NFL Free Agency: What To Watch For as the Dust Settles

As the countdown to the NFL Draft commences, teams around the NFL have made waves through the free agency period. Several impact players have found new places to call home, while franchises are clearing out cap room. But what about the franchises that have gone below the radar? What about the teams positioned not so favorably to snag their quarterback of the future in April?

Here are a few topics to watch out for the remainder of free agency this year.

What to Watch For as Free Agency Calms Down

The Dallas Dilemma(s)

Playing for the Dallas Cowboys is by no means easy. Throw in decades of playoff disappointments and standout names leaving, and you’ve got quite the predicament. Tackle Tyron Smith, cornerback Stephon Gilmore, running back Tony Pollard, and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch are among many names leaving Dallas. Plus, the Cowboys have not made many moves to retool this roster.

The next question is what to do with quarterback, Dak Prescott. Prescott is entering the final year of a four-year extension worth $160M from 2021. No talks over extending Prescott’s tenure as a Cowboy have begun yet, and the lack of success in the postseason weighs heavily on both parties. Just announcing intentions to go “all in” isn’t going to cut it for Cowboys fans.

Fear of Missing Out (on Quarterbacks)?

With the upcoming draft loaded with quarterback prospects, the teams seated outside picks 1-16 have a tougher go at getting a rookie quarterback. Fortunately, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, and New England have already made moves to address their respective quarterback problems. Plus, teams like the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Chargers are looking to build around their current signal callers, not find their successors.

Now, not every team is equally outfitted to build around their quarterbacks, whether by their current weapons or the cap room to retrieve weapons. For those teams in more need of a wide receiver or offensive lineman, it would be best to address these positions along with other areas of improvement. This will not only help to tighten up loose ends, but it will also make it more enticing for someone to play under center for that team.

Who has Won Free Agency…So Far?

2024 boasted a chaotic free agency, to say the least. It seems that every impact player from last season will be rocking new colors this coming August. Some will say that teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Bears are winning in free agency right now, and it’s not difficult to see why. But Pittsburgh may want to grab another wide receiver to further bolster the Steelers offense. Chicago, meanwhile, might want to throw in another tight end or offensive lineman to make sure the Bears’ offense can hit the ground running in 2024.

But truly, the running back position is winning in free agency more than most critics would admit. Not so long ago, many experts questioned the relevance/future of the running back position, due to the average longevity for said position and lack of contract talks. But now, running backs are getting multiyear deals, like Saquon Barkley inking a three-year deal with Philadelphia and Josh Jacobs signing with Green Bay for four years, $48M. It stings that many of these names are leaving their longtime teams. But at least, they’re looking out for their futures.

Main Image: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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