2013 NFL Power Rankings: Post Free-Agency Frenzy Edition

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2013

2013 NFL Power Rankings: Post Free-Agency Frenzy Edition

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    We're currently sandwiched between the 2013 NFL free-agency frenzy and the 2013 NFL draft. 

    In other words, it's the perfect time for official NFL power rankings

    Sure, there are a variety of free agents who still have not found homes, but for now we have a pretty good idea of where each team ranks. The draft will, of course, change this, but we're still over a month out until franchises risk it all on a youngster. 

    In the following slideshow, we'll rank each NFL team as if the season started tomorrow. This means trades, signings and the like will be taken into consideration.

    Let's take a look at some fresh NFL power rankings now that the free-agency frenzy has subsided. 

32. New York Jets

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    The New York Jets are a mess, but you knew that. 

    Darrelle Revis is as good as gone, and New York has no leverage, so expect the return for him to not be as good as it should be. 

    The team hasn't lost much in free agency, but it didn't have much to begin with. LaRon Landry bolted, as did Mike DeVito and Dustin Keller. 

    New York still has to figure out a way to figure out the Mark Sanchez problem, but David Garrard's corpse won't get the job done.

    It's going to be a very, very long season for the Jets next year. 

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Things are bad in Jacksonville. Really, really bad. Hence why the franchise has the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft. 

    The Jaguars will have their choice of the best quarterback, pass-rusher or second-best offensive tackle. It's a great position to be in, but with so many holes on the roster, it won't solve much unless Geno Smith can have a Cam Newton-esque rookie season. 

    Jacksonville has been mostly quiet this offseason, although defensive tackle Roy Miller was a nice grab. It's a head-scratcher as to why Daryl Smith hasn't been brought back. 

    The rebuild in Jacksonville is taking baby steps. And Tebow. We had to say Tebow when mentioning the Jaguars, of course. 

30. Buffalo Bills

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    The Buffalo Bills are in a horrible, horrible position, but let's start with the good. 

    Buffalo released quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who started last year but was miserable throughout and had a massive cap number. It also managed to retain safety Jairus Byrd via the franchise tag, who happens to be one of the best in the NFL. 

    Now to the bad—everything else. Most notably, the Bills haven't made much noise in free agency and lost elite guard Andy Levitre. 

    The quarterback situation is even worse. Buffalo holds the No. 8 pick, but it's a miserable year at the position overall. 

    Maybe next offseason. 

29. Arizona Cardinals

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    The Arizona Cardinals have had an up and down offseason. New head coach Bruce Arians managed to dump the $7 million salary of ineffective quarterback Kevin Kolb. 

    It was a great move, but as of now it appears the starter next season will be unproven Drew Stanton. Arians believes in Stanton after he sat behind Andrew Luck last season (per Associated Press), but it's placing a lot of trust in someone with little experience. 

    Arizona also has a new running back in Rashard Mendenhall, but he's had injury and attitude issues as of late. Both he and Stanton could struggle mightily unless there are major changes on the offensive line. 

    All in all, Arians has a tough task in front of him. 

28. San Diego Chargers

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    The San Diego Chargers are in a heap of trouble thanks to a mess of a front office with no direction. 

    San Diego claimed it was focused on fixing the offensive line after the unit got Philip Rivers killed last season and then proceeded to let Louis Vasquez, one of the NFL's best guards, join a division rival in the Denver Broncos.

    Vasquez's replacement? King Dunlap, a turnstile of a tackle who wouldn't start on 31 other teams. 

    San Diego has too many holes to fill in one draft, and new head coach Mike McCoy has a next-to-impossible job in front of him next season. 

27. Oakland Raiders

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    Where to start with the Oakland Raiders? 

    How about $30 million in dead cash? Or holes at almost every position? Oakland is paying for the sins of the last regime, and it's going to get uglier before it gets better. 

    Believe it or not, Oakland made two quality signings in Pat Sims and Nick Roach, but it doesn't make up for lost names such as Richard Seymour, Phillip Wheeler, Darrius Heyward-Bey and more. 

