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

Who are the top 2024 NFL free agents available at each position? Kirk Cousins, Saquon Barkley, and Mike Evans are among the best players hitting the market.

The 2024 NFL offseason has officially begun, and free agency is just around the corner. The market will open when the new league year starts on March 13. The legal tampering period — during which agents can discuss contracts with teams but cannot finalize deals — will begin 48 hours earlier on March 11.

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.

Now that the 2023 NFL season has come to an end, make sure to check out PFN’s entire list of the Top 100 Free Agents available this offseason.

2024 NFL Free Agents by Position | Offense

Quarterback

Although starting-caliber quarterbacks rarely reach free agency, Kirk Cousins will be available. His Achilles injury might reduce his market value, and he may simply re-sign with the Minnesota Vikings, but Cousins will be the best QB on the market.

Cousins and Baker Mayfield could both land multi-year contracts this offseason. While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could franchise tag Mayfield if the two sides can’t agree on a long-term deal, Cousins’ contract structure will prevent the Vikings from assigning him the franchise tender.

Gardner Minshew and Jacoby Brissett might be able to compete for starting roles, but they’re unlikely to be handed QB1 jobs. The same goes for Joe Flacco, who appears to be trending toward departing the Cleveland Browns.

1) Kirk Cousins
2) Baker Mayfield
3) Gardner Minshew

4) Jacoby Brissett
5) Joe Flacco

6) Jameis Winston
7) Ryan Tannehill
8) Mason Rudolph

9) Sam Darnold
10) Joshua Dobbs

Running Back

After being franchise-tagged in 2023, Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, and Tony Pollard should hit the open market this offseason. But the nature of the running back position, and the wide variety of available free agent RBs, might limit that trifecta’s earning power.

Meanwhile, aging stars like Derrick Henry and Austin Ekeler will try to land another payday, preferably with a contender. Henry may have a better shot at landing a substantial pact, while Ekeler’s recent injury history could make teams wary.

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

Wide Receiver

The Cincinnati Bengals will likely franchise Tee Higgins, retaining him for one year and $20 million as they make another Super Bowl run. Michael Pittman Jr. also seems like a lock for the franchise tag, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could take the same route with Mike Evans.

Calvin Ridley won’t be tagged because the Jacksonville Jaguars have to use their tender on pass rusher Josh Allen. As such, Ridley may end up as the most productive wide receiver on the market this offseason.

1) Tee Higgins
2) Mike Evans
3)
Michael Pittman Jr.
4) Calvin Ridley
5) Marquise Brown
6) Darnell Mooney

7) Gabe Davis
8) Curtis Samuel
9) Odell Beckham Jr.

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 this offseason after a productive campaign catching passes from C.J. Stroud.

MORE: What Is the NFL Franchise Tag and How Does It Work?

The Seattle Seahawks’ 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. Other FA options like Hunter Henry, Mike Gesicki, and Gerald Everett come with concerns about age, injuries, or production and will probably have to settle for one-year contracts.

1) Dalton Schultz
2) Noah Fant
3) Hunter Henry
4) Mike Gesicki
5) Gerald Everett
6) Colby Parkinson

7) Adam Trautman
8) Harrison Bryant
9) Tanner Hudson
10) Austin Hooper

Offensive Tackle

Mike Onwenu and Jonah Williams should grab multi-year deals as free agents, but the rest of the offensive tackle class is a question mark. Mekhi Becton is physically talented but comes with health and motivation questions, while Tyron Smith, Trent Brown, and Donovan Smith have their own injury and age issues.

Offensive tackle is such a critical position that many OTs with potential concerns could find considerable contracts waiting in free agency.

1) Mike Onwenu
2) Jonah Williams
3) Tyron Smith
4) Mehki Becton

5) Trent Brown
6) Donovan Smith

7) Yosh Nijman
8) George Fant

9) Jermaine Eluemunor
10) Josh Jones

Interior Offensive Line

The free agent interior offensive line group might be the weakest position among the 2024 class.

Still, starting-quality options like Jonah Jackson and Lloyd Cushenberry will find a market for their services. Robert Hunt has the highest upside of any FA interior offensive lineman, while Kevin Zeitler might rank No. 1 among guards if not for his age (34 in March).

1) Robert Hunt
2) Kevin Dotson
3) Connor Williams
4) Lloyd Cushenberry
5) Jonah Jackson
6) Kevin Zeitler
7) Andre James
8) Ezra Cleveland
9) Tyler Biadasz
10) Dalton Risner

2024 NFL Free Agents by Position | Defense

Defensive Line

Chris Jones tried to work out an extension with the Kansas City Chiefs over the summer before eventually acquiescing in negotiations. He could be franchise-tagged this offseason, but it would cost the Chiefs more than $30 million.

The franchise tag is an option for Christian Wilkins and Justin Madubuike, as well. However, the Miami Dolphins have serious salary cap constraints, which could force them to tag and trade Wilkins.

DJ Reader might’ve been in line for $15 million annually had he not suffered a torn quad tendon in December. Veteran Fletcher Cox hasn’t decided if he wants to continue his NFL career. Grover Stewart is a dominant run defender but is coming off a six-game PED suspension.

1) Chris Jones
2) Christian Wilkins
3) Justin Madubuike
4) Leonard Williams
5) DJ Reader
6) Fletcher Cox

7) Grover Stewart
8) Denico Autry
9) Sheldon Rankins
10) Javon Kinlaw

EDGE

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

Chase Young couldn’t keep up his dominant performance after being traded to the San Francisco 49ers, but his youth and draft billing could still get him paid. Danielle Hunter is aging but finished with a career-high 16.5 sacks in 2023 and could make sense for a contender.

Will the New York Jets re-sign Bryce Huff? He’s always near the top of the NFL’s pressure rate leaderboards, but he’s never played more than 500 snaps in a season. Meanwhile, the Houston Texans could consider tagging Jonathan Greenard, retaining the pass rusher alongside reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson Jr.

1) Josh Allen
2) Brian Burns

3) Chase Young
4) Danielle Hunter

5) Bryce Huff
6) Jonathan Greenard
7) Jadeveon Clowney
8) Za’Darius Smith

9) Josh Uche
10) Andrew Van Ginkel

Linebacker

This year’s 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 may end up garnering 2024’s largest free agent LB contract.

1) Frankie Luvu
2) Patrick Queen
3) Lavonte David
4) Jordyn Brooks
5) Willie Gay Jr.
6) Drue Tranquill
7) Bobby Wagner
8) Tyrel Dodson
9) Blake Cashman
10) Devin White

Cornerback

The Chicago Bears held onto Jaylon Johnson despite receiving ample interest at the trade deadline and now seem likely to either extend or franchise the 24-year-old corner ahead of free agency.

In that case, L’Jarius Sneed might become the top CB on the market after developing into a shutdown defender in 2024. But he’s a franchise tag candidate as well, assuming the Chiefs don’t use their tender on Chris Jones.

1) Jaylon Johnson
2) L’Jarius Sneed
3) Kendall Fuller
4) Chidobe Awuzie
5) Stephon Gilmore
6) Xavien Howard

7) Kenny Moore
8) Steven Nelson
9) Jeff Okudah

10) Sean Murphy-Bunting

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 backend 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) Xavier McKinney
3) Kamren Curl
4) Kyle Dugger

5) Geno Stone
6) Julian Blackmon
7) Jordan Whitehead
8) Jordan Fuller

9) Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
10) Alohi Gilman

KEEP READING: 2024 NFL Franchise Tag Candidates

Miss football? The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here, boss. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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