One last offseason move for all 32 teams: Signings, extensions and a trade that should happen – Football News

One last offseason move for all 32 teams: Signings, extensions and a trade that should happen

The NFL offseason is almost over. Teams are on vacation for a few weeks before training camp opens in late July.

Most rosters are set for the 2024 season, but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily final. Salary cap situations are also in flux, as teams need to look at what to do with players set to become free agents in 2025. Now is the time to get those players locked down before we get into the regular season.

So below, I’ve suggested one final move for all 32 NFL teams, something they can take care of in late June or early July that will put them in a better situation for the upcoming season and/or the ones beyond. There are contract extensions, last-minute signing suggestions and even a trade.

Jump to a team:
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF

AFC East

Extend edge rusher Gregory Rousseau

The Bills’ roster doesn’t have many clear holes, so it’s time to lock up some players in their primes. Rousseau is an important part of the Bills’ pass rush, with five sacks and 34 pressures last season. He is excellent against the run, ranking ninth among edge rushers in average yards per run tackle.

Extend S Jevon Holland

Holland, whose contract ends after this season, is an important core piece of the Miami defense. Last year, he ranked eighth in coverage DVOA among safeties and had only five broken tackles in 12 games. He’s still only 24 years old. The Dolphins should get him locked up through the next three or four years before the upcoming season.

Sign CB Justin Bethel

It’s hard to find a good suggestion for the Patriots. They’re No. 1 in the league in cap space, according to ESPN Roster Management, but they’ve already signed their most important extension in defensive tackle Christian Barmore. The Patriots probably don’t want to spend too much on an extension for running back Rhamondre Stevenson and don’t want to extend linebacker Matthew Judon until they know what they’re getting from him coming back from injury at age 32. So let’s suggest a depth cornerback who can also help on special teams and bring back Bethel, a former Patriot who spent the past two seasons in Miami. Right now, the fourth cornerback is former Raven Shaun Wade and the fifth is sixth-round rookie Marcellas Dial, so New England could use some help there.

Sign TE Geoff Swaim

The Jets could upgrade at tight end. Right now, Tyler Conklin and Jeremy Ruckert are the top two options, and no one else has played much during an NFL regular season. There aren’t really any strong receiving tight ends still available on the market, but Swaim is an excellent run-blocker who could help pave the way to get running back Breece Hall into the open field.

AFC North

Extend CB Brandon Stephens

Stephens is a versatile player who has played safety, nickelback and boundary corner during his three years in the NFL. Last season, he finished 21st among qualifying corners in coverage DVOA with 11 passes defensed. His contract ends after 2024, and he’s worthy of an extension, which would give the Ravens consistency in the secondary with Stephens, Marlon Humphrey and rookie Nate Wiggins for the next few seasons.

Extend WR Tee Higgins

Higgins signed his franchise tag tender Monday, but he is the only tagged player who hasn’t signed a long-term extension. He’s one of the top No. 2 receivers in the league, finishing 14th in receiving DVOA last season. Higgins is an important part of the Bengals’ offense, and Cincinnati doesn’t have the depth at the position to make up for his loss if he leaves after 2024.

Extend LT Jedrick Wills Jr.

Wills’ contract was restructured this offseason to give the Browns some cap room, and it now has a bunch of void years tossed onto the end of it. But effectively, the Browns will lose their left tackle after 2024 without giving him a new deal. Yes, Wills is coming off a torn MCL, but he has been one of the top young tackles in the league. Last season, he ranked eighth among tackles in pass block win rate (92.4%).

Sign CB Ahkello Witherspoon

Even with the arrival of Cameron Sutton to play in the slot, the Steelers could still use more veteran depth at corner. Witherspoon, a former Steeler, was surprisingly good for the Rams last season — he ranked 18th in success rate in coverage and 37th in coverage DVOA with 14 passes defensed. He will likely be inexpensive to sign, as he’s 29 years old and could back up all three Steelers starters.

AFC South

Sign CB Xavien Howard

There still are questions about what the Texans will do at cornerback opposite Derek Stingley Jr. They have second-round rookie Kamari Lassiter, but he might be needed in the slot. They also have two former first-round picks turned retreads, Jeff Okudah and C.J. Henderson. Why not add a strong veteran option while they hold a camp battle at the position? Howard might be better than anyone on the roster other than Stingley. Stephon Gilmore and Adoree’ Jackson are similar options, although Gilmore is three years older than Howard.

Extend C Ryan Kelly

Although Kelly is 32, he still ranked ninth among starting centers in pass block win rate (94.1%) a season ago. There’s no clear heir apparent on the roster, so now would be a good time to get Kelly locked up for another couple of seasons.

Sign S Jayron Kearse

The Jaguars have Antonio Johnson on top of their depth chart at strong safety. He’s a 2023 fifth-round pick who started three games last season. He had two picks and a sack with good coverage charting numbers in limited use. Still, it would be good to have a veteran option and a camp battle. Kearse played an important role in the Cowboys’ three-safety sets last season and would come cheaper (and fit better closer to the box) than other veteran safeties such as Justin Simmons and Eddie Jackson.

