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2024 NFL Free Agents by Position: Kirk Cousins, Derrick Henry, and Mike Evans Headline Top Options

2024 NFL Free Agents by Position: Kirk Cousins, Derrick Henry, and Mike Evans Headline Top Options

While the 2023 NFL campaign is still ongoing, it’s never too early to consider the 2024 NFL free agent class. Contending teams can search for their roster’s final piece on next year’s open market while rebuilding clubs can try to find younger players who match their timeline.

Who are the best 2024 NFL free agents? Let’s run through every position group and highlight the top players scheduled to reach the open market.

2024 NFL Free Agents by Position | Offense

Quarterback

While franchise quarterbacks rarely hit the market, Kirk Cousins will give passer-needy clubs a veteran option, even though he’ll be coming off a torn Achilles. Baker Mayfield could be in line for a multi-year deal, while Joshua Dobbs — Cousins’ replacement with the Minnesota Vikings — is playing his way into a starting job.

1) Kirk Cousins 2) Baker Mayfield 3) Joshua Dobbs 4) Jacoby Brissett 5) Gardner Minshew 6) Jameis Winston 7) Sam Darnold 8) Ryan Tannehill 9) Drew Lock 10) Tyler Huntley

Running Back

Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, and Tony Pollard were all franchise-tagged in 2023 but should have the chance to reach free agency in 2024. Meanwhile, aging stars like Austin Ekeler and Derrick Henry will try to find one last lucrative contract.

1) Saquon Barkley 2) Josh Jacobs 3) Tony Pollard 4) D’Andre Swift 5) Austin Ekeler 6) Derrick Henry 7) Zack Moss 8) Antonio Gibson 9) Devin Singletary 10) J.K. Dobbins

Wide Receiver

Tee Higgins appears unlikely to receive an extension from the Cincinnati Bengals. Unless he’s franchise-tagged, Higgins should earn the largest free agent WR contract this season.

MORE: NFL Wide Receiver Rankings 2023

Other young pass catchers like Calvin Ridley, Michael Pittman Jr., and Marquise Brown could also land hefty deals, while even the 30-year-old Mike Evans should find a significant annual salary.

1) Tee Higgins 2) Mike Evans 3) Calvin Ridley 4) Michael Pittman Jr. 5) Marquise Brown 6) Gabe Davis 7) Darnell Mooney 8) Donovan Peoples-Jones 9) Curtis Samuel 10) Tyler Boyd

Tight End

Dalton Schultz, franchised by the Dallas Cowboys in 2022 before signing a one-year deal with the Houston Texans in 2023, should get paid next offseason after a productive campaign catching passes from rookie Houston QB C.J. Stroud.

Yet, Noah Fant might be the only other free agent TE in line to receive a multi-year deal in 2024, and even that’s not a guarantee.

1) Dalton Schultz 2) Noah Fant 3) Hunter Henry 4) Mike Gesicki 5) Gerald Everett 6) Colby Parkinson 7) Adam Trautman 8) Irv Smith Jr. 9) Harrison Bryant 10) Austin Hooper

Offensive Tackle

Jonah Williams, Mehki Becton, and Austin Jackson are all former first-round picks amid the best campaigns of their respective careers. The OT market will also contain older veterans like Tyron Smith and Trent Brown, who are more than capable of continuing their careers.

1) Jonah Williams 2) Mike Onwenu 3) Mehki Becton 4) Austin Jackson 5) Tyron Smith 6) Trent Brown 7) Donovan Smith 8) Yosh Nijman 9) Josh Jones 10) George Fant

Interior Offensive Line

The free agent interior offensive line group might be the weakest position among the 2024 class. The Miami Dolphins’ Robert Hunt has been healthy and productive throughout his career, but almost every other guard/center on next year’s market has at least one significant flaw, whether it’s injury issues, age, or ineffectiveness.

1) Robert Hunt 2) Jonah Jackson 3) Ezra Cleveland 4) Lloyd Cushenberry 5) Connor Williams 6) Damien Lewis 7) Kevin Zeitler 8) Aaron Brewer 9) Tyler Biadasz 10) Andrus Peat

2024 NFL Free Agents by Position | Defense

Defensive Line

Summer extensions depleted the defensive tackle market, as Quinnen Williams, Jeffery Simmons, Daron Payne, and Dexter Lawrence received new deals. Chris Jones and Christian Wilkins remain franchise tag candidates, which could leave Justin Madubuike as the top available interior defender next year.

1) Chris Jones 2) Christian Wilkins 3) Justin Madubuike 4) Leonard Williams 5) D.J. Reader 6) Teair Tart 7) Fletcher Cox 8) Grover Stewart 9) Denico Autry 10) Sheldon Rankins

EDGE

After quarterbacks, elite edge rushers are probably the second-hardest asset to locate on the FA market. While Brian Burns and Josh Allen are nominally pending FAs, they’ll likely be extended or franchise-tagged.

Still, Chase Young and Danielle Hunter shouldn’t have any trouble reaching free agency and — depending on how the rest of this season plays out — reaching $20 million annually.

1) Brian Burns 2) Josh Allen 3) Chase Young 4) Danielle Hunter 5) Bryce Huff 6) Jonathan Greenard 7) D.J. Wonnum 8) Jadeveon Clowney 9) Andrew Van Ginkel 10) A.J. Epenesa

Linebacker

The linebacker class might be the weakest defensive position in 2024 free agency. Bobby Wagner and Lavonte David are aging, while former first-rounders like Patrick Queen, Jordyn Brooks, and Devin White have dealt with injuries or poor play. Frankie Luvu might end up garnering the biggest free agent LB contract next year.

1) Frankie Luvu 2) Willie Gay 3) Bobby Wagner 4) Lavonte David 5) Patrick Queen 6) Jordyn Brooks 7) Drue Tranquill 8) Blake Cashman 9) Azeez Al-Shaair 10) Devin White

Cornerback

Jaylon Johnson, who drew significant interest at the trade deadline, is an obvious franchise tag candidate for the Chicago Bears. That could leave L’Jarius Sneed as the best corner on the market, as the Kansas City Chiefs might have to deploy their franchise tender on Chris Jones.

1) Jaylon Johnson 2) L’Jarius Sneed 3) Kendall Fuller 4) Chidobe Awuzie 5) Kenny Moore 6) Tavierre Thomas 7) Stephon Gilmore 8) Kristian Fulton 9) Jeff Okudah 10) Steven Nelson

Safety

There might not be a more impressive free agent positional group from top to bottom than the 2024 safety class. The top-10 options on our list have all been efficient players on the back end and are 26 years old or younger.

If your team needs a safety, next offseason will offer plenty of choices.

1) Antoine Winfield Jr. 2) Geno Stone 3) Grant Delpit 4) Kam Curl 5) Kyle Dugger 6) Xavier McKinney 7) Julian Blackmon 8) Jordan Whitehead 9) DeShon Elliott 10) Chauncey Gardner-Johnson

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