    The Raiders have to pull off one heck of a draft to even be competitive next season—but don't hold your breath. 

26. Carolina Panthers

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    Despite being stuck in one of the league's worst cap situations, the Carolina Panthers have done a decent job of setting themselves up for next season. 

    The team managed to bring back cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, who is the team's last quality member of the secondary. 

    Carolina also brought in return specialist Ted Ginn to give quarterback Cam Newton and Co. better starting field position next season. 

    For Carolina, the draft is critical. The team won five of its last six last season and could ride that momentum into the draft and next season. 

25. Tennessee Titans

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    Quietly, the Tennessee Titans have had one of the best offseasons of any team. It added Delanie Walker to replaced Jared Cook, which isn't an upgrade, but a great value move anyway.

    The team also landed one of the NFL's best guards in Andy Levitre, which should give running back Chris Johnson much bigger holes to run through next season. The staff also seems to believe in new running back Shonn Greene. 

    We'll wait for you to stop laughing. 

    Anyway, the team was also able to add Ryan Fitzpatrick, who, believe it or not, could push for the starting job with Jake Locker not showing much over the past couple of seasons.

    Tennessee isn't a contender by any means, but it's making the right moves one step at a time. 

24. Cleveland Browns

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    The Cleveland Browns have a rare talent in Trent Richardson, so there will always be hope, new running back rule or not. 

    However, it's a questionable move to give a guy like Paul Kruger, who has just 15.5 sacks to his name, a $40 million contract. That said, you can't judge a player by just a sack total, and the Browns had plenty of money to spend and saw something it liked. 

    Perhaps the move will pay off. It's hard to know if Brandon Weeden will enter next season as the starter, but it's not a great sign if he does. 

    There's lots of work left to do in Cleveland, but the new regime seems serious enough about improving the team. We'll see. 

23. Dallas Cowboys

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    It's been a weird offseason in Dallas—Jerry Jones hasn't said much or spent much money in free agency, which is probably a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. 

    Anthony Spencer is another victim of the franchise tag, which is a questionable move by the organization as the defense transitions to a new 4-3 scheme. Classic coaching dilemma here—Spencer players well, Cowboys are geniuses. You know the inverse. 

    Other than that, the Cowboys have been quiet. For an up and down team last season, it's surprising to hear Dallas so quiet. We'll see how it translates to the field next year. 

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Let's be clear from the start—the Tampa Bay Buccaneers allowed one of the best 4-3 defensive ends in the league to walk away this offseason when Michael Bennett left. 

    That said, all the decision shows is that the staff has a massive amount of trust in young ends Da'Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn. 

    The staff in turn used the cap room to bring in Dashon Goldson, who, when paired with Mark Barron, gives Tampa Bay the best safety tandem in the NFL. 

    Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, the maddeningly inconsistent play of Josh Freeman could hold the team back once again. He's a wildcard next season, and that's not a good thing. He hasn't been given an extension by the team for a reason. 

21. Detroit Lions

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    The Detroit Lions are another team that has made all the right moves this offseason as it prepares for the draft. Losing Cliff Avril hurts but upgrading other areas makes the loss easier to take. 

    Offensively, the Lions received a massive upgrade with the arrival of Reggie Bush. Detroit knows nothing but passing the ball, and Bush is an elite option out of the backfield for quarterback Matthew Stafford

    On the defensive side, having names such as Louis Delmas, Glover Quin, Jason Jones and Chris Houston around changes the complexion of the team's draft strategy, not to mention the quality of the roster as a whole. 

    Detroit is on the rise and could be a surprise squad next season. 

20. New Orleans Saints

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    The New Orleans Saints are a mess thanks to a sticky cap situation and a historically bad defense from a year ago that is being rebuilt from the ground up by Rob Ryan. 

    Ryan's first move was making the team find a way to give Keenan Lewis some cash, which was a superb idea. Lewis was the No. 40 overall corner in the league last year (per ProFootballFocus), and honestly, the Saints defense was the laughingstock of the league. 

