2023 NFL offseason questions: 32 teams' free agency, draft issues

With Super Bowl LVII behind us and NFL free agency rapidly approaching, we are officially in the offseason.

Every team has questions to answer. Will notable free agents such as Lamar Jackson, Evan Engram and Geno Smith re-sign with their teams or find new homes? Other teams are looking to add their next top talents via the 2023 NFL draft. With new coaching hires and many players potentially changing teams, this offseason will be full of movement.

NFL Nation answers the most interesting question facing each team this offseason:

Jump to a team:
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF


Buffalo Bills

Who will be the priority in free agency: Tremaine Edmunds or Jordan Poyer?

Both Edmunds and Poyer have played important roles for the Bills, but after Poyer requested an extension last year and nothing came together, Edmunds appears more likely to return. The linebacker will turn 25 in May even though he already is heading into his sixth season. Coach Sean McDermott said 2022 was Edmunds' "best year." Poyer is coming off a good year, including his first Pro Bowl, but will turn 32 this offseason and has dealt with a variety of injuries. It'll be interesting to see what each could command on the free agent market and how that would fit with the Bills' plans. -- Alaina Getzenberg

Miami Dolphins

Should the Dolphins pick up quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's fifth-year option?

This one is tricky, but the Dolphins should decline Tagovailoa's fifth-year option. It has nothing to do with his ability but rather his availability. Tagovailoa's play answered many of the questions surrounding him entering the 2022 season, but his concussions created a new line of skepticism for his viability as a franchise quarterback. He needs to get through an entire season relatively unscathed before the Dolphins commit serious money to him. If he remains healthy in 2023 while keeping or exceeding his level of play from this past season, his camp will want a long-term extension, and Miami should grant him one. If he can't stay healthy or his play deteriorates, Miami will know enough to feel comfortable moving on. Either way, Tagovailoa will not want to play on his fifth-year option if he has a strong 2023 season, and the Dolphins will not want to be tied to that option if he falters in 2023. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

New England Patriots

What changes to the Patriots' offense should we expect with Bill O'Brien back as OC?

It should look much closer to the Josh McDaniels-led offenses from the past, as O'Brien learned under McDaniels when he first came to the NFL. And perhaps most importantly, it should bring out the best in quarterback Mac Jones by highlighting two of his best assets: accuracy and decision-making. One of coach Bill Belichick's goals for the 2022 offense was to attack more down the field, and while the O'Brien-led attack will surely attempt to do the same, a return to more consistent short and intermediate quick-rhythm concepts seems likely. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets

Is a veteran quarterback all this team needs to be a playoff contender?

Absolutely -- as long as it's a good veteran quarterback. Consider: The Jets won seven games and remained in contention for 16 weeks even though they were ranked 29th in Total QBR (35.5). They would've won at least three more games if they had been average (QBR of 50.6) at the position. This isn't to suggest a new quarterback solves everything -- the offensive line needs considerable repair work -- but the team is strong enough at the skill positions and on defense to make a nice jump if it achieves quarterback stability. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens

How big of a distraction will it be if quarterback Lamar Jackson plays under the franchise tag?

Jackson's unsettled contract situation will hang over this team until he signs a long-term deal or gets traded. If the sides can't reach a deal by March 7, Baltimore will place the franchise tag on him. The next question becomes: When will Jackson report to the team? If Jackson doesn't sign the tender, he could skip the spring workouts, training camp and the entire preseason without being fined because he technically would not be under contract. The prospect of Jackson returning just before the start of the regular season is a nightmare scenario for a Ravens team that is installing a new system under recently hired offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Since 2019, Baltimore is 4-9 (.308) without Jackson, averaging 17.2 points per game. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

What will the Bengals do with wide receiver Tee Higgins this offseason?

Cincinnati could opt to keep Higgins for the final year of his rookie deal but not give him a contract extension. Quarterback Joe Burrow is eligible for an extension this offseason, one year before wideout Ja'Marr Chase can get a new deal. That leaves Higgins in a pinch. The offseason comments from Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin and the Cincinnati front office will indicate whether the Bengals can afford Burrow, Chase and Higgins on long-term deals. -- Ben Baby

Cleveland Browns

If defensive tackle is the biggest area in need of an upgrade, what are the Browns' options?

