Ranking J.J. Watt landing spots, plus Tom Brady’s surgery may not be so minor and Pouncey brothers retire

I’m not going to lie, I thought Tom Brady throwing the Lombardi Trophy off a boat was going to be the craziest NFL-related thing we saw this week, but it turns out I was wrong, because Friday happened. 

In a span of about one hour on Friday, we saw two offensive linemen retire (the Pouncey brothers) and the Texans decided to release J.J. Watt in news that was announced by J.J. Watt on Twitter. Also, Tom Brady has to get surgery on an injury that no one even knew he had. 

What I think I’m trying to say here is that the NFL offseason is only five days old and I’m pretty sure it’s already on track to be the craziest one ever. With that in mind, let’s get to the rundown. As always, don’t forget, you can sign up for the newsletter by clicking here, we encourage all sign-ups, except for maybe Texans fans. There’s just way too much bad news out there for you guys and I don’t want to be the person responsible for sharing it with you. 

1. Today’s Show: Futures of Dak, Deshaun, Wentz and Russell

With the 2020 NFL season officially in the books, that means it’s time to turn our eyes to 2021, so that’s exactly what we did on our latest episode of the Pick Six Podcast. For Friday, Ryan Wilson and I kicked Will Brinson to the curb so we could have the podcast to ourselves. 

The first thing we did was set the table for what you should expect to see from the NFL offseason in the coming months. Last year, we saw COVID-19 ravage the league calendar with the draft, offseason workouts and free agency all impacted to some degree. 

Will we get some sense of normalcy this year? Great question and we answered it on the podcast. 

We also spent some time talking about the Buccaneers Super Bowl parade, which shouldn’t surprise anyone, because people will probably be talking about that parade for decades to come. The NFL doesn’t hand out an MVP award for the parade, but if they did, there’s a 100% chance that Tom Brady would have won it. 

Speaking of Brady, he wasn’t the only quarterback we talked about  on the podcast. We also spent nearly half the podcast trying to figure out where Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson might end up. You should probably get used to us talking about those three guys, because I have a feeling we’re going to be talking about them a lot this offseason. 

If you want to hear Wilson and I go off without Brinson there to reign us in — and trust me, you do — you can listen to the entire episode of the podcast

2. Ranking landing spots for J.J. Watt

There is no bigger disaster in the NFL right now than the Houston Texans and not surprisingly, everyone wants out. Although the Texans have insisted that they’re not going to get rid of Deshaun Watson, they did let one of their stars leave on Friday when they decided to release J.J. Watt

Watt made the announcement in a video, which you can watch by clicking here.  The move was surprising, if only because the Texans likely could have tried to trade Watt, but instead, they decided to cut him and get nothing in return. The biggest upside here for the Texans is that they’ll pick up $17.5 million in cap space due to the move. The biggest upside for Watt is that not only does he get to leave a disaster of a team, but he now gets to handpick the next team he plays for. 

With that in mind, let’s check out Bryan DeArdo’s list of five landing spots for Watt. 

1. Steelers
2. Buccaneers
3. Cowboys
4. Packers
5. Ravens

The Steelers make the most sense because it would reunite him with his brothers, T.J. and Derek. As a matter of fact, T.J. didn’t waste any time trying to recruit his brother to Pittsburgh after the release was announced and you can check out his recruitment tweet by clicking here

If we throw out the fact that his brothers play for the Steelers, the other major factor that could end up impacting his decision is the chance to win a Super Bowl. Watt has never made it out of the divisional round of the playoffs, so he’s likely going to want to sign with a team that has a legitimate chance of winning the Super Bowl in 2021. With that in mind, I’d also add the Rams, Titans, Chiefs, Dolphins and Browns to Bryan’s list.

For a full explanation on why each of the five teams Bryan listed would be a good fit, be sure to click here.

3. Tom Brady gets surgery plus other Tom Brady news 

Just when I thought the legend of Tom Brady couldn’t grow any more, it doubled in size this week. Not only did he get drunk and throw the Lombardi Trophy off a boat at the Buccaneers Super Bowl parade, but he did all of that while walking around on an injured knee. Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians revealed on Thursday that Brady is expected to undergo surgery on his left knee at some point this offseason in an operation that is being called a simple “cleanup.”

Although Arians didn’t make things sound too serious, the surgery might actually be more slightly more complicated. According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, the surgery is more than a clean-up. Volin also noted that a source told him when the true nature of the injury “comes out, all this does is build his legend even greater.” Basically, the insinuation is that Brady played part of the season, including the Super Bowl, on a banged-up knee. 

No matter how serious the surgery is, it will definitely be something to keep an eye on over the next few weeks. 

It’s been a busy week for Brady and because of that, I have EVEN MORE Brady news for you to take in today. 

