Another season ends ... and another one begins.
They're still sweeping the streets in Denver from the Broncos' victory parade, but all 32 teams in the NFL already have started working toward September's season opener. More than ever before, there is no offseason in this league.
It's going to be an unusual offseason -- the defending champions have a big quarterback question, and another franchise is moving, just for starters -- and the league will be taking up a number of key issues at the annual meetings (deciding whether to expand the playoffs, considering if two personal fouls in a single game merits an ejection).
Among the non-playoff teams with the most interesting offseasons ahead, these five stand out to me:
Tennessee Titans (3-13 in 2015)
Beginning with the controversial hiring of Mike Mularkey (who went 2-7 after taking over as interim head coach for Ken Whisenhunt in November), controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk made it clear that the further development of Marcus Mariota is Job 1. With a solid defense that bordered on being a top-10 unit in total D, clearly the task facing Mularkey and new general manager Jon Robinson is to surround Mariota with the talent needed to win a mediocre AFC South. The offensive line seems pretty set, with prime draft picks Taylor Lewan (a first-rounder in 2014), Chance Warmack (first-rounder in '13), Jeremiah Poutasi (third-rounder in '15) and Brian Schwenke (fourth-rounder in '13) in place. Mariota showed real flashes in his rookie season; he was the player the Titans thought they were getting. If Tennessee can find a solid second offensive tackle -- admittedly a tall order in the modern NFL -- and replenish the skill positions, the Titans could surprise some teams in 2016.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-10)
This could be the most interesting team to watch in the offseason. Jameis Winston, like Mariota, showed that the game was not too big for him, and the organization reaffirmed that by firing Lovie Smith and promoting Dirk Koetter from offensive coordinator to head coach. A healthy Doug Martin seems revived at running back -- and both the Bucs and Martin appear motivated to reach a new deal -- while Mike Evans is a true difference maker at wide receiver. The defense has always had potential, but that potential has yet to be realized, hence the firing of Smith. Outside of an upgrade at offensive tackle, the Bucs need to lock the offensive staff out of the draft room and let new defensive coordinator Mike Smith accumulate the needed talent at defensive end, safety and cornerback.
Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)
Here's a team that, in many ways, looks to be on the verge of a breakthrough. The Jaguars patiently have stuck with head coach Gus Bradley (12-36 in three years on the job) while making clear that the future is now. Blake Bortles stepped up in 2015, throwing for 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns (though he did lead the NFL with 18 picks). Still, Jacksonville has a lot of remaining concerns. The young receiving corps -- with Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee -- is quite talented, but the 27th-ranked rushing attack needs a bell cow at running back and could use help in the interior O-line. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball ... Even if promising edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. returns to form after missing his entire rookie season with a torn ACL, the Jags have serious defensive questions to answer at corner, safety and outside linebacker (opposite bright youngster Telvin Smith). Bradley will need to accelerate the process if he wants to be around when this team finally becomes good.
Baltimore Ravens (5-11)
With the pedigree of the Ravens, it might be easy to simply say that getting the healthy returns of Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs and an un-retired Steve Smith will make Baltimore an immediate contender in the AFC. I am not so sure. The secondary is in desperate need of upgrading -- and Baltimore might need a serious infusion of young pass-rushing talent, depending on just how healthy and fresh 30-somethings Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are in 2016. Offensively, even with Smith returning, the skill positions are a major question mark for the Ravens. Justin Forsett is a journeyman at running back, and the receiving corps is long on promise but short on production. The Ravens will need a pair of second-year talents -- wide receiver Breshad Perriman and tight end Maxx Williams -- to really step up. There are some who think the Ravens need to address depth in the offensive line and seek an upgrade at right tackle.
Cleveland Browns (3-13)
OK, everyone knows that this franchise has been a Dumpster fire for a while now. And the case of Johnny Manziel has gone from colorful to questionable to, presently, sad and concerning. But the Browns made some daring administrative hires (snagging Paul DePodesta from the New York Mets, one of several moves designed to bring the analytics revolution that changed baseball into football personnel evaluation). I don't know if they'll succeed, but they're trying. And Cleveland landed a head coach, Hue Jackson, who can help the team out of its offensive doldrums. Now the question is personnel. The Browns are set to release Manziel when the new league year begins March 9. The next question: What to do with Josh Gordon? Does the talented but troubled wideout deserve a 47th chance? (Approximately ...) All that said, there are still parts here on defense. If the Browns can fill their perpetual black hole at quarterback, they might not be that far away.