The 2023 NFL offseason is about to ramp up with free company solely a number of days away. Legal tampering, when groups can begin speaking with pending free brokers, begins on March 13. Trades can develop into official two days later. All 4 groups within the NFC West division have made the playoffs within the final two seasons, which means any of the 4 might solely be a couple of strikes away from making actual noise in 2023.
The Cardinals have a prime three decide and a good quantity of cap house to retool their roster beneath their new regime of head coach Jonathan Gannon, previously the Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator, and common supervisor Monti Ossenfort, previously the director of participant personnel for the Tennessee Titans. The Rams, whereas missing in draft picks and cap house, might return to type with higher damage luck for his or her stars. The Seahawks might make the most important leap ahead of any crew, making the playoffs a yr in the past and now in possession of two first-round picks in addition to loads of cap house. The 49ers ought to as soon as once more be one of many division’s greatest groups with a little bit little bit of cap house and probably the greatest rosters in soccer.
As we method the free company frenzy, here is the place all 4 NFC West groups stand and what they might do to enhance their roster earlier than the 2023 NFL Draft.
Note: Projected cap house is per Over the Cap.
Team wants: OG, C, EDGE, CB, LB, RB, OT
Cap house: $28.6M (seventh)
Top draft picks: No. 3, No. 34, No. 66
Making a regime change within the NFL, bringing in a brand new common supervisor and head coach, normally means a crew is in rebuilding mode. Not the Arizona Cardinals. Their method seems to be aiming to win now as among the first phrases Gannon mentioned to face-of-the-franchise quarterback Kyler Murray had been “Let’s go, let’s go win!” If the intent was to shift to extra of a youth motion, Gannon probably would’ve caught to low-key pleasantries with one thing alongside the strains of “Looking ahead to working with you,” and many others.
With that win-now method in thoughts, the Cardinals pursuing a top-flight CB1 along with ideally retaining Byron Murphy to bolster what was the Twenty fourth-ranked passing protection is sensible. Especially since Eagles cornerback James Bradberry, whose 44.5 passer ranking in protection was one of the best within the NFL in 2022 amongst 49 gamers with 75 or extra passes thrown their approach, is about to hit the open market. The protection might additionally proceed to enhance rapidly beneath Gannon with the collection of one of many prime edge rushers within the draft, Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. or Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson. Retaining their very own in 25-year-old defensive finish Zach Allen, who’s coming off a profession yr, should not be an excessive amount of of a monetary burden.
Offensively, the one key wants are on the road and on the backup quarterback spot. Cardinals quarterbacks had a mean time to throw of two.58 seconds, the third-quickest within the NFL. That statistic could be indicative of few issues, constructive and unfavourable. It is usually a constructive like within the case of the Cincinnati Bengals, whose crew 2.55 common time to throw showcases Joe Burrow’s supreme confidence in his arm and his crew’s scheme. The different two within the prime three in 2022, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2.44) and the Cardinals (2.58), illustrate a quarterback afraid to get hit and getting the ball out of his fingers as quick as he can at age 45 (Tom Brady) and principally quite a few fill-in quarterbacks locking in on their first learn whereas trying to keep away from being sacked (Colt McCoy, Trace McSorley, and David Blough).
Arizona’s quarterbacks had been nonetheless taken down 46 instances, tied for the ninth-most sacks allowed by any crew. Fortifying its entrance and discovering a veteran who can maintain issues down till Murray can return from his torn ACL through the season might be priorities.
Potential veteran targets: Arizona Cardinals DE Zach Allen, Philadelphia Eagles CB James Bradberry, Miami Dolphins QB Teddy Bridgewater, Philadelphia Eagles G Isaac Seumalo, New York Jets T George Fant, New York Jets Connor McGovern, Washington Commanders G Wes Schweitzer, Miami Dolphins LB Elandon Roberts
Los Angeles Rams
Team wants: OG, TE, EDGE, CB, DT, QB
Cap house: –$16.0M (twenty eighth)
Top draft picks: No. 36, No. 69
The excellent news for the Super Bowl champions of yesteryear is that they nonetheless haveagain within the fold after there have been retirement questions floating round. If is , this might be a crew again in NFC playoff combine. The Rams can also’t presumably have any worse damage luck than they did in 2022 with Stafford lacking eight video games (neck), 2021 Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp lacking eight video games (ankle), All-Pro defensive sort out Aaron Donald lacking six video games (ankle) and the vast majority of their offensive line lacking vital quantities of time. An common quantity of damage luck might consequence within the 2023 Rams trying extra just like the groups McVay is used to, ones that repeatedly win at the least 10 video games and attain the postseason.
