We're now well into the 2023 NFL offseason, and there has been no shortage of excitement.
Teams have been busy laying the foundation for their 2023 campaigns. From the coaching carousel and the NFL Scouting Combine to the trade market and free agency, there has been more activity to track than at any point in the regular season.
While not every move has been a home run, there have been some brilliant ones. Some moves loom larger than others, but every franchise has done at least one thing this offseason that it should feel good about.
Here, we'll examine every team's smartest move of the 2023 offseason thus far, based on factors like past performance, potential upside, team needs, franchise direction and value.
Teams are listed in alphabetical order.
Arizona Cardinals: Firing Kliff Kingsbury
The Arizona Cardinals lacked an identity under former head coach Kliff Kingsbury, whom they fired in January. While Kingsbury did help develop Kyler Murray into an above-average starting quarterback, the Cardinals were wise to recognize that this wasn't enough.
It couldn't have been an easy decision, as they had just signed Kingsbury to an extension last offseason, but it was the right one.
Hiring Jonathan Gannon as Kingsbury's replacement was logical in its own right. Arizona's defense, which ranked 31st in points allowed last season, was its biggest liability. The former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator should help improve that side of the ball quickly.
While it was smart to go with a defensive coach instead of another offensive guru, the Cardinals picked Gannon over Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo. It's fair to wonder whether they'll regret that.
Like Gannon, Anarumo oversaw a championship-caliber defense. His unit reached Super Bowl LVI, back-to-back AFC title games and ranked sixth in points allowed this past season (Philadelphia ranked eighth) despite having only one Pro Bowler (defensive end Trey Hendrickson) over the past two seasons.
While it's still unclear whether Arizona made the right choice for its new head coach, moving on from the old one was the correct call.
Atlanta Falcons: Hiring Defensive Coordinator Ryan Nielsen
The Atlanta Falcons are seemingly looking to develop second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder in 2023. They added a backup and/or camp competitor in Taylor Heinicke instead of chasing a proven starter like Derek Carr in free agency.
Improving a defense that ranked 27th overall in 2022 could take a lot of pressure off the young signal-caller. And the Falcons made a savvy move this offseason by replacing defensive coordinator Dean Pees with Ryan Nielsen.
Nielsen comes from the rival New Orleans Saints, who ranked fifth in yards allowed and ninth in points allowed last season. Nielsen, who served as the Saints' defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator last season, knows the division well and how to scheme against NFC South opponents.
Last season, New Orleans surrendered more than 22 points only once to a divisional opponent, in Week 1 against Atlanta.
Standout defensive tackle David Onyemata followed Nielsen from New Orleans in free agency, and general manager Terry Fontenot added more defensive help by signing safety Jessie Bates III.
Falcons fans should be excited to see Nielsen take the reins of the defense. With a stouter unit and a strong running game, Ridder should be able to settle into a game-manager role and grow from there.
Baltimore Ravens: Hiring Todd Monken as Offensive Coordinator
An argument could be made here for the Baltimore Ravens' decision to give quarterback Lamar Jackson the non-exclusive franchise tag. By doing so, Ravens allowed other teams to contact Jackson and do their contract negotiation work for them.
However, that decision might have further strained Baltimore's relationship with the 2019 MVP, which can't be seen as a positive.
"Another source said that the representative [of Jackson] is telling other teams that Lamar is ready to move on from the Ravens," Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio wrote Monday.
Baltimore's decision to hire Todd Monken as its new offensive coordinator is a clear positive, though.
Monken is fresh off of back-to-back national titles as Georgia's offensive coordinator, and he has a history of sparking potent passing offenses. With the 2018 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his offense ranked first in overall passing yards and second in yards per attempt (7.7).
Monken should be able to improve a Ravens passing attack that ranked 28th in yards and 21st in yards per attempt (5.8) this past season. By bringing more balance to the offense, the Ravens should be more formidable regardless of whether it's Jackson, Tyler Huntley or someone else under center in 2023.