• Falcons could still use help at CB: Enter, Marcus Peters. Atlanta has added Jeff Okudah, Mike Hughes and Clark Phillips III this offseason, but it wouldn't hurt to sign another veteran.
• Jadeveon Clowney may get yet another one-year deal: The former top overall draft pick is a good fit in Carolina opposite Brian Burns.
• Tackles Isaiah Wynn, George Fant remain on the market: We have them fitting in with the 49ers and Seahawks, respectively.
Estimated Reading Time: 11 mins
NFL rosters are taking shape as teams welcome aboard draft classes of up to 14 new faces and undrafted free agent groups in the 20s. Over the course of the next few months, with organized team activities followed by training camp and preseason games, front offices get a clearer picture of the remaining weaknesses on their rosters heading into the 2023 regular season.
At that point, veterans who have been patiently waiting for the phone to ring — and, perhaps, skipping some grueling training in the summer heat by design — will get signed across the league. We started with a look at the AFC teams, and now we take a look at the one final offseason move each team in the NFC could make before Week 1 kicks off on September 7.
JUMP TO A TEAM:
ARZ | ATL | CAR | CHI | DAL | DET | GB | LAR
MIN | NO | NYG | PHI | SF | SEA | TB | WSH
Arizona Cardinals: DI WILL GHOLSTON
Not one player on the Cardinals' interior defender depth chart at the time of writing played at least 45% of their team's defensive snaps in 2022. And only two played 25% of their team's defensive snaps in 2022. This is a very inexperienced unit made up of largely rotational players.
Gholston is a seasoned veteran with at least 400 snaps played in nine consecutive seasons, and he can bring experience to a new regime while providing a consistent presence in base personnel on early downs. In 2022, Gholston made 22 defensive stops and missed just 3.9% of tackle opportunities. Arizona shouldn’t be looking at major free-agent additions throughout the rest of the offseason, but consistent, high-floor veterans who may help bring along a new defense could go a long way down the road.
Atlanta Falcons: CB MARCUS PETERS
The Falcons were frequently projected to select one of the top cornerbacks in the draft at No. 8 overall but decided to add the electric Bijan Robinson at running back instead. They did draft slot cornerback Clark Phillips III early in the fourth round but, arguably, still need help on the outside opposite A.J. Terrell even after adding Mike Hughes and Jeff Okudah.
One of the league's premier interception hawks at cornerback, Peters failed to record multiple picks for the first time in his career in 2022. The soon-to-be 30-year-old suffered a calf strain in December that sidelined him for the final three weeks of the regular season, but this was just his first season outside of 2021 where he didn't log at least 900 snaps.
Carolina Panthers: EDGE JADEVEON CLOWNEY
The Panthers added Oregon edge defender DJ Johnson in the third round and have a few other young pieces on the roster, but if they want this loaded defense to truly be among the league’s best, they can’t have a potential weak link on the line opposite Brian Burns.
Clowney is coming off a down year in the pass-rushing department, totaling only 29 pressures and two sacks, but a change of scenery could allow him to thrive again, similar to what happened in his first year in Cleveland. Clowney is one of the best run-defending edges in the NFL over the past decade and should benefit from having a lot of talent around him.
Chicago Bears: EDGE YANNICK NGAKOUE
Ngakoue's 2022 production makes us wary once you look at his underlying metrics, with his 9.5 sacks this past season well above the expectation of a player with his pass-rush win rate and pressure rate. That being said, he's registered at least eight sacks in every season of his seven-year career and was a more menacing pass rusher on a per-snap basis from 2017 to 2021.
The Chicago Bears made several free-agent additions on the edge that should be solid against the run on early downs but don’t project to offer much pass-rushing juice. Ngakoue does just that, and perhaps now Chicago should reach out to let him just pin his ears back and hunt quarterbacks.
Dallas Cowboys: RB DARRELL HENDERSON
The former Los Angeles Rams third-round pick was waived last season and landed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he was productive as an early-down runner in 2020-2021, earning an 83.8 rushing grade that ranked 14th among running backs. His 40 explosive rushes over the span also ranked in the top 20.
