NFL free agency grades 2024: Ranking signings, trades for all 32 teams, from best (Texans) to worst (Broncos) | Sporting News

NFL free agency grades 2024: Ranking signings, trades for all 32 teams, from best (Texans) to worst (Broncos) | Sporting News

NFL free agency is only one part of the offseason puzzle for teams across the league trying to improve their rosters, especially with a loaded draft around in corner in April.

It’s still important for each team to spend wisely in relation to its resources and salary-cap situation, whether that’s splurging on new starters or finding bargains to boost overall personnel strength. There’s also the matter of what key veteran players a team was willing and able to keep while making smart, money-saving decisions.

Here’s grading how all 32 teams have done with signings and trades through the first five days of free agency, with several more moves still ahead that can change their 2024 season fortunes

NFL FREE AGENCY 2024: Live gradesTop 75 rankings | Winners & losers

NFL free agency grades 2024: Ranking best & worst offseason moves

1. Houston Texans

Grade: A

  • Key additions: EDGE Danielle Hunter, RB Joe Mixon, DT Denico Autry, LB Azeez Al-Shaair, P Tommy Townsend, CB Jeff Okudah, DT Foley Fatukasi, DT Tim Settle, LB Del’Shawn Phillips, CB Lonnie Johnson, DT Sebastian Joseph-Day, EDGE Mario Edwards
  • Key re-signings: TE Dalton Schultz, K Ka’imi Fairbairn, WR Noah Brown, OT Charlie Heck
  • Key losses: EDGE Jonathan Greenard, RB Devin Singletary, LB Blake Cashman, DT Sheldon Rankins, EDGE Derek Barnett, EDGE Jerry Hughes, CB Steven Nelson, DT Teair Tart, DT Maliek Collins, DT Hassan Ridgeway, LB Denzel Perryman, S Kareem Jackson, OT George Fant, P Cameron Johnston, RB Dare Ogunbowale, OT Josh Jones, S Adrian Amos, CB Tavierre Thomas

The Texans knew they had to be aggressive to try to win big while C.J. Stroud is starring on a rookie contract. Jonathan Greenard, Devin Singletary, and Blake Cashman didn’t seem like losses for GM Nick Caserio with Danielle Hunter, Joe Mixon, and Azeez Al-Shaair coming to town. Likewise, Tommy Towsend and Jeff Okudah offer more upside than Cameron Johnston and Steven Nelson at the same positions. The team also replenished the defensive tackle depth well to mitigate Rankins not being re-signed. Keeping Dalton Schultz and Noah Brown around for Year 2 of Stroud also was smart.

2. Atlanta Falcons

Grade: A

  • Key additions: QB Kirk Cousins, WR Darnell Mooney, WR Rondale Moore, WR Ray-Ray McCloud, TE Charlie Woerner
  • Key re-signings: WR KhaDarel Hodge
  • Key losses: QB Desmond Ridder, DT Calais Campbell, CB Jeff Okudah, TE Jonnu Smith, C Matt Hennessy, RB Cordarrelle Patterson, EDGE Bud Dupree, WR Scotty Miller, WR Mack Hollins, WR Van Jefferson

The Falcons made an aggressive move to get the right franchise QB to take better advantage of their blocking and young skill talent. Kirk Cousins, assuming he’s on track to return well from his Achilles’ injury at 36, gives them an immediate advantage in the NFC South at the most important position. They also got him a sneaky good extra weapon in Darnell Mooney to go with Drake London, Bijan Robinson, and Kyle Pitts. Rondale Moore, Ray-Ray McCloud, and KhaDarel Hodge maintain the depth. This was a great start for new coach Raheem Morris and offensive coordinator Zac Robinson thanks to GM Terry Fontenot.

3. Detroit Lions

Grade: A

  • Key additions: DT D.J. Reader, CB Amik Robertson, EDGE Marcus Davenport, CB Carlton Davis, G Kevin Zeitler
  • Key re-signings: G Graham Glasgow, WR Donovan Peoples-Jones
  • Key losses: G Jonah Jackson, S C.J. Gardner-Johnson, QB Teddy Bridgewater, QB Nate Sudfeld, LB Anthony Pittman, DT Benito Jones, EDGE Romeo Okwara, G Halapoulivaati Vaitai, S Tracy Walker, EDGE Charles Harris, WR Josh Reynolds, S Will Harris, LB Julian Okwara, OT Matt Nelson, CB Kindle Vildor, TE Shane Zylstra

GM Brad Holmes set an impossible standard with his work in free agency and the draft last offseason that took the Lions all the way to the NFC Championship game in their triumphant return to the playoffs. They expected to take a few hits with Jonah Jackson and C.J. Gardner-Johnson leave. Further locking up Glasgow was good anticipation, and they did well ahead of this year’s draft to fill their three key defensive needs to complement Aidan Hutchinson on the front and back ends. Carlton Davis and Amik Robertson give them real upgrades at two corner spots after the moves didn’t work out for Holmes there last year.

