2022 Offseason Report Cards for Every NFL Team

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2022

2022 Offseason Report Cards for Every NFL Team

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The major events of the 2022 NFL offseason—the hiring cycle, early free agency and the draft—are now complete. A few quality veterans remain unsigned, but rosters and front offices are largely what they're going to be this season.

    With most of the work done, let's look at the big picture and grade every team's offseason thus far.

    From hirings and contract extensions to free-agent adds and draft decisions—and everything in between—all will be under scrutiny here.

    Teams that improved their talent pool and were smart with their resources will receive higher grades than those that overspent or lost key players and failed to fill holes. A "C" grade is average and represents a team that isn't in a better or worse position as it pertains to long- and short-term goals.

    To add a fun flavor to our grades, we're also going to highlight one particularly savvy move as an "extra-credit project" for each team. This could be a great hiring, particularly valuable deals or any other smart decision that adds a few bonus points to a team's overall grade.

    Teams are listed in alphabetical order.

Arizona Cardinals

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    James Conner
    James ConnerMarcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: RB James Conner, TE Zach Ertz, G Will Hernandez, WR Marquise Brown

    Key Draft Additions: TE Trey McBride, DE Cameron Thomas, DE Myjai Sanders, RB Keontay Ingram

    Key Departures: Edge Chandler Jones, LB Jordan Hicks, WR Christian Kirk, RB Chase Edmonds

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: D+

    Draft Grade: B-

    EC Project: Trading for Kyler Murray's college teammate

    Overall Grade: C-

    The Arizona Cardinals are not better on paper than they were a year ago. While they did manage to retain key contributors in James Conner and Zach Ertz, they lost big-time players in Chandler Jones, Jordan Hicks, Christian Kirk and Chase Edmonds.

    Jones is 32 years old, but losing him hurts in the short term. Not paying Kirk—he got a four-year, $72 million deal from the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency—was logical, but it left Arizona scrambling for a receiver. The Cardinals ended up dealing the 23rd overall pick for Baltimore Ravens wideout Marquise Brown and a third-round pick.

    Brown, who is blazing fast but inconsistent—he had a passer rating of only 87.9 when targeted in 2021—was not worth that price in a vacuum. However, he did play his college ball with quarterback Kyler Murray, and his addition may help sate Murray while he awaits a contract extension.

    Murray's agent, Erik Burkhardt, released a statement earlier in the offseason expressing Murray's desire for a long-term deal that is "in line with the current QB market."

    On the field, Brown is perhaps a slight upgrade over Kirk. He also still has two years left on his rookie contract, so the Cardinals don't have to break the bank for him right away. 

    Arizona had a decent draft with its remaining selections, but the veteran losses will be felt early. Expect the Cardinals to again be good enough to reach the postseason but not talented or deep enough to make a serious run.

Atlanta Falcons

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    Desmond Ridder
    Desmond RidderJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: QB Marcus Mariota, RB Cordarrelle Patterson, RB Damien Williams, CB Isaiah Oliver, WR Bryan Edwards

    Key Draft Additions: WR Drake London, DE Arnold Ebiketie, LB Troy Anderson, QB Desmond Ridder

    Key Departures: QB Matt Ryan, Edge Dante Fowler, TE Hayden Hurst, S Duron Harmon

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: B-

    Draft Grade: A

    EC Project: A smart QB succession plan

    Overall Grade: B+

    Parting with longtime quarterback Matt Ryan hurts. There's no getting around that. Getting only a third-round draft pick for him stings even more. However, the Atlanta Falcons essentially made the decision to move on when they tried but failed to land Deshaun Watson in a trade.

    Ryan openly admitted that he'd probably still be a Falcon if not for the franchise's pursuit of Watson.

    "Had none of this gone down? There's probably a chance—a pretty good chance," Ryan said on the Ryen Russillo Podcast (h/t Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk).

    But the Falcons deserve credit for moving on quickly and setting up a succession plan. Marcus Mariota can be a serviceable bridge, and Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder has the potential to be their quarterback of the future.

    Ridder was the top-ranked quarterback on the B/R Scouting Department's final big board and the 17th-ranked prospect overall. The Falcons got a steal by landing him in Round 3. They also found their new No. 1 receiver by drafting USC's Drake London at No. 8 overall. 

    Keeping Cordarrelle Patterson and trading for Bryan Edwards also boosts the offense and helps set up Atlanta's next quarterback for success. This is still going to be a rebuilding year for the Falcons, but Atlanta did a nice job of paving the way for a brighter future.

Baltimore Ravens

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    Marcus Williams
    Marcus WilliamsAdam Hunger/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: DL Calais Campbell, S Marcus Williams, OT Morgan Moses

    Key Draft Additions: S Kyle Hamilton, C Tyler Linderbaum, LB David Ojabo, DT Travis Jones

    Key Departures: WR Marquise Brown, WR Sammy Watkins, C Bradley Bozeman, LB Chris Board

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: B-

    Draft Grade: A+

    EC Project: A great return for Marquise Brown

    Overall Grade: B+

    The Baltimore Ravens might have had a better offseason than any other team in their division. They landed a premier safety in Marcus Williams in free agency and managed to retain one of their key defenders in Calais Campbell. They also did a fine job of replacing starting center Bradley Bozeman with Tyler Linderbaum in the draft.

    The Ravens nailed the early portion of the draft, allowing a top-10 talent in Kyle Hamilton (No. 7 on the B/R's Scouting Department's final big board) to fall to them at No. 14 and landing another first-round-caliber talent in David Ojabo in Round 2. Ojabo fell after suffering a torn Achilles at his pro day.

    The Ravens also deserve a ton of credit for getting a first-round pick for wideout Marquise Brown, who has only one 1,000-yard campaign on his resume. He had moments of brilliance during his three seasons in Baltimore but never quite emerged as a reliable No. 1 target.

    Even though the Ravens had to send a third-round pick with Brown to Arizona, getting the No. 23 overall pick in exchange for him was a masterstroke.

    The only real knock on the Ravens' offseason is that they have less receiver depth than they had before. That might not be a major factor, though, as quarterback Lamar Jackson is expected to again lead a heavily run-oriented attack under offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

    If the Ravens can stay healthy, they should be back in the playoff mix this season.

Buffalo Bills

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    Kaiir Elam
    Kaiir ElamJoshua Bessex/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: WR Jamison Crowder, TE O.J. Howard, Edge Von Miller, RB Duke Johnson

    Key Draft Additions: CB Kaiir Elam, RB James Cook, LB Terrel Bernard, WR Khalil Shakir

    Key Departures: WR Cole Beasley, WR Emmanuel Sanders, Edge Jerry Hughes, Edge Mario Addison

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: A-

    Draft Grade: B

    EC Project: Adding a proven backup QB

    Overall Grade: B+

    The Buffalo Bills have had a solid offseason thus far. While replacing Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders—both of whom still remain unsigned—with Jamison Crowder is a net loss of receiver depth, Buffalo did a tremendous job of bolstering other areas of its roster.

    Signing Von Miller to a six-year, $120 million deal was the Bills' coup of the offseason. Even at 33, Miller is still a high-impact sack artist, and he'll make Buffalo's top-ranked defense even better.

