NCAA Football: Michigan State at Ohio State

The NFL Combine took place this past week, and the next generation of football stars had the chance to put their athletic gifts on display. The combine is more than just working out in tight clothes, however. It's an opportunity for teams to meet with prospects one-on-one, and it's also the first official NFL meeting of the offseason, where head coaches and general managers speak to reporters about any number of topics.

Coaches and GMs discussed their looming free agents, team needs, prospects and even potential rule changes. There's so much to digest from combine week that has nothing to do with the college players coming in. Below, we will break down one thing we learned about each NFL team during combine week. 

Arizona Cardinals

Cards have done 'a lot of work' on Marvin Harrison Jr. 

With three quarterback-needy teams atop the draft order, it's very possible we see QBs go one-two-three. That leaves the Cardinals at No. 4 to take the best non-quarterback in the draft. Many mock drafters have Arizona taking its new No. 1 wideout in Marvin Harrison Jr., and as you would imagine, the Cardinals admitted to doing their homework on him. 

"Marvin's been a great player," Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort said, via The Arizona Republic. "We've done a lot of work on Marvin … and excited to continue to work him through the process here in the next couple months."

Atlanta Falcons

QB search will be wide-ranging

The Falcons are in the market for a new starting quarterback, but are they a lock to draft one? In speaking with CBS Sports Lead NFL Insider Jonathan Jones, new head coach Raheem Morris didn't rule anything out when it comes to finding Atlanta's new quarterback. 

"I don't think you can lock yourself into how that goes about it,'' Morris said. "When you're talking about -- everybody wants a great quarterback, and you don't know how they come. They come in all forms, fashions, shapes, everything that you can talk about. So, you want to go out there and find the best quarterback that fits best with you and your people and how you're building this team.

"We've got a lot of really good players on the football team: Bijan Robinson, Drake London, Kyle Pitts. And you talk about that offensive line that we got, anchored by Jake Matthews. You want to go get the best fit for your people. You want to go get the best fit for your coaches. You want to go get the best fit for our city. You want to do all of those things. There's nothing ruled out. 

"And I forgot to mention trade. Because all of those things come into play. And I know I'm all over the place with you right now, but it's good, because we've really been tedious. We've really been going through the process of how are we gonna acquire the best fit for us."

Baltimore Ravens 

Justin Madubuike isn't going anywhere

Last Tuesday, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta told reporters that he will "probably" use the franchise tag on defensive tackle Justin Madubuike if no extension can be reached by next Tuesday, per The Athletic.

Madubuike is coming off of a career year, in which he recorded 56 combined tackles, 13 sacks, 33 QB hits and 12 tackles for loss. His 13 sacks and 33 QB hits ranked first among all defensive tackles. Madubuike also went 11 straight games in which he recorded at least half a sack, which tied an NFL record.

Buffalo Bills

They are looking for explosive WRs 

Like every NFL team, the Bills want to make moves to improve this offseason. Unfortunately, they currently have the worst cap situation in the league. They can't go out in free agency and be big spenders, so the draft becomes that much more important. Buffalo is doing its due diligence at the wide receiver position, especially with Gabe Davis being a free agent.  

"You've got to be able to get the ball either thrown down the field, or you've got to be able to complete it short and then have it run down the field," McDermott said, via "Whether it's via RAC (Run After Catch) or throwing the ball down the field and completing it on deeper passes."

Carolina Panthers

Bryce Young not a 'big fix'

The 2023 season was disastrous for Carolina, as the Panthers fired their head coach in the middle of his first season, while the quarterback they traded up to No. 1 overall for, Bryce Young, struggled. Young averaged 5.5 yards per pass attempt in 2023, which ranked fourth-fewest in NFL history, and had the lowest passer rating (73.7). Is Bryce already a bust? No. In fact, new Panthers head coach Dave Canales said that after digesting more tape, there's no "big fix" for Young, per WCNC. It's about building the offense around him. 

