2024 NFL Free Agency Review: Which Teams Improved, Which Didn’t, and Updated Super Bowl Odds

By Scott Kacsmar

The NFL officially kicked off free agency for the 2024 season on Wednesday, but the transaction wire has been busy all week. Going into the weekend, we have seen most of the top free agents find their home for the 2024 season. This is a good time to do an NFL free agency review, seeing which teams got better, which didn’t, and the updated Super Bowl odds for Super Bowl LIX.

With dozens and dozens of transactions, we thought it would be easiest to do a team-by-team analysis, highlighting the most notable additions, departures, and the free agents the team kept.

Arizona Cardinals

  • Notable Additions: OT Jonah Williams, CB Sean Murphy-Bunting, DE Justin Jones, LB Mack Wilson, QB Desmond Ridder (trade)
  • Notable Departures: WR Marquise Brown, OL D.J. Humphries, WR Rondale Moore (trade)
  • Key Re-signings: LS Aaron Brewer, P Blake Gillikin

The Cardinals are obviously a flawed team coming off a 4-13 season in coach Jonathan Gannon’s first season. They have plenty of holes to fill, though it appears Kyler Murray is still going to be the quarterback this season. A trade for Desmond Ridder just reinforces that as he is a backup and potential reclamation project for down the road. Not someone you intend to compete with Murray.

Otherwise, the Cardinals brought in some new starters on both sides of the ball. Jonah Williams will have to step up his game after a tumultuous tenure in Cincinnati at offensive tackle. Sean Murphy-Bunting is a handsy corner who seemed to peak years ago in Tampa Bay.

With Hollywood Brown going to the Chiefs and Rondale Moore getting traded to Atlanta, the Cardinals better hit the draft for wide receivers. That leaves very little in the wide receiver room for Murray to throw to this year, but at least this is a loaded draft at that position.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Notable Additions: QB Kirk Cousins, WR Darnell Mooney, WR Rondale Moore (trade)
  • Notable Departures: WR Mack Hollins, RB Cordarrelle Patterson, TE Jonnu Smith, Edge Bud Dupree, CB Jeff Okudah, QB Desmond Ridder (trade)
  • Key Re-signings: LS Liam McCullough

The Falcons made the big move at quarterback with Kirk Cousins, but are they a year too late? It was very much possible last offseason to acquire Lamar Jackson, a great fit for Arthur Smith’s run-heavy offense. Instead, Jackson won another MVP in Baltimore, the Falcons wasted a year in a winnable division, found out neither Smith nor Desmond Ridder are cut out for their jobs, and now they’re going to pay a 36-year-old Cousins $180 million over the next four years after he tore his Achilles.

This essentially puts the Falcons back to where they were in the later stages of Matt Ryan’s career. The offense will improve, and Cousins will enjoy the weapons they already have with Drake London, Bijan Robinson, and Kyle Pitts. Is it better than what he had in Minnesota when he was playing with Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, and T.J. Hockenson? Not necessarily, but he can make this work as they also added depth with Darnell Mooney (deep threat) and Rondale Moore (YAC/slot receiver).

But is the defense going to be good enough? They had a rag-tag group last year, and the results were mediocre. They’ll have to start hitting up the defense in the draft for coach Raheem Morris.

Cousins to Atlanta does not feel like a conference-changing type of move, but it might be enough to change the NFC South this year.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Notable Additions: RB Derrick Henry
  • Notable Departures: LB Patrick Queen, WR Odell Beckham Jr., S Geno Stone, RB J.K. Dobbins, RB Gus Edwards, QB Tyler Huntley, RB Dalvin Cook, OG John Simpson, OT Morgan Moses (trade), CB Ronald Darby
  • Key Re-signings: DT Justin Madubuike, WR Nelson Agholor, DL Brent Urban

The Ravens pulled the trigger on Derrick Henry, a move that could have been masterful a few years back. Now Henry is 30, he’s led the league in carries in 4-of-5 years, and he hasn’t topped 4.4 yards per carry since that 2020 season when he rushed for 2,027 yards.

But he is going to go to a run-heavy offense that will feature him with Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins out of the way, and it certainly has a chance to be dominant right away. The question will be durability and if they can sustain this in the playoffs where Lamar Jackson and the offense have struggled every time. Henry himself hasn’t rushed for 70 yards in a playoff game and hasn’t won one since his Titans upset the Ravens in the 2019 AFC divisional round.

Simply put, star running backs don’t win Super Bowls anymore, but we’ll see how this experiment goes for Baltimore. The No. 1 defense also expects to take some steps back, and they have lost some younger starters there such as Patrick Queen (Steelers) and Geno Stone (Bengals), and maybe more importantly, they lost defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald to the Seahawks. But they did at least re-sign defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, who will have to show his fourth-year breakout season was not a fluke.

Buffalo Bills

  • Notable Additions: WR Curtis Samuel, QB Mitch Trubisky, WR Mack Hollins
  • Notable Departures: CB Tre’Davious White, S Jordan Poyer, WR Gabe Davis, C Mitch Morse, Edge Leonard Floyd, S Micah Hyde
  • Key Re-signings: OT Dion Dawkins, Edge A.J. Epenesa, DT DaQuan Jones, S Taylor Rapp

The Bills didn’t have a lot of cap space to work with this year, which is why you see them dumping vets like Tre’Davious White, Jordan Poyer, Mitch Morse, Micah Hyde, and Leonard Floyd. That’s actually a long list when you think about it, but the team was able to keep some starters in place too.