Austin Ekeler

4. Washington Commanders

Grade: A

  • Key additions: EDGE Dorance Armstong, LB Frankie Luvu, LB Bobby Wagner, RB Austin Ekeler, G Nick Allegretti, C Tyler Biadasz, TE Zach Ertz, S Jeremy Chinn, QB Marcus Mariota, K Brandon McManus, EDGE Clelin Ferrell, EDGE Dante Fowler Jr., LB Anthony Pittman, CB Noah Igbinoghene, CB Michael Davis
  • Key re-signings: WR Jamison Crowder, S Jeremy Reaves,  EDGE Efe Obada
  • Key losses: S Kamren Curl, QB Sam Howell, OT Charles Leno Jr., TE Logan Thomas, WR Curtis Samuel, CB Kendall Fuller, QB Jacoby Brissett, RB Antonio Gibson, LB Cody Barton, OT/G Saahdiq Charles, OT Cornelius Lucas, LB David Mayo, C Tyler Larsen, K Joey Slye, WR Byron Pringle

New GM Adam Peters is off and running in his first offseason in Washington to help defensive-minded new coach Dan Quinn and new offensive coordinator Kilff Kingsbury. Dorance Armstong, Frankie Luvu, Bobby Wagner, and Jeremy Chinn all will be key pieces in upgrading the defense in the post-Ron Rivera/Jack Del Rio era. Austin Ekeler, Zach Ertz, Nick Allegretti, and Tyler Biadasz will all start to help their new first-round franchise QB, who also will be supported by Marcus Mariota serving as a spread extension of Kingsbury. Depth for the pass rush and special teams also weren’t ignored after some key salary-saving moves. Getting two draft picks for Sam Howell was Peters’ coup de grace.

5. Tennessee Titans

Grade: A

  • Key additions: CB L’Jarius Sneed, WR Calvin Ridley, C Lloyd Cushenberry, RB Tony Pollard, CB Chidobe Awuzie, LB Kenneth Murray, QB Mason Rudolph, G/OT Saahdiq Charles
  • Key re-signings: K Nick Folk, WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine 
  • Key losses: RB Derrick Henry, QB Ryan Tannehill, LB Azeez Al-Shaair, DT Denico Autry, WR Chris Moore, S Terrell Edmunds, CB Kristian Fulton, OT Chris Hubbard, CB Sean Murphy-Bunting, OT Andre Dillard

While Sneed was a sound late addition to the defense via trade, the Titans are definitely remaking their offense into a pass-first attack with Brian Callahan and Nick Holz. Calvin Ridley provides a huge new weapon for Will Levis in Year 2 to go along with Deandre Hopkins and others. Tony Pollard adds to the open-field explosiveness of Tyjae Spears to help replace Henry. Lloyd Cushenberry is a nice inside pass-protection upgrade in front of Levis next to 2023 first-rounder Peter Skoronski. Mason Rudolph is now the better-suited backup. The defensive moves were just OK, but Tennessee needs to find out quickly if Levis is a true franchise QB. These moves further that objective.

MORE FREE AGENCY: Most overpaid players | Best bargains

6. Pittsburgh Steelers

Grade: A

  • Key additions: QB Russell Wilson, QB Justin Fields, LB Patrick Queen, CB Donte Jackson, S Deshon Elliott, P Cameron Johnston, WR Van Jefferson
  • Key re-signings: DT Montravius Adams, S Miles Killebrew, LS Christian Kuntz
  • Key losses: WR Diontae Johnson, QB Kenny Pickett, CB Patrick Peterson, QB Mason Rudolph, WR Allen Robinson, C Mason Cole, CB Levi Wallace, QB Mitchell Trubisky, DT Armon Watts, OT Chukwuma Okorafor, S Keanu Neal, CB Chandon Sullivan, P Pressley Harvin III, EDGE Markus Golden, LB Kwon Alexander, LB Blake Martinez

GM Omar Khan got a quick quarterback alternative to the disappointing Kenny Pickett, and it doesn’t get any cheaper than the veteran minimum for a potential Hall of Famer. Russell Wilson and Mike Tomlin should be a good mental fit together, and the defensive-minded coach might even be giddier about finally filling inside linebacker with a stud like Patrick Queen. With the offense transitioning to run-heavier with 12 personnel, it made sense to move Diontae Johnson and anoint George Pickens as the ideal No. 1 for Wilson’s big arm. The Steelers went a little out of character with a big QB move and a splurge on defense, and as usual, they will work the draft well to further their advantage. Getting Justin Fields, 25 for nothing late was a great contingency for Wilson, 35.

