Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
I'm not sure how it happened, but the offseason is officially over. Training camp is here, people. This is not a drill. Well, it's kind of a drill. The only players allowed to report to camp today are rookies, and only nine teams will be taking advantage of the NFL rule that allows rookies to report this early, so camp hasn't started for everyone.
The important thing here, though, is that we have actual players reporting to training camp today, which means it's time to give yourself a pat on the back for surviving the offseason. And then give yourself another pat on the back tomorrow, because that's when the Jets will become the first team to have their entire roster report to training camp. Speaking of the Jets, don't be surprised if they lock the "Hard Knocks" cameramen out of the facility because apparently, .
We'll be covering that and more in today's newsletter, so let's get to the rundown.
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1. Today's show: Breaking down the Chiefs' offseason and predicting how they'll do in 2023
It's time for another episode of our "All 32" series, and for today's show, we decided to go big by talking about the defending Super Bowl champions: the Kansas City Chiefs. After covering the Cardinals yesterday, it only made sense to rebound with a team that's actually going to be good this year.
To talk about how things are going in Kansas City, we brought on Ed Easton Jr., who covers the Chiefs for USA Today's ChiefsWire. If you're looking for a Chiefs personality to follow on Twitter, you can follow Ed here.
Here are two topics hosts Katie Mox and Will Brinson covered with Easton:
- Will the Chiefs be hurt by the loss of Orlando Brown Jr.? Having Patrick Mahomes makes the Chiefs a Super Bowl contender every year, but things might not be so easy for Mahomes this season, and that's because he just lost his starting left tackle (Orlando Brown Jr.). So will the loss of Brown hurt this Chiefs or will the addition of Donovan Smith make up for it? "If you're going to replace Brown, a Pro Bowl offensive lineman, you want to bring in a guy who knows the pressure of protecting a franchise quarterback," Easton said before pointing out that Smith has some history protecting a true franchise quarterback. "You add Smith, he's a veteran. He's played with the Bucs his whole career, he's played with Tom Brady. If they trust you to protect Tom Brady, that's a lot of trust." Before signing with the Chiefs, Smith spent his entire eight-year career in Tampa Bay, including the last three with Brady. Easton thinks he'll be able to keep Mahomes standing upright.
- Are the Chiefs going to win the AFC West for the seventh straight year? The Chiefs have won six division titles in a row, and Easton thinks they'll soon be winning a seventh. "When you look at the other teams, the goal has been, they've been building just to beat Mahomes, just to beat Andy Reid," Easton said. "I just I can't see a team really breaking through. The Chiefs just seem to have all of their numbers." To put that dominance into perspective, the Chiefs are 26-4 against AFC West teams over the past five seasons. Andy Reid always seems to be one step ahead of the other coaches, and there's no reason to think that will change in 2023.
Easton spent nearly 25 minutes talking about the Chiefs, and if you want to hear everything he had to say, you can listen to today's show here. You can also watch today's show on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Franchise tag deadline winners and losers: Running backs have a horrible day
I'm not going to say that yesterday's franchise tag deadline was anti-climatic; actually, that's exactly what I'm going to say. In what might go down as the most boring deadline day of all-time, we didn't see a single last-minute deal get negotiated. The only thing that happened yesterday was a.
Although there wasn't much action, Garrett Podell was still able to come up with some winners and losers, so let's check those out:
- Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard and the rest of the NFL's running backs. "All three Pro Bowl backs were stiff-armed by their respective teams when it came time to hand out contract extensions before the upcoming 2023 season. That makes them losers in this process, as well as the rest of the running backs across the league." Several running backs expressed their frustration on Twitter with guys like Austin Ekeler, Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey all weighing in. You .
- Daniel Jones. "Barkley not standing by Jones in the backfield this fall could lead to a collapse by the Giants QB given his passer rating is 14.1 points higher when Barkley is on the field versus when he is not."
- Jerry Jones. "Jones learned his lesson on overpaying running backs. He did so the hard way, watching the wheels fall off of Ezekiel Elliott the last three seasons while the former top-five pick played on a six-year, $90 million extension. He'll only be paying Pollard $10.1 million."
- Trevor Lawrence. "Evan Engram, who signed an extension on Sunday, is guaranteed to be a factor in Lawrence's arsenal of pass-catchers for years to come. Continuity is new for Lawrence and the Jaguars, but it's a welcome sight for all in Duval County."
For Garrett's full list of winners and losers,.
As for Barkley, it seems the two sides were about $2 million apart, according to the New York Post. The Giants offered somewhere around $11 million per year, but Barkley turned it down because he was looking to get somewhere in the neighborhood of $13 million per year.
