miércoles, abril 17, 2024
InicioActualidad2024 NFL offseason: Free agency, draft questions for 32 teams
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2024 NFL offseason: Free agency, draft questions for 32 teams

Now that the 2023 NFL season is behind us and the 2024 offseason has begun, every team has a big question to face.

Can the Bengals find a way to keep Tee Higgins? How will the Broncos, Bears, Commanders, Falcons, Giants and Vikings address their quarterback conundrums? And which teams could surprise the league and release veterans to help get under the salary cap?

We asked our NFL Nation reporters to take a closer look at the biggest question each team will face this offseason and give their insight on what could happen over the next few months.

Jump to:
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LAC | LAR | LV | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF
SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

AFC EAST

How will the Bills keep their roster competitive and try to compete with the Chiefs despite a tough cap situation?

The challenge for the Bills this offseason is continuing to build a roster that can compete in a tough division and conference, while not pushing too much money down the road or creating future issues. While the official cap number for 2024 hasn’t come out yet, the Bills are estimated to be $51.8 million over, according to Roster Management System, with big contracts that could be restructured and some tough decisions to be made.

There are currently a variety of key contributors set to leave in free agency, including defensive end Leonard Floyd and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones. This is a team that is going to be trying yet again to get past the Chiefs in the postseason, and building the roster amid their cap concerns will be quite the task. — Alaina Getzenberg


Will the Dolphins extend quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s contract?

The NFL’s 2023 passing yards leader says he expects a deal to get done, and general manager Chris Grier said the goal is to have Tagovailoa playing with the Dolphins at a high level for a long time. But the Dolphins are currently $56.7 million over the projected salary cap entering the final year of his rookie contract and have several critical players set to be free agents.

Tagovailoa’s performance against Miami’s better opponents this season was suboptimal, and his physical limitations were apparent late in the season. But he is capable of running the Dolphins’ offense with machine-like precision, and his accuracy and anticipation are among the best in the league. We will see exactly how much the Dolphins value those qualities. — Marcel Louis-Jacques


What position will the Patriots target with the No. 3 pick?

In a letter to season-ticket holders, owner Robert Kraft and team president Jonathan Kraft called 2024 the “most anticipated NFL draft of our [31-year] tenure” — mainly because they have never had a pick as high as No. 3. The possibility of a quarterback generates the most buzz, but the Patriots’ offensive needs are wide-ranging. And they also have signal-callers Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe under contract, with Jones working out regularly at the team facility this offseason. — Mike Reiss


Can the Jets repair their broken offense enough to save coach Robert Saleh’s job?

A healthy quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a big step in the right direction, but the offensive line needs an overhaul. They likely need two tackles and a guard, so look for them to sign at least one starter in free agency. They can draft a tackle with the No. 10 pick, perhaps Penn State’s Olumuyiwa Fashanu or Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga.

The Jets also need a WR2, who could come in free agency or via trade. They have two young stars in running back Breece Hall and wide receiver Garrett Wilson. If they fail to build around them and take a major leap from last season — they ranked 31st in total yards — Saleh will likely be out of a job. — Rich Cimini

AFC NORTH

How much more change will the Ravens’ defense undergo?

The Ravens, who led the NFL in fewest points allowed, have a new defensive coordinator in Zachary Orr after Mike Macdonald became the Seahawks’ coach. Baltimore also lost defensive line coach Anthony Weaver (new Dolphins defensive coordinator) and defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson (new Titans D-coordinator). Now, the Ravens have to figure out how much of their defensive personnel they can retain. There are 13 unrestricted free agents on the Baltimore defense, including two Pro Bowl players (defensive tackle Justin Madubuike and linebacker Patrick Queen) and their two most productive edge rushers (Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy). — Jamison Hensley


What’s going to happen with wide receiver Tee Higgins?

Since drafting Ja’Marr Chase in 2021, the Bengals have boasted one of the league’s best receiver tandems. That future is in jeopardy, however, with Higgins set to enter free agency. How the Bengals approach his employment status — franchise tag, long-term deal, no action — will shape the future of a Cincinnati franchise that has one of the few quarterbacks (Joe Burrow) who can go toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City. Several other teams should be keeping tabs on this situation. If Higgins is available via free agency or trade, he could become a team’s No. 1 option in 2024 and beyond. — Ben Baby


Can the Browns land another big-time playmaker?

Last offseason, the Browns focused on bolstering what was the league’s worst run defense in 2022. They accomplished just that, signing free agent defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, who played a huge role in their defensive turnaround. This offseason, they could focus on adding a prominent receiver. The Browns already have two Pro Bowl pass-catchers in Amari Cooper and David Njoku. Cooper, however, will turn 30 this summer. Getting one more proven receiver could be what helps quarterback Deshaun Watson regain his form and elevate the Cleveland offense to another level. — Jake Trotter


Who will be Kenny Pickett’s competition for QB1?

Coach Mike Tomlin and owner and president Art Rooney II expressed a desire to bring in competition for their 2022 first-round pick to elevate the team’s overall quarterback play. Though Tomlin said Pickett would resume his status as QB1 in the offseason, he was also quick to say that no one is “anointed” the starter — that means new O-coordinator Arthur Smith should have the opportunity to fill out the quarterback room.

The team already mutually parted ways with Mitch Trubisky, and late-season hero Mason Rudolph is scheduled to be a free agent. Expect new players to be added through the draft and/or free agency at a position that has been largely unchanged the past two seasons. — Brooke Pryor

play

1:36

Justin Fields or Russell Wilson: Who’s a better fit for the Steelers?

The “Get Up” crew examines the potential quarterback options for the Pittsburgh Steelers next season.

AFC SOUTH

Will the Texans pay Jonathan Greenard?

The edge rusher led the team in sacks (12.5), and coach DeMeco Ryans loves him. It’s more about the price, however. Teams covet pass-rushers, and those who can get double-digit sacks and are in their mid-20s could demand contracts in the range of $20 million annually.

For example, Carl Lawson received a three-year, $45 million deal with the Jets in 2020 despite never having a 10-plus-sack season. Last offseason, the Seahawks signed Dre’Mont Jones to a three-year, $51 million contract, and he has never had more than 6.5 sacks in a season. Will the Texans pay up for Greenard? — DJ Bien-Aime


How will negotiations with Michael Pittman Jr. play out?

The Colts have several free agents, including defensive tackle Grover Stewart and cornerback Kenny Moore II. But with nearly $57 million in salary cap space projected to be at their disposal, they can certainly retain Pittman, their top wide receiver. The question, however, is what a potential new deal will look like. General manager Chris Ballard has rarely invested heavily at receiver. Meanwhile, Pittman is cognizant of his value and is looking to maximize his deal. Can the two sides find common ground? — Stephen Holder


How do the Jaguars handle free agents Josh Allen and Calvin Ridley?

Allen had a franchise-record 17.5 sacks last season, and Ridley caught the second-most passes (76) for the second-most yards (1,016) in his career. There’s only one franchise tag, so which player is general manager Trent Baalke willing to let hit free agency? If he gets a long-term contract done with either player before the tag window expires March 5, he could use the tag on the other, but that’s unlikely. He’s going to have to risk losing one. With pass-rushers at a premium, it’s likely to be Ridley, but how would being tagged impact negotiations with Allen’s camp? — Michael DiRocco


Has Derrick Henry played his last game for the Titans?

Henry’s 9,502 career rushing yards are 507 behind Eddie George for the most in Titans/Oilers franchise history. At 30 years old, he is set to hit free agency for the first time. The Titans have a new staff with a new offensive philosophy that will focus on passing the ball more. New coach Brian Callahan said Henry could absolutely fit into the scheme, though. Henry’s quest for a Super Bowl ring is something he has talked about frequently when asked about free agency. He added that he would love to win with the Titans. Will the two parties be able to come to an agreement? — Turron Davenport

AFC WEST

What is the plan at quarterback?

