3) Biggest offseason defection?
LeGere: Cowboys TE Jason Witten
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott needs a bounce-back year after slumping badly in his sophomore season, but he will no longer have Witten as a security blanket. After 15 seasons, 1,152 receptions and 12,448 yards, the future Hall of Famer retired to join ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast team. Witten missed just two starts in the previous 14 seasons and exceeded 900 receiving yards seven times.
Edholm: Cowboys' Dez Bryant and Jason Witten
I'm a believer that there might not be a net loss with Washington swapping Kirk Cousins for Alex Smith. Instead, I'll go with the Cowboys, who lost Dez Bryant and Jason Witten this offseason — take your pick. Although neither could separate well any longer, both pass catchers were relatively productive assets for Dak Prescott the past two seasons. There’s an argument that the Cowboys might have needed to make these moves to allow other, younger options to develop, and that’s fair. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be an adjustment period there for the receivers and tight ends, which don’t appear to have a game-changing receiver among them now.
Gabriel: Washington QB Kirk Cousins
Yes, I know Cousins was replaced by Alex Smith, but Cousins played very good football in the Washington scheme. Can Smith play just as well? A close second would be Jason Pierre-Paul. I agree he wasn’t a great fit for the Giants new defensive scheme, but JPP still is a very capable pass rusher
Arkush: Washington CB Kendall Fuller
Jason Pierre-Paul and Jason Witten will be missed dearly, but neither are just entering their primes like Fuller, the sweetener in the trade to acquire Alex Smith. 23-year-old playmaking corners with positional flexibility don't grow on trees. Fuller, essentially the opportunity cost of Washington's mismanagement of Kirk Cousins, could ultimately cost Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky dearly if cornerback becomes the Achilles heel on a 'D' without too many glaring weaknesses. Remember, Washington also opted not to re-sign Bashaud Breeland, which means it'll count on aging Josh Norman and Orlando Scandrick and relative unknowns in Quinton Dunbar and Fabian Moreau with the hope of maintaining its marked pass 'D' strides in 2017.