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    Who Is Under the Most Pressure Entering 2024? 1 Player on the Hot Seat for Every NFL Team

    Every NFL team has that one player facing the most pressure, and here's who comprises the 2024 list of guys on the hot seat.

    While every NFL team enters each season optimistic about their rosters from top to bottom, there’s always one player who’s facing the most pressure ahead of the upcoming campaign.

    Ahead of 2024, the list of players here are facing one of the following: Returning from a season-ending injury, entering a contract year, or needing a breakout campaign to guarantee they have a future in the league.

    Here’s the list of who’s facing the most pressure ahead of the 2024 season.

    NFL Players Under the Most Pressure This Season

    Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, Quarterback

    Murray can breathe a sigh of relief knowing head coach Jonathan Gannon has his back for the upcoming year, and by getting Marvin Harrison Jr. to throw to via the NFL Draft.

    However, Murray hasn’t stayed healthy the last three seasons, including not starting until Nov. 12 in 2023. This season is perfect for Murray to prove he can return to elite status with Harrison Jr. now on his side.

    Atlanta Falcons: Kirk Cousins, Quarterback

    It’s hard to imagine that a $180 million passer is on the hot seat. But Atlanta opted to take Michael Penix Jr. in the top 10 of the draft, which creates a highly-scrutinized QB situation ahead of training camp.

    Cousins is also trying to come back from his Week 8 Achilles injury.

    Baltimore Ravens: Zay Flowers, Wide Receiver

    Flowers flashed by leading the Ravens with 77 catches for 858 yards last year, but he delivered his biggest bone-headed moments at the wrong time — the AFC title game.

    Ravens fans will hope he’s learned his lesson and emerge as the team’s first 1,000-yard wide receiver since Marquise “Hollywood” Brown in 2021.

    Buffalo Bills: Khalil Shakir, Wide Receiver

    While Buffalo wisely took Keon Coleman as its first draft pick of the 2024 draft, it’s the third-year wideout Shakir facing the most pressure in the WR room.

    With Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis gone, Shakir finds himself as one of the elder wideouts in the room — and he now must build off his 39-catch, 611-yard, two-touchdown campaign of ’23.

    Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young, Quarterback

    Year 2 will either see the 2023 No. 1 pick take significant leaps or continue to crash. There’s no in-between for Young.

    The Dave Canales hire already speaks to Carolina’s emergency attempt to rejuvenate Young after a disastrous NFL debut.

    Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams, Quarterback

    Now we get into the subsequent top overall selection. Chicago is putting a lot on the line by trading for Keenan Allen, then trading away Justin Fields to clear room for the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner Williams.

    The USC star will be expected to ignite the Bears right away and prove he’s an instant upgrade at QB in the Windy City.

    Cincinnati Bengals: Tee Higgins, Wide Receiver

    Bengals fans know Higgins is a matchup problem on the field. He’s a Pro Bowl-caliber talent on the perimeter next to Ja’Marr Chase. But after signing his franchise tender, Higgins has renewed pressure to earn his next blockbuster deal, especially in this evolving WR market.

    Cleveland Browns: Deshaun Watson, Quarterback

    The Browns traded for Watson with the belief they would become a playoff team with him behind center. They went on a postseason run with Joe Flacco instead last year.

    Watson has had trouble staying healthy since agreeing to a five-year, $230 million deal. The Dawg Pound will have to hope he can finally surpass the seven-touchdown mark he’s had the last two seasons and play an entire 17-game season.

    Dallas Cowboys: Dak Prescott, Quarterback

    While this seems like an every-year scenario for Prescott, the heat underneath him is starting to crank up due to his contract situation entering camp. Plus, there are Cowboy fans growing restless about his postseason performances, as he’s yet to take Dallas to the NFC title game in his nine-season career.

    Denver Broncos: Courtland Sutton, Wide Receiver

    Fortunately for Denver, Sutton ended his holdout during minicamp. His head coach, Sean Payton, has spoken glowingly about him. However, he’s still entering a pivotal contract year in the era of mega WR deals.

    Sutton will have to top his career-best 10 touchdowns and recapture his 2019 Pro Bowl season to cash in on the growing receiver market.

