The final day of cuts is upon us and if the release of Cam Newton is any indication, things are probably going to get pretty crazy over the next few hours. I've already had three cups of coffee and a can of Red Bull today in case you're wondering how things are going on my end.
With NFL teams trimming their rosters down from 80 players to 53 players, that means there are going to be more than 850 players out of a job by the end of the day. Of course, many of those players will get their job back, because they'll end up on a practice squad.
Cut day isn't just a big day for cuts, it's also a day where we'll see a lot of trades, so we'll be following all of those as the day unfolds. Also, to break up the monotony of cuts, we'll be picking winners in every division, so let's get to our final rundown of August.
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1. Today's show: Best teams to bet on to win the Super Bowl
It's officially "Gambling Week" on the Pick Six podcast, which means if you want to win money betting on the NFL this year, then you're going to want to listen to every episode that we put out this week.
For today's show, Will Brinson was joined by Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders and the two of them talked about some of their favorite Super Bowl bets heading into the 2021 season. Not only did they talk about the obvious favorites, but they also went over a few value picks and even some long shots that could make some sense.
When it comes to the favorites, Schatz is a big believer in the Ravens, who currently have odds of +1400 (Bet $100 to win $1,400). If you're looking for a value pick, Schatz says either the Seahawks (+2500) or Saints (+3000) could be a good bet. One team he's not on board with, though, is the Browns, so sorry to everyone in Cleveland.
"I don't see any real reason to believe that their offense is going to be better than last year," Schatz said. "I feel like they're a 9-8 team, not like a Super Bowl contender. I want to be wrong, because I love their front office and I love they way they've embraced analytics, but just based on past performance, they just weren't a great team last year."
As for potential long shots, Schatz says the Raiders will be an interesting team to watch. At +8000, you would win $8,000 if you bet $100 on the Raiders to win it all and they actually did it.
To listen to today's episode when it comes out -- and to subscribe to the best daily NFL podcast out there -- be sure to click here. We also have an emergency podcast on Cam Newton getting cut and that will also pop up if you check out your podcast feed.
2. Cam Newton shockingly cut by Patriots: Mac Jones wins starting QB job in New England
Less than 48 hours ago, Bill Belichick said he still hadn't made a decision about who is going to be the Patriots starting quarterback this year, but he definitely made up his mind today, which led to a shocker in New England.
In the QB battle between Mac Jones and Cam Newton, Jones has won by default and that's because he was the only man left standing on Tuesday after the Patriots surprisingly decided to cut Newton.
After two preseason games, the two quarterbacks appeared to be neck and neck, but I'm guessing Jones was able to run away with the competition last week while Newton was out for five days for violating COVID protocols. With Newton out, Jones was able to run the first-team offense in a joint practice with the Giants and Jones showed multiple flashes of how good he can be.
Jones followed up that practice performance by thoroughly outplaying Newton in the Patriots' preseason finale on Sunday. In the Patriots' 22-20 win over the Giants, Jones finished 10 of 14 for 156 yards and a TD while Newton finished just 2 of 5 for 10 yards.
Here's what Jones winning the job means:
- Patriots first rookie starter in 28 years. Once Jones takes his first snap in Week 1 against the Dolphins, he'll become New England's first rookie starter since 1993 when Drew Bledsoe won the job after the Patriots made him the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft that year.
- Alabama showdown in Week 1. With the Patriots facing the Dolphins in their opener, we're now going to get a battle of Alabama quarterbacks with Mac Jones and Tua Tagovailoa. This game could be a little awkward for Dolphins receiver Jaylen Waddle, who said he preferred Jones over Tagovailoa while at Alabama.
- Three rookies in Week 1 for the first time in nine years. With Jones now starting, he'll join Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence as Week 1 starters. That's the highest number of rookie starters in the opening week since 2012 when there were five (Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden).
With Newton out, that means Brian Hoyer will go into the season as the Patriots' backup quarterback. In other Patriots news, Stephon Gilmore has been placed on the physically unable to perform list, which means he'll definitely be missing at least the first six games of the season.
3. Final cuts are today: NFL teams have to trim their rosters down to 53 players
Between now and 4 p.m. ET, all 32 NFL teams have to cut their rosters down from 80 players to 53 players, which means there are going to be more than 850 players out of a job by the end of the day.
When that many players are being released, there are always going to be a few surprises, so Cam likely won't be the last shocking cut of the day. Although there are still a few more hours to go until the deadline, here's a look at some notable players who have already been released:
- Patriots QB Cam Newton
- Cowboys QB Ben DiNucci
- Cowboys QB Garrett Gilbert
- Saints RB Devonta Freeman
- Panthers QB Will Grier
- Steelers P Jordan Berry
- Washington RB Peyton Barber
- Buccaneers QB Ryan Griffin
In other moves, Packers starting left tackle David Bakhtiari has been placed on the PUP list, which means he'll miss at least the first six games of the season.
Cuts will be coming out fast and furiously all day and it's not going to be easy to keep track of, but the good news is that we've made that easy for you with a CUTS TRACKER. If you want to check out the full list of cuts as they happen, just click here (The list won't be final until after the 4 p.m. ET deadline). We've also got a live blog that you can follow along -- where we break down the cuts -- and you can check that out by clicking here.
4. NFL trade parade: Teams are wheeling and dealing heading into final cuts
Final cuts won't be the only thing happening in the NFL today. There will also be quite a few trades and if you're wondering why that happens, it's pretty simple: If a talented player is on the roster bubble, a team will usually call around to see if anyone wants to make a trade before cutting him. By making a deal, they get something in return for a player they were going to cut anyway.
There have been quite a few trades since yesterday's newsletter, so let's do a quick rundown of every deal that's happened over the 24 hours:
- Bengals get: DL B.J. Hill, conditional seventh-round pick
- Giants get: OL Billy Price (Bengals first-round pick in 2018)
- Bills get: 2022 sixth-round pick
- Panthers get: DE Darryl Johnson
- Jaguars get: 2022 sixth-round pick
- Seahawks get: CB Sidney Jones
- Patriots get: OL Yasir Durant
- Chiefs gets: 2022 seventh-round pick
- Broncos get: 2022 fifth-round pick, 2023 seventh-round pick
- Lions get: WR Trinity Benson, 2023 sixth-round pick
- 49ers get: 2022 sixth-round pick, 2023 seventh-round pick
- Broncos get: LB Jonas Griffith, 2022 seventh-round pick
- Eagles get: 2022 sixth-round pick
- Colts get: OL Matt Pryor, 2022 seventh-round pick
Of course, the big name still out there on the trade market is Deshaun Watson. According to NFL.com, the Texans aren't expected to trade Watson before today's cut deadline, which means that for now, they're simply going to carry him on their 53-man roster, which isn't ideal. With Watson on the roster, that basically leaves the Texans with just 52 players since Watson presumably won't be playing this season. If the Texans can't find a trade partner before the start of the season, they'll simply keep him and make him inactive every week, according to Texans beat writer Aaron Wilson.
5. Picking winners in every division
Between now and the start of the NFL season, we're going to be bombarding you with NFL picks here and that starts today. We rounded up 10 or our writers here at CBSSports.com and asked them to pick the winner of each division.
After going through all the votes, I found that everyone mostly agrees on who's going to win seven of the eight divisions with the NFC West being the only division that feels truly up in the air.
With that in mind, here's a look at our picks. The parentheses next to each team is how many first place votes they got in their division. If a team isn't listed, that means they didn't get any first-place votes.
Each one of our voters explained why they made the pick they did and you can check out those explanation by checking out our full story here (Fun fact: I was the only one to pick the Steelers to win the AFC North).
6. Rapid-fire roundup
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.
- Trey Lance out for a week. The 49ers quarterback will be out for a week due to a "small chip" on his finger, according to Kyle Shanahan. Apparently, a small chip came off the bone and because of that, Lance is currently unable to take any snaps. The expectation is that he'll be back after seven days, but with the start of the season just around the corner, this is definitely an injury worth watching.
- Carson Wentz on the COVID list. The Colts starting QB is going to have to sit out at least five days after it was revealed that he was a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID. This is where the NFL vaccination rules favor vaccinated players. If Wentz was vaccinated, he wouldn't have to sit out at all.
- Malcolm Butler considering retirement. The Patriots hero from Super Bowl XLIX now plays for the Cardinals, but he might not suit up this year. According to NFL.com, Butler is dealing with a personal situation that has him considering retirement.
- 49ers linebackers coach taking medical leave. The 49ers announced this week that linebackers coach Johnny Holland will be taking some time away from the team as he continues his battle against cancer. This is the second time in three years that the 56-year-old has taken a hiatus due to his health.
- Superdome not damaged, but Saints opener likely to be moved. There's been some speculation that the Saints might have to move their Week 1 game against the Packers out of New Orleans. If that happens, it won't be because of any damage to the Caesars Superdome. According to NOLA.com, the building came out of Hurricane Ida unscathed. However, the city's infrastructure took a beating, which is why the game will likely have to be moved. Due to the situation in New Orleans, Sean Payton said his team might have to leave the city for up to a month (They only play one home game in September, so only one game would likely have to be moved if that's the case). You can read more details on that situation by clicking here.
- NFL and NFLPA agree to weekly testing for vaccinated players. When COVID protocols for 2021 were initially announced, vaccinated players were only tested once every two weeks, but now, that's changing. Vaccinated players will now be subject to a test every week, which is for the best. Under the old policy, if a player tested negative, but then contracted COVID the next day, they would have been walking around the facility for 13 days potentially spreading it to others.