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Six NFL teams that upgraded positions of need

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Offseason trades and free-agent signings are the March siren songs that too often become September's scratched record.

We're dealing with "on-paper" scenarios here. With that said, let's examine six teams that have visibly upgraded positions of need this offseason:

Kansas City Chiefs, quarterback

The Chiefs discovered early last season that without productive quarterback play, you're in for a long and twisted ride through the regular season. Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn played musical chairs for an offense that did little more than feed the ball to Jamaal Charles. New Chiefs coach Andy Reid since has re-imagined his quarterback room, trading for Alex Smith and signing former New Orleans Saints understudy Chase Daniel. We also expect Reid to draft a signal-caller, giving the Chiefs a real plan at quarterback for the first time in years.

Seattle Seahawks, defensive end

Around The League's Chris Wesseling believes the Seahawks sport the most talented roster in football. Agreed. The Seahawks didn't have many holes to fill, but one area of concern was their pass rush, on the heels of Chris Clemons tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in January. General manager John Schneider addressed that need with the free-agent additions of Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. With Bennett signed for one year at $4.8 million and Avril for two years at $13 million, the Seahawks' defense is an unruly beast.

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Miami Dolphins, pass-catcher

Mike Wallace is the big-name addition, but if Dustin Keller stays healthy, the Dolphins boast a vastly improved cast of targets around Ryan Tannehill. The smart re-signing of Brian Hartline and the addition of Brandon Gibson gives the Dolphins a refurbished group of pass-catchers equal to any in the AFC East. Davone Bess now is pushed down the depth chart and looms as a possible roster cut, a far cry from where this team was last autumn.

San Francisco 49ers, kicker

David Akers won't be remembered kindly in San Francisco. To be fair, he played through injury, but Phil Dawson is a major upgrade for a team that doesn't have many glaring issues. Dawson spent the last 14 seasons on the Cleveland Browns, nailing long-range field goals in hellish conditions (bad weather, too). He'll quickly become a favorite in the Bay.

Philadelphia Eagles, secondary

Of the six groups, I'd call this more a "new look" than a proven upgrade. Gone is the messy combination of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha, two former Pro Bowl selections who looked lost in Philly. Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams give Chip Kelly a pair of reliable corners, and the safety group is deeper with the additions of Patrick Chung and Kenny Phillips. A fresh start was overdue, and the Eagles haven't wasted time restocking the cupboard.

Cleveland Browns, interior line

I'm convinced the Browns overpaid for a role player in Paul Kruger, but the five-year, $34 million contract they handed Desmond Bryant -- also outrageous -- gives the Browns a menacing three-man front for new coordinator Ray Horton to use. Bryant showed flashes of power while rushing the passer on the Oakland Raiders, but he'll need to be more consistent in Cleveland, where he figures to line up at end. With Bryant alongside Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin, the Browns might stop the run for the first time since Bill Clinton roamed the White House.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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