Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
It's a big day here and that's because I'm back from vacation. After spending two weeks Down Under, the people of Australia kindly asked me to leave, so here I am, back in the saddle. Due to the 15-hour time difference between Australia and the United States, I still don't know what day it is or what time it is, but those are both things I've learned to deal with. If you want to see a few pictures from my trip, you can see them here and here.
Before we get to the rundown, I'd like to thank Cody Benjamin and Tyler Sullivan for holding the fort down while I was gone. I noticed that Cody redecorated the kitchen, which is where we cook up all of our hot takes. That was probably for the best.
Anyway, here's your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here. Let's get to the rundown.
1. 49ers QB drama: Trey Lance could be done in San Francisco
Normally, we don't start things off here with backup QB news, but we're going to to today thanks to the 49ers. The team announced on Wednesday that Sam Darnold . Of course, the bigger news there is that this decision could mean that Trey Lance is now done in San Francisco.
Two years NFL Draft, the 49ers now appear ready to move on.so they could move up and get Lance with the No. 3 overall pick in the
Here's what you:
- The 49ers appear very open to trading Lance. According to The Athletic, the 49ers have actually been shopping Lance for "much of the offseason," but so far, they haven't found any takers. If the 49ers can't find a trade partner soon, that could potentially put them in a position where they're forced to cut Lance. That being said, the NFL did make it easier to carry a third QB this year by adding a special game day roster spot for emergency quarterbacks, so there is a chance that Lance could stick around. However, the 49ers also have Brandon Allenon their roster and there's no way the team will keep four quarterbacks, which means either Lance or Allen will soon be gone.
- Potential landing spots for Lance. If Lance does get traded, one team to watch is the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings apparently and if you combine that with the fact that Kirk Cousins has a contract that expires after the 2023 season, it makes Minnesota a very intriguing landing spot. We took a look at .
- 49ers plan to play Lance on Friday. Although Lance didn't practice on Wednesday -- Shanahan said he gave his QB the day off after letting him know he had lost the backup job to Darnold -- the 49ers coach does plan on playing Lance in San Francisco's final preseason game against the Chargers. "He comes back here and we get all this situated, I plan on Trey going in right after Sam," Shanahan told KNBR.
If Lance does play, it could very well be the final time we see him take a snap with the 49ers, which seems almost impossible to believe. At this time last year, Lance was the undisputed top QB on the team's depth chart, and now, less than one year later, the 49ers are ready to move on. The emergence of Brock Purdy had a lot to do with that, but the fact that the 49ers brought in Sam Darnold this offseason was proof that they didn't really trust Lance as even a backup QB.
2. Jonathan Taylor drama continues: Colts impose trade deadline, multiple teams interested
If Jonathan Taylor is going to get traded, it's almost certainly going to happen at some point over the next few days and that's because the Colts have imposed a deadline for a possible deal to happen.
- Taylor has until Aug. 29 to find a trade partner. Although the team has granted Taylor permission to seek a trade, he only has a few more days before that permission is rescinded. According to ESPN.com, Taylor has to find a trade partner by Aug. 29 if he wants a deal to happen.
- Why the Colts picked Aug. 29 as the deadline. It's likely not a coincidence that Indy picked Aug. 29 and that's mostly because that's when the team has to figure out what to do with Taylor. That date is cut day in the NFL, so each team has to trim its roster from 90 players down to 53 players. At that point, the Colts also have to decide whether to put Taylor on the PUP list. He's currently on the PUP list, but right now, that doesn't mean much. However, if he's on the PUP list on Aug. 29, that means he would have to sit out the first four games of the season. The Colts aren't going to be able to finalize their roster until they know what they're going to do with Taylor, which is likely why they imposed the Aug. 29 deadline.
- Possible landing spots. According to ESPN, there are six teams that have shown interest in Taylor. Although we don't know the identity of each team, we do know that the Dolphins are one of the teams, according to the Miami Herald. The Dolphins also tried to land Dalvin Cook, so it seems like they're probably the current front-runner for Taylor's services.
One thing that could hold up any potential trade is the Colts' current asking price for Taylor. Even if Taylor finds a trade partner, there's no guarantee that a deal will get done. According to ESPN, the Colts are hoping to get a first-round pick in return for Taylor, which is an interesting asking price considering the Colts aren't willing to pay him.
If I had to guess now, I'd say that Taylor gets traded and that's mostly because it's hard to see him playing another down for the Colts after everything that's transpired this offseason.
3. Three NFL offenses that could be surprisingly good in 2023
After watching two full weeks of preseason football, Tyler Sullivan is convinced that there are three teams that could be surprisingly good on offense in 2023, and after looking at his list, I have to say, I think I agree with him.
Here's a look at the three offenses that could end up surprising some people once the season starts:
- Steelers. "If Kenny Pickett can take the proper steps in Year 2, coupled with the offensive talent the Steelers have put around him, it's not out of the realm of possibility that they squeak into the back end of the top 10 in 2023."
- Falcons. "The Falcons have spent the past handful of drafts bringing aboard ceiling-shattering talents at the skill positions. It was tight end Kyle Pitts in 2021, wideout Drake London last year and then running back Bijan Robinson as the No. 8 overall selection this spring. Those are three significant pillars that any team would scratch and claw to try and surround their quarterback with. The big variable with Atlanta, however, just so happens to be its most important position: quarterback."
- Packers. "If any team has a similar feel to the surprising Seahawks of 2022, it might be the Packers. After all, Green Bay is also entering its first season after moving on from one of its greatest quarterbacks in franchise history following the trade of Aaron Rodgers to the Jets. Now, it's officially time to see what Jordan Love has after the team selected him in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. From what Love has shown in the preseason, he looks the part. So far, he has completed 12 of his 18 pass attempts for 130 yards and two touchdowns."
