AFC Offseason Grades: Ranking All 16 Teams After Free Agency and NFL Draft

    With free agency and the draft now behind us, it's time to dish out some NFL offseason grades. Today, we're ranking all 16 AFC teams.

    There still are a few months remaining in the NFL offseason. Major trades could be on the horizon, as could notable roster cuts and signings.

    However, for all intents and purposes, the offseason is over. With free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft now behind us, most of the major action has already taken place.

    So, what better time to dish out some NFL offseason grades?

    Want to get a better sense of how the entire league has done this offseason? Make sure to also check out our NFC offseason grades.

    NFL Offseason Grades: Ranking All 16 AFC Teams

    16) Las Vegas Raiders

    • Notable signings: DT Christian Wilkins, QB Gardner Minshew, RB Alexander Mattison, C Andre James, WR Michael Gallup
    • Notable departures: QB Jimmy Garoppolo, RB Josh Jacobs, WR Hunter Renfrow, TE Austin Hooper, OL Jermaine Eluemunor
    • Top draft picks: TE Brock Bowers, C Jackson Powers-Johnson, OT Delmar Glaze

    This was a weird offseason for the Raiders, who aren’t any closer to solving their issues at quarterback.

    Gardner Minshew is among the more high-upside backups in the game, and he can play at a reasonably high level if sophomore Aidan O’Connell falters. Still, the Raiders clearly wanted a new franchise QB in the draft, but they came up empty.

    As for Christian Wilkins, he’s a very good player, but the Raiders overpaid for him. And their other offseason additions aren’t anything to write home about. Vegas also lost an impact player in Josh Jacobs, who signed with the Packers.

    Ultimately, the Raiders probably are about the same now as they were at the start of the offseason — if not slightly worse. At least Brock Bowers is an elite prospect worth getting excited about.

    Grade: D+

    15) Buffalo Bills

    • Notable signings: WR Mack Hollins, WR Curtis Samuel, OT La’el Collins, OT Dion Dawkins, DT DaQuan Jones, EDGE A.J. Epenesa, S Taylor Rapp, QB Mitch Trubisky
    • Notable departures: WR Stefon Diggs, WR Gabe Davis, CB Tre’Davious White, EDGE Leonard Floyd, C Mitch Morse, CB Dane Jackson, S Jordan Poyer
    • Top draft picks: WR Keon Coleman, S Cole Bishop, DT DeWayne Carter

    This was an inevitable and necessary offseason for the Bills, whose aging, expensive roster needed a soft reset. But just because it needed to happen doesn’t mean it was positive.

    Most notably, the Bills traded Stefon Diggs to the Texans and lost Gabe Davis in free agency. Their replacements are two average veteran receivers in Mack Hollins and Curtis Samuel, and an interesting but flawed prospect in Keon Coleman. Josh Allen might go through some growing pains with this receiver group.

    On defense, the Bills parted with a slew of core veterans who played huge roles in recent playoff runs. Don’t be surprised if Buffalo takes a step back in 2024.

    Grade: C-

    14) Los Angeles Chargers

    • Notable signings: RB Gus Edwards, S Alohi Gilman, TE Will Dissly, TE Hayden Hurst, RB J.K. Dobbins
    • Notable departures: WR Keenan Allen, RB Austin Ekeler, RB Joshua Kelley, WR Mike Williams, TE Gerald Everett, LB Eric Kendricks, LB Kenneth Murray
    • Top draft picks: OT Joe Alt, WR Ladd McConkey, LB Junior Colson

    Handcuffed by a miserable salary cap situation, the Chargers didn’t have many options this offseason. They had no choice but to trade Keenan Allen and allow some of their top internal free agents to sign with other teams. You also could argue they should’ve ripped off the entire Band-Aid rather than finding ways to bring back Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack.

