NFL Week 18 Power Rankings 2023: How all 32 teams stack up


Welcome to Week 18 of the 2023 NFL regular season. We have arrived to the final Power Rankings poll of the season as the playoffs near. With another convincing win this past weekend, this time over the Miami Dolphins, the Baltimore Ravens are the NFL’s hottest team. They remain at No. 1. But who follows them?

In addition to the updated rankings this week, our NFL Nation reporters pick out the biggest contract situation to watch going into this offseason. Which players are free agents, are looking for an extension or are in danger of getting cut?

Let’s take a look.

Our power panel of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities evaluates how NFL teams stack up against one another, ranking them from 1 to 32.

Previous rankings: Preseason | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 | Week 17

Jump to a team:
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF

Week 17 ranking: 1

Biggest offseason contract to watch: DT Justin Madubuike

It’s difficult to find someone who is having a bigger breakout season in a contract year than Madubuike. The former third-round pick has become the NFL’s best interior pass-rusher, drawing comparisons to Aaron Donald. Madubuike has recorded 13 sacks this season after totaling 8.5 sacks in his first three years. He will likely command a contract that averages over $20 million per season. If Baltimore can’t reach a deal with him after the season, the Ravens will presumably place the franchise tag on him to keep him for the 2024 season. — Jamison Hensley

Week 17 ranking: 2

Biggest offseason contract to watch: WR Brandon Aiyuk

The Niners picked up Aiyuk’s fifth-year option for 2024 after rebuffing trade interest in him last offseason, which means he remains on the team for at least another year. But the 49ers’ preferred operating procedure has been to re-sign homegrown stars like Aiyuk before they enter the final year of their rookie deal. With the notable exception of DT DeForest Buckner, whom they traded to Indianapolis in 2020, the Niners have kept all of their foundational players, and they’d like to do the same with Aiyuk. That doesn’t mean it will be easy or they won’t receive interest from around the league, but there’s also a path to structuring a deal for Aiyuk so his cap number spikes when other big-money deals come off the books. — Nick Wagoner

Week 17 ranking: 6

Biggest offseason contract to watch: QB Dak Prescott

The Cowboys have several contract situations to solve in the offseason, but the biggest is Prescott’s deal. He is set to count $59.4 million against the salary cap as he enters the final year of his deal. The Cowboys have said they want to sign him to a long-term deal and they don’t have the leverage of using the franchise tag in 2025. While they want to get long-term deals done with CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons as well, getting their quarterback locked up after his best season is a must and will be costly. But Jerry and Stephen Jones look at it as the cost of doing business when it comes to that position. — Todd Archer



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Week 17 ranking: 4

Biggest offseason contract to watch: QB Jared Goff

Goff is signed through 2024 and could become an unrestricted free agent in 2025, so the Lions will need to decide what to do with the veteran quarterback. He has led the Lions back to relevancy, winning their first division crown since 1993, while reaching 4,000 passing yards on the season for the fourth time of his career. It would make sense to lock down Goff, but the question is whether it will be for the short term or long term. He has taken ownership of Detroit’s offense while revitalizing his career in the process. — Eric Woodyard

Week 17 ranking: 7

Biggest offseason contract to watch: LB Von Miller

Miller’s role on the team is in question as he was a healthy scratch in Week 17 due to his on-field performance (0 sacks, 3 quarterback hits in 11 games). Off the field, he is facing a felony assault charge for allegedly assaulting his pregnant girlfriend in Texas. Miller has said the allegations are false. The team is letting the legal process play out and following the league’s lead. How the Bills handle the Miller situation — both on and off the field — will be something to watch. Miller is under contract through 2027 on a six-year, $120 million deal, but if the team decided to move on, a post-June 1 designation would result in some cap savings but would still leave significant dead cap in 2024. — Alaina Getzenberg

Week 17 ranking: 3

Biggest offseason contract to watch: QB Tua Tagovailoa

Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins is probably the more pressing contract situation, considering he will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason — but Tagovailoa’s contract is probably more interesting. Miami picked up his fifth-year option last offseason and tabled any contract talks until after the 2023 season. He responded by staying healthy for the entire regular season and currently leads the NFL in passing yards (4,451). He has an opportunity to reset the market, despite Miami’s upcoming financial conundrums. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Week 17 ranking: 9

Biggest offseason contract to watch: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

The Browns recently signed safety Grant Delpit to a three-year, $36 million extension. Cleveland could lock up another one of its young core defensive players later this year. Owusu-Koramoah is having a breakout third season (98 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 INT) and is a major reason the Browns have arguably the top defense in the league. The former second-round pick out of Notre Dame will be extension eligible this year and figures to be the next Cleveland defender still on a rookie deal to get a big payday. — Jake Trotter

