NFC West: Key Free Agents, Draft Picks & Needs, and Available Cap Space

Feb 13, 2023
NFC West: Key Free Agents, Draft Picks & Needs, and Available Cap Space

The NFL offseason is a time for teams and fanbases to reset expectations for the upcoming year. While we haven't officially gotten to the offseason yet, 30 of 32 teams have already had their focus shift to the next season. However, some teams are in a better position than others to equip their team for future success - whether immediate or down the road.

In this series of articles, I will be going division-by-division and highlighting what each team has to work with this offseason in terms of resources in the form of draft capital and available cap space. I'll also offer some predictions of how teams might attack the offseason based on the capital they have available and how it could impact their team.

More Resource Dashboards: NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | AFC East | AFC West | AFC North | AFC South

As a reminder, here is a breakdown of key offseason dates that may impact this information:

  • March 7: deadline for teams to use the franchise tag
  • March 13: legal tampering period opens
  • March 15: NFL free agency begins and the new league year starts
  • April 21: deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets
  • April 27-29: NFL draft
  • May 1: deadline for teams to exercise 5th-year options on 2020 first-round draft picks
  • July 15: deadline for franchise tag players to sign an extension

As of February 13, 2023

Los Angeles Rams

Current draft picks (round number): 36 (2), 69 (3), 136 (4), 172 (5), 182 (6), 189 (6), 191 (6), 211 (6), 225 (7), 252 (7)

Cap space (effective cap space): -$14.2M (-$15.9M)

Tell me if you've heard this one before: the Los Angeles Rams don't have a first-round draft pick. This one stings a bit more because that pick they would have had is the sixth overall pick that is now in the hands of the Detroit Lions. Additionally, while it may look like the Rams are in a bad place regarding the cap space, they have a lot of flexibility. Los Angeles currently has the highest potential restructure amount via simple restructures ($94.9M) that would boost their cap space to approximately $80M. This is huge because the Rams look to be fairly far away from competing for another Super Bowl given the state of their roster.

Arizona Cardinals

Current draft picks (round number): 3 (1), 34 (2), 66 (3), 96 (3), 105 (4), 169 (5), 180 (6), 213 (6)

Cap space (effective cap space): $14.5M ($4.9M)

At the time of this writing, the Arizona Cardinals have yet to officially make a head coach hire. Whoever it is will have a decent set of resources, including the number three overall pick, at their disposal. That said, it may be more of a rebuilding year for Arizona with Kyler Murray suffering an ACL tear in December 2022, so it's unlikely he makes an impact on the team in 2023. For that reason, DeAndre Hopkins has been rumored as a potential trade candidate this offseason as he's currently Arizona's biggest cap hit and would save them around $8M if they were to trade him.

Seattle Seahawks

Current draft picks (round number): 5 (1), 20 (1), 37 (2), 52 (2), 83 (3), 123 (4), 153 (5), 156 (5), 198 (6)

Cap space (effective cap space): $31M ($19.2M)

The Seattle Seahawks may be in the best position in the NFC West to make some big moves this offseason. While they need to figure out who their quarterback will be, it seems almost certain that Geno Smith, the Comeback Player of the Year, will return to Seattle. Seattle, though, still sits with four top-52 picks and two picks inside the top six of the first two rounds thanks to their trade with the Denver Broncos last offseason. Defense will be a huge focus for Seattle this offseason as they ranked 25th in defensive EPA per play allowed and had just three players rank in the top 30 of their position in PFF grade on defense, one of whom is set to be a free agent (Ryan Neal, 4th-highest graded safety). They'll need to make plenty of moves to get even close to the Legion of Boom days of old.

San Francisco 49ers

Current draft picks (round number): 99 (3), 101 (3), 102 (3), 157 (5), 166 (5), 173 (5), 216 (6), 224 (7), 249 (7), 255 (7)

Cap space (effective cap space): $8.3M ($2.8M)

San Francisco is in a very unique situation because they have not one, but two quarterbacks on their rookie contract for (at least) the next two years. It remains to be seen whether they'll roll with Trey Lance or Brock Purdy in 2023, but they should be grateful even to have the option to choose between these two. Unfortunately, the 49ers have just one top-100 draft pick and that pick is 99th overall. So, if they want to bolster their roster they are going to have to do so through free agency, and they have one of the longer lists of free agents to be in the league. Not to mention, reigning Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa is due for a record-breaking contract extension this offseason, giving San Francisco a little less wiggle room than meets the eye. Still, the 49ers have their best offensive weapons - George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Christian McCaffrey - under contract for 2023 and will be among the NFC favorites yet again.

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