2024 Free Agents and Stashes

It’s time to get set to kick off the 2023 season. Let’s look at some of the players set to become UFAs after this season and who could benefit. My 2024 Free Agents and Stashes Guide will serve to highlight a few of the key players who will be unrestricted free agents (UFAs) after this season. It will also highlight who on the current roster could be a worthwhile stash for next season.


Kirk Cousins, Vikings

Kirk Cousins is currently 35 and is about to begin his 12th NFL season. Cousins has seen a decrease in efficiency over the past few years despite seeing a higher pass volume than he was accustomed to. While he still holds value, it remains uncertain whether the Vikings will bring him back for another playoff run or move on. Minnesota seems to be stuck in the all-in position despite not being a legitimate contenders. It’s impossible to know for sure what they plan to do. If they don’t extend the veteran signal-caller, they will likely have to draft his replacement as the only potential future option is rookie Jaren Hall out of BYU.

Who Benefits: Jaren Hall is the only potential replacement on this roster. He was a 5th-round pick so it is more likely that they turn to a free agent or a 2024 should the Vikings let Cousins walk.

Ryan Tannehill, Titans

Ryan Tannehill is also 35 and entering his 12th NFL season. While he has the same experience as Cosuins they are very different. It’s significantly more likely that the Titans move on from Tannehill before the Vikings move on from Cousins. The Titans are likely to start the season attempting to contend. If they fall out of the playoff race they are likely to turn the ship over to a younger quarterback.

Who Benefits: The Titans have two separate options currently on their roster. Malik Willis was drafted in the third round in 2022. Will Levis was taken in the second round in 2023. I expect both youngsters to get a shot once the Titans move on from Tannehill. I expect Levis to win the job. If Tennessee was content with Willis, they wouldn’t have used a second-round pick on Levis. Levis has the talent to be a terrific pocket passer and should be the Titan’s quarterback of the future.

Running Backs

Derrick Henry, Titans

Derrick Henry is 29 years old and is going into his 8th NFL season. Much like with Tannehill, the Titans are likely to move on from him after this season and enter a rebuild. The star running back has had more touches in recent memory than anyone else currently stepping on the gridiron. This should be Henry’s last ride with the Titans if not the NFL entirely.

Who Benefits: The Titans have an interesting collection of young running backs on their roster should they decide to move on from Henry. Julius Chestnut and Hassan Haskins were both drafted in 2022 and they followed that up by drafting Tyjae Spears in 2023. Spears would appear to be the most electric of the three but he has injury concerns regarding his ACL, or lack thereof. My personal choice would be Julius Chestnut, but Spears is the safe bet for a stash.

Austin Ekeler, Chargers

Austin Ekeler is 28 years old and is entering his 7th NFL season. He wasn’t the sole ball carrier during his time in Denver but has been the main guy in Los Angeles. A good portion of that work has been in the passing game so it has helped to limit his wear and tear. Despite this Ekeler may simply be the victim of the current NFL running back market. He may be a critical cog in the Charger’s game plan, but NFL teams simply aren’t paying for aging running backs anymore.

Who Benefits: The Chargers have been notoriously bad with their running back draft picks. Every year without fail they draft one, and every year they do nothing. Currently, the most likely candidates on the roster are Joshua Kelley and Isaiah Spiller. Neither figures to be fantasy-relevant anytime soon and if the Chargers move on from Ekeler, their liking course would be to draft another rookie. Let’s hope they get it right this time.

Saquon Barkley, Giants

Saquon Barkley is 26 years old and is entering his 6th NFL season. Much like Ekeler he is the victim of his own success and the running back market. Barkley however, has dealt with significantly more injuries than Ekeler. The Giants seem to be a solid squad in a tough division and it remains to be seen if they are legitimate contenders. With the contentious offseason surrounding a potential holdout, it is highly unlikely he will return for another season with the Giants.

Who Benefits: James Robinson was released by the Giants today so that clears some room on this depth chart. The top two options are Matt Breida and Gary Brightwell. Neither of these are long-term options or good options. By far the best option for Barkley’s replacement is rookie Eric Gray. Gray lacks the high-end potential that Barkley possesses, but he could be a nice bridge running back.

