32 groups’ free company, draft points

With Super Bowl LVII behind us and NFL free company quickly approaching, we’re formally within the offseason.

Every staff has inquiries to reply. Will notable free brokers comparable to Lamar Jackson, Evan Engram and Geno Smith re-sign with their groups or discover new properties? Other groups need to add their subsequent prime skills by way of the 2023 NFL draft. With new teaching hires and lots of gamers doubtlessly altering groups, this offseason shall be stuffed with motion.

NFL Nation solutions probably the most fascinating query dealing with every staff this offseason:

Jump to a staff:
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF


Who would be the precedence in free company: Tremaine Edmunds or Jordan Poyer?

Both Edmunds and Poyer have performed necessary roles for the Bills, however after Poyer requested an extension final yr and nothing got here collectively, Edmunds seems extra more likely to return. The linebacker will flip 25 in May despite the fact that he already is heading into his sixth season. Coach Sean McDermott mentioned 2022 was Edmunds’ “best year.” Poyer is coming off yr, together with his first Pro Bowl, however will flip 32 this offseason and has handled a wide range of accidents. It’ll be fascinating to see what every might command on the free agent market and the way that might match with the Bills’ plans. — Alaina Getzenberg

Should the Dolphins decide up quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s fifth-year possibility?

This one is difficult, however the Dolphins ought to decline Tagovailoa’s fifth-year possibility. It has nothing to do along with his capacity however reasonably his availability. Tagovailoa’s play answered most of the questions surrounding him getting into the 2022 season, however his concussions created a brand new line of skepticism for his viability as a franchise quarterback. He must get via a complete season comparatively unscathed earlier than the Dolphins commit severe cash to him. If he stays wholesome in 2023 whereas maintaining or exceeding his degree of play from this previous season, his camp will need a long-term extension, and Miami ought to grant him one. If he cannot keep wholesome or his play deteriorates, Miami will know sufficient to really feel snug transferring on. Either means, Tagovailoa won’t need to play on his fifth-year possibility if he has a robust 2023 season, and the Dolphins won’t need to be tied to that possibility if he falters in 2023. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

What modifications to the Patriots’ offense ought to we count on with Bill O’Brien again as OC?

It ought to look a lot nearer to the Josh McDaniels-led offenses from the previous, as O’Brien discovered underneath McDaniels when he first got here to the NFL. And maybe most significantly, it ought to deliver out one of the best in quarterback Mac Jones by highlighting two of his finest belongings: accuracy and decision-making. One of coach Bill Belichick’s targets for the 2022 offense was to assault extra down the sector, and whereas the O’Brien-led assault will certainly try to do the identical, a return to extra constant brief and intermediate quick-rhythm ideas appears doubtless. — Mike Reiss

Is a veteran quarterback all this staff must be a playoff contender?

Absolutely — so long as it is a good veteran quarterback. Consider: The Jets gained seven video games and remained in competition for 16 weeks despite the fact that they had been ranked twenty ninth in Total QBR (35.5). They would’ve gained not less than three extra video games if they’d been common (QBR of fifty.6) on the place. This is not to counsel a brand new quarterback solves every part — the offensive line wants appreciable restore work — however the staff is robust sufficient on the talent positions and on protection to make a pleasant bounce if it achieves quarterback stability. — Rich Cimini


How massive of a distraction will or not it’s if quarterback Lamar Jackson performs underneath the franchise tag?

Jackson’s unsettled contract state of affairs will cling over this staff till he indicators a long-term deal or will get traded. If the perimeters cannot attain a deal by March 7, Baltimore will place the franchise tag on him. The subsequent query turns into: When will Jackson report back to the staff? If Jackson does not signal the tender, he might skip the spring exercises, coaching camp and all the preseason with out being fined as a result of he technically wouldn’t be underneath contract. The prospect of Jackson returning simply earlier than the beginning of the common season is a nightmare state of affairs for a Ravens staff that’s putting in a brand new system underneath just lately employed offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Since 2019, Baltimore is 4-9 (.308) with out Jackson, averaging 17.2 factors per recreation. — Jamison Hensley

What will the Bengals do with large receiver Tee Higgins this offseason?

Cincinnati might decide to maintain Higgins for the ultimate yr of his rookie deal however not give him a contract extension. Quarterback Joe Burrow is eligible for an extension this offseason, one yr earlier than wideout Ja’Marr Chase can get a brand new deal. That leaves Higgins in a pinch. The offseason feedback from Bengals director of participant personnel Duke Tobin and the Cincinnati entrance workplace will point out whether or not the Bengals can afford Burrow, Chase and Higgins on long-term offers. — Ben Baby

If defensive deal with is the largest space in want of an improve, what are the Browns’ choices?

