Best 2024 NFL offseason decision by every NFC team

2XA9W80 Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins throws a pass during an NFL football practice Monday, June 3, 2024, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

• Kirk Cousins is set to spark Atlanta's offense: Say what you want about the Michael Penix Jr. draft choice, but the Falcons did well to address their quarterback woes this offseason.

• Dan Quinn will usher in a new era in D.C.: The Commanders made the perfect head coach hire in Quinn, who always seems to get the most out of his players.

• Get a head start on fantasy football: Use PFF's fantasy football mock draft simulator to create real live mock draft simulations to prepare for your live draft!

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes


As we reflect on the NFL team building we’ve seen over the past few months, we're identifying the “best” move from every team in the NFL. We started with all 16 AFC teams, and now we dive into the NFC.


JUMP TO A TEAM:

ARZ | ATLCARCHIDAL | DET | GBLAR |
MIN | NO | NYG | PHISF | SEA | TBWSH


ARIZONA CARDINALS: DRAFTING MARVIN HARRISON JR.

Despite three quarterbacks coming off the board within the first three picks of the 2024 NFL Draft, the Cardinals likely had plenty of options to trade down from No. 4. However, their best move this offseason was standing pat and drafting a player who can be a true focal point of their passing game.

Marvin Harrison Jr. earned elite receiving grades in back-to-back seasons as a true sophomore and junior at Ohio State, and he is one of the best receiver prospects of the past half-decade.


ATLANTA FALCONS: SIGNING KIRK COUSINS

The best move the Falcons made this offseason was certainly addressing their quarterback position as aggressively as possible in free agency by signing the best quarterback on the market. The Falcons were a good team last year and with even average quarterback play could have been a playoff team. Kirk Cousins has them as the betting favorite to win the NFC South in 2024.

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CAROLINA PANTHERS: INVESTING IN THE OFFENSIVE LINE

The Panthers needed to do everything possible to improve their offense. After all, they need to know if Bryce Young is the guy. My favorite way they did that was by signing offensive linemen Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis in free agency. Carolina's offensive line earned a 60.5 PFF grade in 2023, ranking just 27th in the league.


CHICAGO BEARS: DRAFTING CALEB WILLIAMS

Caleb Williams was the obvious play for the Bears at the top of the 2024 NFL Draft, but there some analysts were caping for a strategy that included the team sticking with Justin Fields and trading the No. 1 overall pick again, likely for an even better return than the one they got the year before. Chicago's best move was not doing that and drafting Williams.


DALLAS COWBOYS: DRAFTING COOPER BEEBE

The Cowboys didn't seem to get better this offseason. Their playoff loss was a disappointment, and they didn’t do much to make outsiders think that 2024 will be different. The team lost defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, offensive tackle Tyron Smith and running back Tony Pollard.

However, I did like their draft and their selection of Cooper Beebe, one of the most experienced offensive linemen in the class. He can potentially start on the interior and help make up for the loss of Tyron Smith.


DETROIT LIONS: TRADING UP FOR TERRION ARNOLD

The Lions had one major team need this offseason before making another run at a Super Bowl in 2024: the secondary, specifically the cornerback position. Detroit earned just a 56.4 coverage grade from its cornerbacks in 2023.

They traded for Carlton Davis III and made some nice depth signings, but I love that they remained aggressive after all that and traded up for Terrion Arnold in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Arnold isn’t just a win-now piece. He can be a building block for the future.


GREEN BAY PACKERS: HIRING JEFF HAFLEY AS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR

The addition of safety Xavier McKinney was a consideration here, but Green Bay switching things up at defensive coordinator with Jeff Hafley seems like their most significant move.

The Packers will be moving to a 4-3 base defense instead of the 3-4 they’ve run for the past decade. Hafley, a former defensive backs coach, likely needed a top-notch safety to make his scheme go, and Green Bay got one in McKinney. The Packers didn’t post a team run-defense grade above 62.5 in the Joe Barry era.