If you're wondering what the future holds for the running back position,.
3. Five AFC coaches under the most pressure in 2023
At some point in the future, we'll probably have a conversation about coaches on the hot seat this year, but for now, we're going to take a look at the five coaches in the AFC who are under the most pressure heading into the upcoming season.
The NFL is the ultimate "What have you done for me, lately" league, which is why Bill Belichick is on the list. Sure, he's won six Super Bowls, but he's done nothing since Tom Brady left.
Here's a look Jordan Dajani's ranking of AFC coaches under the most pressure:
If all of these coaches went 7-10 in 2023, I think at least two of them would end up losing their job (probably Staley and Stefanski), and there's a chance Robert Kraft would finally decide to move on from Belichick, who. However, I don't think Josh McDaniels will get fired no matter what happens in 2023, so I'd probably put him a little lower on this list. If McDaniels was the coach of a normal team, he'd be under more pressure, but he's the coach of a team owned by Mark Davis, and I think Davis wants to keep McDaniels around.
Anyway, if you want to see Jordan's full ranking,.
We've ranked a lot of things this offseason, but one thing we haven't ranked is the best receiver tandems, so we decided to do that for today. Cody Benjamin took a look at the top tandems from all 32 teams and then whittled his list down to a top 10.
Here are the top five tandems on Cody's list:
- 1. Dolphins: Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle
- 2. Bengals: Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins
- 3. Eagles: A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith
- 4. Seahawks: DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett
- 5. Bills: Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis
If you want to see all 10 tandems that made the list or Cody's full explanation for his rankings, then.
5. Jets are irate about being on 'Hard Knocks'
When the "Hard Knocks" cameras show up to Jets training camp tomorrow, there's a good chance they might not get a very warm welcome. Several members of the organization -- including Aaron Rodgers and Robert Saleh -- have already made it clear that the Jets are unhappy about being selected.
So how unhappy are they? ESPN's Adam Schefter provided a few more details this week during a segment on "Get Up."
- Jets fought the decision tooth and nail. The Jets fought until the bitter end to avoid doing the show, which is why the league didn't make an announcement until Monday. "The Jets fought it all along," Schefter said. "They met with NFL films and told them as clear as day, 'We don't want to do this.' The last time the Jets did it with Rex Ryan, they were along for the ride. This group is not along for the ride."
- 'Hard Knocks' won't be getting the same access it usually does. One key segment that likley won't be shown this year is players getting cut. "Hard Knocks will not be the same," Schefter said. "They're not going to be given the same access. The Jets don't believe it's humane to show players being released so it would surprise me if we see that this summer. This is a partnership, and the Jets are not interested in being partners with NFL Films."
- Jets are only going to do the bare minimum when it comes to cooperation. "The Jets are not going to provide the level of cooperation that the Lions provided last year or that other teams have provided in other years," Schefter said. Yikes.
This might sound crazy, but all of this controversy actually makes me want to watch it even MORE. The first episode of the show will be airing on Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 10 p.m. ET, so make sure to mark your calendar.
6. Extra points: Browns unveil a white alternate helmet
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.
- Browns have a new helmet. For the first time in 70 years, the Browns will be wearing a white helmet. The team unveiled an all-white uniform combination that will be worn for three games this season. No matter how you feel about the Browns, I'm pretty sure you'll love these uniforms, .
- Commanders sale could be finalized this week. It feels like we've been in the final stages of this Commanders sale for six months, but it looks like something could finally happen this week. According to The Washington Post, the NFL's finance committee has unofficially approved Josh Harris' bid to buy the team. At this point, the only thing that needs to happen is a vote of NFL owners, which could happen as soon as Thursday with the owners scheduled to meet in Minneapolis. If 24 owners vote to approve the sale, then Harris will officially become the next owner of the Commanders.
- Commanders facing lawsuit. The good news for the Commanders is that Dan Snyder is almost gone. The bad news for the Commanders is that they're still dealing with other legal issues. Former team vice president Jason Friedman has filed a defamation lawsuit against the Commanders, and he's looking for $7.5 million in compensatory damages. Friedman testified before Congress about several team improprieties, and he thinks the Commanders worked to defame him after that testimony was given.
- Seahawks throwbacks coming Wednesday. It must be uniform week in the NFL. Not only did we have the Browns unveiling their alternate look today, but the Seahawks will be releasing their new alternate uniform tomorrow at 8:32 a.m. PT/11:32 a.m. ET. Why 8:32? I have no idea. You'll have to asked the Seahawks. The new look is expected to be a throwback.