Livescore Thursday, April 25
Newsletter
[gtranslate]

With the 2023 NFL Draft and free agency in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look at which teams improved — or didn’t improve — their rosters the most for the upcoming season. The offseason program is in full swing with the opening of training camp just around the corner, so it’s a good team to once again check in on the entire league.

Based on the level of talent acquired to make their players and overall personnel better, here are The Sporting News’ offseason grades, ranked from 1-32:

MORE: NFL team free agency grades | NFL team draft grades

NFL offseason grades 2023

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

Grade: A

Key additions: LT Broderick Jones, LG Isaac Seumalo, WR Allen Robinson, LB Cole Holcomb, LB Elandon Roberts, CB Patrick Peterson, CB Joey Porter Jr.

The Steelers upgraded all their key weaknesses, led by upgrading the overall left-side blocking in front of Kenny Pickett and Najee Harris. Holcomb will help them clean up much better on the second level, while Peterson and Porter can be a dynamic veteran-rookie starting duo at corner. Mike Tomlin should be pleased with the work GM Omar Khan did. The winning-season streak should continue with a good shot at a playoff return.

2. Chicago Bears

Grade: A

Key additions: RB D’Onta Foreman, RB Roschon Johnson, RB Travis Homer, WR D.J. Moore, TE Robert Tonyan, RG Nate Davis, RT Darnell Wright, DT Andrew Billings, DE DeMarcus Walker, LB Tremaine Edmunds, LB T.J. Edwards, CB Tyrique Stevenson

GM Ryan Pace landed 9 new starters, including four around QB Justin Fields, Moore gives them a clear No. 1 wideout, balancing out the increased backfield depth and versatility. The front seven also has a strength at linebacker again with the investments in Edmunds and Edwards boosting rising star Jack Sanborn.

3. Cincinnati Bengals

Grade: A

Key additions: RB Chase Brown, TE Irv Smith Jr., LT Orlando Brown Jr., DE Myles Murphy, CB D.J. Turner, S Nick Scott, S Jordan Battle, KR/WR Charlie Jones

The Bengals added a lot of key depth thinking about the future, especially at the offensive skill positions. But their big coup was taking Brown away from the Chiefs to finally shore up left tackle in front of Joe Burrow. Turner, Scott and Battle are fine replacements for veteran secondary losses. Watch out for Murphy having big immediate situational impact behind Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson, too.

4. Detroit Lions

Grade: A

Key additions: QB Hendon Hooker, RB Jahmyr Gibbs, RB David Montgomery, WR Marvin Jones Jr., TE Sam LaPorta, LB Jack Campbell, CB Cameron Sutton, CB Emmanuel Moseley, CB/S C.J. Gardner-Johnson, CB/S Brian Branch

The Lions went 9-8 last season, falling just short of the playoffs. That won’t happen again for Dan Campbell and GM Brad Holmes, who loaded up with the reinforcements needed on both sides. Gibbs and Montgomery are a combination upgrade. Campbell and the secondary extreme makeover are great news to play better off Aidan Hutchinson and a rising pass rush. Detroit is in the driver’s seat to take the NFC North.

5. Houston Texans

Grade: A

Key additions: QB C.J. Stroud, RB Devin Singletary, WR Robert Woods, WR Tank Dell, WR Noah Brown, TE Dalton Schultz, C Juice Scruggs, RG Shaq Mason, DE Will Anderson Jr., DT Sheldon Rankins, LB Denzel Perryman, S Jimmie Ward

The Texans went to work with a new-look passing game for the 49ers-like scheme under DeMeco Ryans. Stroud is the promising centerpiece of that with welcome savvy and young versatility. Anderson can be a dominant force for the new defense, where Ward will be a key leading lieutenant on the back end.

