2013 NFL Free Agency: Looking at Every Team's Offseason Shopping List
The NFL playoffs are underway, and 12 fanbases are truly excited. The rest of us are just counting the minutes until our teams can start repairing the holes in their rosters.
Not every deficiency is going to be fixed through free agency, as the draft offers another avenue toward improvement.
So a slideshow outlining each team's offseason focus seemed necessary so the general managers wouldn't lose their way.
The slide title will denote the most important item on the team's list. The body will give a few details on the item and another position or two that the team should address.
Click through to see what each team needs to find this offseason.
Denver Broncos: Offensive Tackle
It's not entirely cheating to say that the most important item on the Broncos' offseason shopping list is re-signing offensive tackle Ryan Clady.
The Broncos have no discernible significant weakness. Just one look at Pro Football Focus' (PFF) numbers indicates that the only starter with an appreciable negative grade is Keith Brooking. Denver would do well to address a replacement (or upgrade if you rather) for the 37-year-old linebacker.
But protecting the centerpiece of this team is of paramount importance—which is a really fancy way of saying that Peyton Manning needs his best offensive lineman to remain a Bronco.
Kansas City Chiefs: Quarterback
Their season might have been a mess, but the roster is in better condition than you may think.
There are plenty of talented players (Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, Justin Houston, etc.), and this team is only a couple years removed from a division title.
Otherwise, the Chiefs would do well to address an underachieving receiving corps and defensive line.
San Diego Chargers: Capable Coaching
They aren't devoid of talent. The Chargers, apparently, just need more competent play-calling, scheming, etc.
The most statistically weak unit on the team consist of linebackers. Yet, the Chargers employ Shaun Philips, rookie Melvin Ingram and Jarrett Johnson. Giving up on any of these three seems a bit shortsighted.
However, Takeo Spikes is an aging (yet still effective) veteran, and Phillips turned in an awful season (and he's 31 years old). An upgrade on the second level of the defense wouldn't be a terrible idea.
As for Philip Rivers, that's an incredibly difficult call. Short of a trade for Matt Flynn or developing a rookie who isn't on par with last year's crop, Rivers is likely the best option going forward, at least for another year.
Oakland Raiders: Offensive Line
There are a lot of problems with the Raiders. Surprisingly, the biggest one is not Carson Palmer.
He rated as an above-average passer with a 6.2 overall rating on PFF (subscription required). He wasn't spectacular, but his offensive line was downright terrible.
The Raiders struggled to run the ball all season. Pointing to Darren McFadden's injury-related absence is understandable, but Marcel Reece proved better than his highly drafted counterpart.
The troubles for the Raiders start on the offensive line. Adding a better quarterback is certainly a good move, but it just won't fix all of the problems.
As for the defense, it must get better up the middle. Its struggles against the run and pass can be blamed on a mostly inept interior defensive line.
San Francisco 49ers: Defensive Line
I'm not insinuating that the 49ers need to replace Justin Smith—I occasionally am smarter than that.
But he is 33 years old and entering the last year of his deal. Looking ahead for a possible replacement wouldn't be incredibly stupid.
Yet, the main issue that should be addressed is nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga. He has struggled this year and plays one of the few positions in need of repair.
Otherwise, this team is in remarkably good shape moving forward.
St. Louis Rams: Center
Scott Wells is not the answer, unless the question is who do the St. Louis Rams need to replace.
The bulk of the Rams' offensive line pass-protects well, but this team struggles at the point of attack. Wells' decent pass-blocking skills do not outweigh his inability to maintain control in the rushing attack.
The wide receivers are more talented than meets the eye. The Rams could use a big red-zone target, but they need health even more.
As for the defense, there are a lot of holes, especially in the first two levels. However, there are many young players (Robert Quinn and James Laurinaitis) who need more time to develop before they are replaced.
Arizona Cardinals: Offensive Tackle
There aren't any secrets in the desert. The Cardinals need to find an offensive line.
The entire unit is pretty disgraceful, with the play of Daryn Colledge excepted. He's at least average.
