Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter! 

With Memorial Day now in the rearview mirror, you might think we're about to hit the slow part of the NFL offseason, but think again, because there is now slow part of the NFL offseason. And if you need proof of that, just look at what happened today: The Dolphins handed out one of the biggest receiving contracts in NFL history to their NUMBER TWO receiver, Jaylen Waddle. 

We'll be covering Waddle's new deal today, plus we'll be taking a look at why NFL history says it might be time for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys to split up. 

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1. Jaylen Waddle gets paid: Dolphins receiver lands monstrous three-year extension

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The receiver market has gone wild this offseason and it just got a little crazier on Thursday after Jaylen Waddle was given a huge three-year extension from the Dolphins. 

Here's what you need to know: 

  • Waddle is now one of the top five paid receivers in the league. Waddle's three-year deal is worth a total of $84.75 million, which averages out to $28.25 million per year. That new money total ranks fourth in NFL history for average annual value behind only A.J. Brown ($32 million per year), Amon Ra St. Brown ($30.003 million) and Tyreek Hill ($30 million). Waddle is now the highest-paid No. 2 receiver in the NFL. The upside for the Dolphins is that they still had Waddle under contract for two more seasons on his rookie deal, which means he's now locked up through the 2028 season. 
  • Why the Dolphins did the deal. Waddle has put up some impressive numbers since his rookie year in 2021 when Miami made him the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft. Waddle has hit the 1,000-yard mark in each of his three seasons, which makes him one of nine players in NFL history to hit that number in each of his first three years. He's also the ONLY Dolphins player in franchise history to have three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. 
  • How the deal might impact other receivers. There are a lot of receivers out there looking to get a new contract his offseason, including Justin Jefferson, Ja'Marr Chase and CeeDee Lamb. Since Waddle is a No. 2 receiver, his new contract likely won't impact those three, but this could throw a wrench into Cincinnati's negotiations with Tee Higgins. If Higgins gets an extension, the Bengals receiver is likely going to want something similar to Waddle's deal and it seems unlikely that Cincinnati will fork over that much to keep him. This could also impact the 49ers' chances of getting a deal done with Brandon Aiyuk, who will likely now view Waddle's deal as the absolute floor for a possible contract. As for Jefferson, Chase and Lamb, everyone in that group will likely top Brown's $32 million-per-year deal, which is currently the highest number among receivers. 
  • Dolphins are going to need to open their pocketbooks. Now that Waddle has a new deal in place, that could complicates things with Tua Tagovailoa. Waddle got a new deal even though he still had two years left on this rookie contract, but the Dolphins QB still doesn't have a new deal, even though he's headed into the final year of his rookie contract. Not only do the Dolphins have to pay Tua, but there's a report that Tyreek Hill wants a new contract. Hill has zero dollars in guaranteed money left after this season, so it makes sense that he wants a new deal either this year or next year, even though his contract runs through the 2026 season. 

Waddle is the latest receiver to get a huge extension this offseason. He joins Brown, St. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Nico Collins, Michael Pittman Jr., Jerry Jeudy and Mike Evans. 

Anyway, you can check out our full story on the Waddle deal here.

2. Why it might be time for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys to split up

If the Cowboys don't get a contract extension done with Dak Prescott before the start of the season, there's a good chance that the veteran quarterback will be hitting free agency next year for the first time in his career. 

Prescott is headed into the final year of his deal and the Cowboys aren't allowed to hit him with the franchise tag after the season, which means there's a good chance this could be his final year in Dallas. So should the Cowboys try to get a deal done with Dak or let him hit free agency? Based on NFL history, it seems the Cowboys might be better off if they let him walk. 

  • Why Dak is unlikely to win a Super Bowl with the Cowboys. Our research department dug up an interesting stat this week: No quarterback has EVER won a Super Bowl with the team that drafted him after failing to reach at least the conference title game in his first eight seasons with that team. Dak has played eight seasons with the Cowboys and he's never been to the NFC title game. Several quarterbacks who failed to get to a conference title game in their first eight seasons did eventually win a Super Bowl -- guys like Steve Young and Matthew Stafford -- but they didn't do it with the team that drafted them. 
  • How the Cowboys botched Dak's contract situation do badly.'s Joel Corry, who happens to be a former NFL agent, broke down what went wrong between Dak and the Cowboys, and let's just say, there's a lot to cover. For one, Corry says that the Cowboys should have gotten an extension done while Dak was on his rookie deal. This could have been done after the 2018 or 2019 season, but instead, the Cowboys gambled on their future and it backfired. You can read Corry's full breakdown of the situation here

The Cowboys are stuck between a rock and a hard place with Dak and if he can't get them to the NFC title game this season, the team might just be content to let him leave. 

3. Ranking second-year quarterbacks based on how big of a leap they'll take in 2024

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When it comes to the 2023 NFL Draft, there weren't a lot of breakout stars at quarterback. Although 14 quarterbacks were taken last year, only one (C.J. Stroud) looked like a budding superstar during his rookie year. 

Overall, last year's QB class didn't have a great year in 2023, but it could get better in 2024 and that's where Chris Trapasso comes in. The NFL Draft writer decided to rank each 2023 QB based on their chances of taking a huge leap forward in 2024. 

Let's take a look at his ranking: 

1. Will Levis. "Levis was himself as a rookie. Not timidly slow-playing it as a first-year pro. ... Plus, Titans GM Ran Carthon has built around him. There's DeAndre Hopkins, free agent addition Calvin Ridley, and the hyper-reliable slot Tyler Boyd, who has a long history with new head coach Brian Callahan. Tennessee also signed big-ticket center Lloyd Cushenberry in free agency and drafted colossal left tackle JC Latham from Alabama inside the top 10. Levis is ready for liftoff in 2024."

