The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

NFL free agents- where will they go?

NFL free agents Chris Jones (DE, Chiefs), Kirk Cousins (QB, Vikings) Mike Evans (WR, Buccaneers), and Brian Burns (OLB, Panthers).

With the NFL season wrapping up after the Chiefs Super Bowl win, it is time NFL fans take a dive into their teams’ off-season productivity and keep up with the long list of free agents this off-season. Free agency does not always mean a player will be on a new team, some players will end up staying with their squad. The free agent period is always a hectic time on the calendar, and this one will be no exception. There are plenty of big names like Kirk Cousins, Chris Jones, and Tee Higgins. All currently slated to hit the open market in the spring and where they end up, could very well shift the league. 

Teams like the Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots, The Arizona Cardinals, and The Washington Commanders hope to change their organization around this offseason. “Hopefully a team like the New England Patriots will draft one of the good QB prospects in this year’s class,” senior Drew Barth said. 

The NFL draft is just one way a team can improve. “I think a lot of the free agents that are bigger named guys this year will stay with their team, it seems like there’s a lot of dynasties building in the NFL right now,” Barth stated. 

One of the biggest names in free agency this year is Chris Jones, a defensive end from the Chiefs. Jones is not only one of the best interior pass rushers in the game right now, he’s one of the best. It’s rare for a player of Jones’ caliber to reach unrestricted free agency, and Kansas City did not give up the right to franchise tag him for a second time when the two sides agreed to a reworked contract this past offseason. 

A tag for Jones would land north of $33 million, which perhaps helps him test the open market for the first time in his career. So someone of Jones’s caliber will more than likely just be negotiating money with the Chiefs organization and stay with them. 

“Chris Jones is a rare talent, he is truly one of the best of all time at that position, and winning 3 Super Bowls with the Chiefs now and having time still left, I can’t see him leaving to go somewhere else,” said senior Connor Wallace. 

Another big face in the agency this year is Cincinnati WR, Tee Higgins. The Bengals have built a dynasty over the last few years, WR Tee Higgins being one of, if not the best WR2 in the league (and possibly a WR1 on many other teams) draws a lot of attention to the NFL world. But luckily for Cincinnati, a franchise tag already seemed likely heading into this season, and with little new data to impact the negotiation either way, that seems inevitable.

The field-stretching, jump-ball receiver should have the chance to bounce back in 2024 along with the entire Bengals team following a disappointing campaign. “Being a lifelong Bengals fan it would be hard to see us get rid of Higgins, it would also be a big loss to the Bengals offense and just team spirit all around,” Wallace added. 

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