6. Carolina Panthers

Grade: A-

Key additions: QB Bryce Young, QB Andy Dalton, RB Miles Sanders, WR Adam Thielen, WR D.J. Chark, TE Hayden Hurst, S Vonn Bell

The grade here is weighed heavily on Young delivering up to the hype as a franchise QB in the new offense of Frank Reich and Thomas Brown. GM Scott Fitterer also restocked dynamic skill players across the board after giving up Moore to draft him. The defense has a good foundation to the point Bell’s leadership can help.

7. Cleveland Browns

Grade: A-

Key additions: WR Cedric Tillman, WR Elijah Moore, DT Dalvin Tomlinson, DE Za’Darius Smith

The Browns didn’t focus on volume but made some calculated strong moves given they have a higher offensive ceiling with Deshaun Watson playing his first full season. Moore can rebound as a key target between Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones. Tomlinson and Smith are literal huge complementary disruptors for Myles Garrett. This was quiet but effective by GM Andrew Berry with Watson providing the big splash a year ago.

8. New York Giants

Grade: A-

Key additions: RB Eric Gray, WR Parris Campbell, WR Jalin Hyatt, TE Darren Waller, C John Michael Schmitz, LB Bobby Okereke, CB Deonte Banks

The Giants did their best to remix their backfield and receiving corps to react to a potential contract stalemate with Saquon Barkley and add more reliable targets for Daniel Jones, topped by Waller. Schmitz rounds out a rising offensive line and the defense is well position to be improved. GM Joe Schoen did well to further support Brian Daboll.

9. Philadelphia Eagles

Grade: B+

Key additions: RB D’Andre Swift, RB Rashaad Penny, WR Olamide Zaccheaus, DT Jalen Carter, LB Nolan Smith, LB Nicholas Morrow, S Terrell Edmunds, S Sydney Brown

GM Howie Roseman and the Eagles expected an exodus but are still set up well defensively with a bunch of young Georgia stars, now including Carter and Smith. Swift and Penny give the running game higher upside to help Jalen Hurts and the team also did recover well from being gutted at safety. Philadelphia remains a strong NFC favorite.

10. Indianapolis Colts

Grade: B+

Key additions: QB Anthony Richardson, QB Gardner Minshew, WR Josh Downs, WR Isaiah McKenzie, DT Adetomiwa Adebawore, DE Samson Ebukam, CB Julius Brents

GM Chris Ballard wisely broke the recycled veteran QB cycle just in time for new offensive-minded Shane Steichen to maximize Richardson’s high-ceiling dual threat talent. They also replenished the speed and quickness in the receiving corps. The defense rebuild, however, is a little more gradual.

Anthony Richardson

11. Denver Broncos

Grade: B+

Key additions: QB Jarrett Stidham, RB Samaje Perine, WR Marvin Mims Jr., WR Marquez Callaway, TE Adam Trautman, LG Ben Powers, RT Mike McGlinchey, DE Zach Allen

The big coup was landing Sean Payton as an offensive-minded, Super Bowl-winning head coach as a major upgrade from Nathaniel Hackett, which could turn out to be the Broncos’ version of Doug Pederson for Urban Meyer. Payton and Joe Lombardi can help Russell Wilson get back on track, taking advantage of improved skill depth and two better offensive linemen. GM George Paton has Denver closer to where it should have been in 2022.

12. Seattle Seahawks

Grade: B+

Key additions: RB Zach Charbonnet, RB Kenny McIntosh WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, C Evan Brown, DE Dre’Mont Jones, DT Jarran Reed, OLB Derick Hall, LB Bobby Wagner, CB Devon Witherspoon, S Julian Love

The Seahawks made a smooth transition with Geno Smith at QB for Pete Carroll and John Schneider, leading to his return. They expanded the depth of his weaponry with Charbonnet and Smith-Njigba and further addressed the offensive line. Jones can be the impact pass rusher Shelby Harris couldn’t be, while Reed and Wagner return to Seattle playing well. Witherspoon is a great complement to new top corner Tariq Woolen.

