Welcome to the Friday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
You better soak up all the NFL news we have today, because in less than one week, we'll be hitting the DEAD part of the NFL offseason. Multiple teams , and there will be several more minicamps next week, but those will all be coming to an end by June 15. After that, there will be nothing on the NFL calendar until the franchise tag deadline date of July 17. (That's the last day that a franchise-tagged player can sign a long-term deal. If it doesn't happen by then, that means they'll be playing the 2023 season on the tag.)
Alright, now that we've got that depressing news out of the way, let's get to the rundown.
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1. Today's podcast: The Price is Right (wide receiver edition)
As we all know, the best game show ever to air on American television is "The Price Is Right." Since it's such a great game show, we decided to play our own version for today's episode of the Pick Six Podcast that featured me, Will Brinson and our host, Katie Mox.
The rules for this show were simple: Mox listed off a wide receiver and then we had to guess the receiver's over/under total for the 2023 season. After we made our guesses, we debated whether the receiver would go over or under that total. We used "The Price Is Right" rules, which means if we guessed a number that was over the actual, we automatically lost.
- Tyreek Hill O/U total: 1,250.5 yards. This total feels insanely low. Hill finished the 2022 season with 1,710 yards, and he's averaged 1,312.8 yards per season over the past four years. Also, Hill hit the 1,700-yard mark even though he had to catch passes from three different starting quarterbacks (Tua Tagovailoa, Teddy Bridgewater, Skylar Thompson). As long as Hill stays healthy, Brinson and I both think he'll hit the over here. My guess was that Hill's total would be set at 1,400 yards, which clearly shows you that I know nothing about setting over/under totals... or do I? Let's get to the next receiver to answer that.
- Amon-Ra St. Brown O/U total: 1000.5 yards. The Lions receiver is a budding star who has played a huge role in Detroit's offense over the past two seasons. After totaling 912 receiving yards during his rookie year in 2021, St. Brown topped that total with 1,161 yards in 2022. However, it could be difficult to top that total in 2023, just because it feels like the Lions are looking to run the ball more with the signing of David Montgomery in free agency and the selection of Jahmyr Gibbs, who was the 12th overall pick in the draft. I thought the total for St. Brown would be set at 1,000 yards even, so I was only a HALF YARD OFF.
We debated the totals for five different receivers today, and if you want to hear everything, including me trash-talking Brinson after I crushed him in our "The Price Is Right" game, then be sure to click here so you can listen. You can also watch today's show on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Broncos land two-time Super Bowl champion Frank Clark: Three things to know
After spending four seasons with the Chiefs, Frank Clark is going to have a chance to get some revenge on his old team this year. The three-time Pro Bowler agreed to a deal with the Broncos on Thursday. Clark, who was cut by the Chiefs in March, was one of the top free agents left on the market.
Here are three things you need to know about the signing:
- The contract. Clark has agreed to terms on a one-year deal that will pay him up to $7.5 million. The contract includes $5.5 million in guaranteed money plus $2 million in potential incentives.
- Why Clark chose the Broncos. In an exclusive interview with CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson, the two-time Super Bowl champion explained why he ended up picking Denver. "The situation with Sean Payton is good for me," Clark said. "I get to play alongside Randy Gregory and stay in my division that I am very familiar with. I also want to help the Broncos get back to the mountain top."
- Why the move make sense for the Broncos. During his four seasons in Kansas City, Clark averaged 5.88 sacks per year, which is good news for a Broncos defense that will be going into 2023 without its two sack-leaders from last season. Dre'Mont Jones led the team in sacks with 6.5, but he's now in Seattle. Bradley Chubb finished second on the team in sacks with 5.5, but he's now in Miami. The fact that Chubb finished with the second-most sacks on the team even though he was traded halfway through the season should tell you all you need to know about what kind of need the Broncos had when it comes to rushing the passer. Not only will the Broncos be getting Clark, but they'll also see the return of Gregory, who missed 11 games last season due to injury.
Before the Chiefs cut him, Clark was scheduled to make more than $20 million in 2023, so the fact that the Broncos got him for under $8 million is definitely a bargain. For the full details on Clark's signing,.
3. DeAndre Hopkins and Dalvin Cook free agency rumors
The month of June is usually a quiet one around the NFL, but that might change this year with DeAndre Hopkins and Dalvin Cook both hitting free agency. The Cardinals released Hopkins last week, while Cook is expected to officially become a free agent today at 4 p.m. ET. (The NFL doesn't process daily transactions until 4 p.m. ET, so the Vikings could technically trade him between now and then, but that likely won't happen).
Here's the latest on the two players,:
- Hopkins to visit the Patriots. The receiver now has two visits lined up to start his free agency tour. After visiting with the Titans on Sunday, Hopkins will head to New England and visit with the Patriots next week, according to NFL.com.
- Hopkins seems interested in playing for a familiar face. Based on his two visits, it seems that Hopkins would prefer to reunite with someone he's familiar with. If he goes to Tennessee, he'll be playing for Mike Vrabel, who spent four seasons with Hopkins in Houston. If he goes to New England, he'll be reuniting with Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, who was the Texans head coach for the first seven and a half seasons of Hopkins' career. Although O'Brien and Hopkins didn't necessarily get along, they were productive together. Hopkins was voted a first-team All-Pro during his final three seasons playing in O'Brien's offense (2017-19).