    The decision to draft Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam in Round 1 was also a brilliant move. Elam can be a longtime starter on the perimeter and provides immediate insurance while star Tre'Davious White recovers from the torn ACL that he suffered in late November.

    The Bills also boosted their backfield significantly by adding dual-threat back Duke Johnson and rookie second-rounder James Cook. With Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs leading a potent passing attack, Buffalo may now have one of the best and most balanced offenses in the league.

    And in a sneaky-smart move, the Bills acquired veteran backup Case Keenum from the Cleveland Browns for a seventh-round pick. Keenum has 64 career starts on his resume and provides Buffalo with a great insurance policy behind Allen following the departure of Mitch Trubisky.

    Ideally, Keenum will only see the field during garbage time. But if Allen is forced to miss a game or two, Buffalo should still have a fighting chance with Keenum under center.

    The Bills were among the AFC's best in 2021, and on paper, they're even better now. That's great news for Buffalo fans, but not so great for the rest of the AFC East.

Carolina Panthers

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    Ikem Ekwonu
    Ikem EkwonuChris Carlson/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: G Austin Corbett, RB D'Onta Foreman, S Xavier Woods, LB Cory Littleton

    Key Draft Additions: OT Ikem Ekwonu, QB Matt Corral, LB Brandon Smith, LB Amare Barno

    Key Departures: CB Stephon Gilmore, Edge Haason Reddick, OT Trent Scott, LB Jermaine Carter Jr.

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: D

    Draft Grade: B

    EC Project: Avoiding a QB reach

    Overall Grade: C-

    The Carolina Panthers still don't have a proven franchise quarterback on their roster, but they avoided the temptation of reaching for one at No. 6 overall. Instead, they landed arguably the best offensive tackle in the draft in NC State's Ikem Ekwonu.

    The Panthers then traded up into the third round to grab Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral, a signal-caller whom some believed could go in the first or second round. He went 49th overall in the B/R Scouting Department's post-combine mock.

    Corral is a fine developmental prospect, but the Panthers do view him as a project. In the meantime, veterans like Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo could still be on Carolina's radar.

    "They would like somebody else; that's why the Baker Mayfield situation, Jimmy Garoppolo might not be completely dead at this point," ESPN's Jeremy Fowler said on SportsCenter.

    For now, Sam Darnold appears to have one last chance to prove himself.

    The Panthers made some sneaky-good additions with the likes of Austin Corbett and D'Onta Foreman, but they also lost top talents in Stephon Gilmore and Haason Reddick. They didn't overspend to acquire a quarterback, but they're still unsettled at the game's most important position.

    It all makes for a very so-so offseason in what might be Matt Rhule's last as the Panthers' head coach.

Chicago Bears

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    Kyler Gordon
    Kyler GordonNam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: WR Byron Pringle, DT Justin Jones, G Lucas Patrick, TE Ryan Griffin

    Key Draft Additions: CB Kyler Gordon, S Jaquan Brisker, WR Velus Jones Jr., T Braxton Jones

    Key Departures: Edge Khalil Mack, G James Daniels, WR Allen Robinson II, WR Jakeem Grant

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: D-

    Draft Grade: C-

    EC Project: Hiring Matt Eberflus

    Overall Grade: D+

    Second-year quarterback Justin Fields is heading into a pivotal season. Unfortunately, the Chicago Bears did him few favors this offseason.

    Chicago's best move was arguably hiring head coach Matt Eberflus. He's an experienced defensive coach who brought in a tremendous support staff.

    Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy comes over from the rival Green Bay Packers, where he served as passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams is a 21-year NFL coaching vet who was on Eberflus' staff in Indianapolis. This is a coaching staff that can lead Fields and Co. in the right direction.

    However, Chicago failed to address its key needs in the draft and did little to bolster its lackluster receiving corps. Velus Jones Jr. was a reach in the third round, and Byron Pringle doesn't have the same No. 1 receiver potential as the departed Allen Robinson II had. Chicago also traded away premier pass-rusher Khalil Mack and lost a proven return specialist in Jakeem Grant.

    On paper, the Bears aren't any better than they were a year ago, and they're worse when it comes to Fields' weapons. Good coaching can help compensate for a lack of talent, but Chicago appears set to struggle in 2022.

Cincinnati Bengals

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    Daxton Hill
    Daxton HillJeff Dean/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: OT La'el Collins, G Alex Cappa, C Ted Karras, TE Hayden Hurst

    Key Draft Additions: S Daxton Hill, CB Cam Taylor-Britt, DT Zachary Carter, OL Cordell Volson

    Key Departures: TE C.J. Uzomah, DT Larry Ogunjobi, WR Auden Tate, CB Darius Phillips

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: A

    Draft Grade: B-

    EC Project: Addressing the O-line

    Overall Grade: B

    The Cincinnati Bengals rival the Ravens for the best offseason in the AFC North. While they didn't quite nail the draft as well as Baltimore did, the Bengals did a solid job of prioritizing value over need. That's the right call for a team with a Super Bowl-caliber roster.

    Just don't expect Cincinnati to see a huge immediate impact from its draft class. Guys like safety Daxton Hill—an insurance policy and possible successor to the franchise-tagged Jessie Bates III—are more likely to provide dividends down the road.

    It's worth noting, though, that Bates doesn't intend to play on the tag this season, according to Tyler Dragon of USA Today.

    However, the Bengals will see an instant impact from their free-agent haul.

    The offensive line was Cincinnati's biggest question mark, as quarterback Joe Burrow was sacked a league-high 51 times during the regular season. The Bengals overhauled the unit by signing La'el Collins, Alex Cappa and Ted Karras.

    With better protection, Burrow should be considered among the early favorites for league MVP in 2022.

    Cincinnati also added tight end Hayden Hurst to replace C.J. Uzomah, who signed with the New York Jets. It was one of the better under-the-radar moves of the offseason, as it will allow Burrow to continue exploiting mismatches with his tight ends.

    The Bengals' losses were minimal, with still unsigned defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi the only true impact player who hasn't been replaced. Cincinnati is coming off an AFC championship and is stronger on paper than it was a few months ago.

Cleveland Browns

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    Amari Cooper
    Amari CooperRon Jenkins/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: QB Deshaun Watson, WR Jakeem Grant, TE David Njoku, WR Amari Cooper

    Key Draft Additions: CB Martin Emerson, DE Alex Wright, WR David Bell, K Cade York

    Key Departures: WR Jarvis Landry, CB Troy Hill, LB Mack Wilson, WR Rashard Higgins

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: C-

    Draft Grade: B-

    EC Project: Jumping the WR market

    Overall Grade: C

    Grading the Cleveland Browns' offseason is tricky because of the trades they made. They successfully  anticipated a wild receiver market and managed to steal Amari Cooper from the Dallas Cowboys for a fifth-round pick and a swap of sixth-rounders.

    However, the Browns also dealt a huge package of picks—including three first-rounders—for Deshaun Watson, who still faces 22 civil lawsuits from women who have accused him of sexual assault and misconduct and could face league discipline under the personal conduct policy.

    Purely on paper, the three-time Pro Bowler is a big upgrade over four-year starter Baker Mayfield. However, he's a massive, costly risk, particularly since the Browns also gave him a new five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract.

