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Building A 2024 NFL Expansion Team, Part III: Free Agency

After Part I: City, Branding, Coaching Staff and Part II: The Expansion Draft, the 2024 NFL Expansion Team series picks back up with free agency.


Free agency allows the Toronto Stars to sign a quarterback and solidify the defense with a few edge players and scheme fits in Coach Belichick’s system.


Free Agent Signings


I tried to keep this as realistic as possible. There were guys we would have liked to have signed (such as John Simpson, Danielle Hunter, Bryce Huff, Christian Wilkins, D.J. Reader, Mike Gesicki, and a handful of linebackers and defensive backs) that were hard to make a case would sign with us over the teams they signed with in reality.


Devin White | LB | Age: 26 | 1 year, $7 million

Bill Belichick said a couple of years ago that former Buccaneers linebacker Devin White is “an outstanding player and really does everything well,” and were able to convince him to join us instead of the Eagles. I know the end of his time with Tampa was up and down, but White has become one of the most disrespected and underrated players in the league in my opinion.


Josh Uche | EDGE | Age: 25 | 1 year, $6.5 million

In real life, Josh Uche reportedly turned down much bigger offers to remain in New England on a one-year, $3 million deal. However, I believe the presence of Belichick is enough to draw him to the Stars at over double the salary. Uche had 11.5 sacks two seasons ago and brings juice off the edge.


Marcus Mariota | QB | Age: 30 | 1 year, $6 million

The relationship between Marcus Mariota and his former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly makes this a seamless pairing. Mariota brings ability, experience, leadership, and wisdom to the quarterback room and roster.


D.J. Wonnum | EDGE | Age: 26 | 2 years, $14 million

Quietly putting up two 8.0-sack seasons in the past three years with the Vikings, D.J. Wonnum is a very underrated defender that possesses tremendous size and length off the edge.


Mack Wilson Sr. | LB | Age: 26 | 3 years, $12 million

Mack Wilson Sr. flashed a ton in his second year with the Patriots in 2023, and he’ll reunite with Coach Belichick for a third straight year in his defense. Wilson brings versatility and an effectiveness on blitzes behind what should be a strong defensive line. Packages with both White and Wilson as potential blitzers can be dangerous.


Bud Dupree | EDGE | Age: 31 | 1 year, $4 million

Giving us more length opposite D.J. Wonnum (with Josh Uche mixing into the rotation), Bud Dupree feels like a player that would be a great fit with Belichick. Dupree has at least 4.5 sacks in six of his eight NFL seasons.


Poona Ford | DL | Age: 28 | 1 year, $2 million

Before playing just eight games for Buffalo last year, Poona Ford was an undervalued piece on the interior for Seattle over a handful of seasons. Ford will see the field a ton at nose tackle when we are in base defenses.


Shaq Lawson | EDGE | Age: 29 | 1 year, $1.2 million

The 2024 rookie draft class is relatively weak at edge defender, and we might not draft one. So, it makes sense to add another veteran like Shaq Lawson to give us four experienced guys in the rotation.


Sua Opeta | G | Age: 27 | 1 year, $1.5 million

Getting coached by great Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland over the past five years, I like the idea of bringing in Sua Opeta to compete for a role in Toronto.


Prince Tega Wanogho | OT | Age: 26 | 1 year, $1 million

While Prince Tega Wanogho doesn’t have a lot of playing experience, he’s low-cost offensive line depth and will look to develop.


Randy Bullock | K | Age: 34 | 1 year, $1 million

Longtime kicker Randy Bullock has a career field goal percentage of nearly 84%, but we’ll keep our eye on the position during the draft and on the waiver wire, too.


Pressley Harvin III | P | Age: 25 | 1 year, $1 million

Pressley Harvin III spent his first three years in the league with the Steelers. The former unanimous All-American at Georgia Tech gets the first shot to be Toronto’s punter.


Jake McQuaide | LS | Age: 36 | 1 year, $1 million

Jake McQuaide is a two-time Pro Bowl long-snapper that rounds out our initial free-agent class.


Current Roster


With Belichick in command, this defense as constructed should have a chance to be one of the better units in the league—with the opportunity to add more in the 2024 NFL Draft. In a deep draft class for offensive tackle, wide receiver, and cornerback, it matches up nicely with additions our current roster could use.


Looking back, it might have been wiser to not pick up De’Vondre Campbell’s contract to allocate more money to the offensive line, but overall this is shaping up to be an intriguing squad.


Salary cap: $255,400,000

Total payroll: $236,754,622

Cap space: $18,645,378


QB: Marcus Mariota

RB: Joe Mixon // Isaiah Spiller // Sean Tucker

WR: Mike Williams

WR: Terrace Marshall Jr.

WR: Kyle Philips // Ben Skowronek

TE: Taysom Hill // Charlie Kolar

OT: Chukwuma Okorafor // Prince Tega Wanogho

OG: Bradley Bozeman

C: Mitch Morse

OG: Sua Opeta

OT: James Hudson III


EDGE: D.J. Wonnum // Bud Dupree

DL: Jonathan Allen // Lawrence Guy // Dean Lowry

DL: Poona Ford // Neil Farrell Jr.

EDGE: Josh Uche // Shaq Lawson

LB: Devin White // Mack Wilson Sr.

LB: De’Vondre Campbell // Grant Stuard

CB: Tre’Davious White

S: Kevin Byard // Adrian Phillips

S: Jordan Poyer

CB: Isaiah Oliver

NB: Avonte Maddox // Tremon Smith


K: Randy Bullock

P: Pressley Harvin III

LS: Jake McQuaide


Check back tomorrow for Part IV—the final part—of the 2024 NFL expansion series, the 2024 NFL Draft!