NFL Analysis


8 min read

2024 NFL Free Agency: Best Fits for Top 6 Remaining Free Agents

Sep 10, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Stephon Gilmore (21) looks on before the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

NFL teams have OTAs and minicamps scheduled for the next two weeks before they are off for the summer. 

While the players won’t be on the field for most of June and July, that doesn’t mean the work stops for front offices around the league. A handful of quality players are still available who could help swing the balance of power in the NFL. 

So here are the top free agents still left on the market and the best potential fit for their skill sets. 

Top Remaining Free Agent Fits

Stephon Gilmore, CornerBack

Fit: Kansas City Chiefs

Stephon Gilmore will turn 34 before Week 2, and cornerback is a position where players usually don't play long into their 30s. But Gilmore was rock solid for the Dallas Cowboys last season, starting all 17 games. 

While he isn't the same athlete he was coming out of South Carolina, he is still an incredibly savvy player who can play on the outside and in the slot.

Teams needing a one-year rental at cornerback should be thrilled to sign Gilmore, and the Kansas City Chiefs are the best possible fit. The loss of L’Jarius Snead looms large, and the Chiefs hope Jaylen Watson or Joshua Williams can step up in his absence. Gilmore would provide a baseline of production for a team leaning more on its defense to win games.

There has been a slight decline in Gilmore's game during the past few years, but that is expected for a cornerback entering his mid-30s. According to Pro Football Reference, Gilmore allowed a passer rating of 82.7 last season, the highest of his career. 

However, that is still well above average for a starting cornerback. 

Gilmore's addition could be huge for a team like the Chiefs, which is searching for one more starting-caliber cornerback. It also doesn’t hurt that he has plenty of experience playing in bad-weather games from his time in Buffalo and New England, which is a nice little bonus. 

The Chiefs trying to complete the three-peat, so adding a reliable veteran such as Gilmore is a no-brainer. 

Image focused on Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons (white jersey, navy helmet and arm sleeves) running off the field
Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons (31) celebrates after making an interception against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.)

Justin Simmons, Free Safety

Fit: Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills lost their starting safeties (Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer) in free agency but added Cole Bishop (Utah) in Round 2. 

While the Bills are high on Bishop, asking him to be a Day 1 starter on a Super Bowl–caliber team might be too much. He would better fit as a No. 3 safety, at least as a rookie.

The top safety on the market is none other than Justin Simmons, who was released by the Denver Broncos earlier this offseason. Simmons is an incredible athlete with outstanding ball production (30 interceptions since 2016). 

He isn’t quite as dynamic as he was earlier in his career and will turn 31 during the 2024 season, but he is a clear upgrade for the Bills. He would be a welcome addition to a young safety room that could use some leadership. Simmons isn’t a long-term solution, but he would be an excellent stop-gap option until Bishop is ready to take the job.  

Close-up image of Atlanta Falcons DT Calais Campbell (black jersey) with his helmet off looking into the emptying stands
Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Calais Campbell (93) celebrates after a victory against the Carolina Panthers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports.)

Calais Campbell, Defensive Line

Fit: Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys lost several vital defensive linemen in free agency, including Dorance Armstrong, Dante Fowler and Neville Gallimore. The most significant loss was Johnathan Hankins, who signed a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks. 

While few quality defensive linemen are on the market, Calais Campbell makes a ton of sense for Dallas.

Campbell isn’t a nose tackle, but his ability to play defensive tackle and base end would be ideal for Mike Zimmer’s defense. Dallas lacks depth at edge rusher and defensive tackle, and Campbell would help fill the gaps. 

At this stage of his career, he is a better run defender than a pass rusher, but the Cowboys need the most help there. Campbell will turn 38 this season, and whatever team signs him must be mindful of his snap counts. But he would fit well for Dallas, giving the team 15-20 quality snaps a game across the defensive line. 

Chicago Bears DE Yannick Ngakoue (white jersey, navy pants, helmet in his hand) walks off the field in the end zone excitedly
Chicago Bears defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) reacts after the game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField. (Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.)

Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE

Fit: Las Vegas Raiders

Yannick Ngakoue has had one of the most fascinating careers in recent memory. Since being drafted by the Jaguars in 2016, he’s recorded 69 sacks, the ninth-most among any player during that span. 

However, he is the only player to spend time with more than three teams during that span. In fact, Ngakoue has played with six teams in eight seasons. Why is that the case? 

It’s hard to say, but he’s been productive and available (115 starts since 2016). 

One team that could use another veteran pass rusher is the Las Vegas Raiders, who know Ngakoue well. During their time together in 2021, Ngakoue started all 17 games opposite Maxx Crosby and led the team in sacks with 10. While the Raiders wouldn't be signing Ngakoue to start, he would give them a pass-rush specialist to play behind Crosby and Malcolm Koonce. 

The Raiders are expected to use Tyree Wilson more as a defensive tackle, and they could use more speed on the other side. Ngakoue would thrive as a No. 3 or No. 4 edge rusher for a team that will rely on its defense to keep games competitive. 

Hunter Renfrow (silver helmet and pants, black jersey) is taken to the ground, where his knees are hitting the turf
Kansas City Chiefs safety Mike Edwards (21) tackles Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (13). (Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

Hunter Renfrow, Wide Receiver

Fit: Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles hoped DeVante Parker could become their No. 3 receiver this season after moving on from Quez Watkins. That won’t be the case after Parker announced his retirement earlier this week.

Parris Campbell is an option to play in the slot, but his health is a major concern. He’s played just 44 games since being drafted in 2019 and has just 1,087 yards. Campbell is an intriguing player, but relying on him to be a starter is a stretch.

Hunter Renfrow is one receiver still on the market who could make a big difference for the Eagles. During the 2021 season, Renfrow caught 103 passes for 1,038 yards for the Raiders as their de facto No. 1 receiver. He dealt with several injuries in 2022 and fell out of favor with Josh McDaniels and company in 2023. 

Renfrow played in all 17 games during the 2023 season, and the hope is his recent injuries are in the rear-view mirror. Renfrow is just a slot receiver, but he would be a perfect fit in a Kellen Moore offense that relies on the slot receiver to win 1-on-1 matchups. 

If the Eagles signed Renfrow, they could move Campbell back into a reserve role, allowing Renfrow to be the primary slot receiver. 

There aren't many slot receivers in the league who can win as consistently in man or zone coverage as Renfrow, and surprisingly, he is still available. Adding Renfrow could help the Eagles take their offense to the next level, taking some pressure off A.J. Brown and De'Vonta Smith. 

Upper body image of an in-focus Adoree' Jackson (white jersey, blue helmet) posing for the camera with his hands in peace signs in front of a blurry crowd
New York Giants cornerback Adoree' Jackson (22) reacts after a play against the Minnesota Vikings. (Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports)

Adoree' Jackson, Cornerback

Fit: Pittsburgh Steelers

If the season started today, the Pittsburgh Steelers' three starting cornerbacks would be Joey Porter Jr., Donte Jackson and Darius Rush. Porter is a second-year player coming off a strong rookie season, and his arrow is pointing way up. 

However, the rest of the depth chart is pretty scary, especially in the slot.

Pittsburgh will be in the market for a slot cornerback this offseason, and there are some rumblings the team could bring back Cameron Sutton (who was released by the Lions after a warrant for his arrest was issued following a domestic violence case). 

Jackson could be a slot option, but moving him there would create a massive hole at right cornerback.

One player who could make sense in Pittsburgh is Adoree' Jackson. He is a man-to-man cornerback with some inside-outside flexibility. He’s played most of his career on the outside but has some slot experience from his days at USC and early on with the Titans. 

Jackson has struggled to stay healthy but is a quality player in the right situation. He was overmatched as the Giants' No. 1 cornerback. Still, he could be a solid No. 2 cornerback on the right defense at this stage of his career. 

Pittsburgh could really use another starting-caliber cornerback on the cheap, and Jackson might be the best potential fit on the market.