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Welcome to the Friday edition of the Pick Six newsletter! 

I hope you enjoyed this quiet week around the NFL because things could get chaotic as soon as next week. First of all, the NFL Combine will be starting with the first batch of players reporting to Indianapolis on Sunday, but don't get too excited about that because testing won't start until Thursday. (You can check out our primer on the combine here.)

After the combine, we'll be heading straight into free agency, and after that we'll be heading straight into the draft. And now that I'm saying all of this out loud, I'm starting to feel like the offseason may be crazier than the actual season. Maybe the offseason should be called the season and the season should be the offseason. I'm going to talk to the NFL about that.

As always, here's your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. Actually, you don't even have to tell all of your friends; just tell two of your friends and I'll be happy. 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 Prisco's ranking of the top 100 free agents

RB Saquon Barkley USATSI

The only thing more exciting than Pete Prisco's ranking of the top 100 free agents is the podcast where we break down Prisco's rankings. For today's episode, I jumped on the show with Will Brinson and Tyler Sullivan, and we spent nearly an hour talking about Prisco's list. 

Now, just to be clear, we didn't ONLY talk about Prisco's list. We also made a list of teams that could be winners in free agency and teams that could be losers based on Prisco's list. 

  • Winners: Any team that needs a running back. If your favorite team needs a running back, that's definitely a good thing this year because the free agency class is loaded. From Saquon Barkley to Josh Jacobs to Derrick Henry to Austin Ekeler, there are going to be a lot of guys available. The Cowboys and Ravens are two teams that will likely benefit from this, and it won't be surprising to see one or both of those teams sign a big name. The other advantage for these teams is that running backs generally come cheap, so you don't have to break the bank to sign someone. 
  • Potential losers from Prisco's rankings: Ravens. The Ravens had SIX total players on Prisco's list, which is actually a bad thing, because there's a chance that they could lose all six players in free agency. On the defensive side of the ball, Patrick Queen, Justin Madubuike, Jadeveon Clowney and Geno Stone are all set to be free agents. The Ravens had one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2023, but if they lose two or three of those guys, their defense will take a substantial hit (not to mention, they also lost their defensive coordinator, which doesn't help things). On the offensive side, Kevin Zeitler and Odell Beckham Jr. made Prisco's list and may not return to Baltimore. Zeitler has started 47 games over three seasons on Baltimore's offensive line, so he wouldn't be easy to replace. 

We also made some predictions on where Prisco's top 10 free agents will sign. If you want to hear our full conversation on Prisco's list, then be sure to click here so you can listen. You can also watch today's show on YouTube by clicking here.

2. Free agency needs for every AFC team

After going over the free agency needs for every NFC team yesterday, we're going to cover the other half of the NFL today by taking a look at the free agency needs for every AFC team. 

Basically, since it's hard to keep track of every need that every team has, we went ahead and did it for you. Jordan Dajani broke down the needs for every AFC team, and we're going to look at four of those teams below: 

Team needs: CB, S, DT, EDGE, WR, LB
Cap space: -$55,142,609 (Yes, that's a negative sign)
Outlook: "The Bills have more needs on the defensive side of the ball. Micah Hyde, Dane Jackson and Taylor Rapp are free agents looking for new deals, and then Tre'Davious White's name has been floated as a cap casualty. Sure, he's dealt with some serious injuries, but subtracting White would be a hit to this team. The defensive line is another group to keep an eye on. DaQuan Jones, Tim Settle, A.J. Epenesa, Jordan Phillips and Shaq Lawson are just some of Buffalo's free agents on the defensive front, so GM Brandon Beane has some decisions to make."

Team needs: OT, OG, C, DT, WR
Cap space: $59,436,373
Outlook: "A position many mock draft artists are targeting for the Bengals in the first round is right tackle, as Jonah Williams is a free agent. Cincinnati could also upgrade on the interior. Wide receiver is another position on fans' minds, as Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are free agents. The Bengals could tag Higgins, but is he really in Cincy's long-term plans? Drafting a receiver relatively high with starting potential would be a smart idea."

