The good, bad and ugly of every major free agency deal

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14Months after acquiring him in a midseason trade, the Seahawks are hanging onto Williams, giving the defensive lineman a three-year, $64.5 million deal.
He agreed to a two-year, $16 million deal with $10.5 million guaranteedGiants add OT Jermaine EluemunorGrade: ARandy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No.
Queen, who agreed to a three-year, $41 million deal, is coming off a career-best 133-tackle season.
His new deal represents a significant bump from his two-year, $12 million deal he played on in Chicago, where he did have his share of ups and downs.
The 2020 sixth-rounder agreed to a three-year, $57 million deal with $38 million guaranteed.
Swift receives a significant raise after playing on a one-year, $1.7 million deal last season.
57The VIkings continue their mission of upgrading a defense that ranked 16th in the league, adding Cashman on a three-year, $25.5 million deal.
86Looking to further upgrade Tua Tagovailoa’s supporting cast, the Dolphins agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal with Brewer, the former Titans center.
The Titans agreed to terms on a three-year, $24 million deal with Pollard, the former Cowboys running back.
Brissett agreed to a one-year $8 million deal with a potential $4 million more in incentives.

Late on Sunday night, quarterback Russell Wilson made a big announcement on social media about joining the Pittsburgh Steelers, sparking the start of this year’s NFL free agency. League sources said the agreement is for a single year.

After the Denver Broncos informed Wilson last week that they would be releasing him from his enormous contract, Wilson was free to begin negotiations with other teams. Monday at noon ET marked the start of the window for legal tampering for everyone else. The new league year kicks off on Wednesday at 4 p.m., at which point players and teams can formally sign contracts. m. EST.

Promotion.

As we grade every notable deal—many of which will feature players from our list of the top 150 free agents—be sure to return often to see how your preferred teams and players are doing. The order of the players in this list corresponds to their standing as free agents. ).

Real-time updates: News about free agents from all around the NFL.

FA tracker: New teams, top 150 free agents’ contracts, and related information.

Who are the best players still available?

Edge rusher Danielle Hunter signs with the Texans.

Rating: A.

Top 150 ranking for Randy Mueller: not at all. 1.

already possessing Will Anderson Jr., a young pass rush talent. the Texans make a move to add Hunter, the best edge rusher available on the free agent market, to strengthen their defense even more.

Hunter, who inked a two-year, $49 million contract, had just finished a career-best 16 1/2 sack season in addition to 83 tackles (including a league-high 23 for a loss). For the eight-year veteran, it was his fifth season with ten or more sacks.

Danielle Hunter and the GO DEEPER Texans have reached a two-year contract.

Rookie Saquon Barkley joins the Eagles.

An A-plus.

No. 150 on Randy Mueller’s list of 150. 2.

The former Giants star running back, who is headed to NFC East rival Philadelphia, is another running back off the market. After spending the previous season on the franchise tag, Barkley signs a three-year contract worth up to $46.75 million, with $26 million guaranteed. Barkley’s contract does not reset the running market, but if he fulfills incentives, he may receive the second-highest average salary of any running back in NFL history—$15.83 million.

Despite rookie D’Andre Swift’s 1,000-yard campaign last season, the Eagles still desired to improve their rushing attack. Swift was allowed to leave Philadelphia for the Bears in free agency, but the team focused on Barkley instead, who has three seasons of 1,000 yards or more under his belt and nearly reached that mark last year (962 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 247 carries). Barkley is just 27 years old, but the Eagles anticipate that he will continue to produce like one of the best backs in the NFL. This would be a welcome addition to an offense that already boasts Jalen Hurts, a dual-threat quarterback, and the explosive wide receiver tandem of A. D. J. Smith and Brown, DeVonta.

GO DEEPER Howe: An inside look at the negotiations involving Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson, and Baker Mayfield.

QB Kirk Cousins joins the Falcons.

Rating: A.

No. 150 on Randy Mueller’s list of 150. Three.

After signing the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback to a four-year, $180 million contract that includes a $50 million signing bonus and a $100 million guarantee, the Falcons are beginning a new era under newly appointed head coach Raheem Morris. The quarterback position is also being started from scratch.

The last six seasons, the cousins had lived in Minnesota. Now that he is moving south, he meets up with Morris, who served as Cousins’ assistant in his early years in Washington.

GO DEEPER: It’s difficult to distill Kirk Cousins’ six successful seasons in Minnesota.

After missing the entire season due to an Achilles tendon tear, Cousins is expected to be fully recovered by the beginning of the season. As Cousins was an assistant with the Rams in 2020 and 2021, he worked with Falcons coordinator Zac Robinson, who received his offensive scheme training from Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell. Cousins knows Morris well as well.

Promoting something.

The Falcons, led by Cousins, have a roster full of young, talented players, and they could make an immediate impact because the NFC South is wide open.

Browns hold onto edge rusher Za’Darius Smith.

An A+.

Randy Mueller is ranked no. 150 in the world. 4.

