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After a Wild Trade Deadline, a New Team Has Emerged As the Most “All In” for 2022

The dealing Dolphins passed the defending champ Rams in this midseason refresh of The Ringer’s All In-dex. But who else has pushed their chips in to make a Super Bowl run, and which teams are looking ahead to 2023?

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

How aggressively is every NFL team trying to win this year’s Super Bowl? That was our guiding question when we unveiled The Ringer’s All In-dex back in August. Two months later, a record 10 deals were made on Tuesday ahead of the NFL’s trade deadline—not to mention earlier deals like the Christian McCaffrey trade—making this the perfect time to update our rankings and see which teams are all in and which are all out for the 2022 season.

The premise of the All In-dex is simple: teams use money and draft picks to try to win championships. Teams score highly in the All In-dex by trading away future draft picks and spending money on their current rosters. Teams score low in the All In-dex by adding draft capital and saving money. For a full breakdown of our methodology, check out our original post from August. But the short version is that the All In-dex is a helpful tool to bucket franchises. Some teams are borrowing from their future to compete now, while others are stockpiling now to compete later—and a few are being pulled in two different directions.

Back in August, the reigning Super Bowl champion Rams topped the All In-dex. Now that we’re halfway through the season, we’ve weighted 2024 draft capital a little heavier than we did in August because some teams have started moving those picks—and now we have a new team atop our list. Where does your team rank?

1 = The Most All In
32 = The Least All In

Editor’s note: This story and graphic was updated Thursday morning following Bradley Chubb’s contract extension in Miami.

1. Miami Dolphins

Spending rank: 6 out of 32
Draft ranking: 1 out of 32
Preseason All In-dex: 4

When we debuted the All In-dex in August, Miami’s no. 4 ranking felt like one of the biggest surprises. Now the Dolphins have shot up all the way to no. 1—in large part because they’ve been burning draft picks to surround QB Tua Tagovailoa with talent on both sides of the ball. Their latest move was trading for Broncos pass rusher Bradley Chubb, completing their roster makeover with the picks they acquired from trading down with the 49ers in 2021 so that San Francisco could select Trey Lance.

Miami essentially turned the three first-rounders from the Niners trade into Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Bradley Chubb. We are also accounting for the fact that Miami was stripped of its 2023 first-rounder by the NFL after an investigation into tampering with Tom Brady. Between the trades and the tampering investigation, plus the millions Miami spent in free agency this offseason, the Dolphins tried to spend their way to competence—and it worked.

The Dolphins offense ranks in the top 10 in yardage, which the team has not done since 1995—three years before Tagovailoa was born. Miami also hasn’t had a Pro Bowl quarterback since 1995, either—the longest drought in the NFL, but Tua seems likely to break that streak too. It turns out surrounding a quarterback who excels at decision-making with two of the league’s fastest wide receivers and a coach whose expertise is getting guys the ball in space is a formula for success. Hill is on pace for more than 2,000 receiving yards, which would be an NFL single-season record. And on defense, the Chubb trade solidifies a defense that has only been able to get pressure by blitzing. While the 5-3 Dolphins may not win the division against the juggernaut Bills, they seem like an excellent bet to earn a wild-card spot. Miami is doing everything it can to max out this team. On Thursday morning, the Dolphins signed Chubb to a five-year extension worth up to $110 million plus incentives, according to ESPN. The Dolphins were already no. 1 in the All In-dex before Chubb’s new deal, but now they rank sixth in spending and opened a small gap on the no. 2 Rams.

2. Los Angeles Rams

Spending rank: 5
Draft ranking: 2
Preseason All In-dex: 1

The Rams fall to second place in the All In-dex, but not necessarily by choice. The team reportedly offered two first-rounders to Carolina for pass rusher Brian Burns, but the Panthers turned them down, according to Sports Illustrated. If Carolina had accepted that deal, the Rams certainly would have remained atop this list.

