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Instant Debate

Which top free agency spender has most playoff potential next season?

Since free agency opened on March 9, the biggest spenders have been the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders, with each handing out at least $150 million in free agency signings.

The Giants have forked over the most, dropping just over $200 million -- with much of that sum going to DE Olivier Vernon's mega deal of $85 million over five years. A large chunk of the Jags' total went toward DE Malik Jackson's six-year, $90 million contract, while the Raiders have picked up several notable players in OG Kelechi Osemele, DE/OLB Bruce Irvin and CB Sean Smith, among others.

Of the top three spenders in free agency, which team has the most playoff potential next season?

The Giants have the best shot at making the playoffs for one reason: The NFC East is the weakest division. The Redskins won the division in 2015 at 9-7, so there is no dominant team right now. New additions Olivier Vernon (defensive end), Janoris Jenkins (cornerback) and Damon Harrison (defensive tackle) should all start and help the Giants immensely on defense.

I realize the Houston Texans, who won the AFC South last season, also had just a 9-7 record, making it look like the door is open for Jacksonville. However, I think the Colts will be a stronger team with a healthy Andrew Luck, and I have to factor in the offensive additions of the Texans, who already have a strong defense. It will be hard for the Jaguars to win that one this year. I'll take the Raiders on this one. They have a tough head coach in Jack Del Rio and impact players on both sides of the ball. They were tougher in the trenches as last season progressed, plus they just added a lot of talent with Kelechi Osemele and a few others. Del Rio knows how to compete, and they beat the eventual champion Broncos -- in Denver -- last December. With the offseason changes to the Broncos' roster, I think we can expect a dip in production from Denver. As for the rest of the AFC West, the Chargers can never stay healthy, though the Chiefs will be tough again.

But as far as I'm concerned, the Giants have a lot of holes to fill -- even after signing a slew of defensive players -- and the amount they spent could end up being regrettable (bad money). The Jaguars have a lot of good players, but I think the AFC South is Houston's division for a while. The Raiders seem to have the best shot at the postseason. I think you have to go with the experience of the quarterbacks. Jacksonville's Blake Bortles and Oakland's Derek Carr are still young guys in this league. Eli Manning has led the Giants to major postseason success and won two Super Bowls. Last season, the Giants' defense was less than impressive, but they spent a lot of money this offseason in order to fill some holes. That unit should be a lot better in 2016.

The fun teams, though, are the Raiders and Jaguars, because I think they both have a shot at making the postseason. I think my brother, Derek, will have all day to throw the ball with the additions to the offensive line. Bringing in Bruce Irvin to play opposite Khalil Mack, who I think is a little bit underrated and could be just as good as Von Miller, was a good move. The Raiders will be a better team, so we'll see how it plays out. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie made it a point to sign talented players who fit Jack Del Rio's personality, as well as his system. Oakland is fortifying the trenches, which is where success starts. The Raiders showed that they can compete with some of the best teams in the league last season. Now they have to learn how to finish games, and that comes with talent and leadership, which they acquired in free agency. The Giants have the most potential to be a playoff team at the end of the 2016 season for several reasons. They have a veteran quarterback and a WR1 in place with Odell Beckham Jr. With that duo and Ben McAdoo's promotion from offensive coordinator to head coach in January, the offensive side of the ball is solid. The additions they made to defense (primarily upgrading the defensive line) finally give coordinator Steve Spagnuolo the kind of talent he's used to having. He has a deeper rotation, which allows the D to attack the quarterback without blitzing while having players in coverage.

I think the Giants will have a middle-of-the-pack defense. But as long as their offense can score and the defense keeps them in games, Big Blue has a chance to make the playoffs.

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