Stephon Gilmore vs Packers

Five Best Remaining NFL Free Agents

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Even if the biggest names are off the board, there are plenty of notable players among the remaining NFL free agents in 2024.

Every year, there are always some big names still left looking for a job during the summer months right before training camp. Obviously, these players won’t be getting one of the biggest NFL contracts ever, but we’re also not talking about undrafted NFL players who have struggled just to find a job throughout their careers. There are definitely some potential difference-makers left on the market.

Best NFL Free Agents Still Available in 2024

Who are the best NFL free agents currently? Well, the answer to that question might depend on what a team needs and how much cap space they have left. However, let’s take a look at who we think are the five best remaining NFL free agents in 2024.

5. Xavien Howard

Needless to say, the Dolphins didn’t think Xavien Howard was worth keeping around despite taking a cap hit of more than $23 million this year. But Howard went to the Pro Bowl four times between 2018 and 2022 while leading the NFL in interceptions twice during that span. He’s definitely not a wash-up player despite being on the wrong side of 30. Before the Dolphins cut him loose, he indicated he’d be willing to take a pay cut. Even if he’s not an elite corner anymore, Howard would still represent an upgrade at that position for most teams, so he should have no trouble finding a suitor sooner or later.

4. Shaq Leonard

Obviously, it’s been a rough couple of years for Leonard, who had an injury-plagued 2022 season and didn’t quite get up to speed in 2023. The Colts ended up cutting ties with him in November, allowing Leonard to finish up with the Eagles. Naturally, he has something to prove after a couple of subpar seasons. But it’s surprising that nobody has taken a flyer on him this offseason. We’re talking about a three-time Pro Bowler who was also a First-Team All-Pro as recently as 2021. While Leonard will turn 29 before the start of the 2024 season, that’s not too old for a linebacker. Surely, he’s worth some team taking a chance on him this season, especially at a discounted price.


3. Dalton Risner

Among offensive linemen, Dalton Risner might be the best player still available. Despite missing the early part of the 2023 season while recovering from an ACL injury, he caught on with the Vikings and started most of the season in Minnesota. While he never rose to the level of Pro Bowler, Risner also had several solid seasons in Denver and has nearly 80 starts under his belt. Any team that still has questions about the guard position should be looking at Risner because he would be an obvious fit.

2. Steven Nelson

Based on his on-field performance, it’s curious why Steven Nelson remains unsigned. The 31-year-old cornerback started almost every game for the Texans last season and had a pick-six that helped secure Houston’s playoff win over the Browns. In fact, Nelson has started almost every game he’s played over the last six years. Yet, the Texans haven’t been in a rush to bring him back. Nelson also left a couple of his other former teams with a bad taste in his mouth. However, Nelson is too good and comes with too much experience for a team to not give him a chance.

1. Stephon Gilmore

After more than a decade in the NFL, Stephon Gilmore is still going strong. While he hasn’t made the Pro Bowl since 2021, the 33-year-old played a prominent role with the Cowboys last season. Gilmore might not be an elite corner, but with his experience, he still brings a lot to the table.

At the moment, Gilmore remains unsigned largely because that’s his preference rather than a lack of interest. It seems that Gilmore is waiting for the right opportunity to present itself, which isn’t surprising for a player who’s played with four different teams over the last four seasons. Even if he waits until after training camp starts to sign, expect Gilmore to be with an NFL team in 2024.

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