    MORE: NFL UDFA Winners and Losers

    That said, Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins are underrated additions, and the Chargers addressed major needs in the draft. Alt should protect Justin Herbert’s blindside for years to come, and Ladd McConkey has a chance to replace Allen as the top target hog in L.A.’s offense.

    This offseason could’ve been a lot better, but given the circumstances, it also could’ve been a lot worse.

    Grade: C-

    13) Denver Broncos

    • Notable signings: QB Zach Wilson (trade), WR Josh Reynolds, DT John Franklin-Myers (trade), S Brandon Jones, DT Malcolm Roach, K Will Lutz
    • Notable departures: QB Russell Wilson, WR Jerry Jeudy (trade), S Justin Simmons, C Lloyd Cushenberry, LB Josey Jewell
    • Top draft picks: QB Bo Nix, EDGE Jonah Elliss, WR Troy Franklin

    We’re not sure what to make of this offseason. On the one hand, if Bo Nix can play, the Broncos will be off to the races, and few will care about the financial fallout from Russell Wilson’s release. But the Broncos don’t really have much else to hang their hats on.

    John Franklin-Myers, Malcolm Roach, and Brandon Jones are all decent acquisitions but none move the needle. Losing Justin Simmons also hurts, and the Broncos barely got anything back in the Jerry Jeudy trade. Denver was a middling, rebuilding outfit at the start of the offseason, and nothing’s changed.

    But hey, Broncos fans can dream big about the Nix-Franklin connection.

    Grade: C-

    12) Jacksonville Jaguars

    • Notable signings: EDGE Josh Allen, DT Arik Armstead, WR Gabe Davis, QB Mac Jones (trade), C Mitch Morse, G Ezra Cleveland, CB Ronald Darby, S Darnell Savage Jr.
    • Notable departures: WR Calvin Ridley, CB Darious Williams, S Rayshawn Jenkins, WR Zay Jones
    • Top draft picks: WR Brian Thomas Jr., DT Maason Smith, CB Jarrian Jones

    Some good, some bad. In the end, this was an average offseason for the Jaguars, who made interesting moves across the roster.

    The departure of Calvin Ridley undoubtedly will hurt the offense, but Gabe Davis should pick up some of the downfield slack, and Brian Thomas Jr. has star potential. The Jags also found decent value in landing Mac Jones, who could be a high-end backup as well as someone who could be flipped for a decent return if he gets his career back on track.

    As for the defense, the swap of Darious Williams for Ronald Darby is something to keep an eye on. Cornerback could be a major weakness for the Jaguars.

    Grade: C+

    11) Baltimore Ravens

    • Notable signings: RB Derrick Henry, DT Justin Madubuike, WR Nelson Agholor, LB Kyle Van Noy
    • Notable departures: LB Patrick Queen, S Geno Stone, OT Morgan Moses (trade), G John Simpson, RB Gus Edwards, RB J.K. Dobbins, CB Ronald Darby, G Kevin Zeitler
    • Top draft picks: CB Nate Wiggins, OT Roger Rosengarten, LB Adisa Isaac

    We love the Henry signing and the new deal for Madubuike, who’s one of the best defensive linemen in the game. The Ravens also killed it in the draft, as they always seem to do. But they lost a ton of important players this offseason, including some of their top offensive linemen. Baltimore needs Rosengarten to be ready right away.

    Like Jacksonville, Baltimore did some good and some bad this offseason. Ravens fans should mostly feel good about it, though.

    Grade: C+

    10) Cleveland Browns

    • Notable signings: WR Jerry Jeudy (trade), QB Jameis Winston, EDGE Za’Darius Smith, LB Jordan Hicks, RB D’Onta Foreman
    • Notable departures: QB Joe Flacco, DT Jordan Elliott, LB Anthony Walker, RB Kareem Hunt, TE Harrison Bryant, S Duron Harmon
    • Top draft picks: DT Michael Hall Jr., G Zak Zinter, WR Jamari Thrash

    This was a solid offseason. The Browns didn’t give up much to land Jerry Jeudy, who never lived up to the hype in Denver but remains a young, talented wideout. And Jameis Winston, while a total rollercoaster at quarterback, is a high-ceiling backup.

