NFL Power Rankings post-free agency: The Texans are going for it, the Cowboys are … not

NFL Power Rankings post-free agency: The Texans are going for it, the Cowboys are … not

By Oghale May2,2024

The NFL’s free-agent frenzy is over, which doesn’t mean free agency is over. Players will continue to be added to rosters, but the headline makers are all off the market now.

That makes it a good time for the Power Rankings to re-evaluate where everyone stands. We’ve listed the notable additions and notable losses for each team, including not only free-agency signings but players acquired or lost via trade and/or release, to help us get a clearer picture. For some teams, those moves haven’t changed much. For others, they have warranted some movement up or down the rankings.

For the Chiefs, it’s business as usual, and that’s where this list starts again.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

Post-Super Bowl rank: 1

Notable addition: WR Marquise Brown

Notable losses: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, OL Nick Allegretti, P Tommy Townsend

The reigning Super Bowl champions have made only one significant addition, signing the speedy but inconsistent Brown, but honestly, Kansas City could have signed only celebrity chef Alton Brown and it would still be No. 1 on this list. The Chiefs signaled their seriousness about going for a three-peat when they locked up defensive tackle Chris Jones. Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed also is still on the roster on the franchise tag, though he could be traded soon.

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Post-Super Bowl rank: 2

Notable additions: Edge Leonard Floyd, Edge Yetur Gross-Matos, DT Jordan Elliott

Notable losses: DT Arik Armstead, Edge Chase Young, DT Javon Kinlaw, TE Charlie Woerner, QB Sam Darnold

Out go interior defensive linemen, in come edge rushers. That’s basically a wash for a team that returns everyone from an offense that led the NFL in EPA (expected points added) per game (8.81) and the NFC in points scored (491) last season, according to TruMedia. Trade talk around star wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is worth listening for, though.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 3

Notable additions: DT D.J. Reader, Edge Marcus Davenport, CB Amik Robertson, CB Carlton Davis III

Notable losses: OG Jonah Jackson

Lions general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell did their major work the previous two offseasons. Now, it’s about improving on the margins in an effort to catch the 49ers. A defense that was 24th in the league in yards per play allowed (5.5) last season has gotten all the help in free agency.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 5

Notable additions: Edge Danielle Hunter, Edge Denico Autry, RB Joe Mixon, LB Azeez Al-Shaair, CB Jeff Okudah

Notable losses: Edge Jonathan Greenard, DT Sheldon Rankins, LB Blake Cashman, RB Devin Singletary

The Texans don’t want to waste any of the years in which quarterback C.J. Stroud is on a rookie contract. They gave Hunter a deal worth almost $25 million per year and retained most of their own free agents. Houston no longer has a first-round pick, thanks to a deal with Minnesota, but don’t be surprised if the Texans add to the wide receiver room in the second round.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 6

Notable additions: S Xavier McKinney, RB Josh Jacobs

Notable losses: OG Jon Runyan, LB De’Vondre Campbell, RB Aaron Jones

The Packers essentially swapped out 29-year-old running back Aaron Jones for 26-year-old running back Josh Jacobs, who signed a four-year deal that could be worth $48 million (or could be terminated pretty cheaply after one year). They also spent big on McKinney to help new defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley. Green Bay released David Bahktiari, but that doesn’t count as a notable loss because the left tackle has played only 13 games in the last three seasons.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 4

Notable addition: RB Derrick Henry

Notable losses: LB Patrick Queen, S Geno Stone, CB Ronald Darby, WR Devin Duvernay, RB Gus Edwards, Edge Tyus Bowser, WR Odell Beckham Jr.

The Ravens lost a lot of good players in free agency, but they extended star defensive tackle Justin Madubuike and added Henry, which makes it hard to be too down on Baltimore. Henry is 30 and since he entered the league in 2016, he’s the only player in the NFL with more than 10,000 yards. If he can hold up physically, the Ravens’ run game with Henry and quarterback Lamar Jackson is going to be formidable.

