2024 NFL free agency schedule: Dates, top 25 players available this offseason

The Kansas City Chiefs' 25-22 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 58 completed all of the on-the-field action for the 2023 NFL season. Now, all 32 teams can collectively turn their attention to the 2024 NFL season.

Free agency's long been a key part of team building in the NFL. Current and future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady changed teams in free agency and later won Super Bowls.

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The 2024 NFL league year begins March 13 at 4 p.m. ET. Before then, teams are allowed to negotiate with free agents starting March 11 at noon ET. That 52-hour window - commonly called the "legal tampering period" - permits teams, agents, and players to sort out contracts before officially signing on March 13.

There are free agents at pivotal positions this offseason including Pro Bowl players at quarterback, wide receiver, defensive line, and running back. Here are the top free agents in the class according to the average per year (APY) of their last contract, per Over the Cap:

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Who are the best free agents available?

1. Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings

The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback hits free agency six years after signing with the Vikings. His three-year, $84 million contract made him the highest-paid player at the time.

This time around, the 35-year-old Cousins enters free agency after surgery for a torn achilles.

2023 stats

  • 4-4 as a starter; 216 for 311 (69.5%) passing for 2,331 yards, 18 touchdowns, and five interceptions

2. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans

Tannehill is hitting free agency for the first time in his career. He changed teams in 2019 via trade from the Miami Dolphins to the Titans. In 2023, he transitioned from a starting QB to backup role for the Titans due to rookie Will Levis taking over under center.

2023 stats

  • 3-5 as a starter; 149 for 230 (64.8%) passing, 1,616 yards, four touchdowns, seven interceptions

3. Leonard Williams, DL, Seattle Seahawks

The 29-year-old Williams was the sixth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and spent the majority of his career in New York, first with the Jets (2015-2019) then the Giants (2019-2023). The Giants traded Williams to the Seahawks at the trade deadline for two future draft picks. The timing of the trade made him the first NFL player since 1930 to play 18 regular season games.

2023 stats

  • 62 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and 16 quarterback hits

4. Chris Jones, DL, Kansas City Chiefs

The two-time All-Pro Jones held out into the 2023 regular season for a better contract, even watching the Chiefs' opener against the Lions from a suite. The 29-year-old defensive lineman, Jones played well in the Super Bowl for the Chiefs and said during Kansas City's parade that he's coming back.

2023 stats

  • 30 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and 29 quarterback hits

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5. Danielle Hunter, DE, Minnesota Vikings

Hunter makes it three 29-year-old defensive linemen in the top five of free agents by APY. The edge rusher had arguably his best year in 2023 - including an NFL-best 23 tackles for loss - and made his fourth Pro Bowl.

2023 stats

  • 83 tackles, 16.5 sacks, 23 tackles for loss, and 22 quarterback hits

6. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The five-time Pro Bowler became the second wide receiver in NFL history to post 1,000 yards receiving for a 10th consecutive season, joining Hall of Famer Jerry Rice. Evans has spent all 10 years of his NFL career in Tampa Bay and led the NFL in receiving touchdowns.

2023 stats

  • 79 catches, 1,255 receiving yards, and 13 touchdowns

7. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Baltimore Ravens

Beckham Jr. signed with the Ravens after missing the entire 2022 season. The 31-year-old wide receiver led the Ravens in yards per reception (16.1) in 2023.

2023 stats

  • 35 catches, 565 yards, and three touchdowns

8. Eddie Jackson, S, Chicago Bears

The Bears released the 31-year-old Jackson last week after seven seasons with the team. His 2023 season was the worst of his career, per Sports Info Solutions (SIS) data, as he posted a career-low in tackles.

2023 stats

  • 37 tackles, one interception, five passes defensed

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9. Randy Gregory, DE, San Francisco 49ers

Gregory came to the 49ers in a mid-season trade from the Broncos, the team that drafted him 60th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. He played 12 games for San Francisco but was a rotational player on the defensive line.

2023 stats

  • 20 tackles, 2.5 sacks, six tackles for loss, and 10 quarterback hits

10. D.J. Reader, DL, Cincinnati Bengals

This is the second time Reader's reached free agency. He signed with the Bengals after four seasons in Houston and started 14 games in 2023.

2023 stats

  • 34 tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss, and seven quarterback hits

11. Marcus Davenport, DE, Minnesota Vikings

Davenport signed a one-year, $13 million contract last offseason to play for the Vikings. He played in just four games before an ankle injury ended his season.

2023 stats

  • Seven tackles, 2.0 sacks, two tackles for loss, and four quarterback hits

12. Adoree' Jackson, CB, New York Giants

Jackson started 14 games at cornerback for the Giants in 2023 and was the worst-rated starting defensive back on the team according to SIS data. The former first-round pick's played seven seasons in the NFL.

2023 stats

  • 63 tackles, one interception, eight passes defensed

13. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

The two-time NFL rushing leader made the Pro Bowl for the fourth time in 2023. Henry played in 17 games for the first time in his career and led the NFL in carries after turning 30 in January.

2023 stats

  • 280 carries, 1,167 yards, 12 touchdowns rushing

  • 28 receptions and 214 yards receiving

14. Hunter Henry, TE, New England Patriots

Henry finished top three on the Patriots' 31st-ranked scoring offense in catches, yards, and touchdowns. He did this despite playing in just 14 games.

2023 stats

  • 42 receptions, 419 yards, and six touchdowns

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15. Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders

Jacobs led the league in rushing yards last season but started just 13 games for the Raiders in 2023. He set career lows in yards and touchdowns after signing a one-year deal last offseason.

2023 stats

  • 233 carries, 805 yards, and six touchdowns rushing

  • 37 catches and 296 yards receiving

16. Za'Darius Smith, OLB, Cleveland Browns

Cleveland traded for Smith last offseason in a deal involving multiple draft picks. The 31-year-old Smith started 16 games for the Browns and was the second-best linebacker on the team per SIS data.

2023 stats

  • 27 tackles, 5.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss, and 20 quarterback hits

17. Curtis Samuel, WR, Washington Commanders

Samuel is one of the youngest free agents on this list at age 27. He started in the slot for Washington and was the Commanders' second-best wide receiver in 2023 according to SIS data.

2023 stats

  • 62 receptions, 613 yards, and four touchdowns

18. Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Another free agent slot receiver, Boyd posted some of his lowest career numbers in 2023 despite playing in a career-high 17 games. The 29-year-old has played his entire eight-year career in Cincinnati.

2023 stats

  • 67 receptions, 667 yards, and two touchdowns

19. Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Chicago Bears

Ngakoue played on the sixth team of his eight-year career in 2023. The 28-year-old edge rusher lined up in 13 games this season for the Bears.

2023 stats

  • 22 tackles, 4.0 sacks, six tackles for loss, and seven quarterback hits

20. Grover Stewart, DL, Indianapolis Colts

The 30-year-old Stewart was the Colts' second-best defensive tackle in 2023 - per SIS data - despite playing in a career-low 11 games. Stewart's spent seven of his seasons in the NFL with the Colts.

2023 stats

  • 41 tackles, 0.5 sacks, five tackles for loss, eight quarterback hits

21. Cody Whitehair, LG, Chicago Bears

Whitehair was also released on the same day as Jackson after eight seasons in Chicago. He started a career-low 11 games in 2023.

2023 stats (from SIS data)

  • 759 snaps, three penalties, and 20 blown blocks

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22. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

Barkley made the Pro Bowl in 2022 but couldn't crack 1,000 yards rushing in 2023. The Giants' 30th-ranked scoring offense struggled but Barkley led the team in total touchdowns.

2023 stats

  • 247 carries, 962 yards, and six touchdowns rushing

  • 41 catches, 280 yards, and four touchdowns receiving

23. Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys

The 26-year-old Pollard took over as the starting running back in Dallas in 2023 but couldn't match his production last season. He did lead the Cowboys in rushing yards and touchdowns, though.

2023 stats

  • 252 carries, 1,005 yards, and six touchdowns rushing

  • 55 catches, 311 yards, and two touchdowns receiving

24. Duane Brown, LT, New York Jets

The 38-year-old Brown was one of the oldest players in the NFL in 2023. He missed time in 2023 due to hip and shoulder injuries.

2023 stats (from SIS data)

  • 104 snaps, zero penalties, 10 blown blocks

25. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

Thomas set the NFL single-season record for receptions in 2019 but he's played just 20 games in the four seasons since then. He played in just seven games in 2023.

2023 stats

  • 39 receptions, 448 yards, and one touchdown

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2024 NFL free agency schedule: Dates and best players available