With the NFL season right around the corner, we’re sure football bettors need a refresher on the comings and goings of the NFL offseason.
So what were the most important additions and losses for each team this offseason? In this article, we recap the high-impact player movement in the NFC this offseason and get you ready to bet on football and win in 2022.
Los Angeles Ram
Key Additions:: WR Allen Robinson II, LB Bobby Wagner
Key Losses: Edge Von Miller, LT Andrew Whitworth (retired), G Austin Corbett, DL Sebastian Joseph-Day
Keeping the band together after a super bowl victory is always difficult, so it’s not surprising that the defending champs sustained a few key losses this offseason. Von Miller signed a massive deal with the Buffalo Bills, and stalwart left tackle Andrew Whitworth retired. LA resigned swing tackle Joe Noteboom, who played well spot starts, to replace Whitworth.
The Rams also lost a few solid starters in guard Austin Corbett, corner Darious Williams, and defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day, but their program emphasizes drafting and developing replacement-level players in the mid-rounds. Bringing in receiver Allen Robinson to play opposite Cooper Kupp was the highlight of their offseason. Coming off major injuries, LA traded receiver Robert Woods to the Titans, and Odell Beckham Jr. remains a free agent.
Photo by Jeffrey Beall
Key Additions: WR Hollywood Brown, TE Trey McBride (draft)
Key Losses: DE Chandler Jones, WR Christian Kirk, RB Chase Edmunds
Cardinals GM Steve Keim continues to make us scratch our heads. He shelled out questionable contracts to retain Zach Ertz and James Conner while doing nothing to upgrade their mediocre offensive line. After resigning Ertz for more than $10 million annually, they used their first draft pick on…a tight end. Chandler Jones, their best pass rusher, left to join the Raiders, and while Arizona did respond by drafting a few edge rushers, it’s reasonable to expect a decline in pass rush production.
Arizona handed QB Kyler Murray a mega-deal (with a peculiar clause) and traded for his college running mate Hollywood Brown, but they will open the year without their two best receivers from last season. Deandre Hopkins is suspended for the first six games of 2022, and Christian Kirk is now a Jaguar.
San Francisco 49ers
Key Additions: CB Charvarius Ward
Key Losses: G Laken Tomlinson, DL D.J. Jones
For the Niners, nothing is more important than the transition from Jimmy G to Trey Lance at quarterback. The signing of cornerback Charvarius Ward from the Chiefs highlights an otherwise unspectacular offseason for San Francisco. Ward fills a definitive need in a corner room that was dangerously thin at times last year and featured an unseemly number of Josh Norman snaps. With guard Laken Tomlinson off to the Jets, the offensive line is an under-the-radar concern heading into the season. The Niners let productive defensive linemen D.J Jones and Arden Key walk, but they seem to march out productive linemen every year no matter what.
Key Additions: TE Noah Fant, DT Shelby Harris, OT Charles Cross (draft)
Key Losses: QB Russell Wilson, LB Bobby Wagner, CB D.J. Reed
The Russell Wilson era is over in Seattle, and enter..the Drew Lock era? No, seriously. Drew Lock will have every opportunity to grab the starting quarterback position in a training camp competition with Geno Smith. With amongst the worst quarterback situations in the league, the Seahawks are in full rebuild mode.
Seattle retained running back Rashaad Penny after his late-season breakout, and added Kenneth Walker to the backfield in the second round, perhaps anticipating Chris Carson’s recent retirement. Shelby Harris (part of the Wilson trade) and DE Nwosu, who arrives from the Chargers, should bolster an anemic pass rush. With promising changes to the defensive coaching staff, Seattle is poised to improve on that side of the ball (silver linings). First-rounder Charles Cross should step into the gaping chasm at left tackle as a day one starter.
Key Additions: Edge Za’Darius Smith, DL Harrison Phillips, S Lewis Cine (draft)
Key Losses: TE Tyler Conklin, DT Michael Pierce
The Vikings have a new analytics-minded GM, and the defense-oriented curmudgeon, Mike Zimmer, was replaced with the young, energetic Kevin O’Connell as head coach. Minnesota resigned quarterback Kirk Cousins to a two-year deal and made a splash when they signed edge rusher Za’Darius Smith from the Packers to play opposite Danielle Hunter. They also aggressively addressed their porous secondary in the draft, grabbing Georgia safety Lewis Cine at the end of the first round, then trading up in the second round for Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth.
