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NFL free agency predictions 2024: Projected landing spots for top players, including Chris Jones and Kirk Cousins

NFL free agency predictions 2024
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While the 2023 National Football League season is over, the 2024 NFL offseason calendar is underway and fans are excited for both the 2024 NFL Draft and to see where top free agents land. It’s now time for our NFL free agency predictions for the 2024 offseason.

Obviously, these are just bold predictions for 2024 NFL free agency and a lot of unexpected things will happen. As part of our exercise, we consider teams’ needs, cap space and the cost of landing elite talent.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order, picks by team

Let’s dive into our NFL free agency predictions for the 2024 offseason.

2024 NFL free agency predictions: Projected landing spots

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans
Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

As part of this exercise, we’ll start with individual projected landing spots for the top 25 NFL free agents in 2024 with breakdowns of the reasoning and contract predictions. Following that, we’ll have position-by-position NFL free agency predictions.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order, picks by team

Top 20 NFL free agent landing spot projections

1. Chris Jones, defensive tackle – Houston Texans – 4 years, $122 million

The Kansas City Chiefs will do everything in their power to keep Chris Jones and there’s a better chance than expected that they will be successful. However, money trumps everything. DeMeco Ryans’ defense would greatly benefit from having an absolute game wrecker who can create interior pressure and then kick outside on third downs to bulldoze the tackle and get to the quarterback. With Will Anderson Jr. and C.J. Stroud both just entering the second years of their rookie deals, now is the perfect time for Houston to add one of the best players in the NFL to their defense.

Related: Houston Texans mock draft 2024

2. Josh Allen, edge rusher – Jacksonville Jaguars – Franchise-tagged ($22.8 million)

Josh Allen would absolutely cash in if he’s allowed to reach NFL free agency in 2024. Considering he was essentially a one-man pass rush for the Jacksonville Jaguars last season, however, it’s extremely doubtful he gets to test the open market. Jacksonville will potentially tag him to prevent it from happening and then sign him to a long-term deal this summer.

Related: 2024 NFL power rankings

3. Brian Burns, edge rusher – Carolina Panthers – Franchise-tagged ($22.8 million)

If the Carolina Panthers refused to even entertain trade offers for Brian Burns at the 2023 deadline, they aren’t letting him leave the building. Considering how poorly contract talks between the two sides have gone, an extension seems doubtful. So, the Panthers will slap the franchise tag on Burns to prevent him from becoming one of the top NFL free agents in 2024.

Related: Carolina Panthers praised for offseason hires

4. Justin Madubuike, defensive tackle – Indianapolis Colts – 4 years, $89 million

Under defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, the Indianapolis Colts rarely blitz. They finished last season with the lowest blitz rate in the NFL (15.7 percent), as Bradley relied on DeForest Buckner, Grover Stewart, Kwity Paye and Samson Ebukam to generate pressure. It wasn’t enough, evidenced by a defense that finished bottom 10 in pressure rate (19.6 percent). With Stewart becoming a free agent and not a ton of money invested at edge rusher, Madubuike could line up alongside Buckner and provide Indianapolis with an excellent defensive line.

Related: NFL defense rankings 2024

5. Tee Higgins, wide receiver – Carolina Panthers – 4 years, $90 million

The Carolina Panthers are desperate for a No. 1 wide receiver and Dave Canales will make it a priority. While a reunion between Canales and Mike Evans makes sense on paper, the Panthers would be better off landing a wide receiver who fits better into their timeline. Tee Higgins, 25, can be the go-to option for Bryce Young next season and in Canales’ offense, that could lead to excellent production for both Carolina’s young quarterback and wide receiver.

Related: NFL QB rankings 2024

6. Kirk Cousins, quarterback – Atlanta Falcons – 2 years, $84 million

It feels like Kirk Cousins’ options in NFL free agency might come down to the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings. Unsurprisingly, both teams are also being talked up for potential trade-ups to No. 3 overall. Ultimately, the desperation of Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank could position the Falcons to win a bidding war over Minnesota. Plus, Falcons offensive coordinator Zac Robinson will already know that Cousins is experienced in operating the type of offense he wants to run and Atlanta can win with him.

Related: Highest-paid NFL players

7. Jaylon Johnson, cornerback – Chicago Bears – Franchise-tagged ($18.8 million)

Jaylon Johnson wants to become one of the highest-paid defensive backs in the NFL and he has a strong case for it. Last year, the 24-year-old cornerback emerged as one of the best cover corners in the NFL, hanging in man coverage with some of the top pass-catchers in the league. However, injuries are also part of his history. Between his contract demands and the risks of a long-term deal, Chicago will just tag him.

8. Antoine Winfield Jr, safety – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Franchise-tagged ($16.3M)

While the franchise tag can be a bummer for NFL free agency predictions, it’s a reality for high-end talent. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers know there would be a much stronger market for Antoine Winfield Jr. this offseason than Baker Mayfield. So, Tampa Bay allows Mayfield to test NFL free agency while it locks up the All-Pro safety with a fully guaranteed, one-year deal.

Related: NFL Draft rumors 2024

9. Christian Wilkins, defensive tackle – Miami Dolphins – Franchise-tagged ($21M)

Even with massive salary-cap issues that put the team more than $40 million over the 2024 NFL salary, Miami can’t afford to let Christian Wilkins leave. The 28-year-old has been one of the best defensive tackles in football over the last three seasons. He’s also one of the best three-down defensive linemen in the NFL right now and with the other potential changes that could impact this defense, Miami can’t lose him.

Related: Miami Dolphins at risk of losing multiple All-Pro starters this offseason

10. L’Jarius Sneed, cornerback – Kansas City Chiefs – 3 years, $55.5 million

While we do have Chris Jones leaving the repeat Super Bowl winners, it’s not all bad for the Kansas City Chiefs. L’Jarius Sneed is essential to the success of this secondary and Steve Spagnuolo will insist on retaining one of the best cornerback pairings in the NFL. Even if Jones leaves, having Sneed and Trent McDuffie in coverages ensures the Chiefs will still have a great defense in 2024.

11. Mike Evans, wide receiver – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 3 years, $66 million

Retaining Winfield Jr, Mike Evans and Baker Mayfield won’t be easy, but the Buccaneers seem to be in a situation that will make it happen. The franchise tag for Winfield Jr. is at a reasonable price and with Mayfield willing to take a small discount, a path is cleared for Mike Evans to return. Keeping the trio will come at the expense of others, but it’s worth that for Tampa Bay to keep its most important starters.

Related: NFL executives reveal Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ potential offseason strategy

12. Tyron Smith, offensive tackle – Kansas City Chiefs – 1 year, $10.5 million

The Kansas City Chiefs won a Super Bowl despite having one of the worst left tackles in the AFC. Unique circumstances in NFL free agency could change that for 2024. Tyron Smith has earned more than $120 million in his NFL career, so earning top dollar likely won’t be a priority. Instead, the 33-year-old left tackle can take a one-year deal to chase a Super Bowl with the Chiefs.

Related: Best NFL rookie classes 2023

13. Michael Pittman Jr., wide receiver – Indianapolis Colts – Franchise-tagged ($20.7M)

There’s simply no way the Indianapolis Colts risk losing a key offensive weapon for Anthony Richardson. Receiver is already a glaring need for this offense and that’s even when Pittman Jr. was on the roster. Indianapolis can find its playmaker in the 2024 NFL Draft, while Pittman Jr. returns as the chain mover who helps Richardson in tight spots. A contract extension can be revisited later in the offseason.

Related: Grading NFL coaching hires 2024

14. Danielle Hunter, edge rusher – Chicago Bears – 4 years, $80 million

It’s no secret that the Chicago Bears are interested in Danielle Hunter and looking for a pass rusher to pair opposite Montez Sweat. Durability issues might make some clubs fearful of adding a fourth year to Hunter’s contract, but that’s a risk Chicago might be willing to take if it wins a bidding war. Add Hunter to the Bears defense and they can be a top-10 unit in 2024.

Related: NFL stadium rankings

15. Leonard Williams, defensive tackle – Seattle Seahawks – 3 years, $58 million

The Seattle Seahawks essentially can’t franchise tag Leonard Williams because the cost makes it a waste of cap space. However, the draft capital they sacrificed to acquire him also becomes wasted if he doesn’t re-sign. Considering the importance of interior defensive linemen in Mike Macdonald’s scheme, Seattle will come to terms with Williams on a new contract.

16. Marquise Brown, wide receiver – Denver Broncos – 2 years, $25 million

If the Denver Broncos are going to start one of the worst quarterbacks in 2024, Sean Payton needs playmakers. Courtland Sutton looked better in 2023, but Jerry Jeudy has been a massive disappointment for a former first-round pick. Brown can be the big-play threat in Denver and a two-year deal means the Broncos can avoid any long-term commitments to an inconsistent player.

Related: Fastest NFL players

17. Bryce Huff, edge rusher – Detroit Lions – 2 years, $35 million

The Detroit Lions pass rush was carried by Aidan Hutchinson late in the 2023 season and when he didn’t get home, no one else did. Aaron Glenn already has the players to defend the run, this unit demonstrated that last year. So, Detroit can afford to take a bit of risk on a pass-rushing specialist like Bryce Huff. Put him opposite Hutchinson and this pass defense will improve significantly. Plus, it allows the Lions to use their first-round pick on a cornerback instead of an edge rusher.