Smith provided Myles Garrett with a nice complementary pass rush, so the Browns wanted to hang onto him. A two-year contract worth $23.5 million was reached between Cleveland and the veteran in his eleventh year of play. Last season, Smith was a member of the Browns, who led the NFL in total defense and were sixth in sack total (49). Smith also recorded 27 tackles, five point five sacks, and twenty quarterback hits.

A hot commodity on the FA market, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins made the Raiders his choice. [USA Today / Sam Navarro].

Raiders sign Christian Wilkins, a DT.

Rating: A.

Top 150 ranking for Randy Mueller: not at all. 5.

The Raiders added Wilkins, the best defensive tackle available outside of Chris Jones, to bolster the interior of a line that includes the gifted Maxx Crosby on the edge. Wilkins, who had nine sacks for the Dolphins the previous year, is anticipated to ink a $110 million, four-year contract with a guaranteed $85,750,000.

Wilkins attracted interest from the Vikings, Browns, Texans, and Lions; however, he chose to sign with the Las Vegas, where defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and head coach Antonio Pierce are looking for more players with impact to strengthen their line-of-sight attack.

Jonathan Greenard gives the Vikings an advantage.

B-grade.

Randy Mueller is ranked no. 150 in the world. 6.

The Vikings have added Greenard to their roster in anticipation of potentially losing pass rusher Danielle Hunter to free agency. For the Texans the previous season, the 27-year-old recorded 12 1/2 sacks and 48 pressures. Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports that Hunter’s contract includes $42 million in guaranteed funds.

The Vikings are hoping that Greenard’s career-high performance from the previous season was more than just a one-time gimmick. While he only recorded 1 1/2 sacks in 2022 due to an injury-shortened campaign, he had eight sacks in 2021 as a second-year pro. In 2023, he bounced back with his first season with ten or more sacks. The defense of Brian Flores, which is one of the blitz-happy in the league, could really benefit from Greenard’s presence up front if he can stay healthy.

Promotion.

Josh Jacobs is added by the Packers as a running back.

An A+.

No. 150 on Randy Mueller’s list of 150. 7.

With the intention of giving rookie quarterback Jordan Love the backing of a more potent rushing attack, the Packers reached an agreement to sign the two-time Pro Bowl running back. Saquon Barkley, Austin Ekeler, Derrick Henry, and Jacobs were considered some of the best backs available, and Jacobs had 1,000-yard seasons in three of his previous five seasons with the Raiders.

In order to establish the run and then take advantage of big plays downfield out of play action, Green Bay’s offense looks to him to help maintain balance. Seeing how this affects Aaron Jones’s role in his last year of contract will be interesting.

GO DEEPER: What to make of the first-day rush on running backs in the NFL free agency?

Packers include Xavier McKinney, a S.

An A+.

No. 150 on Randy Mueller’s list of 150. 8.

Following their decision to release safety Darnell Savage earlier in the day (after he reached an agreement with the Jaguars), the Packers upgraded with McKinney, who secured a $68 million, four-year contract.

The back end of the Packers defense, which finished in the bottom third of the league in takeaways, should benefit from McKinney’s excellent range and ball handling abilities. With coach Matt LaFleur replacing Joe Barry as defensive coordinator and luring Jeff Hafley, the head coach of Boston College, to Green Bay during the offseason, the team is currently in transition.

C. Lloyd Cushenberry joins the Titans.

Rating: A.

Randy Mueller is ranked no. 150 in the world. Nine.

Finding a trustworthy center to anchor the line is a key component of general manager Ran Carthon’s (second-year) offseason plan to improve the offense around rookie quarterback Will Levis. Cushenberry, a 2020 third-round pick out of LSU, has been getting better every season with the Broncos and is now joining Tennessee. Considered one of the best young centers in the game, he possesses strength, athleticism, and excellent instincts.

Eagles sign Bryce Huff, an edge rusher.

Rating: A.

In the Top 150, Randy Mueller is ranked: No. In 10.

The Eagles’ offseason shopping list included adding disruptive edge rushers, and they succeeded in getting one in Huff, agreeing to pay him $51 million over three seasons. Huff, a 2020 undrafted player out of Memphis, had a breakthrough year as a rotational pass rusher with the Jets in 2023, recording 10 sacks and 29 tackles. He will now likely assume a starting position with the Eagles, who are hoping he can advance further and provide Vic Fangio, the new defensive coordinator, with a formidable force off the edge.

Go deeper to learn why the Jets allowed Bryce Huff to go and how they intend to replace his loss.

Giants sign Jon Runyan, a G.

B+ in grade.

Top 150 ranking for Randy Mueller: Not at all. 11.

The Giants have concerns at quarterback (Daniel Jones is still not improving) and running back (Saquon Barkley is now going to Philadelphia). Nevertheless, they’re making an effort to guarantee that whoever occupies those spots will have sufficient run and pass support.