Key Additions: WR Byron Pringle, G Lucas Patrick
Key Losses: Edge Khalil Mack, G James Daniels, WR Allen Robinson II, DT Akiem Hicks & Eddie Goldman
Like the Vikings, the Bears have a new GM and a new head coach, and they are blowing things up in Chicago. They traded Khalil Mack to the Chargers, and defensive linemen Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks have both moved on – the talent up front that made the defense elite a few years ago is all gone. It’s been a rocky first off-season for GM Ryan Poles, who comes in highly regarded from the Chiefs front office.
He elected to throw unproven bodies at problem spots at wide receiver and offensive line rather than make strong investments to support second-year QB Justin Fields. The offensive line was bad last year and will be problematic again this year. Chicago used two top fifty picks on defensive backs who will have to shoulder a heavy load in year one.
Key Additions: DE Aidan Hutchinson (draft), WR D.J. Chark
Key Losses: None
The first year and a half of the Lions’ rebuild has been promising. This offseason they prioritized resigning their free agents like safety Tracy Walker and DE Charles Harris. A one-year deal for former Jaguar receiver DJ Chark was Detroit’s only notable foray into free agency. The headliners of their offseason come from the draft, where they picked up defensive end Aidan Hutchinson second overall and then traded up twenty spots in the first round to grab Alabama burner, Jameson Williams.
Green Bay Packers
Key Additions: WR Christian Watson (draft)
Key Losses: WR Davante Adams, Edge Za’Darius Smith
The Packers are never active in free agency as a matter of organizational philosophy; however, they did retain Aaron Rodgers and LB Devondre Campbell on sizable deals. The offseason bombshell was trading away All-Pro receiver Davante Adams, who wanted to reunite with his college teammate David Carr in Vegas. Green Bay used their additional draft capital to plug holes in the defense and to move up in the second round to grab receiver Christian Watson. All eyes will be on the Packers’ patchwork receiver group early in the season, but the defense is poised to be among the league’s best.
Photo by All-Pro Reels
Tampa Bay Bucs
Key Additions: WR Russell Gage, G Shaq Mason
Key Losses: Key Losses: Ali Marpet, OG (retired), Rob Gronkowski, TE (retired), DE Jason Pierre-Paul, S Jordan Whitehead
The Bucs’ future looked seriously murky after Tom Brady announced his retirement, but when he changed his mind, it triggered a flurry of moves to keep much of their super bowl core intact. Tampa retained cornerback Carlton Davis, receiver Chris Godwin, and center Ryan Jensen on new deals. Russell Gage is an under-the-radar addition as a third receiver. The Bucs let a few veteran defensive linemen (Suh, JPP) leave via free agency but added Akiem Hicks from the Bears. Todd Bowles replaced the retired Bruce Arians as head coach and should set a different tone for Tampa in 2022.
Key Additions: G Austin Corbett, QB Baker Mayfield, OT Ikem Ekwonu
Key Losses: LB Haason Reddick
2022 could be a make-or-break year for Panthers head coach Matt Rhule. They deserve ridicule for their handling of the quarterback position, and that may ultimately be their undoing, but Carolina quietly addressed urgent needs on the offensive line, which was one of the worst in the league a year ago.
Austin Corbett comes over from the Rams to solidify one guard spot, and tackle Ikem Ekwonu fortuitously slid to them at six overall in the draft. Rhule wants to run the ball, and Ekwonu was the top run-blocker in the draft. The rookie steps in as a day one starter at left tackle, and even if he is just functional there, he upgrades the entire line instantly. Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold will compete for the starting position – a competition we’d like to think Mayfield will win.
Photo by Erik Drost
New Orleans Saints
Key Additions: S Tyrann Mathieu, S Marcus Maye, WR Chris Olave (draft)
Key Losses: LT Terron Armstead, S Marcus Williams
The Saints promoted Dennis Allen to head coach after being one of the top defensive coordinators in the league for the last several years. He offers New Orleans cultural continuity as he steps into Sean Payton’s big shoes. Jameis Winston returns as the starter coming off a torn ACL.
