Hello and happy Wednesday. Also, happy new league year! The NFL offseason is officially underway as of this afternoon. And boy do we have a lot to get to. John Breech is busy trying to keep himself afloat amid all this news, so you've got me, Cody Benjamin, to deliver the latest from around the league.
This is the Pick Six Newsletter. Now let's get to it. (And please, do yourself a favor and make sure you're signed up to receive this newsletter every day! You don't want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)
We've got an Aaron Rodgers update, major Cowboys news, and lots more:
1. Today's show: Live reactions to latest free agency moves
Another day, another whirlwind of NFL news. On Wednesday's "Pick Six NFL" podcast, Katie Mox, Brady Quinn and John Breech joined Will Brinson to break down all the latest signings and trades around the league. Some highlights:
- Quinn thinks it's possible the Eagles are early free agency winners even after losing so many Super Bowl starters, highlighting the high upside of Philly's backfield with Rashaad Penny in tow and praising the re-signing of James Bradberry at cornerback. "They've still got some work to do up front" on defense, he added.
- Breech says there could be a behind-the-scenes reason the Raiders' relationship with tight end Darren Waller soured, leading to the Pro Bowler's move to the Giants (more on that below), passing along reports that Waller and coach Josh McDaniels had a spat related to personal news that leaked during the scouting combine.
- Brinson doesn't necessarily foresee Lamar Jackson winning his bid for an unprecedented contract without a certified agent, suggesting the Ravens QB has backed himself into a corner by seeking to match Deshaun Watson's deal with the Browns.
Catch the entire episode (and subscribe for daily NFL talk) right here.
2. Aaron Rodgers says he wants to play for Jets
Ahem, we have some news directly from the source! The longtime Packers QB joined "The Pat McAfee Show" on Wednesday to address his future, and he confirmed that he intends to play for the Jets in 2023. Rodgers went into his "darkness retreat" earlier this offseason intending to retire, he told McAfee, but soon realized he wanted to keep playing, only to learn that Green Bay was ready to move on. He's since made it clear to the Packers he'd like to play for New York, which has reportedly courted him heavily in recent days, and that it's up to Green Bay to finalize compensation to make it happen. Rodgers said he holds no ill will toward the Packers, praising Jordan Love as a worthy successor, but that "it's time to do right" by his wishes for what's next.
3. Cowboys set to cut Ezekiel Elliott, acquire Stephon Gilmore
The winds of change are blowing in Arlington, where the Cowboys are finally set to part ways with running back Ezekiel Elliott. After using the franchise tag on Tony Pollard earlier this offseason, Dallas is primed to release Elliott, saying farewell to the former Pro Bowler after a seven-year partnership. Another big name is incoming on defense, however, with the Cowboys reportedly agreeing to acquire cornerback Stephon Gilmore from the Colts in exchange for a fifth-round pick.
4. Giants acquire Darren Waller from Raiders
New York re-signed Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley to start its 2023 offseason. Now, the Giants have added another weapon to their ascending offense, agreeing to acquire the Raiders' Pro Bowl tight end in exchange for a third-round pick. Waller inked a $51M extension with Las Vegas prior to 2022, but now he's set to be one of Jones' top targets in 2023. When healthy, the ex-Raider has been one of the best at his position. Injuries have limited him to 20 games over the last two seasons, however.
5. Eagles release star cornerback Darius Slay
Ezekiel Elliott isn't the only big name leaving his NFC East team. A day after re-signing James Bradberry to a three-year deal, the Eagles are cutting his 2022 running mate, former Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay. Despite a solid three-year run in Philadelphia, Slay was due more than $26M in 2023, making him a candidate for a cap-saving extension. Contract talks with the Eagles broke down in recent days, per ESPN, leading to an amicable breakup ahead of free agency.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Baker to Bucs, Dalton to Panthers, more
Hungry for more headlines? We've got tons of them:
- Position-by-position free agent tracker: A look at the top deals at QB, RB, WR, etc.
- Buccaneers sign Baker Mayfield: The former No. 1 overall pick is headed to Tampa
- Chargers grant Austin Ekeler permission to seek trade: The veteran RB is due for an extension
- Saints retain Michael Thomas with new deal: The wide receiver will return to play with Derek Carr
- Eagles add former Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny: The former first-rounder replaces Miles Sanders
- Steelers bring back Larry Ogunjobi: The DT is returning on a three-year extension
- Andy Dalton signs two-year deal with Panthers: Carolina gets itself a veteran stopgap at QB
- Colts cut Matt Ryan after one season: Indy saves $17M by parting with the battered QB
- Lions sign ex-Bears RB David Montgomery: And Jamaal Williams is set to head elsewhere