Team needs: DT, EDGE, RB, CB, TE, OG
Cap space: $54,179,290
Outlook: "The Texans front office will need to look at the secondary. Derek Stingley Jr. had a great year, but Steven Nelson, Tavierre Thomas, Desmond King Jr. and Adrian Amos are free agents. Could cornerback come in the first round? If not, maybe Houston prioritizes the defensive line with Sheldon Rankins, Derek Barnett, Jerry Hughes and Jonathan Greenard being free agents."

Team needs: DT, OT, OG, CB, RB, QB
Cap space: $35,253,311
Outlook: "Figure out the quarterback position, make a decision on Josh Jacobs, shore up the offensive line and add some Antonio Pierce favorites on defense. ... Maybe the Raiders target a dog on the defensive line in the first round of the draft to solidify the defensive front and open up things for Maxx Crosby and Tyree Wilson on the edge. I would target the cornerback position in the draft or free agency if I was Tom Telesco."

If you want to see the needs for EVERY AFC team, you'll have to check out Dajani's full story here

3. 'Punt God' returns to the NFL: Chiefs sign Matt Araiza

Chiefs P Matt Araiza Getty Images

It's not often we devote an entire section to a punter, but we're doing that today, because there's actually some big news in the world of punting: the Chiefs have signed Matt Araiza. 

The "Punt God" was drafted by the Bills in 2022, but he never got to play a down with the team, and we're going to cover the reasons why that happened right now. Here's what you need to know about the situation: 

  • Araiza's NFL career was stalled by legal problems. Just four months after he was drafted, Araiza was one of the accusers named in a rape lawsuit, which led to the Bills releasing him in August 2022. With the legal case hanging over his head, NFL teams stayed far away from him, which means he still hasn't played a single snap in an NFL regular-season game. 
  • Araiza finally puts legal problems behind him. Over the past 18 months, Araiza's legal situation has cleared up considerably. First, police in San Diego announced in December 2022 that he wouldn't be charged with any crime. In December 2023, the woman who filed the original lawsuit decided to drop Araiza's name from the suit, which opened the door for an NFL return. 
  • 'Punt God' was a star in college. Not only did he lead the nation in punting average with an FBS-record 51.4 yards per punt in 2021, but he also had six punts of at least 70 yards that season, which was the most in the country. To put that in perspective, there were only 14 punts of 70 or more yards by every NFL punter combined last season. Araiza also boomed an 86-yard punt in 2021, which was the longest in college football that season. (That would also rank as the 10th longest punt in NFL history.)
  • He has a good chance to win the job with the Chiefs. Chiefs punter Tommy Townsend was a first-team All-Pro in 2022, but he took a step back in 2023. Townsend is now set to hit free agency this year and by adding Araiza, there's certainly now a chance that Kansas City won't look to re-sign Townsend. On the other hand, they could re-sign Townsend and have him compete with Araiza for the punting job. Either way, they should be in good shape at punter. 
  • Araiza only punted in one NFL game. Before being cut by the Bills, Araiza got a chance to punt ONE TIME in a preseason game, and he made the most of it by bombing an 82-yard punt (you can see the kick here). If he's kicking like that in Kansas City, there's a good chance he'll get the job. If Araiza does get the job, he'll also be taking over Townsend's holding job. That means the Chiefs will need to make sure that the 'Punt God' is also the 'Hold God' and that he has good chemistry with kicker Harrison Butker

If this signing proves one thing, it's that the Chiefs are always looking to improve. This team is less than two weeks removed from winning the Super Bowl, it already has an All-Pro punter, and yet, it's still looking at ways to improve its roster. This is a low-risk signing with a high reward, so there's no real downside here for the Chiefs. 

4. Free agency mock draft: The mock draft you didn't know you needed

We're going to be doing so many mock drafts between now and April that you might get eventually sick of mock drafts. We don't want that, so to spice things up this week, we came up with something crazy: a free agency mock draft. 

What if free agency went down the same way as the NFL Draft? Cody Benjamin took that hypothetical scenario and ran with it to create a free agency mock draft. The only twist here is that the draft order was set by how much cap space each team has. The team with the most cap space (Washington) got the first pick and then the picks proceeded from there based on who had the next most available cap space. 