  • Buccaneers might already have Tom Brady’s replacement on the roster. If Tom Brady ever decides to retire, the Buccaneers might actually move forward with Blaine Gabbert as their quarterback. Although that sounds like something I’m making up on the spot, it’s actually something general manager Jason Licht mentioned this week and you can read about it by clicking here
  • Tom Brady had a brilliant plan to win nearly $2 million on a Super Bowl prop, but he didn’t get to use it because NFL players aren’t allowed to gamble on the NFL. This might be my favorite story that I wrote this week. Brady’s over/under rushing total for the Super Bowl was 0.5 yards and apparently, he was very aware of that fact, so he came up with a plan to win $1.8 million and you can read about that plan by clicking here
  • Brady has never pulled an all-night party session with Gronk. Brady and Gronk have been teammates for 10 seasons, but despite that, Brady has never gone on an all-night party session with the tight end. Gronk joined “The Late Late Show” this week to explain why that’s never happened
  • Ranking Tom Brady Super Bowl wins. Brady has won so many Super Bowls that you can rank them with a straight face and that’s exactly what Tyler Sullivan did this week. To check out the rankings, be sure to click here

Hopefully that’s enough Brady news to get you through the weekend. 

4. Pouncey brothers both decide to call it quits

After playing a combined 21 seasons in the NFL, the Pouncey brothers have decided to retire together. Maurkice, who spent his entire career with the Steelers, had spent the past few weeks contemplating retirement and after mulling it over, he decided not to come back to play out the final year of his contract in Pittsburgh. 

Here are a few nuggets about the brothers: 

  • Both brothers were first-round picks. Maurkice was selected 18th overall by the Steelers in the 2010 draft, while Mike went 15th overall to the Dolphins in 2011
  • Maurkice was one of the best centers in football. During his 11 seasons in Pittsburgh, Maurkice was voted to the Pro Bowl nine times while also being named a first-team All-Pro twice. 
  • Mike also thrived. Although Mike didn’t receive the same accolades as his brother, he was voted to the Pro Bowl a total of four times during a 10-year career that spanned two teams (Dolphins, Chargers). 
  • Neither brother won a Super Bowl. Despite their long careers, the brothers only played in total of 10 playoff games. Maurkice played in two AFC title games and would have played in a Super Bowl during his rookie year in 2010, but he had to miss the game against the Packers due to a sprained ankle. As for Mike, he only made it to the playoffs once and that came in 2018 with the Chargers. 
  • Mike had been battling injuries. Mike missed the entire 2020 season with the Chargers after suffering a hip injury and that came one year after he missed 11 games due to a neck injury in 2019. With the injuries piling up, it’s no surprise that Mike decided to join his brother in retirement. 

For more on their retirement, be sure to click here

5. Five teams likely to take a major fall in 2021

After making the playoffs in 2019, there were multiple teams in the NFL that failed to make their way back to the postseason in 2020 and if you’re wondering who I’m specifically talking about, that would be the 49ers, Texans, Eagles and Vikings

Every year, there are multiple teams that make the playoffs who don’t return, so who will be those teams for next year? Great question, glad you asked. Jeff Kerr took a look at the five playoff teams most likely to take a step back in 2021 and he also included the Patriots because I think he hates the Patriots. 

Here’s the full list: 

1. Steelers
2. Saints
3. Seahawks
4. Bears
5. Patriots

For Jeff’s full explanation on why each of these team’s could take a big fall, be sure to click here.

6. Celebrating Trevor Lawrence’s Pro Day with a 2021 Mock Draft

Although there won’t be an NFL Combine this year, there will be plenty of Pro Days and one of the biggest ones was held on Friday at Clemson, where Trevor Lawrence was showing off his right arm. According to multiple reports, there were at least 17 NFL teams in attendance and I’m guessing the Jaguars were secretly laughing at the other 16 because those teams have no chance of landing Lawrence. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at Ryan Wilson’s latest mock draft where, in a surprise to no one, he has Lawrence going first overall. 

  • 1. Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)
  • 2. Jets: OL Penei Sowell (Oregon)
  • 3. Dolphins: OL Rashawn Slater (Northwestern)
  • 4. Falcons: QB Zach Wilson (BYU)
  • 5. Bengals: WR Devonta Smith (Alabama)
  • 6. Eagles: QB Justin Fields (Ohio State) 
  • 7. Lions: WR Ja’Marr Chase (LSU)
  • 8. Panthers: QB Mac Jones (Alabama)
  • 9. Broncos: CB Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech)
  • 10. Cowboys: LB Micah Parsons (Penn State)

You can check out Wilson’s entire mock draft by clicking here. If you want a recap of Lawrence’s Pro Day, be sure to click here

7. The Kicker!

The Super Bowl was such a blowout that there’s not much left to mention from the game, except for the fact that Harrison Butker joined MY DAD (Jim Breech) in the Super Bowl record book. In the history of the Super Bowl, there had only been three kickers to hit multiple field goals of 40 or more yards in a single Super Bowl before this year, but that list is now up to four thanks to Butker. 

Here are the four kickers who have hit multiple field goals of 40 yards or more in a Super Bowl:
1. Jim Breech (Bengals): Super Bowl XXIII
2. Garrett Hartley (Saints): Super Bowl XLIV
3. Jake Elliott (Eagles): Super Bowl LII
4. Harrison Butker (Chiefs): Super Bowl LV

That’s it, that’s your entire list. There’s no Adam Vinatieri, no Justin Tucker, no Stephen Gostkowski

Finally, I’d like to point out that this list will come in handy this weekend for anyone who wants to stump their Valentine with some football trivia. Stumping my Valentine with football trivia is easily my favorite thing about Valentine’s Day. 

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