13. Atlanta Falcons

Grade: B+

Key additions: QB Taylor Heinicke, RB Bijan Robinson, WR Mack Hollins, WR Scotty Miller, TE Jonnu Smith, LG Matthew Bergeron, DE Calais Campbell, DT David Onyemata, LB Kaden Elliss, OLB Bud Dupree, CB Jeff Okudah, S Jessie Bates III

GM Terry Fontenot loaded up offensively in turning QB over to Desmond Ridder, with Heinicke serving as the new contingency. Robinson can dominate in their rushing attack, anchored by extending Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary on the right side of the line. They also got good complements for first-rounders Drake London and Kyle Pitts. Campbell and Onyemata give more punch up front defensively, while Bates is a high-level cleanup man.

14. New York Jets

Grade: B

Key additions: QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Israel Abanikanda, WR Allen Lazard, WR Mecole Hardman, WR Randall Cobb, S Chuck Clark

The Jets had a very Rodgers-centric offseason to get quickly away from the Zach Wilson mess, bringing in two of his former Packers receivers and also adding depth in the running game. They’re banking on a lot of incumbents working around him, including the offensive line staying healthy. Defensively, the look is much the same for same for Robert Saleh with Clark shoring up one hole for a loaded group.

Aaron Rodgers

15. Kansas City Chiefs

Grade: B

Key additions: QB Blaine Gabbert, WR Rashee Rice, WR Richie James, LT Donovan Smith, RT Jawaan Taylor, DE Charles Omenihu, DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah, LB Drue Tranquill

The Chiefs were bound to take some offensive line and defensive front hits, but recovered rather well in maintenance mode around Patrick Mahomes. Brett Veach and Andy Reid have the luxury of operating with a high playoff ceiling and some house money coming off a second Super Bowl ring with their special long-term QB.

16. Baltimore Ravens

Grade: B

Key additions: WR Odell Beckham Jr., WR Zay Flowers, WR Nelson Agholor, CB Rock Ya-Sin

Much of this grade comes from the fact the Ravens figured things out on a long-term deal with Lamar Jackson and hired an offensive coordinator, Todd Monken, who can tap more into his renewed upside. Beckham and Flowers adding more big-play pop in the passing game are a big part of that adjusted plan. The Ravens could have had a better draft, but they were active enough to return to AFC wild-card contention with a healthy Jackson.

17. Las Vegas Raiders

Grade: B

Key additions: QB Jimmy Garoppolo, QB Brian Hoyer, WR Jakobi Meyers, WR/KR DeAndre Carter, TE Austin Hooper, TE Michael Mayer, TE O.J. Howard, DE Tyree Wilson, DT Adam Butler, DT Byron Young, LB Robert Spillane, S Marcus Epps, S Christopher Smith

The Raiders had an interesting offseason in finally moving on from Derek Carr and bringing in even more of Josh McDaniels’ type of offensive corps. Meyers and Mayer could make them much more dynamic in the passing game beyond Davante Adams, playing more off the running game strength with franchise-tagged Josh Jacobs. Wilson was a smart upside pick to help Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones. Now the wait is on to see if Jimmy G (foot) is healthy and whether that would really prompt another Tom Brady un-retirement.

18. Minnesota Vikings

Grade: B

Key additions: WR Jordan Addison, RB DeWayne McBride, DE Dean Lowry, OLB Marcus Davenport, CB Byron Murphy Jr.

The Vikings’ inflated record from 2022 covered up a lot of need to rebuild in several areas with an aging roster. GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah got to work on that for second-year coach Kevin O’Connell, helping his offense push forward in what could be the final season with Kirk Cousins at quarterback.

19. Tennessee Titans

Grade: B

Key additions: QB Will Levis, RB Tyjae Spears, WR Chris Moore, TE Josh Whyle, LT Andre Dillard, LG Peter Skoronski, LB Azeez Al-Shaair, LB Arden Key, CB Sean Murphy-Bunting

The Titans are on the verge of flipping their offense to a more dynamic version given Levis’ arm and Spears’ change of pace running. Whyle also adds to the young second-year playmaking of Treylon Burks and Chigoziem Okonkwo. With new GM Ran Carthon, they also recognized the need to rebuild the offensive line and reinforce the defensive back seven.