Chicago Bears

Justin Fields trade could come quickly

The Bears are expected to select Caleb Williams No. 1 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, meaning Justin Fields will probably be moved. When will he be moved? Bears general manager Ryan Poles made it sound like a trade could come sooner rather than later

"I will say this: If we go down that road, I wanna do right by Justin as well," Poles said. "No one wants to live in gray. I know that's uncomfortable. I wouldn't wanna be in that situation either. So we'll gather the information. We'll move as quickly as possible. We're not gonna be in a rush. And (we'll) see what presents itself and what's best for the organization."

Cincinnati Bengals

Bengals doing their homework on TEs

We could talk about Tee Higgins here, but obviously the Bengals are interested in keeping one of their top receivers. One thing we learned about Cincinnati in Indy is that the Bengals are researching tight ends -- something that has been very much reported on. That includes meeting with the top tight end in this class: Brock Bowers out of Georgia. Tight end is a clear need for Cincinnati, as all four of the Bengals' tight ends from last year are looking for new deals. 

Cleveland Browns

Browns want to move the trade deadline

The Browns proposed an interesting idea last week. During an interview at the combine, Browns general manager Andrew Berry revealed that his team will be submitting a proposal to move the trade deadline. The deadline was originally set so that it would fall near the midpoint of the season, but that only worked with a 16-game schedule. What happens if the schedule expands to 18 regular-season games? Why would the trade deadline still be right after Week 8?

"We want to retroactively correct the fact that the trade deadline never moved when the season expanded to 17 games," Berry told the media. "If, at some point in the future, the regular season expands to 18 games, we wanted to be proactive in terms of the positioning for the trade deadline."

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas definitely likes Tyler Smith

The Cowboys have three big-name players that they want to give contract extensions, but that means money will have to be cut from other places. Saturday, NFL Media reported that Cowboys longtime left tackle Tyron Smith is unlikely to return to Dallas in 2024. That opens the door for left guard Tyler Smith to potentially move outside.

Before the Tyron report, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones even compared Tyler to a Pro Football Hall of Famer

"That remains to be seen. It's starting to feel like Larry Allen all over again," Jones said at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis when asked about Smith's long-term position, per the Cowboys' official website. "The great thing about Tyler is his versatility; he could be a great left tackle, too. At the end of the day when we're through massaging it, we'll have a good spot for him. His versatility certainly brings options as we look at this team moving forward."

Denver Broncos

Russell Wilson is gone

If there was any question, it appears Mr. Unlimited's times in Denver is limited. Broncos head coach Sean Payton said at the combine that a decision will be made on Russ soon. He also made several comments about the Broncos' next quarterback. 

"There's a Broncos fan with a shirt on with like eight quarterbacks' names crossed through them and he's drinking the quarterback 'Kool-Aid,'" Payton said, via 9News. "Our job is to make sure this next one doesn't have a line through it."

As for how Denver handles parting ways with Wilson's contract, I'm excited to see.

Detroit Lions

They are ready to invest in their own players

"Let's run it back" feels like the unofficial motto for the Lions in 2024. After an appearance in the NFC Championship game, the Lions return their offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, quarterback and plenty of other talent on both sides of the ball. Consistency among coaches and coordinators is important, but the Lions are also ready to invest in their own players. First, it was special teams star Jalen Reeves-Maybin, who signed a two-year, $7.5 million deal worth up to $8 million, per NFL Media. That contract makes him the highest-paid core special teams player ever. Now, Detroit is reportedly looking to extend its No. 1 wide receiver in Amon-Ra St. Brown.

Per the Detroit Free Press, the Lions would like to sign St. Brown to an extension this offseason, and the two sides were scheduled to meet at the combine. St. Brown has one more year remaining on his rookie deal, and could be in line to sign a massive contract that makes him one of the highest-paid wide receivers in the NFL. 

