The craziest NFL offseason ever isn’t even over at this point. But it’s safe to say that the bulk of marquee trades and free agent signings are over with. All eyes are now focused on the April draft…and THEN We’ll know what all 32 clubs’ final rosters will look like.
With the draft next up on the offseason calendar, it’s a good time to do another edition of our offseason power rankings. So let’s get right to it.
32. Houston Texans (28)
The Texans finally ended the Deshaun Watson saga by dealing the disgruntled quarterback to the Cleveland Browns. They are now loaded with draft capital that, if used accordingly, will speed up this rebuild.
While other bottom feeders across the league spent large sums of cash to address roster needs, the Texans are taking the patient approach. Nobody can fault them for that.
31. Atlanta Falcons (23)
Matt Ryan alone was good enough to get the Falcons about seven wins a year. But the front office finally committed to a tear-it-all-down rebuild by unloading Matty Ice to the Indianapolis Colts.
That move may have hurt sentimentally, but it’s one the Falcons had to make. Marcus Mariota is a fine short-term solution and bridge to the next QB. Now the Falcons can focus on rebuilding through the draft as opposed to…well…whatever they were trying to do these last few years with Ryan in the fold.
30. New York Jets (31)
The Jets addressed the secondary by adding hard-hitting and run-stopping sensation safety Jordan Whitehead and cornerback DJ Reed. They beefed up the offensive line by bringing in veteran guard Laken Tomlinson.
A fantastic start to the offseason for GM Joe Douglas. If he can hit home runs on his pair of first-round picks, the Jets could really make some noise in 2022.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (30)
Yes, the Jaguars really overpaid for guys like Christian Kirk, Zay Jones and Evan Engram. But then you remember that it’s the owners money and not the fans’ money, so who cares?
Overpaid or not, Kirk and Engram give Trevor Lawrence two quality weapons that he lacked in the passing game last year. Kirk has the potential to be a WR1, and Engram can be a nice third down security blanket for T-Law.
Brandon Scherff fixes the hole in the interior offensive line. And Super Bowl 56 champion Darious Williams provides stability in the secondary.
28. Detroit Lions (27)
The Lions didn’t spend too much in free agency. They brought back pass-rushing standout Chris Harris and landed former Jaguars wideout DJ Chark on a cheap deal.
Jared Goff has an extra weapon on a low cost, and the Lions front office is wisely staying committed to the rebuild-through-the-draft concept. And they’re about to land another franchise cornerstone with the No. 2 selection.
27. Carolina Panthers (29)
No Russell Wilson, no Carson Wentz, no Deshaun Watson, No Matt Ryan, no Marcus Mariota, no Jameis Winston, no Mitch Trubisky. So far, no Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo.
So uh, what’s Carolina’s plan at QB? I guess they have to reach for one with the No. 6 selection? Even though there are zero sure-thing QBs in this draft class! Good luck figuring that out.
On the bright side, Matt Ioannidis, Xavier Woods, Cory Littleton and Austin Corbett were nice short-term additions at reasonable prices.
26. New York Giants (32)
Few teams have wasted more money than the G-Men in free agency over the years. New GM Joe Schoen has wisely stayed away from the temptation of pricy signings, and his eyes are focused solely on the upcoming draft.
New York has a pair of first-round picks in the top seven, giving Schoen a prime opportunity to quickly turn this group around.
25. Seattle Seahawks (21)
Trading Russell Wilson was a necessary evil. Seattle was no longer a contender even with No. 3 in the fold. It was wise to take a step back and trade away the future Hall of Famer while his trade value was at its highest.
Who knows, maybe Drew Lock will be a decent starter there? Noah Fant joins a deep set of offensive weapons that should prevent the Seahawks from being a true bottom feeder next year…so there’s that!
24. Chicago Bears (26)
The Bears haven’t made any splashy moves whatsoever in free agency. They unloaded Khalil Mack’s hefty contract to the Los Angeles Chargers, so that at least opens up more long-term cap room.
Guard Lucas Patrick and recover Byron Pringle were brought in on cheap deals, but where’s the supporting cast upgrade for Justin Fields? He lost Allen Robinson and the Bears don’t have a first-round pick to do anything major. This has been a lackluster start for rookie GM Ryan Poles, to say the very least.
23. Washington Commanders (25)
The Commanders cut ties with Landon Collins, Matt Ioannidis and Ereck Flowers to clear up cap room. Their biggest move thus far was taking a chance on quarterback Carson Wentz, who was acquired via trade with the Indianapolis Colts.
Wentz gets a lot of hate, but he’s definitely better than almost anyone Washington has used in the post-Kirk Cousins era. If Ron Rivera can get the most out of him, Washington could absolutely re-emerge as a playoff contender.