Trade WR Treylon Burks

It’s clear that Burks has worn out his welcome in Tennessee after two disappointing seasons. The former first-round pick had just 16 receptions for 221 yards last season with no touchdowns, and coaches are talking about Burks needing to play special teams to solidify his roster spot. He’s probably fifth on the depth chart at this point, so it would behoove the Titans to send him to another team, get him a fresh start and bring in some draft capital to use in 2025.

AFC West

Extend edge rushers Jonathon Cooper and Baron Browning

The Broncos have several young players from the 2021 draft who need to be extended, including guard Quinn Meinerz. But getting their pass rush set for the future is more important, and both Cooper and Browning have contracts that end in 2024. Cooper led the Broncos with 8.5 sacks and 43 pressures last season. Browning’s midyear return coincided with the turnaround that took the Denver defense from historically poor to reasonable, and he ended up with 21 pressures, 4.5 sacks and only four missed tackles in 10 games.

Extend C Creed Humphrey and RG Trey Smith

This one is pretty easy. The Chiefs might have the best interior offensive line in the league now that Jason Kelce has retired, but both Humphrey and Smith see their contracts end after the 2024 season. Kansas City needs to lock down its offensive line for the next few years and keep Humphrey and Smith through their primes.

Sign edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue

The Raiders have a superstar edge rusher in Maxx Crosby but a real depth problem behind him. Right now, the plan is to move Tyree Wilson inside, leaving Malcolm Koonce starting on the edge. Koonce had a surprisingly strong season in 2023, with eight sacks and 31 pressures against defenses that were busy double-teaming Crosby. Behind him, though, are all veteran journeymen and young free agents. If the Raiders bring in Ngakoue, they’ll have a steady veteran edge rusher who can rotate with Koonce and give the team something if Crosby or Koonce miss time with an injury.

Extend CB Asante Samuel Jr.

Samuel’s advanced charting metrics from last year are a bit concerning. He was one of the least-targeted starting cornerbacks in the NFL, but he allowed a high success rate in coverage with 9.7 yards per pass, which ranked near the bottom of the league. Nonetheless, the numbers were much better in 2022, and cornerback stats are notoriously inconsistent from year to year. Samuel is generally regarded as a talented young cornerback, and you don’t want to let a player like that get to free agency. His contract ends after 2024, so the Chargers need to wrap him up.

NFC East

Extend some combination of WR CeeDee Lamb, LB Micah Parsons and QB Dak Prescott

I’m not sure what the Cowboys are waiting for. The longer they wait to extend these important players, the more expensive those contracts become as other players (such as wide receiver Justin Jefferson) get paid and raise the bar at those positions. This isn’t the place to have a long debate about Prescott’s struggles in the postseason and whether he’s truly worth a top-money quarterback contract. But nobody out there is going to argue against the idea that Lamb and Parsons are at or near the top of their positions and deserve extensions. The Cowboys wouldn’t want to let these players leave. So get on it!

Sign DT Lawrence Guy

The Giants’ biggest roster hole probably is tight end after the retirement of Darren Waller, but without a lot of strong tight ends available on the free agency market, it’s hard to recommend that as a big final move. Instead, the Giants have several places on their defense where they could add veteran depth. Guy spent the past seven seasons with the Patriots and can play against the pass and the run. He had an 83% stop rate last season on his run tackles, meaning that they stopped a successful offensive play 83% of the time. The Giants don’t want to be rotating out Dexter Lawrence very much, but Guy would give them more depth along with Jordan Phillips and Rakeem Nunez-Roches.

Sign S Eddie Jackson

What the Eagles could use is defensive depth. At safety, for example, Sydney Brown is coming back from an ACL injury suffered late last season, leaving little depth behind C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Reed Blankenship. Jackson, a former Bears star, would help stabilize the unit. He could play strong safety if Gardner-Johnson lines up in the slot, or he might even beat out Blankenship for the free safety position.

Extend RG Sam Cosmi

The Commanders’ biggest need is a kicker, but there aren’t any good kickers on the market now that UFL star Jake Bates has signed with the Lions. So the Commanders’ kicker is likely to be someone cut by another team at the end of training camp. In the meantime, they do need to start looking at their 2025 roster, and it would be a good idea to lock up Cosmi long term. Cosmi was 14th in pass block win rate among guards last season and also above average in run block win rate. He’s the best player on the Commanders’ offensive line, and his contract is up after this year.

NFC North

Sign QB Ryan Tannehill

The Bears believe they put a real playoff-contending team around rookie quarterback Caleb Williams. What on earth are they going to do if Williams gets hurt? Tyson Bagent and Brett Rypien are not bringing this team to the playoffs. The Bears should sign the best free agent quarterback left on the market and let him earn a check as Williams’ backup and as a veteran part-time coach.

