The NFC appeared to be the San Francisco 49ers invitational last season, yet the champions of the conference were challenged in the postseason by the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. While the 49ers were just a play away from winning a Super Bowl, their path toward repeating in the conference will be tougher in 2024. 

The Lions have their best chance to reach a Super Bowl in decades, while the Philadelphia Eagles reloaded their roster in order to make another Super Bowl run of their own. The Packers can't be omitted from the conversation either after a surprising 2023 season. Simply put, the NFC will be fun to watch this year. 

What was the best offseason move each team in the NFC to set itself up for a potential postseason run in 2024 (or beyond)? What was the best offseason move each Super Bowl contender in the conference made? 

Arizona Cardinals

Drafted Marvin Harrison Jr. at No. 4 overall

The Cardinals didn't have to trade up to land the best player in the draft, nor trade down in order to stockpile picks and take advantage of a quarterback-needy team. Thanks to the run of quarterbacks that went with the top three picks, Harrison fell right into the Cardinals' lap at No. 4 overall. 

Arizona has a No. 1 wide receiver for Kyler Murray, which was sorely lacking in the offense last season. Harrison is a game changer at wide receiver and a touchdown threat (28 touchdowns is most in FBS over the last two seasons) and will instantly make the offense better. Remember, the Cardinals didn't have a wideout that had over 600 receiving yards last season (tight end Trey McBride had 825 yards). 

Atlanta Falcons

Hired Zac Robinson as offensive coordinator

Signing Kirk Cousins and adding more pass catchers certainly helped Atlanta in their pursuit for a playoff berth, but Robinson is the key toward the Falcons taking the next step. Atlanta had the second-lowest pass play percentage in the NFL over the past two seasons (48.6%), which will change with Robinson calling the plays. 

Robinson was the Rams' passing game coordinator over the past two seasons, as the Rams threw the ball 59.4% of the time over that stretch. The Rams also run "11 personnel" 92.7% of the time, the highest in the NFL by 15.4% over the next-highest team over the last two years. 

There was a reason by the Falcons traded for Rondale Moore and signed Darnell Mooney to help out Kirk Cousins in the passing game. They plan to use three receivers on the field at all times, giving Kyle Pitts (who's better lined up in the slot at tight end) and Drake London some help in this new offense. 

The Falcons are going to look different next year with their formations, and should score points with the personnel they have. Robinson could take the the next "hot commodity" in the head coaching hiring process. 

Carolina Panthers 

Hired Dave Canales as head coach

The Panthers are the first team in NFL history with seven head coaches in a six-season span. Bryce Young was last in yards per attempt (5.5) and passer rating (73.7), ranking dead last among qualified quarterbacks (and he was the No. 1 pick last year). Canales might be the one coach that can save the Titanic from sinking in Carolina.

Known for getting Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield to career years in consecutive seasons, the Panthers are banking on Canales to do the same with Young as he heads into year two. Both Smith and Mayfield had career-highs in passing yards and passing touchdowns in their seasons under Canales, earning long-term extensions and bringing stability at quarterback for their franchises. 

The Panthers are stuck with Young, who gets to spend a whole offseason under Canales' tutelage. Carolina may not be a contender in 2024, but a good season from Young would go a long way toward the franchise's future. 

Chicago Bears

Traded for Keenan Allen

Having the No. 1 pick (Caleb Williams) and No. 9 pick (Rome Odunze) was the highlight of the Bears' offseason, and rightfully garnered all the attention as franchise cornerstones. With the Bears having a franchise quarterback in Williams, giving him one of the most reliable veteran receivers in the league over the last decade is going to pay massive dividends in his development. 

The Bears parted ways with a fourth-round pick for Allen, who has five seasons with 100+ receptions in his career (tied for third-most in NFL history).  Allen is coming off a season which he averaged a career-high in receiving yards per game (95.6) and has seven straight seasons with 70+ receiving yards per game. 

Having a receiver like Allen is exactly what Williams needs to have trust in getting rid of the football in year one. Add Odunze and D.J. Moore to the mix and Williams is set up for a massive rookie season throwing the football. 