    The risk of the Watson deal offset the potential reward, bringing down Cleveland's overall offseason grade. The Browns otherwise did a nice job of acquiring Cooper, re-signing David Njoku and adding a proven return specialist in Jakeem Grant while limiting losses. Pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney remains unsigned.

    Cleveland also did a good job of navigating the draft without first- or second-round selections (it traded out of Round 2 on draft day). The Browns picked up a promising cornerback prospect in Martin Emerson, a possible replacement for Jarvis Landry in Purdue wideout David Bell, and they may have even solved their kicking woes by taking LSU's Cade York.

    Until we know how things play out for Watson, though, it's impossible to say that the Browns are decidedly better than they were last year.

Dallas Cowboys

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    Tyler Smith
    Tyler SmithMichael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: WR Michael Gallup, TE Dalton Schultz, WR James Washington, Edge Dante Fowler

    Key Draft Additions: OT Tyler Smith, Edge Sam Williams, WR Jalen Tolbert, TE Jake Ferguson

    Key Departures: WR Amari Cooper, Edge Randy Gregory, OT La'el Collins, G Connor Williams

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: D

    Draft Grade: B

    EC Project: Extending key players

    Overall Grade: C-

    The Dallas Cowboys had a miserable start to the offseason, beginning with their underwhelming return for Cooper. They also lost pass-rusher Randy Gregory to the Denver Broncos, parted with starting tackle La'el Collins and lost guard Connor Williams to the Miami Dolphins, along with receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr.

    Free-agent additions like James Washington and Dante Fowler were also underwhelming. The Cowboys were significantly worse entering the draft than they were entering free agency.

    The Cowboys did fare better over draft weekend. They helped reload the line with first-round tackle Tyler Smith and helped to replace Gregory with second-rounder Sam Williams. Third-round receiver Jalen Tolbert also addressed a need, though he won't replace both Cooper and Wilson in the lineup.

    On a positive note, Dallas was able to retain star tight end Dalton Schultz with the franchise tag while locking up pass-rusher Demarcus Lawrence and wideout Michael Gallup with contract extensions. The Cowboys lost a lot of talent, but they did manage to keep some key contributors in place for another potential playoff run.

    Overall, Dallas did what it could to mitigate its losses, but the roster is not better than it was last year. Misjudging the receiver market and getting proverbial pennies for Cooper pushed the grade to a below-average level.

Denver Broncos

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    Russell Wilson
    Russell WilsonAssociated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: QB Russell Wilson, RB Melvin Gordon III, Edge Randy Gregory, S Kareem Jackson

    Key Draft Additions: LB Nik Bonitto, TE Greg Dulcich, CB Damarri Mathis, DE Eyioma Uwazurike

    Key Departures: TE Noah Fant, DT Shelby Harris, DE Stephen Weatherly, QB Drew Lock

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: A

    Draft Grade: C+

    EC Project: Fixing the QB problem

    Overall Grade: B+

    The Denver Broncos' 2022 offseason will long be defined by their acquisition of future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson. The trade to add the longtime Seattle Seahawks starter wasn't cheap, but it solved a problem Denver has had since Peyton Manning's retirement.

    Denver traded two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and tight end Noah Fant to Seattle for Wilson and a fourth-round pick. That trade gives them an elite signal-caller to a lead their otherwise loaded offense and a defense that ranked third in scoring last season.

    Unless Wilson falls off a cliff in 2022, the Broncos should be serious Super Bowl contenders. They also added Gregory while retaining important pieces like running back Melvin Gordon III and safety Kareem Jackson.

    The Broncos also did a nice job of navigating the draft without a first-round selection. Pass-rusher Nik Bonitto will further bolster the defense, while tight end Greg Dulcich will help fill the void left by Fant.

    The Broncos have solved their long-standing quarterback problem, and they have the overall talent needed to challenge the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. If new head coach Nathaniel Hackett—who last served as the Packers' offensive coordinator—is ready for the job, the Broncos should hit the ground running.

Detroit Lions

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    Aidan Hutchinson
    Aidan HutchinsonPaul Sancya/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: WR D.J. Chark, S Tracy Walker, DE Charles Harris, LB Jarrad Davis

    Key Draft Additions: Edge Aidan Hutchinson, WR Jameson Williams, S Kerby Joseph, TE James Mitchell

    Key Departures: LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, WR KhaDarel Hodge, S Dean Marlowe, Edge Trey Flowers

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: B

    Draft Grade: A

    EC Project: A great long-term plan

    Overall Grade: B+

    The Detroit Lions are going to be better than they were a year ago, though perhaps not good enough to be realistic playoff contenders. That's OK, because Detroit took a tremendous long-term approach to the offseason and came out as a winner.

    Moves like signing safety Tracy Walker to a three-year, $25 million extension and trading up for injured but talented receiver prospect Jameson Williams will pay dividends in 2023 and beyond. Walker is a defensive centerpiece, and Williams has the potential to be a perennial Pro Bowl pass-catcher once healthy.

    "Williams will be a contributor right away as a returner and home run threat and still has enough upside to make him a potential No. 1 option for a good NFL offense," Nate Tice of the B/R Scouting Department wrote.

    The Lions were even smart to give quarterback Jared Goff another season instead of reaching on a quarterback at No. 2 overall or selling out for another veteran. The roster isn't ready to win now, but will improve with additions like veteran wideout D.J. Chark and No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson.

    The Lions may only see a minor boost in the win column this year, but they still had a terrific offseason. Whenever they're ready to move on from Goff and target a new long-term signal-caller, they should have a strong foundation in place.

Green Bay Packers

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    Quay Walker
    Quay WalkerMorry Gash/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: WR Allen Lazard, WR Sammy Watkins, CB Rasul Douglas, LB De'Vondre Campbell

    Key Draft Additions: LB Quay Walker, DT Devonte Wyatt, WR Christian Watson, OL Sean Rhyan

    Key Departures: WR Davante Adams, Edge Za'Darius Smith, OT Billy Turner, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: C

    Draft Grade: B

    EC Project: Extending Aaron Rodgers

    Overall Grade: C+

    On paper, the Green Bay Packers aren't better than they were a few months ago. However, they aren't substantially worse, either.

    Yes, the Packers lost Za'Darius Smith and traded away Aaron Rodgers' favorite target, Davante Adams. However, they also re-signed Rasul Douglas, added Sammy Watkins, retained Allen Lazard and had a strong early draft.

    Re-signing Douglas—who allowed an opposing passer rating of only 44.5 last season—was particularly crafty. Meanwhile, second-round receiver Christian Watson should help fill the void left by Adams, and first-round picks Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt will add some bite to Green Bay's front seven.

    Most importantly, though, the Packers locked up Rodgers on a new three-year, $150.8 million extension. As long as he's under center, the offense should adapt and remain potent. The rest of the team can also move forward confident in the fact that Rodgers' future is no longer uncertain—which it became when Green Bay used a first-round pick on Jordan Love in the 2020 draft. 

    The Packers also extended star corner Jaire Alexander with a four-year, $84 million deal—that's another key building block locked in for the long term.

    The Packers will look different in 2022, but different doesn't necessarily mean bad. They should again have a stout defense and can move the ball with a strong running game and a more balanced passing attack.

    The Packers decided to cut bait on Adams—who landed a five-year, $140 million deal from the Las Vegas Raiders after the trade—and pony up for Rodgers instead. They're going to miss Adams, but the sky is not falling in Green Bay.

