24. Las Vegas Raiders
The Las Vegas Raiders have had an eventful offseason in 2023, and you could say it’s currently ongoing. The Raiders let the franchise tag negotiation deadline pass without a deal in place for Josh Jacobs. Jacobs has not yet signed his franchise tender, so while he’s liable to miss out on some guaranteed cash, he’s holding out for more.
How many first-team All-Pro players don’t get legitimate contract offers from their teams? It’s tough to be a running back these days.
The Raiders jettisoned Derek Carr in favor of Jimmy Garoppolo, and the latest on Garoppolo and his healing foot was not overly positive. I don’t know where the Raiders land this year, but Jimmy Garoppolo at least has the best safety net in the league in Davante Adams.
If Garoppolo struggles with injuries, and Jacobs’ contract situation lingers, this team could really stink.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers
Part of me wants to place the Pittsburgh Steelers much higher than this, but I have serious questions about whether or not Kenny Pickett is going to be able to help this team win over the long haul. We know the crazy stat that Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but is that streak about to end in 2023?
The Steelers will have a good defense yet again. The offensive line is improved. If Pickett shows any real signs of improvement, this is probably a top-10 team in the league. They are talented and loaded at the offensive skill positions.
With the improvements made to the offensive line, I’m inclined to give the Steelers a pretty big boost, but I’m going to remain stuck in “wait and see” mode on this team for the foreseeable future.