Week 17 ranking: 5

Biggest offseason contract to watch: WR DeVonta Smith

The former Heisman Trophy winner is entering the final year of his rookie contract and will be eligible for a new deal when the 2023 season comes to a close. The Eagles are usually proactive in extending core players early, knowing the price to retain them will only go up. That would mean Philly would have two well-paid receivers on the roster, with A.J. Brown entering the second year of his four-year, $100 million deal. The skill position contracts are getting pricey, but Smith is an ascending player whom the Eagles will likely want to keep around for a long time. — Tim McManus



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Week 17 ranking: 8

Biggest offseason contract to watch: DT Chris Jones

Jones would be a free agent this offseason if the Chiefs don’t re-sign him or protect him with the franchise tag first. The sides couldn’t agree on terms of a multiyear extension this season when Jones held out from training camp and missed the regular-season opener. That makes it unlikely they would come to an agreement this time unless one side or the other has a dramatic change of heart. Jones returned to the Chiefs this season during Week 2 only after the team agreed to sweeten the final season of his contract. — Adam Teicher

Week 17 ranking: 11

Biggest offseason contract to watch: G Kevin Dotson

The Rams traded for Dotson during training camp, and he ended up being a key pickup for a Los Angeles team that struggled to protect the quarterback last season. Dotson will be a free agent and likely a priority for the Rams to re-sign this offseason. He enters the regular-season finale with a solid 92.6% pass block win rate. — Sarah Barshop

Week 17 ranking: 13

Biggest offseason contract to watch: DE Jonathan Greenard

Greenard has played to a high level in a contract year with 12.5 sacks. Defensive ends who can rush the passer and register over 10 sacks can usually earn over $15 million per year, especially when they’re only 26 years old. He leads the Texans in quarterback hits (22), tackles for loss (15) and sacks. Texans coach DeMeco Ryans’ defense is built around the defensive line, so it would behoove the organization to pay Greenard to pair him with Will Anderson Jr. — DJ Bien-Aime

Week 17 ranking: 16

Biggest offseason contract to watch: RB Jaylen Warren

Warren’s value to the Steelers is much higher than his current contract, which has a base salary of $870,000 this season. He’ll be a restricted free agent following the 2024 season, but the Steelers could secure his services by giving him a well-earned extension this offseason. Warren and Najee Harris, whose fifth-year option decision is due in May, have been one of the league’s best running back tandems, and Warren’s emergence and consistency — averaging 5.4 yards per carry with four touchdowns and 751 yards — have gone a long way to getting the ground game going. — Brooke Pryor

Week 17 ranking: 14

Biggest offseason contract to watch: OLB Josh Allen

Allen is playing on his fifth-year option and has put together a season that has made him a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. He has a franchise-record 16.5 sacks and is second in the NFL in QB pressures with 94 (per NFL Next Gen Stats). The Jaguars have the option to use the franchise tag on him so he doesn’t hit free agency and then work on an extension. If they do come to terms on a new contract, Allen would be just the second of the Jaguars’ 11 first-round picks from 2010 to ’20 to sign an extension with the team (QB Blake Bortles). — Michael DiRocco



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Week 17 ranking: 17

Biggest offseason contract to watch: WR Michael Pittman Jr.

Pittman is in the final year of his rookie contract and has clearly established his importance to the Colts’ offense. He has missed two games in the past two seasons. The Colts were outscored 53-10 in those two contests and averaged 167 passing yards. The Colts are a different team when Pittman is on the field, and he’ll be looking for a contract that reflects that reality. Are the Colts ready to offer it? — Stephen Holder

Week 17 ranking: 10

Biggest offseason contract to watch: WR Mike Evans

The quarterback situation most certainly warrants monitoring, too, but Evans — the franchise-record holder in virtually every receiving category and the Bucs’ career scoring leader — and his agent already expressed frustration publicly about not getting a deal done before the start of the season, and the price to sign him will go up as a result of him testing the market. He’s currently leading the league with 13 receiving touchdowns, one away from matching his career best. — Jenna Laine

Week 17 ranking: 12

Biggest offseason contract to watch: QB Geno Smith

The Seahawks gave Smith a three-year, $75 million deal last March, but the guarantee structure was such that they could move on after this season with a nonprohibitive $17.4 million in dead money if the quarterback didn’t maintain his 2023 Pro Bowl form. Smith’s numbers during his up-and-down 2024 season have declined across the board, which brings that possibility into play. The date to know is Feb. 16. That’s when Smith’s $12.7 million base salary for next season would become fully guaranteed if he’s still on the roster, which makes that a likely deadline to determine his immediate future. — Brady Henderson

