The NFC West sent only one team to the playoffs and saw that team bounced in the first round. However, the NFC West is shaping up to be the most interesting division in football for the coming offseason and subsequently the 2018 season. There are two teams that sport great young QB/head coach duos, a former divisional bully on perhaps its last leg, and a middling veteran laced team teetering between immediate contention or reloading for a run in a later year.
Let’s take a look at the tough decisions each team faces come March 2018.
Arizona Cardinals 8-8, 3rd in NFC West
The Cardinals must be the most you-never-would-have-guessed 8-8 team in NFL history. Nothing about the 2017 Cardinals felt like an 8-8 team, and just from observing them you would probably assumed they went 5-11. Arizona finished 22nd in DVOA, and 24th in point differential, with a +/- of -66. Six of Arizona’s eight wins came in one-score games, as the Cardinals went 6-2 in games decided by six points or less. Three of those wins were a three point victory over the Colts (picking 3rd in the 2018 NFL Draft), a three point victory of the pre-Garoppolo 49ers (1-10 before the trade), and a five point victory over the Buccaneers (picking 7th in the 2018 NFL draft).
The two biggest questions the Cardinals need to address are quite obvious:
- 1. Who will be the next head coach?
- 2. Who will be the next starting quarterback?
The search for a coach has been a little odd so far. They were interested in Pat Shurmur, who took the Giants job, and Matt Patricia, who took the Lions job. They had interest in Mike Munchak, but he has declined a second interview with the Cardinals and has elected to remain in Pittsburgh.
The Cardinals seem to have turned their sights to a pair of positional coaches: Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo, and Patriots Linebacker/Safety coach Brian Flores. I am not going to sit here and advocate for one over the other. Each has their merits. Bringing in the QB coach that was a part of Wentz’s meteoric rise to MVP candidate certainly has its logic. So does tagging someone who has spent his entire 14 year career working closely with Bill Belichick.
I am also not going to sit here and recite a bland cliche about how the Cardinals need to make sure they hire a good fit for the direction of the organization. However, there is truth to that statement, so I guess I am saying the cliche. Arizona is straddling the line between being a couple of pieces away from being very competitive or trying to embark on a reloading (not rebuilding) effort and being patient the next two seasons.
Arizona has some elite talent on defense headlined by LB Chandler Jones and CB Patrick Peterson, but they also have plenty of talented starters in DB Tyrann Mathieu, S Tyvon Branch, S Antoine Bethea, S Budda Baker, CB Tramon Williams, DL Frostee Rucker, Corey Peters and a potential lottery ticket in former first round pick DL Robert Nkemdiche. On offense, if Fitz doesn’t retire obviously that is huge, and so is the return of David Johnson. The Cardinals are better quarterback and offensive line play away from being competitive for the division title.
(You may want to call me out for saying the Cardinals played more along the lines of a 5-11 team yet claim them to be only better quarterback and offensive line play away from contending for the division. Keep in mind, however, they spent the entire season without David Johnson, and Carson Palmer was second in the NFL this year with 14 dropped interceptions and he only played in six and a half games. Matthew Stafford led the league in dropped interceptions with 15 and played all 16 games. Palmer’s injury resulted in Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton starting for Arizona the rest of the season and we all know how that went. Even competent quarterbacking by someone like Tyrod Taylor would be a substantial improvement.)
But the Cardinals could also allow key free agents, such as Tyvon Branch and Tramon Williams, to walk away and look at perhaps cutting Jared Veldheer to save close to $7 million of cap space.
The organization must also decide if they want to throw a young quarterback into the fire in 2018 or perhaps bring in a bridge such as Sam Bradford to remain as competitive as possible while the quarterback of the future develops behind the scenes.
So what will happen at quarterback? With Shurmur off to New York, the theory that Cardinals could be the the team to pull off the Shurmur/Keenum double dip died. Keenum could still be in play, however. Before re-signing any of their own players or accounting for draft picks, the Cardinals are looking at $27.8 million of cap space ahead of free agency. If Keenum chooses to leave the Vikings, my gut feeling is that he will fetch about $18 million a season on the open market. Teams will still be leery that 2017 was a fluke, but if you want Keenum you will have to pony up starter money.
