targets in college. Add Melvin Gordon to Philip Lindsay in the backfield and you can see why Broncos fans are excited.

5.      Baltimore Ravens

The rich got richer in the offseason and the Ravens look set to make another run at the Super Bowl in 2020. Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe are rock-solid additions to defensive line, while Baltimore were also able to hang on to edge rusher Matthew Judon. Eric DeCosta knocked it out of the park in the draft with Patrick Queen a tackling machine at linebacker and J.K. Dobbins capable of starting at running back.

6.      Kyler Murray

Arizona's second-year passer is another individual player to benefit from his team's offseason activity. The single biggest earth-shattering move of the offseason came when the Cardinals traded for Houston Texans Pro Bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins. That was a big-time addition for Murray, who should make a big leap in his second year in the NFL. Re-signing Kenyan Drake at running back was also a sneaky-good move.

7.      Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins went into the offseason with one of the weakest rosters in the NFL. When they enter training camp, they will have filled many holes and added their quarterback of the future in Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa. Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts will be instructed to teach the Patriot Way in the locker room, while Byron Jones teams with Xavien Howard to form an expensive but talented cornerback duo.

8.      Buffalo Bills

With a first-rate defense already in place, Buffalo made their offseason about further strengthening the offense around young quarterback Josh Allen. John Brown and Cole Beasley were productive in 2019 but Buffalo still felt the need to add more passing game weaponry in the form of Pro Bowl receiver Stefon Diggs. Second round running back Zack Moss is a human joystick who will make an impact as a rookie.

9.      Cincinnati Bengals

It was a miserable campaign for the Bengals in 2019 but they have talent in place to make a quick improvement. Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow is the most obvious addition, of course, but the Bengals took care of some other business. They secured the immediate future of receiver A.J. Green via the franchise tag and shored up the secondary with the signings of cornerbacks Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander; and safety Vonn Bell.

10.      Los Angeles Chargers

It's been very easy to pile on the Chargers in recent months and years… they should never have left San Diego. They wasted Philip Rivers' best years. We don't like their new logo. Those are some of the remarks levelled at this team. But they have enjoyed a good offseason, adding a quarterback of the future in Justin Herbert, and proven veterans such as offensive linemen Bryan Bulaga and Trai Turner, as well as cornerback Chris Harris Jr.