Training camps are just around the corner, which means the blur that is the NFL offseason -- the NFL Scouting Combine, free agency, pro days, the NFL Draft as well as organized team activities and minicamps -- are all in the past. That makes right now a perfect time to evaluate which teams crushed the offseason and which ones fell behind after the league's wheeling-and-dealing period. The rankings below are weighted on which teams did the best to position themselves as Super Bowl contenders while also having a coherent vision going forward given the cap space and draft capital each team had entering the 2023 offseason.
The latter part of the equation, the plan forward and actions executed to pave the way forward on the respective roster-building paths, is critical in how these rankings panned out. The Detroit Lions had some of the best draft capital of any team in the league, four picks in the first two rounds, but their team isn't that much more improved after the draft than it could have been. Meanwhile, the top of this list is led by contenders who maximized their cap space and draft picks to become more formidable going into 2023 and beyond. Now that the table has been set, dig into the CBS Sports cumulative offseason rankings from best to worst.
We continue Friday with teams ranked 1-16. To see Part 1 of our list,.
No team extracted more value out of the 2023 offseason than the Miami Dolphins. Defensively, the Dolphins upgraded their personnel and coordinator at the highest levels. Miami completed a slam-dunk trade by sending a third-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and tight end Hunter Long to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for six-time Pro Bowl and three-time first-team All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Even though he toiled through a 5-12 Rams season in 2022, the 28-year-old still has plenty left in the tank. Ramsey was Pro Football Focus' third-highest graded cornerback last season with a grade of 86.4, trailing only 2022 NFL Defensive Rookie Year of the Year and New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner (87.9) as well as Denver Broncos 2022 First-Team All-Pro cornerback Pat Surtain II (86.8). Sure, they had to throw $35.5 million in guaranteed money at him over the next two seasons, but at the acquisition cost, it was worth it. This is what smart teams do to maximize their quarterback's rookie contract window.
Pairing established Pro Bowl veterans like Ramsey, cornerback Xavien Howard, and linebacker Bradley Chubb and ascending youngsters like linebacker Jaelan Phillips and safety Jevon Holland with one of the best defensive coaches in the league in Vic Fangio could take that side of the ball to the next level. A similar effect to what head coach Mike McDaniel and All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill had on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, receiver Jaylen Waddle and the rest of their offense a year ago. The Dolphins defense ranked among the league's worst against the pass (27th) and in scoring defense (24th) under former defensive coordinator Josh Boyer in 2022, but four of Fangio's last five defenses have ranked top 10 or better in points allowed. Much of the NFL copies his two-high safety foundational structure, which says everything about the value he can provide on the South Beach sideline.
Scoring defenses under Fangio (last five seasons as coach)
|SEASON||FANGIO (COACHING ROLE)||PPG ALLOWED NFL RANK|
Broncos (head coach)
Broncos (head coach)
Broncos (head coach)
Bears (defensive coordinator)
Bears (defensive coordinator )
Signing former Tennessee Titans linebacker David Long to a team-friendly deal (two years, $10 million) was a steal for one of the league's best run defenders at the inside linebacker position: his 6.6% run-stuff rate is tied with Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah for the best in the NFL at their position, according to Next Gen Stats. The 26-year-old's 38.3% quarterback pressure rate also makes him the best pass-rushing inside linebacker in the NFL among those at his position with at least 15 pressures last season. A much-improved defense, along with Year 2 in McDaniel's offense for Tagovailoa (who led the NFL in pass yards/attempt (8.9) and passer rating (105.5) in 2022), Waddle (18.1 yards per reception, most in the NFL in 2022), and Hill (his 119 receptions and 1,710 receiving yards were career-highs), could position Miami to go on a deep playoff run in 2023.