    The cap issues made the Saints lose Jermon Bushrod, but other than that, the Saints have made some nice, cheap signings such as tight end Ben Watson. 

    Sean Payton is back, and Rob Ryan is directing the defense, so expect a much more competitive Saints squad next season. 

19. Philadelphia Eagles

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    Under new head coach Chip Kelly, the Philadelphia Eagles are dead serious about making the transition to a 3-4 defense. 

    Gone is Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and in are Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher (that's two upgrades for those of you keeping track). 

    Isaac Sopoaga is the new starter in the trenches, and Connor Barwin is a potential pass-rushing threat at outside linebacker. Safeties Kenny Phillips and Patrick Chung replace one of the league's worst safety duos from a year ago.

    For all the publicity Kelly gets about his offense, the Eagles are more competitive than they have been the last few seasons thanks to a revamped defense. 

18. Kansas City Chiefs

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    Laugh all you want, but the Kansas City Chiefs may be the biggest surprise of next season.

    New quarterback Alex Smith is labeled as a game manager, but new head coach Andy Reid knows a thing or two about quarterbacks. The team's also in a position to land an elite tackle and has an elite running back in Jamaal Charles. 

    The defense is already scary thanks to names like Tamba Hali and Eric Berry. Bringing in Dunta Robinson and Sean Smith is a nice way to build up the unit as Reid molds the team to his liking. 

    All in all, the Chiefs are in a position thanks to the draft to shock the world next season. There's talent on the roster—it just needed a little guidance. 

17. Indianapolis Colts

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    First things first—the Indianapolis Colts need a pass-rusher badly after losing out on the Paul Kruger and Cliff Avril sweepstakes. 

    And no, Erik Walden isn't the answer. 

    Indianapolis has, however, made some great moves this offseason. Bringing back corner Darius Butler was huge, as was adding Greg Toler. The duo has the ability to shock the league next season along with newly acquired safety LaRon Landry. 

    As far as major news goes, that's about it for Indy, and that's just fine. The draft is the next major step for a team that could shock some on the way to the postseason next year. 

16. Minnesota Vikings

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    If it weren't for the Miami Dolphins acting like this offseason is a game of Madden, the Minnesota Vikings may have won the crown as offseason champs. 

    Losing a headache in Percy Harvin and gaining a first-round pick was genius, as was adding Greg Jennings. Sure, he's old, but he'll have a positive impact on an offense directed by a quarterback with a noodle arm.

    Minnesota also managed to keep quality tackle Phil Loadholt around and brought in quarterback Matt Cassel to compete for the starting gig. The team is now in a great position to further upgrade both sides of the ball thanks to an abundance of draft picks. 

    The Vikings continue to rise in terms of roster quality, which moves them up the board as well. 

15. Miami Dolphins

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    The Miami Dolphins—2013's offseason winners. 

    History has shown that means absolutely nothing, but Miami has handled itself well regardless. The team overpaid for a one-trick pony in Mike Wallace, but he's an element that will vastly improve the offense as a whole.

    Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler immensely upgrade the defense. The most underrated move the Dolphins have made so far may simply be keeping a grip on Randy Starks, who is a beast in the trenches. 

    Miami has the pieces in place to take the next step and actually be competitive in the AFC East. If it actually happens is another story entirely. 

14. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    It's been another classic Pittsburgh Steelers offseason for the boys in black and yellow. Three high-profile names (two much more so than the other) in Rashard Mendenhall, James Harrison and Mike Wallace are gone. 

    On the market itself, the Steelers haven't made much noise but have brought back veterans Larry Foote and Plaxico Burress.. 

    The Steelers, despite the perceived losses, are in a great position to be competitive again next season as long as upgrades are made along the offensive line. 

    It's hard to hate what the Steelers have done so far, especially with the team flirting with the salary cap. Ben Roethlisberger and Co. will find a way to make it work as they always do. 