Houston Texans

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    Derek Stingley Jr. and Kenyon Green
    Derek Stingley Jr. and Kenyon GreenDavid J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: RB Marlon Mack, RB Dare Ogunbowale, DE Jerry Hughes, DT Maliek Collins

    Key Draft Additions: CB Derek Stingley Jr., G Kenyon Green, S Jalen Pitre, WR John Metchie III

    Key Departures: QB Deshaun Watson, QB Tyrod Taylor, S Justin Reid, TE Jordan Akins

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: C

    Draft Grade: B

    EC Project: Moving Deshaun Watson

    Overall Grade: B-

    The Houston Texans are firmly in rebuilding mode, and their foray into free agency reflects that. They added some nice complementary pieces in running back Marlon Mack and defensive end Jerry Hughes, but they didn't swing for the fences like some teams did.

    Houston also had a solid draft which should pay long-term dividends.

    The Texans took LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. third overall even though he was coming off of back-to-back injury-hampered seasons. He missed all but three games with a foot injury this past year, but he has the potential to be an elite long-term defensive piece in Houston.

    First-round interior lineman Kenyon Green should also be a future building block for the Texans, as should safety Jalen Pitre and injured but promising receiver prospect John Metchie III. Houston largely drafted with the future in mind, which is fine. Winning anything of note in 2022 is unlikely.

    Two of the Texans' best moves this offseason happened away from the free-agency market and draft room. Houston made the smart decision to promote from within when it hired Lovie Smith as head coach. Smith was the defensive coordinator last season, has coached in a Super Bowl and will help build some continuity in the locker room.

    The Texans also got a haul for Deshaun Watson, a quarterback who requested a trade last January before his legal issues came to light. Getting a package including three first-round picks for Watson was a huge win for Houston.

    The Texans might not win many games in 2022, but they had a solid offseason.

Indianapolis Colts

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    Matt Ryan
    Matt RyanMichael Conroy/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: QB Matt Ryan, Edge Yannick Ngakoue, CB Stephon Gilmore, TE Mo Alie-Cox

    Key Draft Additions: WR Alec Pierce, TE Jelani Woods, OT Bernhard Raimann, S Nick Cross

    Key Departures: QB Carson Wentz, CB Rock Ya-Sin, G Mark Glowinski, Edge Al-Quadin Muhammad

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: B+

    Draft Grade: A

    EC Project: Unloading Carson Wentz

    Overall Grade: A-

    The Indianapolis Colts are going to be relevant in the AFC this season thanks to their stellar offseason.

    Indy decided to move on from Carson Wentz after only one season, dealing him and a seventh-rounder to the Washington Commanders for a 2022 third-round pick, a conditional 2023 third-rounder and a swap of second-rounders. Wentz was serviceable but fell flat in critical late-season losses to the Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars.

    The Colts then acquired Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons for a lower third-round pick than the one they got from Washington. Ryan is a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback without the necessary hardware, but that could change now that he's in Indianapolis. 

    The Colts also added nice veteran pieces in edge-rusher Yannick Ngakoue and cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Despite not having a first-round selection, they also landed a haul in the draft headlined by wideout Alec Pierce, tight end Jelani Woods and offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann.

    Indianapolis should get early contributions from its early draft picks, and with a much more reliable quarterback, it's poised to take the NFC South from the defending champion Tennessee Titans.

    It's hard not to love what the Colts did this offseason.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Travon Walker
    Travon WalkerJohn Raoux/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: WR Christian Kirk, G Brandon Scherff, OT Cam Robinson, CB Darious Williams

    Key Draft Additions: DE Travon Walker, LB Devin Lloyd, C Luke Fortner, LB Chad Muma

    Key Departures: WR D.J. Chark, DT Taven Bryan, LB Myles Jack, RB Dare Ogunbowale

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: B-

    Draft Grade: C-

    EC Project: Hiring Doug Pederson

    Overall Grade: C+

    The Jacksonville Jaguars got better this offseason by adding players like wideout Christian Kirk, guard Brandon Scherff and cornerback Darious Williams in free agency. However, bad teams often have to overpay to bring in quality players, and that's exactly what happened in Jacksonville.

    On the bright side, signing left tackle Cam Robinson to a three-year, $54 million deal was a relative bargain. He was set to earn $16.6 million on the franchise tag in 2022.

    Jacksonville also found some good value in the draft, trading up to land linebacker Devin Lloyd late in Round 1 and finding a future starting center in Luke Fortner in Round 3. However, its selection of Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker at No. 1 overall was a massive risk, as The Ringer's Ben Solak noted:

    "At non-quarterback positions, there has never been a first pick with only one season as a starter since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970—that is, there hadn't been until the Jaguars selected Walker. It's not that first picks have to be experienced players—rather, it's that first picks are usually so dominant at the college level, there's no way they don't start for a couple of seasons. But that wasn't true for Walker."

    Walker impressed at the combine but logged only 9.5 sacks in three seasons at Georgia. He's anything but a "can't-miss" prospect, and the long-suffering Jaguars cannot afford a bust at No. 1.

    On a positive note, the hiring of new head coach Doug Pederson was smart. He's a Super Bowl-winning coach who should guide 2021 No. 1 overall pick Trever Lawrence far more successfully than predecessor Urban Meyer did (or, more accurately, didn't).

    The addition of Pederson is arguably the biggest positive in a good-but-not-great Jaguars offseason.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    Trent McDuffie
    Trent McDuffieCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, S Justin Reid, OT Orlando Brown Jr.

    Key Draft Additions: CB Trent McDuffie, Edge George Karlaftis, WR Skyy Moore, S Bryan Cook

    Key Departures: WR Tyreek Hill, S Tyrann Mathieu, CB Charvarius Ward, WR Byron Pringle

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: C

    Draft Grade: A

    EC Project: Making the tough financial decisions

    Overall Grade: B

    The Kansas City Chiefs decided not to overspend to retain safety Tyrann Mathieu (aging at 30) or wideout Tyreek Hill (brutally expensive). They instead replaced Mathieu with 25-year-old Justin Reid and dealt Hill to the Dolphins.

    The Chiefs got 2022 first- and second-round picks, 2022 and '23 fourth-round selections and a 2023 sixth-round pick for Hill. Miami then signed Hill to a massive four-year, $120 million extension, which Kansas City seemingly was not inclined to give him.

    Losing Hill, Mathieu and cornerback Charvarius Ward stings, but the Chiefs took a calculated approach that could be beneficial in the long run. They added JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and rookie Skyy Moore to help replace Hill, drafted Trent McDuffie to replace Ward and swapped Mathieu for Reid.

    The Chiefs managed to strengthen their defense with the likes of pass-rusher George Karlaftis and safety Bryan Cook. On top of that, they franchise-tagged left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., further ensuring that they don't have any major holes heading into the regular season.

    Hill is a difference-maker, and the Chiefs offense won't be the same without him. It will be plenty potent, though, as long as Patrick Mahomes is healthy. The defense is better on paper, too.

    Kansas City got younger and cheaper at several key positions and may be an even stronger contender in the AFC than it was last season.

