Welcome to the first Wednesday after the Super Bowl. Do you think Tom Brady is itching for an eighth ring yet? All I know is I'm itching to make the most of my opportunity here, as John Breech's newsletter fill-in. That's right; it's me, Cody Benjamin -- the man with two first names -- back at it with your midweek NFL roundup.
This is the Pick Six Newsletter. And I am your guide. Now let's get to it. (And please, do yourself a favor and make sure you're signed up to receive this newsletter every day! You don't want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)
We've got more QB trade speculation, a rundown of Hall of Fame snubs, and so much more:
- Today's show: Does Russell Wilson actually want out of Seattle?
As if the 2021 quarterback carousel didn't have enough riders, this week there's word -- from CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora and now Russell Wilson himself -- that the Seahawks' star signal-caller isn't necessarily thrilled with the way things have been going in Seattle. Wilson hasn't outright declared that he wants out of Seattle, but he's been direct about his disappointment in getting hit too much and suggested he'd like more say in the Seahawks' roster decisions moving forward.
So does Russ actually prefer a new home? Or is he just tired of his support -- or lack thereof -- in Seattle? Will Brinson and Jared Dubin broke it all down on Wednesday's Pick Six NFL Podcast (listen and subscribe here). Dubin posed that Wilson mostly "doesn't wanna play in an offense where he's in a cocoon" and deserves more help from the front office, pointing to what the Bills did for Josh Allen and Buccaneers for Tom Brady. Brinson, meanwhile, thinks Wilson is frustrated after watching Brady win it all and knowing "he can be the greatest of all time" but is "stuck on one Super Bowl" in Seattle.
"Are you winning nine to 12 games a year in spite of yourselves?" Brinson asked of the Seahawks. "You want to be the team that is dominant, that is giving yourself a legitimate Super Bowl shot every year (with Wilson)."
La Canfora doesn't believe anyone knows whether Wilson could actually be moved -- including the Seahawks (but he does point to one intriguing landing spot): "The reality of professional sports is that everyone playing the game has a price on their heads," La Canfora reported Wednesday. "There is an unstated value on every player at any time, and even if the owner and management don't know exactly what that is, or isn't even actively pondering it, it exists. One phone call with the right offer on the other end of the line, and suddenly they know what that value is. It's like art -- maybe you haven't defined it, but you know it when you see it."
2. Marty Schottenheimer's five defining moments: Chiefs run still memorable
The NFL lost a big name and all-time head coach this week with the death of former Coach of the Year Marty Schottenheimer at 77. Our resident NFL historian, Bryan DeArdo, decided to pay tribute to Marty with a look back at five of the coach's most defining career moments. The entire rundown is worth a read, but it's fitting, right after Kansas City's second Super Bowl appearance in as many seasons, that one of the most memorable Schottenheimer stretches came with the Chiefs:
From 1972-88, the Chiefs had just one playoff appearance to their name upon Schottenheimer's arrival in 1989. After posting a winning record during his first season in Kansas City, Schottenheimer's 1990 team was the first of six straight Chiefs teams that qualified for the playoffs.
It was around this time when the term "Marty Ball" began to surface, an ode to Schottenheimer's conservative, yet effective, coaching philosophy: run the ball, play sound, physical defense, win the turnover margin and field position. It isn't the most entertaining way to win, but "Marty Ball" has proven to be a highly effective way to win football games on a consistent basis.
3. Insider: Ravens permit Pro Bowler Orlando Brown Jr. to seek a trade
Four months after locking up star offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, the Ravens may very well be shipping his fellow starter out the door. CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reported this week that two-time Pro Bowler Orlando Brown Jr. has been given permission to seek a new home. After filling in for the injured Stanley at the tail end of 2020, Brown would like to remain at left tackle. While he has a good relationship with Baltimore, per La Canfora, that opportunity would likely only come elsewhere, and considering early interest in the former third-round draft pick, a deal could very well be on the horizon.
4. Post-Super Bowl title: Where do Buccaneers go from here?
The Buccaneers will be celebrating their Super Bowl title for a while. But they can't afford to extend the party too long, because the 2021 offseason is already upon us. What, exactly, will they be targeting as they look to build on 2020's championship run and go for a repeat the following year? Josh Edwards has us covered with an early preview of team needs and prospects to watch ahead of free agency and the draft. The key for Tampa Bay, it seems, will simply be bolstering depth at some important positions:
With roughly $30 million in salary cap space, the Buccaneers are likely not going to be able to retain the services of all (their free agents). In the event that they lose one or two, general manager Jason Licht will need to utilize the draft to execute a cost-saving plan. The idea of taking a running back (in the draft) might seem exorbitant, but that is the type of luxury move that a Super Bowl champion can afford to make. Head coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Tom Brady are not going to be around the game forever so the idea of adding an immediate impact player is a consideration.
5. Mock draft: Texans add Justin Fields, trade Deshaun Watson to Panthers
The Deshaun Watson saga feels far from over, even if the Texans insist they don't intend to trade their star quarterback. Our own Chris Trapasso agrees, with a Watson trade headlining his latest 2021 NFL mock draft. This time around, Trapasso has Houston shipping the disgruntled signal-caller to Carolina in exchange for a huge haul of picks, then turning around to add its next franchise QB in the top 10 of the draft:
The Texans are saying they won't budge on a Deshaun Watson trade. But they ultimately will have to. They can't go into the 2021 season with a new head coach and GM with Watson away from what would likely be one of the worst teams in the league again. They need to make the trade and recoup as much as possible without Watson exercising his no-trade clause. And the best-case scenario for Houston would be if Justin Fields is still on the board when they go on the clock in Round 1 after the trade. Just like last week, I have the Panthers trading for Watson in this mock. Here are the trade details:
Panthers get: Deshaun Watson
Texans get: No. 8 overall, 2021 second-round pick, 2022 first-round pick, 2022 fourth-round pick, CB Troy Pride Jr.
6. Hall of Fame snubs: Tony Boselli tops the list of five overlooked stars
The 2021 Hall of Fame class is chock-full of superstars. But what about the guys who were left out of the latest group set to be inducted? What about those overlooked for Canton? Once again, we turn to the trusty Bryan DeArdo for an overview of the historical greats. He's identified the top five snubs from this year's class, headlined by a former Jaguars great in Tony Boselli:
A member of the NFL's All-1990s Team, Boselli was a five-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro. His presence helped the Jaguars reach two AFC title games during the franchise's first five years of existence. Boselli would already be in Canton if not for an injury that prematurely ended his career after fewer than 100 games.