Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
With the first training camps not kicking off until next week, there is obviously no NFL action going on right now, but if you want to watch a few NFL players try and play golf, you can do that this weekend.
The American Century Championship starts on Friday and as always, there will be dozens of NFL players participating in the celebrity tournament. From quarterbacks (Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers) to coaches (Mike Vrabel) to kickers (Robbie Gould), it will be easy to find someone to root for (I only root for kickers).
Of course, the real reason I mentioned this tournament is because our very own Tony Romo is the defending champ and everyone here at CBS Sports will be rooting for him to once again dominate. The tournament be airing on NBC this weekend, and if you want to watch, be sure to check your local listings.
Anyway, now that I've buttered up to Tony, we can move on today's newsletter. Let's get to the rundown.
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.
1. Today's show: Breaking down the Cowboys' 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're focusing on America's team: The Dallas Cowboys. After going nearly 30 years without a Super Bowl appearance, I"m not sure how they've kept that nickname, but I swear to JERRY JONES HIMSELF that I will stop using it if they don't at least advance to the NFC title game this year.
Anyway, to talk about how things are going in the Dallas, we brought on the one guy who knows more about the Cowboys than anyone, CBSSports.com's Garrett Podell.
Here are two topics that hosts Katie Mox and Will Brinson covered with Podell:
- How will Brandin Cooks help the Cowboys offense? The Cowboys pulled off one of the more underrated moves of the offseason back in March when they acquired Brandin Cooks from the Texans. Not only does Garrett think Cook will put up big numbers, but he thinks the veteran receiver will help the team in other ways, "I think what Cooks does more than anything else is allow CeeDee Lamb to hang out in the slot where he was far and away the best slot receiver in terms of his catches and yards," Garrett said. "He's also a great resource for other receivers like Michael Gallup." The Cowboys offense might be unstoppable this year.
- Can the Cowboys win the NFC East? Despite going 12-5 in each of the past two seasons, the Cowboys aren't getting a lot of respect this year. The Eagles are currently favored to win the NFC East, but that's not how Garrett sees things ending up. He thinks the Cowboys are going to steal the division. "I would go with the Cowboys for a couple of reasons," Garrett said. "One, there hasn't been a repeat champion in the NFC East since 2004. And then also, I think the Eagles, there's going to be a little bit of an adjustment period up front on the defensive side of the ball for them. The Cowboys have a much better roster than last year. As long as everyone stays healthy offensively... I think it's their division to lose."
Podell spent roughly 20 minutes talking about the Cowboys, 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. Saquon Barkley drama is getting real in New York
With just four days to go until the franchise tag deadline hits, there seems to be some serious drama going on in New York between the Giants and Saquon Barkley.
Barkley got hit with the franchise tag back in March, and now, the two sides have until Monday to work out a long-term contract. If that doesn't happen, then Barkley will have to play the 2023 season under the one-yearr tag, which will pay him $10.1 million.
- Barkley could sit out Week 1. If the Giants don't get a long-term deal done with their star running back, Barkley might consider sitting out the team's opener, according to ESPN.com. It's hard to imagine Barkely doing this because it would cost him a game check of roughly $600,000, but it would definitely send a strong message to the Giants.
- Barkely apparently asked for $16 million per year. According to Pro Football Talk, the Giants offered Barkley a deal worth $13 million per year at one point this offseason, but the running back shot it down because he's looking to get $16 million per year (The Giants made the offer before Barkley was tagged in March).
- Barkley responds to PFT's report on Twitter. The Giants running back called the report a lie (Well, technically, he tweeted out a blue cap, which is what the kids do these days when they think someone is lying). The problem is that Barkley didn't say which part of the report was untrue: Was it his asking price of $16 million? Was it the Giants' offer of $13 million per year? Was it the part that said he might be willing to sit out Week 1? Is it all of that or just part of that? His tweet somehow made a confusing situation even more confusion.
- Barkley not looking reset the market. It's looking like the part Barkley may have taken issue with was his asking price. According to NFL.com, Barkley is NOT looking to reset the market. Right now, Christian McCaffrey is the highest-paid running back at $16.01 million per year and I'd say there's about a 0% chance that Barkley gets that kind of money.
Based on how far apart the two sides seem to be, it doesn't seem like that a long-term deal gets done, but deadlines due to tend to spur action, so it's not out of the realm of possibility. If a deal DOESN'T get done, I won't be surprised if Barkley skips the first few weeks of training camp.
I've been crying tiers of joy this month and I'm starting to think that probably has to do with all the tiers we've come out with. Afterand , we're back again today with another tier list.
Tyler Sullivan decided to rank AFC contenders by tiers and here's what he came up with.
TIER I: Super Bowl contenders
- Chiefs. "The might deserve a tier of their own as the defending champions. After all, they do boast the best coach-quarterback duo in the league with Patrick and Andy Reid, which should continue to have them hunting for a championship in 2023."
- Other tier I teams: Bengals, Bills.
TIER II: Wouldn't be surprising if they made a run
- Ravens. "The Ravens are a team that I don't feel is getting enough respect when we talk about possible contenders. They were able to straighten out Lamar Jackson's contract situation and it wouldn't be surprising at all to see him get back to his MVP form, especially with a new offensive coordinator and a refreshed stable of receivers including Odell Beckham Jr. and first-round rookie Zay Flowers."