The 17 largest contracts at the quarterback position are held by veterans no longer on their rookie scale deals. With the exception of Mike Glennon, who started the first four games of the season, they are all starters. The average of these 17 quarterback’s average annual value is $20.63 million. Spotrac’s Market Value tool says that Keenum is worth $21.1 million annually. Keenum could possibly command $20 million a season, but for a 29 year old that has made a total of $7.16 million in his five NFL seasons, I think $18 million a year will be able to secure you Keenum’s services.
Keenum isn’t the only option (if he even makes it to the open market). I mentioned earlier a scenario where the Cardinals spend a draft pick on a signal caller while bringing in someone like, or even the man himself, Sam Bradford to be the bridge quarterback. I don’t know how well this will work out, since Bradford forced his way out of Philadelphia because he did not want to be a bridge quarterback. However, Bradford could conceivably be interested in taking a one-year contract to boost his market value after another knee injury cost him nearly the entire 2017 season. That chance could exist in Arizona if they are interested in giving Bradford a one year deal before turning the team over to the 2018 draft pick in 2019.
I currently have the Cardinals selecting Baker Mayfield with the 15th pick in my 2018 NFL Mock Draft. (I’m sorry for the shameless plug using formal verbiage one wouldn’t normally use in conversation, but you gotta get the SEO up, ya know?) The Cardinals could conceivably look at the talent on the roster and think they aren’t that far off and aggressively move up the board for a quarterback they fall in love with. This is what I am talking about when I say the new coach the Cardinals hire must be on the same page with the front office and organization as to how to address the quarterback position.
Of course, they won’t know all of their options until later on in the process, so there should be Plan A, B, C, D, E, etc. in place when the coach comes on board.
For instance, we don’t know if Kirk Cousins will hit the open market, but if he does the Cardinals could certainly be a suitor. If Arizona wants to maximize the prime years of the elite defensive talent on the roster, they could pursue Kirk Cousins to remain as competitive as possible. Cousins will probably cost at least $25 million annually, so Arizona will have to get creative in making some space.
I mentioned before that Arizona could cut Jared Veldheer and save close to $7 million on their 2018 cap sheet. Adrian Peterson has no dead money on the books so regardless of what the Cardinals do about their quarterback situation in 2018, I expect them to shed Peterson’s $2.8 million cap hit. Cutting Josh Mauro would save another $2.8 million dollars.
They will also face tough questions for retaining their own free agents. Tramon Williams, Tyvon Branch, Frostee Rucker, LB Karlos Dansby, CB Justin Bethel, and both WR John and Jaron Brown are free agents. Having selected Budda Baker in the second round of the draft in 2017, the Cardinals were perhaps preparing to let Branch walk after this season. At age 36 the Cardinals can walk away from Dansby. I would let Bethel walk and at least one of the Browns.
Keeping Tramon Williams I think is very important and finding a way to keep Rucker on a reasonable deal is as well. Of course, that’s just me. If the Cardinals want to break the bank to bring in Cousins they will have to make difficult decisions such as these.
Los Angeles Rams 11-5, 1st in NFC West
I won’t bore you with another recount of the magnificent Rams’ turnaround. At this point I’m sure you’re aware of it. The biggest questions the Rams face is how to keep the band together. Before resigning any free agents or accounting for 2018 draft picks, the Rams are looking at roughly $45 million in cap space for 2018. The Rams, however, are looking at potentially six impact starters walking away come March.
The big six are: CB Trumaine Johnson, WR Sammy Watkins, OLB Connor Barwin, S LaMarcus Joyner, C John Sullivan, and slot corner Nickell Robey-Coleman.
The math isn’t as simple as how many of those guys can they fit into their cap space? Aaron Donald will play the 2018 season on his 5th year rookie option, meaning in 2019 the Rams will have to either tag him, make him the highest paid defensive player in the history of football, or let him walk in free agency. The numbers aren’t set yet for what the franchise tag will cost each position in 2018, let alone 2019, but for 2017 it cost $13.387 million to franchise tag a defensive tackle.
The better option is signing Donald to a long-term contract. Aaron Donald is the best defensive player in football and in the prime of his career. When next season starts he will be 27 years old and the Rams should make sure he plays in Los Angeles through his early 30’s.