The Broncos have said multiple times, most recently at the Super Bowl, that a formal decision on quarterback Russell Wilson will come “sooner rather than later.” And while almost no one in the league believes that will mean anything other than the Broncos releasing Wilson, doing so would leave plenty of salary cap damage — $85 million in dead money, according to Roster Management System — and an enormous question mark at quarterback.

In the short term, the big issue would be whether the Broncos can find an upgrade over Wilson’s 26 touchdown passes in 15 games in ’23. The long-term question is whether a squeezed salary cap and just six picks in April’s draft will allow them to find a permanent solution. — Jeff Legwold


Can the Chiefs keep their defense together?

Kansas City ranked second in scoring defense this season but could be losing several key players. Defensive tackle Chris Jones, end Mike Danna, linebackers Willie Gay and Drue Tranquill and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed are free agents, and the Chiefs won’t be able to retain them all. They wouldn’t give Jones the contract extension he sought last year when he was holding out, so there’s no reason to believe they would do it in March, meaning Jones — who will turn 30 in July — could be moving on. — Adam Teicher

play

2:19

How will the Chiefs approach free agency this offseason?

The “Get Up” crew wonders how the Kansas City Chiefs can find the money to keep their team among the NFL’s elite next season.


How will general manager Tom Telesco and coach Antonio Pierce vibe in Las Vegas?

Raiders owner Mark Davis told ESPN that the general manager will have final say on all personnel decisions, and the biggest one is at quarterback, where rookie Aidan O’Connell was inconsistent after taking over for Jimmy Garoppolo midseason. Pierce wants a franchise signal-caller, and he has a relationship with Heisman winner Jayden Daniels (LSU) from when they were both at Arizona State. But jumping from the No. 13 pick in the draft to No. 2 or No. 3 might be too rich for Telesco’s taste. — Paul Gutierrez


How will the Chargers navigate their salary cap constraints?

The Chargers are projected to be $55 million over the salary cap, according to Roster Management System, with edge rushers Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa and wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams projected to have cap hits upward of $30 million next season.

These four are among the Chargers’ best players and would be essential to turning this team around quickly under new coach Jim Harbaugh, but bringing all of them back isn’t financially feasible. How the Chargers navigate the cap and what they do with these players will be the focus of this offseason. — Kris Rhim

NFC EAST

How will team owner Jerry Jones define ‘all-in’ in 2024?

Jones told reporters at the Senior Bowl in January that the Cowboys will be all-in and thinking less about the future when they’re putting together their 2024 roster. Does that mean taking a larger interest in key players in free agency rather than filling holes with low-cost fixes? Does that mean being more proactive in giving extensions to their own players early, such as wideout CeeDee Lamb, quarterback Dak Prescott and edge rusher Micah Parsons?

With coach Mike McCarthy in the final year of his contract, Prescott set to become a free agent after the 2024 season and the inability to use the franchise tag on their quarterback, Jones could view this as the last best chance to get a Super Bowl he so craves. — Todd Archer


What will the Giants do at quarterback?

Daniel Jones isn’t going anywhere this season, but the Giants set up his contract so they can get out after 2024. It’s hard to build a team around a quarterback who has had three relatively serious injuries in three years. With the No. 6 pick, will the Giants pass on a signal-caller in what is considered a strong quarterback draft? Or will they use their two second-round picks to move into the back end of the first round for a QB? The position is, at the very least, on the table for the Giants in this draft. — Jordan Raanan


Can the Eagles retool on the fly under coach Nick Sirianni?

Sirianni’s staff has been overhauled, most notably with offensive coordinator Brian Johnson and defensive coordinator Sean Desai being replaced by Kellen Moore and Vic Fangio. It can take up to a full season for players to adjust to new schemes, yet time is of the essence for the Eagles and Sirianni, whose seat has warmed up following a 1-6 finish.

It is particularly important that quarterback Jalen Hurts and Moore sync up after a year in which Hurts, Sirianni and Johnson were not in complete lockstep, which negatively impacted the offense. — Tim McManus


Which quarterback will they target to be their new starter?