For the second, the Browns have one starting-caliber defensive lineman anticipated again on the roster in Pro Bowl finish Myles Garrett. That’s problematic. Complicating efforts to bolster Garrett’s supporting solid, the Browns do not have a first-round decide because of the commerce for quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson’s file contract additionally will rely $55 million in opposition to the cap this yr, limiting Cleveland’s monetary choices. Still, the Browns ought to be capable to discover a method to manufacture sufficient house to take not less than one massive swing in free company. Landing a disruptive inside pressure — say, DT Daron Payne — would assist dramatically. — Jake Trotter

Will embattled coordinator Matt Canada make any modifications to an inconsistent offense heading into 2023?

That needs to be the hope, proper? Known as an revolutionary playcaller in his faculty teaching profession, Canada’s 2022 offense ranked twenty first in explosive performs (20-plus-yard receptions, 10-plus-yard rushes) and had a league-low 12 passing touchdowns (29 TDs complete). Part of the difficulty, as Pittsburgh tight finish Pat Freiermuth mentioned just lately on Ben Roethlisberger’s podcast, was the elimination of scorching routes. Though rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett confirmed dramatic enchancment within the second half of the season, he did not have the liberty to make use of nonverbal cues on the line of scrimmage to make checks to his receivers. Instead, pass-catchers learn the protection in entrance of them and ran their routes. Will Canada open up the playbook and provides Pickett extra freedom to make performs? — Brooke Pryor


Will coach DeMeco Ryans, two first-round picks and $40 million in cap house be sufficient for the Texans to show issues round?

Read also  Follow stay: No.9 Auburn is conserving top-seeded Houston at bay within the second half

The belongings are sufficient to show across the Texans and make them extra aggressive throughout the division. Last season, they went 3-2-1 in opposition to divisional opponents with restricted expertise. So in the event that they make the most of this chance, they’re going to place themselves to have the expertise required to shock some. But earlier than they will obtain that, they need to purchase a viable quarterback to assist speed up the turnaround. — DJ Bien-Aime

Should the Colts cling on to Matt Ryan to mentor the quarterback they will draft?

Ryan ranked twenty fifth in QBR in 2022 (42.9) and struggled with inconsistent move safety. But there’s extra of a dilemma right here than you would possibly suppose. The Colts are extensively anticipated to draft a prime quarterback this offseason, however they’re going to want a veteran QB to both begin initially or again up the rookie. They already are on the hook for $12 million in ensures on Ryan’s deal. But he’d make $29 million if he stays on the roster. That’s one other $17 million for a veteran mentor — a steep worth, even for one with Ryan’s excessive character. Maybe Ryan and the Colts can comply with a restructure. Otherwise, discovering a extra reasonably priced possibility appears preferable. — Stephen Holder

Can the Jaguars re-sign each proper deal with Jawaan Taylor and tight finish Evan Engram given their cap restraints?

The Jags are $31 million over the cap, and whereas they will get underneath with a number of releases and a few restructures, it is unlikely they bring about again each gamers. Engram is the larger precedence due to his affect (he set franchise single-season tight finish information for catches and yards), and there is just one tight finish at the moment underneath contract for 2023. Plus, the Jaguars do have a substitute on the roster for Taylor in Walker Little, whom they drafted within the second spherical in 2021, and Taylor could be out of the staff’s worth vary as a result of he is likely one of the prime accessible gamers in a weak group of free agent proper tackles. — Michael DiRocco

How can common supervisor Ran Carthon repair the roster and assist flip the Titans again right into a contender?

The focus ought to be on an offense that scored 17.5 factors per recreation final season. Carthon and the Titans should resolve whether or not to deliver again quarterback Ryan Tannehill for one more season. If they launch him, Tennessee can save round $18 million in cap house. The Titans are $23 million over the wage cap, in order that they’ll need to launch some veterans and restructure contracts to clear extra cap house. The offensive line might have 4 vacancies in the event that they launch Taylor Lewan and do not re-sign Nate Davis. They additionally want so as to add a playmaking receiver and a third-down operating again. — Turron Davenport


Outside of quarterback Russell Wilson, what’s the largest enchancment the Broncos’ offense must make?