Las Vegas Raiders

17 of 32

    Davante Adams
    Davante AdamsJohn Locher/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: WR Davante Adams, Edge Chandler Jones, CB Rock Ya-Sin, WR Demarcus Robinson

    Key Draft Additions: G Dylan Parham, RB Zamir White, DT Neil Farrell Jr., DT Matthew Butler

    Key Departures: Edge Yannick Ngakoue, DL Quinton Jefferson, WR Bryan Edwards, WR Zay Jones

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: A

    Draft Grade: B+

    EC Project: Reuniting Derek Carr and Davante Adams

    Overall Grade: A-

    Las Vegas Raiders fans should feel very good about their team's offseason, and not just because of the addition of Adams. The Raiders also added a premier pass-rusher in Chandler Jones, a fine complementary receiver in Demarcus Robinson and a 25-year-old cornerback with upside in Rock Ya-Sin.

    Las Vegas did trade away Yannick Ngakoue and Bryan Edwards, but it's better on paper with Adams, Jones and Robinson replacing them.

    The Raiders also did a fine job of navigating the draft without first- and second-round selections. Running back Zamir White should slot in as a quality complement right away, while lineman Dylan Parham will provide valuable depth at multiple positions along the line.

    Of course, the Adams trade is the offseason headliner, and it's a massive move.

    Adams and quarterback Derek Carr were teammates at Fresno State, and they now have an opportunity to rekindle the chemistry they had in college. Adams had 3,031 receiving yards and 38 touchdowns in only two seasons at Fresno State.

    With Adams as its new No. 1 receiver, Las Vegas has the potential to field one of the league's most explosive offenses in 2022. The Raiders were playoff participants last season, and if new head coach Josh McDaniels steers the ship properly, they should be poised for a deep postseason run this year.

Los Angeles Chargers

18 of 32

    Khalil Mack
    Khalil MackJason Behnken/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: WR Mike Williams, TE Gerald Everett, CB J.C. Jackson, Edge Khalil Mack

    Key Draft Additions: IOL Zion Johnson, S JT Woods, RB Isaiah Spiller, DL Otito Ogbonnia

    Key Departures: DT Justin Jones, Edge Uchenna Nwosu, Edge Kyler Fackrell, WR Andre Roberts

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: B+

    Draft Grade: B+

    EC Project: Locking up Mike Williams

    Overall Grade: B+

    The Broncos and the Raiders aren't the only teams poised to make noise in the now-loaded AFC West. The Los Angeles Chargers had a strong offseason after missing the postseason by the narrowest of margins.

    L.A. and Las Vegas played in the regular-season finale with a playoff spot on the line. They went nearly five full quarters, with the Raiders winning on a last-second field goal in overtime.

    Los Angeles locked up wide receiver Mike Williams and added premier cover corner J.C. Jackson to kick off free agency. Jackson allowed an opposing passer rating of only 46.8 in coverage last season, while Williams has become a favorite target of quarterback Justin Herbert.

    Williams' three-year, $60 million deal looks like a bargain compared to some of the receiver deals that came after his, including those of Adams, Hill and Kirk.

    It also acquired pass-rusher Khalil Mack in a trade with the Bears and added receiving tight end Gerald Everett to replace 2021 starter Jared Cook (who remains unsigned).

    In the draft, L.A. bolstered its line with former Boston College standout Zion Johnson. It grabbed a quality rotational piece for the secondary in JT Woods and added a potential replacement for Justin Jones along the defensive line in Otito Ogbonnia.

    And in Isaiah Spiller, the Chargers may have finally found a reliable rushing complement to dual-threat fantasy superstar Austin Ekeler.

    Like the Broncos and the Raiders, the Chargers got better over the past few months, and they're going to be a factor in the AFC playoff race throughout the season.

Los Angeles Rams

19 of 32

    Allen Robinson II
    Allen Robinson IIMatt Durisko/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: WR Allen Robinson II, LB Bobby Wagner, CB Troy Hill, OT Joe Noteboom

    Key Draft Additions: G Logan Bruss, CB Decobie Durant, RB Kyren Williams, S Quentin Lake

    Key Departures: Edge Von Miller, CB Darious Williams, G Austin Corbett, DL Sebastian Joseph-Day

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: D

    Draft Grade: C

    EC Project: Hiring Liam Coen

    Overall Grade: C-

    The Los Angeles Rams were always going to have a hard time keeping their Super Bowl-winning roster together. L.A. lost four key contributors in Von Miller, Darious Williams, Austin Corbett and Sebastian Joseph-Day. It also traded away wide receiver Robert Woods, who missed much of last season with a torn ACL. While the Rams did add some nice pieces in Allen Robinson II, Bobby Wagner and Troy Hill—and re-signed lineman Joe Noteboom—the additions don't offset the losses.

    Robinson is coming off a down year that included only 410 receiving yards and one touchdown. Wagner is still a great all-around linebacker, but he isn't the edge-rusher that Miller is. The Rams also have yet to re-sign injured (torn ACL) wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

    And with no picks in the first two rounds, Los Angeles is unlikely to have an instant-impact rookie class.

    On a positive note, the Rams were able to turn to a familiar face when replacing offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, who left to take the Minnesota Vikings head job. Liam Coen spent last season as the Kentucky Wildcats' offensive coordinator, but he spent the previous three years with Sean McVay and the Rams.

    Coen should maintain some level of continuity with the Rams' ninth-ranked offense.

    Overall, Los Angeles is a little less intimidating on paper than it was during its run to Super Bowl LVI. Fans shouldn't be too discouraged, though. because this team is still talented enough to make a deep postseason run.

Miami Dolphins

20 of 32

    Tyreek Hill
    Tyreek HillGregory Payan/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: WR Tyreek Hill, RB Sony Michel, G Connor Williams, OT Terron Armstead

    Key Draft Additions: LB Channing Tindall, WR Erik Ezukanma, LB Cameron Goode, QB Skylar Thompson

    Key Departures: WR DeVante Parker, CB Justin Coleman, RB Duke Johnson Jr., QB Jacoby Brissett

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: A

    Draft Grade: C-

    EC Project: Hiring Mike McDaniel

    Overall Grade: B

    The Miami Dolphins made some major moves to help support third-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa this offseason. They added a fine complementary receiver in Cedrick Wilson Jr., improved the offensive line dramatically with the additions of Connor Williams and Terron Armstead and bolstered the backfield with the likes of Sony Michel and Chase Edmonds.

    Oh, and the Dolphins also went out and traded for former Chiefs speedster Tyreek Hill. He has the ability to both stretch the field and turn short passes into huge gains, tools that can improve Tagovailoa's underwhelming 2021 average of 6.5 yards per attempt.

    To top it all off, Miami made the brilliant decision to go with a bright and creative offensive mind in Mike McDaniel as its new head coach.

    "My job is to coach you, to get all of that greatness out of you," McDaniel told Tagovailoa shortly after being hired.

    Miami's draft class, which consists of only four picks, and none in the first two rounds, isn't particularly impressive. However, it features some nice developmental prospects in Channing Tindall and Erik Ezukanma.

    The Dolphins did most of their damage before the draft, and they did enough to be a playoff team this coming season after falling just short in 2020 and 2021. Tagovailoa certainly has no excuses this season, and Miami will know one way or another by season's end if he can be a true franchise quarterback.