That trade offer is par for the course for L.A. after the Rams went all in last year and won the Super Bowl on their home field, inspiring us to create this All In-dex. And yet it is hard not to wonder what we’d be saying about this 2022 Rams team had they not won the Super Bowl nearly nine months ago. This team is abysmal. They are scoring fewer points per game than the Bears. They are gaining fewer yards per play than every team except the Steelers. Matthew Stafford has become an Alex Smith–esque checkdown machine.

The Rams’ issues are obvious: Their offensive line is a disaster. They cannot run with their mediocre running backs, or give Stafford enough time to wait for anyone other than Cooper Kupp to get open. But we can boil their problems down even more. This team has no depth because it traded away so many picks. A perpetually top-heavy team finally has enough injuries to expose how easily this strategy can come crumbling down.

L.A. entered this season as defending champions. Midway through, Sean McVay might be wishing he had taken that potential $20 million per year announcing deal from Amazon.

And so this entire season is a good reminder that while the Rams were rewarded for going all in, they were a play or two away from being a cautionary tale. If one play here or there had gone differently, the Rams would be the league’s laughingstock. But they did win, so the Rams are basically the Lakers: stuck with LeBron and Anthony Davis, surrounded by misfits, clutching the championship they won as proof that this current hellscape was worth it.

3. Cleveland Browns

Spending rank: 6
Draft ranking: 3
Preseason All In-dex: 3

4. San Francisco 49ers

Spending rank: 13
Draft ranking: 4
Preseason All In-dex: 5

You know when your friend is thinking of buying something expensive, and then suddenly you want one of those things too? For most people, it could be an upgraded iPhone, or maybe a house. For Kyle Shanahan, it’s trading for star NFL players. Shanahan and Rams head coach Sean McVay are good friends, but also division rivals. Both McVay and Shanahan wanted to trade for Matthew Stafford last year, but McVay got Stafford, then beat Shanahan’s 49ers en route to a Super Bowl.

The same process more or less played out last month with Christian McCaffrey. The 49ers and Rams were in a bidding war, and this time Shanahan couldn’t let a star player once again save his friend’s struggling squad. So San Francisco sacrificed a second-, third-, and fourth-rounder in the 2023 draft, plus a fifth-rounder in 2024, to acquire the veteran RB from Carolina. Combined with the 49ers giving up two future first-rounders to grab Trey Lance last year, San Francisco is top five in the All In-dex.

Shanahan and general manager John Lynch’s strategy makes sense in an NFC where past contenders like Green Bay, Tampa Bay, and the Rams have withered on the vine in 2022. Beyond the Eagles, the NFC does not have a formidable contender. Jimmy Garoppolo is not a great quarterback, but now he has the best dump-off option of the decade in McCaffrey, plus the First-Team All-Athlete squad with Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk. Any one of these players might be the most athletic skill player on a quarter of the league’s teams.

But it would be easier to believe in this version of an All In plan if Shanahan had not so recently bailed on the concept of Garoppolo leading this team. Lance entered this season fully intended to be San Francisco’s QB1; Garoppolo is only playing now because Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2. Teams making a dedicated run at a title typically don’t push their chips in when the backup is under center.

5. New Orleans Saints

Spending rank: 3
Draft rank: 6
Preseason All In-dex: 6

6. Arizona Cardinals

Spending rank: 11
Draft rank: 5
Preseason All In-dex: 12

Remember in Office Space when the consultants ask, “What would you say … you do here?”

That is Kliff Kingsbury running this Cardinals team. Arizona ranks sixth in the All In-dex in large part because no team is paying its offense more in 2022. The players on this offense are making nearly $160 million per year when measured by average annual contract value. Arizona used a first-rounder and two seconds, via trades or the draft, to get receivers DeAndre Hopkins, Marquise Brown, and Rondale Moore, and a no. 1 pick on QB Kyler Murray. Kingsbury was hired primarily for his offensive background. This team has invested massively into the premise that it’d be able to score a lot of points. And despite all this, the Cardinals have nine points in the first quarter this season. That is not an average. That is nine points total.

