2024 NFL Free Agency Period: Signings and Best Landing Spots for Key Players

By Scott Kacsmar

The NFL officially begins a new league year this Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. ET with the start of the 2024 NFL free agency period. Trades can officially go through, and unrestricted free agents are allowed to sign with the highest bidder as teams with cap space begin to spend, often foolishly, big-time money for veterans this time of year.

Some deals have already been set in place ahead of Wednesday’s official start. We are previewing the key free agents, whose moves have already been announced, and some predictions on what would be logical landing spots for players ready to make an impact in a different city this season.

We thought it would be easiest to break this down into nine positions (quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers, cornerbacks, and safeties.

While this is about the NFL’s free agents, any important trades of players already under contract are also mentioned when applicable.


Announced Moves

  • Mitch Trubisky (Steelers) – Bills
  • Mac Jones (Patriots) – Jaguars in a trade for a 6th-round pick
  • Baker Mayfield (Buccaneers) – Buccaneers agreed to a 3-year deal worth $100 million
  • Russell Wilson (Broncos) – Steelers for 1-year deal worth $1.2 million

The Steelers were always thought to be a player in the quarterback market this year, but what a development this week has been. The team already released Mitch Trubisky earlier this offseason so that he could find a new team quicker, and his decision was to go back to Buffalo where he came from to continue backing up Josh Allen, who hasn’t missed a start since 2018.

But that left Kenny Pickett as the only quarterback on the roster that’s still under contract as playoff starter Mason Rudolph is also an impending free agent. Pickett hasn’t been convincing in the role, so as fate would have it, Russell Wilson was released this week by Denver, putting the Broncos on the hook for a record $85 million in dead money against the cap for the next two years.

Wilson could afford to take a cheap contract because of that dead money coming his way, and the Steelers pounced Sunday night when news of a 1-year deal for just $1.2 million broke.

Among active quarterbacks, Wilson ranks No. 4 in touchdown pass rate (5.9%). Pickett (1.8%) ranks last in NFL history among all 391 quarterbacks to throw at least 500 passes. What a change of events here, though the 35-year-old Wilson should still have to win the job in the preseason after a very disappointing couple of years in Denver.

Speaking of disappointment, the 2021 draft also has taken another turn with the Patriots reportedly sending Mac Jones to Jacksonville for just a 6th-round pick. He should back up Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 pick in that same draft that has yet to produce any studs at the position.

Sticking in Florida, Baker Mayfield agreed to terms Sunday on a 3-year deal worth up to $115 million with incentives to stay in Tampa Bay after leading the team to a division title and playoff win in arguably the best season of his career last year. It was always the logical move for both sides to work something out, and now he’ll have to prove he can do it in consecutive years and with a new offensive coordinator after Dave Canales took the coaching job in Carolina.

Best Free Agents Available

The top quarterbacks available in free agency include:

  • Kirk Cousins (Vikings)
  • Ryan Tannehill (Titans)
  • Joe Flacco (Browns)
  • Jacoby Brissett (Commanders)
  • Gardner Minshew (Colts)

Best Predictions on Landing Spots

We kind of figured Mayfield would stay in Tampa Bay, but Wilson to Pittsburgh was a bit of an unexpected move. That means Ryan Tannehill will not be reuniting with former offensive coordinator Arthur Smith in Pittsburgh, and he should find a likely backup job elsewhere.

The real prize is Kirk Cousins, and if he wants to make the best move possible for his career to win a Super Bowl, he should stay in the NFC. You just do not want to get into this AFC gauntlet at quarterback where you have to compete for a high seed with the likes of Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, C.J. Stroud, Tua Tagovailoa, Aaron Rodgers is coming back, and we haven’t even mentioned the final boss that is Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City.

