NFL Offseason Moves to Make: What Should These Eliminated Teams Do?

by Tyler Knaeble · Analytics & Advanced Metrics

Welcome back to installment two of NFL Offseason Moves to Make: What Should These Eliminated Teams Do?

Today, the teams in question are the Texans, Packers, Buccaneers, and Bills

This feels like that meme where four swat team members are getting ready to raid a house and one of them is dressed as a clown. Because three of these teams definitely overachieved this postseason, and one did not. So, let’s start with the clown team. 

Buffalo Bills

Is it a rivalry if it’s one sided? That has to be what the Buffalo Bills are thinking to themselves right now as they have lost to the Chiefs for the third consecutive time in the playoffs, this time at home.

2023 Season Recap

From an offensive perspective, the Bills had a really good season. They finished No. 4 in yards per game and No. 6 in points per game. They had breakout seasons from James Cook, Dalton Kincaid and even Khalil Shakir to an extent.

On defense, they finished better statistically than I originally thought. The Bills allowed the No. 4-least points per game and the No. 9-least yards per game. This was despite losing LB Matt Milano, CB Tre’Davious White, and many others to injury.  

Offseason Moves to Make

As it pertains to Stefon Diggs, the streets are saying that he may not be back with the Bills for the 2024 season. While we have heard this song and dance before, it feels a little different this time around. If there is one thing we all know about Diggs, it’s that he wants the ball at all costs. When Ken Dorsey was the offensive coordinator through the first 10 weeks of the season, Diggs was getting the ball. Over that span, Diggs ranked No. 4 in yards, No. 1 in targets, No. 2 in receptions, and caught seven touchdowns. However, when Joe Brady assumed OC duties Diggs ranked No. 46 in yards, No. 15 in targets, No. 23 in receptions, and caught just one touchdown.

If they do decide to move on from Diggs, or vice versa, I’d be shocked if they didn’t bring in some more weapons for Josh Allen. With that being said, it’s going to be a lot harder to build around Allen as the first year of his mega contract is set to kick in in this upcoming season. This will result in a cap hit of $47.1 million.

Considering they are projected to be $43 million OVER the cap this offseason, it’s going to be hard to find game changing talent in the free agent market. That’s why I fully expect them to get it from the NFL Draft. They hit on Dalton Kincaid last season. Therefore, it’s time to go out and grab a receiver. Luckily for them, wide receiver is a position where this class is very deep. 

Some names to keep any eye on are Brian Thomas (LSU), Troy Franklin (Oregon), Adonai Mitchell (Texas) and Tez Walker (UNC). 

Green Bay Packers

The Packers went from losing to the Giants and being in a hell game with the Panthers late in the season to knocking off the No. 2 seed Dallas Cowboys and almost knocking off the No. 1 seed San Francisco 49ers.

2023 Season Recap

This stat is courtesy of Andrew Cooper (@CoopaFiasco). Jayden Reed, Dontayvion Wicks, Luke Musgrave, and Tucker Kraft will combine for a cap hit of $11.1 million in 2024. That’s pretty much their entire starting lineup of skill players! What makes it even better is Allen Lazard, who they let walk last offseason, has a cap hit of  $13.2 million in 2024. Additionally, Lazard finished with just 23 catches, 311 yards, and one touchdown in 14 games played. 

Additionally, the Packers found their quarterback of the future in Jordan Love. Love absolutely dazzled this season (outside of one terrible Brett Favre like interception.) He finished with the No. 7-most passing yards, No. 2-most passing touchdowns, and the No. 5-best quarterback rating. 

Offseason Moves to Make

The first move the Packers should make is to re-sign Jordan Love. He’s done more than enough to prove that he is worth a lengthy extension. Love should be treated as a cornerstone of the franchise. If they can get him for around $40 million/year, which is in that Matthew Stafford, Dak Prescott, Daniel Jones, range I would consider that a huge win. 

As far as building out the rest of the roster, getting a true No. 1 wide receiver would go a long way for this offense. Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs are not No. 1 options. Yes, Jayden Reed is good, but his upside feels capped as a No. 2 option coming from the slot. Every other receiving option feels like a role player.

