2022 Offseason Assessment Tournament: 1st-Round (ARI v. SF)
Same intro everyday: Our annual series taking a look at each NFL team’s offseason (free agency, draft, trades) moves and assessing their impact for the upcoming season – simply speaking, 'did all of the offseason moves, en masse, project to make the team better or worse for just the upcoming campaign (not worried about the long-term effect)'?
We’ll list the key adds and losses for each team competing and then comment on them and anoint a winner that will move on to the next round, until we get down to the final two (the 'Super Bowl') and we name a winner for the top offseason (to date). Our way to review and judge what each of these teams have done halfway through the offseason.
WR Marquise Brown (trade), LB Nick Vigil (FA), TE Trey McBride (pick #55), DL Cam Thomas (pick #87), EDGE Myjai Sanders (pick #100), OG Will Hernandez (FA)
WR Christian Kirk (FA), DE Chandler Jones (FA), RB Chase Edmonds (FA), LB Jordan Hicks (FA), DT Jordan Phillips (FA)
CB Charvarius Ward (FA), SAF George Odom (FA), LB Oren Burks (FA), LB Drake Jackson (pick #61), WR Danny Gray (pick #105)
OT Laken Tomlinson (FA), CB K’Waun Williams (FA), DT D.J. Jones (FA), DE Arden Key (FA), RB Raheem Mostert (FA)
I have no idea what the Arizona Cardinals are doing for three drafts in-a-row now. They are falling from ‘potential Super Bowl threat’ to ‘random .500 team’…by their own hand/decision. Marquise Brown traded for is OK, but is he that much better than Christian Kirk? Did Arizona really gain a bunch of ground here at WR?
If you dismiss the Brown-Kirk swap, then Arizona snagged a solid rookie TE in the Draft (not a burning 2022 need)…but they lost team leaders/2022 impact players Chandler Jones, Chase Edmonds and Jordan Hicks to free agency. Can anyone say Arizona got better? And as always, needing O-Line talent and depth, they drafted flier OLs in the 6th and 7th-round.
San Francisco was a team knocking on the Super Bowl door last season, and a nice 2022 offseason could be what put them over the top for this upcoming title hope – but it doesn’t appear the 49ers took advantage. An odd draft and nothing really gained via free agency…the 49ers didn’t get better this offseason.
Charvarius Ward added offsets K’Waun Williams lost. Drake Jackson in via the draft…and veteran D.J. Jones lost and 2021 surprise break out Arden Key is gone on the D-Line – not really ‘improving’ 2022 with all those moves taken together. Danny Gray is a useful WR, maybe, not likely to have a real impact in 2022. When you compare all of the names just mentioned…I don’t see SF getting radically better or worse, but I didn’t mention their biggest loss – OT Laken Tomlinson – and there was no signing or draft pick to try and offset that. All the +/- for SF, right now, it looks like a step backwards for 2022.
So, we have two weak NFL Drafts here. Both teams we judge having 2022 net losses in their free agent moves. So who was worse…or who wins/advances on here, I should say? I think the fact that Arizona’s losses include so many fundamental, veteran/experienced hands – they had the worst 2022 impact offseason of the two teams. Losing Jordan Hicks and Chandler Jones…I know they are aging out, but that’s at minimum a hit to the locker room – and in their place Arizona brings in a guy that’s an Antonio Brown relative, who was supposedly gonna-retire-to-play-video-games-professionally in Marquise Brown. Arizona is so haphazard in their team construction and locker room moves – I give them the loss.
WINNER = The 49ers, who go on to face the L.A. Rams in the NFC West finals
NYG defeats DAL
PHI defeats WSH
LAR defeats SEA
SF defeats ARI
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