(Image credit Mark J Rebilas/ USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
With the Super Bowl now completed the NFL is entering the offseason. It is time to look at the 5 big team needs that every NFL team should address in the 2022 off-season. This article focuses on the team needs for every team in the AFC North.
Now, this is another no-brainer here as the Browns offense was missing something since Odell Beckham left the team to successfully ring chase with the Los Angeles Rams this offseason. I doubt the Browns are going to bring back Jarvis Landry this season if he refuses to take a pay cut. So the Browns need to surround Baker Mayfield with some weapons.
Myles Garrett is the only DE/EDGE rusher that has a contract for next season. Jadeveon Clowney, Ifeadi Odenigbo, Porter Gustin, and Takkarist McKinley are all free agents this offseason. The Browns are going to need to sign another starter and get more depth plus youth at the DE/EDGE rusher position on this team.
The Cleveland Browns are going to have to improve the defensive line. Especially as Sheldon Day and Malik Jackson are free agents this offseason. Malik McDowell is dealing with off-the-field issues and I doubt he will be back for the Cleveland Browns. They need to improve the defensive tackle position on this defense
4. TE David Njoku is a free agent this offseason. There is no word yet if he will be re-signed but I won't be shocked if the Browns decide not to. Austin Hooper is likely to be the starter but they're going to need to find another blocking or receiving tight end to replace Njoku.
5. OT Never hurts to give Baker Mayfield or whoever their QB will be some more protection. Jack Conklin being injured was a big loss to this offense. The Browns should get some depth at tackle to be sure that Baker has proper protection.
1. OT The Ravens were seriously missing Orlando Brown Jr last season as the Ravens dealt with a ton of injuries on the O-line. Plus it never hurts to protect the QB and Lamar Jackson did not have that protection thus resulting in him getting injured.
2. CB The Baltimore Ravens' secondary was decimated with injuries last season. It was so bad that they had to put scrubs in as starters at the cornerback. Even if they are healthy I think it would be a good idea to bring in a durable option at cornerback to bolster the depth.
3. DT The Ravens as of now have one player (Xavier Kelly) under contract for 2022 that is playing defensive tackle. The team could lose Brandon Williams in the offseason as well. They're going to need to get depth for it in the offseason and potentially replace Williams if they can’t come to a deal.
4. LB Baltimore needs to get linebacker help last season. Especially as Justin Houston and Pernell McPhee are free agents this offseason. They will most likely not be signed so the Ravens could get younger and sign more depth pieces on the team.
5. RB Yes, I know JK Dobbins, Justice Hill, and Gus Edwards will be coming back from their injures but because of durability issues it would be smart for the Ravens to bring in another back or two to ensure another situation like last season occurs. Ty'son Williams, Devonta Freeman, and Latavius Murray are all free agents this offseason.
1. QB Definitely, a need as Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement last season. Honestly, it should have been made two seasons ago but the Pittsburgh Steelers are an incompetent organization that is lucky to have one of the best coaches in the NFL in Mike Tomlin (Again I was wrong about him? I am a man to admit I was wrong). Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins are clearly not the long-term options.
A position that should have been upgraded last season but for some reason was not for the Steelers. Ben got beaten up last season and this o-line did not help protect him. If Zach Banner can stay healthy then they could have a tackle but they don’t have a consistently good offensive tackle that is durable on this team. It is a must that they upgrade the o-line to protect the blindside of whoever the QB will be.
3. OG Again should have been upgraded last season but the Steelers failed to do so. Trai Turner was a flop and he is going to be a free agent this offseason. With how badly the Steelers o-line was Imagine how much better Najee Harris will be with good guards to open up holes for him. Definitely, a must for this team to upgrade at guard.
Excluding S Minkah Fitzpatrick the entire secondary was abysmal last season. Especially at cornerback, it is a big need for this defense. CB Joe Haden has declined a ton this season and could be a cap casualty. Both Ahkello Witherspoon and Arthur Maulet are free agents next season. The Steelers need to bolster and improve the secondary.
5. WR The Steelers are going to need to give whoever the QB is for them weapons. Diontae Johnson was excellent last season. Chase Claypool is turning into a cancer in the locker room but has the talent. Excluding that they don’t have much as JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and Ray-Ray McCloud are all free agents. So if the Steelers can’t re-sign them to another contract then the Steelers are going to have to replace them and get depth at receiver.
1. CB This was a weakness in the Super Bowl as Eli Apple was horrendous in that game. Then again what else is new. The Bengals have to strengthen the secondary if they want to go to the Super Bowl again next year.
2. OT It is time to give Joe Burrow some help on the offensive line. Heck, he almost got hurt in Superbowl 56. This was a position that the Bengals ignored improving last season and that game should be another wake-up call for the Bengals to get an o-lineman.
3. DT The Bengals could bolster the defensive line. Especially as they desperately missed Larry Ogunjobi who was injured in Superbowl 56. Plus he is also a free agent this season as well and if they can’t come to a deal then the Bengals will have to replace him.
4. S Bengals are going to want to have leverage for negotiations for Jessie Bates who will absolutely be Franchise Tagged for next season. Plus the Bengals could use some depth at the position as well.
5. RB The Cincinnati Bengals already have a starting running back in Joe Mixon. But they could use a backup just in case Mixon gets hurt. Plus they could use an upgrade in Samaje Perine who was not that good last season.