For the moment, the Browns have one starting-caliber defensive lineman expected back on the roster in Pro Bowl end Myles Garrett. That's problematic. Complicating efforts to bolster Garrett's supporting cast, the Browns don't have a first-round pick due to the trade for quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson's record contract also will count $55 million against the cap this year, limiting Cleveland's financial options. Still, the Browns should be able to find a way to manufacture enough space to take at least one big swing in free agency. Landing a disruptive inside force -- say, DT Daron Payne -- would help dramatically. -- Jake Trotter

Pittsburgh Steelers

Will embattled coordinator Matt Canada make any changes to an inconsistent offense heading into 2023?

That has to be the hope, right? Known as an innovative playcaller in his college coaching career, Canada's 2022 offense ranked 21st in explosive plays (20-plus-yard receptions, 10-plus-yard rushes) and had a league-low 12 passing touchdowns (29 TDs total). Part of the issue, as Pittsburgh tight end Pat Freiermuth said recently on Ben Roethlisberger's podcast, was the elimination of hot routes. Though rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett showed dramatic improvement in the second half of the season, he didn't have the freedom to use nonverbal cues at the line of scrimmage to make checks to his receivers. Instead, pass-catchers read the coverage in front of them and ran their routes. Will Canada open up the playbook and give Pickett more freedom to make plays? -- Brooke Pryor


Houston Texans

Will coach DeMeco Ryans, two first-round picks and $40 million in cap space be enough for the Texans to turn things around?

The assets are enough to turn around the Texans and make them more competitive within the division. Last season, they went 3-2-1 against divisional opponents with limited talent. So if they take advantage of this opportunity, they'll position themselves to have the talent required to surprise some. But before they can achieve that, they must acquire a viable quarterback to help accelerate the turnaround. -- DJ Bien-Aime

Indianapolis Colts

Should the Colts hang on to Matt Ryan to mentor the quarterback they're going to draft?

Ryan ranked 25th in QBR in 2022 (42.9) and struggled with inconsistent pass protection. But there's more of a dilemma here than you might think. The Colts are widely expected to draft a top quarterback this offseason, but they'll need a veteran QB to either start initially or back up the rookie. They already are on the hook for $12 million in guarantees on Ryan's deal. But he'd make $29 million if he remains on the roster. That's another $17 million for a veteran mentor -- a steep price, even for one with Ryan's high character. Maybe Ryan and the Colts can agree to a restructure. Otherwise, finding a more affordable option seems preferable. -- Stephen Holder

Jacksonville Jaguars

Can the Jaguars re-sign both right tackle Jawaan Taylor and tight end Evan Engram given their cap restraints?

The Jags are $31 million over the cap, and while they can get under with a few releases and some restructures, it's unlikely they bring back both players. Engram is the bigger priority because of his impact (he set franchise single-season tight end records for catches and yards), and there is only one tight end currently under contract for 2023. Plus, the Jaguars do have a replacement on the roster for Taylor in Walker Little, whom they drafted in the second round in 2021, and Taylor might be out of the team's price range because he is one of the top available players in a weak group of free agent right tackles. -- Michael DiRocco

Tennessee Titans

How can general manager Ran Carthon fix the roster and help turn the Titans back into a contender?

The focus should be on an offense that scored 17.5 points per game last season. Carthon and the Titans must decide whether to bring back quarterback Ryan Tannehill for another season. If they release him, Tennessee can save around $18 million in cap space. The Titans are $23 million over the salary cap, so they'll have to release some veterans and restructure contracts to clear more cap space. The offensive line could have four vacancies if they release Taylor Lewan and don't re-sign Nate Davis. They also need to add a playmaking receiver and a third-down running back. -- Turron Davenport


Denver Broncos

Outside of quarterback Russell Wilson, what is the biggest improvement the Broncos' offense needs to make?

