NFL Free Agency Grades 2024 (First Wave): Texans, Commanders, Bears Get Rave Reviews While Cowboys, Broncos Flail

The first wave of NFL free agency is complete, so it's time to reflect. Which teams earned the best grades, and who received poor marks?

The NFL’s legal tampering period opened on Monday, while the new league year and free agency officially began on Wednesday. And yet, most of the action is already complete.

A flurry of available free agents flew off the board in the early hours of the market’s start, with hundreds of millions devoted to new long-term contracts. With myriad franchise tags, extensions, and trades on the books, it’s time to reflect.

Which teams made the smartest moves during the opening week of free agency, and which clubs might come to regret the deals they handed out over the past several days? Let’s run through every team and make assessments with our 2024 NFL free agency grades.

2024 NFL Free Agency Grades

Arizona Cardinals

Notable signings: OT Jonah Williams; QB Desmond Ridder (trade); CB Sean Murphy-Bunting; DT Justin Jones; DT Bilal Nichols; LB Mack Wilson

Notable departures: WR Hollywood Brown; WR Rondale Moore (trade); OT D.J. Humphries

Swapping out the injured Humphries for the younger Williams probably makes sense, especially since the Cardinals can shift 2023 first-round pick Paris Johnson Jr. to left tackle. Arizona’s offensive line was already underrated and improves with Williams on the right side.

Desperate for cornerbacks, the Cards gave Bunting a three-year, $25.5 million deal, which feels like a significant overpay after he signed with the Tennessee Titans for one year and $3.5 million last offseason. Jones and Nichols are rotational pieces, and Arizona simply needed bodies up front.

Grade: B-

Atlanta Falcons

Notable signings: QB Kirk Cousins; WR Darnell Mooney; WR Rondale Moore (trade)

Notable departures: QB Desmond Ridder (trade); TE Jonnu Smith; CB Jeff Okudah

Boasting a ready-made roster just a quarterback away from competing, Atlanta went all-in on Cousins, inking the former Minnesota Viking to a four-year, $180 million deal with $90 million guaranteed. Betting the house on a 35-year-old coming off a torn Achilles is risky, but Cousins was the best option for this version of the Falcons.

Cousins’ presence should allow Drake London to post career-high receiving totals, while Mooney will become a low-end WR2 or — pending the draft — a high-end WR3. While the Falcons still need answers at cornerback and edge rusher, they can trick into picking off veterans as the next wave of free agency begins.

Grade: A

Baltimore Ravens

Notable signings: RB Derrick Henry; DT Justin Madubuike; WR Nelson Agholor

Notable departures: LB Patrick Queen; S Geno Stone; OT Morgan Moses (trade); G John Simpson; RB Gus Edwards; CB Ronald Darby

The Ravens tried to acquire Henry at last year’s trade deadline but finally landed the King by handing him a two-year, $16 million pact. His age and workload remain obvious concerns, but Henry should form a dominant rushing duo with Lamar Jackson and will benefit from playing behind Baltimore’s offensive line.

That line lost two starters this week, but the Ravens have made a habit of moving on from players before they get too old (Moses) or expensive (Simpson). Queen, Edwards, and Darby are all serviceable players. Baltimore can find more affordable replacements.

Grade: A-

Buffalo Bills

Notable signings: WR Curtis Samuel; DT DaQuan Jones; EDGE A.J. Epenesa; S Taylor Rapp; QB Mitchell Trubisky

Notable departures: WR Gabe Davis; CB Tre’Davious White; EDGE Leonard Floyd; C Mitch Morse; CB Dane Jackson; S Micah Hyde; S Jordan Poyer

The Bills did what they had to do this offseason, cutting ties with franchise stalwarts like White, Morse, Hyde, and Poyer while allowing Davis and Floyd to sign elsewhere. Adding Samuel and re-signing Jones, Epenesa, and Rapp will help paper over some of those losses, but Buffalo’s roster talent decreased this offseason.

General manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott authorized a mega-deal for pass rusher Von Miller and an extension for WR Stefon Diggs in 2022. Those contracts put the Bills in the financial mess they’re in today and are part of Buffalo’s low grade.

Grade: C

Carolina Panthers

Notable signings: WR Diontae Johnson (trade); G Robert Hunt; G Damien Lewis; EDGE D.J. Wonnum; DT A’Shawn Robinson; LB Josey Jewell; CB Troy Hill; CB Dane Jackson

Notable departures: EDGE Brian Burns (trade); CB Donte Jackson (trade); LB Frankie Luvu; S Jeremy Chinn; C Bradley Bozeman; TE Hayden Hurst

Carolina bought low on Johnson, picking up a new wide receiver for Bryce Young in exchange for Jackson and a pick swap. Johnson should help last year’s No. 1 overall pick, as his route-running and separation skills will add a new dimension to the Panthers’ offense.

Brian Burns netted Carolina a ridiculously small package from the Giants, culminating the botched negotiations in a hilariously appropriate way. Even if Burns is only a second-tier edge rusher, losing him for second and fifth-round picks (and a Round 5 swap) is a disaster.

While disaster doesn’t necessarily describe Hunt’s five-year, $100 million contract, we can’t give it a positive mark, either.

The Panthers are paying Hunt to be an elite guard. He’s an excellent run blocker, but his work in pass protection leaves something to be desired. Bolstering the interior pocket in front of the 5’10” Young was an understandable priority — this was an overpay.

Grade: C-

Chicago Bears

Notable signings: WR Keenan Allen (trade); CB Jaylon Johnson; RB D’Andre Swift; S Kevin Byard; TE Gerald Everett; C Coleman Shelton; OL Ryan Bates (trade)

Notable departures: WR Darnell Mooney; S Eddie Jackson; OL Cody Whitehair; DT Justin Jones

The Bears saved their most significant transaction for late in the week. On Thursday, Chicago traded for Los Angeles Chargers WR Keenan Allen, adding the six-time Pro Bowler in exchange for a fourth-round pick (No. 110).

Allen turns 32 next month and has had trouble staying healthy. He missed seven games with a hamstring strain in 2022 before shoulder and heel issues sidelined him in 2023. Allen isn’t cheap, either: Chicago is currently due to pay him $23.1 million this season, barring a contract restructure.

The price and risk are high — but so is the upside.

Despite missing time, Allen still ranked 12th in the league with 1,243 receiving yards. He finished with 2.36 yards per route run, the 10th-best in the league and his best mark since 2017. Potentially a perfect complement for incumbent Bears WR D.J. Moore, Allen could become a frequent over-the-middle option for Caleb Williams in 2024.

MORE: Best Remaining Free Agents After League Year Begins

The Bears had no choice but to extend Johnson after how dominant he was in coverage last season. Chicago got a surprisingly good deal, keeping the second-team All-Pro CB under $20 million annually while crafting a four-year contract that’s really more of a two-year deal upon closer inspection.

Signing a veteran like Byard to play alongside third-year safety Jaquan Brisker makes sense, as does adding interior line options. But the Bears’ decision to give Swift $14 million guaranteed, despite the presence of Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson and a deep free agent RB market, was puzzling.

Grade: A-

Cincinnati Bengals

Notable signings: WR Tee Higgins (franchise tag); RB Zack Moss; TE Mike Gesicki; DT Sheldon Rankins; S Vonn Bell; S Geno Stone

Notable departures: RB Joe Mixon (trade); OT Jonah Williams; DT DJ Reader; CB Chidobe Awuzie

The Bengals could still trade Higgins, but he looks likely to play out the 2024 campaign on the tag. Moss should be the thunder to Chase Brown’s lighting, while Gesicki could become a de facto replacement for FA slot receiver Tyler Boyd.