After making a name for himself as a productive and adaptable interior lineman in Green Bay, Runyan moved to New York. He’ll make an effort to improve a line that allowed 85 sacks, which was a league high, in 2022.

promotion.

Pass rusher Leonard Floyd joins the 49ers.

B+ in grade.

No. 150 on Randy Mueller’s list of 150. Twelve.

With Bosa agreeing to a two-year deal worth up to $24 million, the 49ers are hoping that their long search for a consistent pass-rushing companion to Nick Bosa may finally be over. Through a trade, the 49ers attempted to acquire Chase Young, a former college teammate of Bosa, but Young was wildly inconsistent. Thus, general manager John Lynch focused on the 31-year-old Floyd, a reliable and strong player who has recorded 10-1/2, 9-1/2, nine, and 10-1/2 sacks over the past four seasons (missing just one game in that span). Now, as San Francisco’s new assistant head coach, he will reunite with his former Rams defensive coordinator, Brandon Staley.

Seahawks hold on to DE Leonard Williams.

An A+.

No. 150 on Randy Mueller’s list of 150. 14.

Williams is being held by the Seahawks for three years at a salary of $64.5 million, following his midseason acquisition in a trade. Following stints with the Jets and Giants, Williams—the sixth pick overall in the 2015 draft—has found success in Seattle. In ten games with the Seahawks, he recorded four sacks, 41 tackles (nine for a loss), and 11 quarterback hits. As former Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald replaces Pete Caroll in 2024 and restructures the defense to suit his vision, the Seattle defense will appear different. Williams will still play a significant role, though.

B+ in grade.

No. 150 on Randy Mueller’s list of 150. 15.

Jones, 32, has played for the Buffalo Bills for the past two seasons. The Bills have let go of several defensive mainstays in recent days. While healthy, Jones is disruptive in the trenches, missing 12 games due to a pectoral injury last season. Jones recorded 38 stops in 2022, including three for a loss, 11 quarterback hits, two sacks, and a fumble recovery. He consented to a $16 million, two-year contract with a $10,05 million guarantee.

Giants sign Jermaine Eluemunor as an overtime player.

An A+.

Top 150 ranking for Randy Mueller: not at all. 16.

Revamping their offensive line yet again, the Giants added the versatile Eluemunor, who started at right tackle in Las Vegas, but also can play left tackle. Eluemunor, whose deal is for two years, $14 million, is the second free-agent offensive line addition made by New York, which agreed to terms with guard Jon Runyan earlier Monday. The Giants gave up 85 sacks in 2023, making the line an offseason priority.

Steelers add LB Patrick Queen.

Rating: A.

In the Top 150, Randy Mueller is ranked: 17.

The Ravens will now have to play Queen twice a year as their 2020 first-round pick joins the rival Steelers. The Ravens made the difficult decision to forgo picking up the fifth-year option on Queen’s rookie contract after they paid Roquan Smith. Following a career-high 133 tackles last season, Queen agreed to a three-year, $41 million contract. In addition, he had six pass breakups, three touchdowns from sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. The Steelers defense, which finished sixth in the league in points allowed per game but ranked 21st overall in yards allowed, will be strengthened by the Pro Bowl linebacker.

Jets add G John Simpson.

B-plus.

In the Top 150, Randy Mueller is ranked: No. 18.

The Jets prioritize protecting Aaron Rodgers above all else, which is why they signed Simpson to a two-year, $18 million contract. Simpson started all 19 of the Ravens’ regular season and postseason games at left guard last year. Even though he is tough, Simpson needs to improve his consistency, and the Jets are hoping that the 2020 fourth-round selection will do just that.

WR Darnell Mooney is added by the Falcons.

C-plus is the grade.

Top 150 ranking for Randy Mueller: not at all. 19.

Mooney, who agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract, certainly has big-play ability. With 81 receptions for 1,055 yards in 2021—his second NFL season—he demonstrated his threat level. However, Mooney hasn’t topped 500 yards in either season since then. The 2020 fifth-round pick leaves Chicago with 213 catches with 2,593 yards and 11 touchdowns. Can a fresh start and pairing with Kirk Cousins, Kyle Pitts and Drake London translate into a revival for Mooney?

Frankie Luvu is coming off back-to-back 100-plus tackle seasons with the Panthers. (Jim Dedmon / USA Today).

Adds LB Frankie Luvu to the commanders.

Rating: B.

Randy Mueller is ranked no. 150 in the world. 20.

Due to mistakes in the draft and free agency, Washington badly needed playmakers with sideline-to-sideline range. Luvu, who recently finished two seasons with more than 100 tackles for the Panthers, agreed to a three-year, $36 million contract. After coming into the league as an undrafted Washington State player, Luvu has shown consistent improvement despite being on his third team in seven seasons. The 125 tackles, five pass deflections, and two forced fumbles from the previous season are all career highs.

Publicity.

Denico Autry, DE, is added by the Texans.

C is the grade.

Randy Mueller is ranked no. 150 in the world. 22.

