March was an eventful month for the NFL, free agency changing the complexion of quite a few teams while the coronavirus pandemic has begun altering offseason programs that will likely never start while promising to wreak havoc with training camps and, potentially, the regular season, too. Could be an especially tough year for teams making major changes to get up to speed.
With those thoughts in mind, your latest league power rankings:
1. Chiefs (1): They retained their top free agent, DT Chris Jones, via the franchise tag … leaving QB Patrick Mahomes’ eventual extension as the most significant matter on champs’ to-do list.
3. Ravens (4): Last we saw them, CB Marlon Humphrey labeled dynamic club playoff chokers. But arrival of DL Calais Campbell might be enough to clear Baltimore’s airway.
4. Saints (7): Acquisition of Sanders, return of S Malcolm Jenkins give perennially snakebitten playoff squad bona fide chance at Super Bowl return for QB Drew Brees.
5. Titans (3): Band that reached AFC title game essentially returns intact … unless GM Jon Robinson has another major move (Jadeveon Clowney?) still up his sleeve.
6. Packers (5): Relatively quiet in free agency, but Pack could improve nonetheless after melding so many new elements in Year 1 under rookie coach Matt LaFleur.
7. Colts (24): Arguably free agency’s winners after landing Buckner, CB Xavier Rhodes and QB Philip Rivers, who’s mastered this offense under Frank Reich and OC Nick Sirianni before and should execute it at high level behind elite offensive line.
8. Buccaneers (17): Be nice if new QB Tom Brady had more time to integrate into program, but smarter decisions may be all this team needs after its average loss in 2019 came by 7.7 points.
9. Vikings (6): They jettisoned WR Stefon Diggs and most of their corners, but GM Rick Spielman can address those issues with three of draft’s first 58 selections.
10. Steelers (13): Even with (in spite of?) QBs Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges, last year’s team would have been good enough for 2020 NFL playoffs. How good can it be with return of Ben Roethlisberger plus its top-five defense?
11. Bills (12): Buffalo paid a very steep price for Diggs’ service, but this may well be year to make go-for-broke push to win first AFC East crown for first time since 1995.
12. Seahawks (8): Just about everything broke right for this team in 2019. Still waiting for word if Clowney’s 2020 decision breaks their way, too.
13. Eagles (9): Darius Slay, Nickell Robey-Coleman should solve last year’s corner catastrophe, but Philly could still use another wideout and safety.
14. Falcons (16): They’re poised to deploy offense that starts a first-rounder at each position. And with a defense bolstered by DE Dante Fowler? Beware.
15. Cowboys (14): Picked up nice pieces (DT Gerald McCoy, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix) in free agency despite losing CB Byron Jones, DE Robert Quinn. Now, how quickly can new coach Mike McCarthy meld Dallas’ talent with his approach?
16. Rams (15): Time arrived to pay piper after several salary cap gambles. Debts continue into draft, where their first selection is scheduled at No. 52.
17. Chargers (28): Will replacing Rivers’ gunslinging tendencies with QB Tyrod Taylor’s risk-averse approach get Bolts back to postseason? Or might a first-round passer be taking reins of roster with ample voltage?
18. Patriots (11): They didn’t just lose Brady. Also gone is their cap space plus three guys who gave 2019’s No. 1 defense at least 650 snaps. Dynastic death knell?
20. Broncos (20): Plenty of buzz around QB Drew Lock after 4-1 finish to his rookie year. Should be more for defense entering second year under Vic Fangio.
21. Texans (10): They lost Hopkins and blossomed DL D.J. Reader … and, thus, maybe any reasonable chance to keep division crown away from Colts or Titans.
22. Dolphins (27): GM Chris Grier went on wild free agent spending spree and is still sitting on loads of draft capital. Squad that finished 2019 with flair under rookie coach Brian Flores should start 2020 much faster in what projects as wide-open AFC East.
23. Jets (19): Quietly went 7-6 with healthy Sam Darnold in 2019 but chose not to spend all their cap Benjamins in order to keep pace with AFC’s Benjamins.
24. Raiders (23): They were outclassed as often as they were competitive in 2019. How do you improve on that while trying to relocate your entire franchise in midst of one of the most turbulent times in American history?
25. Bengals (30): They took unusual step of spending in free agency, tagging WR A.J. Green and are poised to welcome QB Joe Burrow in draft. This could be quite a reset for group that consistently played hard for rookie coach Zac Taylor in 2019.
26. Lions (25): They were tough with QB Matthew Stafford in 2019 but 0-8 without him. Could be dangerous if haul of ex-Patriots pick right back up in Matt Patricia’s program.
27. Browns (22): Talent that tantalized pundits last year mostly returns. But new coach Kevin Stefanski likely won’t have sufficient time to blend it for a 2020 resurgence.
28. Bears (18): Could be on verge of coming completely unglued by importing competition (Nick Foles) for QB Mitchell Trubisky but no weapons to help his cause.
29. Redskins (31): Kudos for generally measured way Ron Rivera’s new regime has approached offseason. Still, would be nice to see impasse surrounding LT Trent Williams’ finally bridged.
30. Giants (26): Bill Belichick’s protégés have generally been apples who tend to fall quite far from the masterful tree. Joe Judge could get off to especially rocky start given how belated it will be.
31. Panthers (32): New coach. New quarterback. New-look defense. For a team that lost its last eight games in 2019. What could possibly go wrong?
32. Jaguars (29): There’s probably some kind long-term strategy here. But good luck making heads or tails of it. DE Yannick Ngakoue is also perplexed.
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.
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