7. Green Bay Packers

Grade: A-

  • Key additions: RB Josh Jacobs, S Xavier McKinney
  • Key re-signings: RB AJ Dillon, CB Keisean Nixon, CB Corey Ballentine, TE Tyler Davis,
  • Key losses: RB Aaron Jones, OT David Bakhtiari, S Darnell Savage, G Jon Runyan, LB De’Vondre Campbell, S Jonathan Owens, OT Yosh Nijman, S Johnathan Ford, TE Josiah Deguara, LB Eric Wilson, CB Robert Rochell

The Packers knew they had to get younger at several positions, and safety needed a big upgrade. McKinney makes them much better there with Darnell Savage and Jonathan Owens leaving. Getting Josh Jacobs as the new workhorse to replace Aaron Jones made a lot of sense to support Jordan Love. They kept AJ Dillon in a backup role and made sure they didn’t lose the playmaking of Keisean Nixon. 

Josh Jacobs, Aaron Jones

8. Minnesota Vikings

Grade: A-

  • Key additions: EDGE Jonathan Greenard, RB Aaron Jones, EDGE Andrew Van Ginkel, LB Blake Cashman, QB Sam Darnold, DT Jerry Tillery, WR Trent Sherfield, K John Parker Romo, G Dan Feeney, DT Jonah Williams, CB Shaquill Griffin
  • Key re-signings: EDGE Jonathan Bullard, WR Brandon Powell
  • Key losses: QB Kirk Cousins, EDGE Danielle Hunter, LB Jordan Hicks, EDGE Marcus Davenport, EDGE D.J. Wonnum, K Greg Joseph, RB Alexander Mattison, DT Dean Lowry, QB Josh Dobbs, RB Cam Akers, OT Oli Udoh, WR K.J. Osborn

When a team loses a veteran starting quarterback and still grades above average, it’s doing something right. GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has had a plan to rebuild the roster around a younger, cheaper QB for offensive-minded Kevin O’Connell. As the Vikings turn the page with a franchise passer on a rookie first-round eal, they had the freedom to stock up defensively for Brian Flores, doing just fine to upgrade despite losing Danielle Hunter and Jordan Hicks. Aaron Jones is a big upgrade from Alexander Mattison. Now the team also has the resources needed to lock up Justin Jefferson and has Sam Darnold as a bridge for the new QB just in case.

9. Cincinnati Bengals

Grade: A-

  • Key additions: S Geno Stone, DT Sheldon Rankins, RB Zack Moss, TE Mike Gesicki, S Vonn Bell, OT Trent Brown
  • Key re-signings: WR Tee Higgins (franchise-tagged), LB Akeem Davis-Gaither, TE Drew Sample, TE Tanner Hudson
  • Key losses: RB Joe Mixon, DT D.J. Reader, CB Chidobe Awuzie, WR Tyler Boyd, OT Jonah Williams, TE Irv Smith Jr., S Nick Scott

The Bengals didn’t go nuts, but they filled needs well at safety and tight end with reasonable additions. Geno Stone and Vonn Bell can restore a bit of what they had in 2022. They also might have upgraded with a younger Zack Moss over Joe Mixon. They rebounded well replacing D.J. Reader with Sheldon Rankins, and they still have the option to keep Tee Higgins for one more year despite a trade request.

Saquon Barkley

10. Philadelphia Eagles

Grade: B+

  • Key additions: RB Saquon Barkley, EDGE Bryce Huff, LB Devin White, OLB Zach Baun, S C.J. Gardner-Johnson, C Matt Hennessy, QB Kenny Pickett, LB Oren Burks
  • Key re-signings: P Braden Mann, LS Rick Lovato
  • Key losses: RB D’Andre Swift, S Kevin Byard, QB Marcus Mariota, LB Nicholas Morrow, TE Jack Stoll, CB Avonte Maddox, RB Boston Scott, LB Zach Cunningham, LB Shaquille Leonard, RB Rashaad Penny, G Jack Driscoll, WR Quez Watkins, WR Olamide Zaccheaus

Saquon Barkley was a rare splurge at running back, but it was probably hard to pass the chance at getting such an explosive option for a high-floor rushing attack. Defensively, Bryce Huff adds to the pass-rush pop, while Devin White, Zach Baun, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson fill some key back-seven holes in need of experience. GM Howie Roseman already was prepared for long-time linemen Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox hanging it up with moves from the previous two offseasons. 