Autry will provide Houston with a complementary player to young Will Anderson Jr. at a rather reasonable cost for a pass rusher (two years, $20 million with $10,5 million guaranteed). But Autry is coming off his first double-digit sack season and is 34, so a decline is possible. That means Houston may not see the full return on its investment.

Cardinals add DT Justin Jones.

Grade: C.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No. 24.

Arizona makes a move to beef up the interior of its defensive line, giving Jones a three-year deal worth $30.1 million with $19.75 million guaranteed. Jones is coming off his two most productive seasons (52 tackles, three sacks in 2022; 49 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks in 2023). His new deal represents a significant bump from his two-year, $12 million deal he played on in Chicago, where he did have his share of ups and downs. That raises the question of whether the Cardinals overpaid.

Chargers keep S Alohi Gilman.

Grade: B.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No. 28.

The Chargers reward their 2020 sixth-round pick with a two-year, $11 million contract as he comes off of a career year (73 tackles, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries). L. A. has limited resources because of salary cap restrictions but still manages to keep a promising young player in the mix.

Commanders add S Jeremy Chinn.

Grade: B.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: 29.

In need of playmakers on the back end of their defense, the Commanders are hoping Chinn can recapture the form he sported in 2020 and 2021 when he recorded 117 and 107 tackles, respectively. He has battled injury in each of the last two seasons, but if healthy, the former second-round pick boasts great versatility as a hybrid safety/linebacker and will make his presence felt. At one year, $5.1 million, Chinn, who has played a combined 18 games the last two seasons, comes at a good price.

WR Gabe Davis joins the Jaguars after four seasons with the Bills. (Gregory Fisher / USA Today).

Jaguars add WR Gabe Davis.

Grade: C-plus.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No. 32.

This may not be the wide receiver news the Jaguars and their fans most desperately want to hear. Leading wideout Calvin Ridley (1,016 yards, eight touchdowns) remained unsigned during the opening of the legal tampering window. But in Davis, the Jaguars get a solid No. 2 option on a three-year, $39 million deal. Incentives could bump his earnings up to $50 million.

Davis spent the first four seasons of his career as Stefon Diggs’ sidekick in Buffalo, averaging 682 yards and 6.75 touchdowns on 40.75 receptions a season. At 6-2, 225, Davis knows how to use his size to his advantage and plays with physicality, but still needs to execute with greater consistency.

GO DEEPER Bills clear cap-space hurdle with Josh Allen’s contract restructure.

Chargers add RB Gus Edwards.

Grade: C.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No. 35.

The Chargers appear set to move on from Austin Ekeler and have reunited Edwards with his former Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Curious move. Edwards is a good runner, but he has always shared the workload and has never had a 1,000-yard season. He will come at a cheaper price than Ekeler, but Ekeler is one of the most versatile backs in the game. So unless the Chargers are planning on drafting someone as well and using him as the lead back (and Edwards as the complementary piece), the Chargers will likely see a drop-off here.

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Ravens add RB Derrick Henry.

Grade: B.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No. 38.

After allowing Gus Edwards to depart via free agency, the Ravens needed an impact running back in the worst way and have agreed to terms with the powerful Henry. The four-time Pro Bowl back and five-time 1,000-yard rusher agrees to a two-year deal worth up to $20 million. Henry is coming off of a 1,167-yard, 12-touchdown campaign and just turned 30 in January. The Ravens believe that he has enough left in the tank to serve as their workhorse back. If that’s the case — and that’s the only question in this scenario, given the mileage Henry has logged during his career — Henry will in turn ease pressure on Lamar Jackson, who has led the team in rushing more times than anyone within the organization would like. After years of piecing together a rushing attack with Jackson and a committee of backs, the Ravens could now have the ability to produce the most potent ground game (and most balanced offense) they have fielded in years.

Panthers add G Robert Hunt.

Grade: B-minus.

Randy Mueller’s top 150 ranking: No. 39.

With protecting and developing second-year quarterback Bryce Young the highest of priorities, the Panthers made a move to fortify the interior of their offensive line. Hunt is a 2020 second-rounder who has played both guard and tackle, but he’s now viewed as a guard. Hunt has dealt with some injuries, but is big, physical and powerful. If he can remain healthy, he’ll make an impact. He will have good familiarity with the concepts of the Panthers’ offense because new coach Dave Canales runs an offshoot of the Shanahan offense that Mike McDaniel runs in Miami.

Grade: B.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No. 40.

Amid great waves of change, the Patriots made continuity along their offensive line a priority. The 2020 sixth-rounder agreed to a three-year, $57 million deal with $38 million guaranteed. Onwenu offers great versatility with his ability to play both tackle and guard.

Panthers add DT A’Shawn Robinson.

Grade: A.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: 41.

Fortifying a defense that served as the bright spot last season, Carolina has added the ninth-year veteran on a three-year, $22.5-million deal. Robinson has great familiarity with Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, having played for him when Evero was an assistant with the Rams, so the transition should be smooth.

Bears add RB D’Andre Swift.