A battered offensive line wants consideration; all 5 of the staff’s anticipated starters missed a number of video games because of damage, and 4 of them completed the season on injured reserve. There’s additionally the matter of operating again, the place Javonte Williams’ a number of knee ligament tears might hold him out properly into the 2023 season. But one of many different largest objects is solely confidence. The Broncos have not averaged greater than 21 factors a recreation since 2015. That’s a locker room stuffed with gamers who’ve but to expertise success on offense, and that could be the heaviest elevate of all for brand spanking new coach Sean Payton. — Jeff Legwold

What will the depth chart appear like at large receiver and operating again after this season?

Two of the Chiefs’ prime large receivers from final season, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman, are potential unrestricted free brokers, leaving the place in a state of flux on the prime of the depth chart. If the Chiefs can get one or each gamers signed, they’ve a strong group. If not, they’re going to have loads of work to do to search out wideouts to affix Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who entered the season because the featured again, misplaced his beginning job to Isiah Pacheco earlier than a Week 11 ankle damage despatched Edwards-Helaire to injured reserve. Pacheco — chosen within the seventh spherical of the 2022 draft — shall be on the prime of the operating again depth chart after his surprisingly sturdy rookie season. But the Chiefs will want a third-down again if they can not re-sign Jerick McKinnon, who was considered one of their prime playmakers final season. — Adam Teicher

Which course will the Raiders go at quarterback now that Derek Carr is gone: veteran or rookie?

That relies upon upon whether or not Aaron Rodgers emerges from his four-day darkness retreat with an amazing need to affix the Silver and Black. Because buying him from the Packers could be an costly course of to go together with his costly contract; he’s getting into Year 2 of the three-year, $150 million extension he signed final spring. But if figuring out coach Josh McDaniels’ offense is a prerequisite, then Jimmy Garoppolo could be an possibility on a less expensive contract, as would Jarrett Stidham, who impressed in two begins. Moving up from No. 7 within the draft to pick, say, C.J. Stroud, may cost extra draft capital than buying Rodgers. Stay tuned. — Paul Gutierrez

What do the Chargers want to alter or enhance to realistically threaten the Chiefs’ AFC West dominance?

The Chargers should enhance throughout. After splitting the collection vs. the Chiefs in quarterback Justin Herbert’s first two seasons, anticipation grew that the promising younger signal-caller may lead the Chargers to a season sweep in his third. But that did not materialize, and the Bolts took a step again, shedding each video games in 2022. The offense’s incapacity to attain on potential game-winning drives and the protection’s incapacity to gradual quarterback Patrick Mahomes might each be examined in these losses. Moving ahead, if the Chargers need to finish Kansas City’s division dominance, they need to play extra disciplined protection late in video games and hope new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore can ship a scheme that scores within the two-minute drill. — Lindsey Thiry


Do the Cowboys have the proper personnel to run Mike McCarthy’s West Coast offense?

Read also  With future wanting vivid, Michigan State can play free in NCAA Tournament

The Cowboys would not be making the swap in the event that they did not really feel they’d the personnel in place. They have a No. 1 receiver in CeeDee Lamb. They hope wideout Michael Gallup can rebound in his second season following main knee surgical procedure. They have a top quality line. They have selections to make at operating again with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, however they’re going to have any person who matches. Quarterback Dak Prescott must present he might be extra correct in hitting pass-catchers in stride to permit for extra yards after the catch within the scheme, however McCarthy’s historical past with QBs ought to assist that course of. — Todd Archer

In this second season as GM, how will Joe Schoen construct round QB Daniel Jones?

The Giants want extra explosive pass-catchers. It does not matter whether or not it is at tight finish or large receiver. Expect the Giants so as to add a large receiver pretty early within the draft and in free company. Schoen additionally plans so as to add to the inside of the offensive line, which was an issue at instances final season. The key to all of this: signing Jones to a long-term deal so he is not enjoying on the franchise tag and consuming up $32.4 million in opposition to the wage cap. That could be counterproductive for the Giants and Jones’ supporting solid.— Jordan Raanan

Are there any core gamers the Eagles would possibly battle to retain or let stroll earlier than subsequent season?

With 19 unrestricted free brokers — lots of them vital contributors — and quarterback Jalen Hurts in line for an extension that can doubtless web him north of $45 million per yr, there isn’t any query the Eagles are going to lose some key gamers. Running again Miles Sanders is a risk given that cash shall be tight and the Eagles do not usually make investments massive {dollars} into the place. Longtime defensive deal with Fletcher Cox and cornerback James Bradberry might additionally find yourself elsewhere. — Tim McManus

Will the Commanders be available in the market for a beginning QB this offseason, or is Sam Howell the man?