As for new additions, the combo of Curtis Samuel and Mack Hollins can make up for losing Gabe Davis, the No. 2 behind Stefon Diggs who wasn’t consistent enough to be a real No. 2 receiver. Also, I guess they’re keeping Diggs around after all? If so, then you can see Hollins take some of Davis’s deep ball targets, and Samuel is more of a gadget/slot receiver. Khalil Shakir can actually do a lot of the things Samuel does, but we’ll see how the Bills experiment with having both of them.

Overall, not the most impressive offseason from the Bills, but nothing to be concerned about yet.

Carolina Panthers

  • Notable Additions: WR Diontae Johnson (trade), G Robert Hunt, G Damien Lewis, DT A’Shawn Robinson, LB Josey Jewell, CB Dane Jackson
  • Notable Departures: DE Brian Burns (traded), LB Frankie Luvu, CB Donte Jackson (traded), WR D.J. Chark, TE Hayden Hurst, S Jeremy Chinn, S Vonn Bell
  • Key Re-signings: CB Troy Hill, LS J.J. Jansen

The 2-15 Panthers may have gotten worse this week, but we’ll see what the draft can bring now that they have a 2nd and 5th-round pick from the Giants after trading pass rusher Brian Burns. They used the franchise tag on Burns, but the Giants called their bluff and pulled off the trade. That leaves a hole in the pass rush, but the Panthers will just have to work on finding their next Burns in the draft.

Rookie coach Dave Canales has his work cut out on the offense, but I really liked the trade with Pittsburgh to acquire Diontae Johnson. It only cost a late-round pick and corner Donte Jackson, which the team has already made up for by singing Dane Jackson. With Johnson, you are getting a No. 1 receiver, a good route runner, and someone who can help Bryce Young. He may have some immaturity and consistency issues at times, but he is a talent and improves what was such a weak position for the Panthers last year.

The offensive line was also a huge problem for the Panthers last year, and that’s why they couldn’t ever get the running game going for Young. They addressed that this week with spending on new guards in Damien Lewis (Seahawks) and Robert Hunt (Dolphins). Those were good moves.

The defense wasn’t completely ignored here. They got A’Shawn Robinson and Josey Jewell for the front seven, who should both be Week 1 starters.

Chicago Bears

  • Notable Additions: WR Keenan Allen (trade), RB D’Andre Swift, QB Brett Rypien, TE Gerald Everett, S Kevin Byard, C Ryan Bates (trade)
  • Notable Departures: WR Darnell Mooney, OL Cody Whitehair, DL Justin Jones, DE Yannick Ngakoue
  • Key Re-signings: CB Jaylon Johnson

Crazy to say for a team holding the No.1 and No. 9 picks in the draft, but the Bears are already having a solid haul this month. They added some depth to the skill positions with D’Andre Swift and Gerald Everett, and picking up Kevin Byard at safety was a smart move as he can still play. They also had one of the best re-signings this period by keeping corner Jaylon Johnson in Chicago.

But the best move was on Thursday night when the Bears sent a 4th-round pick to the Chargers for Keenan Allen, who refused to take a pay cut in Los Angeles. Allen will be 32, but he just had 1,243 yards last year, and he doesn’t have to be the No. 1 with D.J. Moore still there. He should help whoever the quarterback is in Chicago, and I still believe they need to move on from Justin Fields and draft Caleb Williams with the No. 1 pick.

Surprisingly, Fields is still with the Bears as the trade market has not materialized for him despite several quarterbacks already being traded this week, including Mac Jones, Sam Howell, and Desmond Ridder.

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Notable Additions: RB Zack Moss, TE Mike Gesicki, DT Sheldon Rankins, S Geno Stone, S Vonn Bell
  • Notable Departures: RB Joe Mixon (traded), CB Chidobe Awuzie, DT D.J. Reader, WR Tyler Boyd, OT Jonah Williams
  • Key Re-signings: WR Tee Higgins (franchise tag), TE Drew Sample

Unless someone swoops in and steals Tee Higgins from the team, this feels like a marginal offseason for the Bengals. Going from Joe Mixon to Zack Moss at running back is about a wash at best. Mike Gesicki has never been much at tight end, and now he’s in an offense that hasn’t done much to feature tight ends over the years. I’d still rather have Tyler Boyd as my third wideout than Gesicki as my main pass-catching tight end, however.

They lost D.J. Reader, but they basically balanced that out by adding another run-stuffing defensive tackle in D.J. Reader. Safety has been a problem after cutting loose the guys that took them to the Super Bowl in 2021, but Vonn Bell has returned to the team after a year away in Carolina. The Bengals were also able to pull safety Geno Stone away from the Ravens after he had a career-high 7 interceptions in 2023.

Overall, not a splashy offseason for a team expected to still be a Super Bowl contender in the AFC.

Cleveland Browns

  • Notable Additions: QB Jameis Winston, WR Jerry Jeudy (trade), LB Jordan Hicks, LB Devin Bush
  • Notable Departures: QB Joe Flacco, RB Kareem Hunt, C Nick Harris, DL Jordan Elliott, LB Anthony Walker
  • Key Re-signings: Edge Za’Darius Smith

The Browns did not elect to bring back Joe Flacco after his spirited play helped the team to the playoffs. But with Deshaun Watson’s struggles and injuries, they needed a competent backup, and they paid up for Jameis Winston from New Orleans. However, Winston won’t fix the team’s turnover problems on offense.

Cleveland also traded for Jerry Jeudy, the Denver receiver who has largely disappointed in his career. He doesn’t have to be a No. 1 here with Amari Cooper still around, but we’ll see if the Browns can get more out of him. They also added to the linebackers with Jordan Hicks and Devin Bush, though the latter was a disappointment from the Steelers.

