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NFL Free Agency – 2024 Important Dates and Players!

Happy New Year Draft Countdown family! As we approach the NFL playoffs, I wanted to get you some important information and players regarding free agency. Once we hit the Super Bowl, we are just over a month away from the big names that will inevitably change teams. The NFL has tons of information but here is the location of the NFL Operations, which covers the league calendar each year. The 2024 league year (and  NFL free agency) will begin Wednesday, March 13th at midnight. 

Teams will do everything they can to keep their talented players but some will choose to test the market, and in turn, leave for potentially greener pastures elsewhere. There are plenty of great resources to see lists of the players that (could/should) hit the free agent market, which include NFLTradeRumors.co, OverTheCap, and Spotrac. I wanted to take a look at some of the bigger names, and where we could see them headed in 2024.

NFL Free Agency – 2024 Important Dates and Players!

Quarterbacks

Kirk Cousins, Gardner Minshew, Baker Mayfield, Ryan Tannehill, and Joe Flacco.

There are other options out there but these five have shown the most ability to be a starting quarterback in the league, we do know Russell Wilson with be out there but hasn’t been officially cut at this point. Kirk and Baker will most likely be the top targets for teams but will also be the most expensive, and bring different styles so will have different suitors on the market.

I could see Kirk going back to Minnesota for another year, as he wasn’t the problem there and could continue to make them a playoff contender if they add some more pieces around him. Baker, on the other hand, has been mistreated in the league, if I’m Tampa Bay, I look to retain his services as he fits their team well and brings a mentality and play style that they can win with. With Minshew, Flacco, and Tannehill, you have vets who can start and have varying degrees of success but all have proven they can play meaningful snaps, even if Flacco’s the only one of the three with a Super Bowl ring. 

Saquon Barkley and Giants Cannot Agree to Long-Term Deal - The New York  Times

Running Backs

Derrick Henry, Tony Pollard, Austin Ekeler, Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, Dalvin Cook, Cordarelle Patterson, Gus Edwards, Ezekiel Elliott, Devin Singletary, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Damien Harris, Cam Akers, D’Andre Swift, JK Dobbins, Antonio Gibson, and AJ Dillon

If you’re looking for a veteran running back, this class has a ton of productive names that are at or near the end of their prime years. Most (if not all) of these backs have question marks in some regards, so you’d hope to get one on a reasonable 1-3 year deal I’d think. Barkley and Jacobs are most likely the hottest names, and arguably the first two we hear sign if they make it to free agency. 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr, Curtis Samuel, Tyler Boyd, Marquise Brown, Calvin Ridley, Tee Higgins, Michael Pittman Jr, Hunter Henry, Dalton Schultz, Gerald Everett, and Mike Gesicki.

There are plenty of pass-catching options available but this group feels pretty top-heavy, in terms of elite options that teams will target (if available). I would not be the least bit surprised if we see Higgins, Ridley, and Evans NOT make it to free agency, as they are pillars that their current teams should look to re-sign if possible. With not a ton of tight ends on the market, and not a super-deep draft class, we could see some of the top options get a little extra cash from those tight-end needy teams.

Offensive Lineman

Jason Kelce, Connor Williams, Tyron Smith, Jonah Williams, and Dalton Risner.

This group gives you some vets that can be locker room leaders with some juice left, or younger guys that can be rotational/depth pieces. I think both Williams’ should be the top targets on the market, both are young solid starters that can give you a nice 3-5 years of production.

Defensive Lineman

Leonard Williams, Chris Jones, Chase Young, DJ Reader, Marcus Davenport, Dorance Armstrong, Javon Kinlaw, and Brian Burns

Chris Jones is elite and still bringing it at a high level. Brian Burns, I anticipate not getting out of Carolina but he’d be the top target in my mind, you can’t get a better pass rusher in free agency than him. You have a ton of options, just depends on if you want young with some question marks or vets that can lead your lineman.

Devin White Apologetic About Winston's Injury - Bucs Report

Linebackers

Danielle Hunter, Jerome Baker, Devin White, Za’Darius Smith, Josh Allen (JAX), Azeez Al-Shaair, Frankie Luvu, Kenneth Murray, Jordyn Brooks, Patrick Queen, and Willie Gay Jr. 

If you’re looking for a solid young linebacker, there are plenty of options. You have guys that have been productive leaders on their teams, you have edge rushers you can stand up in 3-4 schemes, and there is some strong options for all defensive needs.

Defensive Backs

Budda Baker, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Sean Bunting, Darnell Savage, Mike Edwards, and Jordan Whitehead.

It’s not the strongest DB class but you have a couple of studs in Budda and Gardner-Johnson, after that, it’s a lot of depth with start-able potential. You see multiple young DBs that could be signed to be starters, and in the right scheme, Savage, Bunting, Edwards, and Whitehead have been productive or proven that they could start.

Thanks for Stopping By!

I hope this has helped you prepare for the NFL Draft. If you want to talk all things football, hit me on Twitter. Or over on the Draft Countdown Discord! And check out the rest of my work here.

For more on the NFL Draft, check these out:

Brian Bosarge Mock Draft

NFL Combine Coverage

News & Notes

Mock Drafts

NFL Draft Rankings

Shane P. Hallam Draft News & Notes

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