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It's pretty obvious, but the Kansas City Chiefs need more viable, reliable wide receivers this offseason, especially a veteran or two to help the offense reclaim its juggernaut status despite just winning back-to-back Super Bowl championships. The Chiefs still have an elite quarterback in Patrick Mahomes and two strong pass-catchers in tight end Travis Kelce and wideout Rashee Rice, but the continual arms race in the AFC is only going to intensify this offseason as the Chargers, Raiders and Broncos look to knock the Chiefs off their perch. The Chiefs would be wise to counter by acquiring better receivers for Mahomes, either through free agency or the draft. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is one of the obvious salary cap cuts that the Chiefs should be able to replace while improving at the position.
The Los Angeles Rams are expected to hire former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Sean Desai in a senior defensive role, according to sources. The move will give head coach Sean McVay's staff more experience, as Desai is a two-time NFL defensive coordinator. Desai was demoted from his position in Philadelphia midway through last season and was eventually fired after the season. He was the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears in 2021 and was an associate head coach for the Seattle Seahawks in 2022. In Los Angeles, Desai will be working under new defensive coordinator Chris Shula, who is replacing Raheem Morris. Morris left the Rams to become the new head coach of the Atlanta Falcons this offseason.
The Las Vegas Raiders are seriously looking for an upgrade at the quarterback position at this week's NFL combine as we approach the 2024 NFL draft. They have nine picks over seven rounds in this year's draft and will likely take a crack at securing a franchise signal-caller who has eluded them for decades. The 2024 QB class is considered one of the deepest in years, although the Raiders are unlikely to have access to the consensus top-four QBs -- Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels and J.J. McCarthy -- at 13th overall in the first round. That spot might also be too high to reach on Michael Penix or Bo Nix. If the Raiders really like one of the top-four QB prospects in this year's draft, they may be compelled to trade up to the top of the draft in order to find a significant upgrade over Aidan O'Connell, who impressed in his rookie season in 2023.
If the situation presents itself in this year's NFL draft, the New York Giants would be open to pulling a trigger on a quarterback, according to ESPN New York's Jordan Raanan. Current starting QB Daniel Jones (knee), who was the sixth overall pick in 2019, has rarely been healthy in his five seasons and is rehabbing from a torn ACL this offseason. If head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen aren't comfortable putting all their chips on the table with Jones as the long-term future at the position, they could look to this year's draft to find Jones' potential replacement. The G-Men have the sixth overall pick and two second-round selections in which they could use to take a rookie signal-caller. It doesn't sound like the Giants have much confidence in Jones moving forward, and neither should fantasy managers.
The Los Angeles Chargers are expected to let impending free-agent running back Austin Ekeler explore free agency in 2024, according to league sources, which means they won't use the franchise tag on him. Ekeler was one of the biggest early round fantasy busts in 2023, as the 28-year-old finished with 628 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 179 carries in 14 games in his seventh year with the Chargers. He also had 51 receptions (74 targets) for 436 yards and one touchdown through the air. Ekeler has never had 1,000 yards rushing in his career and could face an uncertain future if he leaves LA. He's not going to be a first-round fantasy pick in fall drafts, but Ekeler has bounce-back potential if he's healthy and in a significant role, whether it be with the Chargers or another team.
The Tennessee Titans won't use their franchise tag on impending free-agent running back Derrick Henry this year, according to league sources. With a new coaching staff coming in this offseason, it wasn't expected that the Titans would make much of an effort to retain King Henry as he heads into his age-30 season. The former second-rounder in 2016 out of Alabama has been a Pro Bowler in four of the last five seasons, although he showed some signs of decline in 2023. He had a league-high 280 carries for 1,167 yards (career-low-tying 4.2 yards per carry) and 12 touchdowns, adding 28 catches for 214 yards and no touchdowns as a pass-catcher. Henry may not age gracefully, but he should still have plenty of fantasy appeal in 2024 with a contending team.
The Dallas Cowboys are not expected to use the franchise tag on impending free-agent running back Tony Pollard this year at a cost of $12.109 million, according to sources. The Cowboys gave Pollard lead-back duties in 2023, and he responded with 1,005 rushing yards on 252 attempts (career-low 4.0 yards per carry) with six touchdowns while adding a career-high 55 receptions for 311 yards and no TDs through the air in 17 regular-season contests. Pollard looked better late in the season and wasn't really himself for most of the year after recovering from a significant leg injury in 2022. The 26-year-old's fantasy value for the 2024 season will depend on where he's playing, but Pollard didn't do much to show other clubs that he can be trusted as a workhorse back.
The New York Giants will speak with impending free-agent running back Saquon Barkley and explore a new deal with him, but they are unlikely to place the franchise tag on him for $12.109 million in 2024, according to sources. The 27-year-old could very well hit the open market when the new league year opens in March, but there's no denying that Barkley is the essence of New York's offense when he's healthy. The two-time Pro Bowler took a step back in 2023 and missed three games due to injury, finishing with 962 rushing yards on 247 carries (3.9 yards per carry) and six touchdowns while adding 41 catches for 280 yards and four more TDs. Barkley could have a decent market if he reaches free agency, but he'll continue to be a risk/reward RB1 due to his extensive injury history.
University of Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze is expected to take part in on-field work at the 2024 NFL Combine this week. Wideouts will take the field on Saturday, March 2. This news comes after reports that Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers will not participate in on-field drills. Odunze is the consensus No. 3 wide receiver prospect in the 2024 class, so he has a lot to gain in Indianapolis, given the absences of the top two wideouts. Odunze caught 92 passes for 1,650 yards and 13 touchdowns for the National Champion runner-up Huskies in 2023. He is projected to be drafted as high as the No. 5 pick, and he's likely to be taken no later than pick No. 15. He's a clear first-rounder in 2024 fantasy football rookie drafts.
The New Orleans Saints are bringing in former Las Vegas Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler as an advisor for the 2024 NFL draft. Ziegler worked in the New England Patriots player-personnel department from 2013 to 2021 before earning the Raiders' GM job in 2022. He and head coach Josh McDaniels were fired after fewer than two full seasons on the job. Either way, New Orleans believes Ziegler can assist the organization with its draft preparation, so he'll work with the front office for the next two months.
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