13. Washington Redskins

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    Washington has remained quiet so far this offseason thanks to cap issues. To make matters worse, Robert Griffin III is still recovering from a serious injury and may not be ready to go at the start of the season. 

    Despite the cap issues, the Redskins were able to land a quality cornerback in E.J. Biggers after dumping DeAngelo Hall and his massive cap hit on the curb. 

    The Redskins are fine and competitive next season thanks to RGIII, but the team has to be wary of not rushing him back. The staff handled him extremely questionably last season, and the franchise's refusal to fix the joke of a home field is not an encouraging sign. 

    If RGIII is healthy, fine. If not, the team is in some serious trouble, Kirk Cousins or not. 

12. Baltimore Ravens

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    Joe Flacco is the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Matt Birk, Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe, Bernard Pollard and Anquan Boldin are all gone. 

    In other words, Baltimore is in some trouble. 

    Ozzie Newsome is one of the best general managers in the NFL, so he clearly has a plan in place. What that happens to be is hard to know at this point. He didn't overpay to keep any of his key free agents, which is fine. 

    The additions of Marcus Spears and Chris Canty help stop the bleeding, but it's hard to love the offseason the Ravens have had with the flurry of names fleeing a franchise that just won a Super Bowl. 

11. St. Louis Rams

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    Under Jeff Fisher, the St. Louis Rams are undergoing a drastic transformation that will allow the team to be extremely competitive next season. 

    Adding tight end Jared Cook was a great move. It should be a crime the way his last team used him, but in St. Louis he'll be the main target for Sam Bradford, who will finally have his blindside properly protected by new left tackle Jake Long. 

    Fisher is playing things right—complementing the roster he is building through the draft with a quality free agent here and there. 

    Don't look now, but the Rams are going to shock some contenders next season.

10. Houston Texans

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    Contrary to popular belief, the Houston Texans have not had a great offseason and are not better off than they were at the end of last season. 

    Losing safety Glover Quin is huge and adding a rundown version of Ed Reed isn't going to make up the difference. Just ask ProFootballFocus if you couldn't tell from the film last season—Reed ranked as the No. 59 player at the position, Quin ranked No. 40. 

    The best move the Texans have made is keeping corner Brice McCain, and it's not even close. Other than that, the team still has no No. 2 receiver with DeVier Posey out with a serious injury. 

    Houston has a ways to go before recovering from this offseason. 

9. Chicago Bears

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    The Chicago Bears have had one of the best offseasons of any team to date this year thanks to its ability to address most major areas of need. 

    Chicago held on to defensive tackle Henry Melton via the franchise tag, which is great news considering he is one of the premier players at the position. 

    It also brought in better protection for Jay Cutler in the form of Jermon Bushrod and even gave him an outstanding target in tight end Martellus Bennett.

    Chicago still has some work to do when it comes to retaining its own, and no, we don't mean Brian Urlacher. That ship has sailed. Finding a way to get Israel Idonije and Lance Louis back would be nice. 

    Watch for the Bears to surprise next season. 

8. Cincinnati Bengals

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    The Cincinnati Bengals aren't kidding around. Gone are the days of blowing cash on free agents (some will argue those days never existed). In are the days the team only focuses on keeping its own and building through the draft. 

    So far, so good. Having Andre Smith back would be nice, but his lack of market indicates he should be. 

    Michael Johnson is back in the fold thanks to the franchise tag. Adam Jones is back in the secondary to provide some much-needed depth. Wallace Gilberry, Robert Geathers and Rey Maualuga all provide depth and rotational value. 

    Cincinnati also holds three picks in the first two rounds of the upcoming draft. Not bad for a team coming off back-to-back playoff appearances while being one of the youngest squads the league has to offer. 

7. New York Giants

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    On the surface, the New York Giants are losing about as many recognizable names this offseason as the Baltimore Ravens have so far. 

    Osi Umenyiora, Kenny Phillips, Martellus Bennett, Chris Canty and Ahmad Bradshaw are all gone, and yet, like the Ravens' Ozzie Newsome, general manager Jerry Reese makes it easy to not worry about any of those names. 