    The Browns let a few key players walk in free agency, but they made up for it by addressing top needs in the draft. There isn’t much to complain about, as Cleveland still has a loaded roster that hasn’t seen much change since the end of the season.

    Grade: C+

    9) Miami Dolphins

    • Notable signings: CB Kendall Fuller, EDGE Shaquil Barrett, S Jordan Poyer, TE Jonnu Smith, C Aaron Brewer, WR Braxton Berrios, OL Isaiah Wynn
    • Notable departures: DT Christian Wilkins, CB Xavien Howard, G Robert Hunt, EDGE Andrew Van Ginkel, EDGE Emmanuel Ogbah, LB Jerome Baker, S Brandon Jones, WR Chase Claypool, WR Cedrick Wilson, CB Eli Apple
    • Top draft picks: EDGE Chop Robinson, OT Patrick Paul, RB Jaylen Wright

    The Dolphins had a polarizing offseason.

    They lost some key players in Christian Wilkins, Xavien Howard, Andrew Van Ginkel, and Emmanuel Ogbah, but they also landed Kendall Fuller, Shaquil Barrett, and Jordan Poyer. Jonnu Smith also could be one of the more underrated acquisitions of the offseason, as he should be a great fit in Mike McDaniel’s offense.

    Miami didn’t set off any fireworks in the draft, but it addressed pressing needs by selecting Chop Robinson and Patrick Paul.

    Some Dolphins fans might be freaked out by the roster turnover this offseason, but we think Miami did a solid job.

    Grade: B-

    8) Indianapolis Colts

    • Notable signings: WR Michael Pittman Jr., QB Joe Flacco, CB Kenny Moore II, LB Zaire Franklin, S Julian Blackmon
    • Notable departures: QB Gardner Minshew, RB Zack Moss, EDGE Jake Martin
    • Top draft picks: EDGE Laiatu Latu, WR Adonai Mitchell, OT Matt Goncalves

    The Colts did everything they were supposed to do: re-sign Michael Pittman Jr. and Kenny Moore to new deals, add a capable backup QB, and find elite talent in the draft. Check, check, and check.

    Indy also lost just a few players in free agency, with Gardner Minshew and Zack Moss being the standouts. Not a big deal.

    MORE: Best Fits for Top Remaining Free Agents After NFL Draft

    With all that said, we have reservations about the draft. Laiatu Latu arguably was the best pass rusher in this year’s class, but some teams took him off their boards entirely due to a neck issue. And regardless of what general manager Chris Ballard says, there are legitimate reasons for Adonai Mitchell slipping to the second round.

    Still, aside from those gripes, this was a good offseason for the Colts.

    Grade: B-

    7) Pittsburgh Steelers

    • Notable signings: QB Russell Wilson, QB Justin Fields (trade), LB Patrick Queen, CB Donte Jackson (trade), WR Van Jefferson, WR Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Quez Watkins
    • Notable departures: WR Diontae Johnson (trade), QB Kenny Pickett (trade), CB Patrick Peterson, WR Allen Robinson, C Mason Cole, OT Chukwuma Okorafor, QB Mason Rudolph, QB Mitch Trubisky, CB Levi Wallace
    • Top draft picks: G Troy Fautanu, C Zach Frazier, WR Roman Wilson, LB Payton Wilson

    This is another weird one.

    Neither Russell Wilson nor Justin Fields get the Steelers any closer to contending, as Pittsburgh still is in a dreaded no man’s land at quarterback. That said, the Steelers needed to upgrade at QB this offseason, and they threaded the needle well despite not having a high draft pick and there not being great options in free agency.