Don’t forget the Browns are getting running back Nick Chubb back after playing most of 2023 without him. That injury return is more exciting than these new additions.

Dallas Cowboys

  • Notable Additions: LB Eric Kendricks
  • Notable Departures: RB Tony Pollard, LT Tyron Smith, CB Stephon Gilmore, C Tyler Biadasz, Edge Dorance Armstrong, DT Neville Gallimore
  • Key Re-signings: DB CJ Goodwin,LS Trent Sieg

Do you even free agency, bro?

The Cowboys have not been doing much this week, which tends to happen when you only have $2.2 million available in cap space according to Over the Cap. But even re-signing their own has been limited, and the Cowboys have already said goodbye to players like Tony Pollard, Tyron Smith, Stephon Gilmore, and Tyler Biadasz.

The only notable signing is linebacker Eric Kendricks, who played for new defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer in Minnesota for years (2015-21). That no doubt had a lot to do with Kendricks choosing Dallas over San Francisco. But at 32 years old, his prime is behind him.

Better luck in the draft, Dallas? It is a good roster not in need of a ton of fixes, but you’d think owner Jerry Jones would be serious about going “all in” when you consider his age.

Denver Broncos

  • Notable Additions: S Brandon Jones, DL Malcolm Roach
  • Notable Departures: QB Russell Wilson, WR Jerry Jeudy (trade), C Lloyd Cushenberry, LB Josey Jewell, S Justin Simmons
  • Key Re-signings: K Wil Lutz, FB Michael Burton, S P.J. Locke

If the Cowboys are having a dud of an offseason, what exactly are the Broncos doing? They’re eating a record $85 million in dead cap money over the next two years after not being able to get enough out of Russell Wilson, then they traded away Jerry Jeudy to Cleveland after another disappointing season.

They even lost their starting center, a solid linebacker in Joey Jewell, and safety Justin Simmons has been one of the best at his position over his career. Meanwhile, their signings are safety Brandon Jones and another stint with a defensive lineman (Malcolm Roach) that Sean Payton had in New Orleans. He also had fullback Michael Burton and kicker Will Lutz with him in New Orleans, so this is looking like a sad reunion of the washed-up Saints.

Payton needs a huge draft to turn things around here as 2024 is already looking like a lost season where the team could (should?) finish last in the AFC West.

Detroit Lions

  • Notable Additions: CB Carlton Davis (trade), Edge Marcus Davenport, CB Amik Robertson, DT D.J. Reader
  • Notable Departures: WR Josh Reynolds, OG Jonah Jackson, CB C.J. Gardner-Johnson
  • Key Re-signings: OG Graham Glasgow, LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, CB Emmanuel Moseley, K Michael Badgley

I’m a little disappointed with Detroit as I thought they had enough cap space to strike while the iron is hot and make a big move like getting Danielle Hunter for the pass rush. The offense is pretty stacked, so at least they accordingly signed new players on defense like Marcus Davenport, D.J. Reader, and Amik Robertson, but none of them can have the impact of a Hunter. Carlton Davis was a decent trade at corner for a secondary that allowed five straight quarterbacks to throw for over 340 yards late in the year.

But the Lions are largely going to run it back with the roster that had them on the doorstep of the Super Bowl. Maybe that’s not the worst plan, but the defense has to get much better if they want to stay in that position with Green Bay coming in the division.

Green Bay Packers

  • Notable Additions: RB Josh Jacobs, S Xavier McKinney
  • Notable Departures: RB Aaron Jones, OT David Bakhtiari, OG Jon Runyan Jr., S Darnell Savage
  • Key Re-signings: RB AJ Dillon,CB/RET Keisean Nixon

The Packers lost a few starters such as long-time running back Aaron Jones and often-injured left tackle David Bakhtiari. Josh Jacobs should more than make up for the loss of Jones at running back, but I thought Jones had more versatility as a receiver. Closer to a wash there. The team is bringing back AJ Dillon after it initially looked like he was leaving too.

Going with Xavier McKinney at safety and losing Darnell Savage is more of a win for Green Bay than the running back changes.

But the Packers are sticking to their roots and not spending like crazy in free agency. It’s smart when you win a playoff game with one of the youngest offenses in NFL history. With so many teams gate-keeping the top defenders like Chris Jones, Josh Allen, and Jaylon Johnson, you can see why the Packers weren’t going to break the bank on anyone in this free agency period.

Houston Texans

  • Notable Additions: Edge Danielle Hunter, RB Joe Mixon (trade), DL Denico Autry, LB Azeez Al-Shaair, DT Folorunso Fatukasi, CB Jeff Okudah, P Tommy Townsend
  • Notable Departures: DE Jonathan Greenard, RB Devin Singletary, WR Noah Brown, DL Sheldon Rankins, LB Blake Cashman, CB Steven Nelson
  • Key Re-signings: TE Dalton Schultz, K Ka’imi Fairbairn

When you have a quarterback like C.J. Stroud on a rookie contract, you can make moves like $49 million for Danielle Hunter for the next two years. Great decision to beef up the pass rush after losing Jonathan Greenard. With Hunter, DeMeco Ryans is getting a proven vet with success in multiple systems, and he can help Will Anderson Jr. as he enters his second season. One of the best moves by any team this year.

They also lost Devin Singletary at running back but traded for Joe Mixon, which is more than fine for a replacement. Ryans can also beef up his defense with help from some AFC South defenders like Denico Autry (Colts/Titans), Azeez Al-Shaair (Titans), and Folorunso Fatukasi (Jaguars) joining the new favorite in the division.