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Post-Super Bowl rank: 8

Notable additions: WR Jerry Jeudy

Notable losses: DT Jordan Elliott, LB Sione Takitaki

How we remember Cleveland’s March will depend entirely on Jeudy, the No. 15 pick in 2020 who has yet to top 1,000 yards in four NFL seasons. The Browns didn’t risk much, sending a fifth- and a sixth-round pick to Denver for Jeudy, but the reward could be high if Deshaun Watson and Jeudy develop a connection.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 10

Notable additions: DT Sheldon Rankins, S Geno Stone, RB Zack Moss, S Vonn Bell

Notable losses: CB Chidobe Awuzie, OT Jonah Williams

Cincinnati used its franchise tag on wide receiver Tee Higgins, who now wants a trade. The Bengals, though, are pretty stubborn negotiators, so Higgins will be back alongside Ja’Marr Chase with a healthy Joe Burrow at quarterback. That’s why the big-money free-agent deals focused on the defense.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 11

Notable additions: None

Notable losses: OT Tyron Smith, Edge Dorance Armstrong, C Tyler Biadasz, RB Tony Pollard

People are going to stop believing Cowboys owner Jerry Jones when he says he’s “all in” after Dallas added no players of consequence and watched three good linemen walk out the door. Yes, the Cowboys have to hang on to money for new deals with Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons, but there’s a difference between being prudent and playing dead.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 7

Notable addition: WR Curtis Samuel

Notable losses: WR Gabe Davis, S Jordan Poyer, CB Tre’Davious White, C Mitch Morse, RB Nyheim Hines, CB Dane Jackson

Quarterback Josh Allen’s contract starts getting expensive this season (from an $18 million cap hit to $30 million), which is one reason why the Bills had to cut so many contracts during free agency. They spent the money they had on retaining key free agents, including defensive tackle DaQuan Jones, and extending left tackle Dion Dawkins. In the next two seasons, Allen’s cap hit goes up another $33 million, so Buffalo’s window is closing.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 12

Notable additions: OG Jonah Jackson, TE Colby Parkinson, CB Darious Williams, S Kamren Curl

Notable losses: DT Aaron Donald

Aaron Donald, the No. 13 pick in the 2014 draft, was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in his first season. After that, he finished in the top five of Defensive Player of the Year voting for seven straight seasons, winning the award three times. In a 10-year career, he totaled 111 sacks and 260 quarterback hits. Donald’s retirement stands as the only significant loss for the Rams, but it’s a big one.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 13

Notable additions: S Jordan Whitehead, CB Bryce Hall

Notable losses: Edge Shaquil Barrett, LB Devin White

Tampa Bay didn’t add anybody of real consequence. Still, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht called it “one of the greatest free-agency hauls ever” after his team re-signed wide receiver Mike Evans, linebacker Lavonte David and quarterback Baker Mayfield and used the franchise tag on safety Antoine Winfield Jr. Will that be enough for a fourth straight NFC South title?

Post-Super Bowl rank: 9

Notable additions: LB Jordyn Brooks, CB Kendall Fuller, S Jordan Poyer, TE Jonnu Smith, Edge Shaquil Barrett, C Aaron Brewer

Notable losses: DT Christian Wilkins, OG Robert Hunt, LB Andrew Van Ginkel, S Brandon Jones, DT Raekwon Davis, Edge Emmanuel Ogbah, CB Xavien Howard

Salary-cap bills came due to South Florida this offseason. The Dolphins lost good to great players at all three levels of their defense and a mauling offensive lineman in Hunt. The offense already has been carrying most of the weight in Miami (second in NFL in scoring last year, 29.18 points per game), but the spotlight is going to be even hotter on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who’s aiming to prove he’s worth a new deal in the final year of his contract.

