Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
It’s a big day here at CBS Sports and that’s because Pete Prisco will finally be unveiling his ranking of the NFL‘s top 100 players. If you’re not familiar with Prisco’s top 100, it’s pretty simple: Every year, he locks himself in a small room and doesn’t come out until he’s completed his entire ranking of the NFL’s top 100 players.
We’ll be covering those rankings, plus we’ll go over the crazy offer that the Dolphins were going to make to Sean Payton and more.
As always, here’s your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. All you have to do is click here and then share the link. Alright, let’s get to the rundown.
1. Today’s show: Ranking the 10 best QB seasons of all time
It’s not every day that the podcast turns into an NFL history lesson, but that’s exactly what happened on Tuesday when CBSSports.com’s Bryan DeArdo joined the show. DeArdo recently ranked the best 10 quarterback seasons of all time, which isn’t exactly easy, because it means you have to look at every QB season EVER played and then whittle the list down to the 10 seasons that were the best.
During today’s show, DeArdo explained how he came up with his rankings, which you can see below:
1. Dan Marino (1984)
2. Peyton Manning (2013)
3. Tom Brady (2007)
4. Kurt Warner (1999)
5. Joe Montana (1989)
6. Steve Young (1994)
7. Brett Favre (1996)
8. Patrick Mahomes (2018)
9. Lamar Jackson (2019)
10. Aaron Rodgers (2020)
It’s hard to argue with the guy on the top of this list. Marino threw for MORE THAN 5,000 yards in 1984, which is almost impossible to believe when you consider the era he played in. To put his 5,084 passing yards in perspective, we wouldn’t see another QB hit the 5,000-yard mark until 2008 when Drew Brees did it. That means Marino had the only 5,000-yard season in NFL history from 1920 thru 2007.
Marino also threw 48 touchdown passes in 1984, which was the NFL record until Tom Brady broke it in 2007.
“It’s a shame he didn’t end the 1984 season with a Super Bowl win,” DeArdo said.
Marino’s Dolphins would end up losing to the 49ers 38-16 in Super Bowl XIX.
Anyway, if you want to hear DeArdo and Will Brinson go through each of the top 10 seasons on the list, then be sure to click here so you can listen to today’s show. You can also watch today’s episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Prisco’s top 100 players heading into 2022
After not hearing from Pete Prisco for the past two weeks, I assumed it was because he was spending the entire month of June in the Caribbean and ignoring all of my texts, but apparently, I was wrong. It turns out there was a way more logical explanation: He was busy working on his list of the NFL’s top 100 players.
Ranking NFL players might seem like an easy job, but it’s really not, so I’m going to give Prisco a congratulatory pat on the back for getting this list done. Also, I’m giving him a pat on the back because no one on Twitter is going to. By this time tomorrow, I’m guessing Prisco will have 7,000 tweets directed at him ripping him for ranking a player too high or too low.
With that in mind, let’s check out the top 10 players on Prisco’s list:
1. Aaron Donald (Rams)
2. Aaron Rodgers (Packers)
3. Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs)
4. Josh Allen (Bills)
5. Cooper Kupp (Rams)
6. Tom Brady (Buccaneers)
7. T.J. Watt (Steelers)
8. Trent Williams (49ers)
9. Myles Garrett (Browns)
10. Jalen Ramsey (Rams)
The Rams and 49ers both had three players in the top 15, which was the most in the league. Overall, the Chargers have the most players on Prisco’s list with nine guys in the top 100, which is extremely impressive when you consider that no other team even has seven players.
To check out every player on Prisco’s list, be sure to click here. If you want to complain to Prisco because he left your favorite player off the list, then you can do that by clicking here and heading to his Twitter account.
3. Dolphins mega deal: Miami was ready to offer Sean Payton $100 million to coach the team
There has been speculation floating around all offseason that the Dolphins had a secret plan in place to land both Tom Brady and Sean Payton this year, and every few weeks, a crazy new detail comes out about that plan.
This week’s crazy new detail is that the Dolphins were apparently ready to offer Payton a record-setting contract.
Here are a few new details about the situation:
- Dolphins were going to give Payton a $100 million contract. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Dolphins were ready to offer Payton a five-year deal worth $100 million to coach the team. According to Sports Illustrated, the deal was actually only going to be a four-year offer, which means Payton was going to make $25 million per year if he had ended up with the Dolphins.
- Payton’s contract would have been just the second known $100 million coaching deal. The only other coach to get a $100 million contract was Jon Gruden, but his deal covered 10 years. At the time of the contract, $10 million per year for a coach was viewed as an astronomical sum. Three years later, the Dolphins were ready to double that average annual salary for Payton.
- Brady and Payton haven’t denied anything. The crazy thing about all of this Brady-Payton to the Dolphins speculation is that neither guy has really denied anything. Brady had a chance to shoot down the rumors last week when asked if he talked with the Dolphins about possibly joining the team in 2022 — as an owner or player — and he definitely didn’t deny it. Payton also had a chance to shoot down the rumors in April when he was asked about the speculation at a golf tournament. Although Payton claimed to know nothing about the Brady rumors, he did mention that intermediaries did talk on his end about a possible coaching job in 2022.
One thing to keep in mind here is that Brady will be a free agent following the 2022 season, which means if he wants to head to Miami in 2023, he’ll be free to sign with the Dolphins. On the other hand, Payton is still under contract with the Saints, so if he wants to return to coaching next season with a team that’s not New Orleans, the new team will have to work out a deal with the Saints.