    Pittsburgh also landed a star in Patrick Queen, a solid corner in Donte Jackson, and the ever-entertaining Cordarrelle Patterson. And the Steelers wisely prioritized the O-line in the draft while also landing another young receiver.

    Our biggest gripe: Jackson and a late-round pick swap wasn’t nearly enough of a return for Diontae Johnson. That’s a head-scratcher.

    Grade: B

    6) New England Patriots

    • Notable signings: S Kyle Dugger, OL Mike Onwenu, QB Jacoby Brissett, WR Kendrick Bourne, TE Hunter Henry, TE Austin Hooper, EDGE Josh Uche, EDGE Anfernee Jennings, RB Antonio Gibson, OT Chukwuma Okorafor, WR K.J. Osborn, DL Armon Watts, LB Sione Takitaki
    • Notable departures: QB Mac Jones (trade), RB Ezekiel Elliott, WR DeVante Parker, TE Mike Gesicki, OT Trent Brown, DL Lawrence Guy, LB Mack Wilson, CB Myles Bryant, CB J.C. Jackson, DB Jalen Mills, S Adrian Phillips, ST Matthew Slater (retired)
    • Top draft picks: QB Drake Maye, WR Ja’Lynn Polk, OT Caedan Wallace, WR Javon Baker

    This probably is a hot take, but we like what the Patriots did this offseason.

    They found their potential next franchise quarterback, re-signed nearly all of their top internal free agents, and gave a lucrative extension to stud defensive tackle Christian Barmore.

    The new regime, led by de facto general manager Eliot Wolf, also made savvy moves by signing K.J. Osborn, Armon Watts, and Sione Takitaki, all of whom should see a lot of snaps.

    Fans will complain about the lack of a star receiver, and that’s fair. But the Patriots were wise not to overpay for Calvin Ridley, who was the top wideout in free agency. Let’s see if the rookie receivers can play.

    With all that said, the Patriots didn’t do nearly enough to address their need at left tackle. They believe Chukwuma Okorafor and Caedan Wallace can move across the line from right tackle, but we have our doubts. New England should’ve been more aggressive in finding a true left tackle prospect in the draft.

    Grade: B

    5) Tennessee Titans

    • Notable signings: WR Calvin Ridley, CB L’Jarius Sneed (trade), RB Tony Pollard, C Lloyd Cushenberry, CB Chidobe Awuzie, LB Kenneth Murray, QB Mason Rudolph
    • Notable departures: RB Derrick Henry, C Aaron Brewer, EDGE Denico Autry, LB Azeez Al-Shaair, CB Sean Murphy-Bunting, OT Andre Dillard, QB Ryan Tannehill
    • Top draft picks: OT J.C. Latham, DT T’Vondre Sweat, LB Cedric Gray

    Yes, the Titans overpaid for Ridley. They probably overpaid for Tony Pollard, too. Losing Derrick Henry also stings, even though it was inevitable.

    However, we give Tennessee a ton of credit for not messing around with Will Levis. The Titans want to know whether he’s the answer at quarterback, and they know the only way to find out is to surround him with top talent. Landing Ridley and Pollard checks that box, as does taking a tackle early in the draft.

    The Titans also won the trade sweepstakes for L’Jarius Sneed, who’s one of the best cornerbacks in football. This was a strong offseason for GM Ran Carthon.

    Grade: B

    4) New York Jets

    • Notable signings: QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Mike Williams, EDGE Haason Reddick (trade), OT Morgan Moses (trade), G John Simpson, DT Javon Kinlaw, OT Tyron Smith, S Chuck Clark
    • Notable departures: EDGE Bryce Huff, S Jordan Whitehead, OL Laken Tomlinson, DT John Franklin-Myers (trade), QB Zach Wilson (trade), TE C.J. Uzomah, OT Mekhi Becton, OT Duane Brown, WR Randall Cobb
    • Top draft picks: OT Olu Fashanu, WR Malachi Corley, RB Braelon Allen

    What’s not to like?