NFL DRAFT: Top 125 big board | Mock draft, post-combine edition

11. Cleveland Browns

Grade: B+

  • Key additions: WR Jerry Jeudy, LB Jordan Hicks, QB Jameis Winston, QB Tyler Huntley, DT Quinton Jefferson, LB Devin Bush, FB Giovanni Ricci, CB Tony Brown, RB Nyheim Hines
  • Key re-signings: EDGE Za’Darius Smith, DT Maurice Hurst, DT Shelby Harris, OT Michael Dunn, P Corey Bojorquez
  • Key losses: QB Joe Flacco, DT Jordan Elliott, LB Anthony Walker, LB Sione Takitaki, TE Harrison Bryant, RB Kareem Hunt, LB Jacob Phillips, OT Geron Christian, CB Michael Ford, C Nick Harris

The Browns, most important, were able to keep Za’Darius Smith and Maurice Hurst for their strong defensive front under Jim Schwartz. Losing supersub Joe Flacco hurts, but they got their new, younger backup in either Tyler Huntley or Jameis Winston. They also got a productive, savvy starter in Jordan Hicks and improved rotational depth with Queinton Jefferson.

12. Kansas City Chiefs

Grade: B+

  • Key additions: WR Marquise Brown, TE Irv Smith Jr.
  • Key re-signings: DT Chris Jones, LS James Winchester, DT Mike Pennel, S Deon Bush, EDGE Tershawn Wharton, DT Derrick Nnadi
  • Key losses: CB L’Jarius Sneed, EDGE Mike Danna, LB Willie Gay Jr., QB Blaine Gabbert, OT Donovan Smith, S Mike Edwards, RB Jerick McKinnon, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, G Nick Allegretti, P Tommy Townsend, WR Richie James, WR Mecole Hardman, TE Jody Forston, TE Blake Bell

Finding a way to lock up on Chris Jones and deciding what to do with L’Jarius Sneed  were the most essential pieces of business to chase a third consecutive Super Bowl ring with Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid. Jones was more essential up front and harder to replace than Seed, traded late to the Titans. Marquise Brown is the ideal field-stretcher to bring in with Mahomes to complement Travis Kelce and young slot receiver Rashee Rice. Irv Smith can provide Kelce with an intriguing, athletic backup if healthy. GM Brett Veach again understands where to save and find upgrades in the draft.

13. Los Angeles Rams

Grade: B+

  • Key additions: S Kamren Curl, G Jonah Jackson. QB Jimmy Garoppolo, CB Darious Williams, TE Colby Parkinson
  • Key re-signings: G Kevin Dotson
  • Key losses: C Coleman Shelton, QB Carson Wentz, C Brian Allen, S Jordan Fuller, CB Ahkello Witherspoon, S John Johnson, LB Troy Reeder, WR Austin Trammell, TE Brycen Hopkins, CB Duke Shelley, DT Jonah Williams

The Rams didn’t really do much here, but keeping Kevin Dotson and then getting Jonah Jackson to further beef up their offensive line was a lot to start. GM Les Snead then swept in and got the top safety on the market in the dynamic Kamren Curl. They might have overspent to bring Darious Williams back and definitely overspent to put Colby Parkinson behind Tyler Higbee.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Grade: B+

  • Key additions: S Jordan Whitehead, CB Bryce Hall, G Ben Bredeson, CB Tavierre Thomas
  • Key re-signings: QB Baker Mayfield, WR Mike Evans, LB Lavonte David, S Antoine Winfield Jr. (franchise-tagged), DT Greg Gaines, RB Chase Edmonds, OT Justin Skule, QB John Wolford
  • Key losses: LB Devin White, CB Carlton Davis, EDGE Shaquil Barrett, G Nick Leverett, DT William Gholston, G Matt Feiler, S Ryan Neal, OT Aaron Stinnie, CB Dee Delany, WR David Moore

GM Jason Licht took care of must-do business bringing back the key passing combination of Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans. The Bucs saw their Super Bowl defense under Todd Bowles continue to break up with the exception of stud Antoine Winfield Jr. and venerable Lavonte David, but they brought Jordan Whitehead back into the mix. They need to keep rebuilding the defense in key spots in the draft, but they should keep feeling good about the offense for new coordinator Liam Coen.

15. Baltimore Ravens

Grade: B

  • Key additions: RB Derrick Henry, LB Chris Board
  • Key re-signings: DT Justin Madubuike, QB Josh Johnson, EDGE Brent Urban, LB Malik Harrison
  • Key losses: LB Patrick Queen, WR Devin Duvernay, S Geno Stone, CB Ronald Darby, G John Simpson, LB Del’Shawn Phillips, WR Odell Beckham Jr., QB Tyler Huntley, RB Gus Edwards, RB JK Dobbins, EDGE Jadeveon Clowney, G Kevin Zeitler

The Ravens were bound to be careful with their spending outside of Justin Madubuike because of their history and drafting acumen under GM Eric DeCosta. Derrick Henry cleans up the backfield from Gus Edwards and JK Dobbins with the ideal power back to complement Lamar Jackson as a runner and passer. Patrick Queen and Geno Stone were difficult to keep given the investment in other key back-seven pieces. 