For a full explanation on why these three offenses could surprise everyone in 2023,.
4. 2023 NFL Survivor Squad: The best roster you can make using one player from each team
For the fourth straight year, Jared Dubin is giving us his Survivor Squad. If you don't have any idea what a survivor squad is, don't worry, that's why I'm here. They pay me the big bucks to explain things like this. Basically, the goal is to make an All-Star team of NFL players, but with one huge catch: You can only use one player from each team.
The Chiefs might be the best team in the AFC, but you can't put both Patrick Mahomes AND Travis Kelce on the Survivor Squad because Kansas City is only allowed to have one player on the team. Also, any player who made the roster at any point over the past three years is not allowed to make the roster this year (Dubin implemented that rule so that he wouldn't be including the same players every year).
With that in mind, let's check out the offensive players on Dubin's Survivor Squad:
QB: Justin Herbert, Chargers
RB: Nick Chubb, Browns
WR: Stefon Diggs, Bills
WR: Tyreek Hill, Dolphins
Slot: Christian Kirk, Jaguars
TE: Mark Andrews, Ravens
TE: Pat Freiermuth, Steelers
LT: Christian Darrisaw, Vikings
LG: Teven Jenkins, Bears
C: David Andrews, Patriots
RG: Chris Lindstrom, Falcons
RT: Taylor Moton, Panthers
Flex: Chris Olave, Saints
If you want to see the defensive starters and the coaching staff from the survivor squad,.
5. NFL preseason Week 3: Ranking the best games to watch
I'm not sure how it happened, but the final week of the preseason is already here. Things will be kicking off tonight with two games and then there will be a total of 14 more games from Friday through Sunday.
If you don't have time to watch all 16 games, I have some good news for you: Bryan DeArdo narrowed things down by ranking the six must-see games that will be played this weekend.
- Jets at Giants (Saturday, 6 p.m. ET, NFL Network). "Aaron Rodgers' debut as a Jet will take place against New York's in-house rival. It may also be the first game in green for Dalvin Cook, the former Vikings Pro Bowl running back who was signed by the Jets early last week."
- 49ers at Chargers, (Friday, 10 p.m. ET, NFL Network). "This game initially didn't make the cut, but it jumped up to the No. 2 spot after the 49ers named Sam Darnold their No. 2 quarterback ahead Trey Lance, whose future with the team is now in doubt. Kyle Shanahan said that Lance will play against the Chargers despite being held out of Wednesday's practice after being informed of his demotion."
- Steelers at Falcons (Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network). "The Falcons have not revealed whether or not they will play their starters, but if they do, it will be another chance to watch rookie Bijan Robinson, who showed flashes of his potential during Atlanta's first two preseason games."
- Seahawks at Packers (Saturday, 1 p.m. ET). "Jordan Love has enjoyed a solid training camp that has included quality starts against the Bengals and Patriots. Through two preseason games, Love has completed 66.7 percent of his throws with two touchdowns, no picks and a 124.8 passer rating."
- Texans at Saints (Sunday, 8 p.m. ET, Fox). "No. 2 overall pick C.J. Stroud will get one last chance to make his case to be the Texans' Week 1 starter on Sunday night. Stroud has endured what has been a challenge preseason for himself and the Texans, who were outscored by a combined score of 48-12 in losses to New England and Miami."
- Patriots at Titans: (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET, NFL Network). "Given the crazy amount of news this week, Ezekiel Elliott's arrival in New England has been somewhat forgotten. That may be true, but the former two-time rushing champion's debut with the Patriots is still interesting. Elliott looked the part of a featured back during his score against the Packers during his first live practice as a Patriot last week."
Not only did we rank the six best games of the weekend, but we also wanted to give you a reason to watch every other game and you.
6. Extra points: Giants make trade for former first-round pick
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.
- Giants acquire Isaiah Simmons from Cardinals. The Giants for Isaiah Simmons. In exchange for Simmons, the Giants sent a seventh-round pick to Arizona. Don't be surprised if Simmons, who was the eighth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, ends up starting at linebacker for the Giants. That being said, he didn't seem thrilled about playing linebacker in Arizona, so he could end up in some sort of linebacker/safety hybrid role (as noted by the New York Post). The 25-year-old started 37 games over three seasons with the Cardinals.
- Former first-round pick retires after just six seasons. It appears that Corey Davis is done playing football. The Jets receiver that he's stepping away from the game. The Titans made Davis the fifth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He lasted four seasons in Tennessee before signing with the Jets in 2021.
- Hockenson wants new contract from Vikings. The former Lions tight end, who was traded to Minnesota last season, is apparently looking for a new contract. According to the Athletic, Hockenson is looking for a historic deal that would reset the tight end market. Hockenson is currently going into the final year of a rookie deal that's scheduled to pay him $9.3 million in 2023. Although Hockenson will certainly be getting a raise soon, it's hard to see him resetting a market at a position where the highest-paid player (Darren Waller) is making $17 million per year.
- Caleb Williams undecided about draft plans. The presumed No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft isn't so sure that's he going to enter the NFL Draft. During , Williams was noncommittal about entering the draft. "That's for sure now going to be an in-the-moment decision at the end of the year," Williams said.
- Tua lashes out at Ryan Clark. The normally mild-mannered Tua lashed out at the former Steelers star after Clark called out the quarterback's offseason training regimen. Clark has since apologized, but not before getting under Tua's skin. You .