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NFL free agency grades 2024: Houston Texans ace test early, Dallas Cowboys inactive

Our NFL free agency grades for the 2024 offseason are now live with a look at how every team around the league has done.

This will be updated as every major move around the league is made, starting with the legal free agent tampering period and concluding when our top free agents are off the board.

Things will change. Grades will fluctuate. It’s all about the process for these teams. The Washington Commanders, Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots had a ton of room under the NFL salary cap leading up to free agency. Teams such as the Los Angeles Chargers and Miami Dolphins were working to get under it. They will be graded on a curve.

Without further ado, here are our NFL free agency grades for the 2024 offseason.

Related: Top NFL free agents of 2024

NFL free agency grades

Arizona Cardinals (B)

  • Best move: The signing of Justin Jones gives Arizona somewhat of a consistent pass rusher on the defensive line. The veteran recorded 17 QB hits and 4.5 sacks from the defensive tackle position with the Chicago Bears last season.
  • Worst move: N/A

Atlanta Falcons (B+)

Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins
Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
  • Best move: Kirk Cousins. It’s no surprise that the Falcons were able to land the Pro Bowl quarterback on a big-money contract. He is now going to spearhead an offense with elite-level skill-position players in that of running back Bijan Robinson, wide receiver Drake London and tight end Kyle Pitts.
  • Worst move: Giving a block-first tight end in Charlie Woerner a three-year, $12 million contract didn’t seem to make much sense. Woerner has caught all of 11 passes in four NFL seasons.

Related: Updated NFL QB rankings

Baltimore Ravens (A)

  • Best move: We absolutely love the signing of Derrick Henry. The two-time NFL rushing champion now joins a backfield with reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson. All Henry has done over the past five seasons is average nearly 1,700 total yards and 14 touchdowns.
  • Worst move: It was always going to be hard for the Ravens to re-sign linebacker Patrick Queen. But letting the defensive play caller go to the division-rival Pittsburgh Steelers had to be a bitter pill for Baltimore to swallow.

Related: Impact of Derrick Henry signing on the Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills (D)

  • Best move: N/A
  • Worst move: Releasing Jordan Poyer, only to see the former Pro Bowl safety sign with the division-rival Miami Dolphins on a mere one-year, $2 million contract was baffling.

Related: Updated 2024 NFL salary cap tracker

Carolina Panthers (C-)

Brian Burns, Carolina Panthers
Credit: Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports
  • Worst move: Trading Brian Burns for a second-and-fourth-round selection was absolutely baffling. Remember, the previous brass turned down two first-round picks and change from the Los Angeles Rams for Burns ahead of the in-season 2022 NFL trade deadline.

Related: Analyzing the Carolina Panthers trading Brian Burns to the New York Giants

Chicago Bears (B)

  • Best move: D’Andre Swift is going to be a valuable addition to Chicago’s backfield. He was dynamic for the Philadelphia Eagles a season ago, going for 1,263 total yards at a clip of 4.7 yards per touch.
  • Worst move: Letting wide receiver Darnell Mooney walk for $13 million per season and only $26 million guaranted was a loss for the Bears. They need all of the weapons they can get for presumptive No. 1 pick Caleb Williams.

Related: Updated NFL trade rumors

Cincinnati Bengals (C)

  • Best move: A total of $7 million per season for a safety in Geno Stone who recorded seven interceptions a season ago is a boon. Stealing him from the division-rival Baltimore Ravens adds another layer to that.
  • Worst move: One would have thought that the Bengals could work out a new restructured contract with Pro Bowl running back Joe Mixon. After all, he is averaging nearly 1,400 total yards and 12 touchdowns over the past three seasons. Instead, they shipped him off to the Houston Texans for pennies on the dollar.

Related: Cincinnati Bengals trade Pro Bowl RB Joe Mixon to the Houston Texans

Cleveland Browns (B)

  • Best move: Acquiring talented young wide receiver Jerry Jeudy for pennies on the dollar was another win for general manager Andrew Berry. Jeudy teams up with Amari Cooper to form a pretty solid duo at this position.
  • Worst move: We’re not sure what the point was in replacing Joe Flacco with Jameis Winston as QB2 behind the injury-plagued Deshaun Watson. Winston has started all of 10 games over the past four seasons.

