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Welcome to the Friday edition of the Pick Six newsletter! 

The only thing better than a normal Friday is a Friday before a holiday weekend and that's what we have today! Since we have a three-day weekend ahead of us, I'm assuming no one wants to read a long introduction, so I'm just going to cut to the chase and get to the rundown. 

Actually, before we do that, just a heads up that we won't have a newsletter on Memorial Day (Monday), but I'll be back in the saddle on Tuesday. I'll be spending Memorial Day weekend at my nephew's high school graduation in Ohio, which means I have roughly 12 hours to get him a gift. 

As always, here's your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. Actually, you don't even have to tell all of your friends, just tell one and I'll be happy. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here

1. Five NFL teams with the total package

Texans QB C.J. Stroud USATSI

Heading into Memorial Day weekend, Cody Benjamin decided to go through every team in the NFL to decide if they're offensive-oriented, defensive-oriented or if they have the total package. After going through all 32 teams, Cody decided that only five of them have the total package. 

What does that mean? It means that on paper, these five teams are the biggest Super Bowl contenders heading into the 2024 season. Two of the five teams on Cody's list are the Super Bowl teams from last year (Chiefs and 49ers), so we won't cover those, but we are going to take a look at his three other teams. 

  • Ravens. "Reigning MVP Lamar Jackson now has Derrick Henry to bolster a thunder-and-lightning rushing attack, and the defense still has imposing difference-makers at every level."
  • Texans. "Fresh off his star debut, C.J. Stroud has even more help with Stefon Diggs aboard, and DeMeco Ryans' front seven looks even nastier with Danielle Hunter and Azeez Al-Shaair."
  • Jets. "So much hinges on 40-year-old Aaron Rodgers, who's coming off a major injury under center. We've all seen that crumble before. But there are countless all-star playmakers by his side, and the tenacious 'D' remains. It's now or never in New Jersey."

If you want to see where every other team ended up, you can check out Cody's full story here

2. AFC West win totals: Will Brinson's best bet on each team's over/under

It's been a busy week for Will Brinson, who has spent the past few days going through the over/unders for every team in the AFC. After going through the first three divisions in the conference, we're finally down to our final one: the AFC West. 

Let's check out what Brinson likes in that division: 

Kansas City Chiefs
ODDS: Over 11.5 (-110) / Under 11.5 (-110) 
Over 11.5 (-110)
Brinson's take: 
"Pretty simple rule here: Bet against Andy Reid in Kansas City at your own peril. Last year was the first time since taking over in K.C. that Big Red managed to actually go UNDER his win total, and he did it by just a half-game, winning 11 games with some inexplicable losses (at home on Christmas to the Raiders, at home to start the season as defending champs) and with the worst offense the Chiefs have had since he took over."

Los Angeles Chargers
ODDS: Over 8.5 (-155) / Under 8.5 (+130)
Over 8.5 (-155)
Brinson's take: 
"How much of an upgrade is Jim Harbaugh over Staley in Los Angeles? I think everyone is largely underselling how big a difference it will be. He just wins everywhere he goes. ... There is zero chance I'd look under here ever, and would actually be interested in the over at this price if it were closer to the season."

If you want to see how Brinson feels about the Raiders or Broncos, you can get his take on those two teams here.  And just in case you're wondering, yes, we will be hitting the NFC over/unders next week. I think. 

3. Players heading into a contract year who are primed for a breakout season

If there's one thing that happens almost every year in the NFL, it's that a player has a breakout season during a contract year and then uses that breakout season to cash in during free agency. 

With that in mind, Chris Trapasso decided to take a look at several players who could be primed to have a breakout season as they head into the final year of their contract. 

Let's take a look at three names on his list: 

  • 1. Texans DE Derek Barnett. "Barnett was a relative disappointment in Philadelphia. Yes, he played with the Eagles for more than six seasons, but his career high in sacks is only 6.5. The lights came on for Barnett after being claimed off waivers by Houston in late November. Under DeMeco Ryans' tutelage, Barnett registered 18 pressures on 110 pass-rushing snaps in the regular season (16.3% pressure-creation rate). ... There's still room for growth for this former first-rounder who battled through a litany of injuries early in what started as a very promising career. In Houston, opposite Danielle Hunter, Barnett is in a luxurious situation to get a sizable payday next March (if not before via an extension)."
  • 2. Cowboys DT Osi Odighizuwa. "When we think Cowboys defense we think Micah Parsons, but this is the season we start to recognize Odighizuwa, too, as one of the true stars on Dallas' vaunted defense. The former third-round pick has played right around 600 snaps in each of his first three seasons and set a career high in pressures last season with 47 on 356 pass-rush attempts. ... With plenty of attention paid to Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence inside, Odighizuwa will see ample one-on-one scenarios. If he eclipses 50 pressures in 2024, which is totally doable for him, money will come flooding in."
  • 3. Commanders OG Samuel Cosmi"Right now, Cosmi is probably the most underrated blocker in football. Never hear or read a word about him. But the collegiate tackle turned professional guard started strong as a rookie and has gradually improved since 2021. He went from allowing a pressure on 6.1% of his pass-blocking snaps two years ago to just 3.9% on significantly more snaps in 2023. ... He turned 25 in February. Cosmi is a currently non-household name blocker tracking toward being handsomely paid. Very soon."