    New York brought in Brandon Myers to make up for Bennett, but he leaves something to be desired as a blocker. However, he'll be a nice option for Eli Manning

    All is right in New York (well, unless you're the green little brother) with Reese at the helm, and the Giants will be back in the thick of things next season. 

6. New England Patriots

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    Tom Brady was peeved to lose Wes Welker, but the New England Patriots have never won anything with him anyway. The team got younger with Danny Amendola, who can do everything Welker can (minus the health issues, of course). 

    Adrian Wilson is a physical presence that was much needed in the secondary and keeping Kyle Arrington and Aqib Talib around are quality moves that are being overlooked by most. 

    New England doesn't have to win free agency each year with a duo like Brady and Bill Belichick, but it made all the right moves this offseason as it prepares for the draft. 

    Business as usual in New England. 

5. Atlanta Falcons

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    The Atlanta Falcons have had a stellar offseason that should allow them to be even better than they were a season ago. 

    Dumping the contract of John Abraham helped things but having tight end Tony Gonzalez back for another season is very important news. Bringing back offensive tackle Sam Baker certainly gives the team some depth and consistency as well. 

    Perhaps the biggest news around the team is running back Steven Jackson, who the team signed after releasing Michael Turner. Jackson has something to prove, and like Gonzalez, is chasing a ring. 

    Atlanta certainly has the ability to get both veterans a ring next season, and we haven't even hit the draft yet. 

4. Green Bay Packers

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    Yes, the Green Bay Packers lost receiver Greg Jennings to a divisional rival. No, it's not the end of the world. 

    Jennings was what you could call replaceable, especially in the Green Bay offense. The only bad move the team has made so far is not getting Aaron Rodgers an extension earlier. 

    Brad Jones is back on defense, which is important for the unit as a whole. Other than that, it's been all quiet on the Packers front. 

    Look for Green Bay to be back in the postseason next year as long as it makes some quality picks in the draft. 

3. Denver Broncos

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    To be blunt, the Denver Broncos have had an amazing offseason that places the already Super Bowl-ready team in an even better position to make a run at a ring. 

    Peyton Manning has a new target in Wes Welker, who was previously known to catch passes from Manning's arch rival Tom Brady every now and then. Denver didn't stop there when addressing the offense, though, as it nabbed one of the NFL's best guards in Louis Vasquez. 

    Denver also improved the defense with a flurry of signings and kept one of the league's elite offensive tackles in Ryan Clady. Losing Elvis Dumervil, whether intentional or not, hurts the defense in a big way, but there's still time to recover. 

    All in all, Manning and Co. are headed to the postseason in 2013 and perhaps much more. John Elway is all in for a ring, as he should be. 

2. Seattle Seahawks

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    The Seattle Seahawks have had one heck of an offseason, and we haven't even hit the draft yet, which speaks volumes to the job Pete Carroll and Co. are doing. 

    Seattle made the major splash by trading for Percy Harvin, a versatile weapon who instantly gives the Seahawks one of the best offenses in the league. 

    The team didn't stop there, though, managing to land both Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett for cheap on defense. So much for the injury to Chris Clemons having a big impact. 

    Both Seattle's offense and defense are stacked, and barring a sophomore slump from Russell Wilson, the Seahawks are Super Bowl contenders next season. 

1. San Francisco 49ers

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    The San Francisco 49ers haven't made much noise this offseason, but the team did rip off the Baltimore Ravens to land receiver Anquan Boldin. Baltimore didn't want to pay his $6 million salary, but the trade was a joke. 

    The 49ers lost two very talented players in Delanie Walker and Dashon Goldson, but they aren't irreplaceable. As far as signings go, the team has been mostly quiet. 

    Adding Boldin on offense alone may put the 49ers over the top, and the biggest beneficiary is Michael Crabtree, who will start across from him. 

    As if the 49ers offense couldn't get any scarier, the team still has the draft to add weapons. San Francisco is one team that could be on the fast track to a championship next season.