Grade: A.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No. 45.

Agreeing to a three-year deal worth a reported $24 million, the fifth-year veteran cashes in on a career season with the Eagles in which he served as a feature back for the first time. Swift rushed for 1,049 yards and five touchdowns on 229 carries; he also recorded 39 catches for 214 yards and a touchdown for Philadelphia. Regardless of what they do at quarterback, the Bears badly needed a reliable back after trying to piece together a rushing attack last season. Justin Fields led the team with 657 rushing yards while Khalil Herbert and D’Onta Foreman combined for 1,036 yards and six touchdowns. Swift receives a significant raise after playing on a one-year, $1.7 million deal last season.

David Montgomery was drafted by the Bears.

D’Andre Swift was drafted by the Lions. And now, they’ve swapped teams. Which player would you rather have in your backfield? pic . twitter . com/5fjpriT4Zb — The Athletic (@TheAthletic) March 11, 2024.

Steelers add QB Russell Wilson.

Grade: B.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No. 46.

After two tumultuous years in Denver, Wilson gets a fresh start with Pittsburgh. He’ll sign a one-year deal for the league minimum (just over $1 million) to play for the Steelers while also earning the almost $38 million owed to him by the Broncos.

Adding Wilson creates an intriguing situation for the Steelers, who have said they remain committed to 2022 first-rounder Kenny Pickett. The former Pitt star has been rather mediocre, however. Wilson and Pickett will likely compete for the starting position. Despite posting some of his worst numbers of his career in Denver, Wilson’s resume is undoubtedly longer than Pickett’s, but can he still start in the NFL? Many talent evaluators around the league think the answer is yes, attributing Wilson’s struggles in 2023 and 2022 to two unfavorable circumstances with the Broncos.

Promotion.

Pittsburgh is taking a small chance with this move. If Pickett prevails, Wilson will provide the Steelers with inexpensive experience as a mentor and backup. If Wilson maintains his fastball, he should be able to win the starting job. If not, new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith will have a shrewd veteran in Wilson who can lead a team that will have to face the quarterbacks of the Ravens, Bengals, and Browns.

GO DEEPER Kaboly: The Steelers need to win now because Russell Wilson has the ability to set them back several years.

Seahawks sign TE Noah Fant again.

A C-plus grade.

Randy Mueller is ranked no. 150 in the world. 47.

When Fant arrived in Seattle as part of the Russell Wilson trade, he exuded great promise. However, over the past two seasons combined, he has only caught 82 passes for 900 yards and four touchdowns. Fant has everything he needs to develop into a more potent weapon for Seattle after agreeing to a two-year, $21 million contract. Will Ryan Grubb, the new offensive coordinator, be able to help him reach his full potential?

G Jonah Jackson is added by the Rams.

An A+.

Top 150 ranking for Randy Mueller: not at all. 48.

Having reached a three-year, $51 million agreement with Jackson that includes a $34 million guarantee, the Rams are heavily investing in the interior of their offensive line in an effort to prolong Matthew Stafford’s career. After the Lions selected the Pro Bowl left guard out of Rutgers in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft—Stafford’s final season with the team—he immediately established himself as a starter. Jackson will now get back together with the quarterback in an effort to fortify a line that has seen significant upheaval over the previous two seasons.

Keep C Mitch Morse with the Jaguars.

Grade: A.

Top 150 ranking for Randy Mueller: not at all. 53.

After reworking the deal of guard Brandon Scherff, the Jaguars made another move to ensure Trevor Lawrence has the best possible pass protection, giving Morse a two-year, $10.5 million contract. Despite having a quarterback considered a generational talent coming out of college, Jacksonville was in the middle of the pack in passing and among the lowest in the league in rushing, so Morse should encourage the Jaguars to improve.

KR Keisean Nixon has been re-signed by the Packers.

Rating: A.

55 is Randy Mueller’s position in the Top 150.

A contract worth up to $19,2 million is signed by the All-Pro kick returner for a three-year term. With an average of 27.45 yards per attempt over the last two seasons, Nixon has led the NFL in kick returns and been named an All-Pro each time.

Blak Cashman, LB, joins the Vikings.

B-grade.

No. 150 on Randy Mueller’s list of 150. 51.

Cashman joins the VIkings on a three-year, $25.5 million contract as they continue to improve their defense, which finished the season ranked 16th in the league. With just one season on Cashman’s resume as a starter, this signing is somewhat of a projection. But in 2023, the former fifth-round pick of the Texans recorded a career-high 106 tackles, five pass deflections, and an interception while also playing well against the run and in pass coverage. Now that he is closer to them, the Vikings hope he can continue climbing.

Austin Ekeler, RB, departs for the east to join the Commanders. (Ian A. Vasquez/USA Today.

Austin Ekeler, RB, is added by Chiefs.

B-grade.

Randy Mueller is ranked no. 150 in the world. 60.

