In the months since the Los Angeles Rams won the Super Bowl, numerous teams have made significant improvements in the hopes of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the 2022 campaign.
Below, we rank the 10 teams that have made the biggest strides this offseason.
* All contract figures from Spotrac
10. Cincinnati Bengals
|La’el Collins||OL||Signed to 3-year deal worth $21M|
|Alex Cappa||OL||Signed to 4-year deal worth $35M|
|Ted Karras||OL||Signed to 3-year deal worth $18M|
|Hayden Hurst||TE||Signed to 1-year deal worth $3.5M|
|B.J. Hill||DL||Re-signed to 3-year deal worth $30M|
|Daxton Hill||DB||Drafted in 1st round|
The Bengals are making sure they’re prepared to go all the way after falling just short of the franchise’s first Super Bowl last season. They aggressively attacked their biggest weaknesses in the offseason, making major improvements on the offensive line and secondary. La’el Collins, Alex Cappa, and Ted Karras should prevent centerpiece Joe Burrow from enduring another 50-plus-sack season. Rookie defensive back Daxton Hill is also an intriguing Swiss Army knife for defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo to utilize.
The lone blemish on Cincinnati’s offseason is the lack of a long-term agreement for star safety Jessie Bates. That aside, the Bengals have taken all the steps necessary to ensure they avoid a painful Super Bowl hangover.
9. New Orleans Saints
|Jarvis Landry||WR||Signed to 1-year deal worth $3M|
|Tyrann Mathieu||S||Signed to 3-year deal worth $28.3M|
|Marcus Maye||S||Signed to 3-year deal worth $22.5M|
|Andy Dalton||QB||Signed to 1-year deal worth $3M|
|Jameis Winston||QB||Re-signed to 2-year deal worth $28M|
|Chris Olave||WR||Drafted in 1st round|
|Trevor Penning||OL||Drafted in 1st round|
How do the Saints and the city of New Orleans move forward after the departure of legendary head coach Sean Payton? How about a homecoming for local veterans Tyrann Mathieu and Jarvis Landry?
Don’t be fooled, though, the buzz around the Saints is about more than just the return of a couple of former LSU stars. The receiving corps looks like it could challenge anyone in the league with Landry, first-round pick Chris Olave, and a returning Michael Thomas. In what may prove to be a wise decision, the Saints didn’t leap for a quarterback in the draft and will instead leave it to Jameis Winston once more. Terron Armstead is a big loss at left tackle, but Trevor Penning is a high-reward prospect who could blossom.
The bread and butter of the Dennis Allen-led Saints will be their defense. Good for fourth in the league in points against last year, it’ll be tough for teams to find holes in a secondary that features Marshon Lattimore and a new backend pair of Mathieu and Marcus Maye.
8. New York Jets
|Laken Tomlinson||OL||Signed to 3-year deal worth $40M|
|D.J. Reed||CB||Signed to 3-year deal worth $33M|
|Jordan Whitehead||S||Signed to 2-year deal worth $14.5M|
|C.J. Uzomah||TE||Signed to 3-year deal worth $24M|
|Ahmad Gardner||CB||Drafted in 1st round|
|Garrett Wilson||WR||Drafted in 1st round|
|Jermaine Johnson||DL||Drafted in 1st round|
|Breece Hall||RB||Drafted in 2nd round|
The Jets have become a little too comfortable in the AFC East’s basement, but their under-the-radar improvements signal that they’re in the market for a new home.
The first order of business was making life better for young passer Zach Wilson. New York provided him added protection in the form of guard Laken Tomlinson, who’ll beef up the offensive line. It then added tight end C.J. Uzomah and rookies Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall.
Robert Saleh has to be pleased with the Jets’ secondary repairs. Lengthy cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner is the perfect fit for the head coach’s defense, while D.J. Reed’s addition will also help.
After ranking 28th in scoring and last in overall defense last season, the Jets are now better equipped to put up a fight against their AFC East rivals.
7. Indianapolis Colts
|Matt Ryan||QB||Acquired via trade|
|Yannick Ngakoue||DL||Acquired via trade|
|Stephon Gilmore||CB||Signed to 2-year deal worth $20M|
|Phillip Lindsay||RB||Signed to 1-year deal worth $1.1M|
|Alec Pierce||WR||Drafted in 2nd round|
Trading Carson Wentz should already constitute a successful offseason. Going from Wentz, who was a disaster down the stretch, to Matt Ryan makes it a better offseason than anyone could’ve imagined.