Green Bay Packers

Packers may draft QB

Jordan Love could sign a contract extension this offseason, but Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst made an interesting comment about adding to his young quarterback room at the combine.

"Getting back to drafting multiple quarterbacks is something that I've wanted to do," Gutekunst said, via "We kind of went away from that for a few years and I'd like to get back to that because I just think having young talented quarterbacks on your roster that the coaches can develop, I just think is really healthy and important for a franchise."

The Packers also have Sean Clifford, who they drafted in the fifth round last year. Gutekunst likes the Penn State product, but he wants to develop multiple young quarterbacks.

"He's absolutely proven he can be a No. 2, and maybe more than that," Gutekunst said. "Sean did a great job in his first year. I thought you guys saw it. The exciting thing about Sean is he played a lot of football in college, had a lot of experience. His play style, his aggressiveness, you guys saw in preseason his ability to play in the fire and overcome anything that's going on in the game was pretty unique for a young guy. So, we're very excited about Sean and where he's headed.

"But I'd love to continue to bring in quarterbacks, not only for the competition but for the development of them. Because I do think it takes time. It takes time, any player, but a quarterback particularly in a comfort zone of what he's doing where you can really see his talent come out. I think Sean hit that pretty early compared to most, but I think that's important you give that player the time to get there."

Houston Texans

'Person over player'

Texans general manager Nick Caserio said something that's really an overlooked truth about the NFL Combine. This is the time for all 32 NFL teams to interview prospects, not examine their 40 times. 

"The on-field workouts, I mean I think that's more for you all to watch and figure out who runs fast and who doesn't," Caserio said. "But the next time we use how fast an offensive lineman ran a 40 in our evaluation will be the first."

Head coach DeMeco Ryans said something similar about adding to the Texans culture. It's more than just if you're good at football or not. 

"It's always person over player and bringing the right person in is of high importance to me," Ryans said. 

Indianapolis Colts

Michael Pittman Jr. will be back in 2024

The Colts' No. 1 wideout is going to be back in Indy in 2024. Even if the Colts have to use the franchise tag. 

"We've had talks with his agent, who's really good. His agent's been doing it a long time, he's really good at what he does," said Colts GM Chris Ballard, via 1075TheFan. "We'll work hard to get a deal done. [The franchise tag] is a tool we have. I'm not going to say we're not going to use it, but I'm not going to say we are. Hopefully we can come to an agreement and find some compromise on a deal."

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jags looking at cornerbacks

The Jaguars need to upgrade the defense this offseason, and that includes cornerback. General manager Trent Baalke addressed the cornerback position in speaking with reporters last week, and it's one he believes is deep. 

"I think the draft, the corner position, I think is gonna be strong," said Baalke, via the Florida Times-Union. "I think it's a good group, I think there's going to be good players at the top end of the market and good players all the way through in the developmental range."

Kansas City Chiefs

Chris Jones is at the top of the list

The reigning Super Bowl champions have two big free agents on the defensive side of the ball in lineman Chris Jones and cornerback L'Jarius Sneed. We received just a little more clarity on how Kansas City plans to handle these two situations.

General manager Brett Veach told reporters that Jones was "at the top of the list," this offseason, just like last year, per The franchise tag goes to Sneed, who could be traded if the two sides do not agree to a long-term deal, per ESPN.

Las Vegas Raiders

No 'Band-Aid'

Are the Raiders in the market for a quarterback? They could be a team that's more aggressive in that aspect than previously thought. New head coach Antonio Pierce said he wants a "proven winner" at the position. 

"I would hope whoever we draft, that's the route we go, that's who the starter becomes," Pierce said. "You don't want to put a Band-Aid at that position. That's old … that's old, man. I think the Raiders … we've seen that enough in this organization."

Watch for the Raiders to trade up in the first round. 

Los Angeles Chargers

Chargers will value the RB position

Most teams don't value the running back position as highly anymore, but the Chargers may be one of those few teams. 