    Detroit Lions: Jameson Williams, Wide Receiver

    The NFC runner-up Lions took a swing in 2022 by trading up in the draft to nab Williams. But the 12th overall pick has since underwhelmed. He only caught 24 passes last season and faces a make-or-break Year 3.

    Green Bay Packers: Eric Stokes, Cornerback

    We have our first defensive player facing the hot seat. The 29th overall pick of 2021 has started in a combined 11 games over the last two seasons. He’s also snatched just one interception across 25 total starts and hasn’t delivered a pass breakup since his rookie season.

    Oh, Stokes is in the final year of his rookie deal, too.

    Houston Texans: Stefon Diggs, Wide Receiver

    Sure, Diggs emerged as a prized trade during NFL Draft month. Plus, he comes to Houston with four Pro Bowls in tow. However, he’s on team No. 3 following his falling out with the Bills.

    MORE: One Potential Breakout Player to Watch for All 32 NFL Teams

    Diggs is even walking into a stacked WR room featuring 2023 breakout star Nico Collins and a healthy Tank Dell back for his second season. But Diggs could also become the one piece that lifts the Texans to their first-ever Super Bowl appearance as part of their aggressive offseason changes.

    Indianapolis Colts: Jonathan Taylor, Running Back

    Through camp injuries and having his name attached to the much-publicized running back value controversy, Taylor has remained in Indy. But once again, this season presents a renewed chance to prove Taylor can return to his 2021 form when he broke out for 1,811 yards.

    Jacksonville Jaguars: Gabe Davis, Wide Receiver

    Davis was nothing more than a WR2 for the Bills and showed some hot-and-cold moments. But now, the 25-year-old wideout has his first chance at stepping up as the No. 1 guy for Trevor Lawrence.

    That’s going to mean Davis needs to surpass his career-best of 48 catches in a season and produce his first 1,000-yard season post-Calvin Ridley in Jacksonville.

    Kansas City Chiefs: Wanya Morris, Offensive Tackle

    Morris is one Chiefs starter suddenly facing a nebulous future with the champs. He was among the notable offseason arrests (faced marijuana possession charges on May 17) involving the champs.

    Before that, the Chiefs selected Kingsley Suamataia in the second round at tackle. Looks like Morris needs a breakout training camp to hold off the rookie from BYU and give KC its blindside protector of the future.

    Las Vegas Raiders: Tyree Wilson, Defensive End

    Wilson received mixed reactions for landing at No. 7 in the 2023 draft, as the Raiders passed on names like Jalen Carter and Christian Gonzalez to take the Texas Tech Red Raider. Wilson responded by delivering an underwhelming 3.5 sacks in rotational duty.

    With Antonio Pierce now being given full head coaching reins, Wilson will either form a fierce edge rush trio with Maxx Crosby and Malcom Koonce or lose ground in the room.

    Los Angeles Chargers: Quentin Johnston, Wide Receiver

    Staying on the topic of underwhelming 2023 rookies, Johnston flashed in training camp but stumbled badly right after. He settled for 38 catches for 431 yards … all while Los Angeles Rams rookie Puka Nacua went from fifth-rounder to 100-catch WR nearby.

    With Allen gone and Jim Harbaugh in place, Johnston has a chance to redeem himself and show he’s grown from ’23.

    Los Angeles Rams: Tutu Atwell, Wide Receiver

    While the Rams feature an embarrassment of riches at WR, Atwell has yet to put up the production that made him the Rams’ first pick of 2021 before their Super Bowl run.

    The former second-rounder did deliver his best production in Year 3, but he’s on the final year of his rookie deal and also has Demarcus Robinson vying for WR3 duties next to Nacua and Cooper Kupp.

    Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback

    The Dolphins have seen what Tagovailoa is capable of when healthy. But even his league-leading 4,624-yard season hasn’t earned him a new contract extension as of yet. Furthermore, he’s entering Year 5 with zero playoff wins.

    Expectations have risen in South Beach, with fans now expecting Tua is the guy who can end the franchise’s skid of playoff losses.