Owner and general manager Jerry Jones made some smart moves this offseason, trading late-round picks for quality veterans who can plug key roster roles. He did so in the deals to acquire wide receiver Brandin Cooks and cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Both are already making an impact on their new Cowboys teammates in their roles as the team's No. 2 receiver and No. 2 cornerback, arguably their two biggest positions of need on both sides of the ball entering the offseason. These moves were made on top of retaining just about all of their key defensive players from a unit that allowed the fifth-fewest points (20.1 points per game) in the NFL in 2022. Dallas also finally crowned Tony Pollard as their deserving, lead running back following the release of the fading Ezekiel Elliott.
Then, Dallas had a safe, down the fairway 2023 NFL Draft by filling in remaining needs at defensive tackle, tight end, linebacker, defensive end and running back. While their pick of Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith wasn't the greatest value add at that spot, it's a selection that should aid two-time first-team All-Pro Micah Parsons' full-embrace of the defensive end position in the upcoming season. Their biggest value picks -- third-round Texas linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, fourth-round San Jose State defensive end Viliami Fehoko Jr., and sixth-round Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn -- could all contribute as nice depth pieces in 2023 and factor into the Cowboys' longer-term plans in a bigger capacity down the line.
Dallas enters 2023 with a much-improved roster in comparison to last year's squad despite not spending much money or draft resources to do so. The Cowboys are in a great position to contend now while also smartly managing their salary cap.
The Eagles have the most complete roster in football, rich in depth up and down the roster like Scrooge McDuck is with money.
They lost Pro Bowl defensive tackle Javon Hargrave to the San Francisco 49ers on a four-year, $84 million contract, but general manager Howie Roseman maneuvered his way up one spot from the 10th to the ninth overall spot in the 2023 NFL Draft by sending a 2024 fourth-rounder to the Chicago Bears. That's where they selected Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter, who was once the draft's highest-touted prospect prior to . The rest of the Eagles starters from a unit that led the NFL in sacks (70) have otherwise all returned. Philadelphia's offensive line is similarly buttressed with 2022 second-round pick Cam Jurgens sliding into the right guard spot vacated by Isaac Seumalo's departure to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Since the Eagles still possess one of the NFL's best lines on each side of the ball, thanks to the draft selections of Carter and fellow Georgia Bulldog Nolan Smith in addition to the retention of mainstays Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham, they're once again in position to dominate their opposition at the line of scrimmage. MVP runner-up quarterback Jalen Hurts' contract situation being resolved early (five years, $255 million) locks the Eagles into a position of stability offensively that should allow their passing game, entering Year 2 with Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Brown, to continue to make strides to catch up to their dominant ground game -- now led by trade acquisition D'Andre Swift and former first-round running back free agent signee Rashaad Penny. This will be Hurts' third season as a full-time starting quarterback, and all the pieces are present for another strong season in Philadelphia.
The Green Bay Packers securedAaron Rodgers, who is coming off perhaps his worst NFL season (his 91.1 passer rating in 2022 is his worst as a starting quarterback) thanks to disconnect with young receivers and playing through a broken thumb in his throwing hand. Green Bay moved up from the 15th overall pick to the 13th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and received a 2023 second-round pick, a 2023 sixth-round pick, and a 2024 conditional pick that could jump from a second-rounder to a first-rounder if Rodgers plays at least 65% of the snaps (around 12 games).by trading a 39-year-old
The Packers landing that package for Rodgers considering he was "90% retired" earlier this offseason, owed $108.7 million over the last two years of his three-year, $150 million deal, and limited their trade negotiations to one team after announcing he "Jordan Love as a starting quarterback is a massive win. instead of the $20.3 million they would have owed on his fifth-year option is another negotiating victory for general manager Brian Gutekunst." is miraculous. There's a decent chance a healthy Rodgers plays like one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL once again in 2023, but Green Bay getting out of the "will he or won't he" dance with him each offseason and having the ability to properly evaluate 2020 first-round pick
Now, at 24 years old, Love gets to help lead the growth of his wide receivers and tight ends, just about all of whom are younger than him: 2022 second-round pick Christian Watson (23 years old), 2022 fourth-round pick Romeo Doubs (23), 2022 seventh-round pick Samori Toure (25 years old), 2023 second-round pick Luke Musgrave (22), 2023 second-round pick Jayden Reed (23 years old), and 2023 third-round pick Tucker Kraft (23 years old). Yes, Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones (28 years old) is still around, and he's already flown out to California to work with Love outside of team-mandated activities. Overall, 2023 marks a dramatic age shift in comparison to the mostly veteran-laden group that was present during Love's first three seasons with Rodgers as the starting quarterback.
