This will be a cover-your-eyes and hold-your-breath type of season in Oakland. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is trying to restore the organization’s salary cap health by getting rid of bad contracts in one season. The leaves about $45 million in dead money this year, or one-third of the salary cap. The bright side: About $50 million in cap space next year with which to build. The first step will be finding a quarterback.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
QB Blaine Gabbert has not played at a level commensurate with his 2011 first-round draft status. He becomes rattled when the pocket breaks down, and it’s not as though he has a supporting cast capable of lifting him. Jacksonville’s best hope is that new general manager David Caldwell and new coach Gus Bradley blend their enthusiastic approach with exceptional talent acquisition over the next couple of seasons.
32. Cleveland Browns
An organization marred by instability since its rebirth in 1999 again turned the coaching staff and front office over. New coach Rob Chudzinski is stuck with QB Brandon Weeden, whom the Browns spent the 22nd overall pick on in 2012. Weeden, who will be 30 in October, didn’t consistently see the field well or throw accurately as a rookie. The Browns have won five or fewer games in eight of the past 10 seasons, and there aren’t many reasons to expect a step forward this year. RB Trent Richardson must stay healthy.