The NFL is lower than a month away from kicking off the 2022 league yr and free company on March 16. Free company sometimes units the tone for the remainder of the offseason. Which groups will probably be aggressive in signing, or re-signing, high gamers available on the market? Which groups will wait to money in on the 2022 draft as a substitute?
However let’s not overlook: We might get no less than one massive transfer even earlier than subsequent month. Aaron Rodgers might determine any day whether or not he needs to stick with the Inexperienced Bay Packers. This choice will have an effect on the offseason plans for a number of groups curious about doubtlessly buying the quarterback. Rodgers, although, is not the one quarterback who might change groups.
Whereas we anticipate that call, let’s discuss what every group must give attention to this offseason. Who’re the free brokers to know? Which gamers might get reduce? What are the best- and worst-case situations for all 32 groups? What number of early draft picks does every group personal?
Click on the hyperlinks under to learn offseason previews for each group from our 32 NFL Nation reporters. Groups are sorted alphabetically.
Arizona is heading into an offseason through which a few of its main offensive gamers — working backs James Conner and Chase Edmonds in addition to receivers A.J. Inexperienced and Christian Kirk — might be headed to free company. This might give Cardinals basic supervisor Steve Keim an opportunity to rebuild the offense round what coach Kliff Kingsbury and QB Kyler Murray need, and whom they imagine might assist Arizona win down the stretch. Learn extra from Josh Weinfuss.
The Falcons as soon as once more want to determine a bunch of spots on their roster. Their receiver place is gutted due to free company — 2021 sixth-round decide Frank Darby (one reception) is the one participant who completed the yr on the 53-man roster who isn’t a free agent. The entrance seven, which had hassle placing stress on the opposition, might bear a big overhaul attributable to free company. Learn extra from Michael Rothstein.
How do the Ravens get Lamar Jackson and their offense again on monitor? Should you ask coach John Harbaugh and basic supervisor Eric DeCosta, it begins up entrance for Baltimore. Of their season-ending information conferences, Harbaugh and DeCosta each indicated the offensive line is some extent of emphasis — and for good cause. Learn extra from Jamison Hensley.
Whereas they’re set at beginning quarterback with Josh Allen, they should improve on either side of the ball with the traces and depth at receiver and cornerback on the high of the checklist. Normal supervisor Brandon Beane can have the assistance of 9 draft picks, however there will probably be some sensible cap administration required. Learn extra from Alaina Getzenberg.
Darnold is the one quarterback underneath contract, and he has an $18.9 million salary-cap hit, so he is nearly unimaginable to commerce. He additionally is not the reply after going 4-7 with 9 touchdowns to 13 interceptions because the starter. Defending him was a problem (35 sacks), and upgrading the road is a precedence, no matter who’s underneath middle. Carolina’s choices, nonetheless, aren’t nice. Learn extra from David Newton.
How will the Bears’ new regime maximize the ability set of Justin Fields? New GM Ryan Poles can have the primary crack at it as he must improve the offensive line. These 9 sacks in Cleveland weren’t all on schemes and the playbook. Left deal with is a precedence, however so are the ability positions, significantly on the sides. The Bears have a number of No. 2s at extensive receiver however want explosiveness downfield. Learn extra from Jesse Rogers.
Cincinnati must make rapid selections at left guard (Quinton Spain) and proper deal with (Riley Reiff) and should assess whether or not the remainder of the unit is nice sufficient as nicely. Because the 2019 season, coach Zac Taylor’s first with the group, the Bengals have ranked thirty first within the NFL in group go block win fee. Solely the Miami Dolphins have been worse. Learn extra from Ben Child.
The Browns need to determine how a lot Baker Mayfield’s left shoulder harm hampered his efficiency, and in flip, whether or not they imagine he can bounce again after present process offseason surgical procedure. Only a season in the past, Mayfield did quarterback the Browns to their first playoff victory in 26 years after ending tenth in QBR. Learn extra from Jake Trotter.
It could be too early to say that is it for coach Mike McCarthy, however it’s definitely shaping up that means. Sean Payton’s shadow will linger and proprietor/GM Jerry Jones went out of his technique to preserve defensive coordinator Dan Quinn with a contract extension and future increase. Whereas there was apparent progress in his second season, McCarthy must do higher than profitable the NFC East in 2022. Learn extra from Todd Archer.
