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One offseason move for each NFC team: Vikings must PAY Justin Jefferson; Eagles need LB help

While the Chiefs and 49ers get ready for Super Bowl LVIII, 30 other teams are already preparing for the offseason.

With free agency just five weeks away, here's at least one move each NFC team -- outside of San Francisco -- should make.

Click here for one offseason move each AFC team must make.

Arizona Cardinals
2023 record: 4-13
  • Don't get cute during the draft. 

If there is the expected run on quarterbacks to begin the 2024 NFL Draft, Monti Ossenfort should race to turn in the card with Marvin Harrison Jr.'s name at No. 4 overall. It's rare for a wide receiver prospect to enter the NFL with Harrison's blend of talent, size, production and pedigree. The Ohio State product is the complete package and would immediately give Kyler Murray a go-to target. With Marquise Brown headed to free agency, the Cards must provide Murray with weapons to continue their rebuild. From there, Arizona can use its second first-round pick (No. 27 overall) on the best player available. Fortifying the trenches on both sides of the ball is necessary in 2024 -- especially on defense, where Arizona went with a no-name front in 2023.

Atlanta Falcons
2023 record: 7-10
  • Find an answer at QB.

Arthur Smith lost his coaching job in Atlanta because he couldn't solve the QB riddle. Neither Desmond Ridder nor Taylor Heinicke was the answer, and Smith's handling of the entire situation didn't help. There is far too much talent on the roster for the Falcons to continuously pick in the top 10 in each draft. It feels like owner Arthur Blank could be ready to make a splash play for that quarterback to get the club over the top. Chase Kirk Cousins. See what it would take to get Justin Fields out of Chicago. Check in on Russell Wilson when he shakes free from Denver. All would be better options than what the Falcons rolled with over the past few seasons.

Carolina Panthers
2023 record: 2-15

Hiring a QB-friendly head coach who has gotten the best out of Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield is a start. But Dave Canales also had Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to scheme open looks. The fruit on the Carolina vine isn't nearly as luscious. The Panthers must upgrade their weapons around Young, providing someone -- anyone! -- besides Adam Thielen who can get open. With no first-round pick this year, they might need to “overpay” in free agency -- a la Jacksonville adding Christian Kirk -- along with using one of their Day 2 picks to add playmakers. Carolina must also bulk up the offensive line after a dismal performance last season. 

Chicago Bears
2023 record: 7-10
  • Stockpile more weapons. 

Let's not rehash the QB situation. That grass has been worn out like Grant Park during Lollapalooza. Whether the quarterback is Justin Fields or a rookie selected in the draft, the Bears must beef up the rest of the offense. New offensive coordinator Shane Waldron runs an intriguing scheme, but it's different calling plays when Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and Jaxon Smith-Njigba are lining up at receiver than when it's D.J. Moore, Tyler Scott and Velus Jones Jr. Moore is a stud the Bears need to supplement. Adding a field-stretching veteran like Marquise Brown or Gabe Davis would fit nicely. Also, selecting a young playmaker in a deep receiver draft is a must. I'd probably go QB-OL with the top two picks (Nos. 1 and 9 overall), but I wouldn't hate a difference-making WR at No. 9.

Dallas Cowboys
2023 record: 12-5

If the Cowboys are to go "all in," as Jerry Jones insisted, they'll need to find the ammo -- outside of re-doing Dak Prescott's contract. Dallas can create $9.5 million in cap space by designating Gallup a post-June 1 cut, per Over The Cap. Injuries derailed Gallup's upside, and he hasn't been the same player since. The wideout generated 418 yards on 34 catches with two TDs this season. That's replacement-level production not worth a $13.85 million cap hit. The Cowboys love to hang on to their own players far too long, but if Jones is going to make splash moves this offseason, he'll have to make some tough decisions first. 

Detroit Lions
2023 record: 12-5

The secondary has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese and is a key area to upgrade this offseason. But one way to help the back end is to bulk up the pass rush. QBs had all day to pick apart Detroit's secondary in 2023, forcing Aaron Glenn to bring extra rushers. For most of the season, it was Hutchinson or bust for the Lions' front four. Next Gen Stats credited Hutch with 83 QB pressures. The next-closest Lion was defensive tackle Alim McNeill with 30. The No. 2 defensive end was Charles Harris with 26. Given the amount of attention Hutchinson commands, generating so little production on the opposite side is deplorable.

Green Bay Packers
2023 record: 9-8

I know, I know, I know. Running backs are an interchangeable commodity that should be treated like any root vegetable. But hear me out for a millisecond: What if they're all not? What if -- I know this is tinfoil-hat crazy -- some are true difference-makers whose presence completely changes the makeup of an offense? Jones was massive down the stretch for Green Bay, logging five consecutive games with 100-plus rushing yards, including both playoff contests. When healthy, he tilts defenses. I'm not suggesting Brian Gutekunst blow the doors off for a 29-year-old running back coming off an injury-plagued season. Far from it. There is a middle ground between overpaying at the position and cheaping out. We know Jones took a pay cut last year to remain in Green Bay, and his 2024 cap hit of $17.028 million (second-most among RBs, per Over The Cap) is untenable. A one- or two-year extension would lower that figure for next season and provide the Packers another year or two to lean on Jones as the young pass-catching crew continues to grow.