The money poured into the quarterback position will never matter if he can't avoid scenes like the accompanying photo. And, sooner or later, Larry Fitzgerald is going to work himself into a catatonic state trying to overcome the team's deficiencies.
The Cards also need to look at running backs (Beanie Wells is gone) and linebackers. Nothing on the depth chart inspires confidence.
Also, the grades bear out that Darnell Docket may be one of the most overrated players in the game. Just a thought.
Seattle Seahawks: Right Side of the Offensive Line
What team doesn't want to be built as well as the Seahawks?
They found a starting quarterback in the third round, meaning their well-paid backup is a perfect trade chip. The defense is pretty well stacked and the offense is rounding into shape.
Still, the Seahawks could use some help along the right side of the offensive line. Breno Giacomini and J.R. Sweezy haven't held up their end like Russell Okung has.
Oh, and Adderall.
Just kidding, Seahawks fans. Couldn't help myself.
Indianapolis Colts: Defense
There isn't a hole in the Colts' defense that couldn't use a better plug.
Defensive line? I'd keep Dwight Freeney and that's about it. (I know Freeney is technically a linebacker but work with me here. Geez.)
Linebackers? Let me know when you find one.
Secondary? Darius Butler is pretty solid, but he's getting lonely back there.
On offense, all of the weapons are in place, except the offensive line has made Andrew Luck continuously prove that he is an underrated athlete. Here's betting he'd rather just have us assume otherwise while not being chased by big, angry men.
Houston Texans: A Second Wide Receiver
Andre Johnson re-established his dominance this year with 1,598 yards on 112 catches. While he's probably happy with his individual performance, it sure would be much easier if defenses couldn't just key on him.
The secondary receivers for the Texans are essentially non-existent. Keshawn Martin, Kevin Walter and Lester Jean have not set themselves apart.
The Texans would be smart to look at another pass-rusher as well. Once Brian Cushing went down, only J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith spent much time harassing quarterbacks.
Tennessee Titans: Safety
The Titans gave up 30 points or more in half of their games. That means eight games ended with at least 30 next to the opponent's name!
The defense needs a quarterback. While that can be a middle linebacker (wouldn't be a terrible idea), the Titans need a safety who isn't a black hole. They need a playmaker back there.
Adding another pass-rusher would also go a long way toward stemming the points problem.
On offense, Tennessee needs players who can make plays (didn't want to use playmakers twice in the same slide. Nice, right?). They simply don't have enough.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Quarterback
Where to start?
The offensive line is atrocious without Eugene Monroe and Uche Nwaneri. Maurice Jones-Drew wants out, and there are about five defensive players that are worth keeping.
But neither Blaine Gabbert nor Chad Henne is going to lead the Jacksonville Jaguars to a winning season. It just isn't happening.
And don't grab Tim Tebow. Please.
New Orleans Saints: A Sack Artist
The old blitz-happy and opportunistic defense of the Super Bowl year is gone. Now, the Saints can't create pressure at all.
Enter a sack artist.
Cameron Jordan led the team with eight sacks and 32 quarterback hurries. The number of hurries is encouraging, but your leading sack-getter can't end the year in single digits.
Also, the secondary could certainly use some help. Malcolm Jenkins is not a starter.
It would help if all of those highly paid linebackers could earn their paycheck.
Atlanta Falcons: A Pass-Rusher
I just didn't want to use "sack artist" again.
John Abraham had a nice season. He wrapped up the year with 10 sacks (double digits!) and 38 quarterback hurries.
But should the Atlanta Falcons count on a 34-year-old defensive end who just endured an injury? No.
Getting pressure is a weakness for Atlanta. Its talented secondary has helped erase any ill effects, but you don't want to continuously rely on coverage.
Otherwise, the Falcons need to either promote Jacquizz Rodgers or find a new lead rusher. Michael Turner is done.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cornerback
The best cornerback on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2012 roster at the beginning of the season now plays for the New England Patriots. Therefore, it's probably time to add another cornerback.
The secondary was downright atrocious. It allowed almost 300 yards per game, which, as you can imagine, was the worst in the league.
Eric Wright was a bad signing when it happened. Another year doesn't paint a prettier picture.