The Saints addressed their biggest need at wideout by trading up for Chris Olave and signing Jarvis Landry. Olave projects as an NFL-ready route runner who should contribute in year one. The most costly casualty of the Saints’ cap woes was stalwart left tackle, Terron Armstead. While they drafted Trevor Penning in the first round, there will be a learning curve for FCS product if he’s the day one starter on the left side. New Orleans also lost top safety Marcus Williams to the Ravens but did well to sign Maye and Mathieu to replace him.
Key Additions: QB Marcus Mariota, WR Drake London (draft), QB Desmond Ridder (draft)
Key Losses: QB Matt Ryan
The Falcons are a top candidate to secure the first overall pick in 2023 after trading away Matt Ryan this offseason. With very few building block pieces outside of tight end Kyle Pitts, cornerback A.J Terrell, and left tackle Jake Matthews, Atlanta is in full rebuild mode. Casey Hayward coming over from Vegas solidifies the cornerback room. Quarterback Marcus Mariota reunites with former Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith and should be a fine steward at the position in the short term. However, we wouldn’t be stunned if rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder took the job from him early in the year.
Key Additions: QB Carson Wentz, WR Jahan Dotson (draft)
Key Losses: G Brandon Scherff, DL Matt Ioannidis
The Commanders moved aggressively to acquire Carson Wentz this offseason, even though Indianapolis was eager to move on from the QB just a year after trading a first-round pick for him. Wentz had no answers down the stretch for the Colts when they needed him most. He’s an upgrade over Taylor Heinicke but we’re not sure he’s the significant upgrade the Commanders believe he is – especially when you consider the opportunity costs of his $28 million cap hit. Standout right guard Brandon Scherff left to sign a big deal in Jacksonville, and defensive contributors Matt Ioannidis and Landon Collins were released.
Key Additions: OT Tyler Smith (draft)
Key Losses: WR Amari Cooper, DE Randy Gregory, OT La’el Collins
The Cowboys’ cap issues led to some high-profile departures this offseason. Dallas was forced to unload receiver Amari Cooper for a late-round pick and was spurned by Randy Gregory when the defensive end backed out of a deal to return to Dallas to sign with the Denver Broncos.
Terrence Steele was fine at right tackle while La’el Collins was suspended last year, but with Collins now gone, Dallas may be in a precarious position at left tackle when Tyron Smith inevitably misses time. In addition to Cooper’s trade, Dallas lost wideout Cedrick Wilson to Miami, though they did add James Washington on a low-cost deal The good news? Dallas was able to retain receiver Michael Gallup and tight end Dalton Schultz.
Key Additions: WR A.J. Brown, Edge Haason Reddick, DT Jordan Davis (draft), CB James Bradberry
Key Losses: None
The Eagles entered the draft with two first-round picks and traded one of those to the Titans for stud receiver AJ Brown, who just turned 25. Brown’s size, speed, and physicality make him a perfect complement to second-year receiver, Devonta Smith.
With their other first-rounder, Philly moved up to take massive defensive tackle Jordan Davis, who stunned at the combine with his freaky 40-yard dash. Davis should immediately bolster their poor run defense from a year ago. Speed rusher Haason Reddick comes over from Carolina after his second straight year posting double-digit sacks. And when cap issues forced the Giants to waive cornerback James Bradberry, the Eagles swooped in and scooped him up; Bradberry will fit well in defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s scheme.
New York Giants
Key Additions: Edge Kayvon Thibodeaux (draft), OT Evan Neal (draft), G Mark Glowinski
Key Losses: CB James Bradberry, DB Logan Ryan
The Giants are one of three teams with a new head coach and GM this season, with both Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll coming over from the Bills. Schoen at the helm was instantly a massive upgrade over the incompetent Dave Gettleman. The Giants were as cap-strapped as any team in the league this offseason, but they did manage to make sizable upgrades to their disastrous offensive line.
New York will have at least three new starts on the offensive line, with 6’7 330-pound Evan Neal, the seventh overall pick out of Alabama, stepping in as a day one starter at right tackle. The secondary is where the Giants got way worse. A position of strength just a year ago, New York’s cap woes forced them to cut their top corner, James Bradberry, and the team decided to move on from Logan Ryan.