2024 NFL offseason: Best available running backs, linebackers

Derrick Henry rushed for 1,167 yards with 12 touchdowns and added 214 receiving yards last season. Photo by Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

I'm breaking down the 2024 free agent market by position and tier over the next two weeks. The goal is to try to understand which players are likely to be available to teams when free agency opens March 11 and what that means for the negotiating power on both sides. I've gone through the pending free agents and included potential cap casualties to see if there's a surplus or a shortage of starting-caliber talent available.

On Monday, I hit the quarterbacks, tight ends and offensive linemen. Now we're considering running backs and linebackers. For the latter, I'm strictly focusing on players whose primary job on paper against the pass is to play coverage as opposed to rushing after the quarterback. Outside linebackers such as Carolina's Brian Burns and Jacksonville's Josh Allen who play in 3-4 schemes are being considered alongside 4-3 edge rushers, since their jobs are relatively similar. I'll get to all of those guys next week.

Let's start with a loaded running back class. Parsing through them might be more about medicals and the scheme for each team than the relative talent levels of these players.

Jump to a position:
Running back | Linebacker

More: QB, TE and OL tiers

Running back

Tier 1: Franchise players