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NFL Weekend: The Off Season

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We're kicking off our regular off season feature: NFL Weekend... Join us every Saturday and Sunday for a look across the league... Today, we're going to just try to get tuned up for what should be a wild NFL off season...

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not sure I could break down any of the 2015 NFL season in a word or two... Here's a few descriptive-s that come to mind:

Lost... From "deflate-gate," to relocation, the NFL was barraged with issues in 2015. Fans have been stretched, pulled, and - for some - driven to the edge. The "integrity of the NFL" has never been so in danger of becoming an oxymoron...

Retirement... 2015 saw a sharp rise in players leaving the game, and not just because of concussion issues. The San Francisco 49ers led things off at the start of the season, and Marshawn Lynch rolled out under his own terms. Peyton Manning will too, and I think it was beyond classy not to overshadow his Broncos teammates before - and after - the Super Bowl with retirement talk. His career sets him apart from his peers, and his professionalism should be an example to all. The NFL should have a special ballot for the Hall of Fame when he retires...

CAM-mered... Cam Newton did everything right throughout the entire 2015 NFL season, only to erase it all in a post-Super Bowl press conference. Yes, his stats are still MVP worthy, but we all know there's two sides to the NFL: The Player, and the personality... All season long Cam looked like a kid having the time of his life. His smile alone had to have toothpaste companies brushing up sponsorship bids... Then it happened... "The Kid" had a bad moment after losing a game most thought he'd shine in. Cam had one of the worst games of his career thus far, then piled on a "walk off" after sulking in front of reporters. For me, I can respect a player not liking to lose. But Cam should have been smart before sitting down for the interview, and simply issued a statement for release. The Panthers' PR people blew this one as much as Newton.

Slippin'... The grass in Levi Stadium looks amazing, but teams have complained about its since opening day. While not the worst playing surface in the NFL - that honor goes to Houston's Reliant Stadium - the Panthers' Michael Oher slid around during the Super Bowl like he'd WD-40'd his feet...

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Free Agency is about to start, with some big name players looking for new homes. Some deserve big pay days, while others are going to hyper-dig money out of teams only to disappoint...

The Best and Worst:

At running back, Matt Forte is someone I'd pay in a heart beat. The tickle is why Chicago seemed to not even consider keeping him? Young Jeremy Langford looked solid filling in for Forte, and he'll be the hand the Bears play in 2016. But why give up four Kings for a draw at something that may - or may not? - be better? The Dallas Cowboys should be knocking down Forte's door. He'd turn a "maybe" offense, into a powerhouse...

The guy who'll cash in and disappoint is Tampa's Doug Martin. He had a great 2015 season for the most part, though he left loads of yards on the field throughout the season. He runs hot and cold most of the time, plus he benefited from having a rookie quarterback needing to hand the ball off more than he will in the future. If it were me at the helm of the Bucs, I'd let Martin walk, and sign the running back I previously mentioned. Jameis Winston could use a multi-level threat like Forte out of the back field...

If there's a position teams are about to over-spend at, it's wide receiver. Alshon Jeffrey will get paid, and probably deserves it. The Broncos' Demarius Thomas is going to be the big "oops" here. His dropped passes in 2015 were glaring. He excelled with a productive Peyton Manning at the helm, then quickly went south with his quarterback's failing arm. Teams should have their "Warning Lights" flashing with Thomas, unless they have a healthy first ballot Hall of Fame-r at quarterback. Thomas won't make an offense better: A good offense makes HIM better...

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Let's pause for a second... For those of you don't know, here's a short "Bar-Break" before we move onto our final thoughts of NFL Weekend...

Like I could say anything right now that'd get you to read more about the NFL, right? Plus, I have to see if I actually have enough money to cover what I pledged for such a worthy cause...

Have a great weekend!