Getting a seventh-round pick for Mixon, who was about to be cut, represents a win. Rankins, Bell, and Stone fill major gaps for a Cincinnati defense that ranked dead last in yards per play allowed last year. The Bengals still need a right tackle and nose tackle, but they’ve made the right moves so far.

Grade: A-

Cleveland Browns

Notable signings: WR Jerry Jeudy (trade); QB Jameis Winston; EDGE Za’Darius Smith; LB Jordan Hicks

Notable departures: QB Joe Flacco; DT Jordan Elliott; LB Anthony Walker

Moving from Flacco to Winston as Deshaun Watson’s backup is an upgrade. Watson dealt with myriad injury issues in 2023, ultimately missing 11 games, so there’s a chance Winston will see playing time and cash in on his incentives.

Jeudy has never lived up to his draft stock, but the Browns only gave up a pair of late-round picks to grab him from the Denver Broncos. Cleveland has taken a volume approach at wide receiver, acquiring Amari Cooper and Elijah Moore via trade while taking mid-round draft shots on players like Cedric Tillman.

Grade: B

Dallas Cowboys

Notable signings: LB Eric Kendricks; CB Jourdan Lewis

Notable departures: RB Tony Pollard; C Tyler Biadasz; EDGE Dorance Armstong

Jerry Jones and the Cowboys won’t have the cap space to make many free agent moves unless they work out new deals with QB Dak Prescott and WR CeeDee Lamb. Barring extensions for those cornerstones, Dallas will continue picking around free agency’s edges.

Grade: D+

Denver Broncos

Notable signings: S Brandon Jones; DT Malcolm Roach; K Wil Lutz

Notable departures: QB Russell Wilson; WR Jerry Jeudy (trade); S Justin Simmons; C Lloyd Cushenberry; LB Josey Jewell

With no cap space to work with, Denver probably deserves an incomplete. It’s not Sean Payton’s fault that Wilson’s dead money will hinder the Broncos’ finances for the next two seasons.

Giving Jones $6.7 million per year didn’t make much sense. He’s a talented player when healthy, but he missed most of 2022 before losing playing time in Vic Fangios’s 2023 Miami Dolphins defense. Why was Jones the choice, at this price point, in a robust FA safety market?

Grade: D+

Detroit Lions

Notable signings: CB Carlton Davis (trade); DT D.J. Reader; G Graham Glasgow; EDGE Marcus Davenport; CB Amik Robertson

Notable departures: G Jonah Jackson; S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson

Acquiring Davis and signing Robertson should give the Lions the cornerback depth they needed last season and may allow incumbent Cam Sutton to spend more time in the slot, where he thrived for the Pittsburgh Steelers before signing in Detroit last year.

Reader should work as a complement with DT Alim McNeil, although Reader’s age and torn quad tendon recovery remain potential issues.

Grade: B+

Green Bay Packers

Notable signings: RB Josh Jacobs; S Xavier McKinney; CB Keisean Nixon; RB AJ Dillon

Notable departures: RB Aaron Jones; OT David Bakhtiari; G Jon Runyan; LB De’Vondre Campbell; S Darnell Savage

Jacobs might not return to the first-team All-Pro he was with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2022, but he should be better than he was in 2023. Losing Jones hurts, but the Packers understandably preferred to roll with the younger Jacobs.

Few teams had a more glaring offseason weakness than the Packers did at safety. McKinney was the best non-franchise-tagged safety on the market. Some things just make sense.

Grade: B+

Houston Texans

Notable signings: RB Joe Mixon (trade); TE Dalton Schultz; EDGE Danielle Hunter; EDGE Denico Autry; LB Azeez Al-Shaair; CB Jeff Okudah; DT Tim Settle

Notable departures: EDGE Jonathan Greenard; LB Blake Cashman; RB Devin Singletary; DT Sheldon Rankins; DT Maliek Collins (trade); OT George Fant

Schultz was far and away the most impactful free agent TE on the market, so to re-sign him to an affordable deal before free agency even began was a solid move by Texans general manager Nick Caserio.