Not only have the Cardinals scored the fewest points in the first quarter this season, but they have also allowed the most (55). Arizona is falling behind almost immediately in every game it plays. Unsurprisingly, the Cardinals have trailed for an average of more than 40 minutes per game this season, the worst mark in the NFL. They may be 3-5, but they have spent more time losing this year than any other team.

How can you blame this on anything other than coaching? The script Kingsbury is using to begin games is clearly not working. The only thing that does seem to work for this offense is when Murray decides to scrap Kingsbury’s offense and play recess quarterback.

Arizona gave Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim contract extensions this offseason. Keim has been with the Cardinals since 1999—he probably isn’t going to get fired. Murray also just got a massive contract extension that hasn’t even kicked in yet. He isn’t going anywhere. If the Cardinals start looking for someone to blame for spending so much and getting so little, Kingsbury is going to be the one struggling to answer what he does here.

7. Los Angeles Chargers

Spending rank: 1
Draft rank: 11
Preseason All In-dex: 7

8. Buffalo Bills

Spending rank: 2
Draft rank: 14
Preseason All In-dex: 10

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Spending rank: 4
Draft rank: 13
Preseason All In-dex: 9

10. Denver Broncos

Spending rank: 10
Draft rank: 9
Preseason All In-dex: 2

The Herschel Walker trade. The Louisiana Purchase. The guy who sold 10 percent of Apple for $800. These are some of the worst deals that have been made in human history, and this is the context in which we need to discuss the Broncos trading for Russell Wilson.

Entering this season, the Broncos were the second-most All In team according to our calculations, largely because they traded a package that included two first-rounders and two second-rounders for Wilson (they ranked second even before they signed Wilson to a massive contract extension that will pay the veteran QB $165 million over four years). Thus far, it has proved to be an epically poor investment. Eight games into this season, Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith has been better than Wilson straight up in every conceivable statistic (except FTWOMY, a.k.a. Former Teammates Who Openly Mock You. Russ might have broken the record for an active quarterback this year). The Broncos rank 30th in expected points added per game, and the only teams behind them in that category (Pittsburgh and Indianapolis) have already benched their starting quarterbacks. Denver has just 1.3 points per drive, which not only ranks dead last this season, but is even worse than the 2008 Detroit Lions, who went 0-16.

Russ was supposed to save a Broncos team that has been offensively inept ever since Peyton Manning retired. Instead, Denver’s offense is as disgusting as ever. Denver is tied for dead last in the NFL in touchdowns with just 11 through eight games, which is roughly half the touchdowns that the Tim Tebow–Kyle Orton Broncos put up through their first eight games in 2011. The Broncos have fewer touchdowns this season (11) than Russell Wilson has bathrooms in his house (12).

Smelling this mess, Broncos general manager George Paton gave this season a courtesy flush at the trade deadline by dealing defensive end Bradley Chubb to Miami for a first-rounder in next year’s draft. The good news is Denver added a premium pick for a player it was unlikely to re-sign. The bad news is that the Broncos are already unable to pay talented players because they’re paying Wilson an average of $49 million per year. That is fine if the quarterback is phenomenal. It’s a catastrophe if the quarterback is playing worse than Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton.

The easy part for Denver would be firing head coach Nathaniel Hackett. The challenge will be finding a head coach capable of unclogging this mess.

11. Minnesota Vikings

Spending rank: 12
Draft rank: 8
Preseason All In-dex: 17

12. Las Vegas Raiders

Spending rank: 21
Draft rank: 7
Preseason All In-dex: 8

13. Washington Commanders

Spending rank: 18
Draft rank: 10
Preseason All In-dex: 13

14. Tennessee Titans

Spending rank: 9
Draft rank: 17
Preseason All In-dex: 19

15. Indianapolis Colts

Spending rank: 16
Draft rank: 16
Preseason All In-dex: 15

16. Green Bay Packers

Spending rank: 8
Draft rank: 22
Preseason All In-dex: 20

There’s a scene in Arrested Development when Michael Bluth opens the freezer to find his magician brother has left a brown bag with the note: “dead dove, do not eat.” Michael opens the bag, sees a dead dove, and says, “Well, I don’t know what I expected.”