Sign WR Michael Thomas

The Lions have a lot of cap space and definitely could use veteran help at receiver, so why not bring in Thomas as a reclamation project? He had only 448 yards and one touchdown in New Orleans last season, but the Lions have the kind of offensive scheme that could get him back up to a catch rate of 70% on those slants that he was so good at back in 2018 and 2019. If it doesn’t work out, the Lions will just spend money they weren’t using anyway (they have the second-most available cap space in the league). If it does, it’s another step toward finally getting Detroit to a Super Bowl.

Sign CB Stephon Gilmore

Here’s another team with questions at their second outside cornerback position. Eric Stokes is penciled in to start opposite Jaire Alexander, but Stokes has played only 12 games in the past two seasons due to different injuries, including ankle and hamstring problems. The Packers need a backup for Stokes with more experience than Corey Ballentine or Carrington Valentine. Gilmore, 33, still has something left in the tank and would be valuable to the Packers even if he couldn’t beat out Stokes for the starting spot in training camp.

Sign WR Hunter Renfrow

Brandon Powell had an average receiving DVOA on 44 targets in 2023, but his 324 receiving yards represented a career high after six years in the league. There are a lot of inexperienced players after him on the depth chart, plus veteran Trent Sherfield, who had just 11 catches in Buffalo last season. Minnesota could use a veteran slot receiver who knows how to get open underneath while Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison are stretching defenses. Randall Cobb would be another possibility, although he turns 34 in August.

NFC South

Extend CB A.J. Terrell

Terrell might have been the best cornerback in the NFL in 2021. He may have been below average in 2022. He was back up in 2023, finishing 15th in success rate and 35th in coverage DVOA among qualified cornerbacks. What can I say? Cornerback stats are inconsistent and hard to predict. Nonetheless, Terrell is easily considered the most important player on the Atlanta defense behind maybe safety Jessie Bates III. The Falcons picked up his fifth-year option, but now they need to get Terrell signed long term so he doesn’t leave for another team in 2025.

Sign CB Adoree’ Jackson

The top three cornerbacks are set in Carolina as long as Jaycee Horn can stay healthy. But there’s very little depth behind Horn, Dane Jackson and Troy Hill. The depth corners include fifth-round rookie Chau Smith-Wade, 2023 undrafted free agent D’Shawn Jamison and former practice squad member Dicaprio Bootle. The Panthers could use a veteran cornerback for depth behind the fragile Horn and the soon-to-be 33-year-old Hill.

Sign S Justin Simmons

The current Saints starting free safety is Jordan Howden, a 2023 fifth-round pick who started in the second half of his rookie season and allowed 11.3 yards per target, according to FTN Data charting. On the other hand, Simmons was second-team All-Pro for the Broncos and may be the best free agent left available regardless of position. New Orleans should be able to fit Simmons under its salary cap, as they’ve moved from 31st to 22nd in effective cap space with some contract changes in recent weeks.

Extend WR Chris Godwin

Godwin’s contract voids after the 2024 season, but let’s not overthink this. He’s absolutely an above-average NFL starting wide receiver and someone Tampa Bay wants to keep around. An extension might also help spread out the cap hit for Godwin over the three void years where the Bucs would be carrying dead money for him under the current contract.

NFC West

Extend S Budda Baker

Baker, 28, is a big part of the Cardinals’ defense, coming off five straight Pro Bowl selections even if his overall numbers were down a bit last season (in part because he missed five games). His current contract ends after the 2024 season, and it would be good for the Cardinals to lock him up through his early 30s.

Sign LB Kwon Alexander

The Rams don’t use their second off-ball linebacker very much, but they could definitely use a veteran upgrade on Christian Rozeboom. Alexander, 30, played reasonably well for the Steelers a season ago, particularly in pass coverage. The Rams could also take a shot on Shaquille Leonard getting back to his past level of play if they want a cheap gamble with a lower floor and a higher ceiling.

Extend CB Charvarius Ward

Yes, there’s a lot of talk about what the 49ers will do with their wide receiver contracts, but there are other players who become free agents in 2025 and need to be extended. San Francisco may not want to extend linebacker Dre Greenlaw until they know what he looks like coming back from the Achilles injury he suffered in Super Bowl LVIII, but they could turn their attention to Ward, their best cornerback. Ward has played well since coming over as a free agent from Kansas City. He ranked 26th out of 93 qualifying corners in coverage DVOA last season with a league-leading 23 passes defensed. His contract has three void years after 2024, but he’ll be just 29 years old in 2025, so it’s a good time for the 49ers to get him wrapped up for a few more seasons.

Sign edge rusher Carl Lawson

The Seahawks could use more camp competition at center for Olu Oluwatimi and Nick Harris, but the remaining free agent centers did not rate well in pressure rate allowed last season. So instead, let me suggest more defensive depth. You can never have too many pass-rushers to rotate in, and while Lawson only played six games last season, he’s still just two seasons removed from his seven-sack year with the Jets. He wouldn’t cost much, and there’s a good upside there.

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