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Post-Super Bowl rank: 14

Notable additions: DT Raekwon Davis, QB Joe Flacco

Notable losses: QB Gardner Minshew, RB Zack Moss

Externally, it was a quiet free agency for the Colts, but they committed $170 million to hang on to their internal talent — re-upping with wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., linebacker Zaire Franklin, defensive lineman Grover Stewart and safety Kenny Moore II. Now, Indianapolis gets to see if young quarterback Anthony Richardson is the real deal. Richardson, whose rookie season was cut short by shoulder surgery, started throwing again in February.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 17

Notable additions: OT Tyron Smith, OG John Simpson, DT Javon Kinlaw, QB Tyrod Taylor

Notable losses: Edge Bryce Huff, S Jordan Whitehead, OG Laken Tomlinson, TE C.J. Uzomah

Everything is about Aaron Rodgers, as usual. With the veteran quarterback set to return from his Achilles injury, the Jets signed two offensive linemen to protect him and a better backup quarterback in case that’s not enough. The Jets’ defense had the second-best success rate in the NFL last year (63.6 percent) and added defensive tackle depth with Kinlaw.


The Eagles paid to upgrade their backfield with former Giants running back Saquon Barkley. (David Berding / Getty Images)

Post-Super Bowl rank: 15

Notable additions: RB Saquon Barkley, Edge Bryce Huff, S C.J. Gardner-Johnson, WR DeVante Parker, LB Devin White

Notable losses: C Jason Kelce, DT Fletcher Cox, S Kevin Byard, CB Avonte Maddox, RB D’Andre Swift

When the NFL schedule is released in May, get ready for everyone to circle the Eagles’ trip to MetLife Stadium in red. After six years in New York, Barkley jumped ship to a division rival after failing to get a long-term commitment from the Giants. Philly gave Barkley, the No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft, a three-year, $37.75 million deal hoping it would help offset the loss of organizational stalwarts Kelce and Cox, both of whom retired.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 29

Notable additions: QB Kirk Cousins, WR Darnell Mooney

Notable losses: TE Jonnu Smith, RB Cordarrelle Patterson

Nobody moved up more in these rankings than the Falcons. They will at least get that from the $100 million they guaranteed Cousins. The former Vikings quarterback could earn as much as $180 million in Atlanta, making it the largest total-value free-agency deal in NFL history. The Falcons believe the signing will pull together the rest of their offensive talent and allow them to snap a six-year postseason drought. Last year’s starting defensive ends — Bud Dupree and Calais Campbell — remain on the free-agent market.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 18

Notable additions: OT George Fant, C Nick Harris, QB Sam Howell

Notable losses: OG Damien Lewis, LB Jordyn Brooks, TE Colby Parkinson, TE Will Dissly, S Quandre Diggs, S Jamal Adams, LB Bobby Wagner, QB Drew Lock

The Seahawks kept defensive tackle Leonard Williams and tight end Noah Fant, but a lot of players who have felt synonymous with Seattle are gone, including Wagner, Brooks and Diggs. First-year head coach Mike Macdonald didn’t get an influx of talent either, so this season is going to be a challenge considering Seattle has only one pick in the first 80 selections of the draft.

19. Minnesota Vikings

Post-Super Bowl rank: 16

Notable additions: Edge Jonathan Greenard, Edge Andrew Van Ginkel, QB Sam Darnold, LB Blake Cashman, RB Aaron Jones

Notable losses: QB Kirk Cousins, DE Danielle Hunter, DE D.J. Wonnum, RB Alexander Mattison, LB Jordan Hicks

While the Falcons made a big bet by signing Kirk Cousins, the Vikings made a big bet by letting him leave. Now they’ve got to find his replacement. Minnesota has the Nos. 11 and 23 picks in the first round and is widely expected to try to package them with more draft capital to move up even further. The question is whether or not the Vikings can get as high as No. 3 or will have to settle for the fourth-best rookie quarterback prospect. Minnesota signed Darnold in case it can’t come out of the draft with a new starter.

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Post-Super Bowl rank: 21

Notable additions: WR Gabe Davis, C Mitch Morse, DT Arik Armstead, WR Devin Duvernay, QB Mac Jones

Notable losses: WR Calvin Ridley, DT Foley Fatukasi, CB Darious Williams, S Rayshawn Jenkins

The Jaguars kept edge rusher Josh Allen with the franchise tag and added Armstead to the defensive line. That should help offset other defensive losses for a group that showed some promise last year but finished 17th in the league in points allowed (21.8 per game). On the other side of the ball, it appears Jacksonville botched its attempt to retain Ridley, but it did add size (Davis) and speed (Duvernay) to its wide receiver room.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 22