A battered offensive line needs attention; all five of the team's expected starters missed multiple games due to injury, and four of them finished the season on injured reserve. There's also the matter of running back, where Javonte Williams' multiple knee ligament tears could keep him out well into the 2023 season. But one of the other biggest items is simply confidence. The Broncos haven't averaged more than 21 points a game since 2015. That's a locker room full of players who have yet to experience success on offense, and that might be the heaviest lift of all for new coach Sean Payton. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

What will the depth chart look like at wide receiver and running back after this season?

Two of the Chiefs' top wide receivers from last season, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman, are potential unrestricted free agents, leaving the position in a state of flux at the top of the depth chart. If the Chiefs can get one or both players signed, they have a solid group. If not, they'll have plenty of work to do to find wideouts to join Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who entered the season as the featured back, lost his starting job to Isiah Pacheco before a Week 11 ankle injury sent Edwards-Helaire to injured reserve. Pacheco -- selected in the seventh round of the 2022 draft -- will be at the top of the running back depth chart after his surprisingly strong rookie season. But the Chiefs will need a third-down back if they can't re-sign Jerick McKinnon, who was one of their top playmakers last season. -- Adam Teicher

Las Vegas Raiders

Which direction will the Raiders go at quarterback now that Derek Carr is gone: veteran or rookie?

That depends upon whether Aaron Rodgers emerges from his four-day darkness retreat with an overwhelming desire to join the Silver and Black. Because acquiring him from the Packers would be an expensive process to go along with his expensive contract; he is entering Year 2 of the three-year, $150 million extension he signed last spring. But if knowing coach Josh McDaniels' offense is a prerequisite, then Jimmy Garoppolo would be an option on a much cheaper contract, as would Jarrett Stidham, who impressed in two starts. Moving up from No. 7 in the draft to select, say, C.J. Stroud, might cost more draft capital than acquiring Rodgers. Stay tuned. -- Paul Gutierrez

Los Angeles Chargers

What do the Chargers need to change or improve to realistically threaten the Chiefs' AFC West dominance?

The Chargers must improve all around. After splitting the series vs. the Chiefs in quarterback Justin Herbert's first two seasons, anticipation grew that the promising young signal-caller could lead the Chargers to a season sweep in his third. But that didn't materialize, and the Bolts took a step back, losing both games in 2022. The offense's inability to score on potential game-winning drives and the defense's inability to slow quarterback Patrick Mahomes could both be examined in these losses. Moving forward, if the Chargers want to end Kansas City's division dominance, they must play more disciplined defense late in games and hope new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore can deliver a scheme that scores in the two-minute drill. -- Lindsey Thiry


Dallas Cowboys

Do the Cowboys have the right personnel to run Mike McCarthy's West Coast offense?

The Cowboys wouldn't be making the switch if they didn't feel they had the personnel in place. They have a No. 1 receiver in CeeDee Lamb. They hope wideout Michael Gallup can rebound in his second season following major knee surgery. They have a quality line. They have decisions to make at running back with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, but they'll have somebody who fits. Quarterback Dak Prescott will have to show he can be more accurate in hitting pass-catchers in stride to allow for more yards after the catch in the scheme, but McCarthy's history with QBs should help that process. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants

In this second season as GM, how will Joe Schoen build around QB Daniel Jones?

The Giants need more explosive pass-catchers. It doesn't matter whether it's at tight end or wide receiver. Expect the Giants to add a wide receiver fairly early in the draft and in free agency. Schoen also plans to add to the interior of the offensive line, which was a problem at times last season. The key to all of this: signing Jones to a long-term deal so he isn't playing on the franchise tag and eating up $32.4 million against the salary cap. That would be counterproductive for the Giants and Jones' supporting cast.-- Jordan Raanan

Philadelphia Eagles

Are there any core players the Eagles might struggle to retain or let walk before next season?

With 19 unrestricted free agents -- many of them significant contributors -- and quarterback Jalen Hurts in line for an extension that will likely net him north of $45 million per year, there's no question the Eagles are going to lose some key players. Running back Miles Sanders is a possibility given that money will be tight and the Eagles don't typically invest big dollars into the position. Longtime defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and cornerback James Bradberry could also end up elsewhere. -- Tim McManus

Washington Commanders

Will the Commanders be in the market for a starting QB this offseason, or is Sam Howell the guy?

