clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Offseason Power Rankings

The Super Bowl is history, and the NFL’s hiring cycle is complete. Which teams are in the best positions heading into the 2023 offseason, and which ones are facing a tough rebuild? 

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

The Kansas City Chiefs’ title defense has already begun. The Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills are preparing their best counterpunches as they make critical contract extension decisions ahead of free agency, and the two best teams in the NFC—the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers—have to replace multiple assistant coaches. The rest of the league is either desperate for an offseason splash or eager to rebuild. It’s time for The Ringer’s first NFL power rankings of the 2023 offseason:

1. Kansas City Chiefs (Super Bowl LVIII odds, via FanDuel: +600)

Last I checked, the Chiefs still have Patrick Mahomes, so yeah, they’re the best team in the NFL.

2. Cincinnati Bengals (+900)

Tight end Hayden Hurst and four defensive starters (Vonn Bell, Eli Apple, Jessie Bates III, and Germaine Pratt) are set to become free agents. Joe Burrow and wide receivers Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase are due for contract extensions. To continue to compete with Mahomes and the Chiefs in the AFC, the Bengals have to be near perfect with how they spend their money this offseason.

3. Buffalo Bills (+850)

Josh Allen’s cap hit jumps from 7.8 percent of the Bills’ payroll in 2022 to 17.4 percent in 2023, making roster construction that much more difficult for the Bills, who have multiple starters on expiring contracts (including linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, running back Devin Singletary, and safety Jordan Poyer) and other roster holes to fill. As in Cincinnati, the margin for error in Buffalo is thinning. Every miss in the draft or bloated contract potentially widens the gap between Buffalo and Kansas City.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (+900)

The Eagles need to reload in a hurry this offseason. Both their offensive and defensive coordinators are now head coaches elsewhere, and only five of the 15 defensive players that played 10 or more snaps in the Super Bowl are under contract for 2023. Head coach Nick Sirianni and much of the team’s star power, notably Jalen Hurts, wide receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, offensive linemen Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson, and edge rusher Haason Reddick, aren’t going anywhere, but GM Howie Roseman once again has plenty of work to do this offseason to make sure the Eagles continue to have one of the best top-to-bottom rosters in the league.

5. San Francisco 49ers (+900)

The impending competition between QBs Trey Lance and Brock Purdy will draw all the buzz this offseason, but making sure the 49ers still have an elite defense after the departure of defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans might be more important for their chances of competing for a Super Bowl next year. First order of business: Sign Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa to a potentially record-setting new contract.

6. Baltimore Ravens (+1600)

The addition of Todd Monken as the Ravens’ new offensive coordinator is huge for Lamar Jackson, whose contract status will be Baltimore’s biggest offseason story. Jackson has an athleticism and dynamism that can overshadow his ability as a dropback passer, and Monken, a significant upgrade over former OC Greg Roman, should help with developing downfield passing concepts independent of RPOs and play-action. He should help Jackson and the passing game take a major step forward.

7. Dallas Cowboys (+1500)

The first thing the Cowboys have to do this offseason is figure out Ezekiel Elliott’s untenable contract. Can they trade him? Will Elliott take a pay cut to stay? The answer to those questions will help the Cowboys determine whether they can keep Tony Pollard and tight end Dalton Schultz and how much money they’ll have available to bolster a receiving group that lacked juice in 2022.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars (+2500)

As a result of their spending frenzy in free agency a year ago, the Jaguars enter the offseason ranked 30th in available cap space, currently $32.8 million over the cap, according to Spotrac. They’ll have to get creative about how to improve their roster in March and April, but their floor remains high as long as Trevor Lawrence and Doug Pederson are at the helm.

9. Los Angeles Chargers (+2000)

The bottom line is that the Chargers are a playoff contender for as long as Justin Herbert is under center. He is one of the five best quarterbacks in the NFL, and his best should still be ahead of him with a change at offensive coordinator from Joe Lombardi to Kellen Moore. I’m worried about hyping up the Chargers for what feels like the 100th offseason in a row, but if there’s any reason to go down that road yet again, it’s Herbert.

10. Miami Dolphins (+3000)

Tua Tagovailoa has said recently that he isn’t at all concerned about his health heading into next season and is even taking weekly judo classes to learn to fall better in an effort to reduce his risk for future concussions. Despite his optimism, it’s hard to feel great about Tagovailoa’s long-term health, and therefore the Dolphins’ long-term offensive prospects, after a scary 2022. For Miami’s defense, it will be interesting to see the impact of new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio on both the roster and scheme this offseason.