2. Anthony Richardson. "Richardson teased us in September of 2023. He provided a handful of plays reserved only for those quarterbacks with supreme athletic and physical gifts. ... Beyond his ridiculous gifts, I'm most trusting in his head coach Shane Steichen, who's done nothing but marvelous work fostering an extremely QB-friendly environments wherever he's been in the NFL. If Richardson can stay healthy, I envision him becoming one of the scariest dual-threat quarterbacks in football this season."

3. C.J. Stroud. "Stroud had a dazzling rookie season. Couldn't have gotten much better, really. Runaway NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award that was justified. Playoff win. He led three game-winning drives in the regular season, had six 300-plus yard performances, and finished the regular season with a 100.8 rating. ... The question will be -- can Strould elevate enough to be widely considered an elite quarterback in 2024?"

If you're wondering why Stroud is third here, it's because Trapasso thinks he's going to have a hard time topping what he did last season, and even if he does, it won't be by much, so he likely won't take a GIANT leap forward. If you want to read Trapasso's full ranking, you can do that here

4. Six things that might happen in 2024 that would have seemed absolutely crazy 12 months ago

The NFL is arguably the most unpredictable sports league in the country and a big reason for that is because crazy things always seem to happen. And to prove that point, Cody Benjamin came up with a list of six things that might happen this year that would have seemed unfathomable just 12 months ago. 

Let's check out the top three things on the list: 

1. Justin Wilson replaces Russell Wilson as the QB of THE STEELERS. "Going into 2023, Fields was fresh off his first full year as a Chicago Bears starter. Wilson, meanwhile, was just getting to know new Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton, primed to rebound from a disastrous Mile High debut. A year later, both veterans are competing in Pittsburgh following the abrupt exit of former first-round pick Kenny Pickett."

2. Jordan Love becomes the NFL's highest-paid player. "Fresh off an inspiring and explosive playoff run, the 25-year-old has a case to clock in above Joe Burrow, Jared Goff, Justin Herbert in terms of annual earnings thanks to the perpetually growing quarterback market."

3. The Lions advance to the NFC title game for the second straight season. "Jared Goff reached new career heights as the gutsy signal-caller for their ultra-balanced setup in 2023, pulling Detroit within one win of a Super Bowl appearance. And now, going into 2024, with Goff and other core pieces locked up, it's hard not to call the Lions one of the few total packages primed for another championship bid."

If you want to check out Cody's full list, be sure to click here

5. NFC North win totals: Will Brinson's best bet on each team's over/under

After unveiling his best over/under bets for every team in the AFC last week, Will Brinson is back and doing the same thing for every team in the NFC this week. Earlier this week, he covered the NFC East, and today, we're going to move on to the NFC North. 

Let's check out what Brinson likes in that division: 

Chicago Bears
ODDS: Over 8.5 (-165) / Under 8.5 (+140)
Under 8.5 (+140)
Brinson's take: 
"Caleb Williams is the No. 1 overall pick and arguably going to the best landing spot a top pick's ever had. The Bears added D.J. Moore last offseason and picked up Keenan Allen and Rome Odunze this offseason. Mix in D'Andre Swift, Cole Kmet and Gerald Everett, and Williams has plenty of weapons. ... There's just a lot of new parts here that are going to try and meld quickly in a short offseason with a rookie quarterback. And that gives me major pause at the idea of laying massive juice on Chicago winning nine-plus games in a really difficult division."

Detroit Lions
ODDS: Over 10.5 (-115) / Under 10.5 (-105)
Over 10.5 (-115)
Brinson's take: 
"The Detroit Lions have never felt like a more safe bet to be a good football team, at least not in my lifetime. Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes have built a winner and a team that looks like a group you can trust."

If you want to see how Brinson feels about the Packers and Vikings, you can get his take on those two teams here

6. Extra points: Jets sign former All-Pro kick returner

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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.

  • Jets sign Tarik Cohen. Less than three weeks after being cut by the Panthers, Tarik Cohen already has a new team. Cohen hasn't played since 2020 due to injuries, but the former All-Pro kick returner is attempting a comeback and the Jets are hoping he'll be able to help them take advantage of the NFL's new kickoff rule. You can read more about his signing here
  • Chargers sign former Raiders first-round pick. The Chargers added some depth on the offensive line this week with the signing of Alex Leatherwood. The guard started 17 games for the Raiders in 2021 after being made the 21st overall pick, but his career has fallen off since then. He hasn't started a single game since his rookie year and he spent the 2023 season on Cleveland's practice squad. The Chargers will be hoping that he can rejuvenate his career in Los Angeles. 
  • Chiefs player charged with cruelty to animalsChiefs defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs is facing two misdemeanor warrants on second degree charges of cruelty to dogs. Back in March, police received information related to dogs being left on the back porch of a home that was being rented by Buggs, who had been moved out of the home for at least nine days. You can get full details on this story here
  • 49ers hand out two-year deal to Jauan Jennings. A 49ers receiver got a new contract this week, but it wasn't Brandon Aiyuk. Instead, it was Jauan Jennings who got the new deal. Jennings was a restricted free agent this year, so he wasn't going anywhere, but he had yet to sign his one-year restricted free agent tender, so the 49ers decided to sweeten the deal by adding a second year. The new deal means that Jennings is now under contract for 2024 and 2025 for a total of $15.4 million, including $10.5 million in guarantees. Jennings only caught 19 passes during the 2023 season, but he came up huge in the playoffs with 10 catches, including a touchdown against the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII.