Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
If you've ever wanted to see Le'Veon Bell fight Adrian Peterson -- and who hasn't -- you're soon going to get your chance. In what is easily the most bizarre news of the NFL offseason so far, the two guys are going to box each other.
The event isn't sponsored by the NFL in any way, but I feel like the league should fully embrace this. I mean, if the NFL held an offseason boxing tournament, I would be the first one in line to watch. I would also pay an absurd amount of money to watch it go down on pay-per-view, especially if one of the fights was Tom Brady vs. a kicker.
Anyway, this isn't a boxing newsletter, it's an NFL newsletter, so let's get to the football stuff. In today's rundown, we'll be going over the details of the Deshaun Watson hearing, plus we'll also be ranking the NFL's top 10 linebackers.
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. Let's get to the rundown.
1. Today's show: Ranking the top 10 tight ends heading into the 2022 season
After disappearing last week to go on vacation, Will Brinson is finally back to host the Pick Six Podcast, and he's back just in time because my contract only allows me to guest host one week per year. That week is now completely used up so I hope Brinson doesn't get sick between now and December.
For today's show, Brinson was joined by CBSSports.com's Jordan Dajani and the two of them spent roughly 45 minutes going over Jordan's rankings of the top 10 tight ends for the 2022 season.
Here's a look:
Top 10 tight ends for 2022
1. Travis Kelce, Chiefs
2. George Kittle, 49ers
3. Mark Andrews, Ravens
4. Darren Waller, Raiders
5. Kyle Pitts, Falcons
6. Dallas Goedert, Eagles
7. Mike Gesicki, Dolphins
8. T.J. Hockenson, Lions
9. Dalton Schultz, Cowboys
10. Zach Ertz, Cardinals
As you can see, Travis Kelce got the nod over George Kittle at the top and for Dajani, that was an easy decision.
"It was his sixth-straight 1,000-yard season -- that's a tight end NFL record that he continues to build on -- another All-Pro selection (second team), seven straight Pro Bowl berths," Dajani said of Kelce. "Another reason I felt very comfortable having him as my No. 1 tight end is related to projections [for 2022]. Tyreek Hill is no longer there, their wide receiver corps is interesting, but it's not a sure thing [that it will be good this year]. What we know for sure is that Patrick Mahomes has a very comfortable relationship with Kelce and I feel like Kelce is going to be, once again, a legitimate focal point on this offense and even more so if this wide receiving corps can't hold up their end of the bargain."
If you want to hear Jordan 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.
If you want to see another tight end ranking, Raiders star Darren Waller joined the All Things Covered podcast this week and came up with his own rankings, which you can see be clicking here (Spoiler alert: Darren Waller did, in fact, rank Darren Waller as the best tight end in the NFL).
2. Deshaun Watson hearing has three possible outcomes
With Deshaun Watson's disciplinary hearing starting today, now seems like a good time to go over the possible outcomes of the hearing. During the hearing, the NFL will be arguing that Watson deserves a suspension while the NFLPA will argue that he doesn't deserve a punishment at all. In the middle of everything will be former federal judge Sue L. Robinson, who will make the decision on whether Watson violated the NFL's personal conduct policy, and if he did, she'll also decide how long he should be suspended.
Here are the three possible outcomes of the hearing:
- No suspension. If Robinson decides Watson did NOT violate the personal conduct policy, then she can simply rule that Watson doesn't deserve to be suspended. If that happens, then the quarterback would be free to play the entire 2022 season for the Browns. This seems like the least likely scenario, but the NFLPA is going to try and make it happen by arguing that Watson's punishment should be proportional to the punishments (or lack thereof) that have recently been handed out to several owners, who are also supposed to follow the personal conduct policy. Watson's side is expected to point out that Robert Kraft didn't get suspended for his alleged incident at a massage parlor and that Jerry Jones never got punished even though the Cowboys were admittedly involved in a voyeurism scandal that ended with their top PR guy being fired.
- Watson gets suspended. If Robinson rules that Watson DID violate the personal conduct policy, then that means the quarterback will definitely be getting suspended. Although the NFL is pushing for an indefinite suspension of Watson that would last at least one year, Robinson doesn't necessarily have to follow that suggestion. The judge will be free to suspend Watson for whatever length she sees fit.
- NFL and NFLPA reach a settlement before the hearing is over. This is easily the most unlikely scenario, but we're listing it because the two sides did have settlement talks as recently as last week. In this case, Watson's camp and the NFL could come to an agreement on how long the QB should be suspended and then both sides would sign off on it.
If we see scenario one or scenario three happen, then the case is over. The NFL isn't allowed to appeal Robinson's decision if she rules that Watson did NOT violate the CBA. As for scenario three, we obviously wouldn't see either side appeal the suspension if both sides came to a settlement.
If scenario two happens, then the process won't necessarily be over. If either side doesn't agree with the length of suspension given out, then they will be free to appeal. For instance, if Watson is suspended for eight games, the NFL could appeal and ask for a full season. The advantage for the NFL is that all appeals will be heard by commissioner Roger Goodell or someone who he appoints.
3. Ranking the top 10 linebackers heading into the 2022 season
As you may or may not have noticed, we've been ranking every position group in the NFL over the past two weeks and I think we're finally going to be wrapping that up this week.
