Smacktalk / Backtalk



This NFL offseason was full of big moments, including a coaching carousel, trades, free agency, and the 2022 NFL Draft. As a result, it has left some teams looking like winners and some like losers.

Winner: Bengals. Despite the loss in the Super Bowl against the Rams, the Bengals went out and took care of their offensive line, which was a question mark throughout their run to the Super Bowl. Their plan was very clear, and the moves they made seem clearer every day.

Winner: Buccaneers. Without Tom Brady returning from a very short retirement, they wouldn’t be winners. In addition to having Brady back they retained star receiver Chris Godwin, starting center Ryan Jensen, and corner Carlton Davis. They also replaced retired guard Ali Marpet, who was just 28 years old, with former Patriot Shaq Mason, who won championships with Brady.

Winner: The QB carousel. This was an offseason where there was more speculation than action before things really changed. The league saw big trades involving Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, and Russell Wilson. Also, there are more to come as Jimmy Garoppolo and Baker Mayfield are being shopped by their teams. Honorable Mentions: Pass Rushers & Player Empowerment Movement

Loser: Patriots. Last year’s spending spree by the Patriots helped them to a surprising outcome, which was a big move for a team still recovering from Tom Brady’s departure. However, the short-sighted moves to overpay mediocre players led to what has been the worst offseason for any team in the league. The Patriots have had to stand on the sidelines while the rest of the AFC is enjoying an arm’s race. Not only that, but they lost elite offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who took the head coaching job for the Raiders, which severely hurt quarterback Mac Jones.

Loser: Falcons. Head coach Arthur Smith and the new regime had the opportunity to completely reboot the Falcons before the 2021 NFL Draft. Trading Julio Jones and Matt Ryan away at that time would’ve opened the door for the franchise to cut big expenses and recoup high picks for their veterans. Instead, they had either no plan or an incompetent one. Last year they opted to pass on quarterback Justin Fields for tight end Kyle Pitts. Months later, they traded Jones to the Titans, limiting Ryan’s weapons. Lastly, they failed to land Deshaun Watson this spring in a move that would have immediately upgraded the team. Honorable Mentions: Treavor Lawrence & Cowboys


The big stars of free agency have already come and gone and now that we know most players’ futures – except for the potential trades of Deebo Samuel and Baker Mayfield – let’s look at the winners and losers.

Winner: Dolphins. The Dolphins come away with a win here by getting a big-name weapon in Tyreek Hill to pair with Jaylen Waddle for young QB Tua Tagovaiola, who should have no excuses not to take a leap to the next level just as other QBs drafted in his class like Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert.

Winner: Ravens – The Ravens stayed put during the draft only to see safety Kyle Hamilton still available at pick 14. Hamilton was ranked as the best player in the draft before the combine and now they have him to pair with free agent Marcus Williams to make a great safety duo for the defense.

Winner: Chargers – The Chargers had an almost picture-perfect offseason by retaining most of the guys they needed to keep, like receiver Mike Williams, while bolstering their weakest spots on defense with much needed star power. After trading for edge rusher Khalil Mack and signing cornerback J.C Jackson, they look like they can make a case for the best team in the AFC behind superstar quarterback Justin Herbert. Honorable Mentions: Jets & Lions

Loser: Packers – The Packers having to pay Aaron Rodgers so much money hurt their roster building ability and it showed right away as they were forced to trade away superstar Davante Adams because of a contract dispute. In losing Adams, they take a huge hit to their receiving corps with only Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, and second round pick Christian Watson for Rodgers to work with this season.

Loser: Patriots – The Patriots didn’t make many big splashes this off season and they lost a few key free agents that made them the good team that they were last season. In a division where every team vastly improved this offseason, they got worse. The Bills, the Jets, who had arguably the best draft in the league, and the Dolphins, who went out and got big name weapons for young QB Tua Tagavaialoa, all improved considerably. The Patriots responded to those moves by acquiring a solid receiver in Devante Parker and reached considerably on first round pick Cole Strange, who was thought by many experts to have been available in the 3rd round. Honorable Mentions: Baker Mayfield & Jaguars