NFL Analysis


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Ranking The 5 Best Moves of 2024 NFL Offseason

The New York Jets adding tackles, from left, Olu Fashanu, Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses, was one of the better offseason moves made.

There were a flurry of offseason moves in the NFL, which helped reshape the league. We saw big signings, superstar trades and surprising draft picks that will have a significant impact on the 2024 season. 

But what were the best moves of the offseason? 

5 Best Moves of 2024 NFL Offseason

5. Jets Revamp Offensive Line

The New York Jets had a clear goal this offseason: improve the offensive line. They accomplished that without overspending and overdrafting. 

The first move was a trade for Morgan Moses, one of the league's most consistent right tackles over the last decade. He's getting older (33), but he’s only missed three games since the start of the 2015 season. Moses provides stability on the right side and is one of the league’s top pass blockers.

This acquisition from the Baltimore Ravens was a good move but not a super surprising one. However, the same can't be said for the team's signing of Tyron Smith. The Jets added the eight-time Pro Bowl selection on a team-friendly deal after a fantastic season in Dallas. The Dallas Cowboys let him walk because of health concerns, but this is a no-risk move for the Jets. When healthy, Smith is still one of the NFL's best pass blockers.

One of the reasons the Smith move looks even better in hindsight is due to the New York's selection of Penn State LT Olu Fashanu at No. 11. He is a young (21) and talented offensive tackle who will have the luxury of sitting behind Smith. In all likelihood, Fashanu will get on the field at some point as a rookie, but for now, the Jets have a very good insurance plan if/when Smith goes down.

The Jets completely revamped their offensive line in one offseason, turning a weakness into a strength. Kudos to Joe Douglas and the team's front office for finally making the investment.

Wide receiver Marquise Brown (2), shown with the Arizona Cardinals last season on Nov. 12, 2023, has thrived when he played with elite quarterbacks. (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

4. Chiefs Sign WR 'Hollywood' Brown

Going into the offseason, the Kansas City Chiefs knew they had to make a move at wide receiver, and that was even before the Rashee Rice traffic accident. They needed to improve their outside receiver spot and find a player who could threaten defenses vertically. That is why the signing of Marquise Brown couldn't have been a better fit.

Brown is a former first-round pick by the Ravens who was traded to the Arizona Cardinals during the 2022 NFL Draft. He has been a productive NFL receiver with his best season coming in 2021 with the Ravens (91 receptions for 1,008 yards). 

Whenever Brown has played with a quality quarterback, he’s produced. For example, Brown averaged more than 70 yards per game with Kyler Murray during the 2022 season. The same was true in 2021 when Brown averaged 72.2 yards when Lamar Jackson started and finished a game. Now, Brown will play with Patrick Mahomes, the NFL's top quarterback, who just so happens to be the best deep-ball passer in the league. Brown has played with several quality quarterbacks, even dating back to his days at Oklahoma. But all of them pale in comparison with Mahomes.

The best part is that the Chiefs aren't relying on Brown to be a No. 1 receiver. They need him to be an upgrade on Marquez Valdes-Scantling. And Brown can be that in his sleep. 

As long as he is healthy, Brown should be a 1,000-yard receiver and instantly give the Chiefs more speed down the field. At just $6.5 million guaranteed for the 2024 season, you can make a strong case that this move by Kansas City should be even higher on this list. It’s too perfect of a fit for a more than reasonable price. 

New York Giants defensive players Brian Burns, left, and Kayvon Thibodeaux
New York Giants defensive players Brian Burns, left, and Kayvon Thibodeaux were part of the Giants and New York Jets draft party at MetLife Stadium.

3. Giants Trade For, Sign Brian Burns

The New York Giants have not won double-digit games in a season since 2016, and they've been a team without an identity in the post–Eli Manning era. But the Giants seem to be getting back to their winning formula of building an elite pass rush. While the quarterback situation and the entire offense are in flux, New York is assembling one of the nastiest pass-rush units.

The Giants were already set up well with Dexter Lawrence and Kayvon Thibodeaux, but the trade for Brian Burns gave them a bonafide No. 1 edge rusher who can win at an absurd rate. He turned 26 in April but already has 46 sacks and 95 quarterback hits. His speed and bend around the edge are among the best in the NFL, and now he'll play on a strong defensive line that will almost guarantee that he'll see fewer double teams than ever.

As the Giants continue to search for their next franchise quarterback, their defensive line alone should keep them in games. They have multiple All-Pro-caliber players on the unit, and none of them are older than 26. The Giants have won two Super Bowls in this century, and both were due to their pass rush. Getting back to that formula is a smart idea for the franchise.

Houston Texans linebacker Danielle Hunter
Then-Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) participates in the AFC versus NFC Pro Bowl practice and media day at Camping World Stadium. (Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)

2. Texans Sign Danielle Hunter

The Houston Texans had a clear plan this offseason: maximize their Super Bowl window with C.J. Stroud on his rookie contract. They made several bold moves, including acquiring WR Stefon Diggs and RB Joe Mixon in trades. 

But their best move was signing four-time Pro Bowl edge rusher Danielle Hunter to a two-year deal. Hunter is coming off arguably the best year of his career, recording 16.5 sacks and a league-high 23 tackles for a loss. He’s managed to stay on the field for most of his career, playing 16 or more games in six of the past seven years. 

While he will turn 30 during the 2024 season, the Texans aren’t on the hook for any money past the 2025 season. They still should get a highly productive pass rusher in the final prime years of his career.

Paring Hunter with the 2023 Defensive Rookie of the Year (Will Anderson) gives Houston arguably the best one-two punch in the league. The Texans now have the pass rusher to get after the top quarterbacks in the conference, which is a must if they want to defeat Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, etc.

Hunter's addition will make this team even more dangerous, and they are legitimate Super Bowl threats in the AFC. 

1. Falcons Sign Kirk Cousins

The last six years have not been kind to the Atlanta Falcons. Not only have they failed to make the postseason since 2017, but they have not won more than seven games in any season. Things have fallen off in the post–Matt Ryan era as the Falcons have cycled through several quarterbacks. But the worst part of it all is that Atlanta has felt irrelevant in the NFC South.

However, that changed after the Falcons signed veteran QB Kirk Cousins to a four-year deal this offseason. Despite coming off an Achilles injury, Cousins instantly makes the Falcons relevant in the NFC. Better yet, he gives Atlanta one of the best quarterbacks in the NFC.

Things are set up well for Cousins to explode right out of the gate. The offense will be led by Zac Robinson, a prominent Rams coaching staff member. He'll run an offense similar to the one Cousins had in Minnesota, with a lot of play-action and throws over the middle of the field.

Cousins will play behind one of the league’s best offensive lines, and he has playmakers all over the field. The selection of Michael Penix Jr. at No. 8 is still puzzling, but that should have no impact on the Falcons immediately. 

The Falcons landed the top player in free agency and are instantly a threat in the NFC. Atlanta should be in the playoffs this season for the first time in a while, and it wouldn't be surprising to see the team make a deep run. Cousins adds credibility to the Falcons, which they couldn't find in the past few seasons.