Week 17 ranking: 19

Biggest offseason contract to watch: QB Jordan Love

After the kind of season he has put together in his first year as a starter, Love is going to want the Packers to tear up his existing contract, which averages just $13.5 million per year and will pay him only $6 million (plus incentives) this season. While they can’t do anything until May because of the rule that says an extension can’t be extended for 12 months, Love will almost certainly want it done before he takes the field for the 2024 season. If the Packers got Love’s services on the cheap this year, they’re going to end up paying him near the top of the quarterback market next year. — Rob Demovsky

Week 17 ranking: 15

Biggest offseason contract to watch: WR Tee Higgins

Higgins and the Bengals failed to reach a contract extension ahead of the 2023 season, and the future appears uncertain. The receiver has indicated that he would like to return to Cincinnati. The issue, however, is how much the Bengals are willing to pay him. Higgins has dealt with injuries over the years but has still produced at a high level. Giving Higgins the franchise tag and potentially looking for a trade partner could also be a viable scenario as the Bengals try to build a roster around quarterback Joe Burrow. — Ben Baby

Week 17 ranking: 23

Biggest offseason contract to watch: RT Ryan Ramczyk

The Saints will have to do their yearly series of restructures to get in compliance with the salary cap, but Ramczyk’s is tricky due to his injury situation. Ramczyk said he has a serious knee issue that could put his future in jeopardy. He’ll spend the offseason consulting with doctors, but in the meantime, his 2024 salary cap figure is $27 million. If he plays in 2024, the Saints will restructure it and push the money down the road, but it’s likely they’ll need to wait for more answers on his knee before touching the contract. — Katherine Terrell

Week 17 ranking: 21

Biggest offseason contract to watch: QB Russell Wilson

This is not only the biggest for the Broncos, it is likely the biggest contract situation in the league. Coach Sean Payton benched Wilson last week — he said he wanted to find a “spark” for the offense — and Jarrett Stidham is starting instead. It all means, with a monumental $85 million dead money hit over two years, the Broncos will have a major decision to make about what the long-term plan will be at quarterback. Payton said no decision has been made on if they will release Wilson, but the Broncos are already projected over the cap next season — by about $20 million — and have just six draft picks in April, including only two in the first two days of the draft. — Jeff Legwold

Week 17 ranking: 20

Biggest offseason contract to watch: QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Signed to a three-year, $72.75 million deal with $45 million guaranteed last offseason, Garoppolo was benched after the Halloween night firings of general manager Dave Ziegler, coach Josh McDaniels and offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi and has not played since an Oct. 30 loss at Detroit. His future with Las Vegas is murky at best.

Garoppolo’s contract makes him an unlikely trade candidate, so if the Raiders, who already cleared salary cap space by converting $21.3 million of his existing base salary into a signing bonus, simply release him, they would absorb a cap hit of $28.3 million for 2024 unless they do it with a post-June 1 designation, which would enable Las Vegas to split the hit over two years, $15.5 million in 2024 and $12.8 million in 2025. The oft-injured Garoppolo’s base salary of $11.25 million for 2024 is guaranteed for injury only. — Paul Gutierrez

Week 17 ranking: 24

Biggest offseason contract to watch: CB Jaylon Johnson

Even after previous contract negotiations and a last-second trade request went nowhere, Johnson expressed a desire to remain in Chicago long-term and hopes to work out a deal with the Bears in the offseason. The 24-year-old cornerback has earned his payday in the final year of his rookie deal, recording a career-best four interceptions. The addition of Montez Sweat up front has solidified Chicago’s pass rush and helped those on the back end of the defense become more productive at taking the ball away. Building upon that to create an even better defense for 2024 starts with making a new deal for Johnson priority No. 1 for general manager Ryan Poles. — Courtney Cronin



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Week 17 ranking: 18

Biggest offseason contract to watch: QB Kirk Cousins

For the past 10 months, Cousins’ contract has hovered over the Vikings more than any other issue facing the roster — and it’s still no closer to being resolved. Cousins was playing at a high level when he ruptured his right Achilles tendon midway through the season, having thrown for the second-most yards and tying for the most touchdown passes in the league at the time. The team’s 3-5 record since then can be traced to poor quarterback play behind him. But the Vikings will have to decide if they want to pay top dollar to a quarterback who will be 36 next summer and is coming off the first major injury of his professional career at a time when they have other holes to fill and a big check to pay receiver Justin Jefferson at some point. — Kevin Seifert

