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NFL Offseason winners and losers… so far!

With the NFL Draft fast approaching, the 32 teams across the league still have much work to do as they build their rosters for the 2024 campaign. There has already been a lot of movement ahead of the biggest event of the offseason and here are some winners and losers for the month of March.


Atlanta Falcons

For the Falcons, this offseason was primarily about finding a quarterback to steer the ship after Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke crashed it against the shores time and again in 2023. They now have a proven 4,000-yards-per-season Pro Bowl quarterback in Kirk Cousins, who was tempted away from the Minnesota Vikings after hitting the open market for the third time in his lucrative career. There are, of course, going to be some concerns about a 36-year-old passer coming off a torn Achilles, but Cousins is a proven commodity and you could see how important he was to the Vikings when he was no longer in the lineup last season. Cousins should bring out the best in receiver Drake London and finally awaken tight end Kyle Pitts. Add in Bijan Robinson at running back and new receiver additions in Darnell Mooney and Rondale Moore and the Falcons are looking like a playoff contender. Now the upcoming NFL Draft needs to provide defensive difference-makers.

Chicago Bears

Much of Chicago's offseason success will centre on what they do with the first and ninth overall picks in the NFL Draft. They have traded away Justin Fields and are widely expected to take USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the top selection at the end of April. But they have made moves to put much more weaponry around Williams compared to what Fields was working with. Running back D'Andre Swift is coming off a career year with the Philadelphia Eagles and still has plenty of tread on his tyres at the age of 25. Keenan Allen is longer in the tooth as he turns 32 later this month, but he shows no signs of slowing down. He caught 108 passes for 1,243 yards and seven touchdowns in 2023 on his way to a sixth Pro Bowl appearance. The Bears already have Khalil Herbert in the backfield, DJ Moore at receiver and Cole Kmet at tight end. The additions of Swift and Allen have laid the table nicely ahead of the arrival of Williams.

Green Bay Packers

The move away from Aaron Jones in favour of Josh Jacobs at running back surprised many, including some inside Green Bay's own building. But the 26-year-old former NFL rushing champion from the Las Vegas Raiders will form an intriguing backfield partnership with the re-signed AJ Dillon. And it's clear that Green Bay are intent on putting young talent around Jordan Love at quarterback. The Packers didn't do masses of free agency business, but what they did was important. They re-signed All-Pro kick returner Keisean Nixon and added at a great area of need by bringing on board former New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney.

Houston Texans

The Texans were in a good position heading into the offseason with plenty of salary cap room, an inspirational head coach in DeMeco Ryans and a superstar-in-the-making quarterback in CJ Stroud. They started out re-signing their own and brought back wide receiver Noah Brown, tight end Dalton Schultz and kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn. They swung a trade for Joe Mixon and even though the Pro Bowl running back turns 28 in July, he has gas left in the tank after completing the fourth 1,000-yard season of his career in 2023. The head-turning moves came on defense. Danielle Hunter is a four-time Pro Bowl edge rusher who registered 16 ½ sacks with Minnesota in 2023. Teaming him with second-year starlet Will Anderson will be spicy. And Denico Autry will bring the pressure up the middle. Autry is coming off a three-season stint with the Titans in which he recorded 28 ½ sacks. Linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair has played for Ryans in San Francisco and he was a beast in Tennessee last season, recording 163 tackles.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs didn't exactly make a splash in terms of new additions, but they reminded us of the importance of re-signings during an offseason. The first order of business was to keep quarterback Baker Mayfield in the building after he threw for a career-high 4,044 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2023. The quarterback who earned $4 million last year parlayed that good showing into a three-year deal worth $110 million. Mike Evans was also brought back at receiver and while he turns 31 in August, he has plenty to offer having opened his NFL career with 10 straight 1,000-yard seasons and having scored a career-high 13 touchdowns in 2023. Safety Antoine Winfield was protected via the franchise tag, linebacker Lavonte David was re-signed and safety Jordan Whitehead returned to Tampa Bay after a two-year stint with the Jets. Add in the re-signing of kicker Chase McLaughlin and it's been a good month or so for the Bucs.