Minnesota Vikings

21 of 32

    Za'Darius Smith
    Za'Darius SmithMorry Gash/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: Edge Za'Darius Smith, LB Jordan Hicks, DL Harrison Phillips, K Greg Joseph

    Key Draft Additions: S Lewis Cine, CB Andrew Booth Jr., G Ed Ingram, LB Brian Asamoah

    Key Departures: S Xavier Woods, OL Mason Cole, TE Tyler Conklin, LB Nick Vigil

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: B

    Draft Grade: B

    EC Project: Hiring Kevin O'Connell

    Overall Grade: B

    The Minnesota Vikings had a struggle of a season in 2021. They underachieved on offense (12th overall) and disappointed on defense (30th) while suffering too many late-game collapses to finish above .500. Change was necessary, and the Vikings found it by replacing head coach Mike Zimmer with former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell.

    O'Connell should be well suited to get the most out of Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook and the rest of the Minnesota offense.

    With O'Connell on board, the Vikings did an excellent job of addressing their problematic defense in free agency and the draft. They added instant-impact defenders like Za'Darius Smith, Jordan Hicks and rookies Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth Jr.

    It may take some time for the new pieces to come together under defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, but the Vikings defense shouldn't be the liability that it was a year ago. Minnesota also made the underrated but smart decision to re-sign kicker Greg Joseph, who made 86.8 percent of his field-goal attempts last season.

    Naturally, we'll have to wait to see if O'Connell can coax more out of an offense that oozed talent but lacked results in 2021. The overall roster is more complete than it was a year ago, however, and Minnesota stands a reasonable chance of returning to the postseason for the first time since 2019.

New England Patriots

22 of 32

    DeVante Parker
    DeVante ParkerWillfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: WR DeVante Parker, RB James White, LB Mack Wilson, S Jabrill Peppers

    Key Draft Additions: G Cole Strange, WR Tyquan Thornton, CB Marcus Jones, CB Jack Jones

    Key Departures: CB J.C. Jackson, DE Chase Winovich, G Shaq Mason, OL Ted Karras

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: D-

    Draft Grade: D+

    EC Project: Nabbing DeVante Parker

    Overall Grade: D

    Last offseason, the New England Patriots went on a spending spree that helped yield a playoff berth. The Patriots may be set to take a step back, though, after one of the more curious offseasons we saw this year.

    New England's best moves include re-signing James White, trading underutilized edge-rusher Chase Winovich for linebacker Mack Wilson, adding injured (torn ACL) safety Jabrill Peppers and taking advantage of Miami's new receiver surplus.

    The Patriots pried DeVante Parker and a 2022 fifth-round pick from their division rivals for a 2023 third-round selection. There was some value in that deal, but the Patriots found less value in their draft class.

    New England reached for Chattanooga guard Cole Strange in the first round and for wideout Tyquan Thornton in the second. Strange was the 98th-ranked prospect on the B/R board, while Thornton was the 130th-ranked prospect.

    New England also lost star corner J.C. Jackson in free agency, traded starting guard Shaq Mason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a mere fifth-round pick and lost offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to the Raiders.

    Plus, defensive captain Dont'a Hightower remains unsigned.

    It's likely been a frustrating offseason for Patriots fans, and on paper, it hasn't been a good one. Bill Belichick has traditionally done a wonderful job of managing roster turnover, though, so the chances of New England suddenly becoming a bottom-feeder are slim.

New Orleans Saints

23 of 32

    Jarvis Landry
    Jarvis LandryDavid Richard/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: QB Jameis Winston, WR Jarvis Landry, S Tyrann Mathieu, QB Andy Dalton

    Key Draft Additions: WR Chris Olave, OT Trevor Penning, S Alontae Taylor, LB D'Marco Jackson

    Key Departures: OT Terron Armstead, S Marcus Williams, RB Ty Montgomery, QB Trevor Siemian

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: C+

    Draft Grade: B-

    EC Project: Adding Andy Dalton

    Overall Grade: B-

    The New Orleans Saints have had a pretty solid offseason considering they had to deal with a tight cap situation and the departure of longtime head coach Sean Payton. The promotion of defensive coordinator Dennis Allen to head coach was a good start, as he'll help maintain continuity in the locker room.

    The cap situation, though, meant that key players Terron Armstead and Marcus Williams were never likely to come back, and they didn't. New Orleans was able to compensate, at least, by signing Tyrann Mathieu and Marcus Maye while drafting tackle Trevor Penning in the first round.

    The Saints also did an excellent job of improving a questionable receiving corps—the team was dead-last in passing yards last season—by signing Jarvis Landry and using the 11th overall pick on Ohio State receiver Chris Olave.

    After missing out on Deshaun Watson, the Saints turned back to Jameis Winston at quarterback. And in a sneaky-smart move, they added three-time Pro Bowler Andy Dalton as quarterback insurance.

    Winston showed flashes last season before suffering a torn ACL, finishing with 14 touchdowns, three interceptions and a 102.8 rating. Dalton will help ensure that the offense can function if Winston isn't ready to start the season.

    Assuming coordinator Pete Carmichael can keep the offense rolling without Payton, New Orleans should be back in the playoff mix this year. The Saints went 9-8 despite missing Winston for more than half the season in 2021, and they have better weapons around him now.

New York Giants

24 of 32

    Kayvon Thibodeaux
    Kayvon ThibodeauxNoah K. Murray/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: QB Tyrod Taylor, OL Mark Glowinski, OL Jon Feliciano, RB Matt Breida

    Key Draft Additions: Edge Kayvon Thibodeaux, OT Evan Neal, WR Wan'Dale Robinson, CB Cordale Flott

    Key Departures: CB Logan Ryan, S Jabrill Peppers, G Will Hernandez, CB James Bradberry

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: D

    Draft Grade: B+

    EC Project: Hiring Brian Daboll

    Overall Grade: C+

    It's been a tale of two halves for the New York Giants this offseason. The cap-strapped team made some nice depth additions by adding Tyrod Taylor, Mark Glowinski, Jon Feliciano and Matt Breida. However, they also lost key contributors in Logan Ryan, Jabrill Peppers and Will Hernandez.

    Recently, the Giants also released starting cornerback James Bradberry in a cap-saving move.

    New York fared much better in the draft, though, specifically in the first round. The Giants grabbed two of the class' best prospects in Oregon pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux and Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal at fifth and seventh overall, respectively.

    Thibodeaux and Neal were the top two prospects on B/R's Scouting Department's big board, and they should both be early contributors and longtime starters. However, the selection of Kentucky receiver Wan'Dale Robinson in the second round (43rd overall) was a reach, which prevents New York from earning an "A" grade for the draft. Robinson, likely a gadget player early, was the 112th-ranked prospect on the B/R board.

    The best move New York made this offseason was hiring Brian Daboll as head coach. The former Bills offensive coordinator worked wonders with Josh Allen in Buffalo, and ideally, he'll do the same with fourth-year quarterback Daniel Jones in New York.

    Daboll provides a sense of hope for the long-struggling Giants, and the roster is a little better on paper than it was a year ago. However, New York is still in the early stages of the rebuilding process and unlikely to contend in 2022.