    Minnesota Vikings: Sam Darnold, Quarterback

    Darnold has managed to stay in the league for seven seasons after being selected third overall, but he’s never stayed healthy in any of those campaigns. The Vikings, even with rookie J.J. McCarthy on board, present his fourth and potentially final NFL chance as a starting quarterback.

    New England Patriots: Jacoby Brissett, Quarterback

    Like Darnold, Brissett is walking into a franchise with a rookie passer waiting in the wings. Brissett, though, currently looks like the frontrunner for the starting role over Drake Maye.

    How much the 31-year-old quarterback can hold off the intriguing newcomer in Foxborough remains to be seen. Brissett will have to scale the .500 mark as a season starter for the first time in his career to prevent New England from rushing out Maye.

    New Orleans Saints: Derek Carr, Quarterback

    Even in the Big Easy, Carr continues to face scrutiny. He’s entering his 11th season and has no playoff wins. Plus, he doesn’t have Jameis Winston as his backup.

    But the Saints have built themselves as a playoff-or-bust team. Changes could come soon if Carr doesn’t lead New Orleans to a winnable NFC South crown and claim one playoff win.

    New York Giants: Daniel Jones, Quarterback

    Jones somehow staved off being traded or cut by the Giants. But that only means heightened pressure to perform, as he enters Year 3 of being in Brian Daboll’s offense.

    One more underachieving season could mean the Giants enter the Quinn Ewers or Shedeur Sanders sweepstakes ahead of the 2025 draft.

    New York Jets: Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback

    This has got to be Rodgers’ most high-pressured season yet in what’s been a Hall of Fame-worthy career.

    He’s 40 and coming off Achilles surgery. The Jets also made aggressive offseason moves in an effort to end their 13-year playoff dry spell. This team’s playoff and championship hopes ride on Rodgers’ health.

    Philadelphia Eagles: Cam Jurgens, Center

    As strong as Philly’s draft was, the Eagles didn’t draft a center until the sixth round. This means Cam Jurgens is first up in replacing a decorated Eagles legend in Jason Kelce.

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    If Jurgens is anywhere near Kelce’s level, this offense will dominate and show they won’t miss a beat post-Kelce.

    Pittsburgh Steelers: Russell Wilson, Quarterback

    A past Super Bowl winner may be facing his final chance to stay in the league.

    Wilson was buried in an avalanche of criticism in the Rocky Mountains. While he may be the QB1 in Steel City, he still has fellow embattled QB Justin Fields right on his tail.

    San Francisco 49ers: Drake Jackson, Defensive End

    The 49ers drafted Jackson in the second round in 2022 with the intent of giving Nick Bosa some dynamic help. Jackson has never crossed past three sacks since his selection. He also has had to settle for rotational duties with zero starts. Year three becomes the season that decides his SF future.

    Seattle Seahawks: Tre Brown, Cornerback

    The former fourth-round selection in 2021 snatched a career-best two picks last season. Brown, though, is getting buried in a CB room that has Riq Woolen and Devon Witherspoon. Artie Burns also remains in the same building.

    Lastly, Brown is in the final year of his rookie deal.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Zyon McCollum, Cornerback

    The towering 2022 fifth-rounder has a prime opportunity to overtake CB1 duties in Tampa. Super Bowl winner Carlton Davis is gone, and the third-year player looks to be first in line with Jamel Dean aging. The Bucs will be relying on McCollum in the starting lineup, so we’ll see if the 6’4″ CB can take advantage of his increased opportunity.

    Tennessee Titans: Will Levis, Quarterback

    Levis showed signs of potential in his rookie year, even taking over for a past Pro Bowler and AFC Championship Game passer in Ryan Tannehill.

    But now, Levis has a new head coach in Brian Callahan, a brand new wide receiver in Calvin Ridley, plus a backfield that has Tony Pollard replacing franchise legend Derrick Henry.

    A leap in Year 2 is needed by Levis in Nashville.

    Washington Commanders: Phidarian Mathis, Defensive Tackle

    Mathis has had limited production in his first two NFL seasons with zero sacks and just eight career tackles — not the kind of numbers expected out of a second-round selection.

    But now, Mathis has Super Bowl winner Dan Quinn on board as his head coach, with the chance to finally ignite his career.

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