There’s always various roads you can take when going into franchise mode, but rebuilds are usually the most popular way to play them — assuming you’re not using your favorite team. With Madden 23 franchise mode, we already put forth some teams in various stages of team building, but I really wanted to focus in on five teams that would be fun to rebuild in Madden 23 franchise mode.
Madden 23 Franchise Mode Rebuilds
Washington Commanders – 81 Overall (Offense 76, Defense 82, Special Teams 73)
The Washington Commanders are the highest-rated team on this list — a true middle-of-the-pack option — but there is still plenty of rebuilding that needs to be done. This starts at QB as the Commanders are certainly in the back third of the league for “potential” in this area. Carson Wentz is serviceable, but you’re going to want to either build up Sam Howell or draft a rookie because the offense has plenty of weapons for the right player under center.
You already know how I feel about running back Antonio Gibson, one of the most underrated players in this year’s game. Terry McLaurin (91 overall) and rookie Jahan Dotson are star receivers, and Curtis Samuel (94 speed) isn’t too bad if he can stay healthy. Logan Thomas is a big-bodied tight end that will be a cheat code over the middle, and Washington’s offensive line is sturdy.
But, believe it or not, the offense isn’t even the best part of the team. On defense, Chase Young (86 overall), Jonathan Allen, and Montez Sweat (83 acceleration) terrorize opposing quarterbacks. All three should be around for many years to come. In the middle of Washington’s defense, linebackers David Mayo, Cole Holcomb, and Jamin Davis are all worthy of being user-controlled, but let’s not forget some of the pieces in the secondary. Because while the big guys up front are trying to get to the QB, Kendall Fuller (89 overall), William Jackson III, and Bobby McCain (83 awareness) are clamping down enemy receivers.
They also got a fancy new logo and uniform combination — making the Washington Commanders feel like an expansion team in Madden 23. All that being said, offense is where you’ll need to focus your attention, but at least you have a solid offensive line in place as you search for that QB.
New York Jets – 79 Overall (Offense 72, Defense 79, Special Teams 76)
As a Miami Dolphins fan, I refuse to play with the rest of the AFC East. But if you plan to have fun, the New York Jets look like a team worth rebuilding in this year’s game.
The roster is littered with young playmakers, especially on offense. Quarterback Zach Wilson is mobile and has a laser for an arm (94 throw power). If he’s not your cup of tea, maybe trade for 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo? Nevertheless, the Jets receiving corps features young playmakers like wide receivers Elijah Moore (92 speed) and Garrett Wilson, both capable of creating big plays. Running back Breece Hall (76 overall) is a stallion, and their offensive line is good too. However, you do still need some more weapons here, and so this side of the ball will be the focus.
On defense, the Jets have two large yachts up front in defensive tackles Solomon Thomas and Quinnen Williams (90 block shed). Both can eat up blocks but also find their way in the backfield. Talented linebackers like Carl Lawson (87 finesse move), Quincy Williams, and C.J. Mosley (91 tackle) will make life easier for you. And that secondary, featuring Sauce Gardner (78 overall), D.J. Reed, Lamarcus Joyner (84 zone coverage), and Jordan Whitehead, makes the Jets a team worth rebuilding in Madden 23.
Detroit Lions – 78 Overall (Offense 75, Defense 72, Special Teams 71)
Please let the record show that the Detroit Lions were on this list well before they appeared on HBO’s Hard Knocks. Not that I don’t love what I see, but they’ve been on my radar for some time, and a large part of that is because they have some fun offensive weapons. Running back D’Andre Swift (90 speed) and Jamaal Williams are a very nice one-two punch. Tight end T.J. Hockenson (95 catch in traffic) is an emerging star and a talented pass-catcher for Jared Goff — who isn’t great, but he’s adequate enough in Madden. But then again, who wouldn’t be fine with a talented trio of wide receivers like Amon-Ra St. Brown (94 catch), D.J. Chark, and Jameson Williams (98 speed)? Additionally, the offensive line is young and promising with pieces like Taylor Decker (93 pass block), Frank Ragnow, and Penei Sewell (80 overall).
With improved pass-rushing in this year’s game, edge rushers Aidan Hutchinson (77 finesse move) and Romeo Okwara should have no problem getting to the quarterback. Other names on the defense side of the ball include defensive tackle Michael Brockers, linebackers Alex Anzalone (72 overall), and Derrick Barnes. On the back end, cornerback Jeff Okudah (77 press), Will Harris, and Amani Oruwariye (82 zone coverage) will get the job done, but you’ll probably want to draft a stud sooner than later. Detroit’s safeties are pretty good too. All in all, this defense might be the worst on this list, so you’ll be looking for upgrades there and at QB as you move forward.
Jacksonville Jaguars – 77 Overall (Offense 73, Defense 76, Special Teams 68)
Last year, the Jacksonville Jaguars were high on my list of teams to rebuild in Madden. And to be honest, nothing has changed. They still have a star quarterback in Trevor Lawrence (76 overall/91 throw power), and the running back position has two outstanding players in Travis Etienne (92 speed) and James Robinson (84 overall). Both backs are explosive and can make plays on the ground and through the air. At wide receiver, Jacksonville paid a fortune for Christian Kirk (85 catch in traffic) to pair with veterans Marvin Jones (92 special catch/91 catch in traffic) and a personal favorite of mine, Laviska Shenault Jr. Tight end Evan Engram (81 overall) has struggled with drops throughout training camp, but this is Madden — he’ll be fine. The offensive line is stout too.
On defense, the Jaguars are loaded with talent from top to bottom. 2022 first-overall pick Travon Walker (86 power) is only 21 years old and should have a star development trait. Rookie linebackers Devin Lloyd (73 overall) and Chad Muma are also players worth building around in the middle. And Jacksonville’s secondary has some solid pieces like cornerbacks Tyson Campbell, Shaquill Griffin (87 zone coverage), and Darious Williams. The fun part about this team is that (assuming Lawrence works out) you’re free to hunt for upgrades almost everywhere, but also have promising players at many spots. It’s time to restore some pride to DUUVVALLLLL!
Atlanta Falcons – 77 Overall (Offense 71, Defense 73, Special Teams 81)
The Atlanta Falcons are an intriguing team because they have cool uniforms and an array of young offensive playmakers. Tight end Kyle Pitts (87 overall) is borderline elite and catches nearly everything thrown his way. Atlanta has some excellent wide receivers after drafting Drake London (95 jumping). Calvin Ridley (86 overall) is still on the team — and you won’t have to worry about serving any suspension in Madden 23. Running back Cordarrelle Patterson (91 speed) is a playmaker, and rookie Tyler Allgeier has the potential to be a three-down RB. But most important to any football team is the QB position, and Marcus Mariota is the sort of QB who can outplay his ratings in Madden due to his mobility and speed (88 speed). Desmond Ridder (70 overall) isn’t too bad either.
Atlanta’s defense is not great (at least not the front seven). However, you do have one of the best cornerbacks in A.J. Terrell (90 man coverage) locking down top wide receivers. Casey Hayward has things covered on the other side. And at safety, the Falcons have a pair of viable safeties in Jaylinn Hawkins (72 zone coverage) and Richie Grant. Up front, there is a combination of speed and power with Grady Jarrett (94 play recognition), Lorenzo Carter, and Deion Jones (90 speed). The Dirty Birds will need some help here (likely at QB and with the front seven on defense), but with Matt Ryan now gone, it’s a team where you can forge a new identity for it.