With 5 picks within the first three rounds — together with No. 9 total — utilizing a premium decide on a quarterback stays a risk till basic supervisor George Paton says, or exhibits, that it is not. The quarterback choice is the most important — and the primary — roster domino that has to fall earlier than Paton will get to work on the remainder of what’s to come back. Learn extra from Jeff Legwold.
Ought to the Lions choose a quarterback with a late-first-round decide within the draft? It relies on who’s obtainable at that time. It is just about a lock that Jared Goff will probably be working the present once more subsequent season, however what does that imply for the group transferring ahead? Learn extra from Eric Woodyard.
What is going to Rodgers do? And when will he do it? He mentioned he will not take lengthy to determine. The beginning of free company on March 16 looks like absolutely the newest, however they most likely have to know no less than every week earlier than that to allow them to start restructuring contracts or slicing gamers as a result of they need to be underneath the wage cap by the beginning of free company. Nobody is aware of for positive what he’ll do and when he’ll do it, so the Packers nearly definitely have one plan that includes Rodgers and one that does not. However till he decides, they’re basically at a standstill. Learn extra from Rob Demovsky.
Dan Graziano and Jeff Saturday break down Aaron Rodgers’ upcoming choice and the way that impacts the place Davante Adams will signal his contract.
For the primary time since 2019, the Texans have a first-round decide. Whereas the group might definitely take an influence participant at No. 3, basic supervisor Nick Caserio hinted at his end-of-season information convention that Houston might commerce down within the draft. Whereas he will not have the ability to get fairly the identical return for the No. 3 decide as he might in different seasons as a result of it is not a powerful draft for quarterbacks, Caserio might nonetheless get the participant he likes and add much more draft capital. Learn extra from Sarah Barshop.
The Colts’ offseason is centered round their quarterback place, however the stress can also be on basic supervisor Chris Ballard and coach Frank Reich. Ballard is heading into his sixth season as GM, and all he has to indicate for it’s one playoff victory — and that was again in 2018. Learn extra from Mike Wells.
The addition of recent coach Doug Pederson, who received Tremendous Bowl LII with the Philadelphia Eagles, to pair with quarterback Trevor Lawrence, has most followers hopeful that 2022 will probably be considerably higher than final yr’s 4-13 debacle. The Jaguars even have the second-most salary-cap house obtainable and the No. 1 total decide (once more), in addition to three different picks within the high 70. Learn extra from Michael DiRocco.
The Chiefs completed twenty ninth in sacks final season, and making important enhancements there will probably be an offseason precedence. The Chiefs have a prolonged checklist of free brokers, and mixed with a good salary-cap scenario, it is nearly assured important adjustments are coming. Learn extra from Adam Teicher.
What is going to the brand new regime of basic supervisor Dave Ziegler and coach Josh McDaniels do with Derek Carr? Properly, it relies on whether or not they see him becoming McDaniels’ scheme, versus any form of haul they could get in return in a commerce. Carr holds just about each passing document in franchise historical past however has a profession document of solely 57-70 and, in his eighth season, simply performed in his first profession playoff recreation. Learn extra from Paul Gutierrez.
Halfway by way of the 2021 season, the Chargers have been on the backside of the NFL in defending the run, letting opposing offenses rush for greater than 140 yards per recreation. They improved barely down the stretch, however they have to draft properly and depend on DE Justin Jones to remain wholesome up entrance (offered the Chargers can re-sign him), because the run protection suffered within the six video games he missed. Learn extra from Shelley Smith.
Mina Kimes is curious to see if the outcomes of this offseason will give the Los Angeles Chargers a greater probability at a Tremendous Bowl.
The Rams can have work to do with the intention to make their roster work in opposition to the wage cap. Stafford is coming into the ultimate season of a five-year, $135 million contract and is due an extension. Whereas that will probably be expensive for the Rams, given the 13-year professional has now proved he isn’t solely able to profitable within the playoffs however main a group to a Tremendous Bowl title, it might additionally present some cap aid to unfold Stafford’s numbers out over a number of seasons. Learn extra from Lindsey Thiry.
Miami has north of $60 million in salary-cap house to work with this offseason, most of which needs to be spent on retaining its free brokers and including premier gamers to its offense to help quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who enters a make-or-break third season. Learn extra from Marcel Louis-Jacques.
The Vikings will once more want to speculate closely of their protection (which ranked thirty first final yr) however should determine what to do with a handful of pricey veteran contracts (doubtlessly Danielle Hunter, Harrison Smith, Adam Thielen and even Dalvin Cook dinner) to create the salary-cap room wanted to be lively gamers in free company. Learn extra from Courtney Cronin.