Howell is the man, with an asterisk. Coach Ron Rivera has mentioned Howell shall be QB1 when the Commanders start offseason exercises in April. And Rivera mentioned they won’t be available in the market for an costly veteran — be it within the type of cash or draft picks — like they had been final season, once they inquired about any and all accessible quarterbacks, even calling Andrew Luck. They’d reasonably spend money on constructing round Howell. But Washington will search a veteran, somebody who can compete with Howell for the beginning job however who can also deal with a backup function. Washington actually likes Howell; he has a robust arm, is bodily sufficient to threaten along with his legs and may function a fast recreation, which is an effective match with the staff’s talent expertise. But he has thrown 19 passes within the NFL, which is why the Commanders say he should earn the job. — John Keim


What ought to the Bears do with the No. 1 decide?

Ryan Poles is the focus throughout an offseason that runs via Chicago. The Bears common supervisor reaffirmed his dedication to quarterback Justin Fields, however as commerce packages are introduced by groups lobbying for the No. 1 decide, Poles first should decide whether or not drafting Alabama’s Bryce Young is a substantial improve over Fields. Poles will exhaust all choices, together with exploring what the franchise would appear like with a brand new quarterback in 2023, however a commerce again to garner extra draft capital to fill plenty of holes on this roster feels extra doubtless. It’s additionally potential the Bears keep at No. 1 and nab one of many draft’s prime defensive gamers in Georgia deal with Jalen Carter or Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. — Courtney Cronin



Should the Bears commerce Justin Fields and draft Bryce Young?

Mike Tannenbaum and Tedy Bruschi clarify the thought course of behind buying and selling away Justin Fields to draft Alabama’s Bryce Young.

Will the Lions deliver again Jamaal Williams?

Yes. After a record-setting season in Detroit, the place he led the NFL in complete dashing touchdowns with 17, it is smart for Williams to not less than check the free agent market. However, with the seemingly upward trajectory of the present Lions roster, in addition to his management contained in the locker room, it additionally makes probably the most sense for him to remain put. Williams grew to become the Lions’ first 1,000-yard rusher since Reggie Bush in 2013, and he has expressed a willingness to return. — Eric Woodyard

How will the workload be cut up between Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon within the Packers’ backfield?

Jones took a pay minimize earlier this month to make sure he could be again. As lengthy as he’s on the roster, he’ll doubtless be the first again over Dillon. However, their enjoying time final season wasn’t all that completely different. Jones had 93 extra snaps and 27 extra carries than Dillon. The distinction is within the passing recreation, the place Jones was focused 72 instances as in comparison with 43 for Dillon, and that is not more likely to change. — Rob Demovsky

Should the Vikings signal quarterback Kirk Cousins to an extension earlier than he turns into a free agent in 2024?

Yes. An argument could possibly be made for having Cousins play out the ultimate yr of his contract in 2023, throughout which he would flip 35, then transfer on in 2024. But who would they transfer on to and the way? Their 2022 backup, Nick Mullens, does not challenge as a long-term starter. The Vikings have the No. 23 general place within the draft, which could be too low to pick any of the highest 2023 quarterbacks, and restricted capital with which to commerce up. Cousins has been extraordinarily sturdy in his profession, having missed one begin with the Vikings for well being causes, and he ought to be extra snug in his second yr in coach Kevin O’Connell’s scheme. — Kevin Seifert


Would the Falcons half with the capital it should take to commerce for Lamar Jackson?

The Falcons ought to not less than inquire about Jackson, however sooner or later, there ought to be a restrict as to what they are going to be prepared to surrender to land the Ravens quarterback. They are usually not a quarterback away from contending. They have questions on each degree of the protection, together with the line of defense (which wants a makeover), and have holes at receiver and doubtlessly on the offensive line. Atlanta has cap house to work with for the primary time within the Arthur Smith/Terry Fontenot period, and buying and selling for Jackson would eradicate each the draft capital and cap house they labored laborious to open up. So inquire? Sure. But if it will get fairly expensive, the Falcons do like Desmond Ridder and could be smart to see what they’ve of their second-year quarterback. — Michael Rothstein

What roster modifications are required to place the subsequent Panthers quarterback in place to succeed?

