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Some major pillars of the NFL offseason have come and gone: the draft, free agency and blockbuster trades. Now, with the 2024 schedule around the corner, it feels like as good a time as any to revisit some key questions ahead of the new season. For that, we've asked three of our CBS Sports NFL writers -- Cody Benjamin, Jordan Dajani and Shanna McCarriston -- to tackle seven offseason-related questions in a roundtable discussion.

Let's get to it ...

Which team made the best free agent signing?

Benjamin: It's hard not to like the Houston Texans' splashy investment off the edge, where Danielle Hunter gives them one of the NFL's most imposing edge rushers to pair with Will Anderson Jr. and play under DeMeco Ryans. Is he expensive? Sure. But as a short-term add for a sudden contender, you can't do much better.

Dajani: Antonio Pierce and the Las Vegas Raiders added one of the best defensive tackles in the league in Christian Wilkins. He's someone who can rush the passer from the inside, which will make life easier for Maxx Crosby and Tyree Wilson.

McCarriston: The Texans are rapidly on the rise and one of my top teams to watch next season. Four-time Pro Bowler Danielle Hunter immediately improves their defense. The team's big free agency shows its commitment to winning now. The Texans' offense is strong, and to keep up with other AFC powerhouse offenses like the Chiefs and Ravens, they needed strong leaders like Hunter.

Which team made the worst free agent signing?

Benjamin: The Atlanta Falcons needed to add weaponry for new quarterback Kirk Cousins (and apparently Michael Penix Jr., too?), but paying Darnell Mooney $13 million per year -- almost twice as much as Marquise Brown got from the Kansas City Chiefs -- feels a bit like spending just to spend.

Dajani: The Chicago Bears. He was an All-Pro safety not long ago, but Kevin Byard struggled after being traded to Philadelphia last year. When he became a free agent this offseason, the Bears quickly pounced on him, signing the former Titan to a two-year deal worth something like $15 million.

McCarriston: Does Ezekiel Elliott have much left in him? And is it what the Dallas Cowboys need? They apparently think so and reunited with the veteran running back, who spent last season with the New England Patriots. Zeke was the team leader in multiple categories in 2023, but that was on a horrific Patriots offense that had no stability, so it shouldn't hold much weight.

Which trade will pay off the most?

Benjamin: The Chicago Bears adding Keenan Allen is such a smart way to help ease Caleb Williams into the NFL, but the Houston Texans' pick swap for Stefon Diggs should pay more immediate and substantial dividends for their own young quarterback in C.J. Stroud. Even if it's a one-year rental, the potential for fireworks is wild.

Dajani: The Tennessee Titans' pass defense hasn't finished in the top half of the league since 2018, but that will change with the addition of cornerback L'Jarius Sneed from the Kansas City Chiefs.

McCarriston: Echoing Jordan here: The Titans added someone with playoff experience and someone who can come in and immediately make an impact. Sneed is a perfect fit for the Titans, who needed help on defense.

Which trade will pay off the least?

Benjamin: A few analysts heaped praise upon the Atlanta Falcons for netting speedster Rondale Moore in a rare player-for-player swap that sent quarterback Desmond Ridder to the Arizona Cardinals. But this one feels like it could be a non-factor for both sides -- the equivalent of swapping vets who were already in danger of getting cut.

Dajani: The Pittsburgh Steelers traded for one year of Justin Fields while already tabbing Russell Wilson as QB1. Will Russ be good? Or maybe the better question is, will he be bad enough to warrant a benching? Seems to me Pittsburgh gave up a draft pick just to create a quarterback controversy among its fan base.

McCarriston: I believe the Texans will be legitimate contenders this season, but the addition of running back Joe Mixon will not make as big of a difference as they want it to. His cost will not equal his production next season.

Which draft pick will prove to be the biggest bargain?

Benjamin: Cooper DeJean could've easily gone No. 22 overall, where the Philadelphia Eagles stopped the surprise slide of another top cornerback prospect in Quinyon Mitchell. Instead he fell all the way to No. 40 on Day 2, joining Mitchell in a remade Philly secondary. The Eagles badly needed long-term prospects on the back end, but DeJean has the tools to be a difference-maker in multiple phases of the game, be it as a slot corner, rotating safety or even return specialist, now that the NFL has reprioritized that special-teams play.

Dajani: Did you know the SEC Defensive Player of the Year fell to the sixth round? And somehow landed with defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and the Cleveland Browns, where he will play behind one of the best defensive lines in the league? Linebacker Nathaniel Watson led the best conference in tackles and sacks last year, making him the only SEC player to ever accomplish such a feat in a season. Draft pundits didn't like him because he's not a star at getting off blocks or something, but you can't ignore the kind of prolific production Watson put up.

McCarriston: The draft being dominated by early offensive picks was gold for the teams with later first-round selections, who got a lot better on defense. Byron Murphy II was the second defensive player chosen, with the Seattle Seahawks taking him at No. 16 overall, which sooner than later will feel like a steal.

Which quarterback competition are you watching closest?

Benjamin: The Minnesota Vikings have a sneakily interesting one, considering rookie J.J. McCarthy could step into a playoff-caliber lineup if he beats out Sam Darnold immediately. But count me in on the Pittsburgh Steelers drama. We all know Russell Wilson is a safe bet to open the year under center, but what if Fields somehow lights it up this summer? The talk of his potential promotion will linger, especially if Pittsburgh struggles early.

Dajani: Let's not kid ourselves, there's only one quarterback competition this offseason, and it's Gardner Minshew versus Aidan O'Connell. But then again, maybe the Raiders add another veteran arm, like Ryan Tannehill.

McCarriston: I, too, am very curious how the Steelers situation will unfold. Russell Wilson does not have me sold, and I think Justin Fields has a chance to take over if the Super Bowl champion starts to struggle. We've seen some glimmers of hope that Fields can be a starter, and if he's given the chance, with a strong head coach, he may become one before many expect.

After all the offseason activity, which team is best suited to threaten the Kansas City Chiefs?

Benjamin: The easy answer is: Still the San Francisco 49ers, because Brock Purdy is just hitting his stride, and the setup is still elite. But here are a trio of other favorites: the Cincinnati Bengals, who are lethal with a healthy Joe Burrow, the Houston Texans, who have rightly gotten bold to aid C.J. Stroud, and the Philadelphia Eagles, who are very boom or bust but remain an all-star unit on paper.

Dajani: The Detroit Lions. Last year wasn't a fluke, and the front office did a good job this offseason not only keeping their current talent happy with contract extensions, but adding talent as well.

McCarriston: If saying the team that faced them last season in the Super Bowl is boring, then call me boring, but I like what the Niners have done enough this offseason to give them this title. The 49ers have an excellent front office and they have continued to make good decisions, like working to keep stars around and adding others. Defensive tackle Maliek Collins will be a difference-maker in an already solid group. While Purdy has his doubters, he is a quarterback who (with a little help) can lead his team to the promised land.