11. New York Giants (+4000)

Assuming the Giants write some hefty checks to re-sign quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley, GM Joe Schoen will have to pull off a master class in maximizing the remaining resources to retool the rest of the roster. The receiving and linebacker corps are among the worst in the NFL, the secondary could lose starting safety Julian Love to free agency, and the interior offensive line remains a mess. The Giants were a playoff team last season—and with a roster that bad, it’s no wonder Brian Daboll won Coach of the Year—but they’ll have to field a much better team this year to remain competitive in the NFC.

12. Seattle Seahawks (+6000)

I’d be shocked if Geno Smith doesn’t sign a multiyear contract with the Seahawks before free agency starts in mid-March. Smith was one of the 12 best quarterbacks in the league in 2022, and he’s clearly the Seahawks’ best option for 2023 and beyond. Seattle also holds four top-60 picks in the 2023 NFL draft and currently more than $30 million in available cap space, leaving the Seahawks poised for a legitimate run at the division crown next year should San Francisco slip.

13. Detroit Lions (+2500)

Retaining offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was a significant win for the Lions this offseason. His offense finished last season ranked third in expected points added per drive and fifth in points per game. Defensively, Detroit really turned things around over the second half of the season, jumping from 32nd in points allowed per game (26.6) in weeks 1-9 to 19th (21.2) in weeks 10-18. The second and third levels of the defense are still a work in progress, and they’ve got a big QB question this offseason, but the arrow is pointing up in Motown.

14. Minnesota Vikings (+4000)

It’s well established by now that the 2022 Vikings were never as good as their regular-season record indicated, and now they look primed for regression in 2023. Quarterback Kirk Cousins is coming off his least efficient season since 2018, and Minnesota’s defense ranked 29th in points allowed per game—no wonder they replaced defensive coordinator Ed Donatell with Brian Flores.

15. Green Bay Packers (+3500)

Until we know whether Aaron Rodgers will be a Packer in 2023, this team is hard to rank. If Rodgers returns, they’re a top-15 team in the NFL. If he doesn’t, they might be one of the five worst.

16. Cleveland Browns (+3500)

In their 11 games without Deshaun Watson active (weeks 1-12), the Browns ranked fifth in offensive EPA per drive. In their six games with Watson, they ranked 27th. But the Browns are committed to Watson for the foreseeable future, so they have to spend this offseason figuring out how to both improve their roster around him and make him more functional as their on-field leader.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (+5000)

The Steelers are surely happy with the way 2022 first-round pick QB Kenny Pickett closed out the season—he went 5-1 in his last six games and ranked eighth among starters in EPA per dropback in weeks 12-18. That’s not to say Pickett has completely overcome the limitations that have him ranked 34th on Steven Ruiz’s quarterback rankings, but there is something to build on here.

18. Denver Broncos (+3500)

The Broncos brought on a new head coach in Sean Payton, have an expensive quarterback who was ineffective last season, and need to replace rising star defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero. I’m bullish on Payton to start fixing all the things that went wrong for the Broncos and Russell Wilson last season. Whatever talent is left in Wilson, Payton will draw it out. And if it’s not enough to completely propel the Broncos out of last place in the AFC West, Payton should have the skills, time, and resources to get the team fixed eventually.

19. New York Jets (+2500)

The Jets figure to be one of the most active teams in the veteran QB market, whether that means making a splashy trade for Rodgers or signing a free agent like Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo. Simply getting competent and consistent QB play should make the Jets a playoff contender next season. If they can’t land one of those big fish and have to run it back with Zach Wilson or even pending free agent Mike White, the Jets are bound for heartbreak once again.

20. Los Angeles Rams (+3000)

I’m probably too low on the Rams, who won a Super Bowl just over a year ago. Sean McVay, quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Cooper Kupp, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and defensive tackle Aaron Donald are all returning in 2023. While the Rams have some work to do this offseason to surround their stars with more quality depth, the path back to contention isn’t as distant as their 5-12 record in 2022 suggests.

21. New England Patriots (+5500)

The Matt Patricia–Joe Judge experiment didn’t work for the Patriots’ 2022 offense, so now Bill Belichick is bringing back another old friend, Bill O’Brien, to coach Mac Jones in 2023. The good news is that O’Brien, unlike Patricia, has extensive offensive play-calling experience. The bad news for the Patriots is that Jones is still a limited passer with a subpar group of offensive skill position players around him.

