One question still facing every NFL team this offseason

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With the bulk of another wild NFL offseason in the books, the majority of rosters are in place but some questions still remain. Here’s a look at the top remaining questions for each team following the draft.


Arizona Cardinals: What will happen with DeAndre Hopkins?

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Hopkins has been the subject of trade rumors throughout the offseason, fueled by a franchise that seems to be rebuilding. He took to social media recently to insinuate that he wasn’t going anywhere, but Hopkins’ future in Arizona is still unknown as Kyler Murray also recovers from a torn ACL.


Atlanta Falcons: Is Desmond Ridder the answer at quarterback?

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Atlanta closed out 2022 with Ridder starting under center, and he remains the starter heading into the season. The Falcons are set to lean heavily on the run after selecting running back Bijan Robinson as their top draft choice, and the team did bring in former Washington starter Taylor Heinicke as insurance should Ridder struggle.


Baltimore Ravens: Can Lamar Jackson stay healthy?

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Jackson and the Ravens finally agreed to their long-awaited extension. The team even got the former MVP more weapons, signing Odell Beckham Jr. and drafting Zay Flowers in the first round. Now it’s on Jackson to deliver, which has been difficult for him over the last two seasons due to injuries. He’s gone 15-9 over the last two seasons, but played only 12 games in each of those campaigns. Baltimore is banking on Jackson to stay healthy in 2023.


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Buffalo Bills: Will the defense be able to overcome Leslie Frazier’s absence?

Buffalo Bills: Will the defense be able to overcome Leslie Frazier's absence?

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After Buffalo’s disappointing ouster from the playoffs last season, acclaimed defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier quietly announced that he’d be taking 2023 off. It sounds like head coach Sean McDermott will call defensive players a position in which he’s highly experienced and capable, but fulfilling double duty will be new territory for him. Even more concerning is the loss of Frazier’s coaching and leadership.


Carolina Panthers: Will the new faces on offense mesh?

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Not only did Carolina hire a new head coach in Frank Reich, but the key offensive contributors are new almost across the board. First-overall pick Bryce Young gives the fans excitement, but the team had to give up top wideout DJ Moore to get him. Carolina signed Adam Thielen and DJ Chark to make up for Moore’s loss, and also added former Eagles running back Miles Sanders and tight end Hayden Hurst. It’s an impressive array of talent, though how it all comes together in 2023 remains to be seen.


Chicago Bears: Can Justin Fields improve as a passer?

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Chicago opted to trade the first overall pick in the draft, a big endorsement for Fields as their quarterback of the future. He showed great flashes last season despite the team’s three-win season, but it’s clear Fields has room to improve in the passing game after completing only 60% of his passes. The additions of wideout DJ Moore and first-round tackle Darnell Wright should go a long way in aiding him.


Cincinnati Bengals: Will the revamped secondary miss a beat?

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Cincinnati’s defensive improvement of the last two seasons was spurred in part by their improved secondary. While most of the key corners remain in place, Cincinnati lost star safeties Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell. Former first-round pick Dax Hill is set to see more snaps alongside free-agent addition Nick Scott, while third-round pick Jordan Battle should also figure heavily into the equation. With their quest of stopping prolific offenses like the Chiefs and Bills, the moves are a risk.


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Cleveland Browns: Can Deshaun Watson rebound from his terrible 2022 performance?

Cleveland Browns: Can Deshaun Watson rebound from his terrible 2022 performance?

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After serving an 11-game suspension last season, Watson’s struggles on the field were somewhat under the radar. Simply put, he played the worst football of his career, completing only 58% of his passes and throwing five picks in six games. More than one year away from football certainly caused some rust, but the Browns need Watson to get back to his old form to have a chance at competing in the AFC.


Dallas Cowboys: Was Kellen Moore the problem?

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The Dallas offense saw some regression last season, finishing fourth in the NFL with 27.5 points per game. After failing to reach expectations in the playoffs again, the Cowboys opted to fire offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. Instead, head coach Mike McCarthy will call plays for the first time since he was in Green Bay, and he’s promised to lean more heavily on the running game. However, the addition of deep threat Brandin Cooks does provide hope the offense could also be more explosive.


Denver Broncos: Can Sean Payton fix Russell Wilson?

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The early returns of the Russell Wilson trade look historically poor for Denver, but former Saints head coach Sean Payton has been brought in to fix the veteran signal-caller. Payton worked wonders working with Drew Brees, and there’s no doubt he’s a capable head coach as a former Super Bowl winner. Still, fixing Wilson could be easier said than done with what has been a steady decline over two years and a career-worst 60% completion rate last season.


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Detroit Lions: Can Jared Goff make the Lions a Super Bowl contender?

Detroit Lions: Can Jared Goff make the Lions a Super Bowl contender?

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Few teams rose faster in 2022 than the Lions despite just missing the playoffs. Goff seemed to revitalize his career with an outstanding season, throwing for over 4,400 yards and 29 touchdowns with a solid 61.1 QBR and his third Pro Bowl. The Lions have continued to add in the offseason, but the question is whether Goff can make Detroit a true contender. While he did get the Rams to the Super Bowl five years ago, he has all but run out of LA by the end of his tenure.


Green Bay Packers: Is Jordan Love a legitimate NFL starter?

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We haven’t seen much of Love during the regular season, with only one start since he was drafted in 2020. What we have seen has been mixed, though Love showed clear improvement last year over 2021 when he did take the field. The pressure is on Love to get Green Bay back to the postseason after a highly disappointing 2022 season, though no one expects him to be as good as Aaron Rodgers.


Houston Texans: Can DeMeco Ryans back up the hype?

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Ryans was a hot commodity on the head coaching circuit during the offseason, with seemingly his pick of jobs. He opted to go back to Houston, where he played the bulk of his career. The Texans followed up with big moves on defense, plus the drafting of C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr. in the top three picks of the draft. After investing the team’s first-round pick next year to get Anderson this season, the pressure is on for big immediate improvement in Houston.


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Indianapolis Colts: Can Shane Steichen develop Anthony Richardson’s passing game?

Indianapolis Colts: Can Shane Steichen develop Anthony Richardson's passing game?

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The Colts went into the offseason with an eye toward fixing their long-time issues at quarterback. Hiring Streichen, who helped develop Jalen Hurts in Philly, was the first step in that process. His pupil will be Richardson, who showed the most upside and the most risk of the quarterbacks in the 2023 draft class. Colts fans expect some hiccups, but Steichen’s future in Indy is very much tied to his ability to turn Richardson into a star.


Jacksonville Jaguars: Can the offensive line protect Trevor Lawrence?

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Jacksonville took a huge step forward last season under new head coach Doug Pederson, claiming the AFC South and winning one playoff game. They enter 2023 with reason for optimism, but there is also reason for concern after losing right tackle Jawaan Taylor in free agency and potentially losing left tackle Cam Robinson for part of this season due to PEDs. The Jags have proactively addressed the issue by drafting tackle Anton Harrison in the first round, but the offensive line’s ability to hold up this season could determine the team’s potential.


Kansas City Chiefs: Can Patrick Mahomes work with these wideouts?

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There was concern Patrick Mahomes would struggle after losing Tyreek Hill last season. He proved the doubters wrong by winning the MVP and his second Super Bowl. Those concerns are back after the Chiefs lost JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman from last year’s roster, with the only replacements being Richie James and second-round rookie Rashee Rice. Kansas City is counting on young wideouts Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore to step up, as they did in the Super Bowl, but the team doesn’t seem particularly concerned.


Las Vegas Raiders: Will the revamped secondary make a difference?

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There are few sure things in the NFL, but the Raiders’ defense finishing in the bottom half of the league in points has been one of them recently. In fact, the Raiders have finished in the bottom half in each of the last 12 seasons, and poor drafting has been a big reason. Las Vegas cleared out many of their draftees and signed David Long, Duke Shelley, and Marcus Epps in free agency. Change isn’t always a good thing, but for the Raiders, there’s almost nowhere to go but up.


Los Angeles Chargers: Is Brandon Staley the right man for the job?

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The expectations have been high since the Chargers hired Brandon Staley in 2021. While the team does have a winning record in back-to-back years, they suffered an embarrassing playoff loss at Jacksonville last year and haven’t taken the big step forward some had hoped. It’s clear this is a make-or-break year for Staley, revamping his coaching staff led by the hire of former Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. The Chargers have the talent to make some noise with an outstanding quarterback in Justin Herbert, but they must show that ability on the field.


Los Angeles Rams: Can the stars overcome the glaring roster issues?

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The Rams want to turn on the page on their 2022 season, finishing 5-12 with multiple major injuries. Superstars Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and Aaron Donald return healthy this season, but much of the roster was gutted due to cap issues. LA is approaching the situation like a rebuild, though the remaining talent could allow the Rams to go on one more run.


Miami Dolphins: Can Tua Tagovailoa stay healthy?

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Tagovailoa’s concussion issues sidetracked a promising first season for head coach Mike McDaniel, and the quarterback admitted that he considered retirement in the offseason. The concussion adds to a history of other injuries while in college at Alabama, and provide reason to worry about the team’s ceiling in 2023. Miami did add former Jets quarterback Mike White as insurance.


Minnesota Vikings: Can Brian Flores fix the defense?

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While the Vikings won the NFC North with a 13-4 regular season in 2022, there were major areas of concern. The team finished with a negative point differential due to their poor defense, which ranked in the bottom 10 in points allowed for the third consecutive year. Minnesota deserves credit for its effort to fix the problem, hiring Brian Flores as coordinator and adding major free agents like Marcus Davenport, Dean Lowry, and Byron Murphy. If he can turn the defense around, Flores will garner head coaching consideration next offseason.


New England Patriots: Can Mac Jones rebound under a new offensive coordinator?

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The decline of Jones in his second season was disturbing, though not very surprising, after the Patriots failed to hire an experienced offensive coordinator. The relationship between the Patriots and Jones appears to be deteriorating, but former Pats offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien was brought back to right the shop. While the Patriots haven’t added much offensive talent, O’Brien’s coaching and playcalling have a chance to make a difference.


New Orleans Saints: What is Alvin Kamara's status?

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Kamara was allegedly involved in an off-field incident in Las Vegas last year, and now faces charges of battery. The issues come following two years of clear decline on the field, as well as the Saints offseason signing of 2022 touchdown leader Jamaal Williams. The possibility of discipline from the league or the team is still hanging over Kamara’s head going into the summer.


New York Giants: Was Daniel Jones' breakout season real?

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The Giants were one of the biggest surprises of 2022, with new head coach Brian Daboll helping the team to a winning record and getting Jones’ career on track. The team rewarded the quarterback’s play with a long-term contract, but skepticism remains about his ability to maintain that level of play. New York’s offense was relatively conservative, with Jones only throwing 472 passes, and the offense likely needs more production from him to compete in the difficult NFC East.


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New York Jets: Does Aaron Rodgers make the team a Super Bowl contender?

New York Jets: Does Aaron Rodgers make the team a Super Bowl contender?

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The overall play of the Jets was clearly improved last season with a defense that finished fourth in points allowed, but the offense was lacking due to poor quarterback play. The Jets feel they’ve found the answer after acquiring future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers from Green Bay. He’s surrounded by great weapons, led by Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, and Allen Lazard, but his mediocre play last season and age remains a reason for concern.


Philadelphia Eagles: Can the team overcome the personnel losses on defense?

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Jalen Hurts was due to be paid, but doing so comes with other tradeoffs. The Eagles saw significant turnover from last year’s Super Bowl roster on defense, most notably Javon Hargrave, T.J. Edwards, Marcus Epps, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Philly didn’t sit idle, filling those holds with Nicholas Morrow, Terrell Edmunds, and a strong draft, but those adjustments along with the loss of coordinator Jonathan Gannon could take a toll.


Pittsburgh Steelers: Will Kenny Pickett take his game to the next level?

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Pickett showed flashes in his rookie season, going 7-5 as a starter with a strong run late in the year. The jury is still out on his ultimate upside, however. He threw more interceptions than touchdowns, and Pittsburgh’s offense was conservative after throwing the ball far more often with Ben Roethlisberger under center. The Steelers should compete in the AFC North, but simply competing isn’t enough for Steelers faithful. Pickett will need to up his game soon for the Steelers to be true AFC contenders.


San Francisco 49ers: Who will be the starting quarterback in Week 1?

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The 49ers season ended in disappointing fashion with “Mr. Irrelevant” Brock Purdy tearing his elbow ligament in the NFC Championship. The team remains hopeful he will be ready for Week 1, but they aren’t taking any chances, adding Sam Darnold to a quarterback room that also includes Trey Lance. It appears Purdy is the future in San Francisco after efficiently operating the 49ers offense last season, but it’s unclear when he will be ready to return and whether he will be at 100% when he does take the field.


Seattle Seahawks: Can Geno Smith prove last season wasn't a fluke?

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Not much was expected of the Seahawks after trading Russell Wilson and failing to add a proven starter as his replacement. Geno Smith proved the doubters wrong early in the year and never turned back, emerging as a Pro Bowler and legitimate starter at age 32. He got paid after his breakout season, but Smith’s ceiling remains murky after struggling down the stretch. Seattle has done well to improve his weapons with the additions of rookies Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Zach Charbonnet, but it remains to be seen if Smith can help Seattle challenge the 49ers in the NFC West.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Is Baker Mayfield the answer?

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Mayfield’s NFL career was on life support before he signed with the Rams late last season and revived his game under Sean McVay. The former first-overall draft choice played well enough to get another opportunity, now replacing Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. It’s a big ask for Mayfield to continue his solid play with an offense that really struggled last season while Brady was under center, but they do have capable weapons with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Russell Gage.


Tennessee Titans: Can Ryan Tannehill hold off Will Levis?

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Tannehill is an impressive 36-19 in four seasons as the Titans starter, but he struggled last season while nursing an ankle injury. Tennessee underwent a major roster rebuild during the offseason, and included in the rebuild was the addition of second-round pick Will Levis. It’s clear the organization sees Levis as their quarterback of the future, and the future could be now if Tannehill doesn’t get off to a fast start.


Washington Commanders: Is Sam Howell the long-term starter at quarterback?

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The Commanders gave Howell an opportunity late last season, and the fifth-round pick has all but been handed the starting job heading into 2023 despite the addition of Jacoby Brissett. There’s some optimism about the Washington offense after hiring coordinator Eric Bieniemy, but the path won’t be easy in arguably the NFL’s toughest division.

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