They also got Jeff Okudah in the secondary and Kansas City punter Tommy Townsend. It’s a really solid haul that should help the team improve this season now that they’ll be expected to perform well.

Indianapolis Colts

  • Notable Additions: QB Joe Flacco
  • Notable Departures: QB Gardner Minshew, RB Zack Moss, S Julian Blackmon
  • Key Re-signings: WR Michael Pittman Jr., CB Kenny Moore, LB Zaire Franklin, DT Grover Stewart

With the way Anthony Richardson doesn’t finish games at quarterback, expect to see Joe Flacco become the sixth 40,000-yard passer to play for the Colts, joining Johnny Unitas, Peyton Manning, Kerry Collins, Philip Rivers, and Matt Ryan. He’ll take over the job from Gardner Minshew, who went to the Raiders. But the hope is Richardson stays healthy this year and Flacco is just an emergency option.

By and large, the Colts signed their own this year. The big one was making sure Michael Pittman Jr. is sticking around to be their No. 1 wide receiver. But they also did a good job of keeping Kenny Moore, Zaire Franklin, and Grover Stewart as key contributors to the defense.

Are the Colts good enough of a roster to only re-sign their own and a backup quarterback? Probably not, but they were very close to the playoffs last year despite a lot of injuries on offense to their main starters. We’ll see what Shane Steichen can do in his second year as coach.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Notable Additions: DL Arik Armstead, QB Mac Jones (trade), WR Gabe Davis, WR Devin Duvernay, C Mitch Morse, S Darnell Savage, CB Ronald Darby
  • Notable Departures: WR Calvin Ridley, CB Darious Williams, S Rayshawn Jenkins, K Brandon McManus
  • Key Re-signings: Edge Josh Allen (franchise tag), OG Ezra Cleveland

The Jaguars have made a lot of moves but I’m not sure they are any better of a football team for them. Keeping Josh Allen with the franchise tag is big as you can’t trust Travon Walker to be your best edge rusher just yet. In the AFC, you need two guys like that to get after these great quarterbacks. Adding Arik Armstead to the defensive line is also good, though he is past his prime and that’s why San Francisco was content with not paying the price at this point.

One thing we can confidently say is the Calvin Ridley trade was not a success for the Jaguars. They only got one so-so season out of him, and Chrisitan Kirk still looked like the receiver Trevor Lawrence was most comfortable with. The Jags are bringing in Gabe Davis this year from Buffalo, though he’s an inconsistent deep threat who will mix huge games with bagels.

Center Mitch Morse was probably the best available option in free agency at that position, so that’s a good move up front. But it’s a marginal move at best at safety when you go from Rayshawn Jenkins to Darnell Savage (Packers).

Again, I’m not sure the Jaguars are any better than they were a week ago. The trade for quarterback Mac Jones is also just comical at this point. That means the Jaguars have the No. 1 and No. 15 picks at quarterback from the 2021 draft on their roster in 2024. What a disappointing class that has turned out to be.

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Notable Additions: WR Marquise Brown, TE Irv Smith Jr., P Matt Araiza
  • Notable Departures: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, OT Donovan Smith, WR Mecole Hardman, RB Jerick McKinnon, LB Willie Gay Jr., P Tommy Townsend
  • Key Re-signings: DT Chris Jones, CB L’Jarius Sneed (transition tag), LB Drue Tranquill

Been waiting for the Chiefs to make a move bigger than a new punter or a No. 3 tight end. But Thursday night, it finally came when it was announced the Chiefs signed Arizona wideout Marquise Brown to a 1-year deal worth up to $11 million. It’s a good move as he should be an improvement on the deep threat Marquez Valdes-Scantling was supposed to be in this offense.

The money is also fine as Brown shouldn’t have to be more than the No. 3 option behind Travis Kelce and Rashee Rice. He can ball out with Patrick Mahomes, maybe win a Super Bowl ring, then hit a huge contract somewhere else in 2025. But make no mistake about it, the Chiefs should still use a high draft pick on wide receiver too. The draft is loaded with them this year.

But the big win for the Chiefs was inking Chris Jones to a 5-year extension that should help him retire with the team as they try to make this three-peat happen this year. That was the important one, and they also need to make sure L’Jarius Sneed comes back at the corner, though after using the transition tag, there is still no long-term deal in place there.

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Notable Additions: QB Gardner Minshew, DL Christian Wilkins
  • Notable Departures: RB Josh Jacobs, QB Jimmy Garoppolo, WR Hunter Renfrow, OT Jermaine Eluemunor, TE Austin Hooper, CB Amik Robertson
  • Key Re-signings: RB Ameer Abdullah, C Andre James

Can we all agree the Raiders have to do better than Aidan O’Connell at quarterback for Week 1? Garnder Minshew can do that, but I’d still expect a draft pick to come too.

The biggest prize the Raiders got was Christian Wilkins from Miami. You just hope he can live up to the contract as he’ll only have to be the team’s second-best pass rusher behind Maxx Crosby, and he is coming off a career year where he had 9.0 sacks. You just hope he can live up to that level of play and it wasn’t a one-year wonder-to-get-paid situation. But the Raiders are going to be led by their defense and they needed to give Crosby help for a change.

I don’t hate losing Josh Jacobs as the 2022 rushing title felt like an outlier in his career. The team can move on without him, but they definitely need to get something more definitive at quarterback for the long term.