If you want to check out all five players on Trapasso's list, be sure to click here

4. Best-case scenarios for teams that made at least one big offseason move

There were some big moves made in free agency this offseason, and when a team makes a big move, they're hoping that move will help them win a Super Bowl. With that in mind, Doug Clawson decided to take a look at the best-case scenario for teams that made at least one big signing this year.  

Move: Ravens sign Derrick Henry
Best-case scenario: Henry powers the Ravens to a Super Bowl win. "The fit is obvious. Jackson's lightning-quick speed should open up plenty of running lanes for Henry's thunderous runs. ... On paper, they are the perfect complement that could give Baltimore the right formula to finally get over the hump in January."

Move: Eagles sign Saquon Barkley
Best-case scenario: Barkley leads the NFL in rushing yards. "Barkley is definitely capable of leading the NFL in rushing. He finished fourth in 2022 (1,312 yards), which was Daniel Jones' last healthy season when the QB eclipsed 700 yards on the ground. Barkley will now be paired with a more dangerous runner in Jalen Hurts, in a more dangerous offense with a better line, even with the retirement of Jason Kelce."

Move: Chiefs upgrade at receiver with Marquise Brown and Xavier Worthy
Best-case scenario: Patrick Mahomes wins third career MVP with deep passing game taking over. "The lack of a downfield threat combined with defenses trying to take away the deep ball has caused Mahomes to rely more on checkdowns, but in a perfect world the Chiefs new WR trio will open things up. ... The best outcome for the Chiefs (besides another Super Bowl) is a return to MVP form for Mahomes after his worst career (regular) season in 2023."

Doug covered the best-case scenario for seven different teams and you can check his full list here

5. Way too early picks for Week 1 of the NFL season

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott USATSI

Making NFL picks in the month of May might seem crazy, but crazy is what we do best around here, so we had Jordan Dajani make some picks for the first week of the NFL season. 

Is the start of the season still more than three months away? Yes. 
Does Jordan care? No. 

He went through and made a pick for all 16 games, and we're going to check out three of his picks below: 

  • Browns (+1) 20-14 over Cowboys. "Deshaun Watson missed 11 games in each of his first two seasons with Cleveland, and ranks 35th or worse in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating among 45 qualified quarterbacks over the last two seasons. It's about time he gets rolling. Give me the home underdog to win this game at +100."
  • Titans (+4.5) 20-17 over Bears. "The last 15 quarterbacks selected No. 1 overall went 0-14-1 in their first career start and Caleb Williams isn't going to end that streak. I'm not saying the Titans are Super Bowl contenders, but new defensive coordinator Dennard Wilson has an impressive track record, and his scheme figures to be aggressive, yet tough to figure out."
  • Bills 24-20 over Cardinals (+7). "The Cardinals may have gone 4-13 last year, but they were not some pushover. Arizona was one of two teams to beat both the Eagles and Cowboys last season, and had more wins over playoff teams than the Dolphins and Chiefs COMBINED."

If you want to know who's going to come out on top in each Week 1 game, be sure to check out all of Jordan's picks here.

6. Extra points: Maxx Crosby gets huge raise from Raiders

It's been a busy 24 hours in the NFL, and since it's nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you.

  • Raiders revise Maxx Crosby's contract. The Raiders star was set to make just over $19 million this year, but that number will now be bumped up to over $25 million after the team added $6 million to his salary for 2024, according to ESPN. This was a rare move by an NFL team: Crosby didn't have to sign on for any additional years, he simply got a raise for being productive. His contract runs through the 2026 season. 
  • Broncos will be having a three-way QB competition. It looks like Jarrett Stidham, Bo Nix and Zach Wilson will all get a chance to win the Broncos' QB job. "We try to split up all the reps," Payton said this week, via ESPN. "We go by what we see. We try to get them as many reps as possible. We rotate. We're rotating all of them right now. They're all in a race to learn this system." You can read more about the competition here
  • Eagles sign John Ross. The former top-10 pick is going to try make an NFL comeback with the Eagles. Ross, who once held the combine record for fastest 40-yard dash with a time of 4.22 seconds, retired before the start of the 2023 season, but now, he's back. The receiver, who was taken ninth overall by the Bengals in 2017, has signed a one-year deal from the Eagles. 
  • Dalvin Cook plans to sign with a team by training camp. The former Vikings running back is hoping to sign with a team before training camp. "I feel like getting in front of my teammates, new coaches and showing them what I got," Cook told NFL Media this week. "I just got to get out there and show all these people that Dalvin is still Dalvin." Cook hit the 1,000-yard mark in four of his past five seasons, but he struggled last year with just 214 rushing yards while playing for the Jets. You can read more about Cook's current situation here