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Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

The most exciting day on the NFL offseason calendar is finally here: It's franchise tag deadline day! 

OK, so I might be slightly exaggerating here. It's not the most exciting day on the offseason calendar -- you could argue that it's not even in the top five -- but we're still going to cover it. 

As of noon on Tuesday, there have been three tags used and we could see as many as five more players get tagged before the deadline hits at 4 p.m. ET. We'll be covering the latest on those tags, plus taking a look at some possible landing spots for Russell Wilson

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: Most impressive players at the NFL Combine

NFL Combine
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With the NFL Combine officially in the books, we decided that today would be the perfect day to recap the entire event. For today's episode of the Pick Six podcast, Will Brinson and I were joined by NFL Draft guru Josh Edwards, who gave us the inside scoop on some of his favorite players from the combine. 

Here are three players who Edwards really liked: 

  • QB Caleb Williams (USC). The quarterback didn't throw and didn't partake in drills, but Edwards still thinks he came away as a winner at the combine. "Most people thought he was kind of self-absorbed, a little emotional based on how he reacted postgame this year, I think he was a big winner because he was able to show his personality and answer the questions that were swirling about him this year."
  • WR Ricky Pearsall (Florida). "He did really well, looked really crisp in the drills. I thought he was going to run slower in the 40-yard dash, but he ended up running 4.41. Really consistent player who checked that box for me. I thought he did fantastic."
  • EDGE Jared Verse (Florida State). "I will say that Verse probably helped himself the most in my eyes. When you watch his tape, he's a player who wins with power, started to show his best football down the stretch and then to come to Indianapolis and test the way he did, I thought was fantastic. He had a 4.58-second 40-yard dash, 35-inch vertical jump, he was testing very well. For me, knowing that he was a rusher built on power and then seeing those athletic numbers gave me a little more confidence when it comes to projecting him at the next level."

If you want to hear Josh's breakdown of all the players who impressed him, you can listen to our full show by clicking here. You can also watch today's show on YouTube by clicking here.

In other combine news, Chris Trapasso made a list of all the prospects who might now be taken in the first round thanks to their performance at the combine. You can read Chris' breakdown here

2. Franchise tag deadline is today: Here's everything you need to know

The franchise tag window has been open for two weeks, but the deadline is finally here. Any team hoping to tag a player has to make the move by 4 p.m. ET today. 

If a team uses a tag on a player, the two sides will have until July 15 to work out a long-term contract. If a long-term deal can't be hammered out, then the player will go into the 2024 season on a one-year deal that pays them at the franchise tag number for their position. 

Here's a look at the players who have been tagged so far, along with their one-year franchise tag salary for 2024: 

Although that's only three tags, that number could get bigger today. As we get closer to 4 p.m. ET, there should be a few more tags handed out. Here's a look at players who are likely going to get tagged before the deadline: 

  • Ravens: DT Justin Madubuike ($22.102 million). During the NFL Combine last week, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said the team would "probably" use the tag if it can't reach a long-term deal with Madubuike. It's hard to imagine the Ravens letting him walk, so look for the tag to get used if the deal doesn't get done.  
  • Colts: WR Michael Pittman Jr. ($21.816 million). Colts GM Chris Ballard said that the combine last week that Pittman would be staying in Indy one way or the other, which makes it sound like the team will definitely be tagging him if they don't get a long-term deal done. 
  • Jaguars: OLB Josh Allen ($24 million). Allen finished with 17.5 sacks last season, which was tied for the second-most in the NFL and it would be a total surprise if the Jags let him get away. 
  • Bears: CB Jaylon Johnson ($19.8 million). Earlier this offseason, Bears GM Ryan Poles said that Johnson won't be going "anywhere" in free agency, which makes it seems pretty clear that Poles will utilize the franchise tag if the two sides can't hammer out a deal today. 
  • Buccaneers: S Antoine Winfield, Jr ($17.123 million). The Tampa Bay Times reported in mid-February that Winfield would be tagged if a long-term deal didn't get done and that still seems to be where we're headed. 

One person who is NOT expected to be tagged is Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. Although he was a candidate to get tagged, has reported that the Dolphins have decided to let him test free agency. The Dolphins' salary cap situation probably played a huge part in the decision. Miami is currently $31 million OVER the cap, according to Over the Cap, which means they have to slash that amount to get compliant by March 13. If they had tagged Wilkins, that's $22 million more they would have had to slash on top of the $31 million. 

