Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

We're less than 24 hours into the unofficial start of free agency and things have already gone off the rails. The legal tampering period started at noon yesterday and since then, we've seen more than 60 players agree to a new deal (they can't officially sign their deals until tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET). 

As the tampering period heads into Day 2, deals will be happening all day Tuesday. If you want to stay on top of all those deals, then you're definitely going to want to click here so you can follow all the action in our free agency live blog. If you're too busy to follow a live blog, you can also click here to check out our free agent tracker that will be updated any time one of the top 100 free agents signs a deal. 

There are plenty of big-named free agents still on the market, including Derrick Henry, Calvin Ridley and Danielle Hunter. We actually made a list of the 10 best remaining free agents and you can see that here

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. 

1. Today's show: Breaking down Day 1 of free agency

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The unofficial start of free agency came on Monday and things got kind of crazy. Since I do crazy so well, they decided to let me host today's episode of the Pick Six Podcast and I was joined by Tyler Sullivan, who had literally just gotten off the plane from his honeymoon. 

During the show, we broke down 11 of the moves that went down on Monday and then we both decided whether we liked those moves or not. Here are a few of the moves we talked about: 

  • Kirk Cousins to the Falcons (four years, $180 million -- $100 million guaranteed). It's not often that one move can put you over the top, but that seems like the case here. By adding Cousins, it feels like the Falcons are now the best team in the NFC South. The Falcons already have plenty of offensive weapons and now they actually have a quarterback who will be able to take advantage of those weapons.  
  • Christian Wilkins to the Raiders (four years, $110 million). You could argue that the Raiders slightly overpaid here at $27.5 million per year, but Sullivan and I both liked this move. With Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes in the division, the Raiders needed some pass-rushing help and adding Wilkins to a defensive line that already includes Maxx Crosby is almost unfair. 
  • Gabe Davis to Jaguars (three years, $39 million). The former Bills receiver has had some huge games over the years, but he's been mostly inconsistent throughout his career. He had three games with at least 100 receiving yards in 2023, but he also have five games with ZERO catches. Davis will give the Jags a solid deep threat, but that's about it. We both liked this move, but didn't love it. 

If you want to hear the two of us breakdown the first day of free agency, you can listen to our full show by clicking here. You can also watch today's show on YouTube by clicking here

2. Winners and losers from Day 1 of free agency

After just 24 hours of legal tampering, you might think it's too early to make a list of winners and losers in free agency, but guess what, we're going to do it anyway. 

Cody Benjamin came up with a full list, so let's check it out below: 


  • Falcons playoff prospects. "Are they paying a pretty penny for an aging pocket passer coming off a serious injury? Sure. But Kirk Cousins is the kind of savvy, plug-and-play signal-caller who can help Atlanta make an immediate push for the NFC South title, if not more. He remains a borderline top-10 player at his position, and his supporting cast is just hitting its prime."
  • Running backs. "So much for the devaluation of the position. In a seemingly depressed market absolutely loaded with quality starters, four different running backs -- Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, D'Andre Swift and Tony Pollard -- agreed to deals averaging at least $8 million per year on the first day of free agent action. Two of them eclipsed $12 million annually, giving them top-five positional money." 


If you want to see Cody's full list of winners and losers, you can check out his entire story here

3. Grading some of Monday's biggest deals in free agency

The only thing better than making a winners and losers list for the first day of the NFL tampering period is to grade each one of the deals, so that's exactly what we had Professors Tyler Sullivan and Jeff Kerr do (I'm not sure if they're actually professors, but I'm giving them that title for the day).

