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Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

I have some sad news to start off with (or happy news, depending on how much you like me): I will be out for the rest of the week. Cody Benjamin will be manning the controls on Wednesday and then Tyler Sullivan will close out the week by taking over the newsletter on Thursday and Friday. Please be nice to Tyler, he just got married. 

Anyway, we have a loaded newsletter for you: Not only are we grading how every NFC team did in free agency, but we're also going to play some matchmaker by matching up the top remaining free agents with the best team possible. 

As always, here's your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here. Let's get to the rundown. 

Actually, before we get to the rundown, I'd like to formally invite everyone join the Pick Six podcast bracket challenge. It's free to enter and if you somehow win, you'll take home a prize. You will likely destroy me, but unfortunately, there's no prize for destroying me. Just click here and sign up if you want to enter.

1. Today's show: Grading every NFC team in free agency

Saquon Barkley USATSI

For the latest episode of the podcast, I was joined by Will Brinson and Tyler Sullivan and three of us put on our professor hats so that we could hand out some grades. 

The three of us graded all 16 teams in the NFC based on what they've done through one week of free agency, and here's what we came up what for the NFC East:  

  • Cowboys: D. It's almost like the Cowboys forgot that free agency was happening. "It just feels like the hit the snooze button in free agency, which is completely damning after Jerry Jones said they were going to go all-in," Sullivan said. The Cowboys have lost several starters from last year like Tony Pollard, Tyron Smith and Michael Gallup and haven't really done anything to replace them. 
  • Eagles: B. We were actually totally split on the Eagles' grade with Brinson giving them a C+ and Sullivan handing them a B. As for me, I gave them an A- because I think they made several huge moves that will have an instant impact on their 2024 season. The addition of Saquon Barkley should take pressure off of Jalen Hurts on offense. On the other side of the ball, the signing of Bryce Huff helps take the sting off the retirement of Fletcher Cox.  
  • Giants: B+. The Giants weren't perfect in free agency, but they did come through with arguably the most impressive trade when they acquired Brian Burns from the Panthers. The addition of Burns overshadows the losses of Xavier McKinney and Barkley. 
  • Commanders: C+. The Commanders don't know who their QB will be in 2024, but they're doing a good job of building around him. Not only did they beef up the offensive line by adding center Tyler Biadasz and guard Nick Allegretti, but they also added a nice security blanket in Austin Ekeler. The Commanders have quietly made their team better over the past week. 

If you want to hear the three of us hand out some grades for every team in the NFC, you can listen to our full show by clicking here. You can also watch the show on YouTube by clicking here.

2. Free agency matchmaker for the top 10 remaining free agents

There's no one who loves playing matchmaker more than Cody Benjamin, so we decided to let him work some of his matchmaking magic. 

We asked him to match up the 10 best remaining free agents with the team that would be the best fit for them. Let's check out where he has four of the top players going:  

  • Match: Ryan Tannehill and the Broncos"Denver has yet to add a quarterback this offseason, and while an early draft investment would be logical, Tannehill offers an experienced arm best suited to play within a system -- just as Sean Payton desires."
  • Match: Mike Williams and the Cardinals"Axed by the Los Angeles Chargers in a cost-cutting move, Williams could just as easily fit with a contender like the Baltimore Ravens, but Arizona sorely needs an experienced starter after Marquise Brown's exit."
  • Match: Odell Beckham Jr. and the Jets"OBJ has been flirting with an Aaron Rodgers team-up for years, reportedly coming close to a deal with Gang Green in 2023. Now... it makes sense for Beckham to finally come home to the New Jersey area."
  • Match: Stephon Gilmore and the Raiders"The former All-Pro cover man could still be in play for a Dallas Cowboys encore, but Antonio Pierce has a bigger need at the position in Las Vegas, where the defensively minded Raiders can also offer more money."

To check out where Cody has the six other free agents landing, be sure to click here

3. Ranking AFC teams after the first wave of free agency

Patrick Mahomes USATSI

Now that the first wave of free agency is out of the way, we thought now would be a good time to rank every team in the NFL, so that's exactly what we're going to do. Actually, I take that back, we're only going to rank the AFC teams. We'll get to the NFC teams later in the week. 

With that mind, here's our post-free agency rankings of each AFC team, courtesy of Jordan Dajani: 

1. Chiefs
2. Ravens
3. Texans
4. Bengals
5. Browns
6. Bills
7. Dolphins
8. Jaguars
9. Jets
10. Steelers

The one thing that instantly stands out to me about these rankings is that the AFC North is likely going to be stacked once again in 2024. Last season, the AFC North became the first division in 88 years to have every team finish with a winning record, and based on how things are going so far, they might be able to replicate that success in 2024. 

