Rex Ryan declared last year that the Bills had “won the offseason.” It’s a phrase that’s sometimes used to boast that one team or another had a great haul and improved dramatically.
The only problem with that idea is the fact that Super Bowls aren’t won in March. If that were the case, Jacksonville and Cleveland would have ended their droughts after going on spending sprees the past few years.
That’s not to say free agency can’t have an impact on a team’s Super Bowl chances, though.
If Rex Ryan were the coach of the Patriots, he would have guaranteed a Super Bowl after the haul they just had. They landed Stephon Gilmore, Brandin Cooks, Dwayne Allen and Kony Ealy, to name a few, bettering their chances at winning it all again. It wasn’t a dramatic improvement, but they’re far and away the favorites to win Super Bowl LII. The next-closest teams are 10/1 (Cowboys, Packers, Seahawks).
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Dallas Cowboys: 9/1 to 10/1
Dallas lost six key contributors on defense in Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr, Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox, Terrell McClain and Jack Crawford, as well as guard Ronald Leary. Yet, despite those departures, the Cowboys’ Super Bowl odds didn’t take much of a hit. That’s probably because Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant and that offensive line remain in place.
Seattle Seahawks: 16/1 to 10/1
The Seahawks added Luke Joeckel and Eddie Lacy as their headline free agents, and Vegas seems to think they’ll both help Seattle’s Super Bowl chances. Neither had great 2016 seasons, but the Seahawks are banking on them improving with a change of scenery.
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Houston Texans: 40/1 to 16/1
The Texans have made one notable move so far this offseason: trading Brock Osweiler. Their improving odds tell you everything you need to know about how ineffective he was in Houston. Are the Texans now setting their sights on Tony Romo? It’s a possibility.
New York Giants: 25/1 to 18/1
The Giants added Brandon Marshall early on, as well as tight end Rhett Ellison, both of whom should make an impact in 2017. Additionally, they inked Jason Pierre-Paul to a long-term extension on Friday, solidifying the defense for years to come. The combination of those moves improved New York’s Super bowl odds.
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Minnesota Vikings: 16/1 to 33/1
The Vikings signed Riley Reiff, Mike Remmers, Datone Jones and Latavius Murray, but none of those four did anything to help Minnesota’s Super Bowl chances, according to Bovada. Minnesota also opted to let Adrian Peterson walk, though it’s unlikely his departure made them significantly worse.
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Buffalo Bills: 66/1 to 100/1
The only AFC East team to see its Super Bowl odds increase was the Patriots. Their improvements only hurt the rest of the division, which is probably why Buffalo’s chances took a hit. Retaining Tyrod Taylor and bringing in two fullbacks didn’t seem to do enough in the eyes of odds makers.
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Jacksonville Jaguars: 66/1 to 100/1
The Jaguars have been the biggest spenders thus far, dishing out $168 million in free agency. They also spent more than any other team last year, and we saw where that got them. A 3-13 record, to refresh your memory. Signing A.J. Bouye, Barry Church and Calais Campbell, among others, did nothing to help their Super Bowl chances.
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Los Angeles Rams: 75/1 to 150/1
The Rams aren’t going to win the Super Bowl next season. We’ve known that for a little while now, and their free-agency haul did nothing to help them. Their chances took a hit after bringing in Robert Woods, Andrew Whitworth and franchise tagging Trumaine Johnson. The latter two were smart moves, but Woods is now overpaid.
New York Jets: 75/1 to 150/1
The Jets have mostly been non-players in free agency, besides supplying teams with their veteran cuts. They lost Brandon Marshall, Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis and Breno Giacomini, to name a few, while only adding Morris Claiborne and Kelvin Beachum, for the most part. They’re lucky the Browns are so bad, otherwise they’d likely have the worst odds.
Cleveland Browns: 150/1 to 200/1
Cleveland came into the new league year with the most cap space in the NFL. The Browns have spent a decent amount -- $109.3 million – but they haven’t been as active as some expected. Perhaps their odds will improve if/when they find their next quarterback – be it Jimmy Garoppolo or a rookie.