Related: Lowest scoring Super Bowls ever

18. Kendall Fuller, cornerback – Washington Commanders – 3 years, $42 million

Outside of Kendall Fuller, the Washington Commanders’ secondary is the worst in the NFL. Dan Quinn could make it better, but the lack of high-end cornerbacks in NFL free agency makes re-signing Fuller a priority. The 29-year-old can use Washington’s desperation and its abundant cap space to land a lucrative multi-year deal.

Related: NFL offense rankings

19. Baker Mayfield, quarterback – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 3 years, $96 million

Geno Smith signed a three-year $105 million extension last year with the Seattle Seahawks under similar circumstances. While Baker Mayfield might not’ve been quite as excellent in his rebound year, he more than proved he belongs as a starting quarterback who can play at a fairly high level. Tampa Bay needs to keep him and in a league where Daniel Jones makes $40 million, Mayfield isn’t making less than $30 million.

Related: NFL kicker rankings

20. Calvin Ridley, wide receiver – Jacksonville Jaguars – 2 years, $30 million

Calvin Ridley has proven that he isn’t the same player we saw dominate in the Atlanta Falcons offense. However, the Jacksonville Jaguars are invested in him and Trevor Lawrence needs as much help around him as possible. Signing him for two years as opposed to three cuts down on some of the risk, while also providing Ridley a chance to cash in later if he rebounds over the next two seasons.

21. DJ Reader, defensive tackle – Arizona Cardinals – 2 years, $28 million

The Arizona Cardinals need to start providing Jonathan Gannon with some talent to work with and one of the biggest holes on the roster is the defensive interior. Contenders might be a bit weary of DJ Reader, who will be recovering from a torn quadriceps, but that could open the door for Arizona to add the dominating interior defender on a two-year deal, certainly at a lower AAV than he would’ve landed if healthy.

22. Kyle Dugger, safety – New England Patriots – Franchise tagged ($16.26 million)

With Jerod Mayo taking over as head coach, the New England Patriots will likely feel even more incentivized to keep Kyle Dugger around to help Mayo’s defense in 2024. Dugger wasn’t outstanding last season, but he is versatile enough and has demonstrated that he can make an impact against the run. Applying the franchise tag provides Dugger with an incentive to play well and New England avoids the risk of overpaying on a long-term deal.

23. Kevin Dotson, guard – Los Angeles Rams – 3 years, $48 million

While Matthew Stafford, Puka Nacua and Kyren Williams got all the credit for the Los Angeles Rams success last season, much of it doesn’t happen without Kevin Dotson. Previously acquired from Pittsburgh, Dotson was one of the best guards in the NFL last season and he fit perfectly in Sean McVay’s scheme. Los Angeles simply can’t afford to lose Dotson, even if that means signing him to a huge contract.

24. Chidobe Awuzie, cornerback – Cincinnati Bengals – 2 years, $19.5 million

In his first year back from an ACL tear, Chidobe Awuzie shook off some rust before eventually returning to form. The inexperience of the Bengals’ secondary around him showed how critical it is to have defensive backs who know their roles in Lou Anarumo’s system and that’s the biggest reason Cincinnati needs to bring Awuzie back and likely will, although probably on a short-term deal.

25. Chase Young, edge rusher – Baltimore Ravens – 1 year, $13 million

Chase Young did himself no favors after being traded to the San Francisco 49ers, showing everyone why the Washington Commanders were happy to move on from him at the trade deadline. Because of what happened in 2023, the former top pick will likely have to settle for a prove-it contract in NFL free agency. The Baltimore Ravens were interested in him at the trade deadline last year and this could be the perfect landing spot for Young to rebuild his value. Plus, the Ravens’ success with players like this makes it an appealing fit for both sides.

Related: 2024 MLB power rankings

NFL free agency predictions by position

Syndication: The Record
Credit: Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK


  • Kirk Cousins – Atlanta Falcons
  • Baker Mayfield – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Jacoby Brissett – Las Vegas Raiders
  • Ryan Tannehill – Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Tyrod Taylor – New England Patriots
  • Drew Lock – New York Jets
  • Jameis Winston – Denver Broncos
  • Gardner Minshew – New York Giants
  • Joe Flacco – Minnesota Vikings
  • Sam Darnold – New Orleans Saints
  • Mitchell Trubisky – Cincinnati Bengals

Running Back

  • Saquon Barkley – Houston Texans
  • Josh Jacobs – Cincinnati Bengals
  • Tony Pollard – Dallas Cowboys
  • Derrick Henry – Baltimore Ravens
  • D’Andre Swift – Philadelphia Eagles
  • Gus Edwards – Los Angeles Chargers
  • Cordarrelle Patterson – Green Bay Packers
  • Devin Singletary – Minnesota Vikings
  • Damien Harris – Chicago Bears
  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Carolina Panthers
  • Ezekiel Elliott – New England Patriots
  • Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers
  • JK Dobbins – Las Vegas Raiders
  • AJ Dillon – Los Angeles Rams
  • Jerick McKinnon – Kansas City Chiefs

