Hello and happy Wednesday, folks. The big-name movement may be slowing down in the NFL, but there's still lots of activity to come. John Breech is reportedly taking an off day to browse Orlando Brown Jr. Bengals jerseys (more on Brown in a bit), so you've got me, Cody Benjamin, to deliver all the latest from around the league.
This is the Pick Six newsletter. Now let's get to it. (And please, do yourself a favor and make sure you're signed up to receive this newsletter every day! You don't want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)
We've got Lamar Jackson rumors, buzz on the Panthers' No. 1 pick, and much more:
- Today's show: Making Sweet 16 comparisons for NFL teams
Brady Quinn and Katie Mox joined Will Brinson on the latest "Pick Six NFL Podcast" to address hot topics around the league, including a potential sale of the Washington Commanders. In the spirit of March Madness, they also made Sweet 16 comparisons for NFL teams -- some more positive than others. Some highlights:
- Brinson compares the Chargers to Gonzaga, suggesting he simply can't trust them in big spots, "even if the Chiefs and Bills are out of it" during the postseason. All the talent may be there, but the results are a different story.
- Quinn likens the Patriots to Michigan State. "They're New England," he says. "Tom Izzo ... could walk into an open gym, pick out three guys there, and he'd take them to the Sweet 16, maybe the Final Four. (He's) so well-prepared, schematically."
- While he likes the Michigan State comp, Brinson actually views the Seahawks as an equally viable parallel, pointing to Pete Carroll's long track record: "He's a Hall of Fame coach who has one title with his team."
Catch the full episode (and subscribe for daily NFL talk) right here.
2. Lamar Jackson rumors: Colts a possibility; QB done with Ravens?
A week into free agency, the Ravens' star quarterback still has a murky future. Baltimore controls his rights with the non-exclusive franchise tag, but any team can still make Jackson an offer. To this point, the former MVP has apparently yet to receive one. But the Colts are not ruling out a pursuit of the QB, according to ESPN, and have the potential ammo, including a top-five draft pick, to explore a trade. Jackson, meanwhile, is apparently communicating to other teams through an uncertified representative that he's ready to move on from the Ravens, per ProFootballTalk. This saga may just be kicking off.
3. Packers president 'sworn to secrecy' about Aaron Rodgers trade talks
The whole world knows what Aaron Rodgers wants: to play for the Jets. But a week after the former MVP revealed he's ready to suit up for New York now that Green Bay is ready to turn the page to Jordan Love, Rodgers remains under contract with the Packers. And that might not change anytime soon. Team president Mark Murphy recently joked about the situation, saying he's "sworn to secrecy" about "everything you want to know about Aaron Rodgers and the Jets." In other words, the two teams are still working to hammer out trade terms. It's anyone's guess as to when those terms will be finalized.
4. Ben Roethlisberger says 49ers inquired about a comeback in 2022
Speaking of aging QBs, Rodgers wasn't the only star signal-caller who might've been on San Francisco's radar in recent years. Fresh off his first year of retirement, longtime Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger told Pittsburgh's 105.9 The X that the 49ers reached out "to gauge my interest" in a hypothetical comeback after both Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo went down in 2022. In the end, Roethlisberger, 41, couldn't envision himself playing for anyone but the Steelers, and the 49ers proceeded to reach the NFC title game by leaning on rookie Brock Purdy. But imagine the alternative!
5. Panthers' No. 1 pick buzz: Which QB is the apple of their eye?
We're roughly a month away from the 2023 NFL Draft, when Carolina is set to open the first round on the clock. Everyone knows the Panthers are preparing to draft their new franchise signal-caller. But who, exactly, is that gonna be? Here's some of the latest on the team's lead-up to Day One:
- Ex-Panthers great has a prediction for No. 1 pick: Thomas Davis thinks Carolina will get bold
- Trapasso's latest mock draft: C.J. Stroud, not Anthony Richardson, is the top choice in this scenario
- Panthers brass flock to Ohio State Pro Day: At which Stroud will be the focal point
6. Top 10 offseason moves ahead of the draft
We've still got lots of offseason left. But most of the big names have found new homes, either via trades, signings or coaching changes. We just identified 10 of our favorite moves across the league. Here's an overview, with a full breakdown here:
10. Vikings sign DE Marcus Davenport
9. Bengals sign OT Orlando Brown Jr.
8. Eagles re-sign CB James Bradberry
7. Dolphins hire DC Vic Fangio
6. Panthers hire HC Frank Reich
5. Lions sign S C.J. Gardner-Johnson
4. Dolphins acquire CB Jalen Ramsey
3. Bears acquire WR D.J. Moore
2. Lions sign CB Cameron Sutton
1. Jets (set to) acquire QB Aaron Rodgers