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Team Fits For Remaining 2024 NFL Free Agents

There are a bunch of NFL free agents still available, and I’m diving into some of my favorite potential team fits at a variety of positions.


QB Ryan Tannehill: Chargers

A return to the Dolphins has been speculated and pushed by many, but Miami is set with Mike White as the backup quarterback there. Instead, the Chargers would be a good spot for Ryan Tannehill, who would be one of the top backups in football for a Jim Harbaugh-led squad that is going to compete like heck from the jump. Easton Stick did a nice job filling in for an injured Justin Herbert last season, and Max Duggan (who at TCU beat Harbaugh in the CFP a couple of seasons ago) is there, too. But Harbaugh might feel the experienced Tannehill is more of a playoff-caliber signal-caller if something were to happen to Herbert.


QB Jake Fromm: Raiders

We are set for an Aidan O’Connell-Gardner Minshew quarterback battle this summer, and Anthony Brown is an intriguing third option right now. However, I can’t wrap my head around why Jake Fromm hasn’t gotten much of a shot in the NFL. He left Georgia early and was expected to be at least a Day 2 selection but ultimately went to Buffalo in the fifth round and has bounced around since. I feel strongly that he could be a capable starter in the league and that he could potentially beat out O’Connell and Minshew. Fromm was exceptional last summer, including ending the Ravens’ record preseason winning streak by taking on all-out blitzes and delivering for the Commanders. While Fromm struggled in two starts for the Giants in 2021, that squad was arguably the worst situation for a quarterback in recent memory. He might be the best starting option if he landed in Vegas.


RB Joshua Kelley: Chiefs

Joshua Kelley handled 100+ carries in two of his four seasons with the Chargers, and the flashes of talent are there, including capability as a receiver. Kelley has experience in short-yardage situations and is a balanced back that broke a 75-yard touchdown run last preseason. A role in Andy Reid’s offense could unlock the former Bruin, who would be a strong backup behind Isiah Pacheco and Clyde Edwards-Helaire.


WR Hunter Renfrow: Saints

An injury-riddled 2022 didn’t help, but it was extremely odd and surprising for Hunter Renfrow to go from a 103/1,038/9 line in 2021 to not working out with Josh McDaniels in 2022 before having an even smaller role last year. Someone that can help move the chains (51 first downs in that 2021 campaign) can contribute to a bunch of teams, and I’m surprised Renfrow hasn’t been scooped up by now. Perhaps he’s waiting for the right situation, which could be in New Orleans with his old quarterback Derek Carr. The two had a stellar connection, and Renfrow would be a perfect complement to speedsters Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed.


WR Mecole Hardman Jr.: Steelers

It figures to be a competitive receiver room behind George Pickens and third-round pick Roman Wilson in Pittsburgh. Calvin Austin III (perhaps the only roster lock), Van Jefferson, Denzel Mims, Quez Watkins, and Scotty Miller are all in the mix, and Mecole Hardman Jr. is another guy to consider bringing in. It’s easy to envision Russell Wilson’s deep ball pairing nicely with Hardman, who gets a bit of unfair criticism in my opinion. Hardman has championship pedigree and just caught the game-winner for the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII after a deep ball reception earlier in the game.


LT David Bakhtiari: Commanders

Finding a landing spot for longtime Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari is a challenge, but he’s said to be healthy and expected to be ready to go for the 2024 season. The Commanders were reportedly trying to get back up into the first round for an offensive tackle during last month’s draft before taking TCU’s Brandon Coleman in the third round, and they have almost certainly at least talked about Bakhtiari given the type of veterans they’ve brought in this offseason. Washington might be the most likely landing spot for the two-time First-team All-Pro to start, and they have Cornelius Lucas and Coleman as insurance if they do make the move.


DL Calais Campbell: Dolphins

While they lost star defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, the Dolphins otherwise made it a point of emphasis to add to the defensive front this offseason. In addition to taking Penn State pass rusher Chop Robinson in the first round, Miami signed Shaquil Barrett off the edge and brought in Teair Tart, Neville Gallimore, and Jonathan Harris. Calais Campbell would give more size and length on the interior while looking to somehow make up for the loss of Wilkins.


LB Shaquille Leonard: Broncos

Shaquille Leonard had a rollercoaster 2023 that included him getting released by the Colts and joining an Eagles squad that collapsed, but the former Defensive Rookie of the Year and three-time All-Pro will turn just 29 in July. Injuries have led to a decline in production, but the Broncos should consider him—or Zach Cunningham—after recently losing Drew Sanders to a torn Achilles.


CB Stephon Gilmore: Panthers

Rock Hill South Carolina native Stephon Gilmore had a short stay with the Panthers after they acquired him from the Patriots during the 2021 season, and a return could be in the cards a few years later. Carolina already added veterans including Jadeveon Clowney during free agency, and Gilmore could play opposite—and act as insurance for, given the injury history—former first-rounder Jaycee Horn. Horn being able to learn from the former Defensive Player of the Year would be a massive added boost, too.


CB Xavien Howard: Vikings

Xavien Howard and Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores have a relationship from their time together with the Dolphins, and Howard is a fan of his former head coach. Also, Flores notably and emphatically did not want to trade Howard during the All-Pro’s contract dispute. Minnesota has Shaquill Griffin, 2022 second-rounder Andrew Booth Jr., and 2023 third-rounder Mekhi Blackmon among those competing for roles behind Byron Murphy Jr. at cornerback, and Howard could fill a role on the outside. Patrick Peterson and Adoree’ Jackson are two other corners to mention, but the plainest fits are for Gilmore and Howard.


S Justin Simmons: Raiders

Micah Hyde says he’s only going to play for the Bills, but there are a few high-profile free agent safeties still available. Justin Simmons was expected to have a quicker market, and perhaps he was waiting for a bigger deal or a better fit to be without a team at this stage. There’s not a huge need at safety for the Raiders, but Simmons has intercepted Patrick Mahomes five times in his career—and we know a big part of Vegas’ mission is knocking off Mahomes and the Chiefs.


S Jayron Kearse: Commanders

Jayron Kearse had an underrated three seasons with the Cowboys from 2021-2023, and he can re-join his former defensive coordinator Dan Quinn in Washington. Quinn would know how to deploy the versatile Kearse, who brings size, attitude, and physicality to a franchise hoping to build a great foundation and identity.


S Jamal Adams: Ravens

Jamal Adams has already visited the Ravens, and it feels like a natural fit for him to join the defensive rotation in Baltimore. The three-time Pro Bowler with the Jets played in ten games the past two years due to injury, but he’s just 28 years old and will no doubt be determined to get closer to form. The Adams-Ravens pairing is one that most would agree just feels natural.


S Quandre Diggs: Lions

Adams’ running mate in Seattle Quandre Diggs is also available, and he brings more backend playmaking ability. The former corner had interception totals of three, five, five, and four in his first four seasons with the Seahawks before a career-high 95 tackles (and one interception) in 2023. Diggs started his career with the Lions, and Detroit has not been shy about adding depth and competition to the secondary. It might appeal to Diggs to return to the Lions and play for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.