Welcome to the Monday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
The NFL owners must really like each other, because for the second time in two months, they're going to be getting together for a meeting. That meeting is the NFL's annual spring league meeting, and it will be kicking off today in Minneapolis. The spring meeting doesn't always generate a ton of headlines, but it could this year with the owners expected to vote on whether to approve flexing for "Thursday Night Football." They're also expected to vote on the location for Super Bowl LX, which will likely be going to the Bay Area, as we mentioned last week.
The NFL calendar is actually packed today. Not only do we have the owners meeting, but(organized training activities). Although tackling isn't permitted at OTAs, teams can finally start running 11-on-11 drills, which makes the practices slightly more exciting.
Anyway, we've got a loaded newsletter today that also includes taking a look back at Jim Brown's legendary NFL career.
As always, 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. All right, let's get to the rundown.
1. Remembering Jim Brown
The NFL lost a legend Friday when Jim Brown passed away at the age of 87. The former Browns running back is widely considered one of the best players in the NFL history -- he -- and if you look at what he did on the field, you'll understand why.
Although he only played for nine seasons -- all with the Browns -- Brown dominated during his time on the field. Here's what he did during those nine seasons:
- Was voted to nine Pro Bowls
- Named an All-Pro eight times
- Led NFL in rushing eight times
- Led league in rushing touchdowns five times
- Voted MVP three times
- Played in three NFL title games (winning one)
- Voted NFL Rookie of the Year in 1957
- Scored 126 career touchdowns in just 118 career games (more than one touchdown per game)
- Ranks sixth in career rushing touchdowns (106) and 11th in career rushing yards (12,312) despite only playing for nine seasons
Brown's numbers could have been bigger, but he abruptly decided to retire in 1965 at the age of 30. Brown retired with a career average of 104.3 yards per rush, which is still the NFL record for any running back who's played at least 100 games.
Brown retired in 1965, just before the start of the Super Bowl era. (The first Super Bowl was played after the 1966 season.) If Brown had stuck around, it's very possible he could have led the Browns to at least one Super Bowl win. Instead, he walked away to pursue other endeavors. That being said, the Browns did win the 1964 NFL title with Brown, which marks the last time they won a championship.
Here are a few other things to know about Brown:
- When he walked away from the NFL, a big reason he left was to pursue a career in acting, so we decided to take a look back at his . (His most recent acting performance before his death came in Draft Day.)
- Since Brown wore No. 32 during his career, we decided to make a list of .
- Not only did we come up with 32 facts about Brown, but we made a .
- Before playing in the NFL, Brown was a star at Syracuse, and .
For a complete look at Brown's life, including the good and the bad, be.
2. Ranking the most vulnerable division winners
Since the NFL expanded to eight divisions in 2002, there has never been a season during which all eight division winners repeated as champions the following year. Of the eight teams that won a division title in 2021, only four were able to defend their division title in 2021.
What I think I'm trying to say here is that there's basically a 100% chance that several division winners from 2022 won't be repeating as champs in 2023. With that in mind, Cody Benjamin decided to take a look at the most vulnerable division winners AKA the teams he views as the LEAST likely to repeat as champions in 2023.
Here's Cody's list (and remember, this is not a list you want to be on top of, because it means you're the most vulnerable division champion heading into 2022):
As the resident Bengals homer here at CBS Sports, I can tell that Cody made this list with the sole purpose of upsetting me. If I had handled these rankings myself, I probably would have put the Bengals at six, but that's probably why they don't let me handle these things.
If you want to see Cody's full explanation for why.
3. Looking at the best game on each's team schedule
No matter how big of an NFL fan you are, there's a good chance you're not going to be able to watch all 272 regular-season games this year. However, it's much more possible to watch every team play at least once, and if you want to make that happen, then you need to listen to Garrett Podell.
Garrett went through the entire schedule to find one "must-see" game each team will be playing this year. For instance, the Cardinals are expected to be a horrible team, but if you're forced to watch them play at least once this year, Garrett thinks you should check out their Week 17 game against the Eagles. The Eagles are actually good, which should cancel out any misery you feel from watching the Cardinals play.
Here's a look at five other teams and the one game on their schedule that Garrett is ranking as must-see:
- Bears: vs. Packers (Week 1)
- Bills: at Bengals (Week 9)
- Eagles: at Chiefs (Week 11)
- Seahawks: vs. 49ers (Week 12)
- Steelers: at Ravens (Week 18)
If you want to see Garrett's one must-see game for each team, be sure to.
4. Colts owner ranks the top 5 players in NFL history and snubs Peyton Manning
If I owned the Indianapolis Colts and ranked the five best players in NFL history, there's a 7000% chance I would include Peyton Manning on my list. However, I don't own the Colts. They're owned by Jim Irsay, who definitely doesn't think the same way I do.