Dallas awaits the return of top running back Tony Pollard from a broken leg and added dynamic scat back Deuce Vaughn out of Kansas State with an NFL Draft video that caused a lot of tears nationwide, but the team still needs an early-down bruiser who can lower his shoulder and fall forward behind a good push from the offensive line.
Detroit Lions: DI SHELBY HARRIS
A reliable veteran on the interior next to 2021 third-round pick Alim McNeill could be a key addition to a young Lions defensive line that got gashed up the middle at times in 2022, and Harris earned a 76.9 run-defense grade in 2022 while logging more than 25 quarterback pressures for the fourth straight season.
Detroit does not have many holes left, but not significantly addressing the interior of the defensive line this offseason would leave an area in need of reinforcements.
Green Bay Packers: S ADRIAN AMOS
Amos had long been one of the most consistent, reliable safeties across the NFL, allowing an explosive reception on just 1% of coverage snaps over five seasons from 2017 to 2021 and forcing an incompletion on 17.3% of targets into his coverage over the span, which ranked tied for 21st.
He took a step back in 2022, earning a 54.2 grade — a career-low mark by more than 15 grading points. However, the Packers added only one safety in the draft in Iowa State’s Anthony Johnson Jr. at No. 242 overall, and after investing so many resources in their defense over the past several offseasons, it wouldn’t make much sense to have a gaping hole on the back end.
Los Angeles Rams: EDGE MELVIN INGRAM III
Ingram has been a pillar of consistency for his whole career, recording nine straight seasons with a 70.0-plus pass-rush grade. A year after he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs and immediately became their best edge defender for the stretch run, he signed a steal of a one-year deal with the Dolphins and once again played at a very high level, far outpacing his compensation.
Minnesota Vikings: OG ODAY ABOUSHI
Minnesota was able to secure one of the top wide receivers in the 2023 NFL Draft even after standing pat at No. 23 overall, bringing aboard USC product Jordan Addison, who could be the No. 2 wide receiver on the depth chart as early as Week 1. Question marks remain in their secondary and on the interior of the defensive line, but not due to a lack of recent draft picks and free-agent additions, so they probably just need to let things play out on a new-look defense.
At guard, 2020 second-round pick Ezra Cleveland is entering a contract year, and 2022 second-round pick Ed Ingram earned a 44.4 pass-blocking grade as a rookie that ranked 66th out of 71 guards with at least 250 pass-blocking snaps. Aboushi has been reliable depth at either guard spot everywhere he goes, most recently with Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell’s former team in the Los Angeles Rams in 2022. Aboushi has three straight seasons earning grades above 65.0, with grades of at least 60.0 as a pass blocker and a run blocker each year.
New Orleans Saints: EDGE LEONARD FLOYD
The Saints used the No. 40 overall selection on Notre Dame edge defender Isaiah Foskey but still could stand to improve on the edge. They're roster lacks much beyond veteran Cam Jordan and the underrated Carl Granderson. Floyd has been remarkably durable of late, as well, logging more than 900 snaps in three consecutive seasons.
The former first-round pick of the Chicago Bears has historically been a standup outside linebacker but is a lengthy, physical run defender at the point of attack and shouldn’t have too much trouble holding up amid a transition to playing with his hand in the dirt more often. It’s not the cleanest fit in the world, but it addresses an area in need of starting-caliber talent in 2023, and Dennis Allen can get creative with how he deploys a revamped front seven.
Floyd racked up 157 quarterback pressures and 29 sacks over the past three seasons playing alongside Aaron Donald, and while he won’t have that in New Orleans, he brings immediate production and depth to a unit that isn’t complete just yet.
New York Giants: EDGE JUSTIN HOUSTON
Houston’s 18.4% pass-rush win rate and 14.6% pressure percentage in 2022 were both top-25 marks among edge defenders, and he managed to add 9.5 sacks to his total, which brings him to 111.5 for his career, a top-40 mark all time. For a team looking for a menace on passing downs, Houston is still that guy entering his age-34 season.