Here's a look at the grades they handed out for some of the biggest running back deals from Monday: 

  • Saquon Barkley to the Eagles (three years, $37.75. million): A. "Barkley is still only 27 years old and is a tremendous home-run hitter out of this Eagles backfield, posting back-to-back seasons of at least 1,200 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns. On top of what he'll bring as a player, Barkley will also be a tremendous locker-room addition."
  • Josh Jacobs to the Packers (four years, $48 million): B+. "With Jones and possibly A.J. Dillon (also a free agent) now gone, Jacobs is looking at the potential of adopting up to 320 carries out of this backfield. Green Bay got younger and more talented at the position."
  • Tony Pollard to the Titans (three years, $24 million): B. "Pollard should provide a burst to a Titans backfield alongside rising second-year back Tyjae Spears for new head coach Brian Callahan and should be a solid safety valve for QB Will Levis." 
  • Austin Ekeler to the Commanders (two years, $11.43 million): A-. "An ankle injury in Week 1 limited Ekeler to a career low in yards per carry (3.5) and yards per touch (4.6). Even at 29, a healthy Ekeler adds tremendous value to a passing game, which he'll see in Washington with Kliff Kingsbury as the play-caller."

If you want to see the rest of our grades for Day 1, be sure to click here. You can also check our team-by-team grades by clicking here

4. Panthers trade Brian Burns to the Giants: Full details, plus grading the deal for both teams

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The Giants made one of the biggest splashes of Day 1 when they pulled off a trade for Panthers star Brian Burns. To make the deal happen, Burns had to sign his franchise tag with Carolina, which set the stage for a sign-and-trade. As part of the deal, Burns agreed to a five-year, $150 million contract that includes $87.5 million guaranteed. 

Here's a look at the trade details

  • Giants receive: Brian Burns
  • Panthers receive: 2024 second-round pick (39th overall), 2025 fifth-round pick
  • Other notes: The teams will also swap fifth-round picks in the 2024 NFL Draft

This is a huge move for the Giants, who now have one of the most talented defensive lines in the NFL with Burns, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Dexter Lawrence. The Giants won two Super Bowls over the past 20 years thanks in large part to the fact that they were able to rush the passer and it looks like they're trying to get back to that. 

As for the Panthers, this has to be viewed as a failure and that's mostly because Carolina could have gotten a lot more for Burns. Back in 2022, the Rams offered two first-round picks for him, but the Panthers turned that down, and now, they're getting nothing near that kind of compensation in this deal. 


Here's a look at our grades from the trade (via Jeff Kerr):

  • Giants grade: A-. "Give credit to the Giants for addressing a pass rush that was one of the worst in the NFL and adding one of the game's top edge rushers -- only giving up a 2024 second-round pick and 2025 fifth-round pick to get Burns. ... Is $30 million too steep for Burns? Not with the rate for edge rushers going up and the salary cap increasing, especially since pass rush is paramount in today's NFL."
  • Panthers grade: C+. "The Panthers were already one of the worst teams in the NFL, and became worse by trading Burns and not getting a first-round pick in return. ... Sure the No. 39 pick has merit for a team that gave away the No. 1 overall pick last year, but it's hard to fathom why Carolina wouldn't try to retain one of the best pass rushers in football."

You can check out Kerr's full explanation for each grade by clicking here

One other detail on the trade is that it won't become official until the new league year starts on Wednesday.  

5. QB carousel: Sam Darnold headed to Minnesota, Raiders add possible starter

One position that's always worth watching in free agency is quarterback, and surprisingly, there was actually a lot of action revolving around quarterbacks yesterday. 

Let's take a look at what went down at the NFL's most important position.

