Best Play by Every AFC Team in the 2022 Offseason: Bengals Protect Joe Burrow, Chargers Spend for Justin Herbert

No division stole more headlines during the 2022 NFL offseason than the AFC West. The Chiefs said goodbye to Tyreek Hill as they shuffled pieces around Patrick Mahomes. The Chargers filled with defensive superstars to capitalize on the emergence of Justin Herbert. The Raiders spent a lot to reunite Derek Carr with Davante Adams. And the Broncos started it all with Russell Wilson in the first blockbuster quarterback trade of the year.

But the West isn’t the only division that has made big changes in the AFC. Check out the best plays from each team in the conference:

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The top of the Cincinnati draft (S Daxton Hill, CB Cam Taylor-Britt) brings energy to the defense, and former Cowboys La’el Collins is the bigger name. But Cappa brings that stability to the inside of a line tasked with protecting the team’s main asset, QB Joe Burrow. He hasn’t missed a regular season start as one of Tom Brady’s most underrated blockers in the past two years.

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That seems like a slog considering Buffalo literally made Miller a $100 million man to join the team, and other pieces (RB James Cook, WR Jamison Crowder, CB Kaiir Elam) seem just as important. But if Miller comes close to what he brought during his peak moments in Denver and Los Angeles, Sean McDermott should feel good about his “D” helping Josh Allen get a real race.

Broncos: Trading with Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

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How can it be anything else? This is the movement that will take you to the promised land or sink you in a few years, or both. But it was one of the few mega bets worth the price for a team that hasn’t had star QB power since Peyton Manning circa 2012. Balance and elusiveness remain elite.

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Sorry, but even if the new QB Deshaun Watson is a clear upgrade on Baker Mayfield and/or proves to be worth his record investment in the field, it’s very possible he won’t/can’t make it until 2023, following a likely suspension. . Which leads to the biggest concern: his public and legal standing in the works, facing 24 civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault or misconduct. Cooper is a relative bargain after this year’s WR market inflation, giving whoever is in the center a genuine number 1 outside.

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Brandon Staley’s defense should be much more imposing with Khalil Mack, JC Jackson and Sebastian Joseph-Day connected across the lineup, but Williams’ return is even better for star QB Justin Herbert. With Keenan Allen in tow, the Chargers are still providing the young flag with an elite, explosive duo as he tries to finally make the playoffs.

Chiefs: Franchise scoring OT Orlando Brown Jr.

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In a few years, we can look back and really applaud his switch from star sprinter Tyreek Hill, simply for the draft it can produce. And cheap replacement JuJu Smith-Schuster has the stuff to come out (again). But Brown, with or without a long-term contract, is more important, giving Patrick Mahomes a solid bodyguard for his blind side.

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Wentz and Ryan arrived/departed separately, but it’s still surprising how Indianapolis was able to turn back their investment in Wentz and walk away with a more secure downtown projection. Yes, the Colts still have long-term QB issues, and Ryan is more stable than special these days, but with another great run-and-defense game, they have the recipe for a playoff offer.

In an offseason where Miami has landed Tyreek Hill, Terron Armstead and literally three starting running backs, their new coach is the biggest reason Dolphins fans should look forward to what Tua Tagovailoa and co will do in 2022. More than staying under Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco, McDaniel has the intelligence and courage to elevate a contemporary locker room.

Jaguars: Hiring Ex-Eagles HC Doug Pederson

Adding Brandon Scherff to help protect Trevor Lawrence was smart, and his top rookies (DE Travon Walker, LB Devin Lloyd) should help strengthen the defense. But nothing matters as much as reaching the top after Urban Meyer instantly became the figurehead of its rebuild. Pederson’s lovable, proven approach should at least revive the spirit of the QB and the organization.

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It’s possible, if not likely, that your draft-day additions (CB Sauce Gardner, WR Garrett Wilson) will have more long-term impact, but in terms of potential short-term value. and In the long run, Tomlinson is a hugely underrated injection of proven blocking to a front that will be instrumental in QB Zach Wilson’s development coming off a career year in San Francisco.

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It’s been a relatively underwhelming offseason for a team looking to build a bid for the 2021 playoffs; Is WR DeVante Parker’s draft pick swap convincing anyone to bet on Mac Jones for MVP? Meanwhile, Marcus Jones has been compared to former Chiefs star Dante Hall as a returning player, and he reckons that see an immediate paper in defense of Bill Belichick.

Raiders: Trading for Packers WR Davante Adams

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Much like Russ and the Broncos, how can it be anything else? Paying for Adams both via trade and the new receiver deal could hurt them down the road, but if you’re going to bet on Derek Carr, why not go all out to reunite him with a best friend who is perhaps the best pass catcher. pure in the game? Vegas may not compete, but it won’t be for lack of talent at WR.

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Virtually all of his defensive moves deserve praise, as Marcus Williams should confidently walk behind a healthier cornerback room, and day two picks David Ojabo and Travis Jones are underrated pieces up front. But Hamilton has the reach and versatility to be a hybrid linebacker/safety to bring all the defense together under a new direction.

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Pittsburgh has quietly had a tremendous offseason, reinforcing a dubious line with former Bears OG James Daniels and finding another WR gem on draft day in George Pickens. But nothing matters more than QB, and while Pickett may well project as a safer signal caller than a peppery one, he has hometown roots and a complete toolkit to keep Mike Tomlin in the playoff mix.

Texans: Trading QB Deshaun Watson

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They made a lot of questionable decisions (let Davis Mills go unchallenged at QB? make Lovie Smith last at the top of the team? sign/resign a bunch of free-agent leftovers again?), but dealing with Watson was inevitable. The fact that they unloaded their big contract and off-field baggage for three first-round players and more? They are at least set to rebuild.

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Acquiring former Rams star Robert Woods is a hugely underrated move for the WR room, which lost AJ Brown. But Ryan Tannehill may well not be in the center after 2022, so Woods’ value is eclipsed by Willis’s, who is very raw but extremely athletically attractive, giving Tennessee a kind of boom or bust to develop into the most athletic position. important in sport.

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