Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter.
It’s been a rough 24 hours for the Baltimore Ravens. Not only did Jaylon Ferguson die on Wednesday, but just hours later, Ravens legend Tony Siragusa also died. The 55-year-old had one of the most vibrant personalities in NFL history and we’ll be reflecting on his life in today’s newsletter.
With that in mind, let’s get to the rundown.
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.
1. Today’s show: Ranking the top 10 running backs heading into the 2022 season
The Pick Six podcast is usually hosted by Will Brinson, but he’s on vacation this week, which means we’re getting another guest host today. I actually served as the guest host for the past two days, but I have retired from guest hosting, so we had to find someone else for today’s show and that someone was Ryan Wilson.
For today’s show, Wilson was joined by Patrik Walker and the two of them spent a good hour going over Walker’s ranking of the top 10 running backs for the 2022 season.
Here’s a look at Patrik’s ranking of the top 10 running backs:
1. Derrick Henry, Titans
2. Jonathan Taylor, Colts
3. Nick Chubb, Browns
4. Alvin Kamara, Saints
5. Dalvin Cook, Vikings
6. Joe Mixon, Bengals
7. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
8. Austin Ekeler, Chargers
9. Aaron Jones, Packers
10. David Montgomery, Bears
One of the most fascinating names on the list is Elliott. Although Elliot’s numbers haven’t been great in the past two seasons, he did go over 1,000 yards last season AND he scored 10 rushing touchdowns, which was the sixth-most in the NFL.
“I’m not a fan of making decision on the field based upon their contracts, but it’s still his throne here in Dallas,” Walker said of Elliott. “He’s shown me that even when he’s not completely healthy, he can still produce at a high level.”
Walker also pointed out that Elliott could end up playing a huge part in the Cowboys’ passing game, at least early in the season. With Amari Cooper and Cedric Wilson gone, plus Michael Gallup recovering from injury, Dak Prescott might throw Elliott a few more passes than he normally would as he gets adjusted to his new group of receivers.
If you want to hear Patrik explain his entire rankings, then be sure to click here so you can listen to today’s show. On the other hand, if you want to see how today’s podcast played out on video, you can watch today’s episode on YouTube by clicking here.
If you don’t feel like listening or watching the podcast today, you can also read Patrik’s entire story on the subject by clicking here.
2. Remembering Tony Siragusa: Super Bowl winner dies at age 55
One of the biggest personalities in the history of the NFL, Tony Siragusa, died on Wednesday at the age of 55. The former defensive tackle spent 12 years in the NFL and ended up winning a Super Bowl ring in 2000 with the Ravens.
Let’s take a look back at Siragusa’s life and career:
- Siragusa’s NFL career almost never happened. After tearing his ACL coming out of college, Siragusa didn’t even get drafted in 1990 AND he almost didn’t get signed. According to a story from the Washington Post, Siragusa only ended up getting a contract from the Colts after selling himself as backup long snapper, which is probably why he ended up getting backup long snapper money. Siragusa got just a $1,000 signing bonus with his first contract.
- Siragusa’s first playoff appearance. The Colts struggled during most of Siragusa’s seven years with the team, but they did finally break through in 1995 with an AFC title game appearance, where they would lose to the Steelers. During the 1995 season, Siragusa started 14 games and helped anchor a defense that gave up the fifth-fewest points in the NFL.
- Siragusa signs with the Ravens in 1997. The “Goose” spent the final five seasons of his career in Baltimore and his decision to sign with the Ravens paid off in 2000 when he won his first and only Super Bowl ring. The 2000 Ravens defense is one of the best in NFL history and Siragusa played a big part of in that. Siragusa would plug up the middle, which opened the door for Ray Lewis to have a huge season. The 2000 Ravens defense surrendered just 165 points and 970 rushing yards, which are still NFL records for a 16-game season. Lewis was one of the many who shared their condolences for Siragusa on Wednesday. “This is a tough one,” Lewis said. “I love Goose like a brother. From the first day we met, I knew that life was different. I knew he was someone who would change my life forever.”
- Siragusa was just as famous after football. Although Siragusa made a name for himself during his NFL career, he might be even more known for what he did after retiring from the league in 2001. From 2003 to 2015, Siragusa worked for Fox Sports covering the NFL. As if that’s not enough, he also took several acting roles that included appearances in both “The Sopranos” and Spike Lee’s “25th Hour.”
