Home » 2024 NFL season lookahead: Key offseason storylines, plus five teams to watch, including Texans, Packers, Jets

2024 NFL season lookahead: Key offseason storylines, plus five teams to watch, including Texans, Packers, Jets

Super Bowl LVIII is in the rearview mirror, and so is the 2023 NFL season. As the Kansas City Chiefs celebrate their latest championship, the rest of the league is hard at work trying to knock them off their pedestal and hoist the Lombardi Trophy for themselves. Over the next few months, key milestones of the roster-building process will take place, including free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft

As you might imagine, the offseason is filled with many twists and turns and by the time we’re kicking off the 2024 regular season, some teams could look entirely different. In that spirit, we’re going to take our first glimpse of the offseason by highlighting a handful of key storylines as well as some of the teams that could make some of the loudest moves over the next few months. We’ll also be taking a look at who the oddsmakers currently have as the favorites to win Super Bowl LIX. 

Five key offseason storylines

1. What do the Bears do with the No. 1 overall pick? Arguably the most interesting storyline to follow this offseason will be what the Chicago Bears do with the top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. They found themselves in this situation a year ago and ended up trading the pick to Carolina for a treasure trove of assets. Do they follow the same course of action this time around or do they make the pick with a generational talent like USC quarterback Caleb Williams sitting atop most draft boards? If they do, how does that impact Justin Fields?

2. Does Stefon Diggs request a trade? An NFL offseason is typically good for at least one jaw-dropping trade. Could that end up taking place in Orchard Park? All-Pro receiver Stefon Diggs has endured a turbulent past calendar year with the Buffalo Bills and even cast some doubt on his future with the franchise at the Pro Bowl. If he is unhappy with his situation, all eyes would then center around the possibility of him asking out of town. 

3. Where do the veteran quarterbacks land? As is the case every offseason, quarterback movement will be a key narrative. This cycle features a number of signal-callers who could be switching uniforms over the next few months. Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield and Ryan Tannehill are slated to become free agents, while the likes of Fields, Russell Wilson and Mac Jones could all be put on the trade block. 

4. How do the Bengals handle wide receiver position? Cincinnati is a team to watch this offseason as it is capable of retooling and being a legit Super Bowl contender in 2024 after an injury-filled season in 2023. Specifically, the wide receiver position is of note for the Bengals. Superstar wideout Ja’Marr Chase is extension-eligible this offseason and could fetch a deal that makes him the highest-paid player at his position. On top of Chase, fellow receivers Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are set to enter unrestricted free agency. The Bengals do have $61.3 million in available cap space to play with this offseason, but it’ll be fascinating to see how they deploy those resources and who they prioritize keeping. 

5. Do running backs continue to struggle to find lucrative contracts? One of the biggest storylines last offseason was the running back position being unable to find lucrative deals on the free agent market. Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley and Tony Pollard all played on the franchise tag (or a revised version of the one-year tender) in 2023. Now, this crop of backs is once again set to meet at the negotiating table and it’ll be curious to see if anything has changed from a front-office perspective on giving them longer deals. On top of those three, Derrick Henry and Austin Ekeler are also set to hit the open market. 

Five teams to watch

Early odds

Here are the top-10 candidates to win Super Bowl LIX (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook). 

  1. San Francisco 49ers (+550)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (+650)
  3. Baltimore Ravens (+900)
  4. Buffalo Bills (+950)
  5. Detroit Lions (+1200)
  6. Cincinnati Bengals (+1200)
  7. Miami Dolphins (+1700)
  8. Philadelphia Eagles (+2000)
  9. Green Bay Packers (+2000)
  10. Dallas Cowboys (+2000)

To see the full odds rundown, click here.