"I think it's great," Love said when asked about being older than most of his pass-catchers. "We'll get the opportunity to grow together, learn each other. ... It's easier with younger guys that haven't been around other guys [quarterbacks] who want it a certain way. It's easier to get my point across about how I want things to run. It'll be great to be around these younger guys."
The young passer will be insulated by one of the best offensive lines in football since the Packers front five allowed a pressure on 26.6% of dropbacks, the second-lowest rate in the NFL. His defense is also full of talent with seven former first-round picks and three Pro Bowlers or All-Pros: defensive tackle Kenny Clark, linebacker De'Vondre Campbell, cornerback Jaire Alexander. This roster is set for plenty of growth on offense with a nice balance of veterans up front and on defense going forward.
In terms of strictly roster and coaching moves, the Washington Commanders wouldn't be this high. Their hire of assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who spent the last five seasons as 2022 NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes' OC with the Kansas City Chiefs (their offenses averaged 30.1 points per game in that span, the most in the NFL), was a home run.
The player acquisitions were OK with pickups like journeyman quarterback Jacoby Brissett, former Chiefs offensive lineman Andrew Wylie, and former New York Giants offensive Nick Gates in free agency. Their top draft class was decent, headlined by first-round pick cornerback Emmanuel Forbes (Mississippi State), second-round pick CB Jartavius Martin (Illinois), and third-round pick center Ricky Stromberg (Arkansas).
However, the real driver for the franchise having a top-five offseason is the ownership transition fromNBA's Philadelphia 76ers and NHL's New Jersey Devils, and his group. Snyder refused to pour financial resources into the team, resulting a crumbling stadium railing that at the end of the 2021 season as well as only two playoff wins in the last 24 seasons (1999-2022). His tenure was also tainted by plenty of scandals including , fostering a culture of and . Finding stable ownership that will pay up to make the team competitive is one of the biggest wins for Washington in years., the owner of the
The Bills have been one of the NFL's most dominant teams across the last three regular seasons, leading the league in points per game (29.4) and points allowed per game (19.4) in that span. They are also, not coincidentally, the three-time defending AFC East champions. Quarterback Josh Allen is the engine that drives the Bills, and he'll once again factor into another strong run for Buffalo in 2023. He provided gigantic production in 2022, ranking second in the NFL to only MVP Patrick Mahomes in total yards (5,045) and total touchdowns (42).
However, Allen had a glaring issue a year ago: he led the league in turnovers. He had 14 interceptions (tied for the third-most in the NFL) and five fumbles lost (tied for the second-most in the NFL). Allen became erratic as Buffalo asked him to be its No. 2 running back -- his 124 carries and 762 rushing yards were the second-most on the team while his seven rushing scores led the Bills -- behind James Cook.
Naturally, general manager Brandon Beane realized he needed to ease the burden on the face of his franchise, so he prioritized making Allen's life easier in the 2023 NFL Draft. His thought process appeared to be "perhaps Allen won't feel the need to be Superman and act as another rusher on top of being the team's passing game conductor if provided with more support to his offensive ecosystem." Buffalo selected the draft's top pass-catching tight end, Utah's Dalton Kincaid, 25th overall, and one of the draft's top offensive guards, Florida's O'Cyrus Torrence, 59th overall (Round 2), with its first two picks. Beane even parted with a fourth-round pick to move up two spots (from 27 to 25) in order to select the first tight end in the draft. With Kincaid acting as Allen's 6-foot-4, 240-pound slot receiver over the middle plus former New England Patriots running back Damien Harris (signed a one-year, $1.8 million deal) around to act as the Bills' new rushing battering ram, Buffalo could have an even more efficient offense in 2023.