The Giants need more help at edge rusher after not addressing the position much at all this offseason, and the veteran Houston could be a great mentor for Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari. He would also be reuniting with defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, who was his coach in Baltimore in 2021.
Philadelphia Eagles: S DURON HARMON
Harmon has logged more than 1,000 snaps in three consecutive seasons, a valuable source of reliability with Philadelphia’s current position group largely made up of younger and/or inexperienced players.
Harmon earned a 77.6 coverage grade in 2022 with multiple interceptions for the sixth year in a row to go along with a career-high 67 tackles and 11 defensive stops. After a very strong Eagles draft that also addressed positional needs, there are effectively no holes on the team's roster. Depth at tight end was an area we planned to mention here, but Philadelphia went ahead and added free agent Dan Arnold.
San Francisco 49ers: OT ISAIAH WYNN
The 49ers did not have a draft pick at their disposal before No. 99 and ended up coming away with no offensive line additions. San Francisco has expressed confidence in Matt Pryor and Colton McKivitz, but if Wynn is interested in getting his career back on track on a contending team for a discount deal, the 49ers have to consider the option. Wynn earned 70.0-plus pass-blocking grades each year from 2019 to 2021, and his 79.6 overall grade over the span ranked 26th among tackles.
Injuries are a legitimate concern with Wynn, and the Patriots seemed to reach a boiling point in 2022 with the lack of certainty, but he will be just 26 years old for most of his sixth NFL season and has logged significant time at both tackle spots.
Seattle Seahawks: OT GEORGE FANT
Seattle found both of its starting tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft in first-rounder Charles Cross and second-rounder Abraham Lucas, but the return of a familiar face in George Fant to serve as the swing tackle once again could solidify the unit. The vibes are high in Seattle with linebacker Bobby Wagner making his way back to the team this offseason, so why not Fant, as well, if he can’t land a starting gig elsewhere?
Injuries derailed his 2022 campaign, but the seventh-year tackle earned a career-high 75.1 pass-blocking grade in 2021, playing almost exclusively at left tackle. His 3.2% pressure rate allowed was the sixth lowest among tackles on the season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: S JOSHUA KALU
Free agent Matt Feiler and second-round pick Cody Mauch both provide inside-outside ability on the offensive line, and Tampa Bay did well to add two potential impact players along the defensive line in first-rounder Calijah Kancey and third-rounder YaYa Diaby. Safety remains the last question mark, especially if Antoine Winfield Jr. continues to spend a lot of time in the slot. Adding Ryan Neal after he was let go by the Seattle Seahawks was a sharp move, but the Buccaneers still need more on the back end.
Kalu played significant snaps for the first time in his career in 2022 and earned a 93.5 run-defense grade with 16 defensive stops on just 135 run-defense snaps to go along with an interception and three pass breakups. He can provide depth at free safety and in the slot in a pinch if needed.
Washington Commanders: TE MAXX WILLIAMS
Washington quietly has a solid and deep roster on both sides of the ball after boosting their offensive line over the course of the offseason and their secondary by adding two potential impact players in the 2023 NFL Draft in first-round cornerback Emmanuel Forbes and second-round defensive back Jartavius Martin. Another addition at offensive tackle or guard would make sense, as well, but we went in a different direction here.
There are a few young tight ends behind Logan Thomas who the Commanders are optimistic about, notably 2021 fourth-round pick John Bates — a stout run blocker — but adding another depth piece in Maxx Williams couldn’t hurt now that he’s recovered from an unfortunate ACL tear sustained at the worst possible time in 2021. Through Week 5 of 2021, Williams was sporting a 77.6 receiving grade with 16 receptions, as many as he’d had in a full season since 2015. Perhaps more importantly, Williams’ 81.0 run-blocking grade since 2015 is the top mark in the NFL over the span.