Siragusa was also one of the reasons that “Hard Knocks” took off as a TV show. Back in 2001, the Ravens were the first team ever featured and Siragusa ended up stealing the show. If you click here, you can see a clip of time where Siragusa locked Shannon Sharpe and the other Baltimore tight ends in their meeting room.
The Goose was 55 and his cause of death is still being investigated.
3. Roger Goodell gets grilled by Congress; Daniel Snyder hit with subpoena
It’s not often that you see the NFL commissioner testifying at a congressional hearing, but that’s exactly what happened on Wednesday. For roughly 90 minutes yesterday, Roger Goodell was forced to answer questions under oath about the workplace misconduct allegations that have been made against the Washington Commanders.
The House Oversight Committee was also hoping that Daniel Snyder would answer questions under oath, but he was unable to attend because he was hanging out on his super yacht in France.
Here’s a brief look at what went down on Wednesday:
- Goodell admitted the Commanders workplace situation was a disaster. During the hearing Goodell was asked if Washington had the “worst and most toxic” workplace he’s seen in his time as commissioner and here’s what he had to say, “I have not seen a workplace in the NFL that is anywhere near what we saw in the context of that period of time for the Washington Commanders.” That’s a yes.
- Goodell says Snyder never told him about an alleged sexual assault from 2009. According to a Washington Post story that was published on Tuesday, there was an allegation of sexual assault against Snyder that was made in 2009. All sexual assault allegations are supposed to be reported to the NFL, but Goodell said that Snyder never told him about it, which would be a violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. According to the Post, the team conducted its own investigation that was run by Snyder’s general counsel, which would seem to be a conflict of interest.
- Goodell says the NFL won’t be releasing the findings of the investigation into the Commanders. When the NFL punished the Commanders last July, which included a $10 million fine and a suspension of Snyder, no one knew the extent of the league’s findings into Washington’s workplace misconduct because the NFL never released a written report of the investigation. The NFL did release a written report for the Dolphins‘ bullying scandal and another one for Deflategate, but for some reason, the league refused to release one for this incident. Goodell said on Wednesday that the league won’t be changing its mind and that a written report won’t be released.
- Goodell said he doesn’t have the power to remove Snyder as owner. The NFL commissioner made it clear that he doesn’t have the power to get rid of Snyder. The only way that league can remove Snyder as owner is if 24 of the NFL’s 32 owners vote to make it happen.
- Snyder to be subpoenaed. Since Snyder didn’t show up for this hearing, the House Oversight Committee is going to try to force him to show up for the next hearing. The committee announced that it’s going to hit Snyder with a subpoena. “Mr. Snyder’s refusal to testify sends a clear signal that he is more concerned about protecting himself than coming clean to the American public,” Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney said in a statement. “If the NFL is unwilling to hold Mr. Snyder accountable, then I am prepared to do so. The Committee will not be deterred in its investigation to uncover the truth of workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders.”
- Commanders executives share controversial photo. You’d think the Commanders would have been doing everything possible to avoid controversy on Wednesday, but that’s not the case. Several of them released a photo that was taken on Snyder’s yacht near Cannes, France. The photo includes the hashtag “workwithprettypeople,” which probably isn’t the best hashtag to be using when your franchise is being investigated for possible sexual misconduct allegations in the workplace (You can see the photo here).
With Snyder now being subpoenaed, this case doesn’t seem like it will be going away any time soon. It will be interesting to see if Congress can actually get the Commanders owner to testify under oath.
4. Ranking the top 10 interior offensive linemen heading into the 2022 season
As you may or may not have noticed, we love to rank things here at CBSSports.com, and because of that, we thought we would spend the next few weeks ranking every position group heading into the 2022 season.
After ranking the NFL’s top 10 offensive tackles on Wednesday, we’re going to move inside and rank interior offensive linemen for today. They don’t get as much glory as offensive tackles, but they’re still important.
The top 10 list below was put together by Jeff Kerr, and if you’d like to tell him how perfect it is, you can do that by clicking here. That link will take you to his Twitter profile, where you can also argue with him if you don’t like his list.