Wide Receivers

Marquise Brown, Cardinals

Marquise Brown is an interesting case as he is currently expected to have a big scene after the Cardinals have moved on from DeAndre Hopkins. Yet, with the uncertainty around this offence, his future is unclear. The Cardinals are clearly in the midst of a rebuild, so barring a great season by Brown it’s unlikely they would want to pay what he will demand on the open market, similar to Christian Kirk.

Who Benefits: This roster is likely to see serious turnover before week one of next season. As it currently stands, the best option to take the next step is rookie receiver Michael Wilson. Wilson spent his college career at Stanford and showed if he can ever stay healthy he could be an elite talent.

Mike Evans, Buccaneers

Mike Evans is 30 years old and is entering his 10th NFL season. He has been remarkably consistent for his entire career but is showing signs of decline. In addition to his decline, the Buccaneer’s offence projects to be bad and the team looks to be on the brink of a full rebuild. Tampa Bay could be in line for the first-overall pick and could see a new franchise quarterback in town. If that becomes the case, it remains a mystery as to whether or not they would re-sign the aging veteran.

Who Benefits: While Chris Godwin is the obvious beneficiary of Evans leaving in free agency, my target would be rookie Trey Palmer. Godwin will be by far the more expensive of the two. Palmer was elite in his one season at Nebraska and if he gets the chance to carve out a roll, could be a star.

Michael Pittman, Colts

Michael Pittman burst onto the scene as a rookie out of USC but has since disappointed. The Colts are a team that has already laid the groundwork for a rebuild and it remains unclear how that will play out for two of their stars. The Colts have already had a contract dispute with Jonathan Taylor, so it’s no guarantee that Pittman would be re-signed at a much higher price tag.

Who Benefits: This wide receiver room is a confusing mess. The best bets to replace Pittman should he leave in free agency would be Alec Pierce or Josh Downs. Both receivers are talented, but both profile as slot receivers. As far as fantasy is concerned, Downs could be a great buy if he were to see a large role next season.

Tight Ends

Dalton Schultz, Texans

Dalton Schultz signed a one-year deal with the Texans this offseason. The Texans are another team in a full youth movement, so they may choose to move on from Schultz after this season which could leave an opportunity for someone else in this passing game.

Who Benefits: Brevin Jordan was a young tight end I was looking forward to seeing as a starter this season, so it was disappointing to see him bumped behind Schultz. If he gets the chance next season with a second-year CJ Stroud, he could finally break out.

Tyler Higbee, Rams

Tyler Higbee is 30 years old and entering his 8th NFL season. The Rams project to be a bottom-of-the-barrel team this season and as such could begin a rebuild next season. Currently, the most enticing option in their tight-end room is probably rookie Davis Allen out of Clemson. He didn’t have any huge measure of success in college, but the other options are Brycen Hopkins and Hunter Long so they will have to piece something together.

Gerald Everett, Chargers

Gerald Everett is 29 years old and is going into his 7th NFL season. The Chargers are a perennial contender and Everett has been solid but not spectacular. The question is will his age finally catch up with him and will the Chargers look for a higher ceiling?

Who Benefits: Donald Parham showed brief flashes of being a reliable, monster-tight end. That potential was quickly dampened by a rather notorious concussion. Should the Chargers choose to move on from Everett, Parham could be a Rob Gronkowski-like presence in the end-zone.

Other Notable 2024 Free Agents

Running Backs: Tony Pollard (DAL), Jonathan Taylor (IND), JK Dobbins (BAL), D’Andre Swift (PHI), Cordarrelle Patterson (ATL), Ezekiel Elliott (NE), Dalvin Cook (MIN), Devin Singletary (HOU)< Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC), Damien Harris (BUF), Cam Akers (LAR), AJ Dillon (GB), Antonio Gibson (WSH)

Wide Receivers: Curtis Samuel (WSH), Calvin Ridley (ATL), Sterling Shepard (NYGY), Odell Beckham Jr (BAL), Tee Higgins (CIN), DJ Chark (CAR),

Tight Ends: TJ Hockenson (MIN), Hunter Henry (NE), Austin Hooper (LV), Robert Tonyan (CHI), Irv Smith Jr (CIN), Adam Trautman (DEN)

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Image Credit: Brad Rempel – USA TODAY Sports