MORE: NFL Free Agency Winners and Losers

Hunter is Houston’s largest free agent prize and should force a terrifying pass-rush duo with reigning Rookie of the Year Will Anderson Jr. Head coach DeMeco Ryans knows Al-Shaair from their time with the San Francisco 49ers, while Okudah — a former No. 3 overall pick — is a worthwhile upside gamble.

Trading a seventh-round pick for Mixon was a shrewd transaction. But giving him a three-year, $27 million extension with $13 million guaranteed drops the Texans’ grade from an A to an A-.

Grade: A-

Indianapolis Colts

Notable signings: WR Michael Pittman Jr.; QB Joe Flacco; CB Kenny Moore II; LB Zaire Franklin

Notable departures: QB Gardner Minshew; RB Zack Moss

Extending Pittman was a no-brainer for the Colts. Keeping Moore, Stewart, and Franklin also made sense. But will Indy ever get more aggressive in free agency?

The Colts could arguably use another wide receiver, tight end, pass rusher, cornerback, and safety. There is no shortage of holes on this roster, but GM Chris Ballard’s only external signing was Flacco, a quarterback whose play style doesn’t fit that of Indy’s starter.

Grade: C-

Jacksonville Jaguars

Notable signings: EDGE Josh Allen (franchise tag); DT Arik Armstead; WR Gabe Davis; QB Mac Jones (trade); C Mitch Morse; G Ezra Cleveland; CB Ronald Darby; S Darnell Savage Jr.

Notable departures: WR Calvin Ridley; CB Darious Williams; S Rayshawn Jenkins

An alternative Jacksonville offseason path should have seen the Jaguars work out an extension with Allen, allowing them to use their franchise tag to keep Ridley around for another season.

That didn’t happen, but many of Jacksonville’s moves made sense individually. Jones flashed as a rookie and only cost a sixth-round pick. Morse (two years, $10.5 million) allows the Jags to replace Luke Fortner. Darby could make for a cheap starter at two years and $8.5 million.

Yet, Jacksonville’s roster-building strategies often seem so meandering that it’s challenging to understand what direction the front office feels it’s taking the club. This iteration of the Jaguars can compete in the AFC South — but what’s the long-term vision?

Grade: B

Kansas City Chiefs

Notable signings: CB L’Jarius Sneed (franchise tag); DT Chris Jones; WR Hollywood Brown; LB Drue Tranquill

Notable departures: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling; G Nick Allegretti; LB Willie Gay Jr.

Jones’ contract now outpaces that of Aaron Donald, but the Chiefs had no other choice but to bring back one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the game, especially given how much the NFL salary cap increased this offseason.

Sneed has received trade interest around the league and seems likely to be moved. Kansas City has done such an outstanding job of drafting and developing defensive backs that it’s probably wise to get something in return for Sneed rather than sign him to a new deal.

The Chiefs saved their coup de grâce for Thursday, landing Brown on a one-year deal with a base value of just $7 million. The former Cardinals WR can earn up to $11 million incentives, but it’s a steal of a deal either way for Kansas City, which needed to add another option to Patrick Mahomes’ receiving corps this offseason.

The negatives? Brown can be inconsistent and has been saddled by injuries throughout the year.

The positives? He’s still only 26 years old, has demonstrated game-breaking explosive ability, and will have a salary that ranks just 36th among wide receivers, right in between Kendrick Bourne and Robert Woods.

Grade: A

Las Vegas Raiders

Notable signings: DT Christian Wilkins; QB Gardner Minshew; C Andre James

Notable departures: QB Jimmy Garoppolo; RB Josh Jacobs; WR Hunter Renfrow; TE Austin Hooper; OL Jermaine Eluemunor

Wilkins is an excellent interior defender, but he’s not on the level of Donald, Jones, or even Quinnen Williams or Dexter Lawrence. He’s also already 28 years old. The Raiders desperately needed defensive tackle reinforcements, but they may regret paying the very-good-but-not-elite Wilkins at the top of the market.

