NFL Teams That Are Failing Their Rebuild Plans

The Cincinnati Bengals provided a glimmer of hope for all NFL teams that are in rebuilding mode.

Just one season after finishing 4-11-1, the Bengals found themselves in the Super Bowl thanks to an offseason in which they got Joe Burrow healthy, drafted wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase and utilized free agency to upgrade their defense.

In a league that strives for parity, they were an example of how a focused rebuilding plan can cause a team to make a huge leap.

Some organizations have done a good job of showing a coherent plan to turn things around. The New York Giants, for instance, hired a coach in Brian Daboll who could get the most out of running back Saquon Barkley, wide receiver Kenny Golladay and quarterback Daniel Jones while bulking up in the trenches through the draft.

Others have made moves that make you question where their rebuilds are headed. Things might get worse before they get better for these five teams.

Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers’ spot on this list isn’t exactly about the quarterback situation.

In a vacuum, the deal the team made for Baker Mayfield is a good move. If Mayfield can return to his 2020 form, he’s easily the best quarterback on the roster.

The Panthers got him Wednesday for a conditional fifth-round pick and still got the Browns to pay $10.5 million of his salary, per Mike Garofolo of the NFL Network.

The problems in the rebuild come from management and coaching.

Matt Rhule should absolutely be on the hot seat. He is entering his third year as head coach with back-to-back five-win seasons on his resume. Joseph Person of The Athletic reported owner David Tepper is “unhappy and embarrassed” about the seven-year, $62 million contract he gave the former Baylor and Temple head coach.

And this time, Rhule’s staff is even less exciting.

Ben McAdoo will replace the talented Joe Brady as offensive coordinator. McAdoo hasn’t coordinated a top-10 offense since the 2014 and ’15 campaigns with Eli Manning under center for the New York Giants.

You can make the argument the offensive line will be improved. It was downright bad in 2021, but Ikem Ekwonu, Bradley Bozeman and Austin Corbett give the unit enough new blood to creep closer to average.

But slightly better quarterback play and an improved offensive line might be negated by the defense.

The Carolina D helped keep the team in some games last season. The unit tied for third in yards allowed per play (5.1). However, losing cornerback Stephon Gilmore, outside linebacker Haason Reddick and defense tackle DaQuan Jones leaves the Panthers with important roles to fill.

Author: Lucy Green