Over the last seven seasons, Ekeler has established himself as one of the league’s most versatile backs with 39 rushing touchdowns and 30 receiving touchdowns. Now, he will take his skills to Washington, where the Commanders are starting over under a new head coach, general manager, and owner. The 29-year-old Ekeler, who flirted with 1,700 all-purpose yards in 2021 and 2022, is coming off an injury-plagued season (628 rushing yards and five touchdowns and 436 receiving yards and a touchdown). If he stays healthy, he can still be a valuable backup. The two-year, $11.43 million deal is a good investment for Washington, and significantly less per season than running backs Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, Josh Jacobs and D’Andre Swift landed.

Promoting something.

Marcus Davenport, an edge rusher, joins the Lions.

B-minus is the grade.

Randy Mueller is ranked no. 150 in the world. 61.

Davenport only played in four games during his one and only season with the Vikings due to an ankle injury. He recorded just two sacks and seven pressures. But at 28, and with a resume that includes 142 tackles, 21 1/2 sacks and seven forced fumbles in five seasons with the Saints, Davenport seemingly boasts the potential to have an impact for Detroit as long as he can stay healthy. The Lions’ one-year contract is a low-risk investment.

Ronald Darby, a CB, joins the Jaguars.

Grade: C.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No. sixty-two.

As he approaches his thirty-first birthday and begins his tenth NFL season, Darby signs a two-year contract worth up to $10 million with his sixth team. Darby provides good versatility, but struggles with durability, having played a full season just once in his career. He started seven of 16 games for Baltimore last season in his return from a 2022 torn ACL and recorded 28 tackles and seven pass breakups.

Miami adds Jordyn Brooks, a linebacker.

B-grade.

Randy Mueller is ranked no. 150 in the world. 6.35.

Running back Bobby Wagner’s sidekick, he has racked up over 100 tackles in each of the previous three seasons, is now joining the Dolphins. Brooks has also gotten better at pass coverage over time. In Week 17 of the 2022 season, Brooks tore his ACL; however, he was back in the game in Week 1 of the following year. With a three-year, $30 million contract, he has now cashed in on his 111 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and four pass breakups from 2023.

C Tyler Biadasz is added by the commanders.

Grade: B.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No. 65.

Dan Quinn, the new head coach of the Commanders, enticed the Pro Bowl center to Washington because they were in dire need of an overhaul for their offensive line. The Commanders had the second-highest number of sacks in the league (65) and finished 27th in rushing last season; therefore, Biadasz and additional reinforcements (who could be selected in the draft or through free agency) are much needed. It’s also a wise move to add a solid, seasoned center because Washington is anticipated to use the No. 2. Select a quarterback. Young passers like Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye will have the luxury of depending on Biadasz to help them recognize blitzes and the appropriate defenses.

Edge rusher Andrew Van Ginkel is added by the Vikings.

B+ in grade.

Top 150 ranking for Randy Mueller: not at all. 67.

Van Ginkel, a fifth-round pick in 2019 who worked under the Vikings defensive coordinator while Brian Flores was head coach in Miami, is a face that Flores is familiar with. Being able to apply pressure from either side, Van Ginkel is a versatile edge rusher. Additionally, he is reasonably priced (two years, $20 million, with a guaranteed $14 million).

Lavonte David, LB, re-signed with the Bucs.

Rating: A.

Ranking 71 out of 150 for Randy Mueller.

After locking up wide receiver Mike Evans and quarterback Baker Mayfield just before the start of free agency, the Bucs have retained another roster cornerstone. David consented to a $10 million, one-year deal. Even after recording 134 tackles (his tenth season with 100 tackles) and 4 1/2 sacks for the Bucs, the 13-year veteran is still a formidable force. The 34-year-old has shown no signs of a drop-off.

Keep edge rusher A for the Bills. D. J. Epenesa.

B+ in grade.

Top 150 ranking for Randy Mueller: not at all. 75.

The 2020 second-round pick will remain in Buffalo on a two-year deal worth up to $20 million after recording 6 1/2 sacks in each of the last two seasons as a rotational pass rusher. Epenesa wasn’t drafted in the second round (54th overall) to be a part-time player, but he and the Bills seem comfortable with his role, and he has found a way to maximize his opportunities in each of the last two seasons. It’ll be interesting to see if Leonard Floyd’s departure will translate into more snaps for Epenesa.

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Jets add DT Javon Kinlaw.

B-plus.

In the Top 150, Randy Mueller is ranked: No. 85.

In need of big bodies to pair with Quinnen Williams, Robert Saleh reached back to his San Francisco days to bring the 2020 first-round pick to New York. Kinlaw spent much of his time in San Francisco recovering from injuries, but when he was well again, he was noticeable. In 2023, Kinlaw started all 17 games and finished with 25 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks, six quarterback hits, and three pass breakups. The 49ers were expected to face competition in their efforts to retain Kinlaw, and their former defensive coordinator won. This might end up being a great deal if Kinlaw, who committed to a one-year contract, can maintain his health.

C Aaron Brewer is added by the Dolphins.

Grade: C.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No. 86.