Ndamukong Suh is currently the defensive player with the largest contract in terms of dollars, average annual value, and guaranteed money at signing. Suh was 28 when he signed his contract. The Dolphins gave Suh $114.375 million dollars with an average annual value of $19.062 million and $59.955 million guaranteed at signing. The value of the first three years of Suh’s deal was $60 million in cash.
The Rams will probably have to do better, for no other reason other than simply adjusting for inflation. But 1000% percent the Rams should bring out the Brinks truck to keep Donald in town.
Prior to today, J.J. Watt had the record for most first half pressures in a game since 2006 at 10 in a 2014 Week 15 game. It took him 30 pass rushes.
Aaron Donald had 10 pressures in the first half, tying the most. It took him 20 pass rushes.
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) January 7, 2018
Also coming up in 2019, the 5th year rookie option of Todd Gurley’s contract, which also means an extension for Gurley will soon be forthcoming. The Rams will be paying Gurley only $2.32 million in 2018 but figure to see that number get to close to $6 million in 2019 and then probably outpacing Devonta Freeman’s $8.25 million annual salary beginning in 2020.
(Want to hear something wild? Todd Gurley, and presumably Melvin Gordon, will become the first running backs to have their 5th year rookie scale option exercised since the new CBA included the contractual provision in 2011. Both Mark Ingram and Doug Martin had their options declined, David Wilson sadly had to retire, Trent Richardson was cut after three seasons on his rookie contract, and no running back was drafted in the first round of the 2013 and 2014 drafts.)
As for the pending free agents, let’s look at the offensive players first. Andrew Whitworth is normally highlighted as the reason the Rams’ offensive line completely turned around this season. No doubt Whitworth was phenomenal and instrumental in the season over season change, but the contributions of John Sullivan should not be undersold. In 2016 the Rams ranked 29th in adjusted line yards and 29th in adjusted sack rate. In 2017 the Rams ranked 3rd and 9th, respectively. In 2016 the Rams surrendered 49 sacks, the 2nd most in the NFL. In contrast, the Rams surrendered 28 sacks in 2017, the 9th fewest in the NFL. Whitworth was great, but one man alone can not make that much of an impact.
And we all saw the difference. Jared Goff had time to go through his progressions and went from looking like a colossal bust to a viable franchise quarterback. Todd Gurley went from Trent Richardson comparisons to a First Team All-Pro, and potential MVP. At 32 years old I don’t think the Rams have to worry about Sullivan resetting the center market in free agency. I do, however, think they should make sure they keep Sullivan in town. David Andrews of the Patriots is making $3 million annually and is younger and the superior player. However, given the size of several center contracts, if the Rams can lock up Sullivan in the $3 million a year range they should do it. He may, however, want more money.
It’s easy to view Watkins as a luxury the team doesn’t need. Robert Woods put up better numbers, and Cooper Kupp seems to be a third-round steal. Watkins outpaced Woods, however, in both DYAR and DVOA. I personally feel that Watkins is an important part of this offense and having the talent of Goff, Gurley, Woods, Kupp and Watkins is what made the Rams so potent.
Watkins was the 4th pick of his draft class and considers himself an elite receiver in the NFL. Regardless of if he is correct in his evaluation of himself, I think he is looking for a large payday in March. The Rams could conceivably bring someone in at a lower cost to play a complementary role to Woods and Kupp, but that would take the Rams admitting that the second round pick they shipped out for Watkins is a sunk cost that they should just eat and move on.
It may not be easy for the front office to admit that to themselves. It is also possible that both McVay and Goff want to see what they can do with Watkins with an entire offseason together. I don’t think the franchise tag for Watkins is an option as that would cost nearly $16 million dollars in all likelihood. Will the Rams make the cold decision to let Watkins walk and eat the second round pick they shipped to Buffalo to obtain him, or can the two sides strike a deal that won’t impede the Rams from having enough cap space to pay Donald and Gurley in the near future?
Slot corners are starters now, seeing as how offenses spend the majority of their time in three-wide sets. This means slot corners are extremely valuable and the Rams have one of the top five 2017 slot corners in Nickell Robey-Coleman, who is the ripe age of 25 years old.
Trumaine Johnson, a large corner at 6’2″, 213lbs, has played on the franchise tag each of the past two seasons, making a third straight tag highly unlikely. The Rams may have to break the bank to retain Johnson. In either 2016 or 2017, Josh Norman, Xavier Rhodes, Patrick Peterson, Desmond Trufant, A.J. Bouye, Stephone Gilmore, Janoris Jenkins, and Darius Slay all were handed contracts with an average annual salary of at least $12.5 million.
