Best offseason acquisitions for all 32 NFL teams

Editor's note: This story was edited Monday evening to reflect the news of Shaq Lawson's shoulder surgery.

From free agents to coaches and draft picks to general managers, NFL Nation reporters select the top offseason pickup for every team:

AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West
NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West


Buffalo Bills

Outside linebacker Shaq Lawson

Drafting Lawson at No. 19 overall was a steal for the Bills -- general manager Doug Whaley never expected Lawson to drop that far -- and a critically important acquisition for a team that released Mario Williams earlier in the offseason for salary-cap and performance reasons. Lawson was expected to be an immediate starter in the Bills defense until news Monday that he needed surgery on his right shoulder. That could keep Lawson out until midseason and is a blow to the Bills, who could use the big, strong, versatile edge defender to make Rex Ryan's defense work. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins

Coach Adam Gase

The biggest impact addition for the Dolphins this offseason is their first-year head coach. I expect Gase to be a significant upgrade over last year's coaching staff, which struggled mightily and was split between Joe Philbin and interim Dan Campbell. Gase also has the pedigree to get the most out of quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the offense after a down year in 2015. -- James Walker

New England Patriots

Tight end Martellus Bennett

The trade for Bennett, who will pair with Rob Gronkowski, gets top billing. Instead of taking my word for it, here's what Packers coach Mike McCarthy had to say: "I think what New England did with the two tight ends, that's probably as good as a personnel transaction I've seen as far as pure matchup. Defensive coordinators, right now are [asking], 'How do you cover both of those guys? Who's going to be displaced? Who's not?' That's why the tight end position and the safety position in today's NFL is a prominent position in my view. ... That's where the matchups are." -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets

Offensive tackle Ryan Clady

Trading for the four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Clady could be a steal for the Jets. They didn't give up much (a fifth-round pick), the contract is reasonable and he could return to a Pro Bowl level, if healthy. D'Brickashaw Ferguson's unexpected retirement in April put the Jets in a tough spot, but they did well to acquire Clady, who missed all of the 2015 season after tearing an ACL last May. He could be an upgrade. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens

Safety Eric Weddle

Weddle needs to be the Ravens' best offseason addition, based on the their investment. He received $13 million in guaranteed money, becoming only the second free agent from another team to receive more than $4 million in guaranteed money from the Ravens since 2010. The Ravens are banking on Weddle to give them their most experienced leader in the secondary since Ed Reed and end a run of free-agent failures at safety that includes Darian Stewart, Will Hill and Kendrick Lewis. Weddle needs to be a difference-maker for a pass defense that finished last in the NFL with six interceptions and allowed a franchise-worst 30 touchdown passes last season. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

Three defensive coaches

Much of this offseason has been about what the Bengals have lost. They've had several notable departures at receiver, safety, on the coaching staff and in the scouting department. But of the additions they did make, the most important have to be the coaching hires. The additions of assistants Kevin Coyle (DBs), Jim Haslett (LBs) and Jacob Burney (DL) should give the Bengals' defense the old-school discipline the unit didn't show at times late last season. Each of them has a slightly different coaching style than some of the men they are replacing. Costly and untimely defensive penalties contributed to the Bengals' wild-card playoff loss to Pittsburgh last season. On the field, newly signed linebacker Karlos Dansby should have a big impact. -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns

Coach Hue Jackson

The easy answer is quarterback Robert Griffin III, who will be the Browns' 25th starter since 1999. The better answer, though, is the coach. In Jackson, the Browns trust -- to be the guiding force of the team, to provide significant input to a unique front-office structure, to bring excitement to the fans and to develop, at last, the team's long-term answer at quarterback. It's a tall order, but in Hue the Browns trust. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tight end Ladarius Green

The addition of Green makes too much sense for Pittsburgh. It's easily the franchise's most important move of the offseason. The retirement of Heath Miller left a huge void in the offense, so the Steelers put the full-court press on Green in free agency with a four-year, $20 million deal. Green played in Antonio Gates' shadow in San Diego, but he can spark his career in Pittsburgh as a much-needed vertical threat up the middle of the field. First-round cornerback Artie Burns comes in second here. Green will make the bigger impact right away. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans

Quarterback Brock Osweiler

Osweiler is the player in whom the Texans invested the most money and the guy who will be most pivotal to their success. Houston is paying him $18 million per year and believes it has finally found consistency at quarterback after lacking it for the prior three seasons. -- Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts

Offensive line coach Joe Philbin

The line problems for the Colts are well-documented. Philbin, despite his problems as coach of the Dolphins, has experience coaching the offensive line. He coached the position while with the Green Bay Packers. Philbin is taking over a unit in Indianapolis that gave up 118 quarterback hits last season and could have three new starters up front. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars

Safety Tashaun Gipson

The Jaguars haven't had a free safety capable of playing center field and going sideline to sideline in Gus Bradley's three seasons. They do now in Gipson, whom they added as a free agent. That's the most vital piece of Bradley's defensive scheme, and Gipson's presence allows the team to keep strong safety Johnathan Cyprien closer to the line of scrimmage, where he's at his best. One signing impacted two positions. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans

General manager Jon Robinson

Robinson is certainly the most significant addition to the Titans in 2016, and is probably second only to quarterback Marcus Mariota in a much wider time frame. Robinson has set a tone for the franchise, scripted a tough, physical, accountable identity with coach Mike Mularkey and been unafraid to make moves, trading for running back DeMarco Murray and trading out of the No. 1 spot in his first draft as a decision-maker. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos

Quarterback Paxton Lynch

The bottom line is if "acquisition" means for 2016 and beyond, then it's rookie quarterback Lynch because the Broncos believe he can be the long-term solution. He's just going to need some time to be prepared for that role, so 2016 is expected to be mostly a watch-and-learn season for the rookie with Mark Sanchez as the team's starter. But make no mistake: Two former quarterbacks -- John Elway and Gary Kubiak -- believe the kid has the physical skills and mental makeup to be The Guy. The most difficult player to find is a potential franchise quarterback, and Elway, as well as Kubiak, believe the potential is there for Lynch to be that find.-- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

Offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz

Schwartz gives the Chiefs a right tackle to battle some of the AFC West's top pass-rushers. Denver's Von Miller, Oakland's Khalil Mack and San Diego's Melvin Ingram frequently come from that side. Schwartz also should provide the Chiefs with some stability on the right side, something that has eluded the franchise for years. Schwartz didn't miss a game in his four seasons with the Browns. -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders

Pass-rusher Bruce Irvin

Irvin was not only the Raiders' best offseason acquisition -- they see him as a bookend pass-rusher to complement All-Pro Khalil Mack -- but Irvin also took on the pseudonym of "Baby Reggie" as a recruiter for the Raiders during free agency, as in a smaller version of Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie. If Irvin is half as successful on the field as he is prolific on social media, he will be the best offseason acquisition by a long shot. -- Paul Gutierrez

San Diego Chargers

Nose tackle Brandon Mebane

For a team that could not stop the run in 2015, Mebane was the team's most impactful offseason addition. The Cal product gives San Diego a much-needed run stuffer up front, keeping inside linebackers Manti Te'o and Denzel Perryman clean. A Super Bowl champion with the Seattle Seahawks, Mebane also brings a winning pedigree and understanding of the work it takes to create a culture of success at Chargers Park. -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys

Running back Ezekiel Elliott

Coming off a 4-12 season, the Cowboys haven't made many changes. They did not make a splash in free agency -- Cedric Thornton was their most expensive addition -- so the answer has to be Elliott. The No. 4 pick in the draft had better be their top acquisition, and the Cowboys don't believe Elliott will need much of a learning curve to be an impact player for them this season. Given the players around him on offense, including Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Dez Bryant and the offensive line, Elliott should thrive as a rookie. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants

Defensive tackle Damon Harrison

He's not the pass-rusher or the shutdown corner, but of the Giants' defensive additions in free agency, my favorite is Harrison. He's the unquestioned best player in the league at what he does -- stop the run on the interior of the defensive line. And while there has been some reasonable hand-wringing from the outside about paying $9.5 million a year for a two-down player, the Giants are convinced Harrison will help them on third downs. -- Dan Graziano

Philadelphia Eagles

Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz

The Eagles made a huge amount of change this offseason, from hiring a new coach to trading up for what they believe will be a new franchise quarterback. But the offseason move that could have the biggest impact isn't as obvious. Defensive coordinator Schwartz is a former head coach tasked with running the Eagles' defense. If he can coax dominant play out of the Eagles' miscast defenders, it will make everything Doug Pederson is trying to do on offense work that much better. -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins

Cornerback Josh Norman

Norman was the only high-profile addition, and the team's other key moves involved re-signing their own players. But Norman, if he continues to play as he did the past year and a half, gives the Redskins an elite corner -- and someone who plays with a little attitude. He can become the playmaker in the secondary that Washington has lacked in recent years and provide the pass rush more time to get to the quarterback. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears

Inside linebacker Danny Trevathan

Trevathan is an instant upgrade on defense. The Bears hit the trifecta with Trevathan -- he's young, experienced and accomplished. He's also a safe addition. Trevathan played under John Fox for three years in Denver until Fox left for Chicago in 2015. Because of that level of familiarity, the Bears know exactly what to expect from Trevathan. He is expected to be the captain of the defense. Not bad for only $12 million guaranteed. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions

General manager Bob Quinn

This is a little unorthodox, but it's Quinn. Even though it happened very, very early in Detroit's offseason, bringing in Quinn signified a massive change for the woebegone Lions. It's the first time in the modern era the club hired someone directly from another team to be general manager, and he already has implemented a bunch of changes in the front office and helped the team handle free agency and the draft. It's too early to see if his approach will bring success where so many others have failed, but it was a much-needed change from the previous few regimes. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers

Tight end Jared Cook

Mike McCarthy has said many times that the fastest way to the end zone is through the middle of the field, which is why the Packers so desperately needed to sign someone like Cook. The veteran tight end brings a 12.8-yard career average per reception to the Packers, whose top tight end last season (Richard Rodgers) averaged just 8.8 yards per catch. Cook has the potential to give the Packers a legitimate down-the-field tight end for the first time since Jermichael Finley -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings

Guard Alex Boone

Fixing the offensive line was the Vikings' No. 1 offseason priority, and Boone is a hulking guard with a touch of nastiness who should help Matt Kalil on the left side of the line and allow Brandon Fusco to move back to the right side. The Vikings think a big part of fixing their offense hinges on better line play; Boone will be an important piece of the effort to give Teddy Bridgewater more protection and Adrian Peterson more running room. -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons

Center Alex Mack

The three-time Pro Bowl center gives the Falcons an instant anchor along what has been a shaky offensive line. The addition of Mack helps the Falcons feel a bit more comfortable about having average play at guard, particularly with Andy Levitre at left guard. Mack received $28.5 million guaranteed in a five-year deal, plus he is the highest-paid center at $9 million per year. Now, he just has to give the Falcons their money's worth, something the team hasn't gotten from their free-agent acquisitions in recent years. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers

Defensive end Charles Johnson

This was simple, though Johnson was actually a reacquisition. The Panthers released Johnson to clear $11 million under the salary cap, then re-signed him after he hit the open market to a one-year deal worth $3 million. In the playoffs, he recorded a sack in each game, including the Super Bowl. When healthy, he still has plenty to offer. Not losing one of the key leaders in the locker room was also important. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints

Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins

I should pick tight end Coby Fleener because I think he'll thrive in New Orleans. Fleener was by far the Saints' most expensive new addition, and he should be the flashiest one too, posting big numbers in an offense that loves to feature tight ends. But if we're talking important newcomers, I have to go defense, where the Saints so badly need more impact players. And I'll give the slight edge to the rookie Rankins, who should bring a disruptive presence the Saints have been missing against both the pass and the run. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Defensive end Noah Spence

Spence supplied teams with his clean drug test results throughout the pre-draft process and because of that, and some work of their own, the Bucs believe his drug problem at Ohio State is behind him. If that really is the case, then Spence could be a defensive rookie of the year candidate. Many analysts believe Spence was the best pure pass-rusher in the draft. The Bucs will turn him loose in a division loaded with star quarterbacks. He could threaten double-digit sacks as a rookie. -- Mike DiRocco


Arizona Cardinals

Outside linebacker Chandler Jones

The Cardinals got a big-ticket pass-rusher for virtually nothing back in March, and Jones can be the difference between Arizona going to the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl this year. Jones' addition gave the Cardinals' pass rush a much-needed boost and will open up things for Pro Bowler Calais Campbell, giving Arizona one of the best pass-rush tandems in the NFL. -- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams

Quarterback Jared Goff

Really, this choice goes hand-in-hand with the runner-up here -- new passing game coordinator Mike Groh. The Rams had the worst passing offense in the league in 2015 and finally made a major investment in hopes of fixing it. They didn't go out and make a lot of other major additions in part because the cost of landing Goff was so high. Goff's impact in Year 1 doesn't have to be franchise-altering so much as steadying for a position that has been filled with instability over the past four years. -- Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers

Coach Chip Kelly

Yes, I know the hiring of Kelly, a polarizing figure who alienated veteran players in Philadelphia, was looked at with a jaundiced eye initially, and no high-profile free agents chose to come play for him in Santa Clara. But the Niners are all-in on Kelly -- even if no other team talked to him before Jed York and Trent Baalke hired him -- and his identity is now the face of the franchise ... for better or worse. -- Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks

Offensive lineman Germain Ifedi

Last season, quarterback Russell Wilson showed that when he has time in the pocket, he can pick defenses apart. The Seahawks lost two starting offensive linemen in free agency, but Ifedi should be able to contribute immediately at right guard and eventually transition to right tackle. The Seahawks are young up front, but the hope is that they'll be able to develop some of the young, athletic linemen such as Ifedi and Garry Gilliam going forward. -- Sheil Kapadia