2024’s Free Agency Frenzy

With the frenzy of free agency now behind us, the spotlight shines on those stars that found new homes in 2024. As the league digests this off-season’s biggest signings, Decyfr grades six moves that sent shockwaves through the NFL.

Derrick Henry

Baltimore Ravens: 2 Years, $16 Million

Former Offensive Player of the Year, running back Derrick Henry secured a stellar deal with the Baltimore Ravens – unquestionably shoring up their running back position. Not only will he receive the desired workload, but he’ll also benefit from reduced hits in the backfield – thanks to a much stronger offensive line compared to that in Tennessee. Alongside reigning MVP Lamar Jackson, Baltimore now possess one of the most dangerous rushing attacks in the NFL – in no small part due to the presence of league leaders in rushing yards at both quarterback and running back over the last five years. Furthermore, “King Henry” will likely open up numerous opportunities in the passing game, with opposing safeties being forced to fill the box.

Decyfr’s Grade: A

Saquon Barkley

Philadelphia Eagles: 3 Years, $37.75 Million

The Philadelphia Eagles pulled off a stunning move by snatching Saquon Barkley from their division rivals, the New York Giants. This transaction marks a rare win-win scenario – for Barkley, this deal presents a golden opportunity to run behind a top-tier offensive line, a luxury he hasn’t been afforded thus far – with the Giants’ O-Line ranking 31st in the NFL for run blocking in 2023. Meanwhile for the Eagles, Barkley reaching his full potential would prove an enormous upgrade to an offense that faltered towards the end of last season. That said, the loss of Jason Kelce will undoubtedly impact the effectiveness of Philadelphia’s ground game in 2024 – leaving an asterisk next to Barkley’s arrival.

Decyfr’s Grade: B+

Danielle Hunter

Houston Texans: 2 Years, $49 Million

The Texans have emerged as one of the league’s most active teams in this year’s free agency – capitalising on increased financial flexibility thanks to star quarterback, C.J. Stroud’s rookie deal. The addition of linebacker Danielle Hunter is expected to bolster DeMeco Ryans’ defense significantly. After losing pass-rusher Jonathan Greenard, the Texans needed a replacement on the edge to pair with Will Anderson Jr. – the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year. Hunter’s presence is poised to solidify the Texans’ defense as they look to claim the AFC South for a second year running.

Decyfr’s Grade: B+

Kirk Cousins

Atlanta Falcons: 4 Years, $180 Million

The Atlanta Falcons are yet another team who’ve been remarkably active this free agency. Already boasting a young, talented roster – with the likes of Bijan Robinson, Drake London and Kyle Pitts – the Falcons were seemingly just a QB away from a drastic improvement offensively, prompting ownership to spend big on 4x Pro Bowler, Kirk Cousins. While his talent and leadership are well-documented in the NFL, the hefty contract has raised questions surrounding Cousins’ ability to return to form following his torn Achilles last season.

Decyfr’s Grade: B


Russell WIlson

Pittsburgh Steelers: 1 Year, $1.2 Million

Russell Wilson’s underwhelming tenure with the Denver Broncos came to its inevitable conclusion earlier this month, when the Broncos announced that they would be releasing the 9x Pro Bowler. While Russell Wilson’s contract continues to be costly for Denver, it gave way for the Pittsburgh Steelers to secure the bargain of the year. With a 1-year deal worth $1.2 million, even if Wilson’s struggles continue, the Steelers have very little tied up in the 35-year-old. That said, Wilson is a definite upgrade for Pittsburgh over Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph. Additionally, with their recent trade for Justin Fields, the Steelers have a solid backup plan that covers their bases entirely.

Decyfr’s Grade: A+

Patrick Queen

Pittsburgh Steelers: 3 Years, $41 Million

Snatching a key player from a division rival always claims the headlines – as it did in the case of the Pittsburgh Steelers adding former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen to their ranks. Queen brings an essential playmaking boost to this Steelers defense – supporting superstar pass-rusher, T.J. Watt. While some have argued that $41 million over three years is a stretch, considering his recent performances, Pittsburgh will be banking on Queen’s potential to deliver a return on their investment.

Decyfr’s Grade: B-


While unclear currently, the impact that of these signings on their respective teams will become evident come the start of the 2024 season. As fans around the globe speculate on what’s to come, let us know what you think via our socials – do you agree with our grades for these six?

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