Defensively, Beane did well to ease the pressure off of 34-year-old All-Pro edge rusher Von Miller's return from a torn ACL by signing his former Rams pass-rushing mate Leonard Floyd to a one-year, $7 million contract. That's a big deal as his 29.0 sacks are the 10th-most in the league since 2020, and Floyd is one of only four players with at least nine sacks in each of the last three seasons, putting him in a club with Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick, and Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Brian Burns. The re-signing of Pro Bowl safety Jordan Poyer, the leader of Buffalo's No. 2 scoring defense (17.9 points per game allowed), on a two-year, $12.5 million deal is a bargain. The Bills went a perfect 12-0 in the regular-season games he suited up in last season. Buffalo is once again positioned to be a contender in a loaded AFC.
The Cincinnati Bengals smartly executed an offseason in which they once again beefed up their offensive line while also adding young, defensive depth in a team-friendly way, via the 2023 NFL Draft. They quickly pounced on Kansas City Chiefs four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. hitting the open market by converting him to the other side of the NFL's on a four-year, $64 million contract. That salary is the 10th-highest among NFL left tackles, a relative bargain at one of their biggest positions of need. Cincy's offensive line ranked 29th in Pro Football Focus' pass-blocking grade during their AFC Championship season in 2021, and the unit ranked 31st in the entire league in 2022.
On the defensive side, the Bengals swiftly compensated for the losses of both starting safeties Jessie Bates III (signed a four-year, $64 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons) and Vonn Bell (signed a three-year, $22.5 million contract with the Carolina Panthers). A year ago, they used their first two picks on safety Dax Hill (31st overall) and cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt (60th overall), and in 2023 they addressed three areas of need on defense early once again: defensive line (selecting Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy 28th overall), cornerback (Michigan corner DJ Turner II 60th overall), and safety (Alabama safety Jordan Battle 95th overall). Cincy also signed 28-year-old Rams starting safety Nick Scott to a cost-effective three-year, $12 million contract.
The Bengals are set up nicely to contend long term with quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receivers Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins about to consume plenty of the team's salary cap on their impending second contracts.
The Pittsburgh Steelers patched up their largest roster hole of the last few years -- their offensive line -- in a major way. First, Pittsburgh signed former Philadelphia Eagles offensive guard Isaac Seumalo to a three-year, $24 million deal. That's significant because Seumalo allowed only one sack and earned a 75.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, a higher rating than any of the Steelers' starting offensive linemen in 2022. Then, they tossed the New England Patriots a fourth-round pick to move up three spots in the 2023 NFL Draft, jumping from 17th overall to 14th overall in order to select Georgia's All-SEC offensive tackle Broderick Jones. The two-time national champion didn't allow a sack in 449 pass-blocking snaps last season.
Those two additions will allow the Steelers to find out if running back Najee Harris, their first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, can average at least 4 yards a carry and if quarterback Kenny Pickett, their first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, can level up in an ultra-competitive AFC North. The team had a top 10 defense a year ago, 20.4 points per game (10th in the NFL), but with a better offensive line, the Steelers front office can get a much more clear picture if the on-field leaders of their offense have the ability to be franchise pillars moving forward.
9. Kansas City Chiefs
As the Super Bowl champions, it would have been fair to keep the band together up front on 2022 NFL MVP and Super Bowl LVII MVP Patrick Mahomes' offensive line. They allowed the third-fewest sacks in the league last season, 26. However, sacks can be a more of a quarterback-dependent statistic in terms of the passer getting rid of the football. Their pressure allowed rate of 33.4% ranked slightly above league average, 14th-best in the NFL. That's why general manager Brett Veach decided he was all right with letting Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie depart, so that he could take a swing at former Jacksonville Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor (fours, $80 million).