Dallas Cowboys

Drafted Tyler Guyton in first round; Cooper Beebe in third round

The Cowboys didn't do much this offseason. Neither Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, nor Micah Parsons received a contract extension. Free agency was highlighted by signing Ezekiel Elliott back and signing Eric Kendricks.

Getting Guyton in the first round and Beebe in the third round were excellent moves by the Cowboys, adding young talent on an offensive line that lost Tyron Smith and Tyler Biadasz. Guyton could start at left tackle and the Cowboys could keep Tyler Smith inside, while Beebe has a long term future at guard or could challenge for the starting center job this year. 

The Cowboys typically draft well and played it smart by adding young talent in the trenches. Helped this draft was very deep on the offensive line. 

Detroit Lions

Signed core players to extensions

Detroit made the NFC Championship game for the first time since the 1991 season, having a bunch of young players that are built for deep playoff runs. The Lions wasted no time getting their young core signed to contract extensions this offseason. 

Penei Sewell earned a $112 million extension ($28 million per year) and Amon-Ra St. Brown got $120 million ($30 million per year). The Lions also committed to Jared Goff by giving him $212 million over four years ($53 million per year). Detroit sees a contention window with these three players -- and more that will be due for extensions in the coming years. 

There's a Super Bowl window in Detroit. Their commitment to Goff, St. Brown, and Sewell demonstrates that. 

Green Bay Packers 

Signed Xavier McKinney 

The Packers needed a revamp at safety after a disastrous 2023, targeting arguably the top safety on the free agent market in McKinney. Green Bay was able to land McKinney and outbid several teams by giving him a four-year, $68 million deal. 

McKinney played every snap last season, one of just two players to accomplish that feat. He allowed a 41.4 passer rating in coverage and didn't allow a pass touchdown last year, an immense upgrade over what the Packers had at safety last year. 

McKenney and rookie Javon Bullard will be a nice tandem in Green Bay for 2024 and beyond. 

Los Angeles Rams

Signed Kamren Curl 

The Rams had a few candidates for this honor in a strong offseason, but getting Curl for two years and $8.75 million was a bargain for one of the underrated safeties on the market. Not only can Curl play both safety positions, he also can play that hybrid safety/linebacker role in certain packages. 

Curl was part of the worst pass defense in the NFL last year with Washington, so that may have affected his market. The Rams have a player that has a knack for finding the football and making a clean tackle. Chris Shula should have fun using Curl in multiple packages. 

Minnesota Vikings

Drafted Dallas Turner at No. 17 overall

The Vikings had two first-round picks this draft, the first one getting all the headlines with J.J. McCarthy. The immediate contributor may be Turner, who fell into the Vikings' lap at No. 17. 

Not only will Turner be in Brian Flores defense, but he'll line up on the same defensive line with Jonathan Greenard. There's an opportunity for Turner to have a high pressure rate immediately (had a 20% pressure rate last season). 

Flores rushed three-or-fewer players the most times in the NFL (131 plays) and rushed five-or-more players the most times in the NFL (341 plays). There's an opportunity for Turner to get a high number of sacks in year one. 

New Orleans Saints

Drafted Taliese Fuaga at No. 14 overall

The Saints have been limited with their salary cap issues, so they had to made a good pick in the first round. Good news for the Saints that this was a good draft for offensive tackles.

With the health of Ryan Ramczyk in question, Fuaga could slide in at right tackle immediately. The Saints arguably landed the best run blocking lineman in the draft in Fuaga, who can also start Week 1 at guard. They'll have options with Fuaga. 

New York Giants

Traded for Brian Burns

Give credit to the Giants for finding a way to get Burns without paying a premium to get him. New York only gave up a 2024 second-round pick and 2025 fifth-round pick to get Burns, creating one of the best pass rushing units in football with Burns (25), Kayvon Thibodeaux (23), and Dexter Lawrence (26) 

The Giants finished 29th in pressure rate at 31.7% last season, so getting Burns and signing him to a five-year, $150 million deal is a huge move. Burns is also coming off a season which he finished with 40 pressures, eight sacks, 18 quarterback hits and a 11.1% pressure rate -- numbers which should go up playing with Thibodeaux and Lawrence. 