The NFC is the easier path and a conference that loves sending a new flash in the pan to the Super Bowl each year. But for Cousins, the logical move is Atlanta in an offense that has talent at each level with Bijan Robinson, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts. They will have a new coaching staff, but it should do a better job than Arthur Smith did, and the new offensive coordinator, Zac Robinson, is another Sean McVay disciple just like Kevin O’Connell, Cousins’ coach in Minnesota, was. That should allow for a quick transition for him on his third team.

If Cousins doesn’t go to Atlanta and doesn’t stay in Minnesota, it gets hard to see where the landing spot is. Teams like the Bears, Cardinals, Raiders, and Broncos should prefer to draft a quarterback instead of bringing in a guy who turns 36 in August.

The trade market for Chicago quarterback Justin Fields has also been lukewarm at best, so if a team with weapons and enough defense like Atlanta wants to compete in a division you can win this year with Cousins, they have to make that move this week.

Running Backs

Announced Moves

None yet.

Best Free Agents Available

The top running backs available in free agency include:

  • Derrick Henry (Titans)
  • Saquon Barkley (Giants)
  • Josh Jacobs (Raiders)
  • Tony Pollard (Cowboys)
  • Austin Ekeler (Chargers)
  • D’Andre Swift (Eagles)
  • Gus Edwards (Ravens)
  • Devin Singletary (Texans)

Best Predictions on Landing Spots

The musical chairs we expect to see at running back makes this one of the most amusing free agent classes in years for the position. Teams have caught on to the lack of value in giving a back a second contract. The only team since 1990 to win a Super Bowl with a lead back in their sixth season or more with the team was the 1995 Cowboys with Emmitt Smith, who was in his sixth season, and the game was a lot different back then in how much running backs like that were valued.

That’s why running backs like Isiah Pacheco (Chiefs), Sony Michel (Patriots, Rams) and LeGarrette Blount (Patriots, Eagles) have won 7-of-10 Super Bowls since 2014. The last real star at the position to win a ring was Marshawn Lynch on the 2013 Seahawks.

But we have some playoff contenders with an open spot at running back, and there are a few former rushing title winners on the open market. It should be a lot of fun to see who lands where.

The Titans are going in new directions after letting go of coach Mike Vrabel. Derrick Henry will turn 31 before Super Bowl LIX and has led the league in carries the last two seasons. He may not have much left in the tank, but he could be the back the run-heavy Ravens are interested in with Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins both free agents.

But something tells me the Ravens are going to want to go younger and with more receiving upside. Maybe Saquon Barkley is the big move for an offense that is not paying any wide receiver a boatload of money. However, the Ravens barely have any cap room available at the moment.

Henry could end up in Texas too. The Cowboys are no strangers to featuring big-name backs, and maybe Mike McCarthy will think Henry is the right back to lean on if he’s going to run on early downs in playoff games and force Dak Prescott into tough third-down situations like he did against Green Bay in the wild card upset. How fun.

Then there’s the Houston Texans, who may not bring back Devin Singletary after he outplayed second-year back Dameon Pierce. Henry has destroyed the Texans in his career, so what if they joined forces, keeping Henry in the division as C.J. Stroud works on an MVP campaign in his second season? That’s a real possibility too.

Beyond Henry, it will be interesting to see if Tony Pollard pulls a DeMarco Murray (circa 2014-15) and goes from Dallas to Philadelphia as the Eagles may be out on D’Andre Swift. But a move I may prefer for the Eagles is Austin Ekeler, who could rejoin with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore after a season together on the Chargers. Moore is the new OC in Philadelphia, and the receiving ability of Ekeler could help Jalen Hurts get rid of the ball to a reliable target. That’s another move to consider.

An easy replacement idea is Gus Edwards taking his talents to the Chargers. He’s already played for Jim Harbaugh’s brother John in Baltimore, and more importantly, he’s already played there for new offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who is going to want more of a downhill, run-heavy approach than what the team had in sporadic doses with Ekeler over the years.