Wide Receiver

  • Tee Higgins – Carolina Panthers
  • Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Marquise Brown – Denver Broncos
  • Michael Pittman Jr – Indianapolis Colts
  • Tyler Boyd –Tennessee Titans
  • Calvin Ridley – Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Kendrick Bourne –
  • Curtis Samuel – Buffalo Bills
  • Odell Beckham Jr – New York Jets
  • Gabe Davis – Arizona Cardinals
  • Rashid Shaheed – New York Giants
  • Darnell Mooney – Kansas City Chiefs
  • K.J. Osborn – Carolina Panthers
  • Jauan Jennings – San Francisco 49ers
  • Josh Reynolds – Detroit Lions
  • Noah Brown – Houston Texans

Related: Best tight ends of all time

Tight End

  • Dalton Schultz – Houston Texans
  • Hunter Henry – Washington Commanders
  • Noah Fant – Carolina Panthers
  • Mike Gesicki – Seattle Seahawks
  • Irv Smith Jr – Los Angeles Rams
  • Gerald Everett – Atlanta Falcons
  • Robert Tonyan Jr – Indianapolis Colts
  • Austin Hooper – Las Vegas Raiders
  • Adam Trautman – Kansas City Chiefs

Offensive Tackle

  • Tyron Smith – Kansas City Chiefs
  • Trent Brown – New Orleans Saints
  • Mike Onwenu – New England Patriots
  • Mekhi Becton – Cincinnati Bengals
  • Jonah Williams – New England Patriots
  • Andrus Peat – San Francisco 49ers
  • Yosh Nijman – Los Angeles Rams
  • Donovan Smith – New York Jets
  • Duane Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Jermaine Eluemunor – Las Vegas Raiders

Interior Offensive Line

  • Kevin Dotson – Los Angeles Rams
  • Robert Hunt – Miami Dolphins
  • Kevin Zeitler – Baltimore Ravens
  • Dalton Risner – Minnesota Vikings
  • Nick Allegretti – Carolina Panthers
  • Andrus Peat – San Francisco 49ers
  • Connor Williams – Chicago Bears
  • Andre James – Las Vegas Raiders
  • Jon Runyan – Green Bay Packers
  • Jason Kelce – Retired
  • Jon Feliciano – San Francisco 49ers
  • Aaron Brewer – Tennessee Titans

Related: Best undrafted players in NFL history

Defensive Tackle

  • Chris Jones – Houston Texans
  • Justin Madubuike – Indianapolis Colts
  • Christian Wilkins – Miami Dolphins
  • Leonard Williams – Seattle Seahawks
  • DJ Reader – Arizona Cardinals
  • Grover Stewart – Seattle Seahawks
  • Teair Tart – Baltimore Ravens
  • Fletcher Cox – Philadelphia Eagles
  • Sheldon Rankins – Cincinnati Bengals
  • DaQuan Jones – Buffalo Bills
  • Maurice Hurst – Kansas City Chiefs
  • Javon Kinlaw – Denver Broncos

Edge Rusher

  • Josh Allen – Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Brian Burns – Carolina Panthers
  • Danielle Hunter – Chicago Bears
  • Bryce Huff – Detroit Lions
  • Chase Young – Baltimore Ravens
  • Jadeveon Clowney – Seattle Seahawks
  • Carl Lawson – Cincinnati Bengals
  • Randy Gregory – Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Josh Uche – Minnesota Vikings
  • Leonard Floyd – Washington Commanders
  • Jonathan Greenard – Arizona Cardinals

Off-Ball Linebacker

  • Frankie Luvu – Carolina Panthers
  • Lavonte David – Dallas Cowboys
  • Patrick Queen – Seattle Seahawks
  • Bobby Wagner – Cleveland Browns
  • Jordyn Brooks – Los Angeles Rams
  • Devin White – Philadelphia Eagles

Related: Where NFL revenue comes from


  • Jaylon Johnson – Chicago Bers
  • L’Jarius Sneed – Kansas City Chiefs
  • Kendall Fuller – Washington Commanders
  • Stephon Gilmore – Tennessee Titans
  • Chidobe Awuzie – Cincinnati Bengals
  • Steven Nelson – Houston Texans
  • Kenny Moore II – Indianapolis Colts


  • Antoine Winfield Jr – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Kyle Dugger – New England Patriots
  • Kamren Curl – Washington Commanders
  • Xavier McKinney – Chicago Bears
  • Geno Stone – Baltimore Ravens
  • Jordan Fuller – Green Bay Packers
  • Darnell Savage – Green Bay Packers
  • C.J. Gardner-Johnson – Buffalo Bills
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