Grade: C-

Los Angeles Chargers

Notable signings: RB Gus Edwards; S Alohi Gilman; TE Will Dissly; TE Hayden Hurst

Notable departures: WR Keenan Allen (trade); WR Mike Williams; RB Austin Ekeler; TE Gerald Everett; LB Eric Kendricks; LB Kenneth Murray

The Chargers had to fight tooth-and-nail just to become cap-compliant by the start of the league year, trading Allen, cutting Williams, and agreeing to revised contracts with edge rushers Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa by EOD Thursday.

Biting the bullet and eating their salary cap vegetables in 2024 with an eye toward a fresh start in 2025 was probably the right decision for the Jim Harbaugh-led Chargers, even if it means essentially wasting a season of Justin Herbert’s career.

Grade: C+

Los Angeles Rams

Notable signings: G Kevin Dotson; G Jonah Jackson; S Kamren Curl; TE Colby Parkinson; CB Darious Williams; WR Demarcus Robinson

Notable departures: C Coleman Shelton

The Rams gave up pennies on the dollar to acquire Dotson from the Pittsburgh Steelers last offseason. Giving him an extension at $16 million annually might seem like the wrong move, but fellow guard Robert Hunt got $20 million on the open market.

Sean McVay needs high-end guard play and tight ends who can block in his revamped Los Angeles offense, and Dotson, Jackson, and Parkinson give him that.

Don’t discount Williams, who thrived after moving back to the perimeter in Jacksonville and already enjoyed a productive run with the Rams from 2018 to 2021. Curl is an even higher upside option in the Rams’ secondary, and a moderately priced one (two years, up to $13 million) at that.

Grade: B+

Miami Dolphins

Notable signings: CB Kendall Fuller; EDGE Shaquil Barrett; S Jordan Poyer; TE Jonnu Smith; C Aaron Brewer

Notable departures: DT Christian Wilkins; CB Xavien Howard; G Robert Hunt; EDGE Andrew Van Ginkel; EDGE Emmanuel Ogbah; LB Jerome Baker; S Brandon Jones

The Dolphins made the most of their poor cap situation, signing arguably the best bargain free agent in Fuller, who landed only a two-year, $16.5 million deal. Barrett is an affordable third edge rusher, and Brewer’s mobility should fit Mike McDaniels’ offense perfectly.

MORE: Will New Dolphins DB Go From Bills Castoff to Buffalo Slayer?

Still, Wilkins represents a significant loss. Miami shouldn’t have necessarily done anything differently with his contract, but it still stings to watch a player you drafted in the first round land a mega-deal elsewhere. Although Hunt may have been overpaid as well, he’ll still be difficult to replace.

Grade: B-

Minnesota Vikings

Notable signings: QB Sam Darnold; RB Aaron Jones; EDGE Jonathan Greenard; EDGE Andrew Van Ginkel; LB Blake Cashman

Notable departures: QB Kirk Cousins; EDGE Danielle Hunter; EDGE D.J. Wonnum; EDGE Marcus Davenport; RB Alexander Mattison; LB Jordan Hicks

Going from Cousins to Darnold is a steep downgrade, even if letting the older quarterback walk might’ve been the right call for the Vikings. Darnold is now in the best offensive environment of his career, but he’s shown little to make us believe he can capitalize.

Adding an ascending edge rusher like Greenard is right up the analytically-minded Minnesota front office’s alley. Van Ginkel has already thrived in Brlian Flores’ defense, while Cashman — a good blitzer — might too.

But the specter of Darnold and the potential necessity of trading up for a rookie QB drags down the Vikings’ grade.

Grade: C+

New England Patriots

Notable signings: S Kyle Dugger (transition tag); OL Mike Onwenu; QB Jacoby Brissett; WR Kendrick Bourne; TE Hunter Henry; TE Austin Hooper; EDGE Josh Uche; RB Antonio Gibson

Notable departures: QB Mac Jones (trade); TE Mike Gesicki; LB Mack Wilson; CB Jalen Mills

We would have liked to have seen the Patriots find more exciting offensive options than Bourne and Henry, who are reliable but hardly explosive pass catchers for what will presumably be a rookie quarterback.