Anyway, we only listed the the top 10 AFC teams here. If you want to see how Jordan ranked all 16 AFC teams, then you'll have to check out the rest of his rankings here

4. NFL punishes the 49ers

With tax season right around the corner, here's a friendly reminder that even NFL teams get punished when their numbers don't add up. The 49ers are in hot water for an accounting error that happened two years ago. 

Here's what you need to know about the situation: 

  • 49ers admit to payroll error. The 49ers came clean this week about an administrative payroll accounting error that occurred in 2022. There were several clerical errors in the 49ers' books at the end of the 2022 league year, although it's not clear why it took the league two years to discover the errors. "At no time did we mislead or otherwise deceive the league or gain a competitive advantage in connection with the payroll mistake," the 49ers said in a statement. 
  • 49ers get punished. Due to the clerical error, the NFL decided to punish the 49ers by making them forfeit a draft pick. The 49ers will lose their fifth-round pick in the 2025 NFL Draft AND they'll be moving back four spots in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft. They previously held the 131st overall pick in the draft, but that has now been moved to 135. 

The moral of the story here is to make sure you hire a good accountant.  

Fortunately for the 49ers, it wasn't all bad news Monday and that's because they made several moves that should help the team. For one, they added a backup quarterback by signing Josh Dobbs to a one-year deal. The team also officially announced the signing of six free agents, including Leonard Floyd and De'Vondre Campbell (you can read more about that here). 

5. Kirk Cousins set to pass Tom Brady in career earnings

Kirk Cousins USATSI

The biggest winner of free agency may have been Kirk Cousins' bank account. Thanks to his $50 million signing bonus from the Falcons, Cousins has now raked in a total of $281.5 million in contract money over the course of his 12-year career. 

Now that he's made $281.5 million, Cousins has officially cracked the top five on the list of highest earners in NFL history. 

Here's a look at the top-five earners in NFL history (via Over the Cap):

1. Aaron Rodgers: $343.5 million
2. Matthew Stafford: $328 million
3. Tom Brady: $317.6 million
4. Matt Ryan: $306.2 million
5. Kirk Cousins: $281.5 million

Not only does Cousins have a $50 million signing bonus with the Falcons, but he also has $50 million more in guaranteed money. Once he has that in his pocket, he'll be up to $331.5 million, which will move him past Tom Brady for the No. 3 spot on this list. 

That's right, the guy with one career playoff win is about to pass the guy with seven-career Super Bowl wins on the all-time earnings list. Although Cousins is rich, one thing he won't be spending his money on in Atlanta is a new number. Instead of buying No. 8 off Kyle Pitts, the Falcons QB revealed Monday that he's going to wear 18 in Atlanta. 

6. Extra points: Chase Young headed to New Orleans

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. 

  • Saints sign Chase Young. The Saints added some pass-rushing help Monday by signing Young. The former No. 2 overall pick has landed a one-year contract that's worth a fully guaranteed $13 million. 
  • Lions add Pro Bowl offensive lineman. The Lions added an offensive starter on Monday with the signing of Kevin Zeitler to a one-year deal. The 2023 Pro Bowler spent his past three seasons in Baltimore, where he started in all 47 games that he played in. It's an instant upgrade at guard for the Lions. 
  • Raiders sign Alexander Mattison. With Josh Jacobs now in Green Bay, the Raiders needed to add a running back and did that by signing Mattison to a one-year deal. Mattison didn't play well as the full-time starter in Minnesota last season, but he might fare better in a running back-by-committee situation, which is what he'll likely see in Las Vegas. 
  • Texans unveil new road uniforms. The Texans will be unveiling new uniforms in April, but we got a sneak peek Monday after a picture of the road uniforms leaked on to Reddit. We know the leak was the real deal because Texans owner Cal McNair eventually went on Reddit to share an even better picture of the white road uniforms, which you can see here
  • Browns might be opening the season in Brazil. Browns defensive tackle Maurice Hurst might have just leaked out the fact that the Browns will be playing the Eagles in Brazil to start the season. Although Hurst said the team will be playing in Brazil, he did backtrack a few hours later. So will be the Browns actually be opening the season in South America? We broke down why that will likely happen, and you can read about it here
  • Netflix has a new NFL series. Last year, the streaming company did a docuseries about quarterbacks, this year, Netflix is following that up by doing a series about receivers. This edition will star Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Amon-Ra St. Brown. No release date has been set yet.