What I’m Hearing: TCPalm reporter Will Greenlee has the latest on whether or not New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft could dodge the solicitation charges currently facing him.
NFL power rankings, post-free agency (mostly) edition:
1. Patriots (1): Until proven otherwise, right? They dealt for DL Michael Bennett but were minor players in free agency, letting DE Trey Flowers, LT Trent Brown and others go. But this is New England — expect an ace to emerge from Bill Belichick’s cut-off sleeve at some point, likely nearer draft.
2. Chargers (5): Stop furrowing your brow. Bolts’ 12-4 record in 2018 regular season matched Kansas City as AFC’s best. Healthy TE Hunter Henry and full season from DE Joey Bosa could make significant difference. LB Thomas Davis was nifty pickup.
3. Saints (2): RB Mark Ingram and C Max Unger are gone, but band essentially intact. Primary question is how will it sound after last show was cut short?
4. Chiefs (3): Remains to be seen how their free agency choices pan out and how well personnel fit Steve Spagnuolo’s defense. WR Tyreek Hill’s legal situation bears close monitoring.
5. Rams (4):Mystery surrounding Todd Gurley’s knee only seems to be deepening. NFC champs must also avoid Super Bowl hangover while proving New England didn’t decode Sean McVay’s offense for rest of league.
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6. Colts (6): Despite massive cap resources, GM Chris Ballard largely stayed on free agency sideline. Doesn’t mean young, promising team won’t be even better.
7. Vikings (11): Knowing lay of land, Kirk Cousins’ second season should be much better — especially given offense has been geared to Mike Zimmer’s liking.
8. Browns (13): Remember, they went 5-3 post-Hue, Baker Mayfield thriving under Freddie Kitchens’ tutelage. And we hear Cleveland has added a few guys since.
9. Eagles (9): OK, Mr. Wentz, time to show you can do more than go seven strong innings. If so, there will doubtless be a statue erected of you as well.
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10. Seahawks (10): Reboot has been progressing almost flawlessly. But questions and rumors now swirling around Russell Wilson heading into his contract year.
11. Packers (19): How wisely they spent free agent dollars is debatable, but it sends proper message to locker room and should really invigorate DC Mike Pettine … and Aaron Rodgers.
12. Falcons (15): They’ve gotten healthier physically and financially while fortifying O-line. Will bona fide OC (Dirk Koetter) restore them to contention?
13. Bears (7): Loss of Vic Fangio might be catastrophic — not only was defense suffocating, it put a lot of points on board for club with pedestrian offense.
14. Ravens (12):Earl Thomas was headline signing, but did defense take net loss in free agency? And how does Lamar Jackson respond after playoff faceplant?
15. Texans (14): WR Will Fuller on way back. Aside from that, Houston appears diminished from squad that was steamrolled in wild-card round.
16. Buccaneers (18):Bruce Arians and veteran staff could make them postseason dark horses given talent on both sides of ball. Yet may also be teardown candidate in a year.
17. Steelers (17): Harmony is nice, but offense didn’t appear too formidable sans Antonio Brown in regular-season finale. Last third-place finish was 2012.
18. Cowboys (8): Several key players need new deals. Jason Garrett needs to stave off heat, but this club hasn’t had successive playoff trips since 2007.
19. Jaguars (22): OK, Mr. Foles, time to show you can do more than go two strong innings. If so, there will doubtless be another statue erected of you.
20. 49ers (16): So many parts to integrate into offense, including returns of QB Jimmy Garoppolo and RB Jerick McKinnon, with open question remaining at receiver.
21. Titans (20): Marcus Mariota will now try to meld with fourth offensive coordinator in five years. Fun. However they might surprise if new pieces jell.
22. Jets (23): They spent heavily to fill gaping holes, but Adam Gase’s squad is hardly airtight. Blitz-happy Gregg Williams still waiting for pass rushers.
23. Raiders (24): Presumably they’ll draft tailback, front seven reinforcements. But they’ve made compelling moves, most notably Antonio Brown heist.
24. Bills (27): RBs LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore will be combined 67 years old by Week 1. But both have old man resilience that typifies remainder of roster.
25. Panthers (21): Will Cam Newton truly be 100 percent when it’s time to play? They’re clearly getting younger this offseason, but are they getting better?
26. Broncos (26): If John Elway gets the Joe Flacco who shocked Denver in 2012 playoffs, bravo. If not? GM will likely be taking another swing at QB conundrum.
27. Lions (29): Amassing ex-Patriots does not equate to Patriot-level success. Exhibit A: Matt Patricia. Also, Detroit appears deeply buried in NFC North.
28. Cardinals (30): Wise addition of several street free agents has made them better. But other shoes will inevitably drop as Kliff Kingsbury ramps up.
29. Giants (25): Amid OBJ, Eli handwringing, defensive deterioration has gone largely unnoticed. Fair to worry if Saquon Barkley’s prime will be squandered.
30. Bengals (28): Oh good, they hired a defensive coordinator. Oh good, they spent cap resources on G John Miller, CB B.W. Webb. They’re not very good.
31. Redskins (32): Must question free agency strategy and three-tiered bridge to nowhere under center. Then again, everyone in Washington is focused on 2020.
32. Dolphins (31): No home-field Super Bowl for these Fins. Inexperienced head coach plus badly experienced quarterback may equal top pick of 2020 draft.
(Post-Super Bowl ranking in parentheses)
Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis