Biggest remaining team needs in the AFC
Kansas City Chiefs: Defensive tackle
Solution: Sign Eddie Goldman
One year after overhauling their offensive line, the Chiefs used the 2022 offseason to reset their wide receiver and secondary depth charts. With those spots taken care of, the only area that could use additional depth in Kansas City is the interior defensive line.
The Chiefs lost 713 defensive snaps when Jarran Reed signed with the Packers in March. They could turn to younger players Tershawn Wharton and Khalen Saunders, but a win-now team like Kansas City needs to gain every edge it can. At 6’4″, 320 pounds, Goldman could clog lanes for the Chiefs, allowing Chris Jones to shoot gaps and get to the quarterback.
Las Vegas Raiders: Offensive line
Solution: Trade for Isaac Seumalo
PFN’s Mike Kaye has tagged Seumalo as a trade candidate, given that the Eagles could turn to younger players like Jack Driscoll or Jack Anderson at right guard. The Raiders desperately need help all along their offensive line, and they can easily afford Seumalo’s $5.65 million base salary.
Kolton Miller is one of the best left tackles in the NFL, but every other spot on Vegas’ front five could turn into a disaster zone. Seumalo would give the Raiders competency for 2022, and he’s young enough (29) to get an extension if things go well this season. He’s versatile, so LV could plug him into any of their interior OL positions.
Los Angeles Chargers: Right tackle
Solution: Sign Riley Reiff
We have reached the summit of team needs — the Chargers have the most conspicuous problem area of any serious 2022 contender. After spending two offseasons remaking their offensive line, Los Angeles still has an unmistakable weakness at right tackle, where Storm Norton started 15 games with subpar results.
The Chargers have internal options. They could kick Matt Feiler to right tackle (creating another hole at left guard) or turn things over to rookie sixth-round pick Jamaree Salyer. Having said that, LA’s roster is crying out for a veteran addition, and Reiff makes the most sense. Not only could he start at right tackle, but he could offer depth at every OL position except center.
Miami Dolphins: Linebacker
Solution: Sign Dont’a Hightower
Miami’s offensive line is still the weakest part of the roster, but after signing Terron Armstead and Connor Williams, the Dolphins are unlikely to add any more free agents. They seem ready to let Liam Eichenberg, Robert Hunt, and other young players battle for the remaining three spots up front.
Instead, the Fins could turn their attention to defense and bring in an experienced veteran at linebacker. Hightower has made 114 starts over nine seasons. The longtime Patriot would be familiar with Dolphins defensive coordinator Josh Boyer, a New England assistant from 2006-18. New England is reportedly open to re-signing Hightower, but if he’s looking for a fresh start, Miami could be an attractive destination.
New England Patriots: Cornerback
Solution: Trade for Cameron Dantzler
Dantzler seemed to fall out of favor with the Vikings’ previous regime in 2021, but he was still relatively effective over 14 appearances and seven starts. Minnesota’s new staff could give new life to Dantzler’s career, or they could decide he’s not a fit for their scheme.
It’s worth it for New England to explore Dantzler’s availability, as their cornerback depth chart is in dire straits. Malcolm Butler, who was out of the NFL last season, is currently projected as a starter. Dantzler would represent both a short- and (potentially) long-term fix for the Patriots, allowing them to give rookies Marcus Jones and Jack Jones more time to develop.
New York Jets: Linebacker
Solution: Sign Anthony Barr
Don’t look now, but the Jets have put together a pretty complete roster. There aren’t a lot of obvious areas for improvement, but they could use help at linebacker. C.J. Mosley was finally healthy in 2021 but didn’t play well, and Quincy Williams is in over his head as a starter.
Barr nearly signed with the Jets in 2019 before backing out to re-sign with the Vikings. That incident shouldn’t prevent him from signing in New York (unless ownership somehow still cares about it). Barr could offer reps at off-ball linebacker while moonlighting as an edge rusher for Gang Green.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Offensive tackle
Solution: Sign Eric Fisher
You don’t often see a fourth-round pick come in and start at left tackle for the entirety of his rookie season, but that’s exactly what Dan Moore Jr. did in 2021. The Texas A&M product improved as the year progressed, but his results were uneven overall.
Fisher could take over as Pittsburgh’s starting LT if the team decides they want more experience on the blindside. Yet, he could be an option for the Steelers even if they decide to roll with Moore again. Right tackle Chuks Okorafor is below replacement level, so it wouldn’t hurt Pittsburgh to roster a veteran who could take over at either tackle spot if needed.
Tennessee Titans: Wide receiver depth
Solution: Trade for Darius Slayton
Tennessee’s WR depth chart will look totally different next season. A.J. Brown is out, and Robert Woods and Treylon Burks are in. However, the Titans don’t have much depth behind that duo, with Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Dez Fitzpatrick, and Kyle Phillips filling out the rest of the roster.
General manager Jon Robinson’s 2021 trade for Julio Jones didn’t pan out, but acquiring Slayton from the Giants would be an entirely different matter. Slayton is just 25 years old, so he could become a long-term piece for the Titans if he played well this year. New York, which already boasts Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Kadarius Toney, and Wan’Dale Robinson, could look to move from Slayton as he enters a contract year.