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NFL Free Agency: Early Winners (Falcons), Losers (Cowboys)

This week’s biggest NFL football news has been the opening flurry of action from free agency. After two days full of rumors during the NFL legal tampering period, the league’s new year happened on Wednesday afternoon, and the rush was on to sign help from the free agent market.

The commencement of the new league year on Wednesday has officially confirmed all recent signings. This milestone has not damaged the ongoing free agency frenzy captivating the NFL.

NFL Free Agency: Early Winners (Falcons), Losers (Cowboys)
Quarterback Kirk Cousins | Stephen Maturen/Getty Images/AFP

As we moved into Wednesday, the start of the new league year triggered various activities, including trades and the cutting of several prominent receivers. A surprise team also clinched a deal with the leading free agent wideout. As we venture into the third day of free agency, it’s an opportune moment to assess the league’s victors and underperformers thus far.

While covering big money moves is fun, we’re here to make our own. The NFL betting odds have shifted, and there are even a ton of player props related to recent free agents and their expected performance in 2024.c.

Here’s a look at some NFL Odds and Vegas NFL Odds to consider!

Winners

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have kicked off their free agency with a splash, signing quarterback Kirk Cousins – known for his knack for banking big bucks – to the tune of $100 million guaranteed. Alongside, Atlanta has added a speedy new toy, wideout Darnell Mooney, for a cool $39 million. Now, with a QB who could buy out all the Wal-Marts in Georgia and a wide receiver corps that’s starting to look like the Avengers, the Falcons are not just dipping their toes but doing a cannonball into NFC South’s competitive waters.

Last season, Atlanta’s promising team, featuring young stars like Bijan Robinson and Kyle Pitts, felt like a puzzle missing a piece right in the middle: a quarterback. Enter Cousins, fresh from a record season with the Minnesota Vikings before an Achilles injury cut it short. Pair him with Mooney, London and Pitts, and Atlanta’s offense suddenly looks like a group that could finish near the top of the NFL in scoring.

While skeptics might raise eyebrows at Cousins’ age (36) and recent injury, the Falcons are betting big on a comeback, aiming to turn their 7-10 record into division domination. If Cousins can gel with the young guns, Atlanta could be on the brink of a less tragic season and more triumph.

The move to sign Cousins was so significant that BetUS Sportsbook has a whole page dedicated to prop odds, which can be used to make offseason NFL picks. He is +1600 to lead the NFL in regular-season passing yards, -125 to throw for 4000+ yards, and has an Over/Under of 28.5 touchdown passes.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

After a season-ending that left Eagles fans more deflated than a beach ball at a porcupine party and the departure of local hero Jason Kelce, Philadelphia’s front office went shopping like it’s Black Friday for immediate roster upgrades. Their headline grab? Saquon Barkley from the New York Giants is swapping blue for green with a hefty $37.7 million deal. The irony? He’s jumping from one rivalry to another, ready to become Philly’s new golden boy.

Also, NFL player news and rumors are popping up that there was some tampering with this deal by Eagles GM Howie Roseman.


But wait, there’s more! The Eagles didn’t just stop with a running back, no matter how star-studded. They’ve coaxed C.J. Gardner-Johnson into the nest, adding more sparkle to their already shiny secondary, making them the NFL’s latest “no-fly zone.” Also on the shopping list? Bryce Huff, who’s breaking out faster than a teenager’s acne, and a fresh contract for Landon Dickerson, who’s stepping into some big shoes.

While the Eagles have been throwing money around like singles at Scores, they’re still eyeing up the market. Linebackers? Check. Wide receivers? Double-check. With the free agency fun just starting, Philly’s making it clear: The Eagles are in it to win it, budget be damned. But hey, who’s counting pennies when you’re building a dream team?

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Houston Texans

In a maneuver reminiscent of a chef spicing up a vanilla dish, Texans GM Nick Caserio is mixing a Super Bowl recipe with C.J. Stroud as his main ingredient. It’s all hands on deck as Caserio plays NFL Monopoly, first snagging Joe Mixon in a pre-market swoop and then landing the sack king, Danielle Hunter, who is relentless when he gets going.