The Giants never got what they expected out of Saquon Barkley, but maybe he can shine more on a contender that does not see him as the savior. The Bengals would be an interesting sleeper pick for Barkley as they are not expected to bring back Joe Mixon.

Again, it’s such a musical chairs year at the position as the Vikings, who may lose Kirk Cousins and not have a quarterback too, will also be on the market with Alexander Mattison a free agent. Maybe that’s a spot for Pollard or Barkley. Let’s not forget Josh Jacobs, who just won the rushing title in the 2022 season, is also a free agent and may not return to the Raiders after a disappointing 2023.

In the end, I’d like to see Henry in Houston, Ekeler in Philly, Edwards on the Chargers, Saquon in Minnesota, Pollard surprisingly works out a deal with Dallas, Swift to the Bengals to make up for the decline there without Samaje Perine and Mixon, and Jacobs goes to the Giants.

Let the musical chairs begin at a position where you clearly do not need a stud to succeed as an offense.

Wide Receivers

Announced Moves

  • Tee Higgins (Bengals) – Bengals placed the franchise tag on Higgins on February 26
  • Mike Evans (Buccaneers) – Buccaneers agreed to 2-year extension on March 4
  • Michael Pittman Jr. (Colts) – Colts placed the franchise tag on Pittman on March 5
  • Kendrick Bourne (Patriots) – Patriots re-signed Bourne to 3-year deal worth $19.5 million on Sunday

Wide receiver has become a highly paid, highly sought after position in the NFL. But this was not a strong free agent class to begin with, and it’s only gotten weaker after a few No. 1 wide receivers were kept in the fold with their drafting teams.

The Buccaneers are running it back for an 11th season and more with Mike Evans. They made sure to get that deal done before bringing Baker Mayfield back as well. Evans has gone over 1,000 yards in all 10 of his seasons, and last year was the first time he led the NFL in any major receiving category after he caught a league-high 13 touchdowns.

Michael Pittman Jr. is also likely staying with the Colts after receiving the franchise tag. He is easily their best wide receiver, so they had to make that move. The Bengals did it first when they tagged Tee Higgins, who is only the No. 2 in Cincinnati because of how great Ja’Marr Chase is. Higgins would be a No. 1 on most teams, and by using the tag, the Bengals made it unlikely for a rival like Buffalo or Kansas City to cough up the compensation to acquire him now.

Best Free Agents Available

The top wide receivers available in free agency include:

  • Calvin Ridley (Jaguars)
  • Marquise Brown (Cardinals)
  • Curtis Samuel (Commanders)
  • Darnell Mooney (Bears)
  • Gabe Davis (Bills)
  • Tyler Boyd (Bengals)
  • Josh Reynolds (Lions)
  • Odell Beckham Jr. (Ravens)
  • Noah Brown (Texans)

Best Predictions on Landing Spots

The bad news is this is not a good free agent class for wide receivers. The good news is the 2024 draft should be absolutely loaded at wideout with possibly 13 players going in the top 60 picks. So, look for smart teams to take their chances in April with cheaper contracts instead of overpaying for these receivers.

Calvin Ridley is about the only true No. 1 receiver left here, and his performance in Jacksonville last year after a year-long suspension was not that inspiring. Maybe the Jaguars work something out, but maybe a team like the Patriots, who have next to nothing at the position, take a chance on throwing the most money at Ridley to be their new No. 1 for what will likely be a rookie quarterback.

A lot of these other players fit the “deep threat” role like Hollywood Brown, Gabe Davis, and Darnell Mooney. Not true No. 1 receivers, but they could serve a purpose. At this stage of his career Odell Beckham Jr. is really just another receiver.

Josh Reynolds had some horrible drops for Detroit in the NFC Championship Game in San Francisco. But he could get a decent contract for a team looking for an affordable starter with low-end WR2 value.