They don’t have much cap space to work with this offseason. However, they do have some good draft capital thanks to the Aaron Rodgers trade. They currently hold picks 25, 41, and 58 in the first two rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft. Additionally, they have some compensatory picks thanks to them “losing” Allen Lazard. Overall, the true positions of need for them are O-line, CB, and S. 

Houston Texans

It always amazes me how one pick can change the trajectory of a franchise. With C.J. Stroud playing the way he played this season, I don’t think there’s a list of five other quarterbacks you’d rather have for the next 5-10 years. 

2023 Season Recap

In 2023, the Texans won the AFC South. They made it to the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Additionally, they fully cemented their place among the young teams to look out for in the AFC going forward. The contributions they got from Stroud, Tank Dell, and Nico Collins is why many feel so good about the direction this team is going. Also, the impact DeMeco Ryans had on this defense cannot go unnoticed. 

The Texans allowed less points than teams like the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns. These teams almost certainly have more talent than a team like the Texans. Also, there’s more good news for the Texans as they have the No. 2-most cap space available this offseason. 

Offseason Moves to Make

The only notable Texans free agent is Dalton Schultz. Schultz isn’t much of a difference maker in the grand scheme of things. Therefore, if they can get him for a cheap deal, then the Texans should bring him back. As far as other names they should be bringing in, the big name I keep coming back to is Saquon Barkley

Just think how fun this offense would be with Stroud, Barkley, and these pass catchers! It’s very obvious the Texans did not trust Dameon Pierce as the season went along and quickly saw his job snatched by Devin Singletary, who is also a free agent. Singletary is okay, but he is the definition of average. When the Texans have an opportunity to bring in a guy like Barkley, who will be just 27 years old next season, they have to explore that avenue. Plus, given the current state of the running back market, the Texans can likely get him for a good price. 

Free Agency Options

As far as the rest of their cap space goes, there are some Moby-Dick’s in the free agent pool this offseason, and the Texans are rocking out with a pretty big harpoon. Guys like Chris Jones, Danielle Hunter, Budda Baker, Mike Evans, and Tee Higgins may all be available. This is not to mention they also have the Browns’ First Round pick (pick 23) which ended up being better than their own (pick 27) which is owned by the Cardinals from the Will Anderson NFL Draft day trade.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

It wasn’t that long ago where Caleb Williams was projected to be the No. 1 overall selection in 2024 by the Buccaneers. How far we’ve come!

2023 Season Recap

After starting the season out at 4-7, it was looking very grim for Baker and company. However, thanks to a little determination, dedication, and the dumpster fire that we like to call the NFC South, the Bucs snuck their way into the playoffs. Despite their win over the Eagles, I don’t think anyone really expected them to beat the Lions. Most analysts didn’t have them as a Super Bowl threat either. Despite their Divisional playoff appearance, their success going forward is still completely dependent on which moves they make this offseason. 

Offseason Moves to Make

The Bucs have the ninth oldest roster in the NFL, and most of those players are coming in at key positions. Lavonte David (33), Shaquil Barrett (31), and Mike Evans (30), who’s also a free agent, are just a few. 

I’m not saying they should just tear everything down, but this roster is more geared toward winning now and not later. With that being said, there are some reports they are looking to bring back Baker Mayfield. While I acknowledge that he had the best season of his career, let’s be honest, he is not winning a Super Bowl with the Bucs. 

Resigning Mayfield to a $30-$35 million multi-year deal would set this franchise back, not forward. What happens when this aging roster reaches its peak? This is going to be here sooner rather than later. Also, if Baker and Brock Purdy switched places, and Mayfield played for the 49ers, would you feel better or worse about the 49ers Super Bowl chances? Personally, I’d feel worse. If your goal is to win the Super Bowl, which should be every team’s goal, Baker Mayfield should not be your long-term quarterback. 

As for the rest of the roster, I’d let Mike Evans, Devin White and Lavonte David all walk in free agency, and I’d infuse this roster with more youth. Therefore, when they do find the cornerstone quarterback, the roster has a multi-year window to compete and not a one- or two-year window full of a bunch of aging veterans just hanging on.