2024 NFL Free Agents: Predictions for Cowboys, Browns and Dolphins After Playoffs

2024 NFL Free Agents: Predictions for Cowboys, Browns and Dolphins After Playoffs

0 of 3

    DALLAS, TX - JANUARY 14: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks towards the sideline against the Green Bay Packers during the first half of the NFC Wild Card playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 14, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

    Cooper Neill/Getty Images

    The Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins all carried realistic dreams of a lengthy run into the NFL playoffs.

    But those bubbles were burst during wild-card weekend, sending all three squads back to the drawing board in search of the winning ingredients that will lead to a better postseason experience the next time around.

    The offseason may have arrived sooner than they planned, but it’s here now, so it’s time to start checking items off the to-do list. We’ll dig into what free agency holds for these franchises.

Miami Dolphins

1 of 3

    MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 17: Christian Wilkins #94 of the Miami Dolphins reacts during the second quarter against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

    Megan Briggs/Getty Images

    The Dolphins’ financial situation looks bleak, which means their goals for free agency will have more to do with player retention than external additions.

    And even keeping top performers in-house could be a challenge.

    Miami is projected to be more than $40 million over the cap, which begs the question of where it will find the funds to pay premier defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. Or to keep any semblance of this defense intact with players like Raekwon Davis, Eli Apple, Andrew Van Ginkel and DeShon Elliott slated to join Wilkins in free agency.

    Oh yeah, and the clock is ticking on a possible extension for Tua Tagovailoa. Given how rough he looked down the stretch, though, it may not be a bad move to make him prove himself in a contract year next season.

    Predictions: Dolphins re-sign Wilkins, but don’t extend Tagovailoa.

Cleveland Browns

2 of 3

    CLEVELAND, OHIO - DECEMBER 28: Za'Darius Smith #99 of the Cleveland Browns runs off the field during the second half against the New York Jets at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 28, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

    Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

    Regardless of how it ended, Cleveland had an awesome season. Winning 11 games is an accomplishment for any team, let alone one forced to use four different quarterbacks in at least five games apiece.

    Unfortunately, none of this season’s successes will make the offseason any easier to navigate. The Browns are projected to be nearly $14 million over the salary cap, per Spotrac, which could make it tricky to bring back key players and could force some cuts to create any wiggle room.

    Cleveland’s spending should largely be done in-house, as Za’Darius Smith, Kareem Hunt, Corey Bojorquez and Geron Christian are all worth keeping around. There are others the Browns would surely like to bring back if they could, though they may need to make sacrifices elsewhere to make that happen. Is releasing Nick Chubb remotely possible in light of his season-ending knee injury? That would create some wiggle room, but it’d also take a dynamic (when healthy) option out of this offense.

    Speaking of subtractions, Joe Flacco’s magical run in Cleveland is likely finished. The veteran was nothing short of a season-saver, but Deshaun Watson is still the long-term starter and Dorian Thompson-Robinson seems capable of being his long-term backup.

    Predictions: Smith re-signs, Chubb isn’t cut and both Hunt and Flacco exit in free agency.

Dallas Cowboys

3 of 3

    ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 30: Tony Pollard #20 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball during an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium on December 30, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

    Perry Knotts/Getty Images

    After a letdown like Dallas just experienced, virtually anything could be on the table. The Cowboys could make changes to their front office and/or coaching staff, and few players on this roster should feel totally safe about their positions with the franchise.

    Free agency could lead to an exodus out of town, too.

    Dallas’ list of free agents includes its top two running backs (Tony Pollard and Rico Dowdle) and two starting offensive lineman (Tyron Smith and Tyler Biadasz). On defense, even more key contributors are slated to hit the open market, including cornerback Stephon Gilmore, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and safety Jayron Kearse.

    The Cowboys won’t be able to afford all of them, so they might have to choose a few of their favorites and work like heck to free up the necessary cap room to keep them.

    Predictions: Smith and Pollard stay, but Gilmore, Dowdle and Biadasz leave.

Read More


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here