Washington hired a new general manager (Adam Peters) and coach (Dan Quinn) but now needs its quarterback. The Commanders hold the No. 2 pick, which means they could stay put and likely choose between Jayden Daniels (LSU) and Drake Maye (North Carolina). Or they could explore moving into the top spot to take Caleb Williams (USC) — if the pick is even for sale and if they feel like parting with the necessary draft capital to move up a spot.

A seemingly less likely option — if they don’t like these quarterbacks — would be to sign a free agent, let him compete with incumbent Sam Howell, then trade back and acquire more draft picks so they can try again in 2025. But with a decades-long need for a stable quarterback situation, it’s hard to imagine the Commanders passing on a QB. — John Keim

NFC NORTH

What would it take for the Bears not to draft a quarterback at No. 1?

The Bears are the first team of the common draft era to land the No. 1 pick one year after trading it away. In 2023, Chicago passed on drafting quarterback C.J. Stroud, who went on to become the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. Can the Bears afford to not take a QB at No. 1, especially with USC’s Caleb Williams headlining a strong class?

If the Bears are dead set on drafting a QB, the asking price for the No. 1 pick will inevitably be higher than what they got from Carolina in 2023 (four picks and wide receiver DJ Moore). If another team is audacious enough to mortgage its future for the top pick, how far is Chicago willing to move back in the first round, and could that present a path for the franchise to still draft a QB on Day 1? — Courtney Cronin

play

1:43

McAfee: ‘There’s a lot of smoke’ with Caleb Williams, Bears

Pat McAfee and A.J. Hawk discuss recent rumors regarding Caleb Williams and his team preferences ahead of the NFL draft.


Will the Lions extend Jared Goff’s contract?

Coming off one of the best seasons of his career, Goff will be a free agent in 2025. General manager Brad Holmes said during his end-of-season news conference that the team hasn’t started communicating about Goff’s future yet, but it’ll be interesting to see whether they lock him down as their guy for the short term or the long term based on his recent play.

He’s definitely deserving of an extension, though. Goff became the third quarterback in franchise history to record multiple playoff wins (as well as the team’s first playoff wins in more than three decades) in leading the Lions to an NFC Championship Game appearance. — Eric Woodyard


What to do with David Bakhtiari?

When healthy, Bakhtiari showed he’s still one of the league’s top left tackles. The problem, however, is his health: specifically, his left knee. This fall, he had his fifth surgery on the knee since he tore his ACL on Dec. 31, 2020, and he probably won’t be able to get back on the field until training camp at the earliest.

He’s also set to cost $40.57 million against the cap next season, according to Roster Management System, although none of it is guaranteed and the Packers would pick up $21.5 million in cap space if they moved on. Rasheed Walker was a serviceable replacement after Bakhtiari’s season ended after the 2023 opener, but it’s not a sure thing that he’s the long-term answer. “We are still at the very beginning stages of looking at how we are going to move forward with all of that,” Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said recently. — Rob Demovsky


What is the future at quarterback?

The Vikings have a two-front challenge at the game’s most important position. First, they need to find out whether they’ll be able to re-sign incumbent Kirk Cousins, whose contract automatically voids on March 13. If they can’t, they’ll likely have to find a veteran to serve as at least a short-term starter. And whether they bring back Cousins, they have to decide whether the time has come to identify and (try to) acquire a longer-term answer through the draft. Cousins will be 36 this summer. — Kevin Seifert

NFC SOUTH

What will the Falcons do at quarterback?

One thing became obvious from coach Raheem Morris’ introductory news conference on Feb. 5: Atlanta is in the market for a quarterback, and perhaps a new quarterback room entirely. The Falcons haven’t had many big discussions yet about the position — Morris was working on filling out his staff and moving across the country — but he said they’ll explore free agency, trades and the draft to find an upgrade at QB. A signal-caller’s ability to process decisions will be a prime factor for the Falcons in deciding which direction to go. — Michael Rothstein


How will Dave Canales fix Bryce Young?