The Chiefs are expected to be players in the wide receiver market. Despite winning the Super Bowl again, let’s not forget the Chiefs led the league in dropped passes, and the mistakes made by players like Kadarius Toney and Marquez Valdes-Scantling cost the team multiple games last year. MVS has already been released, and there are some good fits here that the Chiefs should pursue this year.

Darnell Mooney could be that MVS-type receiver with deep routes and speed. He played for offensive coordinator Matt Nagy in Chicago. Curtis Samuel is also another gadget-type receiver the Chiefs could get their Toney/Mecole Hardman role out of, and he played last year in former offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy’s offense in Washington.

In the end, I think the Patriots break the bank for Ridley, Mooney goes to Kansas City, Hollywood Brown joins the receiver-limited Titans, and Gabe Davis winds up in Carolina. Tyler Boyd could be a smart move for the Eagles or Dolphins, two offenses that grossly lacked a No. 3 receiving option, and he can fill that role perfectly from Cincinnati.

Tight Ends

Announced Moves

  • Dalton Schultz (Texans) – Texans agreed to 3-year deal on March 5
  • Hunter Henry (Patriots) – Patriots agreed to 3-year deal on March 8
  • Jonnu Smith (Falcons) – Dolphins agreed to 2-year deal

A couple of tight ends set to be free agents are already off the market after the Texans (Dalton Schultz) and Patriots (Hunter Henry) agreed to terms with their vets. Schultz had a solid debut season with C.J. Stroud in Houston, and the Patriots have such little help at catching the ball that they had to make a move to keep Henry in town.

Veteran tight end Jonnu Smith has already found his fourth team since 2020 as he will be on the Dolphins this year pending his official signing this week. He is coming off a season in Atlanta where he had a career-high 582 receiving yards. That is more than any season Durham Smythe has had in his career with the Dolphins.

Last year, Smythe was third on the Dolphins with 366 receiving yards (and no touchdowns), so improving the receivers who touch the ball after Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle is certainly a priority for Mike McDaniel’s offense.

Best Free Agents Available

The top tight ends available in free agency include:

  • Noah Fant (Seahawks)
  • Logan Thomas (Commanders)
  • Will Dissly (Seahawks)
  • Gerald Everett (Chargers)

Best Predictions on Landing Spots

Good tight ends are very hard to find. Just staying healthy at the position is one of the hardest parts, and the decade-long career for Logan Thomas is good proof of that. He’d have much better numbers if his health was better. The Commanders cut him to start the month.

Someone like Noah Fant is reliable enough to put up 500 yards and a solid catch rate each year. But the chances of him turning into Travis Kelce or Shannon Sharpe at this stage of his career – turns 27 in November – is unlikely.

But if an offense like the Bengals loses Tyler Boyd, then maybe upgrading at tight end is something they finally consider without that great 3-wide attack. Fant to Cincinnati is a fit. The Colts are another AFC team that could use a tight end after bad health at that position over the years.

Offensive Line

Announced Moves

  • G Kevin Dotson (Rams) – Rams agreed to 3-year deal on March 7
  • OT Chukwuma Okorafor (Steelers) – Patriots agreed to a 1-year deal worth $4 million on March 7

A couple of former mid-round picks by the Steelers have already been in the transactions list. Kevin Dotson was a fourth-round pick by the Steelers in 2020, but last year he went to the Rams and had the best season of his career. The Rams liked him enough to where they already agreed to terms on a 3-year extension to stay with the team.

Also, the Patriots have already been busy this last month as the team with over $82 million available in cap space, the second-most among teams according to Over the Cap. After the Steelers released right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor in February, the Patriots picked him up for a 1-year deal. He could be the starting right tackle this season.

Okorafor never shined in his six seasons with Pittsburgh, but he did at least earn 59 starts and has experience. He lost his starting job last year when the Steelers realized they were better off getting rookie left tackle Broderick Jones on the field more.