22. Minnesota Vikings (22)
The Vikings’ most noteworthy move was extending Kirk Cousins for another year. With limited cap space, they were able to bring in two quality defensive starters in Jordan Hicks and Za’Darius Smith, so the front seven hopefully won’t be a weakness in 2022.
Minny has the tools in place to contend for a wild card spot. Now, if they could just find a stud lockdown corner in the draft…
21. Pittsburgh Steelers (14)
Say what you want about Mitch Trubisky, but he’s unquestionably an upgrade over the injury-riddled and past-his-prime Ben Roethlisberger.
Trubisky’s mobility makes him an intriguing fit in Matt Canada’s offense, and we wouldn’t doubt Mike Tomlin’s ability to unlock the former first-round pick. The o-line was also bolstered by the signings of James Daniel and Mason Cole.
Too bad the Steelers play in what figures to be football’s worst division next year, but they will remain competitive one way or another in 2022.
20. Indianapolis Colts (18)
Well, the Colts accomplished their main goal of replacing Carson Wentz. They shipped him off to Washington and subsequently landed Matt Ryan as their new QB.
An excellent use of resources by GM Chris Ballard. If the Colts can strengthen their secondary and pass rush through the draft, they’ll have the makings as a legitimate contender in the AFC.
19. Philadelphia Eagles (15)
The Eagles re-signed Anthony Harris, Fletcher Cox and Derek Barnett. Jason Kelce opted to delay retirement for at least another year. Those were all nice moves to begin with, but we also loved Howie Roseman’s addition of Haason Reddick to complement Cox and Brandon Graham.
And with a trio of first-round picks in this year’s draft, Philly can really make the jump to championship contender in short time.
18. New Orleans Saints (20)
The cap-strapped Saints bid farewell to Marcus Williams but replaced him with former Jets standout Marcus Maye. Their biggest move thus far was bringing back Jameis Winston on a two-year pact after missing out on Deshaun Watson.
With Winston back, the Saints have competent-enough QB play in place and should contend for a playoff spot. With the draft coming up, the focus is now on fixing up the supporting cast around Winston.
17. Arizona Cardinals (11)
Arizona let top pass rusher Chandler Jones walk, and they didn’t find replacements for Christian Kirk nor AJ Green. Keeping James Conner was a must, but that $21 million sum classifies as an overpay.
Isn’t the goal to build around Kyler Murray and compete for championships? Losing two of your top three receivers and your defensive MVP isn’t a good start…
16. Denver Broncos (24)
Trading for Russell Wilson instantly made Denver a playoff contender. Adding pass-rushing standout Randy Gregory to an already elite defense just makes the unit even scarier.
The only complaint if you’re a Broncos fan? All three of your division rivals and other AFC contenders also made drastic moves to get better. But hey, Wilson will only be the best QB Denver will have under center since 2014 Peyton Manning.
Everything is in place for Denver to return to relevance next season.
15. Las Vegas Raiders (12)
Wooooooo-weeee! Davante Adams and Chandler Jones? How often does a team land two Hall of Famers – on different sides of the ball, mind you – in one offseason?
And to think these Raiders made the playoffs last season without the league’s best wide receiver and an annual double-digit sacks artist. Again, the only complaint for Raiders fans is that their gauntlet of a division doesn’t guarantee a playoff spot…
14. Dallas Cowboys (10)
Not a fun offseason for Dallas. Cap issues meant saying goodbye to star wideout Amari Cooper, offensive line mainstays in La’El Collins and Connor Williams, pass rusher Randy Gregory plus another standout receiver in Cedrick Wilson Jr.
But extending Michael Gallup was a nice piece of work by Jerry Jones. And Dallas is still the heavy favorite to win the NFC East next season, hence why they barely stay in the top half here.
13. Miami Dolphins (19)
Perhaps no individual player is happier than Tua Tagovailoa right now. All the Dolphins did was acquire superstar wideout Tyreek Hill via trade to give him another explosive weapon alongside Jaylen Waddle.
And that was AFTER they signed Cedrick Wilson Jr…and retained tight end Mike Gesicki. Oh, you know how Miami’s o-line was horrendous in 2021? Not anymore. Longtime Saints star Terron Armstead and the aforementioned Connor Williams will beef up Tua’s pass protection.
Oh, and Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert give Miami two capable starting running back options. Suddenly, the sky’s the limit for this offense!
12. New England Patriots (8)
One year after a mega free agent spending spree…the Patriots opted to be relatively quiet in the 2022 market.
