NFL Gets Busy Week of Free Agency

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The NFL’s legal tampering period is just now upon us. Beginning Monday, teams began talking to players and agents about contracts. Beginning on Wednesday, March 13, players can actually put pen to paper and sign those new contracts.

But Saturday and Sunday, the weekend before all of these free agency benchmarks were reached, front office phones were ringing off the hook.

Russell Wilson to Sign with Pittsburgh Steelers

We were right to not believe it when Pittsburgh Steelers brass told us that they were happy going into the 2024 season with the quarterbacks currently on the roster. They are adding one more quarterback in the person of nine-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson.

Two years ago, the Denver Broncos gave up two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and $161 million in guaranteed money for the rights to Wilson. Now they are going to pay $37.5 million of a $39 million one-year contract for him to play for someone else. That someone else is the Steelers, who will visit Mile High Stadium in the fall.

It’s not a bad upgrade for Wilson. Colorado online sportsbooks have the Broncos at +6000 to win the AFC, and the Steelers at +4000.

Baker Mayfield Signing for Nine Figures

Another big quarterback domino fell when Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reached an agreement on a new three-year, $115 million contract. A year ago, he was a man in search of a job, eventually settling for $4 million from the Bucs because nothing else was offered. Now, all the drinks are on him.

Mayfield led the Bucs to the NFC South division title last year while throwing for more than 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. But two weeks ago, it looked like Tampa Bay might be torn apart by free agency. But since then, they used the franchise tag on All–Pro safety Antonio Winfield Jr, signed future Hall of Fame wide receiver Mike Evans to a two-year extension, and now Mayfield is locked up.

Chris Jones Now Highest-Paid Defensive Tackle

The Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs may still lose cornerback L’Jarius Sneed in a tag-and-trade transaction before April’s draft. But Chris Jones is staying in K.C. The All-Pro defensive tackle has been integral in their three Super Bowl wins in five years, and signed a five-year, $158.75 million contract on Sunday. He is making a record $31.75 million per season, just topping the $31.67 that Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald was given in 2022.

Jones is guaranteed $95 million over the first three years of the contract, with the final two years of the contract voidable. has the Chiefs at +350 to repeat as AFC Champions, and +600 to become the first team in NFL history to win three consecutive Super Bowls.

Mac Jones to Jacksonville

In 2021, New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was the next Tom Brady. He was the Offensive Rookie of the Year, he led New England to the playoffs, and of the five quarterbacks taken in the first round that year – including Trevor Lawrence – Jones was the best.

But the next year, New England gave him Matt Patricia as his offensive coordinator – a job he’d never done – and Jones stopped growing. And then he regressed. And now, just two seasons removed from being the most ballyhooed rookie quarterback in the league, he is being traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a sixth-round pick, where he will become the backup to Lawrence.

The Patriots have the third pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, and Massachusetts online sportsbooks have them taking either North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye or LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels.

The Market for Kirk Cousins

All is quiet on the Kirk Cousins front for now. But as the quarterback prize of free agency, the former Vikings quarterback has seen his value rise since Saturday. With Baker Mayfield off the market, Cousins is the only certifiable front line starter available. Every other available quarterback is nothing more than a bridge to someone better.

Pittsburgh will not be signing another quarterback, so that leaves the Atlanta Falcons as the current betting favorite to sign Cousins. NFL online sportsbooks are paying +200 on Cousins signing with the Falcons. The Las Vegas Raiders are next at +350, with a return to Minnesota paying +450.

The Broncos, another team without a quarterback, are at +1500 to sign the four-time Pro Bowler.

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