Arizona Cardinals

Despite entering free agency with the fifth-most money to spend of any NFL team, the Arizona Cardinals were relatively inactive. They have barely improved their playoff chances with the additions of tackle Jonah Williams, defensive tackle Justin Jones and cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting. Rondale Moore and Marquise 'Hollywood' Brown have departed to leave a wafer-thin wide receiver room. The good news for the Cardinals is that they have picks four and 27 in the first round of the upcoming Draft. That fourth pick will be key. Arizona can either add a blue-chip receiver like Marvin Harrison Jr. or trade down with a quarterback-hungry team and acquire more selections to fill needs across the board. How they play the NFL Draft will ultimately determine if this offseason is a true success or failure for the Cards.

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore headed into free agency with 23 players hitting the open market and it was always going to be hard to keep them all. The losses were plentiful and spread across the roster. The Ravens have parted ways with three starting offensive linemen in Morgan Moses, Kevin Zeitler and John Simpson, as well as running back Gus Edwards, linebacker Patrick Queen, cornerback Ronald Darby and safety Geno Stone. Odell Beckham Jr. will be a post-June 1 cut from the team. It's been a tough few weeks for the Ravens, but they did mitigate their losses to some degree by signing star defensive tackle Justin Madubuike to a new contract and adding a running back who seems perfect for their attack in All-Pro Derrick Henry.

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo's Super Bowl window is not closed, but it's also not very wide open! Their financial troubles were real and the Bills were forced to cut safety Jordan Poyer, cornerback Tre'Davious White and center Mitch Morse. Pro Bowl safety Micah Hyde could also be on his way out. There were some key re-signings on both lines in tackle Dion Dawkins and defenders AJ Epenesa and Da'Quan Jones, but Leonard Floyd is gone as a game-changing edge rusher and wide receiver Gabe Davis is now in Jacksonville. Will Curtis Samuel be enough to keep the wide receiver room competitive or is that an area that must be addressed in the NFL Draft?

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers made some good additions in the past month, bringing on board some much-needed offensive line help for Bryce Young in the form of guards Robert Hunt (Miami) and Damien Lewis (Seattle). They also added wide receiver Diontae Johnson and edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney. But trading edge rusher Brian Burns to the New York Giants for a second-round pick in 2024 and a fifth-round choice in 2025 made no sense to me, especially when the Los Angeles Rams were offering two first-round picks just 16 months earlier. The Panthers have given away quite a lot of talent in recent years in Burns, wide receiver DJ Moore and running back Christian McCaffrey, who also didn't command a first-round choice.

Dallas Cowboys

There are lots of examples to suggest that spending big in free agency is not always the way to go. But the reason Dallas' inactivity is so disappointing is because owner Jerry Jones said they were going to be "all in" when it came to building a contender this offseason. Signing running back Rico Dowdle, linebacker Eric Kendricks, cornerback Jourdan Lewis, long snapper Trent Sieg and then using your regular allocation of Draft picks hardly constitutes going for it! Dallas have no obvious starter at running back, look thin at receiver outside of CeeDee Lamb and center Tyler Biadasz, defensive end Dorance Armstrong, defensive end Dante Fowler and cornerback Noah Igbinoghene opted to join Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn at the Washington Commanders.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins were hard up against the salary cap as free agency opened and it meant that they could not compete financially as the Las Vegas Raiders stole away the jewel in their defensive crown in tackle Christian Wilkins. Miami were also forced to move on from four additional key contributors, cutting cornerback Xavien Howard and putting up no resistance when Hunt, edge rusher Andrew Van Ginkel and linebacker Jerome Baker went to pastures new. The Dolphins are banking on lower-budget signings such as edge rusher Shaq Barrett, linebacker Jordyn Brooks, cornerback Kendall Fuller and safety Jordan Poyer being enough to keep the defense afloat.