Burns could be in line for a massive season in New York. 

Philadelphia Eagles

Hiring Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator 

The Eagles had one of the worst defenses in the NFL last season, leading to a change in defensive coordinator immediately after the year ended. They had Fangio fall into their lap after Fangio and the Miami Dolphins mutually agreed to part ways. 

The communication issues on the defense are in the past, as Fangio's hard-coaching style has brought accountability back to the Eagles. Adding C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Bryce Huff, Devin White, Quinyon Mitchell, and Cooper DeJean as the highlight defensive moves has also helped Philadelphia in revamping the defense. 

The Eagles defense was 30th in points allowed per possession (2.35) and and 31st in yards allowed per possession (34.6) last seaosn. They were 31st in pass touchdowns allowed (35) and pass yards per game allowed (252.7). This defense can't be any worse under Fangio, nor should it be. 

San Francisco 49ers

Signing Leonard Floyd

The 49ers decided to move on from Chase Young this offseason in favor of Floyd, who is 31 years old and still one of most productive pass rushers in football. Floyd is one of three players with 9+ sacks in each of the last four seasons (Myles Garrett and Haason Reddick are the others), and is coming off a season in which he had 10.5 sacks, 19 quarterback hits, and an 11.3% pressure rate.

With Nick Bosa on the other end, the opportunities will be there for Floyd to get to the quarterback. Paying a 31-year-old pass rusher can be risky, but Floyd is a smart investment for being a No. 2 pass rusher on a defensive line with Bosa and Javon Hargrave

The 49ers made a very good investment in signing Floyd, the best of the limited moves they made early in free agency. 

Seattle Seahawks

Re-signing Leonard Williams

Getting Williams back to Seattle appeared to be priority No. 1 for the Seahawks, making sure they had their trade deadline acquisition coached under Mike Macdonald for 2024 and beyond. Clearly, Seattle has visions of Williams in Macdonald's defense similar to how Justin Madubuike was used with the Baltimore Ravens

Williams had four sacks, 32 pressures and 11 quarterback hits with a 12.1% pressure rate in 10 games in Seattle, being an impactful player on the interior the moment he put on a Seahawks uniform. Seattle was able to sign Williams to a three-year, $64.5 million contract, which appears to be a great investment based on how Macdonald and Aden Durde's defense favors interior defensive linemen. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Re-signed Baker Mayfield, Mike Evans

Mayfield and Evans were actually tied together this offseason. If Evans were to sign elsewhere, good chance Mayfield would leave Tampa Bay as well. If Mayfield signed elsewhere, Evans was likely going to leave too.

The Buccaneers were able to sign both, getting Mayfield to re-sign for three years and $100 million and Evans for two years and $41 million. Not only did both deals help out Tampa Bay in the short term, but Mayfield was at his best when throwing to Evans last year -- compiling a 111.6 passer rating. 

Tampa Bay needed both Mayfield and Evans back to have a shot at winning the NFC South for the fourth consecutive year. They'll be back in the playoff mix thanks to finding a way of keeping both players on the roster. 

Washington Commanders

Finding a franchise quarterback 

The Commanders are going to set an NFL record by having a different quarterback starting Week 1 for eight consecutive seasons. Jayden Daniels -- the No. 2 overall pick in the draft -- should be starting Week 1 for at least eight straight seasons in a Commanders uniform. 

Washington was aggressive this offseason, but Daniels is the franchise quarterback this organization hasn't possessed in decades. Daniels is the only player to lead the FBS in yards per attempt (11.7) and yards per rush (8.4) over the last 60 years, showcasing his dual-threat ability at the position. He also had 19 passing touchdowns and zero interceptions on passes that went for 25+ air yards last year, proving he has a good deep ball as well.

The Commanders had 12 different starting quarterbacks since the start of the 2018 season. They may have finally got it right with Daniels, as the franchise is turning the corner in its rebuild.