Welcome to the Monday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
I don't have a favorite week of the preseason, but if I did, it would be this one. After six of months of waiting, we finally get to see the return of every single team and that's because all 32 NFL teams will be in action this week.
For me, watching preseason football is like eating a pizza with a cauliflower crust. It's not something I love, but I'm not going to say no to it. We won't see the starters playing in most of these preseason games, but it's still football, so I'm not going to complain.
Anyway, for today's newsletter, we'll be recapping Saturday's Hall of Fame ceremony, plus, we'll be taking a look Joe Burrow's return timeline, which is looking like it's going to be slightly longer than expected.
With that in mind, let's get to the first rundown.
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1. Today's show: Monday Mailbag
During the NFL offseason, we like to spice things up each week on the Pick Six Podcast by adding a listener mailbag every Monday and just because the preseason is here doesn't mean these mailbags will be going away anytime soon. As a matter of fact, we'll be rolling one out every week until the season starts.
Our mailbag episodes are pretty simple: We read listener questions during the show and then answer as many of those questions as possible. Questions can be about literally anything. I mean, I'm pretty sure someone once asked us how many state capitals we could name without using Google. If we'll answer that, trust me when I say that we'll answer almost anything.
Anyway, if you want to submit a question, all you have to do is go to Apple Podcasts (click here) and leave a five-star review that includes your question.
Here's one question that Will Brinson and I answered for today's show.
Q: Will the Ravens go undefeated in the preseason?
Normally, we don't answer questions that ask how a specific team might do in the preseason, but we answered today's question about the Ravens because they're the only team in the NFL that has become must-see TV In the preseason.
The Ravens have won TWENTY straight preseason games, which is an NFL record and I don't care what you say, their record is more impressive than Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. The Ravens have not lost a preseason game SINCE 2015! If they want to keep their record-setting streak going this year, they're going to have to beat the Titans (Aug. 11), Cardinals (Aug. 21) and Commanders (Aug. 27).
Ravens coach John Harbaugh has already announced that Lamar Jackson is not going to be playing against Tennessee this week, which probably won't end up being a big deal, because the Titans likely won't play very many starters of their own.
I don't like betting on preseason football, but if I do bet on one team over the next few weeks, it will be the Ravens. I think the streak stays intact and Baltimore ends the preseason with a 23-game winning streak.
If you want to listen to the rest of the mailbag, be sure to click here. You can also watch today's episode on YouTube by clicking here.
Note: I don't actually think the Ravens' streak is more impressive than DiMaggio's. Please don't send me hate mail for my comment.
2. Recapping the Hall of Fame induction ceremony
The Pro Football Hall of Fame officially has eight new members following the enshrinement ceremony over the weekend that saw LeRoy Butler, Tony Boselli, Cliff Branch, Sam Mills, Richard Seymour, Bryant Young, Art McNally and Super Bowl-winning coach Dick Vermeil all get inducted.
There were plenty of memorable moments during the ceremony and here are a few that stood out:
- Bryant Young remembers his son. Young could have spent his speech talking about his football career, but instead, he used his time on stage to honor his son Colby, who died of cancer in 2016 at the age of 15. "He didn't fear death as much as the process of dying. Would it be painful? Would he be remembered?" Young said. "Colby, you live on in our hearts. We will always speak your name."
- Richard Seymour makes fun of Tom Brady. Seymour's rookie year with the Patriots came in 2001, which just happened to be the season where Brady took over as the starter after an injury to Drew Bledsoe. The Patriots would win three Super Bowls in four years starting in 2001, no thanks to their QB. "We had a young quarterback, but we made it work," Seymour said.
- Tony Boselli becomes the first Jaguars player in the Hall of Fame. "There's nothing more important, there's nothing more powerful than the support and love of my family," Boselli said during the ceremony, via NFL.com. "In all its forms throughout my 50 years, is why I'm here today as the first Jacksonville Jaguar to be welcomed as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It's a profound honor."
