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NFL free agency has layers to it. A signing isn't merely just one player agreeing to swap a different logo on the side of his helmet. More often than not, a signing is a cascading turn of events that has a domino effect that could impact the overall roster and multiple teams. Clubs gaining a player need to carve out space for him (at the possible expense of other players), while teams losing a piece will then need to fill his shoes. 

For instance, take a look at what happened this week between two NFC North rivals. The Green Bay Packers went out and signed running back Josh Jacobs to a contract, which then paved the way for the team to release longtime back Aaron Jones. And less than 24 hours later Jones inked a deal with the Minnesota Vikings. By simply signing Jacobs, it led to not only the release of Jones but also the back landing with Green Bay's direct competitor in the division. 

With those types of cause-and-effect situations in mind, we're going to dive into a few other moves that occurred this week and highlight the possible domino effect that they could have. 

What does a post-Cousins world mean for Jefferson?

It's been a seismic week for the Vikings after losing starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, who inked a deal with the Atlanta Falcons. While replacing their star quarterback is a massive hurdle in itself, it'll also be curious to monitor how this could impact the future of Justin Jefferson in Minnesota. Jefferson is due for an extension that could very well make him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. That said, there have been reports that noted he wants to know the club's plans at quarterback before putting pen to paper on that extension. Is the prospect of Sam Darnold throwing him the football going to have him race to the negotiating table? The Athletic recently reported that the Vikings have no plans to trade Jefferson. However, if this situation becomes untenable due to the team's inability to secure a quarterback of Jefferson's liking, it stands to wonder if he'll want out. 

Ridley makes Hopkins expendable

We touched on this in a separate piece on Wednesday, but it's worth highlighting again here. The Tennessee Titans stunned the NFL by swooping in and signing Calvin Ridley to a $92 million contract. While it's most likely that he's heading to Nashville to be a running mate alongside DeAndre Hopkins to help Will Levis as he enters his first season as the full-time starter, his arrival also makes a possible release of Hopkins an option for the franchise. With a capable top receiver now in-house, the Titans could explore cutting bait with Hopkins as a post-June 1 release which would clear $16.35 million off the salary cap. Tennessee doesn't exactly need the space at the moment, but it's simply worth pointing out that the arrival of Ridley now makes Hopkins a bit more expendable than he was a few days ago.

Kincaid elevates after Davis departure

The Buffalo Bills saw Gabe Davis leave for the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency, which leaves a hole within their offense. The club did sign Mack Hollins, who could serve in Davis' role as the deep threat within the offense, but the true winner out of this departure is Dalton Kincaid. The 2023 first-round tight end popped as a rookie and was second on the team in targets with 91. While he and Davis have different route-trees entirely, this departure paves the way for Kincaid to officially elevate to the No. 2 option in this offense behind Stefon Diggs. Hollins won't adopt all 81 of Davis' targets from last year as some will likely go toward Kincaid, who could be looking at a sophomore campaign where he sees well over 100 targets from one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. 

Commanders, Patriots signal QB atop NFL Draft

Not a massive surprise here, but noteworthy nonetheless. Neither the Commanders nor the Patriots did anything in free agency that would suggest they won't select a quarterback with their top three picks at the 2024 NFL Draft. In fact, Washington bringing in Marcus Mariota and New England reuniting with Jacoby Brissett signal that they are very much heading in that direction. In the case of the Commanders, who own the No. 2 overall pick, it's possible that Mariota -- a more mobile quarterback throughout his time in the league -- could foreshadow LSU product Jayden Daniels being the pick. 

Fields may be a backup in '24

This game of musical chairs looks like it may have Justin Fields without a place to sit. The Bears have yet to trade their former first-round quarterback and his value appears to be decreasing by the day. More dire for Fields is that the avenue for a starting job is dwindling as well. The Falcons signed Kirk Cousins eliminating that possibility, New England and Washington signed veterans that signal they are drafting a QB, and the Raiders signed Gardner Minshew. At the moment, it feels like Minnesota, Denver or bust for Fields' hopes of being a starter in 2024.  

White in line for massive workload

Free agency ran wild with running backs finding new homes, including Josh Jacobs, who signed with the Green Bay Packers. Moreover, the Las Vegas Raiders didn't spring into the free agent pool to find his replacement and instead seem to be handing the keys to the backfield to Zamir White. Jacobs leaves behind 270 touches in the Raiders backfield, which White appears set to adopt, which doesn't even factor in the 119 touches he received in his second season in the league last year. Translation: White is set to have a monster workload in the Raiders offense in 2024. In his four games as the starter last season, White averaged 21 carries per game, rushed for 99.3 yards, and caught nine of his 13 targets for 60 yards.