Ryan should be the perfect conductor for a Colts offense spearheaded by running back Jonathan Taylor. Though Ryan’s best days are behind him, the veteran quarterback is a safe and consistent bet, unlike the erratic Wentz.
Adding Pro Bowl reinforcements like Yannick Ngakoue and Stephon Gilmore was another stroke of genius from general manager Chris Ballard. The Colts promised drastic change after last season’s collapse. They didn’t just keep their promise, they overdelivered.
6. Las Vegas Raiders
|Davante Adams||WR||Acquired via trade|
|Chandler Jones||LB||Signed to 3-year deal worth $51M|
|Rock Ya-Sin||CB||Acquired via trade|
|Bilal Nichols||DL||Signed to 2-year deal worth $8.6M|
The Raiders didn’t fold when they saw their AFC West counterparts reload over the spring – they put all their chips in.
No move sent more shockwaves through the league than their acquisition of All-Pro receiver Davante Adams in a blockbuster trade with the Green Bay Packers. The three-headed monster of Adams, tight end Darren Waller, and quarterback Derek Carr gives Las Vegas’ aerial attack the firepower to hold its own in dogfights against any of the league’s top passing units.
Don’t forget about Chandler Jones, either. Luring the four-time Pro Bowler in free agency not only adds one of the league’s most feared pass-rushers but will likely take additional attention off rising star Maxx Crosby.
The Raiders also deserve credit for plucking two key members from the New England Patriots in Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels. After the Raiders’ massive instability last season, the new general manager and head coach could be the glue this historic franchise needs.
5. Philadelphia Eagles
|A.J. Brown||WR||Acquired via trade|
|Haason Reddick||LB||Signed to 3-year deal worth $45M|
|James Bradberry||CB||Signed to 1-year deal worth $7.25M|
|Kyzir White||LB||Signed to 1-year deal worth $3M|
|Jordan Davis||DL||Drafted in 1st round|
|Nakobe Dean||LB||Drafted in 3rd round|
Running back Miles Sanders said it feels like the Eagles are an “All-Star team,” which isn’t an exaggeration after the moves general manager Howie Roseman pulled off.
The addition of A.J. Brown into a receivers room that already features DeVonta Smith sets the Eagles up not just for the present, but also for the long term. With no shortage of playmakers on offense, Jalen Hurts will have every opportunity to cement his place in the club’s future plans. And with two 2023 first-rounders, Roseman can either continue to stockpile talent or potentially move for a top quarterback if Hurts struggles.
Brown adds enough star power to make this offseason a dream come true for Philadelphia. Free-agent pickups like Haason Reddick and James Bradberry, as well as draftees Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean, should also make a quick impact.
4. Baltimore Ravens
|Marcus Williams||S||Signed to 5-year deal worth $70M|
|Morgan Moses||OL||Signed to 3-year deal worth $15M|
|Michael Pierce||DL||Signed to 3-year deal worth $16.5M|
|Kyle Fuller||CB||Signed to 1-year deal worth $2.5M|
|Mike Davis||RB||Signed to 1-year deal worth $1.2M|
|Calais Campbell||DL||Re-signed to 2-year deal worth $12.5M|
|Justin Houston||LB||Re-signed to 1-year deal|
|Kyle Hamilton||S||Drafted in 1st round|
|Tyler Linderbaum||OL||Drafted in 1st round|
|David Ojabo||LB||Drafted in 2nd round|
The Ravens have done it again.
No other team can seem to match the Ravens’ consistent prowess in the NFL draft. That’s why it’s no surprise Baltimore was able to snag Kyle Hamilton, who many argued was the class’ top prospect, and highly rated center Tyler Linderbaum in the first round. Getting David Ojabo – an edge rusher who received first-round love before tearing his Achilles – was just the cherry on top.
But the Ravens having a great draft is a regular occurrence. Making a splash in free agency is a little more out of the ordinary. Sometimes, you have to go for it – and that’s exactly what the Ravens did with their long-term deal for Marcus Williams, who’ll now patrol the secondary with Hamilton. Retaining Calais Campbell and Justin Houston was necessary to keep the front seven competitive. Offensive tackle Morgan Moses should also be an improvement over the inconsistent and now retired Alejandro Villanueva.