That’s pretty much how the Packers’ season has played out. They traded away star WR Davante Adams for a first- and a second-rounder, leaving them with an aging Randall Cobb, injury-prone Allen Lazard, mercurial Sammy Watkins, and a couple rookie receivers. This plan has worked exactly how they should have expected. Green Bay ranks 22nd in expected points added per drive (behind the Bears) and 26th in points per drive (just ahead of the Panthers).

The Packers are the perfect example of a team being pulled between the present and the future in their team-building. Trading away your no. 1 superstar wide receiver for picks might make sense if you’re Kansas City and have a decade of contention left with Patrick Mahomes. But Rodgers is 38. He has been talking about retirement for years. He looks more tired by the day. And despite him clearly giving the Packers the tail end of a true Super Bowl window, Green Bay has decided to reload for the next phase of this team. In an era of Packers football defined by not putting receivers around Rodgers, Green Bay somehow gave its aging back-to-back MVP quarterback the worst supporting cast of his career. Now the Packers have four more losses than their NFC North rival Vikings and are likely to be fighting for a wild-card playoff spot. But based on their team-building plan, what did they expect?

17. Pittsburgh Steelers

Spending rank: 19
Draft rank: 19
Preseason All In-dex: 14

18. Dallas Cowboys

Spending rank: 20
Draft rank: 15
Preseason All In-dex: 18

19. Cincinnati Bengals

Spending rank: 25
Draft rank: 12
Preseason All In-dex: 16

20. Jacksonville Jaguars

Spending rank: 7
Draft rank: 27
Preseason All In-dex: 23

21. Philadelphia Eagles

Spending rank: 17
Draft rank: 24
Preseason All In-dex: 21

Perhaps the most astonishing part of this entire list is that the Eagles, the last undefeated team in football, rank just 21st on the All In-dex midway through the season—one spot ahead of the Panthers. Not only are the Eagles a clear Super Bowl contender in 2022, but they have two first-rounders in next year’s draft, plus two second-rounders in 2024.

And whereas many assumed the Eagles would be looking for a quarterback in next year’s draft, the outstanding play of Jalen Hurts means the team might be able to just add two first-round position players to an already-stacked roster. They have the best offensive line in football, plus A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith at receiver, and Dallas Goedert at tight end. On defense, the Eagles have one of the league’s best secondaries and one of the league’s best defensive lines (Philly’s D ranks top-five in pass coverage and pass rush grades at Pro Football Focus).

Philly is young and ridiculously talented. But many of the other teams who are young and talented traded a lot of draft picks to get that talent (like Miami). The Eagles have done it while adding substantial draft picks—making them poised for a run of consistent NFC relevance they last had when Andy Reid brought them to four straight NFC championship games about 20 years ago. We should all shudder to think how obnoxious this city will get if the Phillies win the World Series and the Eagles are a perennial contender.

22. Carolina Panthers

Spending rank: 26
Draft ranking: 21
Preseason All In-dex: 11

Here is what we wrote about the Panthers in August:

No team in the NFL is more out of sync with reality. Carolina is projected for 6.5 wins this year by sportsbooks and they are on the same All In-dex level as the Super Bowl–favorite Buffalo Bills … Getting a team into this situation is how people get fired.

Indeed, Carolina’s Matt Rhule was the first NFL head coach fired this season. Among the biggest misses of the Rhule era …

  • trading a second-rounder for Sam Darnold
  • trading for Baker Mayfield while still paying Darnold $19 million
  • Trading a fourth-rounder and swapping third-round picks to move up in the draft for Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral
  • Failing to realize the best QB on the roster was fourth-stringer (and former XFL QB) P.J. Walker

Oh, and the fourth-rounder Carolina gave away went to the Patriots, who used it on QB Bailey Zappe—who might be better than Mayfield and Darnold anyway.