Los Angeles Rams
2023 record: 10-7

The Rams' offensive success in 2024 happened for myriad reasons, from Matthew Stafford staying healthy to Sean McVay's scheme tweaks to unearthing difference-makers Puka Nacua and Kyren Williams. The most overlooked factor? Upgrades along the offensive line. Drafting left guard Steve Avila and swiping Dotson from Pittsburgh helped solidify the interior -- where pressure on Stafford had done the most damage throughout his career. Dotson is a stellar pass blocker and fits McVay's run scheme perfectly at right guard. L.A. can't lose this 27-year-old in free agency.

Minnesota Vikings
2023 record: 7-10

I understand GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah takes a measured approach to his team building, but inevitably, Jefferson is getting paid. The longer the team waits, the more costly the contract will become. Jefferson is worthy of being the highest-paid wideout in the NFL. The man had nearly 1,100 receiving yards this past season despite missing seven games. He made Nick Mullens look serviceable, for Pete's sake. The 24-year-old should easily soar past Tyreek Hill's $30 million-per-year deal. (If the Vikings can get him to sign for anything less than top-paid non-QB, they should rush to do so.) Minnesota can structure the deal to lower the wideout's 2024 cap hit ($19.743 million) to open more room this year to spend on a quarterback (Kirk Cousins) or numerous defensive free agents. This feels like one of those situations where playing it year to year with the fifth-year option and franchise tags will only make things more expensive in the long run (and in the meantime, clog the Vikings' flexibility). The other option would be to trade him now and let someone else give him that contract. But considering that every division rival would throw a party if you were to deal Jefferson, that's probably not a wise idea. 

New Orleans Saints
2023 record: 9-8
  • Add edge-rush aid.

There might not be a more depressing team heading into the 2024 offseason. On paper, the Saints should have contended in 2023. Instead, they came up small. Portions of the locker room and coaching staff seemed to be at odds all campaign -- highlighted by the fake kneel to end the season. I'd suggest it's a good time to jettison some aging players -- perhaps including Alvin Kamara, who seems disenchanted with leadership. But doing that barely helps the cap situation anyway. Head coach Dennis Allen also desperately needs to win to keep his job beyond 2024, so I don't see New Orleans making any drastic rebuilding moves. The Saints will do what they do: Restructure a bunch of contracts for aging veterans and convince themselves they can win a soft NFC South division.

If New Orleans is to finally turn the corner under Allen, though, they must get better defensive production off the edge. Cam Jordan is an all-timer and will be in the Ring of Honor when he hangs 'em up. But the 34-year-old can't be counted on as a primary every-down source of pressure going into Year 14.

New York Giants
2023 record: 6-11
  • Find vet answers on the O-line. 

New York has sought to answer its long-standing blocking issues through the draft. Since 2020, the Giants have used three of their nine first- or second-round picks on the offensive line. Andrew Thomas is stellar when healthy, John Michael Schmitz showed flashes as a rookie, and Evan Neal has been disappointing. If the Giants are to improve on offense, GM Joe Schoen must supplement with reliable veterans -- both starters and depth pieces. Find a right tackle who could push Neal for the starting job. Adding blocking in free agency would allow Big Blue to use the No. 6 pick on a speedy weapon or defensive aid.

Philadelphia Eagles
2023 record: 11-6
  • Prioritize linebacker.

Howie Roseman insisted he hasn't devalued the linebacker position, but the results speak for themselves. The Eagles didn't properly replace T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White last offseason and, as a result, got gashed down the middle. Nicholas Morrow, Zach Cunningham, Shaquille Leonard and Shaun Bradley are all free agents. Nakobe Dean, who flashed potential but dealt with injury all season, is the lone man standing. With Vic Fangio taking over as defensive coordinator, it's not a position to go light on. Fangio's defenses are best with a strong middle and free-flying safeties. Philly doesn't need to break the bank with a Patrick Queen, but Roseman must find his Drue Tranquill-type impact linebacker this offseason.

Seattle Seahawks
2023 record: 9-8

The end of the Pete Carroll era should also bring the end of the Jamal Adams run. It's time to admit the trade and contract was an error and move on. The Seahawks can save $16.5 million if they release Adams after June 1. Could new coach Mike Macdonald use a fun chess piece like Adams, similar to how he unleashed Kyle Hamilton in Baltimore? Sure. However, Adams is no longer that player -- and he can't stay healthy, having played 10 games combined in the past two seasons. Seattle, which is currently over the projected salary cap, could also part with fellow safety Quandre Diggs, who's set to count for $21.26 million against the salary cap. I'd love to see Diggs in Macdonald's defense, but saving $11 million by releasing the 31-year-old safety is probably too much to pass up for a Seattle squad starting a new reign.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2023 record: 9-8

The Bucs gave Mayfield a prove-it contract, and boy, did he ever. The former No. 1 overall pick played the best football of his career in Tampa this past season. I don't think the Bucs should blow the doors off to keep Mayfield, but a shade better than the Geno Smith deal could make sense for both sides. After years of looking lost, would Baker take that sort of contract? He's said he values stability. It would behoove the Bucs to get a multi-year deal done with Mayfield soon, which could free up cap space and the franchise tag for one of their numerous other free agents. Tampa should try to avoid having to tag Baker and letting Antione Winfield Jr. hit the open market unfettered.

Washington Commanders
2023 record: 4-13
  • Find an edge presence. 

The Commanders traded away their top two edge rushers -- Montez Sweat and Chase Young -- during the season. That left them with Casey Toohill and James Smith-Williams as their top veteran options. Both are free agents this offseason. Imagine you're Dan Quinn. You just went from deploying Micah Parsons and Demarcus Lawrence in Dallas to Casper the Friendly Ghost in D.C. With Washington expected to select a QB at No. 2 overall, using free agency and their Day 2 draft picks to find edge help is a must. 

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