- Dick Vermeil thanks anyone and everyone. The Hall of Fame asked everyone to keep their speeches to eight minutes or less, but clearly, Vermeil didn't get that memo. The former Rams, Chiefs and Eagles coach seemingly thanked everyone he had ever met in his life during a speech that ran north of 23 minutes.
For all of the highlights from Canton, be sure to check out our summary of the ceremony by clicking here.
3. Predicting the 2023 Hall of Fame class
With this year's class officially inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, now seems like a good time to go ahead and take a look at who might be in the class of 2023.
CBSSports.com's Bryan DeArdo got out his crystal ball so he could tell us who's going to be inducted next year. Going through DeArdo's list, there's one thing I definitely noticed and that's that the class of 2023 is going to be loaded no matter who gets in.
Here's a look at some of the players on DeArdo's list who might get in next year:
- Darrelle Revis. "'Revis Island' was anything but a vacation spot for NFL wideouts during his 10-year career. The seven-time Pro Bowler routinely locked down the league's best receivers while making life miserable for quarterbacks."
- Dwight Freeney. "A menacing pass rusher who was armed with an unbeatable spin move. Collected 125.5 sacks during his career that included 107.5 as a member of the Colts."
- Joe Thomas. "One of the greatest left tackles in NFL history, Thomas earned 10 consecutive Pro Bowl nods while being named to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 2010s."
- Ken Anderson. "The NFL MVP in 1981, Anderson led the Bengals to the franchise's first Super Bowl appearance that season. Anderson led the NFL in passing yards twice and in completion percentage three times."
- Robert Kraft. "The Patriots have won six Super Bowl since Kraft began his ownership of the franchise in 1994. Kraft has also been instrumental in several lucrative TV contracts while also playing a hand in settling the league's 2011 lockout."
If you want to see DeArdo's full list of candidates who.
4. Joe Burrow could be out longer than expected
It's been nearly two weeks since Joe Burrow had his appendix removed and in the time since that operation, the Bengals have given zero hints about when their star quarterback might be able to return to the field. However, we might now have some clarity on the situation thanks to Burrow's dad, Jimmy.
During an interview on the "In the Trenches" podcast hosted by Bengals radio analyst Dave Lapham, the elder Burrow had some interesting things to say about his son's surgery and recovery timeline.
Here's Jimmy Burrow's take on his son's situation:
- Burrow might not be ready to practice for a few more weeks. After being asked about Joe's surgery, the elder Burrow said it still might be a few weeks before we see Joe back on the field. "It set him back," Jimmy Burrow said of the surgery. "But he seems to be getting better every day, and hopefully, here in a few weeks we'll be back out on the field." It's not clear what a "few" means here, but if it means four weeks, that's not ideal for the Bengals because it means Burrow wouldn't be back on the field until early September. The Bengals opener against the Steelers is on Sept. 11.
- Burrow's dad says Joe had a 'major surgery.' Most of the time, an appendectomy is viewed as a minor operation, but the elder Burrow made it sound like Joe's operation might have been more serious than your normal appendectomy. "There's always a danger and complications for a surgery like that," Jimmy said. "Joe's just got to listen to his doctors and trainers over at the facility and take it easy. He's not one to kind of take it easy, but he's got to and it will be best for the long run if he makes sure he does what he's supposed to."
- Joe's appendix problem came as a total surprise to the family. The Bengals QB underwent surgery on July 27 and apparently, the entire situation was a shocking one for the Burrows. "This one kind of surprised us," Jimmy Burrow said of the surgery. "I had never really been around anybody that had it. It's a painful, not a very fun thing for somebody to have, especially Joe."
- One likely reason why the Bengals haven't announced a return timeline. If the Bengals put a timetable on Burrow's return, Jimmy Burrow admitted that his son would probably try to beat the timetable, which might lead to a setback that could keep him out even longer. "He'll definitely want to push the envelope when he starts feeling better," Jimmy said. "I know he's concerned about being healthy the whole season and knows that a setback here in the next few weeks would put him behind for the season."