16. San Francisco 49ers

Grade: B

  • Key additions: EDGE Leonard Floyd, EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, QB Josh Dobbs, DT Jordan Elliott, DT Maliek Collins, LB De’Vondre Campbell, CB Issac Yiadom
  • Key re-signings: DT Kevin Givens, C/G Jon Feliciano, WR Chris Conley, QB Brandon Allen
  • Key losses: DT Arik Armstead, EDGE Chase Young, EDGE Randy Gregory, DT Javon Kinlaw, WR Ray-Ray McCloud, TE Charlie Woerner, G Matt Pryor, EDGE Clelin Ferrell, CB Isaiah Oliver, S Tashaun Gipson, LB Oren Burks, TE Ross Dwelley

The 49ers have seemed to be quiet, but rebooting the pass rush a bit around Nick Bosa was needed and they can get sneaky good returns from Loenard Floyd and Yetur Gross-Matos in their adjusted defensive line rotation. There’s also still a chance GM John Lynch can trade wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk for top draft compensation. For now, San Francisco keeps staying ahead of the inevitable salary issues caused by Brock Purdy’s future extension.

17. Indianapolis Colts

Grade: B

  • Key additions: QB Joe Flacco, DT Raekwon Davis
  • Key re-signings: WR Michael Pittman Jr., DT Grover Stewart, CB Kenny Moore, EDGE Tyquan Lewis, EDGE Genard Avery, S Ronnie Harrison, P Rigoberto Sanchez, RB Trey Sermon, DT Taven Bryan
  • Key losses: QB Gardner Minshew, RB Zack Moss, WR Isaiah McKenzie, S Julian Blackmon, LB Jake Martin, CB Tony Brown

The Colts weren’t expected to be aggressive, and they took care of their biggest in-house priorities with Stewart Moore returning to the defense along with some other key pieces. Raekwon Davis boosts their front, and Joe Flacco keeps giving them a strong veteran backup to Anthony Richardson minus Gardner Minshew.

18. Jacksonville Jaguars

Grade: B-

  • Key additions: DT Arik Armstead, WR Gabe Davis, C Mitch Morse, S Darnell Savage, QB Mac Jones, WR Devin Duvernay, CB Ronald Darby, K Joey Slye
  • Key re-signings: EDGE Josh Allen (francise tagged), RB D’Ernest Johnson
  • Key losses: WR Calvin Ridley, CB Darious Williams, S Rayshawn Jenkins, DT Foley Fatukasi, K Brandon McManus, WR Jamal Agnew, EDGE Dawuane Smoot, EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, G Tyler Shatley, CB Tre Herndon, CB Chris Claybrooks, QB Matt Barkley

The Jaguars did well with Arik Armstead and Mitch Morse to fill different interior line concerns. Trent Baalke gave Trevor Lawrence more speed around him with Gabriel Davis and Devin Duvernay arriving to help stretch the field. Darnell Savage and Ronald Darby are fine recoveries from losing Rayshawn Jenkins and Darious Williams. Mac Jones was worth the small trade to give Lawrence a developmental No. 2 with QB C.J. Beathard batting injury.

19. New York Giants

Grade: B-

  • Key additions: EDGE Brian Burns, G Jon Runyan, RB Devin Singletary, OT Jermaine Eluemenor, QB Drew Lock, WR Isaiah McKenzie, TE Jack Stoll, CB Jalen Mills, TE Chris Manhertz, OT Aaron Stinnie
  • Key re-signings: WR Gunner Olszewski, LB Carter Coughlin, 
  • Key losses: RB Saquon Barkley, S Xavier McKinney, DT A’Shawn Robinson, CB Adoree’ Jackson, G Mike Glowinski, WR Parris Campbell, DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches, RB Matt Breida, WR Sterling Shepard, WR Isaiah Hodgins, LB Jarrad Davis, OT Matt Peart. G Ben Bredeson

The Giants got aggressive with Joe Schoen in trading and then breaking the bank for Brian Burns to complement Kayvon Thibodeaux. They were smart not to force Saquon Barkley back and save plenty with Devin Singletary. Jon Runyan was a nice starting upgrade for the offensive line. Xavier McKinney leaving hurts, but they can find a good safety replacement in the draft.

20. Los Angeles Chargers

Grade: B-

  • Key additions: RB Gus Edwards, TE Will Dissly, DT Poona Ford, LB Denzel Perryman
  • Key re-signings: S Alohi Gilman, QB Easton Stick, C Bradley Bozeman
  • Key losses: WR Keenan Allen, WR Mike Williams, RB Austin Ekeler, LB Kenneth Murray, LB Eric Kendricks, CB Michael Davis, DT Austin Johnson, WR Jalen Guyton, TE Gerald Everett, LB Amen Ogbongbemiga, C Will Clapp, CB Essang Bassey, DT Nick Williams, TE Nick Vannett, WR Alex Erickson, RB Joshua Kelley, LB Tanner Muse

The Chargers had to trade Keenan Allen and cut Mike Williams for cap purposes, but they shouldn’t fret given they now won’t need to pay for diminishing returns for durability concerns.They already were set to move on from Austin Ekeler in the new power running offense of Greg Roman. Gus Edwards already fit that scheme from Baltimore, going coast to coast from John Harbaugh to Jim Harbaugh. Will Dissly is a suitable replacement for Gerald Everett. What’s not seen here is the fact the Chargers were able to keep edge rushers Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa with key contract restructures. Harbaugh and new GM Joe Hortiz are on track cleaning up everything from the end of the Tom Telesco tenure.

Christian Wilkins

21. Las Vegas Raiders

Grade: C+

  • Key additions: DT Christian Wilkins, QB Gardner Minshew, TE Harrison Bryant, RB Alexander Mattison
  • Key re-signings: DT Adam Butler
  • Key losses: RB Josh Jacobs, CB Amik Robertson, QB Jimmy Garoppolo, WR Hunter Renfrow, DT Bilal Nichols, OT Jermaine Eluemunor, TE Austin Hooper, DT Jerry Tillery, QB Brian Hoyer, OT Brandon Parker, WR Deandre Carter, G Greg Van Roten, DT John Jenkins, TE Jesper Horsted

New GM Tom Telesco made his patented aggressive, defensive-minded moved in landing Christian Wilkins as the ideal inside complement to Maxx Crosby. Vegas is also rebooting a lot of other positions for the first full year under Antonio Pierce, including at running back without Josh Jacobs. Gardner Minshew and Harrison Bryant are mild upgrades from Jimmy Garoppolo and Austin Hooper. 

22. Arizona Cardinals

Grade: C

  • Key additions: OT Jonah Williams, DT Justin Jones, DT Bilal Nichols, CB Sean Murphy-Bunting, LB Mack Wilson, RB Deejay Dallas, QB Desmond Ridder, WR Chris Moore, G Evan Brown
  • Key re-signings: LS Aaron Brewer, LB Krys Barnes, G Elijah Wilkinson
  • Key losses: WR Marquise Brown, OT D.J. Humphries, DT Leki Fotu, WR Rondale Moore

The Cardinals worked a little on getting defensive depth for Jonathan Gannon and replaced D.J. Humphries with Jonah Williams for the offensive line. Arizona’s bigger offseason impact will come in the draft, starting with two first-rounders. Rondale Moore wasn’t helping much, so it made sense to get a better backup for Kyler Murray in Desmond Ridder. GM Monti Ossenfort keeps working on a youth-fueled rebuild to keep pushing the team away from its previous aging roster.

23. Miami Dolphins

Grade: C

  • Key additions: LB Jordyn Brooks, C Aaron Brewer, CB Kendall Fuller, TE Jonnu Smith, DT Neville Gallimore, S Jordan Poyer, EDGE Shaquil Barrett, LB Anthony Walker, DT Benito Jones, S Siran Neal, DT Jonathan Harris, G Jack Driscoll
  • Key re-signings: RB Salvon Ahmed, WR Braxton Berrios, OT Isaiah Wynn
  • Key losses: CB Xavien Howard, EDGE Emmanuel Ogbah, G Robert Hunt, DT Christian Wilkins, C Connor Williams, EDGE Andrew Van Ginkel, DT Raekwon Davis, S Brandon Jones, WR Cedrick Wilson, S Deshon Elliott, LB Jerome Baker, CB Eli Apple, WR Chase Claypool, TE Tyler Kraft, WR River Cracraft

Given the Dolphins’ moves were wholesale through their cap trouble, it’s hard to keep up with whether their many comings in free agency outweighed their significant goings. Replacing Xavien Howard with Kendall Fuller was easily the best move. Then they took shots with quantity after losing so much quality, especially defensively in Christian Wilkins and Andrew Van Ginkel. The offense got limited help through the overall dealings, landing just Aaron Brewer and Jonnu Smith.

24. Seattle Seahawks

Grade: C

  • Key additions: LB Tyrel Dodson, S Rayshawn Jenkins, QB Sam Howell, OT George Fant, TE Pharaoh Brown, C Nick Harris, LB Jerome Baker, DT Johnathan Hankins
  • Key re-signings: DT Leonard Williams, TE Noah Fant, CB Artie Burns
  • Key losses: LB Jordyn Brooks, LB Bobby Wagner, G Damien Lewis, S Jamal Adams, S Quandre Diggs, LB Devin Bush, QB Drew Lock, TE Colby Parkinson, TE Will Dissly, RB Deejay Dallas, G Phil Haynes, G Evan Brown, EDGE Mario Edwards, DT Bryan Mone

The Seahawks had to go after Tyrel Dodson and Rayshawn Jenkins given how much they needed to refill their cup at linebacker and safety, respectively, for new defensive-minded coach Mike Macdonald. They will hope for bigger things from Leonard Williams up front, too. The tight end moves signal they will go back to spreaing the field with their talented wide receivers. They say Sam Howell won’t compete with Geno Smith, which makes sense, but giving up two draft picks for that kind of backup doesn’t.