- Deshaun Watson would like to see Watson in Cleveland. Another possible reunion for Hopkins could come in Cleveland. Hopkins and Watson were teammates for three seasons in Houston and had great chemistry. "Of course we would love to have him," Watson said last week of adding Hopkins. "He knows that we had a lot of connections, but that's kind of out of my range of kind of coordinating things."
With the 31-year-old Hopkins on the back end of his career, it seems that he'd prefer to end up in a place where he doesn't have to start from scratch, which means a reunion with a former coach or teammate wouldn't be that crazy to see.
As for Dalvin Cook, the four-time Pro Bowler released a cryptic photo on Instagram that may or may not have hinted about where he wants to play next season. (You.)
- Details on Cook's cryptic photo. Although Hopkins has done plenty of interviews about where he potentially wants to play in 2023, Cook has been quiet. Well, he had been quiet until yesterday. The running back shared a photo yesterday that showed him walking off the field at Hard Rock Stadium. I'm not sure why he would share that photo unless he's trying to send a hint to the Dolphins that he'd like to play for them.
If Cook is gunning to play for the Dolphins, that would actually make a lot of sense. The running back was born in South Florida, he went to high school at Miami Central and he attended Florida State. Basically, he spent his entire life in Florida before being drafted by the Vikings in 2017, and now, it appears he'd like to go back.
4. Ranking the 10 best backup running backs
We have officially reached the point of the offseason where we're ranking backup running backs. Actually, we have a good reason for ranking backup running backs today, and it has everything to do with the Vikings.
For the past four seasons, the Vikings have had one of the best running back combinations in the NFL. Not only did they have Dalvin Cook to carry the load, but they had a strong backup in Alexander Mattison. After four years of playing second fiddle to Cook, Mattison will finally get a chance to shine this year. With that in mind, we decided to take a look around the league to see who has the best backup running back situation.
Here's Cody Benjamin's top-10 ranking of the best backup running backs in the league
1. AJ Dillon (Packers)
2. Devin Singletary (Texans)
3. Tyler Allgeier (Falcons)
4. Jamaal Williams (Saints)
5. D'Onta Foreman (Bears)
6. Jahmyr Gibbs (Lions)
7. Rashaad Penny (Eagles)
8. Elijah Mitchell (49ers)
9. Jeff Wilson (Dolphins)
10. Latavius Murray (Bills)
If you want to read Cody's full explanation for his ranking,.
5. Lower-round AFC rookies who could shine in 2023
If there's one thing that happens in the NFL every year, it's that we see a rookie have a huge year after slipping through the cracks in the NFL Draft. Although first-round picks generally get all the hype, the ability to find successful players after Day 1 is what separates the good teams from the great teams.
With that in mind, CBS Sports draft guru Chris Trapasso went through each AFC team's roster to find one rookie -- who was taken after the first round -- who could have some major success this year. Here's a look at a few of the rookies who made the cut on Trapasso's list.
- Bengals RB Chase Brown (fifth round, 163rd overall pick). "Brown runs like a rocket. At just under 5-foot-10 and 210 pounds, he has an ideal, stocky frame. While not a ridiculous contact-balance back, Brown weaves through traffic like an action-movie star in a car-chase scene and proved in 2022 he has soft hands with 27 receptions for Illinois."
- Steelers TE Darnell Washington (third round, 93rd overall pick). "At a hair under 6-foot-7 and 264 pounds with a frame that could easily add another 10-15 pounds without any explosiveness being sapped, Washington will be a runaway train in the NFL. Plus, he's a sincerely devastating blocker. Washington adds such a fun and unique layer to Year 2 of the Kenny Pickett era."
- Patriots WR DeMario Douglas (sixth round, 210th overall pick). "The Patriots' offensive philosophy has generally been the same since Tom Brady's departure, with the focus being on high-percentage throws underneath and yards after the catch. Those are the two areas in which Douglas thrives. He's little, but nimble, and he has reliable hands. Douglas' reception total and receiving yards increased in all four seasons at Liberty."
If you want to see the names of all 16 rookies who made the cut on Trapasso's list,.
6. Extra points: Julian Edelman rips the NFL
It's been a busy 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.
- Julian Edelman is not happy with the NFL. The former Super Bowl MVP ripped the NFL this week for not requiring every stadium to have a grass field. Edelman said most of the serious injuries in his career happened while he was playing on turf. You can read more of his comments here.
- Tyreek Hills says 2,000 yards is a realistic goal. After finishing with 1,710 yards last season, Hill now seems convinced that hitting the 2,000-yard mark is possible. (No player has ever finished a season with 2,000 receiving yards.) "Oh yeah, for sure. I think the added game gives me quite the advantage, so yeah," Hill said when asked if it was a a realistic goal, via PFN. Guys, I'm definitely going to be betting the over on that 1,250.5 number. You can read .
- Chicago hoping to keep the Bears. With the Bears stadium situation in Arlington hitting a few rough patches, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson has let it be known that his city would love to keep the Bears. "We want to make sure we keep shuffling here in the city of Chicago with the Bears," Johnson said, via ABC 7. "I want to make sure the ownership of the Chicago Bears, the Park District and the residents of the city of Chicago have a real seat at the table to discuss a pathway forward." The Bears spent $197 million to buy land in Arlington, but the property tax rate there might keep them from building a stadium.
- Will the pairing of Russell Wilson and Sean Payton work? CBSSports.com's Doug Clawson took a deep dive look into whether this pairing has a chance of working for the Broncos and .