With Rhule gone, Carolina made the wise decision to trade Christian McCaffrey for a haul of draft picks, as well as dealing disgruntled receiver Robbie Anderson to Arizona. These moves have replenished Carolina’s draft stock and put them closer to its rightful place in this ranking: below average. The first step to solving a problem is acknowledging that it exists.

23. Baltimore Ravens

Spending rank: 23
Draft rank: 23
Preseason All In-dex: 27

24. Kansas City Chiefs

Spending rank: 22
Draft rank: 25
Preseason All In-dex: 24

25. New England Patriots

Spending rank: 28
Draft rank: 20
Preseason All In-dex: 22

26. New York Jets

Spending rank: 15
Draft rank: 28
Preseason All In-dex: 25

27. Detroit Lions

Spending rank: 24
Draft rank: 31
Preseason All In-dex: 29

28. Chicago Bears

Spending rank: 32
Draft rank: 18
Preseason All In-dex: 26

29. Seattle Seahawks

Spending rank: 27
Draft rank: 30
Preseason All In-dex: 30

If the Seahawks win the NFC West—and they currently sit atop the division standings—the Russell Wilson trade will go down as one of the best deals ever for Seattle. Geno Smith is simply better than Wilson at operating this Seahawks offense. Seattle might be the first team ever to add two firsts and two seconds in a trade in which they also managed to upgrade at quarterback.

It is mind-boggling that a team that seemed so lost is actually back to being a contender in its conference—especially considering that the first-round pick Seattle acquired from Denver could seriously end up as a top-15 choice in next year’s draft. Like Philadelphia, the Seahawks were pegged as a team likely to draft a QB, but as of this moment it feels inconceivable for Seattle to move on from Smith if he keeps playing as well as he has. Instead, the Seahawks could add four players in the top 60 picks and use the Wilson trade to boost them back into the NFL’s top tier of contenders.

30. Atlanta Falcons

Spending rank: 31
Draft rank: 26
Preseason All In-dex: 28

31. New York Giants

Spending rank: 29
Draft rank: 29
Preseason All In-dex: 31

This season was supposed to be a referendum on quarterback Daniel Jones. Instead, it’s been a referendum on head coach Brian Daboll. In just half a season, he’s bought himself years of loyalty from Giants fans. New York’s roster is made of shoestring and bubblegum, and yet they are 6-2 through eight weeks. Between more than $47 million of dead money and more than $21 million spent on the perpetually injured Kenny Golladay, nearly a third of the Giants’ budget this year is being used on players who aren’t playing for the team—essentially flushing the Dave Gettleman era goodbye. Among the players who are available, seemingly everybody has been hurt at one point or another. By every All In-dex calculation, this is a team that should be looking at 2023 and beyond, and yet this team keeps winning.

But the Giants didn’t add at the trade deadline. Instead, they traded away former first-round pick Kadarius Toney for a third-rounder plus a sixth-rounder, and then didn’t make any more significant moves. That was smart. The Giants’ start has been a fun way to begin the tenure of Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen, who both came over from Buffalo. But this was always going to be a table-setting season for the duo, and the immediate success has not distracted them.

New York’s biggest pending decisions will be on Jones and running back Saquon Barkley, both of whom are in contract years. Using the franchise tag on Jones would be roughly $31 million for 2023, and any contract negotiation likely starts with that as the floor for his average salary. Barkley, easily the most popular player on the team, seems unlikely to get a huge contract from a front office seemingly wary to spend at the running back position.

Daboll is like a chef who is taking the leftovers in the Giants fridge and cooking a restaurant-worthy meal every week. That doesn’t mean the week-old cold cuts in the fridge were sneakily good. It means the Giants need to get Daboll better ingredients next season. Any success the Giants have this season is just gravy.

32. Houston Texans

Spending rank: 30
Draft rank: 32
Preseason All In-dex: 32