Notable additions: DT Christian Wilkins, QB Gardner Minshew

Notable losses: RB Josh Jacobs, DE Bilal Nichols, CB Amik Robertson, QB Jimmy Garoppolo, WR Hunter Renfrow, DT Jerry Tillery

The Raiders gave Minshew a two-year deal worth up to $25 million, which makes it seem like they are resigned to going into 2024 with Minshew as their starter. However, don’t rule out the Raiders trying to get into the trade-up conversation in April to get a quarterback. After losing Jacobs, wide receiver Davante Adams is going to start feeling lonely in Las Vegas if the Raiders don’t get a promising quarterback.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 19

Notable additions: QB Russell Wilson, QB Justin Fields, LB Patrick Queen, CB Donte Jackson, S DeShon Elliott

Notable losses: QB Kenny Pickett, WR Diontae Johnson, QB Mason Rudolph, QB Mitch Trubisky, S Keanu Neal, CB Patrick Peterson, WR Allen Robinson II, P Pressley Harvin III

Nobody has had a more interesting offseason than the Steelers, who moved out quarterbacks Pickett and Trubisky (and let Rudolph leave in free agency) and brought in Wilson and Fields. What it’s going to look like, no one knows. New offensive coordinator Arthur Smith tried hard when he was head coach in Atlanta to make former Florida quarterback turned tight end Feleipe Franks into a multi-threat offensive weapon. Fields could play that role and is a better passer and athlete than Franks.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 24

Notable additions: WR Keenan Allen, RB D’Andre Swift, S Kevin Byard, TE Gerald Everett

Notable losses: WR Darnell Mooney, DT Justin Jones, OL Cody Whitehair, S Eddie Jackson

The Bears have been busy. They re-signed cornerback Jaylon Johnson, upgraded at running back with Swift and at wide receiver with Allen and traded quarterback Fields to Pittsburgh for a 2025 sixth-round pick that could become a fourth if Fields plays enough this year. However, they hope the most impactful move is still a month away. The Bears have the No. 1 pick in the draft and are widely expected to take USC quarterback Caleb Williams, which will bump them up this list. Chicago also has the No. 9 pick and $31.7 million in cap space.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 25

Notable additions: WR Calvin Ridley, RB Tony Pollard, C Lloyd Cushenberry III, CB Chidobe Awuzie, LB Kenneth Murray, QB Mason Rudolph

Notable losses: RB Derrick Henry, LB Azeez Al-Shaair, CB Sean Murphy-Bunting, DE Denico Autry

Making quarterback Will Levis comfortable was the point of free agency, which is why Tennessee gave Ridley a four-year deal that could be worth $92 million and signed Pollard and Cushenberry. New head coach Brian Callahan should know by the end of the year whether Levis, the 33rd pick of the 2023 draft, is the future there or not. It will be odd not seeing Henry after eight seasons in Tennessee in which he carried the ball a Herculean 2,186 times.

25. Denver Broncos

Post-Super Bowl rank: 23

Notable additions: S Brandon Jones, DT Malcolm Roach

Notable losses: C Lloyd Cushenberry, LB Josey Jewell, QB Russell Wilson, S Justin Simmons

Head coach Sean Payton got Wilson out of town, but Jarrett Stidham is the only quarterback on the roster now. The Broncos made Stidham the starter to finish out last season, but during a four-year NFL career in which he’s 1-3 as a starter, he hasn’t proved that he can be a long-term answer. The Broncos still have $22 million in cap space, but they didn’t see fit to use any of it on Cushenberry or Simmons as Payton continues to remake the organization.

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Post-Super Bowl rank: 20

Notable additions: RB Gus Edwards, TE Will Dissly

Notable losses: WR Keenan Allen, LB Kenneth Murray, TE Gerald Everett, RB Austin Ekeler, WR Mike Williams, LB Eric Kendricks

Jim Harbaugh’s first offseason with the Chargers involved cutting a lot of salary, which is why Allen and Williams are gone and Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack restructured their contracts. Edwards is an interesting addition and plays the power back role Harbaugh prefers better than Ekeler, but the exits outweigh the entrances on the roster so far, and Harbaugh’s first year might not be stellar.

