Heading into the offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles stood out as the clear-cut favorites to repeat as division champions in 2014.
Chip Kelly's bunch remain the class of the NFC East, but two division rivals have worked tirelessly to close the gap. The New York Giants have signed a whopping 15 players from other rosters since Feb. 3, a figure topped only by Tampa Bay's 17. The Redskins, meanwhile, added 13.
Washington arguably overpaid for a handful of marginal players (see: Shawn Lauvao), but signing DeSean Jackson after he was cut by Philly was an aggressive move that furnished Robert Griffin III with a game-changing weapon on offense. We also love the addition of fellow pass-catcher Andre Roberts.
To counteract Washington's reimagined air attack, the Giants spent money rebuilding a secondary that ranked 10th against the pass in 2013. Big Blue got better, but I can't say the same about a cap-strapped Dallas team that couldn't afford to keep DeMarcus Ware or Jason Hatcher.
1. New York Giants
Why they're atop our list: The Giants haven't always been players on the open market, but their free agency haul this time around has been impressive.
New York's revamped secondary rivals Washington's ramped-up collection of receivers as the NFC East's most improved position group. The combination of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond give New York two immediate starters. The G-Men were solid stopping the run last season, and now have a secondary packed with potential.
Holes remain. Losing receiver Hakeem Nicks and defensive linemen Justin Tuck and Linval Joseph left New York with clear needs heading into next month's draft.
» Another tight end: Signing Kellen Davis did little for a position group that lacks a proven difference-maker. Adrien Robinson is an interesting prospect with breakout potential, but he's struggled to stay healthy. We wouldn't be surprised to see the Giants target a tight end in May.
» Replace Hakeem Nicks: Tom Coughlin has "high expectations" for Rueben Randle, but New York needs to add a playmaker to pair with Victor Cruz. Mario Manningham hasn't totaled more than 523 yards in a season since 2010, while Julian Talley and Jerrel Jernigan are projects.
» Improve the pass rush: New York likes to unleash waves of edge rushers, but there's little depth at end behind Jason Pierre-Paul and Damontre Moore. The departure of Tuck wasn't a surprise, but it's time for New York to restock.