LaMarcus Joyner, who played at an elite level in 2017, is 27 years old. For someone who has made only $5.1 million in his career to this point, Joyner may be looking to strike while the iron is hot. In either 2016 or 2017, Eric Berry, Tyrann Mathieu, Reshad Jones, Harrison Smith, and Kam Chancellor all signed deals for at least $10.25 million a year. Each player had a better track record than Joyner, so if the Rams can resign him on a deal closer to what the Eagles gave Rodney McLeod ($7 million annually) or even Malcolm Jenkins ($8.75 million annually) they will have done pretty well.
The Rams finished the season with the 3rd best pass defense by DVOA, and now the three most important players in their secondary are all free agents at the same time.
I have to expect that in an effort to retain as many of these guys as possible while still having the ability to hand out big pay raises to both Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley in the near future, Connor Barwin will be playing elsewhere in 2018. I also expect this to be the offseason the Rams move on from Tavon Austin, as they can save $3 million on the cap sheet for 2018 and then be rid of his contract forever. I also think that if Mark Barron is not a cap casualty this season (which would save $7 million) he will be in 2019 (which will again save $7 million).
Robert Quinn, the second best pass rusher on the Rams, has a potential out in his contract this offseason. The Rams can save almost $11.5 million in 2018 if they cut Quinn. In 2019, Quinn will have no dead money left on his deal and the Rams will be able to save nearly $13 million on their cap sheet by releasing him. Robert Quinn has not posted a double digit sack campaign since 2014 and may soon be a cap casualty if the Rams want space to retain other guys.
San Francisco 49ers 6-10, 4th NFC West
I hope you are ready for the 2018 San Francisco hype train that will culminate in them being the sexy pick to be a new division winner. The 49ers made Jimmy Garoppolo the starter in week 13 and are undefeated since that move.
The 9ers are also staring at nearly $120 million in cap space this offseason, before re-signing any of their own free agents or accounting for draft picks. If the 9ers wanted to they could conceivably throw so much money at Le’Veon Bell that he relocates to the bay and they would STILL have at least $100 million in cap space. Hide ya kids, hide ya wives, the 9ers might be snatchin’ up ‘erbody.
Of course all of this is misleading since the 49ers have to either tag Jimmy or sign him to a long-term deal. The tag will cost the 9ers somewhere around $21.5 million for the 2018 season while a long-term extension will probably see Jimmy Garoppolo command $25 million annually. This would tie Garoppolo with Derek Carr for the second highest average annual value for a quarterback in the NFL, and you may say that Jimmy is still too unproven after only seven career starters to garner that type of financial resources. You certainly would not be wrong to think that, but in today’s NFL starting quarterbacks get paid and John Lynch has already stated he wants to keep Garoppolo for a “long, long time.”
Derek Carr was the highest paid player in NFL history before Matthew Stafford became the highest paid player in NFL history with an average annual value of $27 million. If you’re like me and think no one in the NFL should be making more money than Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady (Brady skews the numbers since his wife is a gazillionaire and Brady doesn’t seem too keen to act like LeBron and drain every possible penny out of his playing career) then you surely think some of these quarterback contracts are outrageous. You aren’t wrong, but the value of the quarterback position is so disproportionate to any other position on the field you just have to overpay to keep your guy. Jimmy is the 9ers guy and will be paid accordingly.
So let’s recalibrate. Once Jimmy is signed the 49ers are looking at $95 million in cap space. Well, they could still offer Bell $20 million a year and be left with $75 million of space. I do not think they will pursue Bell, however. I think that Shanahan and John Lynch have confidence they can find a cheaper alternative at running back, especially with a running back loaded draft class in 2018.
Other than Garoppolo, the biggest free agents the 49ers have looming are S Eric Reid and RB Carlos Hyde. I have to imagine the 49ers will keep Reid around. Hyde, on the other hand, seems to be in the situation where the team will make him an offer and if he receives more money somewhere else they will let him just walk away.
So what will San Francisco do with all that money? The 9ers could really put pressure on their divisional rivals by making plays for Trumaine Johnson, Sammy Watkins, and John Sullivan of the Rams. These moves address positions of need for the 9ers while also hurting Los Angeles if they lose any.
One move I will predict way too early: The 49ers sign WR Jarvis Landry.
San Francisco’s biggest need is a true edge rusher and if the Cowboys don’t tag DeMarcus Lawrence and allow him to hit the open market, I could envision the 9ers overpaying to make sure they secure his talents. Ezekiel Ansah is another option but he is three years older than Lawrence.
It really isn’t hard to envision San Francisco making a run at any top-tier free agent given how much money they have available to them. Malcolm Butler is another option for the team at corner.
San Francisco sits at the 9th pick in the draft. They don’t have their own second-round pick due to the Garoppolo trade, but thanks to 2017 draft day trades, San Francisco has the Saints’ second-round pick, and the Bears’ third-round pick in addition to their own third-round pick. It is easy to see the 9ers moving down from the 9th pick to try and add even more selections/recoup a second-rounder if they aren’t in love with what falls to them, or if another team is eager to move up and secure a certain player. On the other hand, depending on how free agency goes San Francisco could easily sit there at the 9th pick and take whoever they deem is the best player available.
The world is currently San Francisco’s oyster. They have their GM, coach and QB to go along with seemingly unlimited financial resources and a top ten pick in the 2018 NFL Draft (sorry).
Seattle Seahawks 9-7, 2nd NFC West
I’ve previously touched upon the looming cap decisions the Seahawks will have to make in 2018, and so has everyone else. I hate to rehash the entire thing but that’s sort of the point to the article so here we go:
The Seahawks are looking at only $14.8 million of cap space before re-signing any of their own players or accounting for draft picks.
Their biggest free agents are: TE Jimmy Graham, G Luke Joeckel, RB Eddie Lacy, DT Sheldon Richardson, WR Paul Richardson and CB Byron Maxwell.
I would have to prognosticate that Eddie Lacy and Luke Joeckel are as good as gone. If Graham doesn’t demand too much money I think it is possible he stays, but I think the odds are he will take a bigger payday somewhere else.
Maxwell enjoyed a resurgent season his first year back in Seattle but was limited to only seven games. The Seahawks will have to give Maxwell a significant pay raise from the $900,000 he made in 2017 if they want to keep him around, which I’m sure they do since Jeremy Lane will not be a Seahawk in 2018. Not only did Seattle already try to trade Lane away in 2017, and have it fail, but Lane was arrested for a DUI where he told the cop he was “more high than anything.” Also, releasing Lane would save the Seahawks nearly $5 million on their cap sheet.
Richardson was second on the team in receiving yards and third in receiving touchdowns in 2017 and brings a speed threat to Seattle’s passing game.
The Seahawks are in a similar situation to the Rams are with Watkins in that they traded a second-round pick for Richardson and Richardson is now a free agent. Seattle has to decide if they want to eat the second-round pick as a sunk cost or carve out cap space so they can keep him around. How, exactly, can they carve out cap space? Glad you asked.
The potential big name cap casualties are CB Richard Sherman, S Kam Chancellor, DE Michael Bennett, DE Cliff Avril, and the aforementioned Jeremy Lane.
Sherman, Chancellor, and Avril are all a possibility to be cut due to injuries. Pete Carroll has already publicly stated that Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor will have “a hard time playing football again.” Cutting Avril would save the Seahawks over $7 million and cutting Chancellor saves Seattle roughly $2 million. They may opt to retire anyway.
Richard Sherman, who turns 30 in March, ruptured his Achilles during the 2017 season. It is not outrageous to say that Sherman will never again be the same player. There is only one more year left on Sherman’s contract, so letting him play it out before walking away in free agency makes some sense. On the other hand, cutting Sherman will save Seattle $11 million in cap space. Keep in mind that ahead of the 2017 draft the Seahawks were listening to trade offers for Richard Sherman.
I don’t think any big name defensive back on this roster is safe outside of Earl Thomas. Lane is gone, Sherman is expensive and tore his Achilles, Maxwell will command a significant pay raise, Chancellor may never play again, and the Seahawks were clearly preparing for this reality when they drafted three defensive backs between the third and fuorth-rounds, and added another in the sixth-round, this past April.