"Running backs are important for an offense, and I truly believe that," new Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz said, via The Athletic. "I've been in Baltimore for 26 years, and running backs were extremely important. And certainly in Jim's offense and Greg's offense, it will be."

Not only is Hortiz from Baltimore, but so is new Chargers offensive coordinator Greg Roman. He's known for running the football, and it's something he's going to do in L.A. In fact, he views the ground game as the key to quarterback Justin Herbert reaching the next level. 

What's also interesting is that the Chargers' longtime running back, Austin Ekeler, is a free agent. If they don't re-sign him, could L.A. chase another big name in free agency?

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams have a first-round pick

You're not dreaming. The Rams have a first-round pick that they may use for the first time since 2016. The last player the Rams selected in the first round was Jared Goff at No. 1 overall. General manager Les Snead addressed how L.A. will handle this unique situation. Here's what he said, via the Turf Show Times:

"As we continue going through this process of understanding the draft, who fits, who might be around us, that's when you get into 'hey at 19 is there an opportunity to move up for a specific player. If you do that, you're giving up some picks behind you. And then there's the trade off of moving back. What are we getting in return? And is it worth not picking at 19? Usually in these cases we may have a pod of players. 'If one of those players get there, kind of like a dream 19 pick'. Then there's gonna be I call it a 'more realistic pod at 19'. Usually you get there and you usually figure out how many left are there on the board. Everybody's stack is different, everybody's board is different. But you're probably talking about good football players."

Miami Dolphins

Miami wants to get Tua extension done

What do you make of Tua Tagovailoa? He's a legitimate starting quarterback who is comfortable in Mike McDaniel's system, and when that Miami machine is hitting on all cylinders, it's hard to stop. But Tagovailoa is not the kind of playmaker that can carry offenses by himself, and the Dolphins went 1-5 against eventual playoff teams last year. Plus, we all saw how the season ended in Kansas City. 

Is Tagovailoa worth top five money? Do the Dolphins push off the contract question until next year since Tua is under contract for one more season? Actually, it sounds like the Dolphins want to get Tagovailoa his new extension ASAP. 

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said they will meet with Tagovailoa's agent at the combine, and that Miami is "hopeful" to get a deal done this offseason, and that it would be "ideal" to have it before training camp. However, Grier understands these types of things don't come together quickly, per NFL Media.

Spotrac says Tagovailoa could sign an extension that carries an AAV of $50.4 million, which would make him the No. 5 highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. 

Minnesota Vikings

They aren't trading Justin Jefferson

The Vikings have the best wide receiver in the world, and despite speculation, they will not be trading him

"That is not something that has ever crossed my mind," Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said regarding the idea of trading Jefferson, per The Athletic

"I can tell you we have no intent to trade Justin Jefferson," head coach Kevin O'Connell said, via Pro Football Talk. "We have had zero discussions, dialogue about that either internally, externally, on this planet or another planet. I feel very strongly that Justin is best in his position in football. Any time you're trying to reset the receiver market -- we know who he is, we know what Justin's earned through his first four years in this league -- you know how hard it is. ... It was never gonna be something that was just be easy to get done, but the intent was there. The intent is still stronger than ever to get something done with Justin."

New England Patriots

Patriots way turns into ... Packers way?

It's no secret the Patriots are undergoing a change in identity with Bill Belichick no longer a part of the organization. That means New England has to change how it drafts as well, and Eliot Wolf appears to be in charge. Wolf worked in the Packers scouting department for 14 years, so they are going back to a scouting system similar to what he operated with in Green Bay. 

"We changed the grading system," Wolf said, via MassLive. "It's a little bit more similar to what we did in Green Bay. The previous Patriot system was more, 'this is what the role is,' and this is more kind of value-based. So I think it makes it a lot easier for scouts to rate guys and put them in a stack of like 'this guy's the best, this guy's the worst' and everything in between falls into place rather than sort of more nuanced approaches.