It's also expected that we won't see any running backs get tagged after seeing three of them get tagged last year. 

If you want to know who will end up getting tagged, then make sure to click here and bookmark our franchise tag tracker, which will list every player who gets tagged when the deadline hits at 4 p.m. ET. 

3. Ranking possible landing spots for Russell Wilson

After just two seasons, the Denver Broncos have decided to give up on Russell Wilson. The team announced on Monday that Wilson will be released once the new league year starts on March 13. 

The Broncos gave up five picks and two players to acquire Wilson in March 2022. They ended up paying him $124 million over the past two seasons and they got in return was an 11-19 record. 

Here are a few quick notes on Denver's decision: 

  • Broncos set to take largest dead cap hit in NFL history. By releasing Wilson, the Broncos will have to absorb a dead cap hit of $85 million. The only upside here is that the Broncos can make Wilson a post-June 1 cut, which will allow them to spread the hit out over two seasons. If they do that -- and they're expected to -- the dead cap hit will be $35.4 million in 2024 and $49.6 million in 2025. Those will be two of the four largest dead cap hits in NFL history. 
  • Wilson is allowed to seek a job now. The Broncos could have kept Wilson from talking to other teams until he was actually cut, but according to, he's allowed to negotiate now, which means he'll be getting a one-week jump on free agency. The Broncos owe Wilson $39 million in cash for 2024, but that will be offset with whatever amount he makes from a new team, so he might be motivated to sign for a low price just to stick it to the Broncos (If you're wondering how offsets work: If Wilson signs a $2 million contract with another team, then the Broncos only owe him $37 million instead of $39 million, so whatever money the new team gives him, that's less money the Broncos have to pay him). 

So where will Wilson end up? Let's check out some possible landing spots from Jordan Dajani. 

  • Falcons. "Raheem Morris made it clear at the combine that all avenues are open when it comes to Atlanta finding its new quarterback. It could come via trade, free agency or the draft. That makes Wilson an option, especially when you consider that the 35-year-old probably wants to continue starting."
  • Steelers. "Former Bengals star Chad Johnson has already put it out there that Wilson is on his way to Pittsburgh. 'A little birdie told me -- and I said this many shows ago -- Russell Wilson's coming on over there to the Steelers,' he said on Shannon Sharpe's "Nightcap" podcast. 'Cleveland has Deshaun [Watson], but the AFC's gonna be hell. The AFC's gonna be hell.'"
  • Titans. "If Wilson does not receive legitimate interest on the market to be a starter, and were to accept a role as backup, Tennessee could be a potential landing spot. The Titans are likely in the market for a veteran backup quarterback able to help develop second-year signal-caller Will Levis, who actually missed two starts at the end of last year due to injury."

The Raiders or Patriots could also make some sense. You can see our full list of landing spots here

With Wilson leaving Denver, Broncos general manager George Paton now has to live with the fact that he made two of the worst decisions in NFL history. Not only did he make the trade for Wilson, but he also gave him a monstrous five-year, $245 million extension even though Wilson still had two years left on his old deal. 

At the time, the trade made sense, so it's somewhat excusable: The Broncos thought they were a QB away from being a Super Bowl contender, so they decided to swing for the fences. However, there was no excuse for giving Wilson a $245 million extension before he had even played a single down with the team. The Broncos are now cutting Wilson before the extension kicks in, which is why they owe him so much money. Paton is also the guy who was responsible for hiring Nathaniel Hackett and based on his suddenly dubious track record, it's worth wondering whether he'll be around much longer in Denver. 

4. Jason Kelce retires: Eagles All-Pro hangs up his cleats for good


After 13 NFL seasons, Jason Kelce has decided to call it a career. There was a report back in January that Kelce was going to retire, but at the time, he wasn't ready to make an announcement. Instead, he spent the past seven weeks mulling things over, and in the end, he decided it was time to call it a career.  