Michael Bennett has long been rumored to be a potential cap casualty and he himself doesn’t think he will be in Seattle in 2018. Out of all the potential cuts the Seahawks might make to save money, this one makes the least amount of sense to me. Bennett was second on the team in sacks last season with 8.5 and cutting him would only save the Seahawks $3.1 million. If Avril is cut or retires, and the team cuts Bennett, that leaves them with only Frank Clark as an edge rusher. Additionally, Bennett’s contract is structured for the team to get out of it in 2019, when the move would save them $5.3 million and leave only $3.475 million of dead cap on their books. Why not make cuts elsewhere and stick with Bennett for one more season?
So what is Seattle going to do about their offensive line? I don’t need to tell you that Seattle’s offensive line was horrendous in 2017, but in case you were wondering what the numbers are they finished 31st in adjusted line yards and 26th in adjusted sack rate. Seattle also tied for the 10th most sacks allowed, with 43, and that is with Russell Wilson constantly pulling Houdini tricks in the backfield.
This is going to be poorly received and controversial in a sense, but I don’t think the Seahawks are that far off from a decent offensive line. Justin Britt isn’t going anywhere, and while he wasn’t as good in 2017 as he was in 2016, if he can regain his prior form the Seahawks are all set at center. They also brought in Duane Brown, who has been one of the better left tackles in the NFL for the entirety of the current decade.
I was high on Pocic prior to the draft and still have faith he will turn into a competent starter so we have three starting positions locked up for the offensive front. All we are missing is right guard and sort of right tackle. Germain Ifedi, Seattle’s first round pick in 2016, has been abysmal in his two seasons thus far. However, I expect Seattle to give him one more chance to hold down the starting job at right tackle while using a mid-round selection to bring in a development tackle/some competition. I also expect the Seahawks to use a mid-round selection or a cost conscious free agent signing to improve the right guard spot left vacant from Joeckel’s assumed departure. That really isn’t that outlandish to envision happening.
Speaking of mid-round draft picks, the Richardson and Brown trades combined to see Seattle ship out their second and third-round picks in 2018 and a second-round pick in 2019. Needless to say, they are lacking for day two selections for the next two drafts. Don’t worry though, the Seahawks have notoriously traded down from their first selections during the Carroll/Schneider regime.
Seattle sits at the 18th pick in the first round, after the Ravens and Chargers and ahead of the Cowboys and Lions. The positioning is important as each of those teams figures to have its 2018 opening day starting quarterback already on the roster and would theoretically be willing to trade down if someone desperate to move up came calling.
Even if Seattle’s future trade partner doesn’t move up to grab a quarterback, I will be genuinely shocked if Seattle actually makes a selection at 18. Seattle is not slated to pick again after 18 until the 116th selection, and that is before compensatory selections have been awarded, so that fourth rounder will be even later overall. Seattle will look to fall back and address their offensive line, the areas that become need areas based on roster cuts, and add a complimentary back to potential diamond-in-the-rough Chris Carson.
I want to go on record saying I strongly disagree with the firing of Darrell Bevell, especially since Seattle decided to replace him with Brian Schottenheimer. Here is a table of Seattle’s offensive ranks in DVOA, Yards/Game and Points/Game in every season that Bevell was the offensive coordinator and Russell Wilson was the starting quarterback:
And Seattle thinks they’re going to do better? Bevell has never finished outside the top half in offensive DVOA and only fell outside the top seven once the offensive line went to shit, which is on Schneider for a lack of resources spent on the position group. Seattle lost its divisional bully status and someone’s head had to roll. Bevell ended up the scapegoat.
If I was any team looking for an offensive coordinator, I would be blowing up Bevell’s phone. In fact, if I were the Titans I would be bringing Bevell in to see how he envisions applying concepts he used with Russell Wilson to Marcus Mariota and, yes, potentially offering him the head coaching job.
And, really, Brian Schottenheimer? Schottenheimer was the offensive coordinator with the Jets from 2006-2011 and the offensive coordinator with the Rams from 2012-2014. Let’s see how his offenses faired:
I don’t get it. How is this an upgrade? Why did Seattle do this? When was the last time Belichick fired a coordinator? Continuity matters and Seattle had a good offensive mind in the building. The team should have spent the 2018 offseason dedicating resources to rebuilding their running game and let Wilson continue under the only coordinator he has ever known.