2024 NFL free agency winners and losers from first 24 hours of tampering period

  • RBs are getting PAID, for better or worse
  • Vikings lost Kirk Cousins, but may still be winners
  • Raiders are leveling up with QB plans taking shape

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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Loser: Miami Dolphins

Given how the Miami Dolphins quickly built up their roster, the tax man was always going to come for his. The tax that Chris Grier and the franchise are paying this offseason is now watching truly key players to the team's success in recent years all leave on contracts that the Phins simply had no way of paying them.

Even if it was never feasible, seeing one of the best defensive tackles in the league in Christian Wilkins, a starting and high-quality interior lineman and Robert Hunt, and a dangerous situational edge rusher in Andrew Van Ginkel leave in free agency while signing lucrative new contracts with new teams. Furthermore, this follows being forced to release key players like Jerome Baker and Xavien Howard, among others.

We know the Dolphins run through their offense, which largely remains intact. But this is a lot of loss to incur so quickly into the offseason with very few means to be able to replenish and replace what's been lost in Miami.

Winner: Minnesota Vikings (Even with the QB situation)

Elephant in the room, losing Kirk Cousins brings a ton of question marks for the Minnesota Vikings that, frankly, signing Sam Darnold to a one-year, $10 million contract does not answer. We know that.

If we're being honest, though, this was always a likelihood for the Vikings and, frankly, the best option. Cousins has been great in Minnesota, but coming off an Achilles injury in his late 30s, it was time for the organization and QB to start new chapters equally. And more than likely, Darnold is a veteran set to simply back up whoever the Vikings draft, perhaps with a trade up.

Removing the QB from the equation -- which I don't even hate -- the Vikings have done phenomenally. They replaced Danielle Hunter with Jonathan Greenard, a comparable player, on a cheaper deal for a younger talent. They also gave Brian Flores more toys with Andrew Van Ginkel and Blake Cashman, both of whom should be situational studs in his defense. And let's not forget the massive upgrade at running back to sign Aaron Jones following his release from the Packers.

It might be unconventional, but the Vikings roster looks far better than it did at the end of last season, especially if you believe in the organization's plan at quarterback.