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2020 NFL offseason – Ranking most, least improved teams from 1-32, starting with Dolphins, Bengals
7:15 AM ET
  • ESPN staff

The 2020 NFL offseason was far from normal, but all 32 teams entered it with the same goal: to improve. Some teams did it better than others. Who improved the most during the past six months? Who got worse? Who is pretty much the same as when we last saw them?

We ranked all 32 teams’ net change from the end of last season to now. Keep in mind that this does not consider how good or bad a team actually is, but rather only how the roster changed since last season. Miami isn’t likely to top many lists this season, but the improvement bests the rest of the pack.

Here is our ranking of how each NFL team improved — or didn’t — during the 2020 offseason, based on votes from NFL writers Dan Graziano, Kevin Seifert, Jeremy Fowler and Mike Clay. Considerations include free-agent signings, trade acquisitions, draft selections, coaching changes and even, in some cases, long-term injuries or retirement.


1. Miami Dolphins

Big additions: CB Byron Jones, QB Tua Tagovailoa, OT Austin Jackson, DE Kyle Van Noy, DE Shaq Lawson, RB Jordan Howard, RB Matt Breida, DE Emmanuel Ogbah


Key losses: S Reshad Jones

When you have three first-round draft picks and spend close to $200 million in free agency, you’d better be at or near the top of this list. There were some big spends on defense, including the top prize on the cornerback market in Byron Jones and a former Patriot in Van Noy to help lead former Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores’ defense. But all of that pales in comparison to Tua mania, which gives Dolphins fans hope for the future as the team builds a roster around the former Alabama superstar QB. — Graziano



2. Cincinnati Bengals

Big additions: QB Joe Burrow, WR Tee Higgins, DT D.J. Reader, CB Mackensie Alexander, CB Trae Waynes, S Vonn Bell


Key losses: QB Andy Dalton, CB Darqueze Dennard, CB Dre Kirkpatrick, G John Miller

Dalton took the Bengals to the playoffs in four consecutive seasons, more than anyone in the previous four decades of team history. But he slipped enough in the last four seasons that Burrow — and his higher ceiling — is an upgrade at the most important position on the field. The Bengals also revamped their secondary in a much more ambitious manner than most observers expected. — Seifert



3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Big additions: QB Tom Brady, TE Rob Gronkowski, OT Tristan Wirfs


Key losses: DE Carl Nassib, DT Beau Allen, WR Breshad Perriman

The Bucs added top-shelf talent at quarterback and tight end, but this roster didn’t need a savior. Tampa Bay is well-stocked at nearly every position, and the franchise worked overtime to retain key defensive free agents Shaquil Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh. Chris Godwin, Vita Vea and Sean Murphy-Bunting are young draft picks the Bucs really like. Running back and secondary might be slight weaknesses, but there’s enough strength elsewhere to offset any issues. And as one exec told me, watch out for relative unknown Jaydon Mickens to be the next slot receiver Brady makes famous. — Fowler



4. Indianapolis Colts

Big additions: DT DeForest Buckner, QB Philip Rivers, RB Jonathan Taylor, CB Xavier Rhodes, WR Michael Pittman Jr.


Key losses: CB Pierre Desir, TE Eric Ebron, DE Jabaal Sheard, S Clayton Geathers

The Colts’ high grade is more a product of quality than it is quantity, especially considering that these are moves that can get Indianapolis back into contention for an AFC South title. Rivers is 38 years old but a significant upgrade over Jacoby Brissett. His line will be much better than what he had with the Chargers, and he’ll have new weapons in the form of Pittman, Taylor and tight end Trey Burton. Buckner was arguably the best player on the NFC champion 49ers’ roster last season and is a major upgrade at 3-technique. — Clay

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