4. NFL players going into a contract year who are primed to have a breakout season
For an NFL player, one of the fastest ways to make money on the field is to have a huge season during the final year of your contract. If you do that, it means you’ll be a hot commodity once free agency starts and teams will likely be willing to pay you a lot.
With that in mind, CBSSports.com’s Chris Trapasso came up with a list of several players who could see their value skyrocket if they have a big year during the final season of their contract in 2022:
- Cowboys RB Tony Pollard (2022 salary: $965,000). “Pollard is the most efficient back in Dallas. Twice he’s averaged more than 5.0 yards per carry, which includes 2021 when he got his largest workload — 130 regular-season carries. … The dude is flat-out good, a more dynamic and explosive option out of the backfield for the Cowboys, regardless of draft position or celebrity status.”
- Bills WR Jamison Crowder (2022 salary: $1.12 million). “Yeah, yeah, this is a bit of a stretch. Hear me out, though. Crowder’s never had a 1,000-yard season in the NFL, but that could change with Josh Allen since Crowder will be taking over Cole Beasley’s old gig. With Allen, Beasley saw 100+ targets in all three regular seasons and set career highs in all the major receiving categories. For as much as Allen’s rocket-launcher arm makes the highlights, he ascended to superstardom in large part to his pinpoint accuracy and willingness to utilize his underneath options.”
- Broncos DT Dre’Mont Jones (2022 salary: $2.54 million). “Jones was a pass-rushing expert at Ohio State, a sleek inside rusher with slippery hands, loose hips and impeccable burst to the quarterback. He’s slowly become that type of player in the NFL with the Broncos. Now in Year 4, Jones will be tasked with operating as Denver’s marquee interior pass-rushing threat, and having Bradley Chubb fully healthy — along with explosive second-round pick Nik Bonitto — on the outside will help attract attention away from Jones. The stars have aligned for Jones to elevate his reputation in 2021 in a big way as a consistent, full-time disruptor on the inside.”
If you want to check out Trapasso’s entire list, be sure to click here.
5. Deshaun Watson expected to be hit with two more lawsuits
Deshaun Watson is currently facing 24 lawsuits, but that number could jump up to 26 by the end of the week. CBS Sports NFL insider Jonathan Jones has reported that two more lawsuits are likely going to be filed in the next few days.
- New lawsuit, Part I. Although we don’t know the exact details of this case, it is slightly different in that the woman isn’t from Texas. According to Tony Buzbee, who represents the 24 women who have already filed a lawsuit, a law firm in Atlanta referred him a case that involves Watson and a Georgia-based massage therapist.
- New lawsuit, Part II. The second lawsuit is expect to be filed by a woman who “was compelled to come forward” after watching HBO’s feature on the Watson case last month. The woman who filed the 23rd lawsuit also decided to take Watson to court after watching the HBO feature. In that case, the woman was “struck by the courage of the victims willing to step forward and speak and was extremely displeased by Watson and his legal team’s mistreatment and revictimization of the plaintiffs.” So it’s possible that the woman filing the newest lawsuit feels the same way.
Back on May 24, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had said that the league was finishing up its investigation into the Browns quarterback.
“I think we’re nearing the end of the investigative period,” Goodell said at the Spring League Meeting on May 24. “Then it will be handled by our disciplinary officer.”
Of course, Goodell made those comments before the newest lawsuits were filed, so it’s possible the NFL will be forced to prolong its investigation as it looks into each new case.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: June free agent frenzy
Apparently, a new wave of free agency started this week, because things got pretty crazy with free agent signings over the past 24 hours, and since it’s nearly impossible to keep track of all of them, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you.
- Chiefs sign Jerick McKinnon. The veteran running back is headed back to Kansas City on a one-year deal. McKinnon had a quiet 2021 season with the Chiefs, rushing for just 62 yards, but that doesn’t mean he’s not capable of doing more. During the first five years of his career, he topped the 500-yard mark three times.
- Bears sign veteran Mike Pennel. For the second year in a row, Pennel and the Bears are going to try and make things work. The nose tackle actually signed with the team last season, but was released with an injury settlement in August (He spent the 2021 season with the Falcons). Pennel is going into his ninth NFL season after starting his career with the Packers in 2014.
- Colts set to sign Ifeadi Odenigbo. The defensive end is going to sign with the Colts, according to NFL.com. Odenigbo didn’t do much with the Browns last season, but he did rack up 10.5 sacks during two seasons with the Vikings (2019-20). He won’t be a starter in Indy, but he should add some depth to the defensive line.
- Bills sign veteran offensive lineman. The Bills added some solid depth to their offensive line on Thursday with the signing of Greg Van Roten. The veteran guard has started a total of 50 games over the past four seasons while playing for the Panthers (2018-19) and Jets (2020-21).
- Rams optimistic about signing Odell Beckham. Although Beckham is still a free agent, Rams COO Kevin Demoff is still confident that the receiver will end up staying in Los Angeles, “I think he’s expressed, over social, his desire to be here. Am I optimistic we can get a deal done over time? Yes.”
- Browns and Panthers are still talking Baker Mayfield trade. The Mayfield trade talks between Cleveland and Carolina aren’t quite dead yet. CBS Sports NFL insider Jonathan Jones reports that conversations are still happening and that the main sticking point is Mayfield’s salary. His salary for 2022 is a guaranteed $18.9 million and the Panthers want the Browns to agree to pay a chunk of that before agreeing to a deal.
- Bills owner Kim Pegula dealing with health issues. The Bills announced on Tuesday that Pegula is dealing with some “unexpected” health issues. The team didn’t offer any details on the situation, but they did say that she’s making progress.