Welcome to your Monday edition of the Pick Six Newsletter. This is usually where the introduction goes, but there is NO TIME for an introduction today because we have way too much going on.
We have to rehash everything that happened over the weekend, which was a lot. If you were off the grid for the past 48 hours, then you missed three trades, a major injury in Baltimore and some new speculation about Deshaun Watson. You also missed two Hail Mary passes.
As for me, I was not off the grid over the weekend and that's mainly because I can barely survive on the grid. I wouldn't last more than four minutes if I tried to live off the grid.
Anyway, the NFL is likely going to give us total chaos over the next 24 hours and that's because all 32 teams have to cut their roster down from 80 to 53 players by tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET. Some teams have already started making cuts and you can see who's been released by checking out our cuts tracker here (We'll cover the cuts a lot more tomorrow).
Alright, that's enough of that, let's get to the rundown.
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1. Today's show: Recapping the final week of the preseason
The third and final week of the preseason is officially in the books, which can only mean one thing: Your weekly Monday recap episode is here. If you're unfamiliar with the formula around here: Now that games are being played again, every Monday episode of the Pick Six podcast will recap everything that happened over the weekend. We'll be doing this every Monday between now and the Super Bowl, which means you'll be getting a recap episode on 22 of the next 24 Mondays, so please plan your life accordingly.
For the regular season, I'll be taking part in the recap episodes, but for the final week of the preseason, Pick Six host Will Brinson kicked me to the curb and brought on Tyler Sullivan and the two of them talked about everything that happened during Week 3 of the preseason.
From the 49ers unique quarterback experiment to the Ravens losing J.K. Dobbins for the season to Josh Allen looking like an MVP candidate, the two spent nearly 50 minutes talking about everything that happened over the weekend. After watching the Bills destroy the Packers, Brinson and Sullivan think the Bills are a lock to win the AFC East.
"They're -155 to win the division and I think that's a good bet," Brinson said. "The over/under for wins is 11 and I also like that, but I liked it a lot better at 10.5."
Sullivan, who is our resident Patriots homer on the Pick Six podcast, doesn't think his team is quite ready to challenge the Bills for the division title.
"I don't think New England is right there yet," Sullivan said. "They're still kind of figuring it out as they go. They could still be a wild card team, but I don't really see anyone right now contending with Buffalo in that division. I think it's a runaway."
Speaking of runaways, you should run away to a quiet room so you can listen to today's show.
To listen to today's episode -- and to subscribe to the best daily NFL podcast out there -- be sure to click here.
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2. Gardner Minshew headlines busy weekend of trades in the NFL
With the deadline for the NFL's final cut day coming tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET, there's likely going to be quite a few trades over the next 24 hours. The Jaguars got the ball rolling on Saturday morning when they decided to trade Gardner Minshew to the Eagles, which was one of three trades that went down over the weekend.
Here's a look at the trades that went down over the past 48 hours.
Jaguars trade Gardner Minshew to Eagles
- Compensation: To acquire Minshew, the Eagles will be sending a conditional 2022 sixth-round pick to Jacksonville. If Minshew plays 50% of the snaps in at least three games this year, then the pick will become a fifth-rounder.
- Take: Trading Minshew made a lot of sense for the Jags, but nothing leading up to the trade really made any sense. For one, it feels like Jacksonville's plan the entire time was to trade Minshew and if that's the case, he shouldn't have been taking first-team snaps in training camp. The Jags have a rookie quarterback in Trevor Lawrence who would have been better off getting every single one of those snaps, but he lost 50% of them to Minshew because Urban Meyer was trying to pretend that that there was a quarterback competition. There was no competition. There wasn't a single person on earth who thought Minshew was going to be Jacksonville's starter this year, except for maybe Minshew. As for the Eagles, I think they got a steal. At worst, they're giving up a fifth-rounder for a QB who is under contract for less than a million dollars per year over the next two seasons. I mean, he has 37 career TD passes and just 11 interceptions. If you want to see our grades from the trade, be sure to click here.
Texans trade Shaq Lawson to the Jets
- Compensation: To acquire Lawson, the Jets had to send a 2022 sixth-round pick to Houston. Lawson is a former first-round pick who was selected 19th overall by the Bills in 2016.