27. New York Giants

Post-Super Bowl rank: 30

Notable additions: DE Brian Burns, OG Jon Runyan, RB Devin Singletary, QB Drew Lock

Notable losses: RB Saquon Barkley, S Xavier McKinney, DT A’Shawn Robinson

The most impactful move of free agency might not be a free agency deal at all. The Giants acquired the top free agent available, defensive end Brian Burns, after Carolina had franchise-tagged him and then moved him for a second-round pick, a fifth-round pick and a fifth-round pick swap. Burns had 46 sacks in five seasons with the Panthers, and now he will be joining Dexter Lawrence and Kayvon Thibodeaux on the defensive line.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 26

Notable additions: Edge Dorance Armstrong, C Tyler Biadasz, LB Frankie Luvu, RB Austin Ekeler, S Jeremy Chinn, LB Bobby Wagner, QB Marcus Mariota

Notable losses: WR Curtis Samuel, QB Sam Howell, CB Kendall Fuller, RB Antonio Gibson, S Kamren Curl

The Commanders shipped out former starting quarterback Howell in a trade of late-round draft picks to clear the way for whichever quarterback they take with the second pick next month. Washington signed free-agent quarterback Marcus Mariota to back up the new guy and also added a lot of players who have a background with new head coach Dan Quinn, including Armstrong and Wagner.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 27

Notable additions: RB Antonio Gibson, QB Jacoby Brissett, LB Sione Takitaki

Notable losses: LB Mack Wilson, DT Lawrence Guy, CB J.C. Jackson, WR DeVante Parker, QB Mac Jones

The Patriots pick third in the draft, but they didn’t give any helpful hints about their intentions during free agency. Brissett signed a one-year deal worth at least $8 million and up to $12 million. That could be good backup money if New England takes a quarterback in the first round, or Brissett, who is 18-30 as a starting quarterback in eight seasons, could handle the starting job if the Patriots want to trade the No. 3 pick and get more draft assets. Jones, the former starter, was traded to Jacksonville.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 28

Notable addition: Edge Chase Young

Notable losses: DE Malcolm Roach, S Marcus Maye, WR Michael Thomas, QB Jameis Winston

One of the drawbacks to New Orleans’ strategy of constantly pushing the salary-cap option is the lack of options during free agency. Cedrick Wilson Jr., who has 101 catches in five pro seasons, and journeyman cornerback Lonnie Johnson were the only additions before Young joined on a one-year deal Monday. This is not quarterback Derek Carr’s fault, though. There are five veteran Saints whose salary-cap hits are higher than Carr’s. That will change in 2025 as Carr’s number goes way up, so this could be his last chance with the Saints.

Post-Super Bowl rank: 31

Notable additions: DT Bilal Nichols, OT Jonah Williams, DT Justin Jones, CB Sean-Murphy Bunting, LB Mack Wilson

Notable losses: WR Marquise Brown, OT D.J. Humphries

The Cardinals seem to be waiting for the draft to make their offseason noise, which makes sense considering they have six picks in the top 90. The addition of the former Bengal Williams will allow Arizona to make Paris Johnson Jr. its fixture at left tackle if it prefers. Jones and Nichols bolster a defensive line for a team that was 31st in the NFL in scoring defense last year (26.8).

32. Carolina Panthers

Post-Super Bowl rank: 32

Notable additions: WR Diontae Johnson, OG Robert Hunt, OG Damien Lewis, DT A’Shawn Robinson, DE D.J. Wonnum

Notable losses: DE Brian Burns, LB Frankie Luvu, C Bradley Bozeman, S Vonn Bell, S Jeremy Chinn, CB Donte Jackson

Losing Burns for second- and a fifth-round picks feels like a loss for the Panthers, but there are some potential bright spots. Carolina committed to the interior of the offensive line with deals that could total $153 million and got a wide receiver with the talent to be its top pass catcher by trading with the Steelers for Johnson. New head coach Dave Canales hopes those moves help him get 2023 No. 1 pick Bryce Young on track.

(Top photo of Danielle Hunter: Ryan Kang / Getty Images)

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