Dallas Cowboys (Incomplete)

  • Best move: N/A
  • Worst move: N/A

Denver Broncos (D)

Russell Wilson
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
  • Best move: N/A
  • Worst move: Releasing Russell Wilson came with an absurd total dead cap hit of $85 million over the next two years. Yes, he was designated a post-June 1 cut. But that’s not going to help the Broncos short-term. It really does seem like head coach Sean Payton let ego get involved when he benched and, subsequently, released Wilson. It’s going to have long-term ramifications in Denver. It also has them a tick below in our NFL free agency grades.

Related: Ideal Russell Wilson landing spots in NFL free agency

Detroit Lions (C)

  • Best move: Acquiring a starter-caliber cornerback in Carlton Davis for pennies on the dollar was absolutely a win for general manager Brad Holmes and Co. Detroit hopes he returns to 2022 form (55.9% completion, 82.8 QB rating when targeted).
  • Worst move: A total of $17 million per season seemed to be a lot to pay guard Jonah Jackson. But the Los Angeles Rams were willing to pay that up. In the process, Detroit loses one of its top offensive linemen in front of Jared Goff.

Green Bay Packers (A-)

  • Best move: Green Bay has had major issues at safety in recent years. They rectified that by signing stud youngster Xavier McKinney away from the New York Giants. He recorded three interceptions and yielded a mere 69.8 QB rating when targeted last season.
  • Worst move: Is Josh Jacobs an upgrade over Aaron Jones? Well, it’s all about what iteration of the running back we’re talking about. Jacobs won the NFL rushing title in 2022, only to struggle this past season in Vegas. This seems to be a lateral move for the Pack.

Related: Analyzing the Green Bay Packers signing of Josh Jacobs

Houston Texans (A+)

Minnesota Vikings' Danielle Hunter
Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
  • Best move: Danielle Hunter teaming up with reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson Jr. out on the edge in Houston? Head coach DeMeco Ryans is going to have an absolute field day with that duo. Hunter led the NFL with 23 tackles for loss while recording 16.5 sacks in 2023.
  • Worst move: N/A

Indianapolis Colts (A)

  • Best move: Re-signing one of the best slot corners in the NFL in that of Kenny Moore at $10 million per season is an absolute win for the Colts. He’s recorded 11 interceptions over the course of the past three seasons.
  • Worst move: N/A

Jacksonville Jaguars (C)

Jacksonville Jaguars' Josh Allen
[Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union] Credit: Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Unio / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Best move: Still only 24, Gabe Davis provides Lawrence with a true weapon to take the top off defenses. The former Buffalo Bills star averaged 16.6 yards per reception with seven touchdowns a season ago.
  • Worst move: Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke had every opportunity to sign Josh Allen to a long-term contract. Instead, the team had to place the franchise tag on him. That enables Calvin Ridley to hit the open market. Trevor Lawrence now faces the real possibility of losing his favorite target. If Jacksonville thinks Lawrence is the franchise guy, why not give him everything to succeed? This made no sense.

Related: Highest-paid NFL players of 2024

Kansas City Chiefs (Incomplete)

  • Best move: N/A
  • Worst move: N/A

Las Vegas Raiders (A-)

  • Worst move: Gardner Minshew at $12.5 million annually with $15 million guaranteed at signing? That’s a lot to pay for a veteran journeyman who might not be the starter depending on what happens in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Los Angeles Chargers (Incomplete)

  • Best move: N/A
  • Worst move: N/A

Related: Top Los Angeles Chargers free agent targets

Los Angeles Rams (A+)

  • Best move: Getting cornerback Darious Williams at a mere $7.5 million per season is a major steal for the Rams. It has them acing our NFL free agency grades thus far. Williams recorded 19 passes defended and four interceptions while yielding a mere 63.9 QB rating when targeted a season ago.
  • Worst move: N/A

Related: Top Los Angeles Rams free agent targets

Miami Dolphins (C)

Xavien Howard
Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
  • Best move: Signing former Pro Bowl safety Jordan Poyer to a mere one-year, $2 million contract was absolutely a win for the Dolphins. He’ll slot in as a starter next to the studly Jevon Holland moving forward.
  • Worst move: Miami’s decision not to place the franchise tag on star defensive lineman Christian Wilkins caught a lot of people by surprise. He’s elite rushing the passer and stopping the run. For a team that fancies itself as a Super Bowl contender, the trenches are going to be a major concern moving forward. It has the Dolphins with an early fail in our NFL free agency grades.

Minnesota Vikings (C)

  • Worst move: We’re not going to blame Minnesota for failing to dole out the cash to re-sign Cousins. However, giving former first-round bust Sam Darnold $8.75 million guaranteed made no sense. Why didn’t the Vikings go after Justin Fields or Mac Jones on the NFL trade block instead?