Restructuring some contracts might present sufficient cap house for Los Angeles to have the ability to signal a couple of veterans on one-year, prove-it offers alongside the road and within the secondary. The draft might be tough because the Rams do not possess their very own first-round decide till 2024. Selecting a mid-to-late-round quarterback might be key for McVay to start out grooming a brand new, long-term successor rather than the injury-plagued Stafford.
Potential veteran targets: Tennessee Titans WR Robert Woods, Arizona Cardinals G Justin Pugh, New York Giants G Jon Feliciano, San Francisco 49ers G Daniel Brunskill, Green Bay Packers TE Robert Tonyan, Cincinnati Bengals TE Hayden Hurst, Baltimore Ravens CB Marcus Peters, Las Vegas Raiders CB Rock Ya-Sin
Team wants: C, S, LB, DT, WR, OG
Cap house: $23.1M (eighth)
Top draft picks: No. 5, No. 20, No. 37, No. 52
The 2022 Seattle Seahawks had been like discovering a crumpled $20 in your denims pocket after taking them out of the washer — a pleasing shock. After buying and selling Russell Wilson, as soon as their longtime face-of-the-franchise quarterback, to the Denver Broncos in alternate for 3 gamers (QB Drew Lock, TE Noah Fant and DL Shelby Harris) together with 5 draft picks (two firsts, two seconds and one fifth), it appeared as if the crew was punting on the 2022 season. However, with Wilson’s former backup, Geno Smith, outplaying Seattle’s solely Super Bowl champion quarterback in Year 1 of the divorce, Seattle snuck into the seventh and closing NFC playoff spot at 9-8, changing into one among solely two groups this season to succeed in the playoffs and have a number of first-round picks, becoming a member of the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Having the fifth total decide and the twentieth total decide enable for the Seahawks to financial institution on having the ability to purchase two instant-impact gamers on a budget given. Their treasure trove of picks and the additional cap house that comes with it can probably go towards one or two different starting-caliber veterans doubtlessly at huge receiver or line of defense. Head coach Pete Carroll and common supervisor John Schneider have managed the wage cap so nicely that they nonetheless have a little bit over $23 million in cap house to play with even after re-signing Smith to new a . However, that won’t preclude them from deciding on a prime passing prospect with the fifth total decide with Carroll saying the Seahawk are “ to the quarterbacks which are popping out” within the 2023 NFL Draft.
Adding 26-year-old huge receiver Jakobi Meyers, the Patriots’ chief in receiving in every of the final two seasons, in addition to 30-year-old defensive sort out Javon Hargrave, coming off a career-high 11.0 sacks, to their locker room would tackle a pair areas of want. Those signings would enable Seattle to select one of the best participant out there early within the 2023 NFL Draft as an alternative of getting to draft for want.
Potential veteran targets: Philadelphia Eagles DT Javon Hargrave, Cleveland Browns LB Deion Jones, Pittsburgh Steelers LB Devin Bush, New England Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers, Tennessee Titans WR Robert Woods, Detroit Lions WR DJ Chark
San Francisco 49ers
Team wants: C, OG, S, DT, WR
Cap house: $6.4M (nineteenth)
Top draft picks: No. 99, No. 101, No. 102
The San Francisco 49ers practically reaching the Super Bowl with the final decide within the 2022 NFL Draft — quarterback Brock Purdy — main the cost following accidents to 2021 third total draft decide Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo is a testomony to the excellent form of the 49ers’ roster and head coach Kyle Shanahan’s wizardry as a play-caller. If San Francisco goes to get any contributions from its 2023 draft class, that may begin with gamers chosen on the finish of the third spherical on the earliest. That’s as a result of the Niners traded away their first-round decide with a purpose to choose Lance in 2021, and their second-, third-, and fourth-round picks had been a part of the price to accumulate Pro Bowl working again Christian McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers.
Fortunately for the 49ers, they do not have too many gaping holes to deal with. Most of their offseason strikes will probably be inner: deciding who might be their franchise quarterback shifting ahead between Lance and Purdy, extending 2022 Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa and determining whether or not or to not prolong or commerce 24-year-old huge receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Having the NFL’s prime scoring protection in 2022 and changing defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, now the Houston Texans head coach, with former Panthers interim head coach and defensive play-caller Steve Wilks was a savvy transfer by Shanahan to maintain the great instances rolling on protection. If the 49ers can shore up the fitting facet of their offensive line and preserve their quarterbacks upright, there isn’t any motive why they can not as soon as once more attain so far as the NFC Championship Game for the fourth time in 5 seasons.
Potential veteran targets: Arizona Cardinals G Justin Pugh, New York Giants G Jon Feliciano, San Francisco 49ers G Daniel Brunskill, Pittsburgh Steelers CB Cameron Sutton, San Francisco 49ers security Jimmie Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers security Terrell Edmunds, Green Bay Packers security Adrian Amos