- Take: After losing Carl Lawson for the season, the Jets were in need of some pass-rush help, so the trade makes plenty of sense on their end. Also, they only have to pay Lawson $990,000 this year and that's because the Texans already prepaid $7.1 million of his contract. Basically, this was a low-risk move for the Jets. For the Texans, it's a head-scratcher and that's mostly because they're paying a lot of his 2021 salary. If you want to see our grades from the trade, be sure to click here.
Ravens trade offensive lineman Greg Mancz to Dolphins
- Compensation: To acquire Mancz, the Dolphins sent a sixth-round pick to Baltimore. However, the Dolphins also got a pick in the deal as they received Mancz and a seventh-round pick from the Ravens.
- Take: Anytime you get a chance to add solid depth on the offensive line, you should make the move and that's what the Dolphins did here. Mancz has 28 career starts under his belt over six NFL seasons. Mancz was on the roster bubble in Baltimore, which is why the Ravens were willing to deal him away. If you want to see our grades from the trade, be sure to click here.
3. Preseason Week 3 takeaways: Ravens lose J.K. Dobbins, plus 49ers unveil their wild new offense
If you've ever wondered why NFL coaches love to keep their starters on the bench during the preseason, all you have to do is look at what happened to the Ravens over the weekend. Baltimore running back J.K. Dobbins is out for the season after tearing his ACL during Baltimore's 37-3 preseason loss to Washington on Saturday.
As a rookie in 2020, Dobbins led all Ravens running backs in rushing yards with 805 (He was second on the team in rushing behind only Lamar Jackson). Dobbins scored nine rushing touchdowns last season, which was the most of any player on the team. Replacing Dobbins isn't going to be easy and although the Ravens could look outside the organization, it appears they're not going to go that route right now. The team's initial plan is to stick with the guys on their roster, which means Gus Edwards, Ty'Son Williams and Justice Hill should see a lot more work this year.
Here are a few other nuggets from the preseason:
- The 49ers unveil their wild new offense. Kyle Shanahan hinted that he was going to run a two-platoon system at QB and that's exactly what he did during San Francisco's 34-10 win over the Raiders. Over the course of the first half, Shanahan interchanged his quarterbacks and it seemed to work. Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 64 yards while Trey Lance added 46 passing yards and a rushing touchdown. The 49ers scored 20 points during their first-half QB experiment.
- Patriots still haven't named a starting QB. The preseason is over, but we still don't know who the Patriots starting QB is going to be. Following New England's 22-20 over the Giants, Bill Belichick was asked if he knew who the starter was going to be and here was his answer, ""No, we still have a lot of decisions to make." Short. Concise. Very Belichick. Maybe his plan is to steal Shanahan's platoon system.
- Trevor Lawrence dazzles against Cowboys defense. It took three games, but Lawrence finally led a touchdown drive. Sure, he was going up against Cowboys backups over the weekend, but he was still impressive, going 11 of 12 for 139 yards and two touchdowns in Jacksonville's 34-14 win. If anything, it likely gave him some confidence heading into the season.
- Best quarterbacks in the NFL still look like the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Tom Brady all played some over the weekend and all three of them look ready to roll through the NFL this year. During just over one quarter of action against the Texans, Brady threw for 154 yards and a TD in a 23-16 win. On Mahomes' end, he was nearly perfect (8 of 9 for 117 yards and two touchdowns) in a 28-25 win over the Vikings. As for Allen, he completed 10 of his first 11 passes on his way to a 194-yard performance in a 19-0 win over the Packers that included two touchdown passes.
- Dolphins and Jets both threw a Hail Mary. Things got pretty wild over the weekend. The fun started on Friday with the Jets throwing a Hail Mary against the Eagles that caused the game to end in a 31-31 tie (To see the Hail Mary, be sure to click here). As for the Dolphins, they threw a Hail Mary against the Bengals that allowed them to escape Cincinnati with a 29-26 win. To see Miami's Hail Mary, be sure to click here.
- Texans safety forced to serve as kicker. After Ka'imi Fairbairn strained a muscle in pregame, the Texans pulled him from the starting lineup. Houston doesn't have a backup kicker, so it let safety Justin Reid handle kickoff duties. You can see how Reid did by clicking here.
