You’re going to blink, and the NFL season will be here before you know it. Lots of big-name players were on the move this offseason so it’s only fair that we grade the teams and judge who had the best signings. Let’s dive into the 2023 AFC free agent class.
Baltimore Ravens: B-
Things worked out pretty well for Baltimore as they were able to sign Lamar Jackson after all the drama surrounding his contract and even loaded up with wide receiver talent as they brought in Odell Beckham Jr. They did lose out on some of their own guys like OL Ben Powers and DE Calais Campbell.
Buffalo Bills: C
The Bills certainly brought in new talent like RB Damien Harris and OL Connor McGovern, but I can’t overlook the losses of LB Tremaine Edmunds, WR Isaiah McKenzie, and OL Rodger Saffold. They parted ways with RB Devin Singletary which might have been the right move but is still tricky.
Cincinnati Bengals: C-
There was just one positive move made for the Bengals which was bringing in All-Pro offensive lineman Orlando Brown Jr. That is a major upgrade, but they lost both starting safeties in a conference where quarterbacks rule and they lost TE Hayden Hurst.
Cleveland Browns: A
It was a huge offseason for Cleveland as they loaded up with great depth players in DT Dalvin Tomlinson, DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, S Juan Thornhill, and receivers Elijah Moore and Marquise Goodwin. The best part is they hardly lost anyone so they should be an improved team this season.
Denver Broncos: C-
The trade for Sean Payton likely distracted Broncos fans from a poor free agent showing from their team as they lost a starting offensive lineman and replaced him with a very overpaid Mike McGlinchey who is mistake-prone and at times, a walking whistle.
Houston Texans: A-
The power of a head coach is strong as the Texans hired DeMeco Ryans and immediately added some great free agents. Dalton Schultz is a favorite of mine at the tight end position. They grabbed DT Sheldon Rankins to lock down the run and brought in playmakers in WR Robert Woods and RB Devin Singletary. They also added OG Shaq Mason and S Jimmie Ward will help shore up the secondary.
Indianapolis Colts: C
It was a very average offseason in the free agency space for Indy who brings in QB Gardner Minshew to compete with first rounder Anthony Richardson. Losing WR Parris Campbell and CB Stephon Gilmore wasn’t ideal for the Colts.
Jacksonville Jaguars: C
Pretty much a wash for Jacksonville who added RB D’Ernest Johnson and OT Josh Wells but also lost OT Jawaan Taylor and WR Marvin Jones Jr.
Kansas City Chiefs: C-
The Chiefs lost a lot of big names this offseason like OT Orlando Brown Jr., WR Juju Smith-Schuster, S Juan Thornhill, DE Frank Clark, and OT Andrew Wylie. They went to work to try and patch the pieces with WR Richie James, CB Mike Edwards, and OL Jawaan Taylor.
Las Vegas Raiders: B
The Raiders were the first team to make a splashy quarterback move, bringing in Jimmy Garoppolo and moving on from Derek Carr. There are concerns about Jimmy G’s health which is something to watch. Adding WR Jakobi Meyers is a nice under the radar move while franchise tagging Josh Jacobs keeps the NFL’s leading rusher around.
Los Angeles Chargers: C
The Chargers were another wash. They retained most of their important free agents while adding LB Eric Kendricks. The biggest move was bringing in offensive coordinator Kellen Moore from the Dallas Cowboys.
Miami Dolphins: B
The Fins were busy, adding former All Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey who they hope still has some prime years in him. They also added depth at wide receiver with Braxton Berrios and Chosen Anderson, formerly known as Robbie Anderson. The loss of LB Elandon Roberts could be big.
New England Patriots: B+
The Pats were busy adding playmakers this offseason, bringing in WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and TE Mike Gesicki. They also addedto their Oline with Riley Reiff and Calvin Anderson. They did lose guys like WR Jakobi Meyers, RB Damien Harris and TE Jonnu Smith who seemed to be underutilized anyways.
New York Jets: B
Let’s set aside the Aaron Rodgers addition considering that was a trade. They basically just added some of his former Packers teammates including receivers Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb. They also added WR Mecole Hardman.
Pittsburgh Steelers: B
The biggest applause I can give the Steelers is upgrading their offensive line for Kenny Pickett which is something far too many teams overlook with young quarterbacks. They grabbed guards Isaac Seumalo and Nate Herbig which will serve as a major upgrade from last year.
Tennessee Titans: D
I wasn’t a huge fan of this free agency plan as the Titans lost longtime guys OT Taylor Lewan, OG Nate Davis, LB David Long Jr. and DE DeMarcus Walker. However, since they came into the offseason more than $24 million over the salary cap, they didn’t have a lot of options.