Brewer, the former Titans center, agreed to a three-year, $21 million contract with the Dolphins in an effort to further improve Tua Tagovailoa’s supporting cast. The only problem is Brewer gave up seven sacks in 2023, according to TruMeda, and the Dolphins have to do everything possible to protect Tagovailoa. However, Brewer has the athleticism to suit Miami’s zone-blocking scheme and is a good run blocker. Undrafted in 2020 out of Texas State, Brewer must take another leap forward in his development.

Bengals add TE Mike Gesicki.

Grade: C.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No. 88.

Cincinnati adds a serviceable piece to the puzzle in the seventh-year veteran, who recorded 29 catches for 244 yards and a touchdown with New England last season. That was the least-productive season of Gesicki’s career since his rookie year in 2018. He did record two 700-yard seasons with Miami in 2020 and 2021. But a 362-yard 2022 campaign followed before he departed for New England. So, which version of the 2018 second-round pick are the Bengals getting? They certainly hope for something more closely resembling the 2020/2021 version. But at one-year, $3.25 million, this isn’t a high-risk move.

QB Sam Darnold gets (another) fresh start, this time with the Vikings. (Sergio Estrada / USA Today).

Vikings add QB Sam Darnold.

Rating: C.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No. 89.

After losing Kirk Cousins to the Falcons, the Vikings are rolling the dice with Darnold, the third pick of the 2018 draft. Darnold failed miserably with the Jets and Panthers, but the Vikings are hoping that a season on the sidelines and classroom with Kyle Shanahan has turned the turnover-prone USC product (Darnold has thrown 63 touchdowns and 56 interceptions while fumbling 38 times) into a more fundamentally sound player and decision-maker.

The Vikings took a low-risk gamble by signing Darnold to a $10 million, one-year contract. And Darnold will recognize large portions of Minnesota’s offense because coach Kevin O’Connell is a disciple of Sean McVay, who is a disciple of Shanahan. But this still feels like the Vikings, who might have made the playoffs for a second straight season if not for Cousins’ season-ending Achilles tear and poor depth at quarterback, are taking a gamble when other options had included Jacoby Brissett (now with the Patriots), Gardner Minshew (joined the Raiders) and Ryan Tannehill (still available).

Grade: C.

In the Top 150, Randy Mueller is ranked: No. 91.

A fascinating autograph from the Chiefs. The 2019 second-round pick by the Vikings has spent the last two seasons in Cincinnati but hasn’t had a prolific role, recording a combined 18 catches for 115 yards and a touchdown in 12 games (six starts). With 30 catches for 364 yards and five touchdowns in 2020, he had his best season to date. Smith can line up in the slot or split out wide because of his athleticism and versatility. However, his lack of flash has made it difficult to predict that he will play a big enough part to relieve Travis Kelce of some of the pressure.

Azeez Al-Shaair, a linebacker, is added by Houston.

An A-plus.

Top 150 ranking for Randy Mueller: not at all. 92%.

DeMeco Ryans pulls off another reunion with one of his former 49ers charges. Al-Shaair, who served as a rotational linebacker in San Francisco and left for Tennessee last season, is headed to Houston on a three-year, $34 million contract. Al-Shaair recorded 163 tackles, two sacks, four pass breakups and a fumble recovery for Tennessee and now joins the AFC South rival Texans and Ryans, who want to defend their divisional title.

Publicity.

Titans add RB Tony Pollard.

A B-minus is issued.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No. 93.

It seemed highly likely that Derrick Henry would be moving on from Tennessee, and now that is essentially a surety. The Titans agreed to terms on a three-year, $24 million deal with Pollard, the former Cowboys running back. Not as accomplished as Henry is 26-year-old Pollard. He has two 1,000-yard seasons to his name compared to Henry’s five (including Henry’s 2,000-yard 2020 campaign). But Pollard is three years younger and has 1,268 fewer carries, meaning he could have longevity on his side.

Pollard’s first season as a feature back came in 2023, after he split time with Ezekiel Elliott to start his career in Dallas. But he proved versatile as a runner and pass-catcher out of the backfield. Pollard lacks the power of Henry, but the Titans apparently are looking for a different brand of running back to support young quarterback Will Levis. Pollard also is likely a cheaper alternative to Henry, who likely seeks an increase on last year’s earnings of $10.5 million.

Jets add QB Tyrod Taylor.

Grade: A.

Randy Mueller’s Top 150 ranking: No. 94.

Determined not to make the same mistake they did last year by neglecting to sign a proven backup to Aaron Rodgers, the Jets added the well-traveled Taylor. The 34-year-old QB possesses all of the skills and smarts necessary to enter a game on short notice and keep his team afloat. He also can man the helm as an effective interim starter, something Zack Wilson, who is on his way out, could not do last year.

Giants add RB Devin Singletary.

Classification: C.

Randy Mueller is ranked no. 150 in the world. 97%.

