Well, well, well, it’s Wednesday again. That means we’re another day closer to the 2022 NFL season. John Breech can’t get enough of his favorite team’s quarterback being ranked so highly among this year’s top starters (more on that below), so you’ve got me, Cody Benjamin, to guide you through all the latest from around the NFL.
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.)
- Today’s show: Fallout of big-name contract situations
Ryan Wilson and John Breech joined Will Brinson on Wednesday’s “Pick Six NFL Podcast” to discuss the latest off-field news around the NFL, from contract to legal situations involving big names. Some highlights:
- Breech believes the Rams giving Aaron Donald the largest non-quarterback contract in NFL history was “the easiest negotiation in the world.” Why? Because Donald is undeniably on a Hall of Fame track, and L.A.’s defense wouldn’t be the same without him. “You’re gonna give Superman whatever he wants,” Wilson echoed, “or he walks away.”
- Brinson suggests Deebo Samuel may need to readjust his own contract demands in San Francisco. “You want to be taking the A.J. Brown money and then renegotiating down the road,” he said. The guys agreed, noting that some of the most inflated receiver salaries, like Tyreek Hill’s $30M per-year total, are actually worth less if exited early.
- The guys also discussed the ramifications of the latest in the Deshaun Watson and Broncos ownership situations.
Catch the entire episode (and subscribe for all kinds of daily NFL talk) right here.
2. Broncos sold to Walmart heir for record $4.65B
For the first time since 1984, the Broncos have new ownership. Denver announced this week that Walmart heir Rob Walton, along with his daughter, Carrie Welton Penner, and her husband, Greg Penner, have agreed to purchase the franchise for a record $4.65 billion. The sale, from the Pat Bowlen Trust, must be approved by league ownership and the NFL’s finance committee but is expected to be finalized. Walton is famously the son of Walmart founder Sam Walton and once lived in Colorado.
3. Ranking all 16 AFC QBs: Mahomes headlines the list
The AFC is absolutely loaded with young star power at quarterback. So how would we rank all 16 of the conference’s signal-callers? A certain Chiefs gunslinger still reigns supreme as we look ahead to 2022. Here’s a sneak peek at our top 10:
- Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs)
- Josh Allen (Bills)
- Justin Herbert (Chargers)
- Russell Wilson (Broncos)
- Joe Burrow (Bengals)
- Lamar Jackson (Ravens)
- Deshaun Watson (Browns)
- Derek Carr (Raiders)
- Ryan Tannehill (Titans)
- Matt Ryan (Colts)
Catch the entire ranking of AFC QBs right here.
4. Aaron Rodgers ‘definitely’ planning to retire with Packers
Well how about that? Months after hinting a move to a new team was possible for 2022, and a year after confirming a feud with Packers brass that reportedly had him on the verge of a bitter divorce, A-Rod has settled into Green Bay, going so far as to tell reporters this week that he’s “definitely” planning to retire in green and yellow. “Unless they trade me,” that is. (Don’t count on it. The more likely scenario, with Rodgers recommitted to the Packers on a new deal through 2026, is that Green Bay explores a move involving former first-round pick Jordan Love over the next year or two.)
5. Rookies who could surprise: James Cook, Isaiah Spiller, more
Draft expert Chris Trapasso knows all eyes will be on this year’s top rookies, but what about the guys drafted after the first round who might surprise with prominent roles in 2022? He’s identified one post-Day One pick to watch for each AFC team. Here are a few of his first-year favorites:
- Bills RB James Cook: He runs routes like a receiver, and his 4.42 speed makes him a nightmare to cover for linebackers and most safeties. In Buffalo’s high-powered offense, he’ll be given more touches than many probably expect.
- Chargers RB Isaiah Spiller: Spiller was tied with Ken Walker as my RB1 in the 2022 class … (He) can handle more “traditional” between-the-tackle duties with Austin Ekeler gravitating toward more of a hybrid slot role now entering his sixth NFL season.
- Jaguars RB Snoop Conner: Sure, there’s James Robinson and Travis Etienne in front of him, but in Philadelphia, Doug Pedersen never shied away from spreading the wealth in the backfield, and Conner’s (got) dynamic burst and power.
- Patriots CB Marcus Jones: Jones is that player in “Madden” your friends don’t let you use on kick and punt returns because he’s so damn difficult to tackle. He’s, of course, a twitched-up slot defender, too.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Watson drama, DK Metcalf holdout, more
Hungry for more headlines? You came to the right place:
- DK Metcalf holding out of mandatory minicamp: The Seahawks WR is angling for a new deal
- Deshaun Watson used NDAs, hotel membership for massages: The ex-Texans QB is still facing 24 civil lawsuits
- Daniel Jones fully cleared from neck injury: The Giants QB missed the end of 2021
- Full 2022 NFL preseason schedule: All the dates and times for your calendars
- Colts LB Darius Leonard undergoes back surgery: But he’s expected back for the regular season
- Ranking the greatest defensive players in NFL history: And where does Aaron Donald fit in?