Here's what you need to know about Kelce's 13-year career:

  • He was a six-time All-Pro. Kelce was the best at his position for nearly his entire career. Kelce was voted a First-Team All-Pro a total of six times and all six of those came in the past seven seasons. He's the fifth center in NFL history with at least six All-Pro selections and the other four (Jim Otto, Bulldog Turner, Dermontti Dawson, Jim Ringo) are in the Hall of Fame, which bodes well for him. Kelce is also one of just four players in NFL history to go to three Pro Bowls and be voted a first team All-Pro three times in his final three seasons. Kelce has the most All-Pro selections after turning 30 (six) of any player in NFL history.  If you're wondering where Kelce stands on the list of greatest centers in NFL history, we answered that question here
  • Kelce played in two Super Bowls. Kelce will be retiring with one Super Bowl ring, which he earned after the Eagles beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. He also gave us all a memory that will likely stick with us forever: His amazing speech at the Eagles Super Bowl parade, which you can see here. He had a chance to get a second ring, but the Eagles ended up losing to the Chiefs 38-35 in Super Bowl LVII. Although he was on the losing end in the game, he did get to face his brother, Travis. The younger Kelce brother was on hand at Jason's retirement press conference on Monday and he had a hard time keeping it together
  • Eagles iron man. As a sixth-round pick, Kelce wasn't expected to be a superstar, but that's exactly what happened. After the Eagles selected him with the 191st pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Kelce immediately went on to become the starting center. During his 13 seasons, he only missed a total of 18 games and 14 of those came during his second-year in the league. Kelce ended up playing in 193 regular-season games, which is the most by any offensive player in Eagles history. 

Kelce held an emotional press conference on Monday and we covered it all here, including the hilariously lewd shoutout that he gave to Nick Foles (You can read about there here). With Kelce retiring, the Eagles now have a gaping hole at center and if you're wondering what they're going to do next at the position, then you'll definitely want to read here.  

5. One key free agent each team can't afford to lose

With free agency barely more than a week away, it's time to get serious about it around here, so today, we're going to unveil our list of one free agent that each team needs to do its best to keep. 

Let's check out the list, which comes from Garrett Podell: 

  • Browns: QB Joe Flacco. "The answer here has to be the 2023 NFL Comeback Player of the Year. ... Deshaun Watson is returning from a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery, so having Flacco around as the break glass in case of emergency backup quarterback once again should be a priority for Cleveland."
  • Bengals: DT D.J. Reader. "Reader earned the 12th-highest PFF defensive grade (82.2) and was tied for the sixth-highest PFF run defense grade (75.3) among defensive tackle in 2023. Behind Pro Bowl edge rusher Trey Hendrickson (17.8% quarterback pressure rate), Reader was Cincy's second-most consistent pass-rusher (11.5% quarterback pressure rate) among those with at least 100 pass rushes."
  • Patriots: SS Kyle Dugger. "The Patriots safety is a playmaker: He is one of only two players with multiple interceptions and five or more tackles for loss in each of the last three seasons along with two-time Super Bowl champion Chiefs cornerback L'Jarius Sneed."
  • 49ers: DE Chase Young. "They might be able to get him to re-sign on a cheap, one-year prove-it deal after he registered just 3.5 sacks and pressure rate of 11.9%. Young has potential, but there were too many times this past season when he was going through the motions. Perhaps a full season with the NFC champions could help him shake some of the bad habits he built up in Washington."

You can check out Garrett's full list here

6. Extra points: Bears make trade with Bills

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears

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. 

  • Bears acquire offensive lineman from Bills. The Bills are sending offensive lineman Ryan Bates to Chicago in in a deal that will see the Bears send a fifth-round pick back to Buffalo. You can read more about the deal here
  • Raiders possibly looking to trade up in draft. The Raiders currently have the 13th overall pick in the NFL Draft, but that could soon change. According to The Athletic, the team is looking to trade up into the "5 to 7 range." If they make that move, it seems likely that they would be going after a QB. 
  • Jaguars cut player on his birthday. Happy Birthday Foley Fatukasi! Just hours after team's social media account wished Fatukasi a happy birthday on Monday, the front office spoiled his birthday by releasing him. That's some birthday present. The decision to cut Fatukasi will save the Jags' $3.5 million in cap space. 
  • Braylon Edwards saves 80-year-old man. The former NFL receiver is a hero this week after saving an 80-year-old man. Edwards was at a YMCA in Michigan when a 25-year-old got into a dispute with the 80-year-old which led to an altercation. When things started to get out of hand, Edwards stopped in. You can read the full story here