On offense, Josh Freeman has still shown too many positives to give up on him yet.
Carolina Panthers: Defensive Tackle
Defensive ends Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy both had a great year (27 sacks and 87 quarterback hurries combined). Imagine what they could have done with a decent defensive tackle or two between them.
The defense needs to get stronger up the middle. Luke Kuechly had just shy of a bazillion tackles (125 to be exact), so giving him even more freedom seems like a smart idea.
The offensive line could also use some help. Jordon Gross is a dominant tackle, but he can't do it all himself.
New England Patriots: Wes Welker
After a few mediocre drafts, Bill Belichick has regained his offseason mojo. The arrivals of Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones bolstered a struggling pass rush, and the defensive front has been successfully rebuilt.
There are few problems with the offense, but depth at wide receiver, somehow, isn't as great as you would think. Julian Edelman has only been a sporadic contributor and Deion Branch is creeping further away from his prime.
Therefore, Wes Welker is of prime importance this offseason. He is a key cog in the offense and can still be franchised for another year.
Aside from Welker, offensive line and secondary depth will be important to protect against injury.
New York Jets: Quarterback
All tattoos aside, everyone can agree that it's time for the New York Jets to completely overhaul the quarterback position.
Mark Sanchez just completed one of the worst two-year runs in history (or at least it feels like it). Turning it over 49 times will color the perception that you aren't a starting quarterback. Weird, right?
Nothing from Tim Tebow or Greg McElroy screamed starter either. It's time to find someone new.
Otherwise, the Jets just need a couple wide receivers, a consistent running back and two safeties. Should be easy.
Buffalo Bills: Quarterback
Here's betting the Buffalo Bills fans aren't too excited about the team spending gobs of money in free agency. They're still scarred from the Mario Williams experience.
While he didn't prove to be worth $96 million, his season wasn't terrible. He still ended with quite a few more positive plays than negative and 38 quarterback hurries.
However, that's not enough.
Regardless, the biggest problem is Ryan Fitzpatrick. He is driving the struggle bus and has shown few signs of getting off at the next stop (24 touchdowns, 24 turnovers).
The Bills could also use another receiving threat.
Miami Dolphins: Cornerback
When the Vontae Davis trade went down, it riled up the Miami Dolphins veterans. They weren't too pleased as it was seen as a surrender before the season even started.
While it doesn't look nearly as bad now, there's still a huge hole in the Dolphins' secondary. They just don't have the talent in the back to seriously contend.
The Phins could also use another pass-rusher opposite Cameron Wake (17 sacks, 47 hurries) and possibly a red-zone target to match with Brian Hartline and Davone Bess.
Dallas Cowboys: Offensive Line
Doug Free and Mackenzy Bernadeau have consistently struggled to protect Tony Romo. And virtually no one on the offensive line has figured out that the yellow flags are not celebratory confetti.
So give Romo another year behind someone who can block for him. Few quarterbacks can succeed behind that group of matadors.
Also, for a defense that didn't give up many passing yards, none of the defensive backs ranked that highly with PFF. That's probably due to a lack of missed turnover opportunities.
Lastly, help in the middle of the defensive line would keep folks like Alfred Morris from steamrolling to division titles.
New York Giants: Linebackers
I'll keep this short: the New York Giants linebackers are horrible. Along with Corey Webster, the linebackers have been the primary catalyst for most of the defensive breakdowns.
Otherwise, the Giants are in great shape if they can stay healthy. Some more offensive line depth wouldn't hurt. And a new corner to get Webster out of the lineup would be excellent.
Washington Redskins: Safety
Tyler Polumbus is a weak link in an otherwise stellar offensive line. Finding a replacement right tackle would be a great idea.
However, the Washington Redskins need someone to take command of the secondary. Their cornerbacks are OK, but there is a need for an upgrade along the back line. The Skins need someone who can take charge and cover the holes.
Washington could also add some youth at the inside linebacking spots. London Fletcher is a great story; it's just that his effectiveness is starting to wane.
Philadelphia Eagles: Quarterback
There's DeMeco Ryans and then there are a bunch of scrubs. He can't make all the plays, so the linebacking corp must be addressed.
Then there's the secondary. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha were both atrocious, and the only defensive back who earned his keep was Brandon Boykins.
Some people are sold on Nick Foles. I'm not and that will remain the case until I see otherwise. He made a few good plays that people will remember and hold onto, but that's fool's gold.
Oh, and an offensive line wouldn't hurt either.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Offensive Linemen
The included picture accurately sums up the Pittsburgh Steelers for the past two or three seasons: Ben Roethlisberger running for his life while trying to avoid the pass rush and keeping his eyes downfield.
Sure, it works, but how many more beatings can he take?
Mike Adams looked like a rookie, and some competition for his position is necessary. Max Starks is unlikely to take 1,086 snaps for a winning football team, unless it's in Canada.
Then maybe. But only maybe. The Great White North isn't completely forgiving.
Cincinnati Bengals: Running Back
The Cincinnati Bengals roster is filled with young players who are growing together. I can't believe I'm saying this, but it's a great time to be a Bengals fan.
However, there are a couple areas that could use an upgrade.
First, BenJarvus Green-Ellis hasn't been getting it done. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry and started fumbling the ball for some reason.
Next, Rey Maualuga is a lost cause as he missed 16 tackles this season. The linebackers need a fresh infusion of talent to push those who are currently in-house.
Baltimore Ravens: Another Pass-Rusher
Paul Kruger filled in admirably for a team that sorely missed Terrell Suggs. He notched 10 sacks and 33 quarterback hurries.
However, can the Baltimore Ravens rely on Kruger and Suggs to create all the pressure next year? That's a tough question.
Baltimore also needs to account for the retiring Ray Lewis, but the team is set otherwise. Adding offensive line depth and determining Joe Flacco's ceiling will be the other large items on this offseason's agenda.
Cleveland Browns: Quarterback
When your starting quarterback is entering his second year, might be a bust and is older than your already-is-a-has-been second-stringer, you do not have a quarterback.
That's the Cleveland Browns in a nutshell.
The secondary is set and the defensive line has a few playmakers. But the linebacking unit needs a fresh face or two.
And Cleveland needs someone opposite Josh Gordon. But, other than all that, they're doing fine!
Minnesota Vikings: Wide Receiver
Percy Harvin is a phenomenal football player. He just has a few issues staying on the field.
The biggest issue for the Vikings is that there is little to no depth behind him at wide receiver. Jerome Simpson and Michael Jenkins would have trouble finding room against a MAC defense.
It's still a year early to throw in the towel on Christian Ponder, although that time occasionally appears inevitable.
Defensively, the Vikings only need a linebacker or two to round out an already tough squad.
Chicago Bears: Offensive Linemen
I didn't need to think about it. The Chicago Bears need an offensive line.
One quick scroll down the PFF page confirmed this. Every offensive lineman had a below-average mark.
Otherwise, the only position that lags behind is middle linebacker. Brian Urlacher missed one out of six tackles this season.
It's time to move on.
Green Bay Packers: Running Back
Surprisingly, the defense is much better off than you would think. They just sorely need to stay healthy.
Casey Hayward has been an absolute beast, but the Green Bay Packers would do well to grab someone else for the secondary to protect against an aging (yet effective) Charles Woodson.
But the real need is at running back. Obviously, Aaron Rodgers is one of the top players in the league. However, if you match him with a decent running back, you have the makings of an unstoppable offense.
Oh, and only Josh Sitton and Evan Dietrich-Smith are capable of steadily protecting the belt-holder.
Detroit Lions: Defensive End
You would think the Detroit Lions would need a cornerback. They do.
But they really need a defensive end.
Seems crazy, right? It isn't.
Cliff Avril has been nowhere near the player he was in 2011, and Kyle Vanden Bosch actually posted a -31.1 in PFF's ratings. That's beyond terrible.
The Lions' defense is predicated on the defensive line. That's fine when you're counting on Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. Not so much when you have to rely on the outside rushers.
The linebackers weren't much better.
The offense is fine assuming Matthew Stafford can regain his former form. But that defense needs a lot of help.