"It accounts value better and it also makes it easier for the scouts in the fall as well as in the spring to determine where guys would get drafted."

New Orleans Saints

There's a lot of uncertainty

Dennis Allen is back as head coach and Derek Carr is back at quarterback, but there's still plenty of uncertainty when it comes to the Saints. New Orleans was again put behind the eight ball when it came to the salary cap, but the front office has been busy restructuring and cutting. Safety Marcus Maye is on the way out, and he may not be the only one. 

ESPN reports that several teams believe Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore is available via trade, while wide receiver Michael Thomas' contract is set to void, meaning he will be able to choose his next team. The Saints are still $17 million over the cap, so more decisions are coming.

New York Giants

Change in defensive philosophy

We could discuss some comments regarding Saquon Barkley or Daniel Jones, but those situations seem very much up in the air. Let's talk about New York's shift in defensive philosophy. The Giants have a new defensive coordinator in Shane Bowen, who takes over for Wink Martindale. General manager Joe Schoen discussed how Bowen will operate differently. 

"Philosophically, Wink preferred more run stoppers on first and second down. Let's get to third down where we can do the exotics and blitz and all that stuff," said Schoen, via Talkin' Giants. "Where Shane's philosophy is gonna be a little bit more let's get after the passer. Like we'll stop the run on the way to the passer. Gonna look for more edge guys and ability to rush the passer vs. to stop the run. Stopping the run is still going to be important, it's always going to be important. But in terms of how you're prioritizing those, you may flip those in the new scheme." 

New York Jets

No tag for Bryce Huff

We knew that Zach Wilson was going to be playing football elsewhere in 2024, so the main takeaway for the Jets was probably general manager Joe Douglas announcing that he would not be using the franchise tag on pass rusher Bryce Huff. The 25-year-old recorded a career-high 10 sacks in 2023, and could be a player that attracts interest on the open market. 

"Obviously Bryce, unbelievable season," Douglas said, via the Jets' official website. "A great teammate, great player and a player that is very deserving to find out what his value is in the open market. The plan is not to tag Bryce at that 21-plus [million dollar] number, but the plan is to continue talking with the agents. Ideally, Bryce is back. Ten sacks is a very valuable thing to our defense and our team. We're going to have those discussions moving forward and we have a little bit of time before that tampering window starts."

Philadelphia Eagles

Philly will be looking for a new RB

Both Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni made it clear that keeping Haason Reddick would be ideal. As for free-agent running back D'Andre Swift, Sirianni almost sounded like he's as good as gone. 

"We were in the top 10 in rushing, and it's been kind of a staple here for the past three years," Sirianni said, via Delaware Online. "And we've done it with different pieces. And you always can do it with different pieces. But you know, obviously you get attached to things ... and D'Andre had a great year. He did a lot of really, really great things. And we'll see how that plays out. There's a lot to play out."

Swift ranked fifth in rushing yards this past season with 1,049 and five touchdowns -- his first-ever 1,000-yard campaign. He recorded a career-high 1,263 yards from scrimmage to go along with six total touchdowns, and made his first Pro Bowl.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Broderick Jones is a left tackle!

This won't make headlines around the league, but it's pretty cool for Steelers fans. Pittsburgh selected Georgia left tackle Broderick Jones with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but he ended up playing more snaps at right tackle in his first NFL season. Steelers general manager Omar Khan was asked at the combine what position Jones will play, and he responded saying that while versatility is important, Jones was drafted to be a left tackle, and eventually he will be a left tackle. However, Khan also said time will tell when that happens, which is a little weird.

Some mock drafts have Pittsburgh selecting a right tackle in the first round, like Taliese Fuaga or another Georgia Bulldog in Amarius Mims if one falls that far. That would certainly make what happens with Jones an easy decision. 

