2024 NFL Free Agents: Defensive Line
1. Chris Jones
Even entering his 9th NFL season in 2024, Chris Jones is just 29 going on 30. He’s slated to cash in big-time on the open market if the Chiefs don’t find a way to retain him. And he deserves a massive contract, there’s no question about it. He could receive upwards of $30 million per year on a 3-4 year deal.
2. DJ Reader
Sack production is not really DJ Reader’s thing, but he makes impacts on games far beyond just sack production. He’s one of the best interior defensive linemen in the league and will be coveted if he hits the open market.
3. Justin Madubuike
With a whopping 13.0 sacks and 33 QB hits this past season, I don’t think Justin Madubuike is going to be leaving Baltimore without a fight. Then again, the Ravens are known for letting players walk in free agency a lot of the time. If the Ravens don’t tag him, teams are going to be all over the idea of signing this guy, who is just 26 and coming off of a sensational season.
4. Christian Wilkins
It was a bit of a surprise that the Dolphins couldn’t get a long-term deal done with Christian Wilkins this year, but it’s now led to a situation where they could potentially lose him in free agency. Wilkins will be 29 this next season, and is coming off of a career year in which he had 9.0 sacks and 23 QB hits.
5. Leonard Williams
Leonard Williams was a coveted trade deadline piece for the Seattle Seahawks, whose struggles on the defensive line continued into 2023 despite some of the investments the team had made. The Seahawks will undoubtedly try to bring Williams back, but with his all-around ability to wreck games from the interior defensive line, teams will be driving that price up.
6. Grover Stewart
Grover Stewart had to serve a six-game suspension this past season, but he’s been on a really positive overall trajectory. Not only does he occupy space so others can make plays, but he’s got 15 QB hits and 14 tackles for loss over the last two seasons on his own.
7. Sheldon Rankins
Sheldon Rankins proved to be another of many worthwhile short-term free agent investments for the Houston Texans. He had 6.0 sacks for Houston this past season and 10 QB hits, the second-most of his career so far. He’s boosted his value for the 2024 offseason.
8. Fletcher Cox
It would be weird to see Fletcher Cox anywhere besides with the Philadelphia Eagles, but we could be looking at a massive overhaul on that side of the ball for Philadelphia in 2024. Cox had 5.0 sacks and 17 QB hits this past year, so he’s still playing at a high level despite being 33 years of age.
9. Calais Campbell
Calais Campbell will turn 38 on September 1 this year, but he’s still a menace on the defensive line. Not to mention, he’s a great player to have in any locker room. He had 56 tackles, 17 QB hits, and 6.5 sacks this past season.
10. DJ Wonnum
I think DJ Wonnum is one of the most underrated players in the class this year, especially when it comes to the defensive front. He had 8.0 sacks and 6 batted passes this past season, along with 15 QB hits and 21 QB pressures.