Howell is the guy, with an asterisk. Coach Ron Rivera has said Howell will be QB1 when the Commanders begin offseason workouts in April. And Rivera said they will not be in the market for an expensive veteran -- be it in the form of money or draft picks -- like they were last season, when they inquired about any and all available quarterbacks, even calling Andrew Luck. They'd rather invest in building around Howell. But Washington will seek a veteran, someone who can compete with Howell for the starting job but who also can handle a backup role. Washington really likes Howell; he has a strong arm, is physical enough to threaten with his legs and can operate a quick game, which is a good fit with the team's skill talent. But he has thrown 19 passes in the NFL, which is why the Commanders say he must earn the job. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears

What should the Bears do with the No. 1 pick?

Ryan Poles is the center of attention during an offseason that runs through Chicago. The Bears general manager reaffirmed his commitment to quarterback Justin Fields, but as trade packages are presented by teams lobbying for the No. 1 pick, Poles first must determine whether drafting Alabama's Bryce Young is a considerable upgrade over Fields. Poles will exhaust all options, including exploring what the franchise would look like with a new quarterback in 2023, but a trade back to garner more draft capital to fill a lot of holes on this roster feels more likely. It's also possible the Bears stay at No. 1 and nab one of the draft's top defensive players in Georgia tackle Jalen Carter or Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. -- Courtney Cronin

Detroit Lions

Will the Lions bring back Jamaal Williams?

Yes. After a record-setting season in Detroit, where he led the NFL in total rushing touchdowns with 17, it makes sense for Williams to at least test the free agent market. However, with the seemingly upward trajectory of the current Lions roster, as well as his leadership inside the locker room, it also makes the most sense for him to stay put. Williams became the Lions' first 1,000-yard rusher since Reggie Bush in 2013, and he has expressed a willingness to return. -- Eric Woodyard

Green Bay Packers

How will the workload be split between Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon in the Packers' backfield?

Jones took a pay cut earlier this month to ensure he would be back. As long as he is on the roster, he'll likely be the primary back over Dillon. However, their playing time last season wasn't all that different. Jones had 93 more snaps and 27 more carries than Dillon. The difference is in the passing game, where Jones was targeted 72 times as compared to 43 for Dillon, and that isn't likely to change. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings

Should the Vikings sign quarterback Kirk Cousins to an extension before he becomes a free agent in 2024?

Yes. An argument could be made for having Cousins play out the final year of his contract in 2023, during which he would turn 35, then move on in 2024. But who would they move on to and how? Their 2022 backup, Nick Mullens, doesn't project as a long-term starter. The Vikings have the No. 23 overall position in the draft, which might be too low to select any of the top 2023 quarterbacks, and limited capital with which to trade up. Cousins has been extremely durable in his career, having missed one start with the Vikings for health reasons, and he should be more comfortable in his second year in coach Kevin O'Connell's scheme. -- Kevin Seifert


Atlanta Falcons

Would the Falcons part with the capital it will take to trade for Lamar Jackson?

The Falcons should at least inquire about Jackson, but at some point, there should be a limit as to what they will be willing to give up to land the Ravens quarterback. They are not a quarterback away from contending. They have questions on every level of the defense, including the defensive line (which needs a makeover), and have holes at receiver and potentially on the offensive line. Atlanta has cap space to work with for the first time in the Arthur Smith/Terry Fontenot era, and trading for Jackson would eliminate both the draft capital and cap space they worked hard to open up. So inquire? Sure. But if it gets pretty costly, the Falcons do like Desmond Ridder and would be wise to see what they have in their second-year quarterback. -- Michael Rothstein

Carolina Panthers

What roster changes are required to put the next Panthers quarterback in position to succeed?

