clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Here’s a list of the top NFL free agents for 2024 now that the Super Bowl is over

We take an early look at some of the top names in free agency now that the offseason has officially begun.

Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on from the sidelines before the game against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 31, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The 2023-2024 NFL season has come to a close as the Kansas City Chiefs has won Super Bowl 58. It’s time to look toward the offseason, mainly at the 2024 NFL Draft and free agency. There are some big names in this year’s free agency class, and seeing where everyone ends up will be interesting. There was plenty of free agency controversy last summer as running backs argued for bigger contracts; we will see if anything changes this year. Players can still be franchise-tagged, but here is a list of the top free agents heading into the 2024 offseason.

2024 NFL Free Agency List

Quarterbacks

Kirk Cousins
Baker Mayfield
Gardner Minshew
Joe Flacco
Jameis Winston
Mason Rudolph
Joshua Dobbs
Ryan Tannehill
Jacoby Brissett
Sam Darnold

The quarterback class is led by Cousins, who will be coming off a torn Achilles. He said he was interested in returning to Minnesota, but there are some QB-needy teams out there, so the veteran could explore his options. Mayfield experienced a career resurgence with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and likely earned the chance to be the team’s starter again next season.

When rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson went down with his season-ending shoulder injury, Minshew stepped in and led the Indianapolis Colts to a 9-8 record. Similar to Mayfield, I’d expect Minshew to return as the backup in Indy unless there is another team that brings him in to compete for the starting gig.

Dobbs was applauded for his job when he first got to Minnesota, but that quickly faded as he struggled. He should be a backup somewhere, but his tumultuous 2023 showed he can’t sustain a starting role. Rudolph filled in well for the Pittsburgh Steelers and should be back as one of their backups. He likely shouldn’t start for another team, but he could try and be a backup another place.

Running Backs

Derrick Henry
Josh Jacobs
Tony Pollard
Saquon Barkley
Austin Ekeler
Gus Edwards
D’Andre Swift
Devin Singletary
Zack Moss
J.K. Dobbins
Antonio Gibson
Ezekiel Elliott
A.J. Dillon

Jacobs was part of the group of running backs last year that made headlines, arguing that they deserved better-paying contracts. He agreed to a one-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders to avoid playing under the franchise tag and then ended with 805 rushing yards and six touchdowns in 13 games and likely won’t garner the same kind of contract as he thought he deserved last year when he was the NFL’s leading rusher. Barkley also played on a one-year deal and will hit free agency again.

Henry could return to Tennessee but took time after the team’s last game to thank the fans, so it seems he will be getting a fresh start somewhere. Tony Pollard struggled as the outright starter for the Dallas Cowboys at the beginning of the season but finally settled in to help them win the NFC East. Austin Ekeler could be playing for a new team next season as the Los Angeles Chargers have not only a new head coach but don’t have much cap room.

The Baltimore Ravens could be leaning on Keaton Mitchell more next season, with both Dobbins and Edwards set to hit free agency. Dobbins is coming off a season-ending torn Achilles suffered in Week 1, but should be in the mix to start for a team in 2024.

Wide Receivers

Mike Evans
Michael Pittman Jr.
Calvin Ridley
Gabriel Davis
Tee Higgins
Tyler Boyd
Curtis Samuel
Marquise Brown
Odell Beckham Jr.
Darnell Mooney

It wouldn’t be surprising to see Evans go back to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was their best wide receiver last season and still has yet to have fewer than 1,000 receiving yards in a season over his 10-year career.

The most intriguing free agent wide receivers are arguably Pittman Jr. and Higgins as both are looking for their second contracts of their careers. They will improve whatever offense they join and will likely bring in the position’s biggest contracts. Brown had a down year with the Arizona Cardinals but would still be a solid WR2, especially for a team like the Kansas City Chiefs. Beckham Jr. will likely sign with a contender if he inks a new deal. Samuel, Boyd and Mooney can be good role players but aren’t going to greatly improve a team’s Super Bowl chances when they sign.

Tight Ends

Dalton Schultz
Hunter Henry
Noah Fant
Gerald Everett
Mike Gesicki
Austin Hooper

Schultz signed a one-year prove-it deal with the Houston Texans last offseason. He played in 15 games and had 635 yards and five touchdowns. Schultz would be a great player for Houston to bring back, but he will test the market to see if he can get a better deal from another team.

Henry never reached his Los Angeles Chargers success with the New England Patriots but was a particularly favorite red zone target for quarterback Mac Jones. He would be a good pickup for a team like the Cincinnati Bengals that struggled to use Irv Smith Jr. last year. Fant, Everett, Gesicki and Hooper still have some good snaps left in their careers, but they don’t move the needle as much as Schultz and Henry.

Offensive Linemen

Mike Onwenu
Jonah Williams
Tyron Smith
Mehki Becton
Trent Brown
Donovan Smith
Yosh Nijman
George Fant
Jermaine Eluemunor
Josh Jones
Jason Kelce
Robert Hunt
Kevin Dotson
Connor Williams
Lloyd Cushenberry
Jonah Jackson
Kevin Zeitler
Andre James
Ezra Cleveland
Aaron Brewer
Tyler Biadasz
John Simpson
Ben Bredeson
Evan Brown

Offensive Linemen can sometimes feel like a dime a dozen unless you’re dealing with the top players at each position. The thing about most of these players is that they all played the majority of their team’s offensive snaps. Brewer and Williams, in particular, played 100% of their team’s offensive snaps. Both are just 27 years old. and figure to be due a hefty payday.