  • Kirk Cousins agrees to terms with Falcons. We've already covered this signing, but we'll go ahead and mention it again since it was the biggest signing of the day. The addition of Cousins makes the Falcons an instant contender in the NFC South. 
  • Gardner Minshew agrees to terms with the Raiders. Last year, the Raiders signed Jimmy Garoppolo in free agency, and this year, they also added a QB. Minshew has agreed to terms on a two-year, $25 million deal that includes $15 million in guaranteed money. At that price, it seems like a safe bet that Minshew will at least get to compete against Aidan O'Connell for the Raiders' starting QB job. The Raiders could also draft a quarterback, but that might not be possible with the 13th overall pick, so Minshew gives them a safety net in case they can't get the QB they want in the draft. 
  • Jacoby Brissett agrees to terms with the Patriots. Brissett is returning to the city where he started his NFL career. The 31-year-old has agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal, which suggests that the Patriots are probably planning on letting him serve as the team's backup QB in 2024. The Patriots will almost certainly be using the third overall pick on a QB. Brissett was originally drafted by the Patriots in 2016 when they made him a third-round pick. 
  • Sam Darnold agrees to terms with the Vikings. With Kirk Cousins now in Atlanta, the Vikings have decided to add Darnold to possibly take his place this year. The former third overall pick has agreed to a one-year deal that's worth up to $10 million. The Vikings will likely look to draft a QB in April, but if they can't find one they like with the 11th overall pick, then Darnold will likely compete with Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall for the starting job.
  • Tyrod Taylor agrees to terms with the Jets. With Aaron Rodgers coming off an Achilles injury, the Jets decided to bring in an experienced backup. The team has agreed to terms with Tyrod Taylor on a two-year deal that's worth up to $18 million. Taylor is a huge upgrade over Zach Wilson, who likely won't be on the roster much longer. 
  • Marcus Mariota agrees to terms with the Commanders. It looks like Washington is going to have a crowded QB room in 2024. Mariota has agreed to terms on a one-year, $6 million deal with the Commanders and he'll now join Sam Howell. Washington is also expected to draft a quarterback with the second overall pick in April, which means the Commanders could be going into training camp with three quarterbacks. Most teams only keep two for the regular season, so it will be interesting to see what Washington does. 
  • Jamies Winston agrees to terms with the Browns. After four seasons with the Saints, WInston is finally leaving New Orleans. The 30-year-old has agreed to terms on a one-year, $8.7 million contract that will make him Deshaun Watson's new backup. Based on this deal, it looks like the Browns have decided not to bring Joe Flacco back to Cleveland. 

The QB carousel should keep turning this week with players like Ryan Tannehill, Joe Flacco and Carson Wentz still available to be signed. 

6. Extra points: Texans trading for Joe Mixon, Aaron Jones signing with Packers' rival

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. 

  • Aaron Jones signing with Vikings. Less than 24 hours after being cut by the Packers, Aaron Jones already has a new team. The former Green Bay running back is headed to Minnesota on a one-year deal worth $7 million. 
  • Bengals make change at running back that involves trade with Texans. The Bengals have finally decided to move on from Joe Mixon. According to, Mixon is being traded to the Texans. Mixon became expendable on Monday night after the Bengals signed former Colts running back Zach Moss to a two-year, $8 million deal. Not only did the Bengals add Moss, but they also agreed to terms with Mike Gesicki on Tuesday with the tight end landing a one-year deal worth up to $3.25 million.
  • Derrick Henry signing with Ravens: The 30-year-old Henry gets $16 million, per ESPN, though he can earn a maximum of $20 million over the two-year deal due to incentives.
  • Packers releasing Pro Bowl left tackle. After 11 seasons in Green Bay, David Bakhtiari's career with the Packers is finally over. The team decided to release the former All-Pro, who's been dealing with multiple injuries over the past three seasons. Bakhtiari has missed a total of 38 games since the start of the 2021 season. It's not clear if he's going to retire, but no one would blame him after he underwent a fifth surgery on his left knee last year. 
  • Lions trading for starting corner. The Lions have a new starting corner after acquiring Carlton Davis from the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay is sending Davis, a 2024 sixth-round pick and a 2025 sixth-round pick to Detroit while the Buccaneers will be getting a 2024 third-round pick in return. You can read more about the trade, along with our grades, here
  • NFL makes rare compensatory pick mistake. The NFL had to redo a chunk of the draft order on Monday after making a mistake with compensatory picks. When the league originally handed out the compensatory picks over the weekend, the Bengals were awarded two extra slots in the sixth-round (208th and 214th overall), but now that the mistake has been fixed, one of those sixth-rounders was switched to a third-rounder. You can read more about the bizarre details of this situation here
  • Dak Prescott extortion plot exposed. The Cowboys quarterback has filed a lawsuit against a woman who was allegedly trying to extort $100 million from him. The woman accused Prescott of sexual assault for an incident that she claims took place in February 2017 and she said that the Cowboys QB needed to pay her $100 million in damages. You can read more about the case here