Issues can basically be narrowed down to 3 layers: 1. What can the Patriots do personnel-wise (e.g. one other receiving risk) to raised help Mac Jones’ progress? 2. What occurred to the protection on the finish of the season, and what’s being performed to make sure it would not occur once more? 3. Why did their once-dominant particular groups items drop off so badly? Coach Invoice Belichick typically talks about enjoying complementary soccer and weaving all three phases collectively, and doing a greater job in that space in 2022 figures to be a giant emphasis this offseason. Learn extra from Mike Reiss.
Who will play quarterback? Jameis Winston might be the front-runner since he proved to be slot in 2021 with 14 landing passes and simply three interceptions earlier than he tore an ACL. Nevertheless, there is no such thing as a assure he’ll be again since he’s an unsigned free agent and continues to be rehabbing. Learn extra from Mike Triplett.
Giants GM Joe Schoen has already gone on document saying he wished to clear $40 million in cap house and construct by way of the draft. He additionally acknowledged the Giants will not be massive gamers this yr in free company as they get their financials so as. However they do have two top-10 picks and 9 alternatives total within the draft. Learn extra from Jordan Raanan.
GM Joe Douglas has 4 of the primary 38 picks within the draft, having added capital with the Sam Darnold and Jamal Adams trades. There isn’t any excuse for the group to not take a giant bounce in 2022. The Cincinnati Bengals’ fast turnaround proves it would not need to take perpetually. Learn extra from Wealthy Cimini.
The price range was tight final yr, thanks largely to quarterback Carson Wentz’s $34 million dead-cap cost sitting on the books whereas he performed for the Indianapolis Colts. This offseason, the Eagles will have the ability to delve deeper into the free-agent pool and are as well-stocked as any group for the 2022 NFL draft with three first-round picks. The query is whether or not Philly will use these belongings to construct methodically or make a huge splash. Learn extra from Tim McManus.
The Steelers’ path to discovering their subsequent signal-caller is not clear-cut. They’ve in-house choices in Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins, however they might additionally choose to draft a rookie, signal a midlevel veteran or make a splash with a giant identify in a commerce or free company. The Steelers produce other obvious areas to deal with, just like the offensive line and cornerback place, however the quarterback choice will dictate the remainder of the offseason and 2022 marketing campaign. Learn extra from Brooke Pryor.
Coach Kyle Shanahan and basic supervisor John Lynch mentioned after the season that no choice has been made but, however Jimmy Garoppolo was clear: He expects a commerce and wish to have a say in the place he lands. Whereas he cannot formally be traded till March 16, the Niners can conform to a deal earlier than then, and that’s the expectation. Learn extra from Nick Wagoner.
Quandre Diggs is the Seahawks’ high free agent. He led the group with 5 interceptions, matching his complete from 2020 as he was named to his second straight Professional Bowl. His work patrolling the again finish of their protection was a giant cause Seattle was among the finest groups at limiting explosive passing performs. He might need been the Seahawks’ MVP in 2021. However Diggs’ scenario is sophisticated by a number of elements. He is coming off a damaged fibula and dislocated ankle from Week 18. Learn extra from Brady Henderson.
With so many gamers set to change into free brokers, it is much less about who will probably be reduce and extra about who they merely will not deliver again. Jason Pierre-Paul performed by way of a torn rotator cuff all season — would possibly Joe Tryon-Shoyinka be able to take over because the starter reverse Shaquil Barrett? Learn extra from Jenna Laine.
Tennessee will want extra firepower to compete with the likes of the Payments, Chiefs and Bengals. Meaning the addition of a flexible tight finish to make the offense much less predictable and create matchup issues for opposing defenses. The draft and free company might assist fill that void. Including a vertical risk who can stretch the sphere would additionally assist an offense that was thirty first in passing performs of 20 yards or extra (35) and tied for the third-fewest passing performs of 40 yards or extra (seven). The Titans ought to have a look at choices so as to add an explosive receiver. Learn extra from Turron Davenport.
Coach Ron Rivera has made no secret of his want to be aggressive in ending Washington’s decades-long quarterback search — they’re at 32 starters and counting for the reason that franchise final received the Tremendous Bowl after the 1991 season. However having the ability to discover that man will probably be tough. There are rumors about massive names resembling Russell Wilson, however Seattle doesn’t need to commerce him and should be blown away by a suggestion. Learn extra from John Keim.