25. Chicago Bears

Grade: C

  • Key additions: RB D’Andre Swift, WR Keenan Allen, S Kevin Byard, TE Gerald Everett, G Matt Pryor, S Jonathan Owens, LB Amen Ogbongbemiga, LB Jake Martin
  • Key re-signings: CB Jaylon Johnson
  • Key losses: WR Darnell Mooney, DT Justin Jones, S Eddie Jackson, QB Nathan Peterman, RB D’Onta Foreman, EDGE Yannick Ngakoue, G Cody Whitehair, G Lucas Patrick, TE Robert Tonyan, G Dan Feeney TE Marcedes Lewis, WR Equanimeous St. Brown, QB Nathan Peterman

The Bears were quick to land D’Andre Swift but they probably overpaid given they had some potential assets in the backfield. They swooped in with a surprise trade for Keenan Allen, an expensive move money-wise after giving up a fourth-rounder for an aging, injury-prone player with just one year left on his deal. Kevin Byard was the best get for GM Ryan Poles, but he might not have too much left replacing Eddie Jackson, and Jonathan Owens was shaky for the rival Packers last season. Gerald Everett just adds depth behind Cole Kmet to replace Robert Tonyan. Chicago also wasn’t able to trade Justin Fields for good value, so it can still load up in the draft given it’s already-considerable draft capital that includes the No. 1 (Caleb Williams) and No. 9 overall picks. 

26. New York Jets

Grade: C

  • Key additions: OT Tyron Smith, QB Tyrod Taylor, DT Javon Kinlaw, G John Simpson, CB Isaiah Oliver, DT Leki Fotu, WR Mike Williams
  • Key re-signings: P Thomas Morstead, EDGE Solomon Thomas
  • Key losses: EDGE Bryce Huff, S Jordan Whitehead, DT Quinton Jefferson, EDGE Carl Lawson, G Laken Tomlinson, OT Mekhi Becton, OT Duane Brown, TE C.J. Uzomah, WR Randall Cobb, S Ashtyn Davis, QB Trevor Siemian, G Billy Turner, CB Bryce Hall

The Jets made their splash last year, only to keep thinking about what could have been after prized acquisition Aaron Rodgers went down with a torn Achilles’ in the first game. They are more reserved with GM Joe Douglas this year with fewer resources. At least the only real tough hit was Bryce Huff. They also got Tyrod Taylor to make sure the backup QB mess doesn’t happen again. Javon Kinlaw is a total dart throw to see if a reunion with Robert Saleh can save the first-rounder. The late key is whether the former Cowboys stalwart Smith has much left at age 33.

27. New England Patriots

Grade: C

  • Key additions: RB Antonio Gibson, QB Jacoby Brissett, LB Sione Takitaki, TE Austin Hooper, G Nick Leverett, OT Chukwuma Okorafor, DT Armon Watts, WR K.J. Osborn
  • Key re-signings: S Kyle Dugger (transition-tagged), OT Mike Onwenu, EDGE Josh Uche, EDGE Anfernee Jennings, WR Jalen Reagor
  • Key losses: QB Mac Jones, CB J.C. Jackson, TE Mike Gesicki, WR DeVante Parker, OT Trent Brown, RB Ezekiel Elliott, C James Ferentz, S Adrian Phillips, DT Lawrence Guy, CB Myles Bryant, LB Chris Board, CB Jalen Mills, TE Pharaoh Brown, LB Mack Wilson

The Patriots’ so-so grade under new GM Eliot Wolf is tied to the fact they did bring back key free agents Dugger, Onwenu, and Uche. It would be much worse without those moves, as they cleaned plenty from the end of the Bill Belclichick era and then went for interesting, limited-impact volume moves in their additions. They also lost out on their bid to sign Calvin Ridley as their new No. 1 receiver. Much of this offseason hinges then on landing the right first-round franchise QB after whiffing on and eventually trading Mac Jones.

