NFL Free Agency 2024: 3 storylines to watch – Metro US

NFL Free Agency 2024: 3 storylines to watch

FILE – Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) carries the ball during an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024 in Arlington, Texas. Tony Pollard, Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley, and Josh Jacobs are on the NFL’s open market. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson, File)

The new NFL league year is almost upon us, which means the free agency frenzy is about to begin. There are some really interesting storylines to follow this year, so make sure to take note of these before the chaos begins!

Running it back

This year’s free running back group is probably the best in the last decade or so. Headlined by Derrick Henry, Josh Jacobs, and Saquon Barkley, the running back position also features names like D’Andre Swift, Tony Pollard, and Devin Singletary. There is an embarrassment of riches for teams looking to revamp their backfields, but how will it all play out?

Outside of a few exceptions, running backs are starting to be paid less and less in comparison to other positions. Sprinkle in the fact that a huge group of starting-level players are all hitting the open market at the same time, and it’s fair to assume that some previously expected hefty price tags could sharply drop.

Of course, it all depends on how other GM’s view the group. If Josh Jacobs was to catch on with the Titans, for instance, and sign a huge deal worth $12M+ per season, then it’s only going to drive up the value of players like Saquon and Henry. The inverse could also happen.

With the NFL draft also lacking first-round running back talent, it also presents an interesting conundrum for those teams needing backfield depth. Do they go all-in on a big name in free agency, or trust that someone like Trey Benson can contribute out of the gate?

I’m on the edge

While not as explosive as the Running Back group, there is a flurry of big-name defensive ends all looking for a new home this offseason. Marcus Davenport, Danielle Hunter, Chase Young, and Leonard Williams highlight a group that features a mix of both experience and unharnessed potential depending on where you look.


The premium on edge rushers has sky-rocketed in recent years, with a top-10 defensive end likely costing teams $20M+ per season. With a stacked NFL Draft class of explosive pass-rushers on the horizon, will teams really be willing to fork out a ton of guaranteed money? And does that afford some more cap-savvy teams some new opportunities to go bargain bin hunting?

The Eagles are also dangling the ever-dominant Haason Reddick in trade circles in a bid to test the waters, but there hasn’t been much movement yet. He’s not the only pass-rusher being shopped around and it’s going to be interesting to see who goes where when the green flag drops for the new league year.

Quarterback Carousel

Free agency isn’t exactly loaded with elite quarterbacks, but there are some key names and stories to note.

Kirk Cousins will be searching for a new team for the first time since 2018. The 4x Pro Bowler should find a landing spot pretty comfortably and there are plenty of teams who could benefit from his experience. How much money he gets is a mystery, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Cousins get one last big payday given that he’s now 35 years old.

FILE – Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in Detroit. Kirk Cousins, Chris Jones and Mike Evans are among the best players who will be available on the open market unless their teams use a franchise tag by March 5. They’ll be joined by running backs Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs, edge rushers Josh Allen, Brian Burns and Danielle Hunter and several other talented players.(AP Photo/Duane Burleson, File)

The Chicago Bears are perhaps the most interesting team to note. Are they tied to Justin Fields or will they instead look to cash in early and sprint to their latest QB crush, Caleb Williams? There has been all kinds of noise, both positive and negative, on this and it’s only bound to pick up steam once the floodgates open.

AP Photo/Matt Patterson, File