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LOS ANGELES RAMS: FOCUSING ON THE TRENCHES

The Rams in 2023 shifted to more of a man/gap blocking scheme in the run game. This led to them prioritizing more power on the interior, re-signing Kevin Dotson, signing Jonah Jackson and moving Steve Avila to center. While head coach Sean McVay is known to many for his pass-game chops, his efficiency on the ground is what makes the Rams so tough to stop.


MINNESOTA VIKINGS: SIGNING SAM DARNOLD

The Vikings made some big splashes by re-signing Justin Jefferson and drafting J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner, but the Sam Darnold addition is the one that could have a big payout.

Darnold will not be the franchise quarterback, but signing him for 2024 gives the Vikings flexibility to not rush McCarthy into action while the team remains competitive. For the flexibility and patience he allows Minnesota to have with McCarthy, Darnold was worth the $10 million this year.


NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: HIRING KLINT KUBIAK AS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

The Saints' offense needed a change, and Klint Kubiak is a solid coordinator to bring in to try to get the most out of Derek Carr for the 2024 season.

Carr was his same self in 2023, with plenty of good but, unfortunately, plenty of letdowns and mistakes. Kubiak was the 49ers' passing game coordinator last season and helped orchestrate one of the most efficient offenses in the league. Efficiency feels like what the Saints need most.


NEW YORK GIANTS: EMPHASIZING THE OFFENSIVE LINE

This is more of a “best strategy.” While the Giants didn’t add a massive name in free agency along their offensive line, they brought in Jermaine Eluemunor, Jon Runyan, Aaron Stinnie and Austin Schlottmann. The sum of those four signals new life and some needed flexibility to improve the unit from 2023 after the Giants fielded the lowest-graded offensive line in the league (47.2).


PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: HIRING TOP-NOTCH COORDINATORS

The Eagles faltered significantly in their final few games of the 2023 season. After starting 10-1, they dropped six of their last seven outings, including a wild-card playoff game against the Buccaneers.

Both coordinators, Brian Johnson and Sean Desai, are out, and the Eagles were able to replace them with proven commodities Kellen Moore and Vic Fangio. Philadelphia still has a top-tier roster, and the hope is that these coaching changes will bring out the best in the players once more.


SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: DRAFTING RICKY PEARSALL

Perhaps some felt that drafting wide receiver Ricky Pearsall was overkill for the 49ers' receiver room or was done so in a way that may have alienated Brandon Aiyuk, but the move was brilliant.

At that point in the draft, wide receiver was the best talent value. By drafting Pearsall, San Francisco gave itself backup if Aiyuk did end up being traded. And if Aiyuk was back in the fold, they’d have an even deeper and more talented offense. Pearsall can play all three receiver spots with skill, speed and toughness.

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SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: HIRING MIKE MACDONALD

Mike Macdonald put on a defensive masterclass in Baltimore the past two seasons after a successful stint with Jim Harbaugh as Michigan’s defensive coordinator in 2021. He helped get the most out of players like Kyle Hamilton, Justin Madubuike, Jadeveon Clowney and Roquan Smith.

Pete Carroll no longer being Seattle's head coach is shocking, but Macdonald's hire is a big win for the team.


TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: RE-SIGNING BAKER MAYFIELD

Mayfield ran hot and cold through the first half of his first year with the Buccaneers. But from Week 14 on, including the playoffs, he earned a 79.1 passing grade with 16 big-time throws and just nine turnover-worthy plays. The best-case scenario for both parties was always coming to terms on a new deal. Mayfield being back under center means the Buccaneers have a realistic shot at winning the division once again.


WASHINGTON COMMANDERS: HIRING DAN QUINN

The Cowboys losing Dan Quinn is partially why I didn't like their offseason. On the flip side, I love that Washington is giving Quinn another shot at a head coaching gig. Quinn enjoyed a lot of success in Atlanta, even if it wasn’t always in the win-loss column.

Quinn is one of the top culture coaches in the league. It seems like he always gets the most out of his talent, and the players seem to ride for him. That’s the kind of coach the Commanders needed to usher in their new era.

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