Logan Bowles/Getty ImagesDespite missing three games, Leonard Fournette ranked eighth in rushing yards (1,040).

The AFC South rookie of the year is split between Deshaun Watson and Leonard Fournette, while the Jaguars earn coach and defensive player of the year.

Few paid much attention last March when the Minnesota Vikings signed Case Keenum to a one-year contract for $2 million. That move became one of the most pivotal of the 2017 season, which makes this a good time to revisit all the moves that made this season what it was -- and what it continues to be for the surviving teams.

We hereby re-grade every NFL team's 2017 offseason with the benefit of hindsight, using as a reference point the grades league insiders helped shape back in June.

You can read the whole file or quickly find your team by selecting one of the links below:

ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN | CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAC | KC | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | OAK | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

A grades

New Orleans Saints

Re-grade: A+ | Offseason grade: B-

One of the best Saints draft classes in franchise history played a leading role in New Orleans' winning the NFC South and becoming respectable on defense. Draft choices Marshon Lattimore, Ryan Ramczyk and Marcus Williams became immediate starters, while Alvin Kamara rivaled Lattimore as the biggest star of the bunch.

The Brandin Cooks trade gave New Orleans the pick used for Ramczyk. Veteran additions Ted Ginn Jr., Larry Warford, A.J. Klein, Alex Okafor and Manti Te'o were all valued contributors (Adrian Peterson was not, which is why the Saints traded him).

Even the changes Sean Payton made to his coaching staff seemed to pan out.

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, FileTexans coach Bill O'Brien has a franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson to build around.

With a franchise QB in Deshaun Watson, a GM who shares his vision and, now, job security, Bill O'Brien is poised to take Houston to new heights.

Brian GaineGetty ImagesBrian Gaine is returning to the Texans to be the team's general manager.

HOUSTON -- The Texans on Saturday hired Brian Gaine as general manager and signed both him and coach Bill O'Brien to matching five-year contracts, the team announced.

O'Brien had one year remaining on the five-year contract he signed when he took over as Texans coach before the 2014 season. There had been speculation toward the end of this season about O'Brien's future in Houston, as the Texans finished their first losing season under him. After back-to-back AFC South titles in 2015 and 2016, the Texans finished 4-12.

"Bill O'Brien has been a tremendous leader for us these last four years and we believe in his vision for the team moving forward," owner Bob McNair said in a statement. "Bill is a terrific teacher that the players respect. We have a lot of trust in him to build a unified, championship culture and we're thrilled to have him as our head coach into the future."

Gaine spent the 2017 season as the Buffalo Bills' vice president of player personnel. He will replace Rick Smith as general manager, with Smith taking a leave of absence to help take care of his wife as she battles breast cancer. Smith will retain the title of executive vice president.

"Brian is an incredibly smart, hardworking individual that understands the importance of good communication," McNair said in his statement. "We couldn't be more excited about naming him our new general manager."

In his end-of-season news conference, O'Brien stressed the importance of finding a general manager who is "aligned philosophically on what type of team [he and the McNairs] want."

O'Brien and the Texans are familiar with Gaine, as he was hired as director of pro personnel by Smith in 2014 and promoted to director of player personnel in 2015 before he left for Buffalo in May 2017. Last week, O'Brien said Gaine was "a very bright guy, works very hard, cares about this league [and] cares about football.

"He has a great knowledge of both the pro and college side of things," O'Brien said. "I hold Brian in high regard."

According to the Houston Chronicle, the Texans' original list of general manager candidates included Gaine, Texans vice president of player personnel and assistant general manager Jimmy Raye III, Green Bay Packers

(Read full post)

Eric Christian Smith/APTexans quarterback Deshaun Watson is ahead of schedule on his rehabilitation from his second ACL tear.

Tom Brady and Carson Palmer returned after ACL tears and were just as strong, but others in the same situation as Deshaun Watson haven't been as lucky.
AP Photo/Eric Christian SmithDeshaun Watson was on pace to shatter rookie quarterback records before he tore his ACL.

Houston boasted not only some of the top rookies in the league, but had a potential NFL MVP in Deshaun Watson before an injury cut his season short.

Seven quarterbacks established themselves as NFL starters in 2017. No, I'm not talking about Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott. I'm talking about rookie QBs who started a bunch of games (Deshaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky and DeShone Kizer). I'm talking about veterans who took hold of their chance to start (Case Keenum and Jimmy Garoppolo). And I'm talking about young guys with high ceilings who showed they can win in this league (Jared Goff and Jacoby Brissett).

So how would I rank them in terms of whom I'd start my team with? I'm talking about projecting their future upside and putting them in order from 1 to 7. It starts in Houston, in my opinion, with the rookie whose spectacular season was cut short:

1. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

2017 stats: 126-of-204 passing (61.8 percent) for 1,699 yards with 19 touchdowns, 8 interceptions in 7 games (6 starts); 81.9 Total QBR

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Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon SportswireTexans center Nick Martin had an excellent season, but is rehabbing from an ankle injury for the second year in a row.

Having Deshaun Watson healthy will be a huge boost for the Texans next season, but there are other holes they need to fill.

Nick CaserioAP Photo/Stew MilneNick Caserio, the Patriots' director of player personnel, previously worked with Houston's Bill O'Brien when the Texans coach was an assistant in New England.

New England rejected Houston's request to interview Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio and director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort for the Texans' general manager job, and the Eagles told the Texans the same about their vice president of player personnel, Joe Douglas, a league source told ESPN.

Although Caserio and Ossenfort were prohibited from interviewing in-season, it doesn't mean the matter is closed.

Under the NFL's loosened rules for hiring executives from other teams, Caserio and Ossenfort still might be able to interview for the Texans' GM job after the Patriots' season ends, according to a league source.

Packers director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst was scheduled to interview for the Texans' opening Sunday but instead was promoted to general manager by Green Bay, a source told ESPN. Buffalo Bills vice president of player personnel Brian Gaine is now considered the favorite for Houston's GM job, sources told ESPN.

Dallas Cowboys vice president of personnel Will McClay has permission to speak with the Texans but has not heard from the club yet.

Caserio, who worked with Texans head coach Bill O'Brien in New England, represents another key Patriot who could depart New England after this season.

The Patriots already are poised to lose defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to head-coaching opportunities with other teams. New England linebackers coach Brian Flores interviewed with the Cardinals

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Phil Murphy and Treavor Scales highlight the top 10 plays from the 2017 NFL regular season with playoffs approaching.
Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY SportsTexans receiver DeAndre Hopkins finished with 96 catches for 1,378 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.

Houston's star put up his usual strong numbers, but doing so while playing with four different QBs made his production that much more impressive.

Antonio Brown Shelley Lipton/Icon SportswireAntonio Brown caught 101 passes for 1,533 yards and nine touchdowns for the Steelers this season as he was an AP NFL All-Pro selection for a fourth time.

Antonio Brown was one of four repeaters from last season on the Associated Press 2017 NFL All-Pro Team, and the only unanimous choice.

The Pittsburgh Steelers' star receiver drew all 50 ballots Friday from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the league. Brown missed the past two-plus games with a calf injury.

He was among four players to make a fourth All-Pro squad, joining New England tight end Rob Gronkowski (five), Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly and Los Angeles Rams punter Johnny Hekker.

The repeaters from 2016 were Brown, Hekker, Rams interior defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who got 49 votes, and Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who earned his third selection.

(Read full post)

AP Photo/Dave Einselnull

After three consecutive 9-7 seasons, the Texans couldn't rebound after injuries to several important players.
Erik Williams/USA TODAY SportsTexans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel is once again under consideration for open head coaching jobs.

The NFL coaching musical chairs season is under way, and many of the Texans' assistants are part of it. Here's where Houston's coaching staff stands.
AP Photo/Ted S. WarrenSeahawks QB Russell Wilson threw for 34 touchdowns this season, matching his career high from 2015.

Along with familiar faces such as Russell Wilson, a new generation of stars emerged to take over the NFL's leaderboards in the regular season.