2022 Offseason Assessment Tournament: 1st-Round (CIN v. BAL)
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.
OG Alex Cappa (FA), OT La’El Collins (FA), OC Ted Karras (FA), TE Hayden Hurst (FA)
DB Dax Hill (pick #31), Cam Taylor-Britt (Pick #60), DL Zach Carter (pick #95), OL Cordell Volson (pick #136)
TE C.J. Uzomah (FA), DT Larry Ogunjobi (FA?)
SAF Marcus Williams (FA), OT Morgan Moses (FA)
SAF Kyle Hamilton (#14), OL Tyler Linderbaum (pick #25), EDGE David Ojabo (pick #45), DT Travis Jones (pick #76), OL Daniel Faalele (pick #110), TE Charlie Kolar (pick #128), PT Jordan Stout (pick #130), TE Isaiah Likely (pick #139)
WR Marquise Brown (trade), CB Anthony Averett
The defending Super Bowl losers didn’t take a lot of hits at all this offseason. They’d like to have DT Larry Ogunjobi back, but he’s not irreplaceable. What’s really impressive is that Cincy identified the obvious need/issue, O-Line, and then went out and grabbed three instant starters in free agency. And Hayden Hurst is technically another nice O-Line add at TE. The Bengals assessed the obvious, but then actually executed a plan to solve it. Great job. They didn’t do as well in the draft, but they got some bodies. The O-Line in free agency was the key to this offseason.
The Ravens added a lot of bodies but I’m not sure I love any of them…maybe the punter, Jordan Stout? Travis Jones is hopeful. I like Charlie Kolar but non-Mark Andrews TEs go to die in Baltimore. So many bodies added though…that helps, in general, but does it make an impact? Is there a big-time impact player there if Linderbaum flops? I can’t stand overrated safety Kyle Hamilton. And Ojabo is potentially way overrated.
Do I go with quality (the Bengals filling in three starting OLs) or quantity (the Ravens getting 7+ useful bodies out of the NFL Draft)? I’ll take quality…which is what we’ll remember in the long run. The Bengals added four instant starters to their O-Line (including the TE/Hurst)…the Ravens added 1-2 instant starters, and one of them a punter.
WINNER = Cincinnati, who goes on to the AFC North finals.
NYG defeats DAL
PHI defeats WSH
LAR defeats SEA
SF defeats ARI
DET defeats GB
MIN defeats CHI
ATL defeats NO
TB defeats CAR
NYJ defeats BUF
MIA defeats NE
DEN defeats KC
LAC defeats LV
CIN defeats BAL