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The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

2024 NFL Free Agency frenzy

Rajan Gandhi
A poster of significant players who have either been traded to a new team or signed with one

On March 13th, at 4 p.m ET, NFL free agency opened. A free agent is a player who does not currently have a contract with any team, therefore making them allowed to negotiate and sign with any team they want. In this year’s free agency, there are numerous players who signed with new teams or the same team they were previously on. Along with all of the recent signings, many players have also been traded around the league.

Starting with quarterbacks, there have been several who signed with new teams or that have been traded. Kirk Cousins, former quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, signed a whopping 4 year, 180 million dollar contract with the Atlanta Falcons. The Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Chicago Bears have also made moves at quarterback. The Eagles traded with the Steelers to acquire quarterback Kenny Pickett. The Steelers signed former Broncos quarterback Russel Wilson, who sources have said he will be starting this season. The Steelers then traded for Bears quarterback Justin Fields, who will back up for Wilson. With this trade, the Bears are now practically guaranteed to draft generational talent Caleb Williams at quarterback. Another quarterback on the move is Mac Jones, who was traded from the Patriots, where he started, to the Jaguars to back up Trevor Lawrence. Other notable quarterback signs and trades include Baker Mayfield and Sam Howell. Mayfield resigned with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while Howell was traded by the Washington Commanders to the Seahawks. 

There have also been some significant movements among running backs. Former Giants running back Saquon Barkley signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. This signing has caused chaos among many NFL fans as the Giants and Eagles are rivals. Some fans have called him disloyal, while others are happy he went to the Eagles.

Julian Bonk ‘26 thinks, “While many are upset he joined a rival team, I think he now has the opportunity to show his true potential in his new situation.” 

Derrick Henry, former running back for the Tennessee Titans, signed a contract with the Baltimore Ravens. Henry, who is known for his great strength and overall greatness as a running back, is now paired with Lamar Jackson, one of the best running quarterbacks in the league. The Ravens backfield is now absolutely a threat to the rest of the league. Another running back on the move is Aaron Jones. Like Barkley, he signed with a rival franchise. He formerly played for the Packers, but signed with the Vikings after being cut by Green Bay, who are in the same division. Jones is a dual threat, as he can run and catch well, giving the Vikings a great option out of the backfield. The Green Bay Packers also signed former Raiders running back Josh Jacobs. He will be a great asset to the promising Packers core. Another key back who signed with a new team is Austin Ekeler. He signed with the Commanders. Although Ekeler is more known for his Fantasy Football numbers rather than his actual skill, he is still going to help the Commanders squad a great deal. Two other good running backs who signed with new teams are Tony Pollard, who signed with the Titans, and D’Andre Swift, who signed with the Bears.

Andrew Tropp ‘26, when asked how he feels about Pollard signing with the Titans and therefore leaving the Cowboys, said “I’m a little disappointed losing a good tough player, but I think it’s the right move for both sides in the long run.”

Several Wide Receivers throughout the league have also signed with a new team, or have been traded. However, there are not as many big-nam players as there were for running backs. Calvin Ridley, once a receiver for the Jaguars, signed a 4 year 92 million dollar deal with the Titans. Pairing up with DeAndre Hopkins, the new wide receiver duo in Tennessee may just be one to watch out for. Mike Evans, who is a tenured receiver for the Buccaneers, resigned with them. Evans has had 10 consecutive seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards with the Bucs, and he will try to continue his streak with them again this season. Diontae Johnson, formerly on the Steelers, has been traded to Panthers. This addition could potentially help the Panthers not be the worst team in the league again this season. Gabe Davis signed a 3 year contract with the Jaguars. Although he is nowhere near the skill of Calvin Ridley, he is a good addition as a deep threat for Jacksonville. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown has signed with the Chiefs. This is a superb signing for the Chiefs, as Patrick Mahomes now has yet another fast deep-threat wide receiver to throw to. There are also notable players who have yet to be extended or traded. Justin Jefferson, arguably the best wide receiver in the league, has yet to be extended by the Vikings. If Jefferson were to go to a new team, the league would most definitely be shaken up. Lastly, Tee Higgins, wide receiver for the Bengals, requested a trade from them. Higgins is a great wide receiver despite his tendency to get injured a lot. Nevertheless, he would shine on any roster.

Although offense is an extremely important aspect of football, defense is just as, if not more important, than offense is. With that being said, there have been some high-profile defensive players who have moved teams for next season. The New York Giants have made some big defensive moves this offseason. One of these moves is the trade for Brian Burns from the Panthers. Burns is a star linebacker, and he will help improve the Giants defense. Unfortunately for the Giants, they lost a key safety in Xavier McKinney, who signed with the Packers. The Houston Texans also made a huge move, signing edge Danielle Hunter. Hunter, who this past season played on the Vikings, will be a critical asset for the young Texans defensive group. Chris Jones, a star defensive lineman for the Chiefs, resigned with them, earning a large 160 million dollars on a 5-year deal. Another key defensive lineman who signed with a new squad is Christian Wilkins with the Raiders. The Steelers also picked up a key linebacker in Patrick Queen. Queen will improve an already extremely talented Steelers defense. On a side note, Aaron Donald, arguably the greatest defensive player of all time retired. Donald was an extremely talented defensive player, and quarterbacks all over the league are very happy he is retiring.

The 2024 NFL free agency has included so many new trades and signings, with even more to come. These signings will most definitely shake up the league and make the upcoming 2024-2025 season a good one. 

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