The Ravens didn’t lack talent in 2021 – injuries spoiled their playoff aspirations. Their 2022 offseason was the perfect balancing act of adding more talent and providing depth insurance in case the injury bug comes around again.
3. Miami Dolphins
|Tyreek Hill||WR||Acquired via trade|
|Terron Armstead||OL||Signed to 5-year deal worth $75M|
|Cedrick Wilson||WR||Signed to 3-year deal worth $22M|
|Connor Williams||OL||Signed to 2-year deal worth $14M|
|Chase Edmonds||RB||Signed to 2-year deal worth $12.1M|
|Melvin Ingram||LB||Signed to 1-year deal worth $4M|
|Raheem Mostert||RB||Signed to 1-year deal worth $2.1M|
|Sony Michel||RB||Signed to 1-year deal worth $1.7M|
|Alec Ingold||FB||Signed to 2-year deal worth $6.5M|
|Emmanuel Ogbah||DL||Re-signed to 4-year deal worth $65.4M|
The Dolphins got their guy in head coach Mike McDaniel, and his fingerprints are already all over the roster.
Miami’s moves make it look very similar to the 49ers, McDaniel’s previous club. A top left tackle? Enter Terron Armstead. A yards-after-the-catch threat at receiver? Hello, Tyreek Hill. A versatile backfield committee with a proven fullback? Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert, Sony Michel, and Alec Ingold can handle that.
Of course, the biggest reason the Dolphins should be pleased about their head-coaching choice revolves around the man under center: Tua Tagovailoa. The third-year pro hasn’t lived up to his draft billing, but if anyone can extract his potential, it may just be the 49ers’ former offensive mastermind.
2. Denver Broncos
|Russell Wilson||QB||Acquired via trade|
|Randy Gregory||DL||Signed to 5-year deal worth $70M|
|D.J. Jones||DL||Signed to 3-year deal worth $30M|
|K’Waun Williams||CB||Signed to 2-year deal worth $5.2M|
|Melvin Gordon||RB||Re-signed to 1-year deal worth $2.5M|
|Kareem Jackson||S||Re-signed to 1-year deal worth $2M|
“Aim for Aaron Rodgers – even if you miss, you’ll land on Russell Wilson” – the Broncos, probably.
Denver entered the offseason hungry for a franchise quarterback to take it back to the promised land. Disappointment should have followed when Rodgers stayed with the Packers, but it’s hard to be upset when Plan B is a nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback like Wilson.
The Broncos have been in quarterback purgatory since Peyton Manning retired following their Super Bowl 50 victory. Eleven players have started under center since then, but Denver hasn’t come close to sniffing the postseason. With a deep roster, the front office finally stopped standing pat and snagged what it believes is the missing piece to returning the Broncos to glory.
1. Los Angeles Chargers
|Khalil Mack||LB||Acquired via trade|
|J.C. Jackson||CB||Signed to 5-year deal worth $82.5M|
|Sebastian Joseph-Day||DL||Signed to 3-year deal worth $24M|
|Gerald Everett||TE||Signed to 2-year deal worth $12M|
|Kyle Van Noy||LB||Signed to 1-year deal worth $2.2M|
|Bryce Callahan||CB||Signed to 1-year deal worth $1.2M|
|Mike Williams||WR||Re-signed to 3-year deal worth $60M|
|Zion Johnson||OL||Drafted in 1st round|
There was a lot of optimism around the 2021 Chargers – and rightfully so – but the team’s biggest flaws were exposed during a late-season collapse. Scars of last year’s disappointment clearly shaped the team’s offseason task list. The Chargers didn’t just patch up areas of need – they filled them until they were fully shut.
Justin Herbert looks like a quarterback who’ll dominate the league for years to come. That’s why it was so crucial for the Chargers to retain receiver Mike Williams, who’s grown into an explosive weapon for the third-year passer. Keeping Herbert upright was also a big priority after he took 31 sacks last season. Boston College’s Zion Johnson should be a Day 1 starter as an interior enforcer on Herbert’s offensive line.
However, the biggest mess to clean up came on defense, where L.A. ranked 29th in points allowed and last at getting off the field on third down. The Chargers didn’t invite a small cleanup crew, though. They brought in the big guns, acquiring former Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack via a trade and Pro Bowl cornerback J.C. Jackson through free agency.
With talents like Herbert, Joey Bosa, and Derwin James already on the roster, general manager Tom Telesco’s monster additions show he’s thinking of a lot more than just making the playoffs.