Here's how the first five picks turned out: 

1. Commanders: DE Brian Burns
2. Titans: WR Tee Higgins 
3. Bears: WR Mike Evans 
4. Patriots: QB Kirk Cousins
5. Bengals: OT Trent Brown

If the NFL ever decides to hold a free agency draft, you'll now know where they got the idea. 

Anyway, Cody went through the entire first round in this imaginary draft, and if you want to see how things ended up shaking out, you'll have to check out his full story here

5. Dan Marino ranks the top 5 quarterbacks of all-time

Former Dolphins QB Dan Marino Getty Images

Dan Marino is definitely one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, but he didn't make the cut on his own list of greatest quarterbacks ever. During a recent interview, Marino was asked to rank his top 5, and although he didn't give a definitive ranking, he did name five names, but he also had one huge snub. 

  • Marino ranked three players from his era. "To me, [Joe] Montana and [John] Elway, Jim Kelly -- those guys, all those guys," Marino told Sports Illustrated. All three of those guys are in the Hall of Fame, so Marino definitely has some serious respect for the guys who played while he was playing. 
  • Marino only names two players from the past 10 years. So who else did Marino name? "Patrick Mahomes, he's going to be considered one of the best ever, too. You got Tom Brady, you got a lot of guys. So, there's a lot to pick from there," Marino said. When all is said and done, there's definitely a chance that Mahomes' name could be at the top of the list. 
  • The one major snub. The one name that Marino didn't mention was Peyton Manning. If you're having a conversation about the best quarterbacks in NFL history, I feel like Manning has to be in it. Apparently, Marino doesn't feel the same way.  

If you want to read Marino's full comments, you can check out our story here

6. Extra points: Jameis Winston sounds ready to leave 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.

  • Jameis Winston makes it clear he wants to be a starter. After four seasons in New Orleans, Winston sounds ready to leave. The QB is set to be a free agent, and it appears he wants to sign with a team where he has a chance to be the starter. "My goal is to be, and my desire is to be, a Super Bowl-winning starting quarterback in this league," Winston said, via "Right now, that doesn't look like a very clear picture with the New Orleans Saints." 
  • Saints restructure Derek Carr's contract. Speaking of the Saints, it seems like they have to restructure multiple contracts every year to get under the salary cap and this year is no different. The team picked a lot of salary cap space Friday by restructuring Carr's deal. According to ESPN, most of Carr's $30 million base salary will be converted into a signing bonus, which will free up $23 million in cap space for 2024. Going into today, the Saints were $53 million OVER the cap. They have until March 13 to become salary cap compliant, so this restructuring definitely helps. 
  • Competition committee adds two new members. The NFL's powerful Competition Committee had two spots open up this offseason, and those spots are going to be filled by Rams head coach Sean McVay and Bills head coach Sean McDermott. You can read more details about their additions here
  • Sean McVay skipping the combine. The Rams head coach has skipped out on the past three combines, and he's going to keep his streak going this year by not attending the NFL's huge offseason event in Indianapolis. McVay didn't attend last year, and the Rams still hit several home runs in the draft with guys like Puka Nacua and Kobie Turner, so it's not too surprising to see the team sticking to its strategy. The only difference this year is that McVay will get to use a first-round pick for the first time in his coaching career, but not even that is enough to get him to go. 
  • Bengals switching turf at Paycor Stadium. The Bengals were the last remaining team set to use slit-film turf, but that won't be the case anymore, because they'll be switching over to FieldTurf in 2024. The Bengals will use a turf that's similar to what the Falcons, Lions and Patriots use. The Vikings and Colts also used slit-film turf in 2023, but both teams had previously announced that they'd be switching for 2024, leaving the Bengals as the last holdout. 
  • Chad Johnson claims he knows where Russell Wilson is going to sign. The former Bengals star said he has an inside tip on where Wilson is going to end up this year. "A little birdie told me -- and I said this many shows ago -- Russell Wilson's coming on over there to the Steelers," Johnson said on Shannon Sharpe's "Nightcap" podcast recently. We'll soon find out how reliable little birdies are when it comes to reporting major NFL news.