Free Agency has been a wild ride. It feels like nearly half the league has changed teams in the last week. That has led to plenty of shifting value. So, for the next few pieces, I’ll be looking at some winners and losers from free agency by position. Today, it’s quarterbacks.

Stock Up

Kirk Cousins, Atlanta Falcons

About: Cousins got a four-year, $180 million deal. That’s good enough on its own, but Cousins also landed in a good spot. The Falcons have spent the past few seasons assembling a strong roster. The team has Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson already, and then added Darnell Mooney. That’s a great core of weapons. The team has a new coach and plays in a winnable division. All that gives Cousins a great chance at success. He is a solid QB2 with some QB1 upside.

Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

About: The past two years were rough for the former No. 1 overall pick. Between 2022 and 2023, Mayfield spent time on four rosters—the Browns, Panthers, Rams, and Buccaneers. And it mostly came with little security. Last off-season, he took a one-year prove-it deal with the Buccaneers. He responded with a career passing year and a playoff berth. Now, Mayfield gets a three-year, $100 million contract. He has security, and with the Buccaneers bringing back Mike Evans, he still has a great group of weapons. Mayfield has gone from a questionable future to a player with QB2 value in dynasty.

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers

About: Young didn’t have a great rookie season. Despite being taken first overall, he finished as QB23 and had just six games with double-digit points. That’s not great. But the Panthers are working to turn it around. The team brought in a new coach in Dave Canales, who did a nice job with Mayfield and the Buccaneers’ offense last season. They worked on building up the line in front of Young and then made a trade to acquire Diontae Johnson. Johnson gives the Panthers a true WR1. All that is a promising sign to see Young take a step forward in year two.

Will Levis, Tennessee Titans

About: Levis showed flashes as a rookie after being taken in the Second Round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Like Young, his team is spending this off-season investing in giving him a good chance to succeed. That started with bringing in Brian Callahan, who was with the Bengals, as the new coach. Then, in free agency, the team added Tony Pollard to the backfield and inked Calvin Ridley at receiver. That gives Levis a group of weapons that includes Ridley, Pollard, Tyjae Spears, DeAndre Hopkins, and Chig Okonkwo, putting him in a position to take a step forward in year two.

Stock Down

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

About: Some teams have added weapons, while others have suffered losses. That’s the case for Herbert. He’s still a good talent, but it appears the Chargers are making an offensive scheme shift toward a more power-running approach. That’s been evident in bringing in Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman and signing Gus Edwards and running back and Will Dissly at tight end. Then, the team released Mike Williams and traded away Keenan Allen to the Chicago Bears for a Fourth-Round draft pick. In the span of a day, his top two receivers were shipped off. There’s time for more to be added, but all this portends a lower-volume passing attack, which could lower his fantasy ceiling.

Justin Fields, Pittsburgh Steelers

About: It wasn’t a good week for quarterbacks named Justin. In this case, the Fields saga is settled…for now. While the Bears build a great set of weapons for the first overall pick—presumably Caleb Williams—Fields was dealt to the Steelers for a Conditional Sixth-Round draft pick. It’s a low-yield return for a player whose fantasy value has plummeted the past week. The Steelers just signed Russell Wilson and reported he is the starter for now. Fields will have to prove himself and likely will be a free agent after the season unless the Steelers eat a $22 million option sight unseen by May 2. Fields is a high-end QB3 in Dynasty now.

Kenny Pickett, Philadelphia Eagles

About: Pickett was the only quarterback taken in the First Round of the 2022 NFL Draft. But it hasn’t been a good road for Pickett. He lost his starting job to Mason Rudolph to end the 2023 season, with Rudolph guiding the Steelers to a playoff berth. Then, the team signed Wilson, pushing Pickett to a likely QB2 role in Pittsburgh. But it gave him a chance to possibly compete. Then, the Steelers traded Pickett to the Eagles. Behind Jalen Hurts, Pickett’s best hope is to be QB2. He’s got at least two more seasons left on a rookie deal, meaning there’s no clear path to playing time in his immediate future. He’s a QB3 at best.

Daniel Jones, New York Giants

About: For Jones, it’s not looking great. He had a marginal 2023 season that has everyone from fans to the Front Office seemingly looking to see how they can get out of his contract. The team lost Saquon Barkley in free agency, leaving them with less appealing weapons than before. Then they added Drew Lock, who will have a chance to compete. Now, the team is talking about possibly taking a quarterback in the First Round. With a huge injury guarantee and no compelling reason to believe he’s a long-term solution, Jones could likely end up on the Giants’ bench. He’s a QB3 for now, but I could see him sliding lower by the time the 2024 season ends.

Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.

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