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Notable Additions: RB Gus Edwards, TE Will Dissly, TE Hayden Hurst
  • Notable Departures: WR Keenan Allen, RB Austin Ekeler, WR Mike Williams, TE Gerald Everett, LB Eric Kendricks, LB Kenneth Murray
  • Key Re-signings: S Alohi Gilman

Well, the Chargers are clearly going to run the ball under Jim Harbaugh and new offensive coordinator Greg Roman. No surprise they snatched up Gus Edwards after he played for Harbaugh’s brother and Roman in Baltimore.

But did they really need to get rid of 57.3% of Justin Herbert’s career passing yards? That’s the percentage for Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler, and Gerald Everett combined. We can argue that Ekeler was over the hill for a back, Everett was nothing special, and Williams was always hurt. But Allen can still play and is so reliable. I don’t blame him if he didn’t want to take a pay cut.

The Chargers are clearly going to have to draft another receiver now as you can’t go into 2024 with this receiving corps. They also are keeping pass rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack in town after restructuring their deals. They need to stay healthy.

It’s a bold experiment going on right now with the Chargers. I’m just a little concerned the weapons aren’t there for Herbert, and the defense may not be top-tier right away either. But we’ll trust Harbaugh to figure it out.

Los Angeles Rams

  • Notable Additions: OG Jonah Jackson, CB Darious Williams, TE Colby Parkinson
  • Notable Departures: QB Carson Wentz, S Jordan Fuller, K Brett Maher
  • Key Re-signings: OG Kevin Doston, WR Demarcus Robinson

It’s been a low-key offseason for the Rams. Can’t complain about keeping Kevin Dotson in town after a strong season for the team. Demarcus Robinson also did some good things as a new No. 3 wide receiver.

They added Jonah Jackson at guard to help give Matthew Stafford a stouter line. They acquired Darious Williams for the secondary. In fact, he turns 31 today and used to play for the Rams (2018-21), so there’s already experience with the system there.

Again, it’s a ho-hum haul for a team that should be looking to the draft to finally add some pieces to the defense. We rarely get to talk about the Rams and the draft, but they’ll have some important picks this year.

Miami Dolphins

  • Notable Additions: TE Jonnu Smith, Edge Shaq Barrett, C Aaron Brewer, LB Jordyn Brooks, S Jordan Poyer, DT Neville Gallimore, CB Kendall Fuller
  • Notable Departures: DL Christian Wilkins, CB Xavien Howard, OG Robert Hunt, WR Chase Claypool, LB Jerome Baker, Edge Andrew Van Ginkel, S Brandon Jones
  • Key Re-signings: OL Robert Jones

The Dolphins are going in a new direction on defense with coordinator Vic Fangio out after a year on the job. They also have said goodbye to edge rusher Christian Wilkins (Raiders) after his best season, and corner Xavien Howard is out after a long career in Miami.

But if the choices were to re-sign an aging corner or a potential contract-year wonder in Wilkins, I can’t really complain with Miami’s choices to move on from those players. They did at least bring in a veteran edge rusher in Shaq Barrett to team with Bradley Chubb, and Kendall Fuller was a good signing later in the week at corner. That’s making up for those losses.

But they did also let Robert Hunt go to the Panthers as their new guard, and they lost another edge rusher in Andrew Van Ginkel. At least they replaced a safety (Brandon Jones) with Jordan Poyer from the Bills. But they added Jordyn Brooks at linebacker, and Jonnu Smith is coming off a career season at tight end to a team that needs more from that position.

I still think the Dolphins need a third quality receiving option to go with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, but maybe the draft will provide that.

Minnesota Vikings

  • Notable Additions: RB Aaron Jones, DE Jonathan Greenard, QB Sam Darnold, LB Blake Cashman, LB Andrew Van Ginkel
  • Notable Departures: QB Kirk Cousins, Edge Danielle Hunter, QB Joshua Dobbs, RB Alexander Mattison, WR K.J. Osborn, Edge Marcus Davenport, LB Jordan Hicks, LB Anthony Barr
  • Key Re-signings: OT David Quessenberry, TE Johnny Mundt

The Vikings are in dangerous territory of becoming a Justin Jefferson Jugs Machine and nothing more after cutting ties with quarterback Kirk Cousins and their best pass rusher Danielle Hunter.

I guess Kevin O’Connell liked what he saw from Sam Darnold in San Francisco and thinks maybe he can mold him in his offense. But the Vikings should really consider drafting a quarterback too even if it’s Bo Nix or Michael Penix Jr.

They made up for some of their linebacker losses by bringing in Andrew Van Ginkel (Dolphins) and Blake Cashman (Texans). They also lured Aaron Jones away from suitors after a nice career in Green Bay. He’s better than Alexander Mattison ever was.

I also liked the move of getting Jonathan Greenard from the Texans. He’s not as good as Hunter but he’s still young (going on 27) and had 12.5 sacks last year.

Overall, the Vikings do not look like much of a contender after this week, but they are not in total rebuild mode either.

New England Patriots

  • Notable Additions: QB Jacoby Brissett, RB Antonio Gibson, TE Austin Hooper, OT Chukwuma Okorafor
  • Notable Departures: QB Mac Jones (trade), OT Trent Brown, WR DeVante Parker, TE Mike Gesicki, RB Ezekiel Elliott, LB Mack Wilson, CB J.C. Jackson
  • Key Re-signings: OT Mike Onwenu, TE Hunter Henry, WR Kendrick Bourne, S Kyle Duggar (Transition Tag), Edge Josh Uche, Edge Anfernee Jennings

The Patriots may have made more moves than any team this month, but I’m not sure if they are any better as a team. Jacoby Brissett is better than the quarterbacks they had last year, but they still need to strongly consider going quarterback at the top of the draft this year. The Mac Jones experiment is over after he was traded to Jacksonville.

What will that quarterback have around him? Not a whole lot. Antonio Gibson is a marginal back at this point. Austin Hooper is another backup tight end who likely won’t amount to much in New England. At least they are keeping Hunter Henry.

But the Patriots are in need of a full rebuild. New coach Jerod Mayo has a huge task ahead of him in replacing a legendary coach like Bill Belichick.

New Orleans Saints

  • Notable Additions: LB Willie Gay Jr.
  • Notable Departures: WR Michael Thomas, TE Jimmy Graham, QB Jameis Winston, OT Andrus Peat, DL Malcolm Roach, LB Zack Baun, CB Lonnie Johnson
  • Key Re-signings: LB Demario Davis, S Tyrann Mathieu

Under the phrase “cap hell” should be a picture of the Saints. They keep doing this to themselves, and it’s not allowing them to build a young team for the future or improve one that can compete for a Super Bowl again.

The Saints have done very little this week, adding a marginal linebacker in Willie Gay Jr. from the Chiefs. He can spy quarterbacks and move, but he’s not someone who is going to be involved in the pass rush or have great coverage stats. They did keep Demario Davis and Tyrann Mathieu in town, though Michael Thomas is on his way out after injuries have ruined the wide receiver’s career.

Not much to see here, which is what you can write about most of the games on the schedule for the Saints this year.

New York Giants

  • Notable Additions: Edge Brian Burns (trade), QB Drew Lock, RB Devin Singletary, WR Isaiah McKenzie, G Jermaine Eluemunor, G Jon Runyan Jr.
  • Notable Departures: RB Saquon Barkley, QB Tyrod Taylor, S Xavier McKinney, WR Sterling Shepard, OG Justin Pugh, DL A’Shawn Robinson
  • Key Re-signings: N/A

The oddsmakers like the moves the Giants made, because getting a pass rusher like Brian Burns for a 2nd and 5th-round pick is pretty good work. But the Giants still have the albatross around their neck of paying Daniel Jones when he isn’t a franchise quarterback. They also lost their best backup in Tyrod Taylor, who would be a better fit at running this offense for coach Brian Daboll. Can’t say I have ever been a fan of Drew Lock, who they acquired from Seattle.

They let Saquon Barkley go too, but that’s fine. Running backs are replaceable. Devin Singletary played for Daboll in Buffalo, so he can do this in more of a committee approach than what they had with Barkley. Isaiah McKenzie is another former Buffalo receiver making the move back to Daboll. They let go of longtime slot receiver Sterling Shepard after some injuries.

Before we hammer the quarterbacks again, this offensive line was an embarrassment last season. They had to address it in free agency, and they chose the guard position to do that with, adding Jermaine Eluemunor from the Raiders and Jon Runyan Jr. from the Packers. Both have multiple years of experience and should help.

But the tackles are going to need work too. At least there’s still the draft to come.

New York Jets

  • Notable Additions: QB Tyrod Taylor, OT Morgan Moses (trade), OG John Simpson, CB Isaiah Oliver
  • Notable Departures: Edge Bryce Huff, OT Mekhi Becton, TE C.J. Uzomah, WR Randall Cobb, OT Billy Turner, S Jordan Whitehead
  • Key Re-signings: K Greg Zuerlein, P Thomas Morstead

Well, at least if Aaron Rodgers leaves to run for vice president, we can watch Tyrod Taylor instead of Zach Wilson. Fun.

The Jets haven’t done a ton here, but like the Giants, they needed to upgrade that offensive line. They traded for Morgan Moses, who should slip right in at right tackle. They gave up on the Mekhi Becton experiment after injuries derailed him. They added John Simpson, a left guard from the Ravens. That should help the running game get some traction this year after none in 2023.

But the defense is largely the same outside of losing Bryce Huff and Jordan Whitehead. There also hasn’t been any trade yet to get Davante Adams, and the team cut Randall Cobb, so Rodgers might be getting annoyed by now. Stay tuned for his future theories on what the Jets should do.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Notable Additions: RB Saquon Barkley, Edge Bryce Huff, CB C.J. Gardner-Johnson, WR DeVante Parker, LB Zack Baun, LB Devin White
  • Notable Departures: RB D’Andre Swift, QB Marcus Mariota, RB Boston Scott, WR Julio Jones, LB Shaquille Leonard, S Kevin Byard
  • Key Re-signings: OG Landon Dickerson, DE Brandon Graham, K Jake Elliott

The Eagles are going to look a bit different next year when Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox are both retired. Beyond that, they’ll have Saquon Barkley at running back instead of D’Andre Swift. Barkley may not be the savior prospect he was made out to be, but that’s an upgrade if the team wants to establish more of an identity like they had in 2022 with Miles Sanders.

They still don’t really have a great No. 3 receiving option to go with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. Devante Parker comes over from New England, but he is the worst wide receiver in the NFL at creating separation. The only thing good about that move is maybe they put Smith in the slot more or free him up some.

Not really feeling the Devin White move either at linebacker when there were better players out there this season. But Bryce Huff and Zack Baun can contribute. It was also a decent idea to bring C.J. Garnder-Johnson back to the secondary after he spent a year with the Lions.

Locking up guard Landon Dickerson was a good move too. The Eagles can’t afford to keep losing interior linemen after Kelce’s retirement.

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Notable Additions: QB Russell Wilson, LB Patrick Queen, CB Donte Jackson (trade)
  • Notable Departures: WR Diontae Johnson (trade), QB Mason Rudolph, CB Patrick Peterson, C Mason Cole
  • Key Re-signings: DT Montravious Adams

The Steelers obviously needed to do something at quarterback as a training camp and preseason with Kenny Pickett vs. Mason Rudolph was going to be so underwhelming to watch unfold. Rudolph went to Tennessee to presumably back up Will Levis, but that only happened after the Steelers pulled off a $1.2 million contract to sign Russell Wilson.

A few years ago, this would have been an outstanding move to replace Ben Roethlisberger. But the reason it was so cheap is because the Broncos wanted nothing to do with Wilson after two bad years that they were willing to eat a record $85 million in dead cap money these next two years.

Is Wilson washed up? We have all offseason to answer that, but the signs are not looking great. This is also going to shake up Pickett’s development, but Wilson is better suited to take advantage of new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith’s offense with play-action deep shots to George Pickens.

Which other receivers will catch the ball? Good question, because the Steelers traded Diontae Johnson to Carolina for little in return even if Donte Jackson starts at corner for the departed Patrick Peterson. But Diontae was their best route runner, and while he was a poor man’s Antonio Brown, he was still valuable to the team. They’re going to have to hit up the draft again for some new wide receivers as Pickens is not enough by himself.

The Steelers also made an unusual move by signing linebacker Patrick Queen from Baltimore. If he was as great as some think, there’s no way the Ravens let him get away after his rookie contract expired. But Queen can be better than Myles Jack and some of the other players the Steelers have been using at linebacker in recent years.

On the bright side, at least the Wilson and Queen moves mean the Steelers won’t be reaching with a first-round pick to take another quarterback or off-ball linebacker.

San Francisco 49ers

  • Notable Additions: Edge Leonard Floyd, DE Yetur Gross-Matos, DT Jordan Elliott, DT Maliek Collins (trade)
  • Notable Departures: DL Arik Armstead, QB Sam Darnold, Edge Clein Ferrell, Edge Chase Young, CB Isaiah Oliver
  • Key Re-signings: OT Colton McKivitz, S George Odum

We were calling this the most talented roster in the league last year. Most of the stars are returning, but defense is obviously where the team can stand to get better the most. They let Arik Armstead walk, but they traded for Maliek Collins from Houston to try to shore up that middle of the defensive line.

Leonard Floyd comes over from Buffalo in a very San Francisco move to give Nick Bosa a bookend for the pass rush. But otherwise, the 49ers are rolling with a familiar lineup as they try to bounce back from another Super Bowl loss under Kyle Shanahan.

Seattle Seahawks

  • Notable Additions: QB Sam Howell (trade), S Rayshawn Jenkins
  • Notable Departures: QB Drew Lock, LB Bobby Wagner, OG Damien Lewis, TE Colby Parkinson, TE Will Dissly, LB Jordyn Brooks
  • Key Re-signings: DE Leonard Williams, TE Noah Fant

The Seahawks mostly took care of their own by bringing Leonard Williams back to the defensive line. They also kept tight end Noah Fant while letting their other tight ends walk to other teams. Bobby Wagner did leave again in the linebackers to go to Washington.

But Washington also sent Sam Howell over in a trade, pulling the plug on that experiment at quarterback after one season as a starter. Sam Howell was a sack machine in 2023, and the team will hope to build him up and play him behind Geno Smith with maybe some future value there.

Otherwise, the only other notable signing was safety Rayshawn Jenkins from Jacksonville. He is 30 years old and a downgrade from the caliber of safety new coach Mike Macdonald was relying on in Baltimore last year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Notable Additions: S Jordan Whitehead
  • Notable Departures: Edge Shaq Barrett, CB Carlton Davis (traded), LB Devin White
  • Key Re-signings: QB Baker Mayfield, WR Mike Evans, LB Lavonte David, S Antoine Winfield Jr. (franchise tag), K Chase McLaughlin

The Buccaneers took care of their own more than most teams this offseason. They made sure to bring Baker Mayfield back after his impressive debut season in Tampa, which led to a division title and playoff win. They also didn’t let Mike Evans get away, so he’ll return to Tampa for his 11th season, seeking another 1,000 yards.

They also kept Lavonte David, the linebacker they drafted in 2012. They slapped the franchise tag on safety Antoine Winfield Jr. after his best season, and they even brought Jordan Whitehead back to the team from the Jets. He was a fourth-round pick by the team in 2018 and won a Super Bowl in 2020.

But not everyone is back as the defense let Shaq Barrett and Devin White go and traded Carlton Davis to the Lions.

Running it back can be fun, but it also can make it hard to repeat your success with so little change. The Buccaneers learned this in 2021 when they brought back essentially their entire Super Bowl-winning team, only to lose in the divisional round that year.

Are we really sure 9-8 in a bad division was the blueprint for sustained success? We’ll find out in Tampa this year.

Tennessee Titans

  • Notable Additions: WR Calvin Ridley, RB Tony Pollard, QB Mason Rudolph, C Lloyd Cushenberry, LB Kenneth Murray, CB Chidobe Awuzie, K Nick Folk
  • Notable Departures: QB Ryan Tannehill, RB Derrick Henry, LB Azeez Al-Shaair, DL Denico Autry, CB Sean Murphy-Bunting
  • Key Re-signings: LS Morgan Cox

The Titans have made a lot of moves, but this is another team where I’m not sure it’s any better than it was a week ago. A lot of it will depend on how good Will Levis is in his second season, but his first working with a coaching staff that did not draft him or have him as a rookie.

But they spent a lot to get Calvin Ridley even if his year in Jacksonville wasn’t that impressive. Hard to believe the Titans are willing to spend this much on a wide receiver when they could have just extended A.J. Brown before trading him to the Eagles in 2022, but here we are.

Tony Pollard is also a decent replacement for Derrick Henry, but it’s clearly a different direction for the offense. They have a new center too in Lloyd Cushenberry from Denver, and they added a few potential Week 1 starters on defense with linebacker Kenneth Murray and corner Chidobe Awuzie.

It’s a new look for the Titans all around, but it feels like a team you can safely write off from making the playoffs in 2024 unless Levis has a shocking season with Brian Callahan as his rookie coach.

Washington Commanders

  • Notable Additions: QB Marcus Mariota, RB Austin Ekeler, TE Zach Ertz, OG Nick Allegretti, C Tyler Biadasz, Edge Dorance Armstrong, LB Frankie Luvu, LB Bobby Wagner, DE Clelin Ferrell, K Brandon McManus
  • Notable Departures: QB Sam Howell (trade), RB Antonio Gibson, QB Jacoby Brissett, WR Curtis Samuel, TE Logan Thomas, OT Charles Leno, CB Kendall Fuller
  • Key Re-signings: N/A

Dan Quinn’s Commanders have been busy on the transaction wire this week, but count this as another team I’m skeptical about the improvement for. They dumped Sam Howell in Seattle and also let Jacoby Brissett go to Washington, so they added Marcus Mariota from the free agent list. They have to go quarterback in the draft with that high pick, right?

Replacing Antonio Gibson with Austin Ekeler is a slight improvement, but Ekeler also is past his prime now. Zach Ertz is even closer to retirement, but maybe he’ll stay healthier than Logan Thomas did. But the wide receivers also lost Curtis Samuel without adding anyone big to pair up with Terry McLaurin.

On the bright side, Brandon McManus was one of the better kickers in free agency. Bobby Wagner is a veteran linebacker to run Quinn’s defense, and they also got Frankie Luvu as a tackling machine from Carolina. They might have overpaid for defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., but that was a case of Quinn getting someone familiar from his Dallas defense in Washington this year.

Again, it’s a lot of lateral movements for a franchise that is stuck in irrelevancy mode. The Commanders need to crush this draft class more than most teams do.

Changes in Super Bowl LIX Odds

Finally, I wanted to take a look at the updated Super Bowl LIX odds. I took a screenshot of FanDuel’s odds from Sunday night before these moves started pouring in during the week. Then I took another screenshot on Friday morning to compare how these signings and trades have changed the odds.

Bold means the team’s odds have improved. Italics means the team’s odds have declined.

  • San Francisco 49ers (+500) – No change
  • Kansas City Chiefs (+650) – No change
  • Baltimore Ravens (+900) – No change
  • Buffalo Bills (+1200) – No change
  • Dallas Cowboys (+1300) – No change
  • Detroit Lions (+1300) – No change
  • Cincinnati Bengals (+1500) – No change
  • Philadelphia Eagles (+1600) – Up from +1700
  • Houston Texans (+2000) – Up from +2500
  • Miami Dolphins (+2200) – Down from +2100
  • Green Bay Packers (+2200) – No change
  • Los Angeles Rams (+3000) – No change
  • New York Jets (+3000) – No change
  • Atlanta Falcons (+3000) – Up from +3300
  • Cleveland Browns (+4000) – No change
  • Los Angeles Chargers (+4000) – Down from +3000
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (+4000) – No change
  • Chicago Bears (+4000) – Up from +5000
  • Indianapolis Colts (+5000) – No change
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+5500) – No change
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (+7500) – No change
  • Seattle Seahawks (+7500) – No change
  • Las Vegas Raiders (+8000) – No change
  • New Orleans Saints (+8500) – No change
  • Minnesota Vikings (+8500) – Down from +6000
  • Arizona Cardinals (+10000) – Down from +8500
  • New York Giants (+10000) – Up from +15000
  • Tennessee Titans (+13000) – No change
  • Washington Commanders (+15000) – No change
  • Denver Broncos (+15000) – Down from +10000
  • New England Patriots (+17000) – No change
  • Carolina Panthers (+30000) – Down from +25000

Some thoughts on these updated odds:

  • 21 of 32 teams did not see their odds change, including those teams I said it felt like they had lateral movements and made little impact with their transactions this week (Commanders, Titans, Patriots, Jaguars, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Cowboys, Bills, Bengals, Lions, etc.)
  • Kirk Cousins only improved the Falcons from +3300 to +3000, but the departures of Cousins and Danielle Hunter in Minnesota led to one of the steepest drops (from +6000 to +8500).
  • Likewise, the Broncos getting rid of Russell Wilson and Jerry Jeudy while bringing in little in return dropped Denver from +10000 to +15000.
  • The Brian Burns trade also seemed to have a big impact with the Giants going from +15000 to +10000 while the Panthers plummeted from the worst odds to begin with (+25000) down to +30000.
  • The loss of Justin Herbert’s weapons in Los Angeles produced one of the week’s biggest declines with the Chargers falling from +3000 to +4000.
  • The trade of Keenan Allen to Chicago in particular hurt the Chargers, and it also helped the Bears as they improved from +5000 to +4000.

The contender with the best improvement in odds was Houston, which went from +2500 to +2000 after adding Danielle Hunter to the pass rush. We already touched on Houston being possibly the best AFC contender to prevent Kansas City’s three-peat this year. Giving C.J. Stroud another year of experience to grow with the same offensive coordinator and an improved defense coached by DeMeco Ryans could be the right stuff to stop that Kansas City dynasty.

The oddsmakers agree that the Texans have done a very good job with free agency compared to the other contenders.

Some quality players remain free agents going into the weekend, but the focus is now going to start turning towards April’s draft, the next step in the process of getting to Super Bowl LIX.

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