2023 NFL free agency team-by-team grades: Seahawks, Dolphins, Bears, 49ers among early winners

The 2023 NFL offseason is in full swing. Several high-profile quarterbacks have already moved to new homes, and now many high-profile veterans have switched jerseys, with the exception of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who said Sunday that “it won’t be long” in regards to announcing his plans for 2023. From mind-blowing trades to surprise signings, we’ve got a look at each team’s notable acquisitions in the 2023 off-season, along with signing and trade scores:

Arizona Cardinals: C

Key additions: LB Kyzir White (Eagles). Key re-signs: OT Kelvin Beachum

Despite having nearly $35 million in net worth, according to, and a new regimen with new general manager Monty Ossenforth and new head coach Jonathan Gannon, the Cardinals have been quiet. They lost a worthy quarterback in Denver Broncos’ 25-year-old Zach Allen to a three-year, $45.8 million contract. according to NFL Mediaand otherwise reunited Gannon with White, a solid but unimpressive starter in the Eagles defense.

Atlanta Falcons: C

Key additions: S Jesse Bates III (Bengals), TE Jonnu Smith (Patriots, Exchange), DT David Onyemata (Saints). Key re-signs: G Chris Lindstrom, LB Lorenzo Carter

On Monday, the Falcons made some serious maneuvers to kick-start free-agent development, but almost all of them were clearly overpaid. The decision to make former Cincinnati Bengals guard Jesse Bates III, Sinsi’s leader in steals (14) and tackles (479) since joining the NFL in 2018, the fourth highest paid defenseman in the NFL on an annual basis with four years of service. The contract for 64.02 million dollars is their most justified move. In 2022, Atlanta ranked sixth in the league in total defense, 362.1 yards per game, and they didn’t get much from their secondary, eighth-worst pass defense in the NFL (231.9 passing yards per game).

However, a strong argument can also be made that Bates III’s money could be used for various positional compensation in the future. Getting ahead of a salary cap hike to keep their starting-level players is reasonable, but it’s not clear why the Falcons felt the need to reset the shooting guard market by giving Chris Lindstrom five years and $105 million for his first Pro Bowl appearance. in 2022. Previously, the highest paid defenseman was Quenton Nelson of the Indianapolis Colts, a five-time pro bowler and three-time All-Pro first-team member in four years and $80 million.

Similarly, picking up the last two years of one of the biggest tight end contracts in the entire league after acquiring Jonnu Smith from the New England Patriots for a seventh-round pick is a pain in the ass unless a year three tight end is planned to be rescheduled. Kyle Pitts, the highest ranked tight end in the Common Draft Era (since 1967) after being selected fourth overall in 2021, to play wide receiver opposite Drake London.

Baltimore Ravens: D

Key additions: N/A. Key re-signs: N/A

The reason the Ravens don’t have an incomplete grade instead of a “D” is simple; They have an easy move right in front of them: signing MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson to a long-term contract extension. Pushing away the face of your franchise in a staring contest because of his second contract is not good. Putting him on the franchise’s non-exclusive tag to show Jackson that no other NFL team is interested in signing him to a fully guaranteed contract is understandable. After nearly 12 hours of free agency, Baltimore needs to submit a better contract offer as a peace offer and make that deal.

The Ravens are 45-16 and have averaged 28 points per game when Jackson enters them since taking him with the last pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. They’re 8-13 and averaging eight points per game, 20.0, when every other quarterback has started with them in the past five seasons. Jackson is also the fastest player in NFL history to throw for over 100 passing touchdowns in addition to over 4,000 career passing yards, 31 games faster (67) than Randall Cunningham (98). Pay him what he’s worth.

Buffalo Bills: B

Key additions: G Connor McGovern (Cowboys). Key re-signs: LB Matt Milano, LB Tyler Matakevich, P Sam Martin

Boosting your superstar quarterback’s offensive line is never a bad move, especially with Connor McGovern’s three years of experience and a $23 million price tag. Other moves have also been light on the salary cap, with All-Pro linebacker Matt Milano’s two-year contract extension adding $6 million by 2023. market for punting contracts. All solid moves.

However, there could be some more high-profile deals coming up for the Bills in the future as quarterback Josh Allen’s contract restructuring and linebacker Von Miller’s contract on Monday night opens up a whopping $32 million ceiling this offseason. Is this the music of Odell Beckham Jr??? Or some midfielders to replace the recently departed Tremaine Edmunds? Perhaps both?