20. Dallas Cowboys

Grade: B-

Key additions: WR Brandin Cooks, RB Deuce Vaughn, RB Ronald Jones, WR Jalen Brooks, TE Luke Schoonmaker, G Chuma Edoga, DT Mazi Smith, LB DeMarvion Overshown, CB Stephon Gilmore

The Cowboys didn’t have the best cap situation and lacked glaring needs, but found some well-traveled veterans to plug key complementary holes at wide receiver (Cooks) and corner (Gilmore) via trade. They also beefed up their defensive front with Smith. It was more of a maintenance offseason.

Javon Hargrave

21. San Francisco 49ers

Grade: B-

Key additions: QB Sam Darnold, TE Cameron Latu, C Jon Feliciano, DT Javon Hargrave, DE Clelin Ferrell, S Ji’Ayir Brown, CB Isaiah Oliver, K Jake Moody

The 49ers knew they were limited on cap space and draft capital, so they coudl afford one splurge. GM John Lynch invested well in Hargrave, also taking him away from the Eagles, while also adding good defensive depth behind him. Darnold provides another QB contingency, while Moody gives a range upgrade over reliable Robbie Gould.

22. New Orleans Saints

Grade: B-

Key additions: QB Derek Carr, QB Jake Haener, RB Jamaal Williams, RB Kendre Miller, WR A.T. Perry, WR James Washington, DE Isaiah Foskey, DT Nathan Shepherd, DT Khalen Saunders, DT Bryan Bresee

The Saints lost many defensive pieces up front and worked hard to replenish depth with the veterans while Foskey and Bresee get settled. Williams adds younger power over Mark Ingram. Carr stops the QB carousel, but there are questions about how long he can be a solution.

23. New England Patriots 

Grade: B-

Key additions: RB James Robinson, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR Kayshon Boutte, TE Mike Gesicki, DE Keion White, CB Christian Gonzalez

The Patriots had a mostly lateral offseason, with Smith-Schuster and Boutte replacing Meyers and Agholor and Gesicki upgrading a little over Jonnu Smith. Gonzalez, however, bumps them up a little because of defensive rookie of the year upside as a big-play corner.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Grade: B-

Key additions: QB Baker Mayfield, QB John Wolford, RB Chase Edmonds, WR Trey Palmer, LG Matt Feiler, RG Cody Mauch, DE Calijah Kancey, S Ryan Neal, K Chase McLaughlin

Jason Licht and the Bucs knew they would face being gutted offensively without the GOAT at QB. They are still strong at the skill positions around Mayfield and also worked on boosting their interior line after needing to cut Donovan Smith opposite Tristan Wirfts. Kancey and Neal plug two defensive starting holes rather well. The Bucs just figure to go back to what they were minus Tom Brady.

Baker Mayfield, Kyle Trask

25. Jacksonville Jaguars

Grade: C+

Key additions: RB Tank Bigsby, RB D’Ernest Johnson, WR Calvin Ridley, WR Parker Washington, TE Brenton Strange, OT Anton Harrison, K Brandon McManus

The Jaguars did their heavy personnel lifting ahead of coach Doug Pederson’s first season and were rewarded with a second-half surge that won the AFC South. They worked on adding offensive depth most for Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne, with Ridley upgrading a strong receiving corps as a No. 1. They are pretty much resting on their 2022 youngsters just getting better to become more dangerous conference contenders.

26. Miami Dolphins

Grade: C+

Key additions: QB Mike White, RB Devon Achane, WR Braxton Berrios, WR Elijah Higgins, TE Tyler Kroft, OT Isaiah Wynn, LB David Long Jr., CB Jalen Ramsey, S DeShon Elliott

The Dolphins couldn’t do all that much in the draft, highlighted by adding Achane to a crowded backfield. They added more offensive depth more in line with Mike McDaniel’s scheming. Long and Elliott give them average starters to fill holes. Ramsey on paper seems like a smash, but he’s on the brink of slowing down paired with Xavien Howard, who’s going into his Age-30 season.