New York Jets

25 of 32

    Ahmad Gardner
    Ahmad GardnerJohn Locher/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: TE C.J. Uzomah, TE Tyler Conklin, G Laken Tomlinson, RB Tevin Coleman

    Key Draft Additions: CB Ahmad Gardner, WR Garrett Wilson, Edge Jermaine Johnson II, RB Breece Hall

    Key Departures: S Marcus Maye, LB Jarrad Davis, WR Jamison Crowder, DT Folorunso Fatukasi

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: B+

    Draft Grade: A+

    EC Project: Owning the early draft

    Overall Grade: A-

    Have faith, New York Jets fans. Your team has won just six games over the last two seasons, but it has had one heck of an offseason so far.

    New York did lose a premier defender in safety Marcus Maye, though he is coming off a torn Achilles. However, it added three big-time free agents in guard Laken Tomlinson and tight ends C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin.

    Tomlinson should help improve the blocking in front of second-year quarterback Zach Wilson, while Uzomah and Conklin will give him two reliable outlet options at tight end.

    The Jets did an even better job during the draft, absolutely nailing the early portions with picks that both brought value and addressed needs. In the first two rounds, New York landed a potential lockdown corner in Ahmad Gardner, a top-tier receiving prospect in Garrett Wilson, a premier pass-rushing prospect in Jermaine Johnson II and a high-end running back in Breece Hall.

    "You could argue that the Jets got the best players in this draft class at three of the four most important positions in the game," Doug Farrar of USA Today opined.

    This has the potential to be a franchise-altering draft class for the Jets, who also did a great job of supporting Wilson in free agency. These moves might not be enough to deliver double-digit wins in 2022, but the Jets have had one wonderful offseason.

Philadelphia Eagles

26 of 32

    A.J. Brown
    A.J. BrownJohn Amis/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: WR A.J. Brown, C Jason Kelce, Edge Haason Reddick, S Anthony Harris

    Key Draft Additions: DT Jordan Davis, C Cameron Jurgens, LB Nakobe Dean, LB Kyron Johnson

    Key Departures: S Rodney McLeod, CB Steven Nelson, DL Hassan Ridgeway, LB Alex Singleton

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: B-

    Draft Grade: A-

    EC Project: Trading for a proven receiver

    Overall Grade: B+

    The Philadelphia Eagles made the playoffs in 2021 thanks to the league's 10th-ranked defense and a first-ranked rushing offense led by dual-threat quarterback Jalen Hurts.

    Expect the Eagles to be just as good defensively and more balanced and potent offensively this season.

    Philadelphia's departures were minimal, with safety Rodney McLeod and cornerback Steven Nelson the two most notable names. The Eagles re-signed safety Anthony Harris, though, and brought in edge-rusher Haason Reddick.

    In the draft, Philadelphia grabbed premier defensive line prospect Jordan Davis and stopped Nakobe Dean's free fall by landing the former Georgia linebacker in the third round. Davis and Dean have the potential to be rookie impact players and longtime defensive centerpieces.

    The Eagles also re-signed center Jason Kelce while drafting a potential heir in Cameron Jurgens.

    The move of Philadelphia's offseason, though, was the acquisition of 2020 Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Brown. Yes, Philadelphia had to give up the 18th pick in the draft, and it was considered a class deep in receiver talent, but there's no such thing as a "sure thing" in the draft, and Brown is a proven commodity.

    Brown, who has 2,995 yards and 24 touchdowns in three seasons, instantly becomes a difference-maker in the Eagles offense. He'll partner with DeVonta Smith and tight end Dallas Goedert to give Hurts a tremendous trio of targets in 2022.

    The Eagles are now in prime position to take the NFC East from the reigning Cowboys.

Pittsburgh Steelers

27 of 32

    Kenny Pickett
    Kenny PickettKeith Srakocic/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: QB Mitch Trubisky, OL Mason Cole, G James Daniels, LB Myles Jack

    Key Draft Additions: QB Kenny Pickett, WR George Pickens, DE DeMarvin Leal, WR Calvin Austin III

    Key Departures: QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR James Washington, G Trai Turner

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: C

    Draft Grade: C+

    EC Project: Throwing multiple darts at the QB position

    Overall Grade: C+

    The Pittsburgh Steelers are entering a new era that won't feature longtime quarterback Ben Roethlisberger or general manager Kevin Colbert. They also entered the offseason with a roster that, while good enough for the playoffs, had major holes.

    The Steelers ranked just 21st in scoring and 20th in points allowed last season. They ranked 29th in yards per carry and dead-last in run defense. Are they significantly better now? They are not.

    The additions of Mason Cole and James Daniels should improve the line some, and Myles Jack should help bolster the run defense. However, the Steelers also parted with guard Trai Turner and lost two key offensive pieces in JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Washington.

    Second-round pick George Pickens and fourth-rounder Calvin Austin III may eventually replace them, but rookie pass-catchers are always a crapshoot. First-round quarterback Kenny Pickett is the heir apparent to Roethlisberger, but he was a reach in the first round.

    Pickett was the only quarterback drafted before Round 3, and he was the 62nd-ranked prospect on the B/R board.

    The good news is that Pittsburgh gave itself options at quarterback by signing Mitch Trubisky and taking a seventh-round flier on South Dakota State's Chris Oladokun. Mason Rudolph is in the mix as well. The Steelers won't have to rush Pickett on to the field before he's ready.

    Pittsburgh can go with whichever quarterback gives it the best chance to win now while still developing Pickett for the future. The Steelers are used to winning, after all, and while they might not be title contenders this season, it would be a mild shock to see them go under .500 for the first time in the Mike Tomlin era.

San Francisco 49ers

28 of 32

    Charvarius Ward
    Charvarius WardWade Payne/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: RB Jeff Wilson Jr., CB Charvarius Ward, DE Kerry Hyder Jr., LB Oren Burks

    Key Draft Additions: LB Drake Jackson, RB Tyrion Davis-Price, WR Danny Gray, OT Spencer Burford

    Key Departures: CB K'Waun Williams, OT Tom Compton, Edge Arden Key, G Laken Tomlinson

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: C-

    Draft Grade: D

    EC Project: Hanging on to Deebo Samuel

    Overall Grade: D

    The San Francisco 49ers have had a pretty underwhelming offseason thus far. They did re-sign running back Jeff Wilson Jr. and add cornerback Charvarius Ward, but they also lost cornerback K'Waun Williams, guard Laken Tomlinson, pass-rusher Arden Key and tackle Tom Compton.

    Due to last year's trade to acquire quarterback Trey Lance, San Francisco didn't have a first-round draft pick. The 49ers did land an intriguing pass-rushing prospect in Drake Jackson in the second round, but they then inexplicably took running back Tyrion Davis-Price in the early third.

    The 49ers, who ranked seventh in rushing last season, did not need another highly drafted running back.

    Oh, and San Francisco is still sitting on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo two months after it reportedly had two second-round picks on the table for him.

    "As we hear it, 49ers G.M. John Lynch is telling interested teams that he has an offer in hand of two second-round picks for Garoppolo," Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk wrote.

    On a positive note, the 49ers have avoided any temptation to trade wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who, according to ESPN's Jeff Darlington, did request such a move earlier in the offseason.

    We've seen several receivers moved this offseason, and Samuel may still eventually join them. However, he's the best player on San Francisco's offense, and the 49ers are smart to explore all avenues to keep him in the lineup.

