NFL free agency starts soon. These are the 50 hottest free agents on the market

Wide receiver Mike Evans, who spent last season with the Buccaneers, is one of the best available free agents on the market.

NFL free agency is set to kick off in just a matter of days, following a two-day legal tampering period that begins March 11 at 12 p.m. ET. Deals for players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents can become official once their 2023 contracts expire and the NFL new league year starts on March 13 at 4 p.m. ET.

Defensive tackle Chris Jones, edge rusher Josh Allen, wide receiver Mike Evans and running back Saquon Barkley are some of the top players scheduled to enter free agency this year.

Will your favorite team land one of the best free agents available? USA TODAY Sports ranks the top 50 NFL free agents:

1. Chiefs DT Chris Jones

Jones has been Kansas City’s top defensive player during their three Super Bowl championship seasons. A five-time Pro Bowler and twice first-team All-Pro, Jones and Aaron Donald are the two best interior defensive linemen in the NFL.

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2. Jaguars DE/OLB Josh Allen

Allen had a franchise single-season record 17.5 sacks in 2023. The Jaguars likely won't let their best pass rusher wear a different uniform next season. The two-time Pro Bowler has 45 career sacks.

3. Panthers DE/OLB Brian Burns

Burns has never had a season with under 7.5 sacks. He’s one of the few foundational pieces on the Panthers. Are they bold enough to let him walk? Probably not.

4. Bucs WR Mike Evans

Evans is the first player in NFL history to begin his career with 10 consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. He’ll be 31 years old next season, and he’s still a No. 1 wide receiver.

5. Giants RB Saquon Barkley

Barkley topped over 1,200 yards from scrimmage in four out of six seasons. The running back position has been devalued in recent years, but Barkley can be a game-changer in the backfield.

6. Bengals WR Tee Higgins

The Bengals officially placed the franchise tag on Higgins. He’s likely staying in Cincinnati for one more season. Higgins would be a No. 1 wideout on many NFL teams.

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7. Ravens DT Justin Madubuike

Ravens GM Eric DeCosta said the team will place Madubuike under the franchise tag if they don't reach agreement on a long-term contract by the March 5 deadline. Madubuike posted a career-high 13 sacks, the most among interior lineman, in 2023.

8. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins

The soon-to-be-36-year-old quarterback is coming off a torn Achilles, but Cousins exited last season with a 103.8 passer rating. Vikings will try to keep Cousins and star WR Justin Jefferson together.

9. Dolphins DT Christian Wilkins

Wilkins has been Miami’s best defensive player upfront for multiple seasons. He registered a career-high nine sacks and had 61 pressures in 2023.

10. Chiefs CB L'Jarius Sneed

The Chiefs granted Sneed permission to seek a trade. The Chiefs plan to franchise tag the cornerback if he isn’t traded, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. Sneed had a team-high 14 passes defended and two interceptions in 2023.

11. Titans RB Derrick Henry

Henry’s compiled 1,000 rushing yards in five of the past six seasons, including 1,167 yards in 2023. Henry is 30 years old and has a lot of mileage, but he proved last year that he’s still one of the best running backs in the NFL — and has gas still in the tank.

12. Bucs S Antoine Winfield Jr.

Winfield was named to the All-Pro first team after leading Tampa Bay in passes defended (12), interceptions (3) and forced fumbles (6). Plus he produced 122 tackles.

13. Raiders RB Josh Jacobs

Jacobs is one year removed from being the NFL’s rushing king and leading the league in yards from scrimmage. At 26 years old, he’s the youngest among the top free-agent running backs on this list.

14. Colts WR Michael Pittman

Pittman is the fourth player in Colts' history to have at least 100 catches and over 1,000 yards in a season. The 6-foot-4 receiver has a big catch radius and was the clear-cut No. 1 wideout in Indy in 2023. Shane Steichen and Anthony Richardson surely want to keep Pittman around.

15. Cowboys OT Tyron Smith

Smith’s been one of the NFL’s best left tackles over the last decade. Father Time is starting to take its toll on Smith, but he gave up just three sacks and 21 pressures in 13 games last season, per Pro Football Focus.

16. 49ers DE/OLB Chase Young

Young hasn’t taken the next step since his defensive rookie of the year campaign in 2020. The talent is there but consistency is an issue. Young had eight tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss in three playoff games for the 49ers this past season.

17. Bears CB Jaylon Johnson

Johnson had Pro Football Focus’ highest coverage grade (91) for a cornerback who at least logged 500 snaps. His four interceptions were tied for a team-high.

18. Vikings DE/OLB Danielle Hunter

Hunter’s 87.5 sacks rank No. 3 in Minnesota franchise history. The 6-foot-5 edge rusher led the NFC last year with 16.5 sacks.

19. Jaguars WR Calvin Ridley

Coming off a year-long suspension for violating the NFL's gambling policy, Ridley led the Jaguars with 1,016 receiving yards. The 29-year-old is one of the top route runners in the NFL.

20. Ravens LB Patrick Queen

One half of Baltimore’s dynamic linebacker duo. Queen produced at least 106 tackles in three of the last four seasons. But the Ravens signed Roquan Smith to a five-year, $100 million contract in 2023. They are unlikely to dole out another lucrative contract at linebacker.

21. Seahawks LB Jordyn Brooks

A tackling machine. Brooks has compiled over 110 tackles in each of the past three seasons. The inside linebacker is always near the center of the action.