Top 10 interior offensive linemen for 2022
1. Zack Martin, Cowboys
2. Quenton Nelson, Colts
3. Jason Kelce, Eagles
4. Joel Bitonio, Browns
5. Corey Linsley, Chargers
6. Shaq Mason, Buccaneers
7. Creed Humphrey, Chiefs
8. Wyatt Teller, Browns
9. Joe Thuney, Chiefs
10. Brandon Scherff, Jaguars
One thing that’s interesting about this list is that it shows how much teams value tackles over interior linemen. When a team has an All-Pro-caliber tackle, there’s almost no chance they’re going to let that tackle get away. However, that’s not so much the case with interior lineman. Since the start of the 2021 season, we’ve seen four of the 10 players on this list change teams (Linsley, Mason, Thuney and Scherff). Another interesting part of this list is that two of the players who have changed teams in the time span are former Patriots (Thuney, Mason).
If you want a detailed explanation of Kerr’s rankings, then be sure to click here so you can check out his entire story.
5. Pat Patriot is back: New England’s red throwbacks and iconic helmet will be returning in 2022
After a 10-year hiatus, the Pat Patriot helmet and New England’s red uniforms are both making a comeback this season. The team announced on Wednesday that the uniform combo will be returning for at least one game in 2022.
- Patriots will be wearing red for first time since 2012. The Patriots could have worn red at any point over the past 10 years, but the team didn’t want to do it unless it could also wear its Pat Patriots helmet with it, but that wasn’t possible due to the NFL’s one-helmet rule. According to the team’s official website, the Patriots didn’t want to wear their red uniforms with their standard silver helmets, which is why we never saw it happen.
- Why the Patriots had to wait 10 years to wear their red helmets. Following the 2012 season season, the NFL implemented a one-helmet rule, which meant that teams had to stick with one helmet color for the entire season. This means that the Patriots had to stick with one helmet color starting in 2013 and they chose to go with silver over white. The one-helmet rule was rescinded in June 2021 which cleared the way for teams to start wearing an alternate helmet this season.
- No announcement for when they’ll be worn. Although we know the Patriots will be wearing red in 2022, we don’t know when. The team will be announcing their plans for the red jersey at some point in the near future.
- The red throwbacks have always been popular with Patriots fans. From 1960 until 1992, the Patriots regularly wore red uniforms. However, the team phased them out following the 1992 season. Due to their popularity, the Patriots brought them out of retirement during the NFL’s 75th anniversary season in 1994. From 1994 until 2012, the Patriots wore red a total of 12 times and went 9-3. The last time the Patriots wore red came in October 2012.
The Patriots are the third team this offseason to unveil an alternate helmet. The other two teams are the Saints (black helmet) and Falcons (red helmet). According to UniWatch, there could be as many as 15 teams that end up wearing an alternate helmet for at least one game.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: DeAndre Hopkins still hoping to get suspension reduced
It’s been a wild 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.
- DeAndre Hopkins hoping to get suspension reduced. Although the receiver has already lost his appeal, it sounds like he’s still hoping that he might be able to get his suspension reduced. “We’re still doing some research before the season starts and, hopefully, we can get the games down a little bit,” the five-time Pro Bowler said. Hopkins made the comments while attending a charity softball game on Wednesday.
- Sean McVay is getting a statue at Miami University. The Rams coach is getting a statue at his alma mater. Miami is known as the “cradle of coaches” because of all the great coaches it has produced over the years. From Ara Parseghian to Woody Hayes to Paul Brown, some of the best football coaches in history got their start at Miami. McVay now becomes the third Miami grad to win a Super Bowl, joining John Harbaugh and Weeb Ewbank, who both already have a statue at the school.
- Every NFL first-round pick is now under contract. The Steelers have signed Kenny Pickett, which means all 32 first-round picks from the 2022 draft are now under contract. Pickett and Cole Strange were the last two remaining holdouts, but both deals got done in the past 24 hours.
- Buccaneers release Bradley Pinion. After the Buccaneers used a fourth-round pick on punter Jake Camarda, it was pretty clear that Pinion likely wouldn’t be around much longer. Pinion was officially released on Wednesday after three years with the team.
- Former Washington star Brig Owens dies. Owens was one of the best defensive backs in franchise history for Washington. Over the course of his 12-year career, he picked off 36 passes, which is still the second-most in team history. Not to mention, he currently holds the franchise record for most interception return yards (686). Owens was eventually inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor after his career ended in 1977.