Seattle Seahawks

29 of 32

    Charles Cross
    Charles CrossSteve Luciano/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: QB Drew Lock, TE Noah Fant, DT Shelby Harris, S Quandre Diggs

    Key Draft Additions: OT Charles Cross, LB Boye Mafe, RB Kenneth Walker III, OT Abraham Lucas

    Key Departures: QB Russell Wilson, LB Bobby Wagner, TE Gerald Everett, CB D.J. Reed

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: D-

    Draft Grade: B

    EC Project: Setting up for the tank

    Overall Grade: C-

    As is the case for Denver, Seattle's offseason will long be defined by the Russell Wilson trade. Yes, the Seahawks got several players—including Noah Fant, Shelby Harris and Drew Lock—and picks for their franchise quarterback, but they now have a major question mark at the game's most important position.

    Lock and Geno Smith will battle it out in one of the least interesting quarterback competitions of the coming summer.

    The Seahawks also parted with a defensive staple in Bobby Wagner, a quality tight end in Gerald Everett and a solid corner in D.J. Reed. Last season's starting left tackle, Duane Brown, remains unsigned.

    Seattle had a solid draft, at least, even if every pick wasn't a home run. First-round pick Charles Cross should step in to replace Brown, while linebacker/edge defender Boye Mafe has a lot of upside. The pick of Kenneth Walker III in Round 2 was a bit puzzling, though, as Seattle re-signed Rashaad Penny in the offseason and still has Chris Carson on the roster.

    Ultimately, though, everything boils down to this: The Seahawks had a franchise quarterback, and now they don't. They're significantly worse than they were a few months ago because of it—and that could be by design.

    Though Seattle will never admit it, the plan seems to be to tank in 2022 and target one of the top signal-callers in the 2023 draft. Having two first-round and two second-round picks will certainly help. If that isn't the plan, then the Seahawks have been using a shotgun to launch darts at their offseason targets with no apparent rhyme or reason for their scattershot approach.

    If that's the case, we'll look back on Seattle's offseason as not just bad, but truly miserable.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

30 of 32

    Logan Hall
    Logan HallChris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: G Shaq Mason, WR Chris Godwin, WR Russell Gage, CB Carlton Davis

    Key Draft Additions: DE Logan Hall, IOL Luke Goedeke, RB Rachaad White, TE Cade Otton

    Key Departures: TE O.J. Howard, RB Ronald Jones II, G Alex Cappa, S Jordan Whitehead

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: B

    Draft Grade: B

    EC Project: Promoting Todd Bowles

    Overall Grade: B

    For the second consecutive offseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers worked to maintain their Super Bowl-caliber roster. They did another excellent job, with only O.J. Howard, Alex Cappa, Jordan Whitehead and Ronald Jones II as notable departures.

    Tampa replaced Cappa by trading for Shaq Mason and added underrated role player Russell Gage to the receiving corps. The Bucs targeted more role players in the draft, adding the likes of versatile defensive lineman Logan Hall, interior lineman Luke Goedeke, running back Rachaad White and blocking tight end Cade Otton.

    One could argue the Buccaneers are now better than they were a year ago. They're certainly not worse, and they've gotten younger and cheaper at a few key positions.

    The biggest development of Tampa's offseason, of course, was the unretirement of Tom Brady. We can't really give the Buccaneers credit for that, though. Where we will give credit is the decision to promote defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to head coach following Bruce Arians' decision to step down.

    Bowles and returning offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich will further maintain continuity for the Buccaneers this season. With no glaring holes on the roster and Brady back under center for (at least) one more run, the Bucs should again be among the NFC's best in 2022.

Tennessee Titans

31 of 32

    Malik Willis
    Malik WillisMark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: WR Robert Woods, TE Austin Hooper, LB Harold Landry, C Ben Jones

    Key Draft Additions: WR Treylon Burks, CB Roger McCreary, OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, QB Malik Willis

    Key Departures: WR A.J. Brown, G Rodger Saffold, TE Anthony Firkser, LB Rashaan Evans

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: D+

    Draft Grade: B

    EC Project: Adding a potential QB of the future

    Overall Grade: C-

    In free agency, the Tennessee Titans lost some key pieces in Pro Bowl guard Rodger Saffold, tight end Anthony Firkser and linebacker Rashaan Evans. However, they did acquire Robert Woods in a trade, signed tight end Austin Hooper and re-signed pass-rusher Harold Landry and center Ben Jones.

    In the draft, the Titans nabbed some promising prospects like Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks and cornerback Roger McCreary. They also took a flier on Liberty quarterback Malik Willis in the third round.

    Grabbing Willis was smart because while he's a raw prospect, he has tremendous physical tools. It will likely require a year or two of seasoning, but Willis can be a high-end starter at the NFL level. That's something Tennessee doesn't quite have in current quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

    Tannehill has been entirely serviceable, but he has been more of a quality gam -manager than a difference-maker. Willis can be the latter in time. By drafting him, the Titans got a wonderful prospect to groom without giving up a high draft pick to do it.

    The decision to trade Brown was far less advisable. Clearly, Tennessee didn't want to pay him the going rate for receivers—Brown got a four-year, $100 million deal from the Eagles—but it leaves the Titans with a major hole.

    Tennessee essentially replaced Brown with Burks, who is totally unproven. Woods can help mitigate the loss of Brown if healthy, but he's coming off a torn ACL. The Titans' window is wide open, and it just doesn't make sense to move a proven receiver and the focal point of your passing attack when the time to win is now.

    Until Burks proves that he's just as capable as Brown, the Titans have to be viewed as a worse team than they were before the trade.

Washington Commanders

32 of 32

    Carson Wentz
    Carson WentzManuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

    Key Additions/Re-Signings: QB Carson Wentz, G Trai Turner, G Andrew Norwell, K Joey Slye

    Key Draft Additions: WR Jahan Dotson, DT Phidarian Mathis, RB Brian Robinson Jr., QB Sam Howell

    Key Departures: G Brandon Scherff, DL Matt Ioannidis, TE Ricky Seals-Jones, G Jamil Douglas

    Free Agency, Trade Grade: C-

    Draft Grade: B-

    EC Project: Taking a chance on Sam Howell

    Overall Grade: C

    It doesn't feel like the Commanders are any better than they were a year ago. Wentz might prove to be a slight upgrade over Taylor Heinicke, but Washington overpaid to get him. The bigger issue is that Wentz is probably just good enough to keep Washington out of a high draft slot in 2023 and away from one of the top signal-callers, like C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young.

    At least Washington did give itself a quarterback to groom in North Carolina's Sam Howell, and it got value by landing him in the fifth round. The drop-off from Kenny Pickett, a first-rounder, to Howell doesn't seem significant, so the Commanders got a bargain there.

    Washington also landed a quality receiver prospect in Jahan Dotson, who should provide an immediate impact as a starter opposite standout Terry McLaurin.

    However, losing reliable contributors like Brandon Scherff and Matt Ioannidis hurts, and Trai Turner and Andrew Norwell don't represent upgrades along the offensive line. Wentz will be working behind a questionable unit in 2022, which only adds to the expectation of quarterback mediocrity in Washington this season.

    Overall, Washington is a very average team that had an equally average offseason.

       

    Contract information via Spotrac. Advanced statistics from Pro Football Reference.

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