Related: Justin Fields could be on Minnesota Vikings radar this offseason

New England Patriots (A)

  • Best move: What an absolute steal. Re-signing EDGE guy Josh Uche on a one-year, $3 million deal was a coup for the Patriots. Still only 25, he recorded 11.5 sacks for the Patriots back in 2022.
  • Worst move: N/A

New Orleans Saints (Incomplete)

  • Best move: N/A
  • Worst moves: N/A

New York Giants (B)

  • Best move: The trade for star edge rusher Brian Burns helps New York a lot in our NFL free agency grades. Acquiring him from the Carolina Panthers without having to add a first-round pick brings this to a whole new level.
  • Worst move: Not re-signing Saquon Barkley is one thing. Letting stud safety Xavier McKinney leave in free agency is another thing. The Giants need core pieces. McKinney has proven to be that. Why not dole out the cash? Just doesn’t make sense.

New York Jets (C+)

  • Best move: Acquiring starting right tackle Morgan Moses from the Baltimore Ravens impacts our NFL free agency grades for the Jets. He’s been a full-time starter since entering the league back in 2014 and will provide Aaron Rodgers more protection out on the edge.
  • Worst move: Giving defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw nearly $7 million guaranteed over one season was an overpay for the Jets. The former San Francisco 49ers first-round pick has recorded all of five sacks in four NFL seasons.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order

Philadelphia Eagles (A)

  • Best move: Saquon Barkley and Jalen Hurts in the same backfield? You just can’t make this up. Stealing the Pro Bowler from the division-rival New York Giants adds another layer to this. Barkley, 27, is averaging north of 1,200 total yards and eight touchdowns throughout his career.
  • Worst move: Is Bryce Huff good? Yes. He’s also young at the age of 25 and is coming off a 10-sack performance. Though, handing the one-year wonder an average of $17 million per season seems to be an overpay.

Pittsburgh Steelers (B)

  • Best move: Patrick Queen. Getting a quarterback on the defensive side of the ball who is coming off his first All-Pro season is a win. Stealing him from the division-rival Baltimore Ravens adds another layer to that.
  • Worst move: Most believed Pittsburgh could have gotten more for wide receiver Diontae Johnson in a trade with the Carolina Panthers. Instead, they swap out late-round picks with struggling cornerback Donte Johnson heading back to the Steelers.

Related: Updated NFL trade tracker with grades

San Francisco 49ers (B-)

  • Best move: With Dre Greenlaw recovering from a ruptured Achilles’, signing former All-Pro Eric Kendricks on a one-year contract with a boon for the defending NFC champions. Kendricks boasted the seventh-best missed tackle percentage among linebackers a season ago.
  • Worst move: Releasing Arik Armstead creates a major void on the interior of the 49ers’ offensive line. It’s one of the reasons we have to downgrade them in our NFL free agency grades. No, signing Jordan Elliott doesn’t change matters here.

Seattle Seahawks (B)

Seattle Seahawks' Jamal Adams
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
  • Best move: Re-signing defensive lineman Leonard Williams was a necessity after what Seattle gave up for him during the in-season NFL trade deadline. Even at $21.5 million a year, he’s a steal. He’ll anchor the Seahawks’ defensive line for years to come.
  • Worst move: Re-signing tight end Noah Fant at $10.5 million per season seemed to be an overpay. The former Denver Broncos first-round pick recorded just 32 receptions in 17 games last year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (A)

  • Best move: The re-signing of Baker Mayfield. Tampa Bay knew it had to get this done. The former No. 1 pick is coming off a career-best season that saw him throw for 4,044 yards with 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions en route to leading Tampa to a surprising playoff appearance.
  • Worst move: N/A

Tennessee Titans (B-)

  • Best move: The Tony Pollard signing will be huge for young quarterback Will Levis moving forward. Over the course of his final two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, the former Pro Bowler averaged north of 1,300 total yards with nine touchdowns.
  • Worst move: Letting Azeez Al-Shaair walk to the division-rival Houston Texans. This impacts our NFL free agency grades for the Titans. Last season saw the veteran record 163 tackles while yielding less than 300 yards in coverage. Kenneth Murray is not a suitable replacement.

Washington Commanders (A+)

  • Best move: Regardless of who is under center as QB1 for the Commanders next season, adding dual-threat running back Austin Ekeler to the mix was an absolute boon. He’s averaging 75 receptions over the past five seasons.
  • Worst move: N/A
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