After ranking the NFL's top 10 safeties on Monday, we're sticking with the defensive side of the ball today and ranking linebackers. The top 10 list below was put together by Jordan Dajani, 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 linebackers for 2022
1. Micah Parsons, Cowboys
2. Bobby Wagner, Rams
3. Darius Leonard, Colts
4. Fred Warner, 49ers
5. Demario Davis, Saints
6. Eric Kendricks, Vikings
7. Roquan Smith, Bears
8. Devin White, Buccaneers
9. Lavonte David, Buccaneers
10. De'Vondre Campbell, Packers
One thing that sticks out about this list is that the NFC is LOADED with linebackers. Of the 10 players that cracked our ranking, NINE of them are in the NFC. Darius Leonard kept this list ranking from being a clean sweep for the NFC.
If you want a detailed explanation of Jordan's rankings, then be sure to.
4. Le'Veon Bell is apparently going to fight Adrian Peterson (in a boxing match)
I have no idea how it all came together, but apparently, Le'Veon Bell and Adrian Peterson are going to be boxing each other next month.
Here's what we know:
- The fight will take place in July. So far, the only thing we know about the match is that it's going to take place on July 30 at Crypto.com arena in Los Angeles. It will be the first boxing match for both guys, so neither one will have any experience advantage over the other.
- Bell-Peterson is the undercard at this boxing event. The main event for this boxing card will be two YouTube "stars" going at it with Austin McBroom taking on AnEsonGib. And I used the word "stars" very loosely here because I have not heard of either guy. Maybe they should let Peterson and Bell be the main event.
- Bell is favored over Peterson. According to at least one betting site, Bell has betting odds of -175, which makes him the favorite over Peterson, who has odds of +135. Both players are about the same height and weight, but Bell is younger -- he's 30, while Peterson is 37 -- and I think that seven-year difference is probably a big reason why Bell is favored.
Once we get to the dead part of the offseason I am rarely surprised by anything, but I am definitely surprised that this fight is going to happen. The crazy part is that one or both of these guys could end up in an NFL training camp after the fight. Both players spent time in the NFL last season and neither of them have given any indication that they plan to retire.
5. Cowboys LB Micah Parsons talks to CBSSports.com
With Micah Parsons topping our ranking of the NFL's top linebackers today, we thought that we'd give you a double-dose of the Cowboys linebacker by also interviewing him. Parsons talked to Cody Benjamin late last week and here's a quick look at some of the biggest things the two guys touched on in their conversation:
- Parsons wants to set the NFL single-season sack record. After racking up 13 sacks in 2021, not only does Parsons want to top that number in 2022, but he wants to set the single-season record, which currently stands at 22.5. "Fifteen's like the minimum," Parsons said when asked how many sacks he wants to get this year. "Fifteen's what I wanna hit, but definitely 23 is the goal, to break the record."
- Parsons isn't worried about high expectations after winning Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2021. "I don't feel like I need to reach anyone's expectations but my own,'' he said. "If I can live with it, I can deal with it. I'm gonna just go out there and play my game. I don't wanna go out there and chase no one's story, I just gotta do my thing, and that's what got me here and that's what I'm gonna keep doing."
- Parsons doesn't use the Cowboys in Madden. I think my favorite part of this interview came when Cody asked Parsons which team he likes to use in Madden, and surprisingly, the Cowboys linebacker does not like using the Cowboys. "I would say probably the Packers, just because their defense is really good on the game. The Packers or the Bucs." Parsons also said that his two favorite quarterbacks to use in the game are Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson.
If you want to read the full interview with Parsons,.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Marlin Briscoe, the NFL's first Black starting QB of the Super Bowl era, dies at 76
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.
- Marlin Briscoe dies at 76. The NFL's first Black starting quarterback of the Super Bowl era died on Monday. Briscoe started his career as a QB for the Broncos, but they didn't want him playing the position anymore after 1968, despite an impressive rookie year. Despite the setback, Briscoe wasn't deterred. He ended up switching to wide receiver, where he would win two Super Bowls with the Dolphins. Be about Briscoe's fascinating NFL career.
- USFL will return for second season. Most spring football leagues usually go under after one season (or less), but that won't be happening with the USFL. Not only is the championship game set for this weekend, but the
- Daniel Snyder still hasn't accepted house subpoena. The House Oversight Committee's plan to subpoena Daniel Snyder isn't going so well. The committee wants Snyder to show up for a hearing to testify under oath, but he claims he can't make it then. . According to Snyder, the reason he's not accepting it is because the committee wants to hold a hearing on June 30 and
- Amazon hires Charissa Thompson to host 'Thursday Night Football.' With just three months to go until 'Thursday Night Football' kicks off, it looks like Amazon's studio show is almost set with the hiring of Thompson, who will serve as host for pregame, postgame and halftime. Thompson will be joined by Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tony Gonzalez and Richard Sherman, who were all hired by Amazon this offseason. According to the New York Post, Amazon might also add Aqib Talib and Andrew Whitworth to its TNF cast.
- Julian Edelman agrees with key Jimmy Garoppolo criticism. Apparently, Jimmy Garoppolo wasn't very popular with his Patriots teammates. A lot of them have questioned his toughness and it's a criticism that Edelman agrees with. To hear what the retired Super Bowl MVP .