22. Texans DE/OLB Jonathan Greenard

Greenard had a team-high 12.5 sacks last season when defensive rookie of the year Will Anderson Jr. saw most of the double teams and chip blocks. Greenard had 10.5 total sacks in his first three seasons. Can he continue to trend upward? A team will bank on it (literally).

23. Seahawks DE Leonard Williams

Williams can still be a force up front. He had 41 tackles, nine tackles for loss and four sacks in 10 games with the Seahawks.

24. Patriots OL Mike Onwenu

Onwenu allowed three sacks and 23 pressures for New England last season. The versatile offensive lineman can play guard or tackle.

25. Lions S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson

Gardner-Johnson suffered a torn pec in Week 2 of last season. His six interceptions in 2022 were tied for top in the league. Will he be able to return to form in 2024?

26. Patriots S Kyle Dugger

Dugger is a prototypical jack-of-all trades Patriots safety. He has 343 tackles, nine interceptions, 20 passes defended, two touchdowns and two forced fumbles in four seasons in New England.

27. Cardinals WR Marquise Brown

Brown and Kyler Murray are good friends, which could factor into a free agency decision. But Brown is probably best suited as a team’s No. 2 wideout. Could Arizona draft Marvin Harrison Jr. No. 4 overall to play alongside of Brown?

28. Commanders CB Kendall Fuller

Fuller allowed a 120.4 passer rating and nine touchdowns when targeted. But his 2023 performance could’ve been a byproduct of Washington’s league-worst defense.

29. Cowboys CB Stephon Gilmore

The 2019 defensive player of the year stepped up last season, especially when Trevon Diggs (knee) went down for the year. Gilmore will turn 34 years old during the regular season, but showed last year that he can still play at a high level.

30. Jets LB Bryce Huff

Huff led a talented Jets defense with 10 sacks last season. He’s a pass-rush specialist, but never has had a season with over 29 tackles.

31. Bills WR Gabe Davis

Davis is a steady receiver who’s never had a season below 35 receptions and 500 receiving yards. He’s best suited as a team’s second or third wide receiver option.

32. Browns DE/OLB Za'Darius Smith

Smith and defensive player of the year Myles Garrett formed a formidable tandem in Cleveland last season. Smith had 5.5 sacks, 61 pressures and three pass deflections for the Browns in 2023.

33. Giants S Xavier McKinney

McKinney’s three interceptions led New York. He also has logged 116 tackles. The Alabama product is a productive player in the defensive backfield.

34. Dolphins OG Robert Hunt

Hunt has started 55 games since 2020. He’s had 45 starts at right guard and 11 starts at right tackle. He’s more comfortable playing at guard.

35. Panthers LB Frankie Luvu

Guess who led the Panthers in tackles last season? Luvu tallied over 110 tackles in each of the last two seasons. He started all 17 games for the Panthers in 2023.

36. Texans TE Dalton Schultz

Schultz was C.J. Stroud’s security blanket last season following five productive years in Dallas. He has 270 catches and 22 touchdowns in 90 career games.

37. Bucs LB Lavonte David

The 34-year-old inside linebacker is long in the tooth, but he’s recordued over 100 tackles in six out of the past seven seasons. David seemingly has a couple good years left.

38. Ravens DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney

Clowney had a resurgent year in Baltimore last season. Clowney’s 9.5 sacks tied a career single-season high and his 43 tackles were his most since 2018.

39. Bengals DT D.J. Reader

Reader suffered a devastating quad injury last season. The defensive tackle would be ranked higher if it weren’t for the injury. He’s been a key part of Cincy’s defense since joining the team in 2020.

40. Bucs QB Baker Mayfield

Mayfield revitalized his career with the Bucs last year. His 4,044 passing yards and 28 touchdown passes were both career highs. His 2023 performance will likely land him another contract in Tampa Bay.

41. Patriots TE Hunter Henry

The Patriots had the 28th ranked pass offense in the NFL last season, but Henry caught six touchdowns for New England.

42. Eagles DT Fletcher Cox

A linchpin along Philadelphia’s defensive line since 2012. It’s hard to imagine Cox putting on a different uniform if he doesn’t decide to hang up his cleats.

43. Broncos C Lloyd Cushenberry

Cushenberry has started 57 games over the course of four seasons in Denver. He’s a reliable center who can be plugged in right away.

44. Cowboys RB Tony Pollard

Pollard compiled over 1,000 rushing yards and 300 receiving yards in two straight seasons. The Cowboys won’t place the franchise tag on him this year.

45. Patriots LB Josh Uche

Uche is a reserve linebacker who jumped on the scene in 2022 with 11.5 sacks. He didn’t make a big impact last season.

46. Commanders QB Jacoby Brissett

Brissett threw for 224 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in three games for the Commanders in 2023. He was the best quarterback in the nation’s capital last season, but the previous regime figured that out too late.

47. Bengals CB Chidobe Awuzie

Awuzie’s been Cincinnati’s top cornerback the past three seasons, although he’s battled some injuries.

48. Dolphins DE/OLB Andrew Van Ginkel

Van Ginkel plays with a high motor. He saw career-highs in both sacks (6) and pass deflections (8) last season.

49. Commanders S Kamren Curl

A primary starter at safety for Washington the past four seasons. Curl produced a career-best 115 tackles in 2023. His five passes defended tied a career high.

50. Ravens G John Simpson

The Ravens led the NFL in rushing last season, and Simpson was right in the middle of the action at guard. He started all 17 regular-season games for Baltimore in 2023.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL free agents 2024: Top 50 players on the market in NFL free agency