Carolina Panthers: B

Key additions: D.T. Shai Tuttle (Saints), S. Vonn Bell (Bengals), 1st overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft (Bears, trade). Key re-signs: C Bradley Bozeman

When the Panthers hired Frank Reich as their new head coach, the team clearly took a look in the mirror at the quarterbacks they’d been kicking out over the past five seasons and were sufficiently aware of the veterans’ temporary gaps. Now thanks trade their ninth overall pick (first round) and their second second round pick (61st overall pick) in the 2023 NFL Draft, as well as a 2024 first round pick, a 2025 second round pick, and a 25-year-old wide receiver. DJ Moore, they can choose any fresh-faced quarterback they want to lead their franchise into a new era.

While this deal might be seen as rich by some because of what they gave up, the Panthers won’t miss out on any of those picks if any of them are chosen between Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Alabama’s Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson of Florida or Will Lewis of Kentucky. becomes a Pro Bowl passer and gives the team extra stability in the sport’s most important position. Complementing their defense with a pair of defenders to the right of 30 in a defensive tackle by Shai Tuttle and Vaughn Bella’s safety is also a good move. The Carolinas could have a very bright future if they take their first overall pick and add some help either in the later rounds of the draft or as free agents.

Panther quarterbacks since 2018

Season QB (Start)


Cam Newton (14), Taylor Heinicke (1), Kyle Allen (1)


Kyle Allen (12), Cam Newton (2), Will Greer (2)


Teddy Bridgewater (15), PJ Walker (1)


Sam Darnold (11), Cam Newton (5), PJ Walker (1)


Baker Mayfield (6), Sam Darnold (6), PJ Walker (5)

* 63 passing touchdowns and 71 interceptions combined (the only team in the NFL to have more INT than a TD pass in range)

Chicago Bears: B+

Key additions: LB Tremaine Edmunds (Bills), LB TJ Edwards (Eagles), G Nate Davis (Titans), 9th overall pick in 2023 NFL Draft (Panthers, via trade), 62nd overall pick in 2023 NFL Draft (Panthers, via trade), 2024 1st round pick (Panthers, via trade), 2025 2nd round pick (Panthers, via trade), WR DJ Moore (Panthers, via trade), DE DeMarcus Walker (“Titans”)

The signing of two inside linebackers Tremaine Edmunds (4 years, $72 million) and TJ Edwards (3 years, $19.5 million) will have a positive impact on the Bears defense. However, they could just extend 2022 First Team All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith for less than those two combined deals and keep one of the best linebackers in football. Instead, they traded him to the Baltimore Ravens.

The main reasons for the B+ rating are that they’ve already helped young quarterback Justin Fields a lot, and the draft hasn’t even started yet. Signing quarterback Nate Davis (3 years, $30 million) and bringing in underrated 25-year-old wide receiver DJ Moore after unloading the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft is a great start to the offseason. The only way to know if your quarterback is good is to surround him with a real cast, and the Bears are well on their way to that.

Cincinnati Bengals: B-

Key additions: N/A. Key re-signs: LB Germaine Pratt

This past offseason they fixed a big hole in their roster, their offseason line. Now it’s not such a big problem. This off-season, they signed one of their defensive leaders, linebacker Germaine Pratt, to a fair three-year, $21 million contract. The loss of both starting underwriters in Jesse Bates III, signed with the Atlanta Falcons on a four-year, $64.02 million contract, and Vaughn Bell, signed with the Carolina Panthers, on a two-year contract. The safety class of the upcoming draft could be a real issue in the upcoming 2023 season.

Now the real work begins for the Bengals: figuring out how to expand the core of their offense in quarterback Joe Burrow, wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, and wide receiver Tee Higgins. If the Bengals can make deals on all three dimensions, this class could move up a full letter.

Cleveland Browns: B

Key additions: DE Obo Okoronkwo (Texans); DT Dalwyn Tomlinson (Vikings). Key re-signs: C Ethan Pocic

As Jadevon Clooney struggled with free agents, it was important for the Cleveland Cavaliers to find a new pass rush partner in Miles Garrett. They did so by signing defenseman Obo Okoronkwo, 27, to a three-year, $19 million contract that could total $22 million with benefits. A solid addition at a decent price for a year-ending player despite playing for the Houston Texans, the team that holds the second overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. However, the Browns’ defense…


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