A young tackle who allowed the third-lowest pressure rate (2.5%) among all offensive tackles last season among those with a minimum of 500 pass-blocking snaps is a solid investment. However, when Taylor was being billed as the new left tackle, it came off as strange because he had exclusively lined up on the right side in Jacksonville. The early May signing of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers left tackle Donovan Smith on a one-year, $9 million contract made the Taylor acquisition look like a much smoother fit.
After letting Frank Clark go, Veach added defensive Charles Omenihu, a soon-to-be 26-year-old who was a rotation piece on the San Francisco 49ers top-ranked scoring defense (16.3 points per game allowed) that was powered by 2022 Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa. He'll be a starter for the Chiefs after signing a two-year, $16 million deal in free agency. Omenihu recorded career highs in sacks (4.5) and quarterback pressures (54) in that part-time role, and now he gets to line up next to 2022 All-Pro defensive Chris Jones in an aggressive, multiple front scheme under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Kansas City also added another pass rusher from down the road in Kansas State's Felix Anudike-Uzomah with their first-round selection. Those two on top of last season's 30th overall pick George Karlaftis, signal a youth movement on the defensive line around All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones. That's smart considering the team is figuring out how budget keeping him happy with a new extension.
10. San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers strengthened their defensive tackle spot -- their biggest weakness on their top-ranked scoring and total defense from last season (16.3 points per game allowed, 300.6 total yards per game allowed) -- in free agency after signing former Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowler Javon Hargrave to a four-year, $84 million contract.
When Hargrave lined up in the defensive tackle spot on the Eagles defensive line in 2022, he registered 9.0 sacks (tied for the most in the NFL at the position) and totaled the highest quarterback pressure percentage (14%), also the most in the league at that spot. The 49ers had dreadful production out of their defensive tackle position when rushing the passer, tying for the fewest sacks (1.0). They also ranked 11th in pressure rate (7%) at that spot. Putting Hargrave next to 2022 Defensive Player of the Year and 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, whose 18.5 sacks led the NFL and whose 90 quarterback pressures co-led the NFL along with Dallas Cowboys defensive weapon Micah Parsons, will give opposing quarterbacks nightmares all season long.
Their offensive line situation is a touch murky since San Francisco is opting to replace longtime right tackle Mike McGlinchey, who signed with the Denver Broncos on a five-year, $87.5 million deal, with 2020 fifth-round pick Colton McKivitz. He has five career starts, three of which came as a rookie and then having one each season in each of the last two years. As long as their pieces around the quarterback position offensively can stay healthy, the 49ers will be in a great position to make another deep playoff run.
11. Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers finally got off of the retread quarterback merry-go-round and did what they needed to do (trade up eight spots from the ninth overall pick to the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft) to secure the draft's top quarterback, Alabama's Bryce Young. He may not become a Pro Bowler immediately but having an actual young talent to develop at the position is a welcome sight after the Band-Aid solutions of prior seasons.
Their new coaching staff headlined by head coach Frank Reich is a huge upgrade over Matt Rhule's group, especially when it comes to offensive development. Reich made current free agent quarterback Carson Wentz look like a capable NFL starter, something that certainly wasn't the case last season when he was in Washington. Defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero maximized what he had to work with in Denver last season, marking him as one of the league's up-and-coming coordinators. Strong hire there.
Losing DJ Moore in the trade up for Young wasn't ideal, but surrounding their new face-of-the-franchise passer with vets like wide receivers DJ Chark and Adam Thielen, tight end Hayden Hurst, and running back Miles Sanders should ease his NFL transition. Thielen certainly doesn't have his fastball getting open off the line of scrimmage anymore, but he's still a capable red zone target. Second-round draft pick wide receiver Jonathan Mingo out of Ole Miss was one of the better "big" receivers in this most recent class at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds while also running a 4.46 40-yard dash. Carolina is now on the path for a stable rebuild, a nice win for them.
The Arizona Cardinals landing this high in the offseason rankings has more to do with who they removed from their franchise and how they set themselves up for 2024. The franchise kicked head Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim to the curb, replacing them with former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and former Tennessee Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort.
The new regime was left a crumbling foundation with the Cardinals coming off a 4-13 season in which face-of-the-franchise quarterback Kyler Murray, whose game thrives off of his otherworldly athleticism, tore his ACL. Murray could even while recovering from the knee injury. Arizona did well to parlay moving back in the draft in a trade with the Houston Texans into possession of their 2024 first- and third-round picks. That move positions Arizona to potentially have multiple top-five picks next year when generational talents at quarterback, 2022 Heisman Trophy winner and USC's Caleb Williams, and wide receiver, Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr., will be draft-eligible. Eventually landing Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. sixth overall is a nice way to establish a foundation along the offensive line.
However, it would have been nice to see Arizona get something for DeAndre Hopkins instead of releasing him outright. The move does help the team's unsaid pursuit to race to the top of the 2024 draft, though. What they decided to do with five-time Pro Bowl safety Budda Baker, who in the event the team decides not to make him the new highest-paid player at his position, will be an interesting storyline to follow. Their decision will reveal if they're willing to take an even deep dive into the depths of their rebuilding process.
The best move the Los Angeles Chargers made this offense was finally getting face-of-the-franchise quarterback Justin Herbert a new offensive coordinator in former Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. He led productive offenses in Dallas as they boasted a top-five scoring offense in 2022 (27.5 points per game, the fourth-most in the NFL) and averaged 354.9 yards per game. The development of Dak Prescott, who broke the Cowboys single-season passing touchdown record in 2021 under Moore, was "at the center of Kellen's impact," according to Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy, who wanted to take the reigns back and call plays again.
Moore paired with Herbert, who has the most passing yards (14,089) through a player's first three seasons in NFL history and the second-most passing touchdowns (94) through a player's first three seasons in NFL history, will likely lead to many more fireworks at SoFi Stadium. Former offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi's Chargers offense averaged an NFL-low 6.34 air yards per pass attempt last season, woefully underutilizing one of Herbert's biggest strengths, his rocket launcher right arm. Dak Prescott averaged 8.41 air yards per pass attempt over his four seasons with Moore as his OC, the ninth-most in the NFL in that span. Herbert should see a similar uptick in that department, only strengthening Los Angeles' aerial attack.
The Chargers ranked 13th in scoring offense (23.0 points per game) in 2022 despite having Herbert, running back Austin Ekeler -- the NFL's scrimmage touchdowns leader in each of the last two seasons -- and an outstanding wide receiver duo of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. That duo has since become a trio with 2023 first-round pick Quentin Johnston (21st overall) out of TCU now onboard. In Moore's four seasons (2019-2022) calling plays for the Cowboys, Dallas ranked second in scoring offense (27.7 points per game) and total offense (391.0 total yards per game) behind only the reigning Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs (28.8 points per game and 401.5 total yards per game). Better use of Herbert's and his playmakers' talents should have Los Angeles' offense playing much more prolific football, potentially unlocking a much higher ceiling for this team.
14. Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears maximized the value of the 2023 NFL Draft's first overall pick, acquiring two first round selections and two second round picks from the rebuilding Carolina Panthers in addition to 26-year-old wideout DJ Moore, a legit number one wide receiver option. However, general manager Ryan Poles free agency spending was questionable. Handing inside linebacker Tremaine Edmunds a four-year, $72 million deal to become their new Roquan Smith after sending the former top 10 pick away to the Baltimore Ravens at least season's trade deadline seems like wishcasting a level of play on a player who hasn't shown Smith-like play to be in his development to this point.