Looking to fill the void left by Saquon Barkley’s departure for Philadelphia, the Giants add Singletary, who rushed for a career-high 898 yards on 216 carries last season while with Houston. Singletary is steady, but he’s not on Barkley’s level in terms of explosiveness, and will not command the attention from defenses that will ease pressure on Daniel Jones.

Jaguars add S Darnell Savage.

Classification: C.

In the Top 150, Randy Mueller is ranked: No. 99.

Though he lacks the consistency needed to go from being merely good to exceptional, the sixth-year pro that the Jaguars acquire can definitely make plays. In 2020, Savage’s output decreased after recording four interceptions and seventy-five tackles in his second year as a professional.

Patriots reunite with QB Jacoby Brissett.

An A+.

Top 150 ranking for Randy Mueller: not at all. 114.

Drafted by New England in the third round of 2016, Brissett is a familiar face for the Patriots as they look to start fresh at quarterback as they usher in the Jerod Mayo era. Brissett consented to a contract worth $8 million for a year, with an additional $4 million in incentives.

With the third pick in hand, which they may use to select a quarterback, Brissett is the ideal bridge for the Patriots. He is resilient, has experience playing in a range of systems, and has great leadership qualities.

Gardner Minshew’s contract with the Raiders prompts “Minshew Mania” to move to Las Vegas. (USA Today/Marc Lebryk).

Gardner Minshew, quarterback, is added by the Raiders.

Rating: B.

Top 150 ranking for Randy Mueller: not at all. Twelve Zero.

Following his successful replacement of an injured Anthony Richardson, which kept the Colts afloat and helped them embark on an unexpected playoff run, Minshew lands in Las Vegas, where he will have the opportunity to start as the team embarks on a new chapter in earnest.

As a starter the previous year, Minshew finished 7–6 with 15 touchdown passes and 9 interceptions. He will compete with Aidan O’Connell, who went 5-5 as a starter last season with 12 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. Minshew has proven he can make plays and win games in this league. But at the very least, the Raiders get a quality backup with starting experience.

Promoting something.

Jameis Winston, quarterback, is added by the Browns.

C is the grade.

No. 150 on Randy Mueller’s list of 150. 131.

Last season showed why the Browns need a veteran, starter-capable backup to Deshaun Watson. Winston can definitely step in and sling the rock around the yard. He played in 21 games over his four-year tenure in New Orleans, going 6-4 as a starter. Additionally, he will look great in any locker room. Winston, however, remains a roller-coaster at quarterback. The Browns might be disappointed if he is asked to deliver the same effective playmaking and stabilizing force that Joe Flacco did during the team’s playoff run the previous season.

Drew Lock, quarterback, is added by the Giants.

B-grade.

140 in Randy Mueller’s list of the Top 150.

Daniel Jones may not have many more starts for the Giants in 2023 after a 2023 campaign that was defined by both subpar play and an ACL tear that ended the season. Although Jones is anticipated to fully recover, he might face off against Lock again. Lock was the 2019 second-round pick that Denver traded to Seattle for Russell Wilson. Lock has spent the last two seasons as Geno Smith’s backup. He went 1-1 in place of an injured Smith this past season and threw three touchdown passes and three interceptions. Should Lock improve during his time learning under Smith and reduce his turnover rate, Brian Daboll and the Giants may consider him.

Marcus Mariota, quarterback, is added by the commanders.

C is the grade.

In the Top 150, Randy Mueller is ranked: No. 144.

It’s a good move in that Mariota will provide a much-needed veteran presence and mentorship to whomever Washington drafts with the No. 2 choose. It’s a shaky move if the Commanders expect much more than that out of Mariota, who went 5-8 in his last stint as a starter (Atlanta, 2022) while throwing for just 2,219 yards and 15 touchdowns along with nine interceptions.

Aaron Jones, RB, is added by the Vikings.”.

Grade: B-minus.

Randy Mueller is ranked NR out of 150.

Minnesota needed a running back after releasing Alexander Mattison, last year’s leading rusher. Jones was without a place to live after the Packers cut him in favor of signing Josh Jacobs. And so, the two former rivals will team up in hopes of blocking Green Bay from the NFC North. Jones went from being a fifth-round pick in 2017 to a Pro Bowl rusher in 2000 with three seasons of 1,000 yards or more. Given how similar Minnesota’s system is to Green Bay’s, Jones should be a good fit there. The main question: Can Jones stay healthy? A hamstring strain limited him to just 11 games, 656 yards and two touchdowns last season, and he turns 30 this season. However, he is reasonably priced at $7 million for a year.

Colts re-sign DB Kenny Moore II.

An A+.

Randy Mueller’s position in the Top 150: NR.

Re-signing Moore to a three-year, $30 million contract makes him the highest-paid nickel corner in NFL history. This move highlights the evolution of the position and the value of depth at defensive back given how much teams rely on the pass. The Pro Bowl back has averaged 2.4 interceptions and 7.8 pass breakups per season.

(Image at top: Adam Bettcher / Getty Images; Danielle Hunter).

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