Week 17 ranking: 22

Biggest offseason contract to watch: CB A.J. Terrell

Terrell is under contract on the fifth-year option for 2024 (speaking of which, Atlanta has an interesting decision on the fifth-year option of Kyle Pitts, too) but how the Falcons handle their top cornerback will be something to watch. Atlanta was in a similar situation last season with Chris Lindstrom, and the Falcons got a deal done with him right before the start of the new league year. Terrell is one of the league’s bright young corners — he’s allowing a 53.5% completion rate and a passer rating against of 87.3 this season — and has shown himself throughout the past four seasons to be reliable and a true No. 1 corner. — Michael Rothstein

Week 17 ranking: 26

Biggest offseason contract to watch: DE Bryce Huff

Huff, who made the team four years ago as an undrafted free agent, will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. With a career-high eight sacks and a 21.2% pressure rate, second only to the Cowboys’ Micah Parsons (minimum: 250 pass rushes), Huff is in line for a big payday. He’s not an every-down player, but he plays a premium position — and teams are willing to pay big bucks for players who can put the quarterback on the ground. The Jets want him back, but they already have a lot invested in defensive ends. — Rich Cimini

Week 17 ranking: 25

Biggest offseason contract to watch: RB Derrick Henry

Henry, 30, will become a free agent this offseason. The Titans’ Pro Bowl running back has run for 1,014 yards and 11 touchdowns in 16 games this season despite averaging a career low in yards per rush (3.9). There was interest in Henry at the trade deadline, but the Titans decided to keep the eight-year veteran. Now they will need to decide if they move on from their franchise running back this offseason. — ESPN staff

Week 17 ranking: 27

Biggest offseason contract to watch: S Xavier McKinney

The easy pick here would’ve been Saquon Barkley. But equally important is that McKinney is set to become a free agent. McKinney, who has played every defensive snap this season, wants to return to the Giants. The problem is that general manager Joe Schoen decided prior to the season to put his contract on the back burner. The two sides did not talk about an extension during the current campaign. If the Giants want to bring him back, it’s not going to be cheap. — Jordan Raanan

Week 17 ranking: 29

Biggest offseason contract to watch: WR Keenan Allen

There are many players to choose from, including Khalil Mack, Joey Bosa and Mike Williams, who all will have cap hits upward of $30 million next season. But Allen and the Chargers are linked in a way that those other players aren’t. Drafted in the third round in 2013, Allen is the longest-tenured Charger, having been part of the team with Philip Rivers in San Diego to Justin Herbert in L.A. and everything in between. But Allen is 31 and has a cap hit of $34.7 million next season. With a new regime, Allen could be playing elsewhere in 2024. — Kris Rhim

Week 17 ranking: 31

Biggest offseason contract to watch: WR Marquise Brown

The Cardinals picked up Brown’s fifth-year option for this season and paid him $13.4 million but did not give him the long-term contract that he wanted. However, an injury-riddled 2023 might be what stands in the way of Brown getting the kind of second contract players want. Arizona will have a decision to make when it comes to Brown: Either give him a long-term deal to keep him reunited with his good friend, quarterback Kyler Murray, let him walk or give him a short prove-it deal with the hope — and possible promise — of a longer deal coming in the future. — Josh Weinfuss

Week 17 ranking: 28

Biggest offseason contract to watch: G/T Mike Onwenu

The Patriots rank 32nd in the NFL in pass block win rate (42%), which reflects how building the offensive line will be a top priority, and Onwenu projects to be one of the top linemen available across the NFL. Bill Belichick previously said Onwenu is built to play right guard, but the 2020 sixth-round pick has moved to right tackle in multiple seasons to help the team. In late December, Onwenu relayed: “From my agents, they said there haven’t really been much talks. There has been communication but there haven’t been any offers or any contracts that were sent. It’s kind of just a waiting game to see how it goes.” — Mike Reiss

Week 17 ranking: 30

Biggest offseason contract to watch: S Kamren Curl

Washington wanted to extend him in the offseason, but the ownership change prevented the team from making big moves. Curl is a glue player for the defense, though that group has struggled mightily this season. Still, he has been a solid starter for four seasons — though he’s not a playmaker with only one interception and one forced fumble in his career. Those latter stats will depress his value, though he could command a deal that averages around $15 million per year. He remains a solid starter capable of playing in the box, rotating deep or being used in a hybrid safety/linebacker role and covering tight ends. A lot will be determined by how he’d fit in whatever defense Washington uses next season after the expected coaching changes. But Curl should be a priority for a new staff. — John Keim

Week 17 ranking: 32

Biggest offseason contract to watch: OLB Brian Burns

Carolina tried to get a deal done before the season but wasn’t willing to meet the demands of Burns, which were in the $30 million-a-year range according to a league source. The price might drop slightly after a down year for the two-time Pro Bowl selection, or the Panthers might just opt to use the franchise tag on him. Regardless, this needs to get settled long-term for a key cog to the defense. — David Newton

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