It's nice that Poles found a way to upgrade quarterback Justin Fields' offensive line, but the help came on the right side in tackle ninth overall pick Darnell Wright out of Tennessee and the signing of guard Nate Davis in free agency for $30 million over three years. Fields' blind side could use more options beside just 2022 fifth-round pick Braxton Jones.
Perhaps even more worrisome was how the Bears, whose 20 sacks and 24.4% pressure rate both ranked dead last in the entire league last season, didn't find notable upgrades in terms of their edge rusher position. Head coach Matt Eberflus admittedRasheem Green, who has 17.0 career sacks in five NFL seasons, to a one-year, $2.5 million contract after he spent last season with the Houston Texans. Green spent his first four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks from 2018-2021. Chicago also added soon-to-be 29-year-old defensive end and six-year NFL vet DeMarcus Walker, who has 19.5 career, in free agency. The former Denver Bronco (2017-2020), Houston Texan (2021), and Tennessee Titan (2022) signed a three-year, $21 million deal after recording a career-high seven sacks in 2022. Neither of those additions appear to have moved the needle noticeably in the eyes of Chicago's coaching staff. The Bear have made some huge steps in the right direction with their rebuild, but they still have a ways to go.at the end of their organized team activities and minicamps. The Bears did sign 26-year-old defensive end
15. Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos needed to find a coach this offseason who could turn around quarterback Russell Wilson, who registered career-worsts in completion percentage (60.5%), passing touchdowns (16), and passer rating (84.4), in his first season in the Rocky Mountains. The five-year, $245 million contract extension the franchise gave him before even starting a game last year made that task the utmost priority, and Denver nailed it by bringing in the head coach who got the absolute most out of a shorter quarterback, former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. They had to surround a 2023 first (the 29th overall pick) and a 2024 second-round, a steep price that they needed to pay to try and fix Wilson.
The Broncos already have an above-average defense with plenty of talent, especially in the secondary 2022 First-Team All-Pro cornerback Pat Surtain II and 2022 Second-Team All-Pro safety Justin Simmons. Denver just needs Wilson to play around the Pro Bowl-caliber level he established in his decade with the Seattle Seahawks. That's why they overpaid for upgrades at right tackle (signing former San Francisco 49er Mike McGlinchey to a five-year, $87.5 million deal) and left guard (signing former Baltimore Raven Ben Powers to a four-year, $52 million contract): to be able to re-establish the priority of the ground game in their offense, something the Seahawks did with Wilson, which allowed him to thrive on play-action and designed rollouts for years.
Denver's front office also put a little pressure on Wilson by signing quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who flashed some potential in a Week 17 start against the San Francisco 49ers top-ranked defense, to a two-year, $10 million contract. Signing longtime Cincinnati Bengal Samaje Perine to a one-year deal for $3 million is the only real value add the Broncos had this offseason, but Wilson is now well-equipped to have a much needed rebound in 2023.
16. New England Patriots
Like the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos, the New England Patriots desperately needed a new offensive play-caller. Head coach Bill Belichick naturally went back into the well of former Patriots assistants and pulled out former offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien to return to his old post after he bounced around the football world as Penn State's head coach (2012-2013), the Houston Texans' head coach (2014-2020), and Alabama's offensive coordinator (2021-2022). Simply having a well-seasoned offensive mind calling plays for third-year quarterback Mac Jones will be like a breath of fresh air after the in 2022.
Jones also received a couple new and bigger pass-catching options in former Chiefs wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster (signed a three-year, $33 million contract) and former Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki (signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal). Defensively, Belichick may have drafted the cornerback with the highest upside in Oregon's Christian Gonzalez, whom he selected after trading back three spots and adding an extra fourth-round pick. The team's third round pick, Sacramento State linebacker/safety hybrid Marte Mapu, balled out during the early parts of New England's offseason program, according to , so Belichick may have found a steal who could contribute right away.