After Jim Brown passed away Friday, Irsay, and that list did NOT include Manning:
1. Jim Brown
2. Tom Brady
3. John Elway
4. Deacon Jones
5. Reggie White
Manning spent 14 seasons in Indy, went to two Super Bowls and even won a Lombardi for Irsay -- and the Colts owner still couldn't bother to put him in the top-five?!??!?!
The biggest question mark on this list is definitely Elway. The former Broncos QB is definitely an all-time great, but I think most people would probably agree Manning was the better quarterback. Also, let's not forget Elway REFUSED TO PLAY FOR THE COLTS after they drafted him in 1983. That alone would have kept him off my top-five list if I were Irsay, but again, I'm not Irsay, which is probably for the best.
5. Rookie QB outlook: Best-case and worst-case scenario for each rookie QB
Just because a quarterback gets drafted in the first round doesn't necessarily mean they're going to be good. For every Patrick Mahomes, there's a Zach Wilson. For every Joe Burrow, there's a Blake Bortles. The point here is that it's almost impossible to say how a first-round quarterback is going to pan out.
So what will happen with this year's crop of rookies? Chris Trapasso attempted to answer that question by projecting a best-case scenario season and a worst-case scenario season for each quarterback.
Let's take a look at what he came up with:
- Best-case scenario: 67% completion, 7.3 yards per attempt, 3,650 passing yards, 25 TD passes, 9 INTs, 30 sacks, 97.5 rating
- Worst-case scenario: 60% completion, 6.1 yards per attempt, 2,440 passing yards, 10 TD passes, 12 INTs, 32 sacks, 74.1 rating
- Trapasso's take: "With Frank Reich, Jim Caldwell and Josh McCown on the Panthers staff, it's safe to assume that trio will be able to provide Young many easy completions, the theme for Young's scheme, and the former Heisman winner has rapid processing and anticipatory passing skills, so setting a new high mark for completion rate shouldn't surprise anyone."
- Best-case scenario: 64% completion, 7.0 yards per attempt, 3,325 passing yards, 21 TD passes, 12 INTs, 33 sacks, 88.7 rating
- Worst-case scenario: 57% completion, 6.3 yards per attempt, 2,993 passing yards, 15 TD passes, 17 INTs, 48 sacks, 71.5 rating
- Trapasso's take: "Given that Stroud landed with a defensive-minded head coach (DeMeco Ryans) and has an offensive coordinator from the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree (Bobby Slowik), there's a good chance Houston will want to emphasize the run game -- relatively speaking -- for their first-year quarterback. So Stroud's figures were based on a somewhat modest 475 attempts across 17 games."
- Best-case scenario: 61% completion, 7.0 yards per attempt, 3,150 passing yards, 23 TD passes, 11 INTs, 25 sacks, 89 rating
- Worst-case scenario: 55% completion, 6.4 yards per attempt. 2,280 passing yards, 14 TD passes, 14 INTs, 34 sacks, 67.2 rating
- Trapasso's take: "I used Jalen Hurts' first two years with the Eagles -- one of which was with Shane Steichen -- as a general guideline for these numbers, and of course, factored in how well I believe Richardson can play, and how efficient he truly can be as a rookie with this Colts roster."
You can read Trapasso's.
6. Extra points: Jadeveon Clowney eyeing Texans
It was a busy weekend 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.
- Clowney open to Houston return. After spending the first five seasons of his career in Houston (2014-18), Jadeveon Clowney seems open to a return. "All my family is here," Clowney said Friday. "Friends here. The guys I work out with can help me take care of my body a lot better being right up under them." You can check out .
- NFL investigating new wave of possible gambling violations. There aren't many details here, but according to ESPN, the league is investigating a new wave of possible gambling violations. The new investigation comes almost exactly a month back in April.
- Ben Reothlisberger admits he didn't like Kenny Pickett. It seems Big Ben was initially rooting AGAINST Kenny Pickett last season. The Steelers old QB didn't want the Steelers new QB to succeed, and if you're wondering why that is, .
- Josh Johnson signs with Ravens. Johnson played for the Ravens in both 2016 and 2021 and . Johnson might be the most journeymen of all journeymen to ever play in the NFL. Since being drafted in 2008, the 37-year-old has played for 14 different NFL teams.
- Becton blames Jets' coaching staff for injury. The Jets' tackle injured his right knee last season, and he said that only happened because the team moved him to right tackle. "It made no sense to put me at right tackle," Becton told Newsday. "I hurt my right knee. That's going to be the knee I put the most pressure on. I explained it [to the coaches], but no one cared." Becton now wants to play left tackle, but that's not necessarily going to happen. Jets coach Robert Saleh has already .
- Commanders unlikely to be punished for possibly tampering with Andrew Luck. The Commanders never actually spoke with Andrew Luck or anyone in his immediate circle, so they won't be punished for tampering, according to ESPN. ESPN had reported in early May that the Commanders were so desperate for help at QB that , but apparently, they didn't call anyone close to the quarterback.
- A.J. Brown almost hit by a car over the weekend. The Eagles star receiver was recording on Instagram Live when he came close to getting hit by a car over the weekend. You can .