Find a pass-catching threat at tight end. The Panthers haven't had one since they moved on from Greg Olsen after the 2019 season. No Carolina tight end has had more than 21 catches in a season over the past three years, and the group as a whole has six touchdowns during that time. Kansas City's Travis Kelce has 33 TDs in that span. Free agency could be a way to find help, with Dallas' Dalton Schultz, Jacksonville's Evan Engram and Miami's Mike Gesicki on the market. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints

Will the Saints try to trade into the top 10 of the draft to get a quarterback or try to snag one in free agency?

The attempt to trade for Derek Carr before he was released on Feb. 14 showed the Saints are serious about trying to get a quarterback before the draft. Moving from No. 29 in the draft order to the top 10 might require more picks than the Saints are willing to part with, so expect them to continue exploring all their options to have the position settled before they get to the draft. -- Katherine Terrell

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

With Tom Brady retired, will the Bucs blow up the roster and go into rebuilding mode?

You'll never hear the Buccaneers call it a rebuild. They'll tell you it's "reloading." But the number of salary-cap-saving moves the Bucs will need to get out of the red -- they're currently $55 million over -- will certainly make it feel that way, and that's before even attempting to make upgrades. Their best shot is if they can create a situation similar to one the Seahawks had last year with quarterback Geno Smith (and of course, Tampa Bay now has former Seattle quarterbacks coach Dave Canales as its offensive coordinator) and get a veteran like Jacoby Brissett, whose contract won't break the bank while he utilizes talented wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. -- Jenna Laine


Arizona Cardinals

Should the Cardinals go into full rebuild mode or try to contend in 2023?

It all depends on when quarterback Kyler Murray will return. Before Kliff Kingsbury was fired, the former Arizona coach said Murray "probably" won't be back for Week 1. Timetables for ACL injuries are difficult to predict, and it's possible Murray won't return until much later. If the Cardinals think Murray will play closer to the start of the season, they could try to contend in 2023. But without Murray on the field, that'd be hard to do. If Murray won't be back until midseason or later, it might make sense for first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon to restock for a run in 2024. -- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams

If Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald return healthy, could the Rams reemerge as a legitimate threat to the Niners?

If health is on the Rams' side next season, they'll look very different from the team that won five games in 2022, both in success and roster makeup. The Rams will need to make changes to the offense in order to improve a unit that struggled to consistently move the ball even before Stafford and Kupp were injured. The first change came early, as the Rams hired Mike LaFleur as their offensive coordinator after Liam Coen returned to Kentucky. The Rams believe their window is still wide open, and general manager Les Snead referred to any roster movement as more of a "remodel" than a rebuild. The Rams might not be Super Bowl contenders in 2023, but they will challenge the 49ers for the NFC West title. -- Sarah Barshop

San Francisco 49ers

With Brock Purdy's elbow surgery looming, is this the opening Trey Lance needs to prove he is the 49ers' long-term quarterback answer?

Lance will undoubtedly have his opportunity to get plenty of reps while Purdy recovers, but making a statement big enough to nail down the job for the long haul is a big ask. The Niners believe in what Purdy showed over the final stretch of the season, which means Lance would have to demonstrate he has taken significant steps forward as a pocket passer to unseat Purdy. If Lance is able to make that progress from the pocket and, most importantly, prove he can stay healthy, the starting quarterback situation could turn into a legitimate preseason competition. -- Nick Wagoner

Seattle Seahawks

How will the Seahawks use their draft capital to shore up their inconsistent defense?

Early and often, and likely concentrated up front -- unless they fall in love with a cornerback to start opposite Tariq Woolen. The big needs are in their front seven, where several spots were filled last season by players who are either aging (DT Al Woods, OLB Bruce Irvin), coming off major injuries (ILB Jordyn Brooks, DT Bryan Mone), ineffective (DE L.J. Collier) or pending free agents (DT Poona Ford, ILB Cody Barton). Picking at No. 5 overall in the draft means the Seahawks will have a shot to add some blue-chip talent to their defense, even if Jalen Carter and Will Anderson Jr. are gone by then. They also have the 20th pick plus two second-rounders and could conceivably add another Day 2 pick by moving back from No. 20. -- Brady Henderson