Best Free Agents Available

The top offensive linemen available in free agency include:

  • OT Tyron Smith (Cowboys)
  • G Robert Hunt (Dolphins)
  • OT Michael Onwenu (Patriots)
  • G Kevin Zeitler (Ravens)
  • OT Trent Brown (Patriots)
  • G Laken Tomlinson (Jets)
  • OT Charles Leno (Commanders)
  • OG Andrus Peat (Saints)
  • C Mitch Morse (Bills)
  • OT Donovan Smith (Chiefs)
  • OT Jonah Williams (Bengals)
  • OT Mekhi Becton (Jets)

Best Predictions on Landing Spots

There are a lot of free agents on the offensive line who are in their 30s and teams are looking to move on at this stage. But a veteran who can still play is Dallas left tackle Tyron Smith. The Cowboys are letting him walk after 13 seasons in Dallas, including 8 Pro Bowl selections.

Could this be one of those signings where a player takes less money to try winning a Super Bowl with the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes? Playoff success is the only thing missing from Smith’s Hall of Fame-caliber resume, and he’s been healthy for his team’s last three playoff runs despite a long list of injuries in his career. The Chiefs are also facing the loss of left tackle Donovan Smith, who just joined the team last year from Tampa and won his ring. Maybe this better Smith is the power move for the Chiefs to protect Mahomes’ blind side.

But there are younger linemen who should be considered targets for teams re-signing them to new contracts. The Dolphins could look to bring guard Robert Hunt back on a second contract after 55 starts since 2020.

Staying in the AFC East, the Patriots could also make a choice between tackles Michael Onwenu and Trent Brown as both are hitting free agency. The signing of Okorafor suggests the team expects to lose at least one of these players, so sticking with the younger Onwenu (27 in December) may be the long-term move here.

We also might want to keep an eye on where offensive tackle Mekhi Becton lands. The No. 11 pick in the 2020 draft, Becton went from a promising rookie year to playing in 1 total game in 2021-22 due to injuries. By the time he returned for 2023, Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles just 4 snaps into the season, and the Jets had terrible quarterback play and run blocking the rest of the year despite Becton starting 16 games. Maybe a fresh start in a better offense with good health could bring out more in him after he was a bust with the Jets.

Defensive Line

Announced Moves

  • DE Josh Allen (Jaguars) – Jaguars used the franchise tag on March 5
  • DE Brian Burns (Panthers) – Panthers used the franchise tag on March 5
  • DT Justin Madubuike (Ravens) – Ravens tagged and then re-signed him to 4-year deal worth $98 million on March 8
  • DT Chris Jones (Chiefs) – Chiefs agreed to 5-year deal worth almost $160 million on March 9

With some of the most elite players in this free agent class, some top defensive linemen saw their teams spring into action to make sure it was unlikely for them to go elsewhere in 2024.

The big one happened over the weekend as the Chiefs made Chris Jones one of the highest-paid defensive players in NFL history, making it likely he will complete his career in Kansas City. If the team is going to pull off the Super Bowl three-peat, it needed Jones back as he has been their best defensive player. The salary cap going up a record $30 million for every team this year helped get this deal done.

The Ravens also made sure to sign their defensive tackle to a lucrative deal after Justin Madubuike had a breakout year with 13 sacks. You do have to be cautious about a player breaking out in Year 4, but the Ravens are not allowing him to reach the open market this week.

The Jaguars would be wise to keep Josh Allen in town after he notched a career-high 17.5 sacks last year. You have to have that kind of rusher to deal with all these top passers in the AFC. Allen received the franchise tag, as did Carolina edge rusher Brian Burns, who is still only going on 26 years old. That’s the kind of pass rusher you need to keep around while your quarterback (Bryce Young) is on his rookie contract.