Star corner JC Jackson, Guard Shaq Mason and starting linebacker Kyle Van Noy are among the notable losses. Then again, nobody is better at replacing veteran talent than Bill Belichick – who brought back old friend Malcolm Butler on a two-year deal. Would you really be shocked if Butler replaced Jackson as the next great shutdown corner in Foxborough?
11. Cleveland Browns (13)
The Browns were willing to deal with the PR backlash, giving up a king’s ransom for disgruntled Texans QB Deshaun Watson. His new deal is a massive five-year pact for $230 million – fully guaranteed.
Before landing Watson, the Browns acquired Cooper to replace the departed Jarvis Landry. Star center JC Tretter and starting tight end Austin Hooper were cut in salary-dumping moves. Cleveland has put all of their eggs into one basket. Only time will tell if it pays off.
10. Tennessee Titans (9)
The Titans cut Julio Jones after a forgettable 2021 season that was ravaged by injuries. They essentially replaced him with Robert Woods, landing the former Rams star for the bargain price of a sixth-round pick.
Woods and AJ Brown should be one of the league’s most explosive pass-catching duos in 2022. The goal now is to upgrade the o-line at the draft.
9. Los Angeles Chargers (17)
Hello, Khalil Mack and JC Jackson! Man, that disappointment that was the Chargers defense in 2021 shall be a top-10 group in 2021.
Mack and Joey Bosa terrorizing opposing QBs together? Jackson manning the field with Derwin James and Asante Samuel Jr.? And we didn’t even mention the Justin Herbert-led offense yet!
Welcome back to Super Bowl contention, Bolts.
8. Baltimore Ravens (7)
Healthy versions of Lamar Jackson, Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters alone will make the Ravens a contender.
But wait! They also signed ball-hawking safety Marcus Williams to further strengthen this downright scary secondary, and Michael Pierce was signed to fix the interior defensive line.
The Ravens, simply put, will be a bonafide contender again.
7. San Francisco 49ers (4)
The 49ers beefed up their secondary by adding former Kansas City Chiefs corner Charvarius Ward.
To be honest, GM John Lynch never had much to do heading into the offseason. This is a championship-caliber roster as is. The only question is if Trey Lance is truly ready for the starting duties.
6. Los Angeles Rams (2)
Losing Andrew Whitworth, Robert Woods, Austin Corbett, Von Miller and Darious Williams really hurts. But the Rams still kept the bulk of their Super Bowl 56-winning core together, and Allen Robinson was a beautiful addition to this already prolific offense.
The Rams will find it utterly difficult to repeat without all those mainstays from a year ago. But Matt Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey are enough alone to keep them in contention again for next year.
5. Green Bay Packers (5)
The Packers wanted to keep Davante Adams, but he was adamant about playing in Vegas. Nothing Green Bay could really do.
The good news is that Aaron Rodgers DID commit to playing here long-term. So the Pack will remain contenders. And here’s an undeniable fact: They’re 7-0 without Adams under Matt LaFleur.
We’re sure Green Bay will be fine!
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (16)
When we last did these power rankings, TB12 was retired. Not anymore! It only lasted 40 days, and his return led to the re-signings of Chris Godwin, Ryan Jensen, Carlton Davis and Leonard Fournette.
Tampa signed Russell Gage to serve as a WR3 option, and Shaq Mason was acquired via trade with the Patriots. Yep, these Bucs are a legitimate contender for the Lombardi Trophy again. It just took one player un-retirement!
3. Cincinnati Bengals (6)
Wow! The Bengals went to the Super Bowl with one of the worst offensive lines ever assembled! What’s their ceiling now after adding three studs in Alex Cappa, Ted Karras and La’El Collins to the o-line?!
Cincy’s greatest weakness is now a strength!
2. Kansas City Chiefs (1)
Yes, they lost Tyreek Hill while watching their main AFC competitors all get better. But you need to trust top-notch organizations like the Chiefs to find a way. Simple as that.
JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling will soften the loss of Hill, not to mention that KC has two first-round picks in a receiver-heavy draft. We wouldn’t hit the panic button if we’re Chiefs fans. You only have a top-three QB and a top-two head coach in the game to figure it all out!
1. Buffalo Bills (3)
You just had the league’s top-ranked defense. And now you’re adding future Hall of Famer and playoff hero Von Miller to the fold? Gulp, that’s a scary thought for 31 other teams.
The Bills were the NFL’s most complete team coming into the offseason, with a top-five offense and defense and all. Now Miller is here to terrorize opposing QBS. A game-changing pass rusher was the missing ingredient in Buffalo, and now they have it.
No excuses. Now it’s time to actually win the AFC title.
Watch the Video