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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Winner: Las Vegas Raiders

No, I don't think signing quarterback Gardner Minshew to a two-year, $25 million contract is a move that is going to win the Las Vegas Raiders a Super Bowl. Having said that, it is a smart move that offers the Raiders a safety net if they are unable to move up and draft a quarterback in late April.

Beyond that move at QB, though, it very much seems like the new regime of Antonio Pierce and Tom Telesco are trying to take advantage of their current roster, a group with Davante Adams, Kolton Miller, Maxx Crosby and so on that has good pieces that could be able to push for a playoff berth with the right player under center, even if that's a rookie.

Christian Wilkins is obviously the headliner thus far, a player who gives Crosby direly needed help on the defensive front and who can be a game-changer long-term on the line. But Minshew is also a crucial component for the offense, as is re-signing Andre James at center. If the dominoes keep falling for the Raiders, they are now a candidate to make a big jump up in proverbial power rankings.

Loser: Carolina Panthers

On one hand, I do like the two guards that the Carolina Panthers spent big on so far in free agency, bringing in Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis to shore up an offensive line that had Bryce Young fearing for his life frequently in his rookie season. However, they also paid a premium to get those guys to come to Charlotte. But even then, that's not the worst of it for the Panthers.

After coming to terms with the fact that Brian Burns wasn't going to sign any long-term deal on the franchise tag, Carolina traded the former first-round pick for a second and fifth-round pick to the Giants. But that looks exponentially worse when you consider that they turned down the Rams' offer of multiple first-round picks previously given what they got in return.

Unfortunately, that's also a pattern for the Panthers, who have now traded Burns, Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore, all former first-rounders, over the past two years and didn't get a single first-round pick in return. It's malpractice and the Panthers have a ton of work to do to have any hope of giving Bryce Young a chance to succeed, much less contending for anything playoff related.

Next. Carolina Panthers 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft projection after Brian Burns trade. Carolina Panthers 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft projection after Brian Burns trade. dark