Re-signing Onwenu at less than $20 million per year was a great move, especially given his high floor and positional flexibility. Brissett should be the perfect caretaker if New England doesn’t want to start a first-year signal-caller immediately.

Grade: B+

New Orleans Saints

Notable signings: LB Willie Gay Jr.

Notable departures: QB Jameis Winston; S Marcus Maye; DT Malcolm Roach

Like the Bills, the Saints’ poor salary-cap management put them in a place where they’ve had to essentially sit out the free agent market. There’s little to grade here, but Gay was an effective linebacker for the Chiefs.

Grade: D

New York Giants

Notable signings: EDGE Brian Burns (trade); RB Devin Singletary; QB Drew Lock; G Jon Runyan Jr.; OL Jermaine Eluemunor

Notable departures: RB Saquon Barkley; S Xavier McKinney; QB Tyrod Taylor; DT A’Shawn Robinson; G Mark Glowinski

Players like Burns are rarely available, so landing him for a package centered around a second-round pick is outstanding, even if the Giants had to extend him at market rate.

Runyan and Eluemunor are reliable offensive linemen who can offer a high floor, which is precisely what New York’s beleaguered front five needs. Big Blue didn’t overpay to retain Barkley or McKinney at non-premium positions.

Grade: A

New York Jets

Notable signings: QB Tyrod Taylor; OT Morgan Moses (trade); G John Simpson; DT Javon Kinlaw

Notable departures: EDGE Bryce Huff; S Jordan Whitehead; OL Laken Tomlinson

Landing Moses and Simpson — both former Ravens — gives the Jets a dose of reliability and upside along their offensive line at inexpensive rates. Kinlaw, a former first-round pick with experience in a Robert Saleh-like defense, is a worthwhile risk at $7 million.

Huff is a tough loss, given his dominant pressure rates. But he’s never played a full complement of snaps, and New York has the defensive line depth to replace him.

Grade: B

Philadelphia Eagles

Notable signings: RB Saquon Barkley; EDGE Bryce Huff; EDGE Brandon Graham; S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson

Notable departures: RB D’Andre Swift; S Kevin Byard; QB Marcus Mariota; CB Avonte Maddox; LB Nicholas Morrow

We’re not sure why Eagles GM Howie Roseman changed his tune on running backs this offseason. Philadelphia rarely devoted substantial resources to its backfield until giving Barkley a three-year, $37.75 million deal ($26 million guaranteed) this week. The Eagles have the NFL’s best offensive line and shouldn’t be spending exorbitantly at RB.

MORE: What Did Saquon Barkley Have To Say About Giants Fans at His First Eagles Press Conference?

Gardner-Johnson should be a welcome addition to the Eagles’ worrisome secondary, but his price makes little sense. CJGJ got one year and $8 million from the Lions last year. He missed almost the entire season with a pectoral injury and struggled upon his return, yet somehow re-signed in Philadelphia for three years and $27 million.

Grade: C+

Pittsburgh Steelers

Notable signings: QB Russell Wilson; LB Patrick Queen; CB Donte Jackson (trade)

Notable departures: WR Diontae Johnson (trade); CB Patrick Peterson; WR Allen Robinson; C Mason Cole; OT Chukwuma Okorafor; QB Mason Rudolph; QB Mitchell Trubisky

Wilson, on a league-minimum salary, is good value, but will he move the needle for the Steelers? The same goes for Queen, who signed for less than expected but has rarely been productive unless playing alongside All-Pro LB Roquan Smith.

Jackson is a good cornerback, but he was a release candidate. Giving up Johnson and a pick swap for a marginal CB upgrade was a mistake.

