5 NFL Players Who Made the Right Decision in 2024 Free Agency

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Highlights Derrick Henry joins the Ravens, forming a top backfield alongside Lamar Jackson.
Marquise Brown gives Patrick Mahomes a new weapon in the Chiefs’ receiving core.
Saquon Barkley enhances the Eagles’ offense, stepping into a loaded team after a rough 2023 season.
As NFL free agency winds down with the 2024 NFL Draft growing closer, a number of star players around the league have shifted to new teams with new contracts.
Going into the 2024 season, the landscape around the NFL will look a lot different due to the number of big-name players that have signed elsewhere. Whether it was Saquon Barkley’s move to the Philadelphia Eagles or Kirk Cousins signing with the Atlanta Falcons, the 2024 free agency period didn’t disappoint and will make the new season incredibly exciting.
Which of these free agents made the right choice, though? Here are five NFL free agents who found the best fit with their new teams going into the 2024 season.
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Derrick Henry, Baltimore Ravens
King Henry joins the reigning MVP to form a top backfield in the NFL
Credit: Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK
The Baltimore Ravens made a huge splash in free agency, landing one of the NFL’s best running backs in former Tennessee Titans’ running back, Derrick Henry.
The Ravens signed Henry to a two-year, $16 million deal, pairing the two-time rushing champ with two-time NFL MVP, Lamar Jackson. Henry and Jackson instantly form one of the best backfields in the NFL.
Derrick Henry 2023 Stats Stat Henry Games 17 Carries 280 Rushing Yards 1,167 Yards Per Attempt 4.2 Rushing Touchdowns 12
In 2023, Henry led the NFL in carries for the fourth time in his career, totaling 280 rush attempts for 1,167 yards and 12 touchdowns. In the passing game, Henry added 28 receptions, the second-highest mark of his career, for 214 yards.
Henry fits perfectly into a run-heavy Ravens’ offense and will be the feature back next to the NFL’s best rushing quarterback in Jackson. Baltimore’s rush offense has become arguably the best in the NFL with Henry, as he fills a big need at the running back position with the team’s loss of Gus Edwards to the Los Angeles Chargers in free agency.
GIVEMESPORT’s Key Statistic: Derrick Henry led the league in carries three times, most recently in 2022, and led the NFL in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns in 2019 and 2020.
With a better offensive line and one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL to take some of the attention, Henry could find his most efficient output in Baltimore and, in turn, add longevity to his career without the need to lead the NFL in rush attempts to carry his offense.
Marquise Brown, Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs give Patrick Mahomes a new weapon in Marquise Brown
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Though the Kansas City Chiefs went on to win the Super Bowl, their regular season was tainted by dropped passes among the receiving core, including future hall-of-famer, Travis Kelce.
In 2023, the Chiefs’ receiving core led the NFL in drops with 44. Kansas City’s lack of experience at the wide receiver position led many to doubt the Chiefs had the firepower to win the Super Bowl. Despite the drop problem, Kansas City managed to march all the way to the big game, repeating to win their second straight.
2023 NFL Drop Leaders Team # of Drops Kansas City Chiefs 44 Cleveland Browns 42 Dallas Cowboys 37 Los Angeles Rams 36 Detroit Lions 35
Going into the offseason, the Chiefs were not complacent offensively, adding former Arizona Cardinals’ wideout Marquise Brown on a one-year, $7 million deal.
In Kansas City’s offense, Brown gives Patrick Mahomes an excellent replacement for the loss of speed at the position when the team moved on from Tyreek Hill. Brown offers blazing speed with the ability to beat teams over the top, something the Chiefs have been missing without Hill.
With Mahomes, Brown could be set up for some of the best seasons in his career since his days alongside Jackson in Baltimore. Brown gives the reigning Super Bowl champs a new top option at receiver, as well as adding much needed depth at the position.
Saquon Barkley, Philadelphia Eagles
Philly bolsters its offense with big-time addition of Barkley in backfield
Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
The Philadelphia Eagles saw an immense decline in 2023 compared to their run to the Super Bowl in 2022, losing in the wildcard round of the playoffs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after losing five of their last six games in the regular season.
A big reason for Philly’s drop-off on the offensive side of the ball was their depleted rushing attack, going from a top rushing unit in the NFL in 2022, to a middle-of-the-pack rushing attack through their final stretch of the 2023 season.
Entering free agency, the Eagles suffered a big loss when running back D’Andre Swift signed with the Chicago Bears, giving the team a big hole to fill at the running back position. Philadelphia filled this hole in one of the best ways imaginable, adding former New York Giants’ running back, Barkley, on a three-year, $37.8 million deal.
In 2023, Barkley totaled 288 touches for 1,242 total yards and 10 touchdowns in 14 games behind one of the worst offensive line units in the NFL. Barkley is set to step into a loaded Eagles’ offense that features one of the best receiving duos, quarterback, and offensive line in the league.
Barkley offers elite versatility as a rusher and receiver and could find himself in a Christian McCaffrey-like role in the Eagles’ offense.
Patrick Queen, Pittsburgh Steelers
Steel City adds hard-nosed linebacker in Patrick Queen
Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Steelers ended their 2023 season with arguably the team’s worst tackling performance of the season against the Buffalo Bills in the wildcard round of the playoffs.
Entering the offseason, the Steelers had a glaring need at linebacker following season-ending injuries to both Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts at the position, and an overall lack of depth at the position.
Pittsburgh filled the void the team has been searching for at the linebacker position since Ryan Shazier by stealing Patrick Queen away from the division-rival Ravens. Queen signed a three-year, $41 million deal with the Steelers, giving the team another defensive playmaker alongside T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick.
In 2023, Queen recorded his best season to date alongside All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith in Baltimore. Queen recorded 133 tackles, nine for loss, and added 3.5 sacks, earning the first Pro Bowl nod of his career.
In Pittsburgh, Queen gives the Steelers solid versatility as a tackler and blitzer, as well as offering elite athleticism. Queen also provides Pittsburgh’s defense with a leader in the middle, something they have been missing for several seasons. Pittsburgh’s defense got even better with the addition of Queen.
Danielle Hunter, Houston Texans
Texans pair DROY Will Anderson with elite veteran pass-rusher Danielle Hunter
Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
The Houston Texans were the surprise of the NFL last season, recording the team’s first playoff berth since 2019 behind the strong rookie efforts of C.J. Stroud, Will Anderson, and Tank Dell.
Houston carried that momentum into the offseason, bolstering its defense with star pass-rusher Danielle Hunter. The former Minnesota Viking signed a two-year, $49 million deal with the Texans.
Hunter is fresh off of arguably the best season of his career, totaling 16.5 sacks and a league-leading 23 tackles for loss for the Vikings in 2023. Hunter will step into a young Texans’ defense as a premier pass-rusher alongside reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Anderson.
Anderson and Hunter form one of the top pass-rush duos in the NFL, with Hunter stepping into Houston’s defense as a mentor for the sophomore esge rusher. With Hunter on the opposite side of him, Anderson could find single coverage against the offensive line, freeing him up to sack the quarterback. Expect big things out of Houston’s new pass-rush duo in 2024.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference unless stated otherwise.

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