Zeitler, Van Roten, and Kelce could all be eyeing retirement at their age or could be looking at short, one-year deals. Becton is the youngest unrestricted free agent on the market. He struggled some with the New York Jets, but a change of scenery may get him back to the highly touted prospect he was expected to be.

Defensive Linemen

Leonard Williams
Chris Jones
Carl Lawson
D.J. Reader
Marcus Davenport
Romeo Okwara
Yannick Ngakoue
Justin Madubuike
Jonathan Greenard
Jadeveon Clowney
Chase Young
Brian Burns
Bryce Huff
Andrew Van Ginkel
A.J. Espensa
Josh Uche
Christian Wilkins
Fletcher Cox
Grover Stewart
Denico Autry
Sheldon Rankins
Javon Kinlaw

This is a deep class of free agent defensive linemen. Chris Jones is coming off yet another Super Bowl appearance and was tied for the team lead with 10.5 sacks. Allen was tied for the second-most sacks in the NFL last season and could be donning a new uniform if the Jacksonville Jaguars don’t bring him back.

While the Baltimore Ravens’ offense was largely talked about, the defense was one of the best in the league. Madubuike would be a huge loss and his 13 sacks would be tough to replace, especially if they also lose Clowney’s 9.5 sacks. The Tennessee Titans will likely continue rebuilding and likely need to bring back Denico Autry, who had 11.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

Linebackers

Danielle Hunter
Jerome Baker
Za’Darius Smith
Devin White
Josh Allen
Bobby Wagner
Isaiah Simmons
Lavonte David
Patrick Queen
Cody Barton
Azeez Al-Shaair
Shaq Leonard
Josey Jewell
Frankie Luvu
Jordyn Brooks
Willie Gay
Drue Tranquill
Blake Cashman
D.J. Wonnum

Queen is the biggest linebacker free agent and should get a big contract. With the defensive line talent they are losing, the Ravens need to see about re-signing him. Queen had 133 tackles during the regular season and added 3.5 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.

The Vikings may have a new quarterback under center but could also be without their best defenders, as Hunter and Wonnum are free agents. They combined for 24.5 sacks and 30 tackles for loss. Wonnum would likely not cost nearly as much as Hunter would to bring back, but Minnesota had a chance to trade Hunter at the 2023 trade deadline and chose not to take it.

Wagner could be eyeing retirement, but it is tough to fathom for the 34-year-old after he just led the NFL with 183 tackles. David could be in the same boat after not signing an extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The expectation is that he will sign somewhere especially coming off a season with 134 solo tackles, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

Cornerbacks

Adoree’ Jackson
Kendall Fuller
Stephon Gilmore
Jeff Okudah
Jaylon Johnson
Kenny Moore
Steven Nelson
Ahkello Witherspoon
L’Jarius Sneed
Chidobe Awuzie
Tavierre Thomas
Kristian Fulton
Michael Davis

The cornerback class is top-heavy, but there are certainly some names to watch, as they could have some interesting landing spots. Nelson feels like he isn’t as big of a name as guys like Johnson and Gilmore, but he was tied for the seventh-most interceptions in the NFL this season with four. Admittedly, he is tied with 20 or so other players, but still.

Witherspoon played well enough to earn a deal somewhere. Sneed took a big step forward this season, and Kansas City would be smart to bring back the 27-year-old. Johnson will likely be the top cornerback target in the class because he is 25 and needs a second contract. Rumors are already swirling, and any team needing a cornerback will likely reach out with an offer.

Gilmore could end up retiring after just finishing his 12th career season but could be back on a one-year deal to add some cornerback depth for a team.

Safeties

Antoine Winfield Jr.
Xavier McKinney
Kyle Dugger
Jordan Whitehead
Jonathan Owens
Darnell Savage
Kareem Jackson
Julian Blackmon
Tashaun Gipson
Geno Stone
Kamren Curl
Jordan Fuller
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
DeShon Elliott
Micah Hyde
Jordan Fuller

McKinney had the second-most tackles for the New York Giants last season behind linebacker Bobby Okereke. He had 116 tackles, with two tackles for loss and a team-high three interceptions. McKinney played 100% of defensive snaps, and the 25-year-old should command one of the better free-agent safety deals.

Dugger, Winfield, Whitehead, Fuller and Curl all played at least 90% of their respective team’s defensive snaps. Jackson is one of the older free agents but ran into suspension trouble last year after several unnecessary roughness ejections. Hyde could hang up his cleats at 34 years old, but if he does keep playing would bring plenty of experience to whatever team signs him.

Kickers

Ka’imi Fairbairn
Wil Lutz
Greg Zuerlein
Nick Folk
Brandon McManus
Greg Joseph
Cameron Dicker
Randy Bullock
Chase McLaughlin
Joey Slye

Folk is 40 years old, so he is likely done. On the other end of the spectrum, Dicker should be able to land somewhere on an extended deal. He’s a talented kicker and is one of the youngest free agent kickers at 24. Fairbairn, Slye and McLaughlin will likely be signed to preseason deals with a shot at breaking training camp on an NFL squad, but certainly aren’t guaranteed a roster spot anywhere.