If you want to read more about the final week of the preseason, you can check out our winners and losers by clicking here. We also went through and ranked how every rookie quarterback played and you can see that ranking by clicking here. If that's not enough for you we also have a bunch of takeaways that you can check out here.
4. Six NFL teams that are likely headed for an ugly 2021 season
If there's one thing that makes the NFL exciting every year, it's the parity that the league offers. At the start of each season, nearly every fan feels like their favorite team has a legitimate chance to make the playoffs and possibly even the Super Bowl. Although there is plenty of parity, the unfortunate truth is that there are going to be a lot of bad teams this year.
With that in mind, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora identified six teams that are likely going to have an ugly season. If you're a fan of one of these six teams, you might want to start focusing on 2022.
Here are his six teams:
Do I take personal offense that the Bengals are on this list? Yes. That being said, if you want to know why La Canfora is so down on these teams for the 2021 season, then you're definitely going to want to click here so you can read his entire story.
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5. Deshaun Watson rumors are heating up
After weeks of silence on the Deshaun Watson front, things finally started to heat over the weekend with multiple reports that the quarterback could soon be traded. The timing here makes sense, because if you're the Texans, you need to figure out what you're going to do with Watson.
If Houston doesn't trade him, then he's just going to eat up a spot on their 53-man roster unless they put him on IR. Right now, it appears the MIAMI DOLPHINS are the front-runner to land Watson, but it's not clear how close the two sides are to making a deal.
Let's take a closer look at the situation:
- Dolphins coach Brian Flores doesn't deny the Watson rumors. Flores was asked about the situation on Sunday and although he could have shot down the speculation by saying his team isn't interested in the Texans QB, he decided to basically duck the question by saying he's, "confident in Tua." If he's so confident in Tua, he would have said, "Tua is our QB and we're not looking at Watson."
- Texans still looking to get a haul for their QB. According to multiple reports, the Texans are hoping to get THREE first-round picks and TWO second-round picks in exchange for Watson, which seems like a high asking price for a guy who might not even be allowed to play this year.
- Teams want some protection in a trade. Apparently, the teams that are negotiating for Watson want to trade conditional picks. This means they wouldn't lose any high picks if Watson wasn't allowed to play this year. However, according to Texans beat writer Aaron Wilson, Houston isn't currently interested in any deal that would make conditional picks part of the trade, which is why trade negotiations are at an impasse.
Watson is currently facing 22 separate civil lawsuits that all allege sexual misconduct and/or assault plus two more cases where police are investigating, which brings the total number of cases to 24. If Watson gets traded, he might not be even be able to play for his new team right away because he could get suspended or placed on the commissioner's exempt list.
6. Rapid-fire roundup
It was a busy weekend 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.
- Harrison Smith lands huge extension with the Vikings. The 2012 first-round pick will likely be finishing his career in Minnesota after landing a four-year extension over the weekend that's worth a total of $64 million. The deal includes $26.4 million in guaranteed money.
- Lions release Breshad Perriman. There will be a lot of surprising cuts over the next 24 hours and one of them came on Monday when the Lions decided to release Perriman. The 2015 first-round pick had just signed with the team in March and will now walk away with $2 million from the Lions despite playing in zero games with them.
- T.Y. Hilton likely to miss multiple weeks with a neck injury. According to Colts coach Frank Reich, Hilton has a "disk issue" in his neck. The team doesn't think this is a season-ending injury, but the Colts won't be sure about anything until Hilton undergoes further evaluations. It was a rough weekend for the Colts, who lost left tackle Sam Tevi for the season (ACL). Backup QB Sam Ehlinger also is dealing with an ACL injury, but he only suffered a sprain, so he should be able to return in about a month.
- Panthers cut kicker Joey Slye. After two seasons, the Panthers have decided to move on from Joey Slye. The kicker was cut over the weekend and Carolina made the move because he had been struggling in training camp. The Panthers kicker going into the season will likely now be recently acquired former Giant Ryan Santoso.
- Saints to practice in Texas this week. Due to Hurricane Ida, the Saints were forced to leave New Orleans over the weekend. The team has now set up camp in Dallas and will be practicing at AT&T Field for the next few days. The Saints are schedule to play host to the Packers in Week 1, but that might have to move if the situation in New Orleans doesn't improve.