HomeTrade RumorsList of Top 25 2024 Free Agents with Realistic Expectations

List of Top 25 2024 Free Agents with Realistic Expectations

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Ninety percent of the NFL is now focused on the offseason, where free agency and the draft will fuel the hope of “next year.” Many outlets, including our own Nate Bouda, have compiled top 2024 free agent lists. However, the challenge with any free agent list is sorting through all the moves that will happen before the league year kicks off in mid-March. Some players will sign deals to stay, and some will be franchise-tagged. Therefore, in this article, we’re going one layer deeper to project a “realistic” top 25 free agents, subtracting players whom early indications suggest won’t be on the open market.

Here’s a list of players expected to not reach free agency this offseason:

– Bengals WR Tee Higgins
– Jaguars OLB Josh Allen
– Bears CB Jaylon Johnson
– Vikings QB Kirk Cousins
– Buccaneers S Antoine Winfield Jr.
– Panthers OLB Brian Burns
– Dolphins DT Christian Wilkins
– Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr.
– Ravens DT Justin Madubuike
– Giants RB Saquon Barkley

Why They Aren’t Expected to Reach Free Agency:

Bengals WR Tee Higgins
– Higgins had a challenging year, but indications suggest that the Bengals don’t plan to let him walk. They have the cap space to keep him, which suggests they may use the tag to retain him and give themselves more time to potentially negotiate a long-term deal.

Jaguars OLB Josh Allen
– With an impressive year, it’s a priority for the Jaguars to retain Allen. The franchise tag will likely be used to buy more time to negotiate a long-term agreement.

Bears CB Jaylon Johnson
– It would be surprising to see Johnson leave Chicago. The Bears are expected to use the franchise tag to secure him for 2024 and work out a long-term deal.

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins
– Since Cousins negotiated a no-tag clause, he has the opportunity to become a free agent if he chooses. However, based on his roots in Minnesota and positive relationships within the organization, it’s likely that both sides could work out another contract together.

Panthers OLB Brian Burns
– Burns’ leverage in negotiations has slightly diminished, and it’s expected that the Panthers will use the franchise tag to retain him. This would give both sides more time to negotiate a deal that satisfies everyone.

Dolphins DT Christian Wilkins
– Wilkins didn’t sign a long-term extension last offseason, and it’s likely that the Dolphins will use the franchise tag on him to keep him in 2024. This would allow both parties to assess the market for defensive tackles before entering negotiations.

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