Free Agent Transactions and the NFL Draft

Now that teams have allocated their franchise tags, we can start to look at next week’s free agency period and begin to prepare for how certain moves might affect our 2024 NFL Draft betting. 

Some of the biggest names that could have shifted our thoughts about what type of player a team might draft, ended up getting tagged or re-signed (Mike Evans, Tee Higgins, Michael Pittman, etc). 

 

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Below are the five biggest moves, in my humble opinion, that will help us further hone in on our NFL Draft betting opinions.

Where Does Kirk Cousins Sign?

Cousins is the best free agent quarterback available by a mile. If he doesn’t end up back with the Vikings, it will certainly shake up our ‘quarterback-needy’ teams list. For example, many mock drafts have the Falcons either reaching for a quarterback in their current slot, or potentially making a play to move up to grab whoever is left at the third pick. All that goes out the window if they sign Cousins, who is apparently their first choice to take over an offense that features lots of playmakers. We’d then start to assume the Falcons would look to add on the defensive side of the ball at Pick No. 8. 

Who Signs Russell Wilson?

The same general premise here as with Cousins. There are ‘quarterback-needy’ teams in the middle of the first round that could fire on a QB where they sit now, or trade back and take one later on in the first. The Vikings (should Cousins leave), Raiders, Saints, Seahawks, and Steelers are all presumed to at least be in the quarterback market (as are the Broncos, who released Wilson). If Russ lands with one of these teams, then we can start to formulate our strategy on betting total QBs in Round 1 and even some Over/Under bets on guys like Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr.

Who Trades for Justin Fields?

Ok, this is kinda cheating. It’s not a free agent move, per se. But akin to a free agent that’s moved on, we know Fields is going to play his football next season for a team not named the Bears. According to reports, the trade market isn’t as hot for Fields as expected, but we can rest assured he’ll be in another zip code come September. So naturally, any of the teams we mentioned earlier could be in the mix and the same fallout occurs. Is there a surprise team out there that decides to make a play?

Whether the Falcons get Cousins or Fields, they are taking a lot of interest in Super Bowl LIX futures market and are down to +3500.

Where Will Calvin Ridley Catch Passes Next Season?

This wideout class is loaded. And there are a boatload of teams that are in desperate need of a real playmaker at wide receiver. The Cardinals, Bears, Giants, Chargers, Bills, Jags, Ravens, and Chiefs have all been linked to WRs in one mock or another. Signing Ridley wouldn’t completely rule out any of these teams taking a receiver, but it would certainly make it less likely and we could turn our focus to other areas of need for that particular team. 

Where Will Chris Jones/Christian Wilkins Go Dominate?

Current mocks typically have 6-8 defensive linemen going in the first round. While it’s widely assumed the Chiefs will figure out a way to get Jones his money, there’s always a chance he bolts for another squad. Wilkins is less likely than Jones to get a deal with his current team, Miami. Wherever either does end up signing, you can all but remove the possibility of that team drafting a defensive lineman with their first pick. Both are incredible playmakers with multiple years left in the tank. The teams will have spent the cash at DL, and will look to invest in another position of need.