Best Free Agents Available

The top defensive linemen available in free agency include:

  • Edge Danielle Hunter (Vikings)
  • DT Christian Wilkins (Dolphins)
  • DT Leonard Williams (Seahawks)
  • DE Chase Young (49ers)
  • DE Bryce Huff (Jets)
  • DE Yannick Ngakoue (Bears)
  • DE Jadeveon Clowney (Ravens)
  • DE Jonathan Greenard (Texans)
  • Edge Leonard Floyd (Bills)
  • Edge Za’Darius Smith (Browns)
  • DT D.J. Reader (Bengals)
  • DT Grover Stewart (Colts)
  • DT Sheldon Rankins (Texans)
  • DT Daquon Jones (Bills)

Best Predictions on Landing Spots

There are going to be some solid pass rushers available who can contribute this year, including Chase Young, Jadeveon Clowney, Leonard Floyd, and Za’Darius Smith. D.J. Reader also is great at stopping the run in the middle.

But the real prize here is Danielle Hunter. He just had a career-high 16.5 sacks at age 29 and has proven he can play in multiple styles of defense. He would be a great addition to a team that’s already in playoff mode and may already have a pass rusher who needs some help. Think Aidan Hutchinson and the Lions in Detroit. That would also allow Hunter to stay in the NFC North and help Detroit stay on top of the division.

Christian Wilkins is also coming off a career year in Miami and will likely be heavily pursued by other contenders. Veteran Leonard Williams is also available again after a pit stop in Seattle. He turns 30 this season and has never quite lived up to his draft status as the No. 6 pick in 2015. But given how much of a disaster that draft class was in the first round, Williams’ career looks impressive.

Chase Young was the No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft and is looking for his next long-term home after the Commanders traded him to San Francisco last season. He sacked Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl loss, but maybe joining a quality defense that’s used to getting the most out of players like the Ravens is his next step. He could replace Jadeveon Clowney, another player who knows all about struggling to live up to the draft hype. Clowney did tie his career high with 9.5 sacks for the Ravens last year.


Announced Moves

  • Drue Tranquill (Chiefs) – Chiefs agreed to 3-year deal on March 7

Defense was a huge reason the Chiefs won the Super Bowl last year, and Drue Tranquill was one of those solid, low-key additions to help get there after he came over from the Chargers. Tranquill led Kansas City’s linebackers in tackles, and the team has already agreed to bring him back on a 3-year deal.

Best Free Agents Available

The top linebackers available in free agency include:

  • Patrick Queen (Ravens)
  • Lavonte David (Buccaneers)
  • Azeez Al-Shaair (Titans)
  • Frankie Luvu (Panthers)
  • Bobby Wagner (Seahawks)
  • Jerome Baker (Dolphins)
  • Jordan Hicks (Vikings)
  • Josey Jewell (Broncos)
  • Willie Gay (Chiefs)
  • Eric Kendricks (Chargers)

Best Predictions on Landing Spots

There are a dozen linebackers with at least 100 tackles last year who are expected to hit free agency. We’ll see how many actually join another team, but many of these players should.

The Ravens chose to pay Justin Madubuike in the trenches, and it’s hard to argue with that team building given how hard it is to find interior pass rush. Linebackers have seemingly come and gone in Baltimore, and if Patrick Queen goes to another team like Washington or Miami in 2024 after reaching his first Pro Bowl, then so be it. He is replaceable.

But a player that should stay put is veteran Lavonte David, who has been with Tampa Bay since 2012. That makes him one of the longest-tenured players in the NFL right now. His career is winding down, but the 34-year-old linebacker should get a chance to finish things with the Bucs.

Bobby Wagner is the slam-dunk choice for a future Hall of Famer on this list, and he even returned last year to the Seahawks and made his ninth Pro Bowl. He led the league with 183 tackles at 33 years old. You might think new coach and defensive guru Mike Macdonald would love to ease into the job with a pro like Wagner on defense, but it sounds like a move is likely. Maybe that’s the kind of signing the Cowboys would make with Mike Zimmer taking over the defensive coordinator job from Dan Quinn.