Read also  Eric Gordon is again with Clippers and acquainted with his position

Find a pass-catching risk at tight finish. The Panthers have not had one since they moved on from Greg Olsen after the 2019 season. No Carolina tight finish has had greater than 21 catches in a season over the previous three years, and the group as a complete has six touchdowns throughout that point. Kansas City’s Travis Kelce has 33 TDs in that span. Free company could possibly be a method to discover assist, with Dallas’ Dalton Schultz, Jacksonville’s Evan Engram and Miami’s Mike Gesicki available on the market. — David Newton

Will the Saints attempt to commerce into the highest 10 of the draft to get a quarterback or attempt to snag one in free company?

The try to commerce for Derek Carr earlier than he was launched on Feb. 14 confirmed the Saints are severe about making an attempt to get a quarterback earlier than the draft. Moving from No. 29 within the draft order to the highest 10 would possibly require extra picks than the Saints are prepared to half with, so count on them to proceed exploring all their choices to have the place settled earlier than they get to the draft. — Katherine Terrell

With Tom Brady retired, will the Bucs blow up the roster and go into rebuilding mode?

You’ll by no means hear the Buccaneers name it a rebuild. They’ll let you know it is “reloading.” But the variety of salary-cap-saving strikes the Bucs might want to get out of the pink — they’re at the moment $55 million over — will definitely make it really feel that means, and that is earlier than even making an attempt to make upgrades. Their finest shot is that if they will create a state of affairs just like one the Seahawks had final yr with quarterback Geno Smith (and naturally, Tampa Bay now has former Seattle quarterbacks coach Dave Canales as its offensive coordinator) and get a veteran like Jacoby Brissett, whose contract will not break the financial institution whereas he makes use of gifted large receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. — Jenna Laine


Should the Cardinals go into full rebuild mode or attempt to contend in 2023?

It all is determined by when quarterback Kyler Murray will return. Before Kliff Kingsbury was fired, the previous Arizona coach mentioned Murray “probably” will not be again for Week 1. Timetables for ACL accidents are troublesome to foretell, and it is potential Murray will not return till a lot later. If the Cardinals suppose Murray will play nearer to the beginning of the season, they may attempt to contend in 2023. But with out Murray on the sector, that’d be laborious to do. If Murray will not be again till midseason or later, it would make sense for first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon to restock for a run in 2024. — Josh Weinfuss

If Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald return wholesome, might the Rams reemerge as a respectable risk to the Niners?

If well being is on the Rams’ facet subsequent season, they’re going to look very completely different from the staff that gained 5 video games in 2022, each in success and roster make-up. The Rams might want to make modifications to the offense with the intention to enhance a unit that struggled to persistently transfer the ball even earlier than Stafford and Kupp had been injured. The first change got here early, because the Rams employed Mike LaFleur as their offensive coordinator after Liam Coen returned to Kentucky. The Rams consider their window remains to be large open, and common supervisor Les Snead referred to any roster motion as extra of a “remodel” than a rebuild. The Rams won’t be Super Bowl contenders in 2023, however they may problem the 49ers for the NFC West title. — Sarah Barshop

With Brock Purdy’s elbow surgical procedure looming, is that this the opening Trey Lance must show he’s the 49ers’ long-term quarterback reply?

Lance will undoubtedly have his alternative to get loads of reps whereas Purdy recovers, however making an announcement sufficiently big to nail down the job for the lengthy haul is a giant ask. The Niners consider in what Purdy confirmed over the ultimate stretch of the season, which suggests Lance must show he has taken vital steps ahead as a pocket passer to unseat Purdy. If Lance is ready to make that progress from the pocket and, most significantly, show he can keep wholesome, the beginning quarterback state of affairs might flip right into a respectable preseason competitors. — Nick Wagoner

How will the Seahawks use their draft capital to shore up their inconsistent protection?

Early and infrequently, and certain concentrated up entrance — until they fall in love with a cornerback to start out reverse Tariq Woolen. The massive wants are of their entrance seven, the place a number of spots had been stuffed final season by gamers who’re both ageing (DT Al Woods, OLB Bruce Irvin), coming off main accidents (ILB Jordyn Brooks, DT Bryan Mone), ineffective (DE L.J. Collier) or pending free brokers (DT Poona Ford, ILB Cody Barton). Picking at No. 5 general within the draft means the Seahawks could have a shot so as to add some blue-chip expertise to their protection, even when Jalen Carter and Will Anderson Jr. are passed by then. They even have the twentieth decide plus two second-rounders and will conceivably add one other Day 2 decide by transferring again from No. 20. — Brady Henderson