27. Washington Commanders

Grade: C

Key additions: QB Jacoby Brissett, RB Chris Rodriguez Jr., C Nick Gates, C Ricky Stromberg, RT Andrew Wyile, LB Cody Barton, LB Milo Eifer, CB Emmanuel Forbes

While the other three teams in the division maintained or upgraded their 2022 playoff rosters well, the Commanders paled in comparison in trying to play catchup. They’re trusting a lot in Howell behind a new-look offensive line, hoping that new coordinator Eric Bieniemy, their best addition can make a huge difference. The defense is set up for more disappointment despite the talent up front.

28. Buffalo Bills

Grade: C

Key additions: RB Damien Harris, TE Dalton Kincaid, WR Trent Sherfield, WR Deonte Harty, WR Justin Shorter, LG Connor McGovern, RG O’Cyrus Torrence, LB Dorian Williams, S Taylor Rapp

The Bills worked most on getting offensive skill replacements and depth plus boosting the interior line with the veteran-rookie punch of McGovern and Torrence. The more reliable power running of Harris and the potential hybrid usage of Kincaid push this to an average grade for a returning AFC heavyweight.

29. Los Angeles Chargers

Grade: C

Key additions: QB Max Duggan, WR Quentin Johnston, WR Derius Davis, C Will Clapp, OLB Tuli Tuipulotu, LB Daiyan Henley, 

The Chargers weren’t position to do much with Justin Herbert’s massive contract looming, but they were able to please Austin Ekeler and add another key big-play threat to the offense in Johnston. They balance out to an average grade because of landing Kellen Moore to lead a better passing attack for Herbert.

30. Green Bay Packers

Grade: C-

Key additions: QB Sean Clifford, WR Jayden Reed, WR Dontavvion Wicks, TE Luke Musgrave, TE Tucker Kraft, OLB Lukas Van Ness, S Jonathan Owens

The Packers are adjusting to life with Aaron Rodgers and hoping their volume of offensive skill players will stick and support new starting QB Jordan Love well. They settled on keeping the line intact and overall, they’re not better on defense. Rodgers forced the hand of GM Brian Gutekunst, who had to turn to restocking the cupboard.

31. Arizona Cardinals

Grade: C-

Key additions: QB Clayton Tune, WR Zach Pascal, WR Michael Wilson, LG Paris Johnson Jr., OT Dennis Daley, G Elijah Wilkinson, DE L.J. Collier, OLB B.J. Ojulari, ILB Kyzir White, LB Krys Barnes, CB Rashad Fenton, CB Garrett Williams

The Cardinals had to slash and burn with new GM Monti Ossenfort to help clean up an aging mess that was left behind. Offensively, only the line got a slight upgrade and they also couldn’t make it work again with DeAndre Hopkins. Defensively, they lost J.J. Watt to retirement and both Zach Allen and Byron Murphy Jr. to free agency. They are set up to finish with the NFL’s worst record in 2023 while sitting on two high first-round draft picks.

32. Los Angeles Rams

Grade: C-

Key additions: QB Brett Rypien, QB Stetson Bennett, RB Zach Evans, WR Puka Nacua, LG Steve Avila, DE Kobie Turner, OLB Byron Young, CB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, S Jason Taylor II, K Tanner Brown, P Ethan Evans

This is what happens when you go “all in” with draft picks and money to win a Super Bowl. Although there should be no regrets for GM Les Snead, more lumps are coming with some fading, aging stars trying to prop up a weakened overall roster. Ramsey is gone, and both Matthew Stafford and Aaron Donald don’t have much effective time left. The team at least got Sean McVay to stay for one more year, right?



Read the full article here

Leave A Reply