Diontae Johnson

28. Carolina Panthers

Grade: C-

  • Key additions: WR Diontae Johnson, G Robert Hunt, G Damien Lewis, LB Josey Jewell, CB Dane Jackson, DT A’Shawn Robinson, EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, S Jordan Fuller, OT Yosh Nijman, WR David Moore
  • Key re-signings: WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette
  • Key losses: LB Frankie Luvu, S Jeremy Chinn, EDGE Brian Burns, CB Donte Jackson, EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, S Vonn Bell, FB Giovanni Ricci, TE Hayden Hurst, C Bradley Bozeman, CB C.J. Henderson, WR D.J. Chark, CB Shaquill Griffin, DT Marquis Haynes, WR Laviska Shenault

New GM Dan Morgan did well to invest in the offensive line, but the Panthers may have overspent badly for two interior blockers to help Bryce Young. Diontae Johnson gives Young a key weapon, but there’s a lot more work to do and he might not be a true No. 1. They took some massive defensive hits with Frankie Luvu, Jeremy Chinn, Brian Burns, Donte Jackson, and Yuter Gross-Matos, and they didn’t come close to compensating with Josey Jewell, Dane Jackson, and A’Shawn Robinson. For not having a first-round draft pick, the Panthers needed to come out better in their rebuild spending for new coach Dave Canales.

29. Buffalo Bills

Grade: C-

  • Key additions: WR Curtis Samuel, QB Mitchell Trubisky, WR Mack Hollins, LB Nicholas Morrow
  • Key re-signings: DT DaQuan Jones, EDGE A.J. Epenesa, RB Ty Johnson, CB Cam Lewis
  • Key losses: WR Gabe Davis, C Mitch Morse, RB Nyheim Hines, S Micah Hyde, S Jordan Poyer, CB Dane Jackson, EDGE Leonard Floyd, S Siran Neal, LB Tyrel Dodson, QB Kyle Allen, RB Damien Harris, EDGE Shaq Lawson, WR Trent Sherfield, DT Jordan Phillips, WR Deonte Harty, RB Latavius Murray, DT Tim Settle, LB Tyler Matakevich, DT Poona Ford

The Bills were facing salary-cap hell, and GM Brandon Beane had to accept there would be major hits on both sides of the ball. Interior offensive line and the secondary will need to be addressed well in the draft. The Bills also will need to replenish their depth at large. When getting Mitchell Trubisky back is your best move, it doesn’t help in the landscape of AFC contenders. Curtis Samuel is a different type of receiver than field-stretcher Gabe Davis, more in line with what they already have to complement Stefon Diggs.

30. New Orleans Saints

Grade: D

  • Key additions: LB Willie Gay Jr., QB Nathan Peterman, WR Cedrick Wilson, EDGE Chase Young, OT Oli Udoh
  • Key re-signings: S Ugo Amadi
  • Key losses: WR Michael Thomas, G Andrus Peat, S Marcus Maye, QB Jameis Winston, CB Lonnie Johnson, LB Zack Baun, EDGE Malcolm Roach, G Trai Turner, CB Isaac Yiadom, OT Cameron Erving, G Max Garcia, TE Jimmy Graham

The Saints weren’t likely to do much with their cap situation, making Willie Gay Jr. their only notable pickup before taking a shot on Young. This doesn’t look good at all given how active the Falcons, Buccaneers, and Panthers all were in the division.

31. Dallas Cowboys

Grade: D

  • Key additions: LB Eric Kendricks
  • Key re-signings: CB Jourdan Lewis, LS Trent Sieg, CB C.J. Goodwin
  • Key losses: RB Tony Pollard, OT Tyron Smith, DE Dorance Armstrong, WR Michael Gallup, LB Leighton Vander Esch, DT Neville Gallimore, C Tyler Biadasz,  CB Stephon Gilmore, S Jayron Kearse, DT Johnathan Hankins, OT Chuma Edoga, EDGE Dante Fowler Jr., CB Noah Igbinoghene

The Cowboys knew they were cap-strapped and couldn’t do much to improve. They also didn’t retain much with their offensive line, running back room, defensive line, and secondary all taking big hits. Kendricks is a solid addition, but he’s not a needle mover, especially given how active other teams in the NFC East were, including old friend Dan Quinn and the Commanders plucking three players.

32. Denver Broncos 

Grade: D-

  • Key additions: S Brandon Jones, EDGE Malcolm Roach, LB Cody Barton
  • Key re-signings: K Wil Lutz, TE Adam Trautman, WR Lil’jordan Humphrey
  • Key losses: QB Russell Wilson, C Lloyd Cushenberry, S Justin Simmons, WR Jerry Jeudy, LB Josey Jewell, EDGE Mike Purcell, CB K’Waun Williams, TE Chris Manhertz, OT Cameron Fleming, CB Fabian Moreau, FB Michael Burton, DT Jonatan Harris

The Russell Wilson disaster and sucking up all that dead money would have put Denver down near the bottom of the league regardless. The resulting financial conundrum confirmed that. They were stuck releasing Justin Simmons without any return. Lloyd Cushenberry and Josey Jewell ripped further into the middle on both sides of the ball. On top of everything else, the Broncos didn’t land a better bridge option than Jarrett Stidham, likely forcing them into using their first-rounder on a QB.

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