San Francisco 49ers

Praise for Brandon Aiyuk

Thanks to some social media videos made by his significant other, Aiyuk has been in the headlines this offseason. The 49ers' No. 1 wideout is under contract for one more year, but he doesn't exactly seem happy right now. Money seemingly solves everything, but will he get that lucrative extension this offseason?

"Brandon's one that we think incredibly highly of, one of my favorite guys around our building," 49ers general manager John Lynch said, via the 49ers' official website. "The way he approaches the game, he's a competitor. He's a warrior. He plays with such a physicality, also with a grace, the way some of the positions his body can get into.

"Then, he's got a flare for making plays when it matters most, and he's served us very well as a franchise. I think we've got a nice track record of extending the players that are important to us and Brandon's a guy we want to keep around for a long time."

Seattle Seahawks

Interest in quarterbacks

The Seahawks brass made some interesting comments regarding quarterbacks last week. When new head coach Mike Macdonald was asked if Geno Smith and Drew Lock would be involved with the future of the organization moving forward, his response garnered headlines. 

"That's a tough question, and it's one that I probably can't answer right now," Macdonald told KCPQ Seattle. "But we're doing a lot of work on those guys. And I've had conversations just to get to know them. Understand who they are as people and their background, goals and what their family's like and where they're from. I didn't know anything about them coming into this whole thing. So, right now we're in the phase of figuring out who they are. Obviously, one or two, or both, would fit into our plans moving forward. But right now, probably don't have that answer for you."

As for general manager John Schneider, he clearly has some interest in this quarterback class. Maybe Seattle will draft one this offseason. 

"It's a good group," Schneider said, via the Seahawks' official website. "I've told you guys in the past and having grown up in the Packer organization for Ron Wolfe, 14 drafts and only drafting two quarterbacks is not something that we're necessarily proud of. It's just happened that way. Every year it's a goal to acquire a quarterback, whether that's draft free agency, whatever it looks like. But, yeah, this year's draft class is a cool group. A lot of variances in there."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans are both extremely high priorities

It was thought the Buccaneers want to keep both Mayfield and Evans in the fold, but it's actually an "extremely high priority," according to head coach Todd Bowles. 

"It's an extremely high priority, obviously," Bowles said. "You know, we got a couple days before the league year begins, but we love Baker. Baker had a heck of a year. He fit right in with us all the way around. The chemistry was outstanding with him and all the receivers and the offense as a whole, so you want to hope to build on that. I understand the business side of it. Like I said, we like Bake and we hope things get worked out." 

Bowles backed up his words less than a week later, as the Bucs signed Evans to a two-year extension worth $52 million, including $35 million guaranteed.

Tennessee Titans

Brian Callahan and Ran Carthon are definitely looking at receivers

The Titans have a great opportunity to select their left tackle of the future at No. 7 overall, but is Tennessee taking a tackle a lock? The Titans also want to add receivers to help establish this new-look Brian Callahan offense, and one should come relatively early. 

"If you look at where Cally comes from, you have three to four guys that are in there a lot," Titans general manager Ran Carthon said, via the Titans official website, "and are producers. The receiver room is where we're going to continue to look to add some playmakers. Like I said before, we are looking to add playmakers on both sides of the ball. We need to have people that can put the ball in the paint, and score points for us, and we need people who can take the ball away and create more opportunities for us to score."

After Carthon spoke, Callahan said the receiver class is deep, and that he's hoping to find "a couple of guys" that fit what he wants the Titans to be. Hmm.

Washington Commanders

A little more clarity on what Washington wants in its QB

The Commanders have a decision to make at No. 2 overall: Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels? Or maybe the Commanders shoot for the stars and attempt to strike a deal with Chicago to trade up to No. 1 overall for Caleb Williams. What does new head coach Dan Quinn view as the "must-have traits" his quarterback needs to possess? Apparently it's mental toughness, accuracy on the deep ball, the ability to create off-schedule and get out of bad plays, per The Washington Post. Who does that sound like to you?