22. Tennessee Titans (+7500)

The Titans were one of the most disappointing teams in the second half of 2022, and while Tennessee has top-end talent in running back Derrick Henry, defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons, and safety Kevin Byard, this team still feels like it has a relatively low ceiling because of uninspiring QB play and a thin wide receiver group. The biggest thing to watch for in Tennessee as the offseason kicks off is whether Ryan Tannehill could be on the move.

23. New Orleans Saints (+3500)

Whether the Saints re-sign Jameis Winston or pick Derek Carr or another middle-of-the-pack QB, they’re in bad shape. They have just three top-100 picks and minus–$46 million in cap space for GM Mickey Loomis to work with. Perhaps the best-case scenario for the Saints in 2023 is to reset the roster, get their cap back in order, lose a bunch of games, and position themselves for a top quarterback prospect in 2024.

24. Las Vegas Raiders (+4000)

The Raiders’ best path out of the darkness is currently in the darkness. Dealing a bevy of assets to Green Bay to reunite Rodgers with Davante Adams in Las Vegas is the quickest route to competing in the AFC West. Would that blockbuster trade blow up in their faces? Definitely. But the explosion wouldn’t be nearly as dire as extending Josh McDaniels’s leash into the distant future by drafting a rookie quarterback in the top 10 of April’s draft.

25. Chicago Bears (+6500)

No team in the NFL has more available cap space entering the 2023 offseason than the Bears. They need to spend as much of it as possible to add talent on both sides of the ball and position Justin Fields to compete for a playoff bid. Are there rumors swirling about a Fields trade? Sure. But the best path forward is building a playoff-competitive roster with Fields, not without.

26. Carolina Panthers (+5500)

The Panthers are massive winners of the head coach hiring cycle. Landing Frank Reich was just the start; that Reich added Evero as defensive coordinator and both Dom Capers and Jim Caldwell as senior assistants is essentially a Harlem Globetrotter dunking display. The Panthers still need a significant upgrade at quarterback, but their trajectory is like Ja Morant with Flubber shoes.

27. Atlanta Falcons (+7500)

The Falcons were tied for the lowest preseason win total (4.5) last season, but they exceeded that by more than two games, largely due to Arthur Smith’s ability to scheme up an offense for Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder and improved play from the offensive line. Will the Falcons look to upgrade at QB? Or should they focus their offseason efforts around improving the roster for Ridder?

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7500)

A teary-eyed selfie video on the beach (and subsequent thirst trap) signaled the end of Tom Brady in Tampa. He leaves behind a big quarterback question (Kyle Trask is the only quarterback currently under contract for 2023) and a team with major roster issues, as a host of veterans, like defenders William Gholston, Akiem Hicks, Lavonte David, Jamel Dean, Mike Edwards, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Keanu Neal, Logan Ryan, and Anthony Nelson—all of whom played more than 400 defensive snaps for the Bucs in 2022—are headed to free agency. Oh, and the Bucs have an NFL-worst minus–$55.9 million in cap space. This is a quintessential rebuild year for the Buccaneers.

29. Washington Commanders (+5500)

Whoever winds up buying the Commanders will be taking on a fixer-upper. Their 2022 fifth-round pick, Sam Howell, is expected to open the season as the starter (but he’s got a new offensive coordinator in Eric Bieniemy), and two key defensive players (Daron Payne and Cole Holcomb) are on expiring contracts.

30. Arizona Cardinals (+18000)

Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said the new head coach, Jonathan Gannon, was the best fit for the franchise because of his vision for their “elite quarterback.” Gannon, however, won’t have his elite quarterback for quite some time. Kyler Murray is still in the early stages of his recovery after tearing his ACL and meniscus in December and could be sidelined through the halfway point of next season.

31. Indianapolis Colts (+18000)

Moving on from Jeff Saturday and hiring the better of the two available Eagles coordinators in Shane Steichen is a massive win for Indianapolis. Steichen orchestrated one of the most impressive offenses in all of football in 2022; the Colts, meanwhile, finished the season ranked 31st in offensive EPA per play. The big question now is who will play quarterback for Steichen, and what wild tweet owner Jim Irsay will send about a potential trade up the draft board.

32. Houston Texans (+20000)

I like the hires of both DeMeco Ryans as head coach and Bobby Slowik as offensive coordinator, and the Texans should land either Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud in the draft. All this newness means that the vibes are good in Houston for now. But the reality is that this will probably be a long rebuild for the Texans; at least Ryans should have time to do it.