Young had a historically bad rookie season for quarterbacks taken with the top pick. His 11 touchdown passes were tied for the fewest of any quarterback with at least 500 pass attempts, and he had eight games without a touchdown pass, the second most ever for a No. 1 pick.

Canales, his new coach, has a track record of getting the best out of quarterbacks. Geno Smith (with Seattle) and Baker Mayfield (with Tampa Bay) had career years under his guidance. The Panthers need a lot of new players offensively, so the focus will be on what Canales does to give Young what he needs to succeed. — David Newton


Will the Saints trade cornerback Marshon Lattimore?

The team restructured Lattimore’s contract “for a reason,” according to general manager Mickey Loomis. While Loomis didn’t give details, the restructure paved the way for the Saints to potentially trade their star cornerback, who was hurt for a significant portion of the past two seasons. If Lattimore goes to a new team, it’ll represent a significant defensive shift for the Saints, as the 2017 Defensive Rookie of the Year has started 90 games in New Orleans. — Katherine Terrell


Will the Bucs re-sign wide receiver Mike Evans?

Despite Evans and his agent pressing the Bucs to get a new contract before the start of the 2023 regular season, no deal was offered. Evans tied for a league-leading 13 touchdowns in 2023, so the price likely went up. The Bucs most certainly want him back, and Evans wants to return, too — if the compensation is right. They also still need to have enough money to re-sign quarterback Baker Mayfield, safety Antoine Winfield Jr. and linebacker Lavonte David. — Jenna Laine

NFC WEST

Will the Cardinals draft Marvin Harrison Jr. with the No. 4 pick?

The Cardinals need a top wide receiver who can instantly upgrade the offense alongside Kyler Murray. Since Arizona is set at quarterback, it won’t be in the conversation to trade up to get one and can stand pat at No. 4.

Should quarterbacks go in the top three picks, Arizona will likely find itself looking at the star Ohio State receiver at No. 4. The only reason Arizona wouldn’t be around at No. 4 to take him would be if general manager Monti Ossenfort trades down for what could be a haul of picks, both in this draft and in 2025. — Josh Weinfuss


How will the Rams build on their 2023 season?

The Rams surprised many people outside the building by making the 2023 playoffs, especially doing it in a year in which they took on a lot of dead money and didn’t have the financial flexibility they had in the past. Now, they have to decide how they want to build on that success.

They still have their three “weight-bearing walls” — quarterback Matthew Stafford, defensive tackle Aaron Donald and wide receiver Cooper Kupp — and added promising young talent as well. General manager Les Snead said he doesn’t anticipate making significant moves immediately in free agency, but that the Rams do have the flexibility to “take a look.” The Rams also — at least for now — have a first-round pick for the first time since 2016. — Sarah Barshop


What can the 49ers do to get over the hump and finally win the Super Bowl?

If this feels like a repeat of recent years, it’s because it is. But the clock is ticking on the Niners’ chances at winning the franchise’s sixth Lombardi Trophy with this core of players, especially because quarterback Brock Purdy will be eligible for an extension in 2025. They are unlikely to spend big money to make any big additions in free agency, but they’re going to have to explore every possible avenue to try to conquer the final boss: Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. — Nick Wagoner

play

1:21

Schefter to McAfee: Purdy’s contract ‘a huge advantage’ for 49ers

Adam Schefter explains how Brock Purdy’s rookie contract gives the 49ers flexibility for one more season before he is eligible to sign a long-term deal.


What will GM John Schneider and new coach Mike Macdonald do at quarterback?

The Seahawks have a new coach and a new top decision-maker, with Schneider now holding final say over personnel decisions in their post-Pete Carroll power structure. Could that mean a new quarterback in 2024? Geno Smith is set to make a reasonable $22.5 million next season and has been excellent in spurts, but he was up and down last season and no longer has Carroll — perhaps his biggest supporter in the organization — calling the shots. The hiring of former University of Washington offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb has led to speculation that the Seahawks could draft Michael Penix Jr., but if they do move on from Smith, don’t discount Drew Lock being in the mix to replace him. — Brady Henderson


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