- Other Tier II teams: Jets, Dolphins, Jaguars.
Overall, the 16 teams in the AFC are broken down into a total of five tiers and if you want to see what the other three tiers are and who landed in them, then you.
4. One overvalued player on each AFC team
When it comes to the NFL, you've probably read at least one list this offseason about underappreciated players, underrated players or even undervalued players, but what you probably haven't read about is overvalued players, so we thought we'd throw you a curveball today by giving you that.
Tyler Sullivan went through every roster in the AFC and came up with one overvalued player from each team. Here are three players who made his list, and let's just say, Sulley started with a big name out of the gate:
- Browns QB Deshaun Watson. "What we saw from Watson upon his return last season wasn't pretty. There were some flashes of his old self (a three-touchdown showing against Washington in Week 17), but then there were times when he looked like a shell of himself (48.39 completion percentage in Week 16 against New Orleans). I think the answer to what we'll get out of Watson is somewhere in the middle of his performance last season and his peak in Houston, which isn't what the Browns are paying for."
- Jaguars WR Calvin Ridley. "The last time Ridley played an NFL game was on Oct. 24, 2021. That's a long time to be away from the game and it's sometimes hard to simply get back to being the player you were upon return (Just ask Deshaun Watson). It's also worth pointing out that Ridley is no spring chicken either as he's entering his first season with the Jaguars at age 28."
- Dolphins OT Terron Armstead. "The Dolphins signed Armstead to a $75 million deal last offseason and the oft-injured left tackle dealt with his fair share of injuries last season and was limited to 13 games. When he's on the field, Armstead is a Pro Bowl-caliber player, but the inconsistency of his availability makes him a gamble for Miami to rely on, especially given Tua Tagovailoa's concussion history."
If you want to see the full list of overvalued players from each AFC team, then.
5. Hall of Fame semifinalists named for coaches, contributors and seniors categories
The Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2023 hasn't even been inducted yet, but that didn't keep the Hall from announcing a few semifinalists for the class of 2024. Although we won't know the identities of the modern semifinalists until November, the Hall did reveal the semifinalists from the seniors, coaches and contributors categories. From those three categories, there are a total of 60 semifinalists.
Here's a look at 10 of the 31 semifinalists from the seniors category, which includes players who played their final season prior to 1999:
- QB Ken Anderson
- RB Ottis Anderson
- LB Carl Banks
- WR Mark Clayton
- RB Roger Craig
- WR Henry Ellard
- WR Billy "White Shoes" Johnson
- LB Clay Matthews Jr.
- WR Sterling Sharpe
- DE Jim Marshall
Now, here's a look at 10 of the 29 semifinalists from the coaches/contributors category.
- Robert Kraft
- Rich McKay
- John McVay
- Art Modell
- Tom Coughlin
- Dan Reeves
- Art Rooney Jr.
- Marty Schottenheimer
- Mike Shanahan
- George Seifert
The list of 60 semifinalists will be trimmed down to 24 finalists on July 27. Out of that total, up to four could be selected into the Hall of Fame's class of 2024. The class will include up to three inductees from the seniors list and one inductee from the coaches/contributors list. This is only part of the 2024 class. The modern players to be inducted in 2024 will be revealed at the NFL Honors ceremony, which will air a few days before Super Bowl LVIII on CBS.
If you want to see the full list of semifinalists, then be sure to.
6. Extra points: The 'Creamsicle' jerseys are back
It's been a busy 24 hours around 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.
- Buccaneers unveil their new 'Creamsicle' jerseys. After an 11-year hiatus, the 'Creamsicle' jerseys are back. The Buccaneers unveiled the new version of their iconic jersey on Wednesday and . The Bucs will be wearing their light orange jerseys in Week 6 against the Lions. For the record, I love the 'Creamsicle' jerseys and I might have to buy one.
- Kyler Murray is hoping to be ready for Week 1. After tearing is ACL in January, the general thought was that Murray would miss the first few weeks of the 2023 season. However, it seems he's planning a quick comeback. The Cardinals QB revealed this week that he's hoping to be on the field for Arizona's opener against the Commanders, but he didn't sound so sure that he could make that happen. "Ideally, I want to be back by Week 1," Murray said, via Arizonasports.com. "That's the goal. At the end of the day, that's the goal, but I can't really look that far ahead. Got to take it one day at a time."
- Sale of the Commanders could soon hit another snag. According to the Washington Post, there are some legal issues that could complicate the sale of the team. Two big issues are the indemnification agreement (This would absolve Snyder from any future legal troubles related to the Commanders). Also, Snyder is no longer willing to sign an affidavit saying that he didn't leak the Jon Gruden emails. With Snyder involved, you knew this wasn't going to sale wasn't going to go easy. At this point, Snyder has officially turned into the party guest who won't leave, even though everyone wants him out.
- Aaron Rodgers doesn't seem thrilled about being on 'Hard Knocks.' The Jets new QB finally gave his reaction to being on 'Hard Knocks' this year and um, let's just say he doesn't sound very happy about the situation. "They forced it down our throats and we have to deal with it," Rodgers told KPIX in the Bay Area.
- Is Bill Belichick on the hot seat? Winning six Super Bowls is nice, but apparently, it's not enough to keep you off the hot seat. According to the Boston Globe, Belichick's friends feel that the coach might be on the hot seat in 2023. We took a closer look at the issue and you can .