Grade: C

San Francisco 49ers

Notable signings: EDGE Leonard Floyd; EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos; DT Maliek Collins (trade); DT Jordan Elliott

Notable departures: DT Arik Armstead; QB Sam Darnold; EDGE Clelin Ferrell

Nearly all of the 49ers’ work — gains and losses — has come along the defensive line. Armstead was still productive last season, and San Francisco might find replacing him with a Collins-Elliott combination difficult.

If anyone can get it done, it’s 49ers DL coach Kris Kocurek, who is arguably the best at his job in the NFL. Watching Floyd — who’s posted at least nine sacks and 18 QB hits in four consecutive seasons — under Kocurek’s direction should be fun.

Grade: B

Seattle Seahawks

Notable signings: QB Sam Howell (trade); DT Leonard Williams; TE Noah Fant; S Rayshawn Jenkins

Notable departures: LB Jordyn Brooks; LB Bobby Wagner; G Damien Lewis; TE Colby Parkinson; TE Will Dissly; QB Drew Lock; S Quandre Diggs; S Jamal Adams

Williams is a consistent player but never seems to make the splashy plays that a $21.5 million per year defender typically does. Howell is interesting enough to take a chance on but shouldn’t be considered Seattle’s quarterback of the future.

Grade: C

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Notable signings: QB Baker Mayfield; WR Mike Evans; S Antoine Winfield Jr. (franchise tag); LB Lavonte David; S Jordan Whitehead

Notable departures: CB Carlton Davis (trade); EDGE Shaquil Barrett

The Buccaneers will return most of the same team after winning the NFC South and advancing to the Divisional Round last season.

Mayfield’s three-year, $100 million extension gives the Buccaneers a potential exit after Year 1 but also rewards Mayfield for his outstanding 2023 campaign. Evans (two years, $41 million) also received a fair value, allowing him to stick with the only team he’s ever known.

A Winfield extension is probably the next item on Tampa Bay’s docket. He’ll line up next season alongside Whitehead, a familiar face who began his career with the Bucs and signed for far less than expected ($4.5 million AAV).

Grade: A

Tennessee Titans

Notable signings: WR Calvin Ridley; RB Tony Pollard; C Lloyd Cushenberry; CB Chidobe Awuzie; LB Kenneth Murray; QB Mason Rudolph

Notable departures: RB Derrick Henry; C Aaron Brewer; EDGE Denico Autry; LB Azeez Al-Shaair; CB Sean Murphy-Bunting

Ridley’s new $23 million salary is eye-popping, and Pollard probably didn’t play well enough to warrant a three-year, $21.75 million deal.

But don’t we always want teams to spend around young quarterbacks like the Titans’ Will Levis, if only to get an answer on their ability? With Ridley, Pollard, DeAndre Hopkins, TE Chig Okonkwo, and a (hopefully) improved, Cushenberry-led offensive line, Levis won’t have any excuses.

Grade: B

Washington Commanders

Notable signings: RB Austin Ekeler; LB Frankie Luvu; LB Bobby Wagner; EDGE Dorance Armstrong; C Tyler Biadasz; G Nick Allegretti; QB Marcus Mariota; TE Zach Ertz; S Jeremy Chinn

Notable departures: QB Sam Howell (trade); QB Jacoby Brissett; CB Kendall Fuller; OT Charles Leno; TE Logan Thomas; RB Antonio Gibson

The Commanders’ roster had been so depleted in recent years that adding competent, NFL-caliber players would represent a noticeable upgrade. In many cases, Washinton opted for familiarity, reuniting new head coach Dan Quinn with players like Wagner, Armstrong, and Biadiasz.

KEEP READING: 2024 NFL Free Agents by Position

Luvu’s prowess as a blitzer makes him one of the best scheme-talent fits of free agency. Mariota might suggest the Commanders are leaning toward another mobile quarterback — LSU’s Jayden Daniels — with the No. 2 pick in the coming draft. Getting draft capital for Howell after he led the NFL in sack and interception rates is a win.

Grade: A

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