    The Jets landed Mike Williams, who, if he can stay healthy, will give Aaron Rodgers another talented receiver to work with. They also finally moved on from Zach Wilson (rejoice, Jets fans).

    New York also wisely took a tackle early in the draft and targeted offensive skill players with its next two picks. It wasn’t an amazing draft for the Jets, but it got the job done.

    One possible gripe: losing Bryce Huff and essentially replacing him with Haason Reddick. That could be a downgrade.

    Grade: A-

    3) Cincinnati Bengals

    • Notable signings: WR Tee Higgins (franchise tag), RB Zack Moss, TE Mike Gesicki, OT Trent Brown, DT Sheldon Rankins, S Vonn Bell, S Geno Stone
    • Notable departures: RB Joe Mixon (trade), OT Jonah Williams, DT D.J. Reader, CB Chidobe Awuzie, TE Irv Smith Jr.
    • Top draft picks: OT Amarius Mims, DT Kris Jenkins, WR Jermaine Burton, DT McKinnley Jackson

    This grade could change if the Bengals eventually trade Tee Higgins and Trey Hendrickson, but we’ll cross those bridges if they’re ever built.

    In the meantime, the Bengals deserve credit for addressing their issues on both the offensive and defensive lines.

    KEEP READING: Predicting the 2024 NFL Playoffs

    Zack Moss also is a perfectly acceptable replacement for Joe Mixon, whose time was up in Cincy.

    And then there’s Jermaine Burton, who has the traits to develop into yet another productive receiver for one of the league’s more potent offenses.

    Grade: A-

    2) Kansas City Chiefs

    • Notable signings: DT Chris Jones, WR Hollywood Brown, LB Drue Tranquill, QB Carson Wentz, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, TE Irv Smith
    • Notable departures: CB L’Jarius Sneed (trade), WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, G Nick Allegretti, LB Willie Gay Jr., RB Jerick McKinnon, WR Mecole Hardman
    • Top draft picks: WR Xavier Worthy, OT Kingsley Suamataia, TE Jared Wiley

    The only reason the Chiefs aren’t first on this list is their wideout situation. Could Hollywood Brown be a perfect fit in this offense? Sure, but we also could be the same disappointing, overrated player that he was in Arizona. We’ll see.

    Otherwise, Kansas City crushed it this offseason.

    The Chiefs gave Chris Jones the deal he deserved, and they got a decent return in the L’Jarius Sneed trade. Kansas City also drafted a potential star in Xavier Worthy and planned for the future at tackle and tight end.

    Plus, even if there are a few second guesses, you have to give this regime the benefit of the doubt.

    Grade: A-

    1) Houston Texans

    • Notable signings: WR Stefon Diggs (trade), RB Joe Mixon (trade), TE Dalton Schultz, EDGE Danielle Hunter, EDGE Denico Autry, WR Noah Brown, LB Azeez Al-Shaair, CB Jeff Okudah, DT Tim Settle, EDGE Derek Barnett, CB Myles Bryant
    • Notable departures: EDGE Jonathan Greenard, LB Blake Cashman, RB Devin Singletary, DT Sheldon Rankins, DT Maliek Collins (trade), OT George Fant
    • Top draft picks: CB Kamari Lassiter, OT Blake Fisher, S Calen Bullock

    Love it.

    The Texans ended last season with one of the NFL’s top ascending rosters. But they didn’t rest on their laurels, instead acquiring a star receiver, a lead running back, and a prolific edge rusher — just to name a few.

    Houston also retained its most important internal free agents and made a few underrated signings (we love the addition of Myles Bryant).

    As for the draft, the Texans did well despite not having a first-round pick. They addressed top needs on defense and found a tackle in Blake Fisher, who’ll provide quality depth this season and could start in 2025.

    All around, this was the AFC’s best offseason.

    Grade: A

    Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

    Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

    Related Articles