Wave goodbye to Jonathan Greenard and hello to a revamped defense with Hunter leading the charge. The Texans are making shrewd moves like bringing in linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair for a reunion with coach DeMeco Ryans and adding defensive whiz Denico Autry, fresh off a personal-best season.


Forget the slow starts and woeful past, Houston’s springing to life. After a 2023 season that put hope back on the map, they’re not letting Stroud’s budget-friendly contract gather dust. Instead, the Texans are wheeling, dealing and sealing deals to shore up their game. With Mixon’s arrival giving the running game a much-needed jolt and Hunter’s prowess promising quarterback nightmares, the Texans are not just rebuilding but reloading with sights set high.

Stroud’s Vegas betting odds for 2024 include an O/U on passing yards at 4050.5 and 20.5 passing touchdowns.

Regarding team futures, the NFL lines for the Texans to win the Super Bowl are +2220, the same as the New York Jets.

 

 

Losers

Dallas Cowboys

As the free agency merry-go-round spins wildly, the Cowboys seem to have lost their ticket to the fair. Despite Jerry Jones’ vow to go “all-in” after a rather unglamorous exit from the playoffs, Dallas has been quieter than a church mouse. They’ve watched Tony Pollard, Tyler Biadasz and Dorance Armstrong bid adieu while the fate of Tyron Smith and Stephon Gilmore hangs in the balance — resulting in a total of 4,491 missing snaps.


The Cowboys‘ wallet seems a bit too tight, thanks to Dak Prescott’s hefty tab and other bulky contracts. This leaves them watching from the sidelines as their NFC East rivals dance in the free agency limelight. So far, their only retentions are Carl Davis Jr. and the critically essential, game-changing long snapper Trent Sieg. It’s not exactly the splash fans expected.

With a squad now holier than a block of Swiss cheese, the Cowboys are staring down a long road with more questions than an existential philosophy class. Time’s ticking, but as of now, the only “all-in” Dallas seems to be playing is a silent game of wait-and-see while fans and pundits scratch their heads in bewilderment.

 

Justin Fields

The quarterback market for Chicago’s Justin Fields seems to have pulled a Houdini, vanishing before it even lit up the marquee. As the NFL’s game of musical chairs played out, Fields found himself left standing, a solitary figure without a seat. Initially pegged as the belle of the ball, his dance card remained empty as potential suitors paired off: The Steelers embraced Russell Wilson, the Bucs renewed vows with Baker Mayfield and the Falcons fell hard for Kirk Cousins.


Then came the double whammy: The Raiders, under the spell of nostalgia for former Bears coordinator Luke Getsy, opted for Gardner Minshew’s charms while the Patriots decided old flame Jacoby Brissett was worth a second chance. Even the Vikings, a long shot at best, saddled up with Sam Darnold instead.

Now, with Denver’s quarterback spot the only one seemingly up for grabs, Fields’ prospects are looking about as bright as a flashlight with dead batteries. Under the new management of Sean Payton, the Broncos don’t seem keen, and the whispers around the NFL don’t paint Fields as the ideal match for Payton’s playbook.

The options are dwindling: perhaps the Giants or Titans could give him a spin in a summer fling, or the Browns and Seahawks might offer a backup spot — a far cry from leading man status. With the Bears poised to draft a new QB prodigy with the No. 1 overall pick, Fields faces the music: Either hold the clipboard as the understudy or keep his bags packed, waiting for an unexpected twist in the NFL saga.

 

Questions Of The Day

Who is favored to win Super Bowl LIX?


The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are locked in at +600 as the NFL betting favorites to win the next Super Bowl.

Who is the biggest free agent still on the market?


Broncos safety Justin Simmons is considered the best player still on the free agent market, with Cowboys OT Tyron Smith and 49ers DE Chase Young among the other top-tier talent available.

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