Announced Moves

  • L’Jarius Sneed (Chiefs) – Used non-exclusive franchise tag on March 4
  • Jaylon Johnson (Bears) – Bears agreed to 4-year deal on March 7

The top corners in this class are unlikely to be on the move. The Chiefs used the franchise tag on No. 1 corner L’Jarius Sneed after such an impressive season by him. But since they used the non-exclusive franchise tag, it is possible for a team to trade a second-round pick and pay up to acquire Sneed’s services for 2024. We’ll see if that comes back to haunt the Chiefs, but affording to keep Sneed and Chris Jones together was always going to be difficult. That’s part of the struggle of being back-to-back defending champs in the salary cap era.

For teams that stink like Chicago, it’s a bit easier to keep players around who are good. Jaylon Johnson had a career year in 2023 with 4 interceptions and he only allowed 4.8 yards per target while teams avoided throwing at him. He signed a 4-year extension worth $76 million to stay with the Bears.

Best Free Agents Available

The top cornerbacks available in free agency include:

  • Xavien Howard (Dolphins)
  • Kendall Fuller (Commanders)
  • Kenny Moore (Colts)
  • Stephon Gilmore (Cowboys)
  • Chidobe Awuzie (Bengals)
  • Patrick Peterson (Steelers)

Best Predictions on Landing Spots

There is no shortage of familiar names available, but not many of these players are playing at their peaks. Kendall Fuller feels like he has been in the league longer than 2016, but that might be because his brother Kyle was drafted in 2014 and his brother Corey was drafted in 2013. But he is available again as are Patrick Peterson, Stephon Gilmore, and Kenny Moore.

A team can never have enough corners. Someone like Gilmore could certainly still help contribute to a playoff-ready team like the Texans or Packers.

Xavien Howard might be the buyer’s remorse to keep an eye on. His numbers have been down since 2021, he’s on the wrong side of 30, and he’s coming off another injury. It is no surprise the Dolphins released him.


Announced Moves

  • Antoine Winfield (Buccaneers) – Buccaneers used a franchise tag on March 5
  • Kyle Dugger (Patriots) – Patriots used a transition tag on March 5
  • Kevin Byard (Eagles) – Bears agreed to 2-year deal worth $15 million on March 10

There has already been some safety action with the Buccaneers and Patriots continuing to be aggressive in keeping their own players. Look for the Bucs to work something out with Antoine Winfield after arguably his best season yet, and the Patriots used the transition tag on Kyle Dugger. The transition tag makes it likely Dugger will see a 1-year tender instead of a long-term deal from the Patriots this season.

The surprising move came when the Eagles released safety Kevin Byard, who they acquired via trade last season from Tennessee. It did not take long for the Bears to agree to terms with Byard, who has 28 career interceptions and 121 starts since 2016. Chicago needed someone after moving on from Eddie Jackson.

Best Free Agents Available

The top safeties available in free agency include:

  • Justin Simmons (Broncos)
  • Xavier McKinney (Giants)
  • Jordan Fuller (Rams)
  • DeShon Elliott (Dolphins)
  • Jordan Whitehead (Jets)

Best Predictions on Landing Spots

Safety Justin Simmons was a third-round pick by Denver in 2016, meaning he’s never been to the playoffs. That has likely led to him being underappreciated after what has been a solid 8-year career in Denver. No one has intercepted Patrick Mahomes more times than Simmons, who has done that five times in his career.

Think a team like the Bengals might like that fact in their rivalry with the Chiefs? Give the secondary a boost with a player who has a good read on the Chiefs, playing them twice a year every year. That would be a good signing with the Bengals having plenty of cap room compared to other contenders.

Xavier McKinney could also be a prize for a team looking for a young safety. The Rams are no strangers to signing safeties in the Sean McVay era, and they need the help in the back end. The Bills also have often gone through many safeties, and there is a connection there with McKinney playing under Brian Daboll, Buffalo coach Sean McDermott’s former offensive coordinator.

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