This obviously isn't an ideal situation for the Bengals, but as long as Burrow makes it back healthy by the time Week 1 rolls around, it shouldn't be a big deal. That being said, based on Jimmy Burrow's timeline, it's looking like his son is going to miss all of training camp and all three of Cincinnati's preseason games.
5. NFL QB competitions: Where they stand after two weeks of training camp
There are three main QB battles going on around the NFL and after two weeks of training camp, two of those battles are still interesting.
Let's take a look the three QB competitions:
- Panthers: Baker Mayfield vs. Sam Darnold. With a year of experience in the Panthers' offense, Darnold definitely got a head start in this battle, but that hasn't really helped him. According to NFL.com, Mayfield currently has the inside track to be the Week 1 starter. That being said, don't look for a decision to be made in this battle until after Aug. 20 and that's because coach Matt Rhule has made it clear that he won't even think about naming a starter until after the team's Aug. 19 preseason game against the Patriots. "I'm not putting a timetable on the quarterback position until after we get back from the Patriots week," Rhule said Saturday after the team held a scrimmage. "The Patriots week is a true litmus test for us. That will really show us where guys are."
- Steelers: Mitchell Trubisky vs. Mason Rudolph vs. Kenny Pickett. Trubisky hasn't been shining in training camp, but it still seems like it's his job to lose. Not only is he listed as the No. 1 QB on the Steelers' depth chart, but more importantly, he's still getting most of the first-team reps during practice. If Rudolph and Pickett don't step up their game, it seems like it will only be a matter of time before Trubisky gets named the starter.
- Seahawks: Geno Smith vs. Drew Lock. Smith still seems to be the leader in this battle even though Lock outplayed him Saturday during a team scrimmage. According to the Tacoma News Tribune, Lock went 19 of 26 passing while leading three scoring drives on a day where he had five opportunities. As for Smith, he went just 11 of 20 while leading just two scoring drives on five opportunities. Smith even had the advantage on Saturday because he was working with the first offense against the second defense, while Lock was working with the second offense against the first defense. Despite those numbers, Smith still took every first-team rep during Sunday's practice. On Friday, Pete Carroll said that Smith "continues to be on top" in the battle and it seems that things stayed that way over the weekend despite the fact that Lock outplayed Smith.
If I had to pick now, I'd say that Mayfield and Trubisky definitely end up starting in Week 1. As for the Seahawks' job, that's a little bit more difficult to predict, but Carroll seems to like Smith a lot, so I'll say Seattle ends up going with Geno.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Kareem Hunt apparently wants out of Cleveland
It was a wild 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.
- Kareem Hunt wants one of two things The Browns running back is looking to get a new contract and if the team won't give it to him, then he wants to be traded. Unfortunately for Hunt, the Browns have no interest in trading him (or giving him a new deal), according . Hunt also doesn't have a lot of leverage here as he's coming off a season where he rushed for just 386 yards. A big reason that total was so low is because he missed nine games due to injury.
- Ravens make Justin Tucker NFL's highest-paid kicker: The Ravens haven't worked out a new deal with Lamar Jackson yet but they took care of arguably their second-most important player on the roster: All-Pro kicker Justin Tucker. worth a reported $24 million, of which $17.5 million is guaranteed.
- N'Keal Harry could be out for an extended period of time. The former Patriots receiver, who was traded to the Bears in July, suffered . The injury is serious enough that it could keep Harry out for up to six weeks, which means he might miss the beginning of the regular season.
- Matthew Stafford downplays elbow soreness. The Rams quarterback has been dealing with a lingering elbow issue for months, but it didn't seem to bother him over the weekend. After an impressive practice, Stafford said ." Stafford seems optimistic that he'll be fine going forward. That being said, this doesn't mean he's out of the woods. The Rams would probably like to see the soreness go away for several weeks before they'd be ready to declare Stafford fully healthy.
- Former first-round pick gets cut by Chiefs. The Chiefs have DeAndre Baker. The former first-round pick, who was taken 30th overall by the Giants in 2019, can now probably be officially labeled a bust. Baker played in just 10 games with the Chiefs over the past two seasons.
- Justin Reid hits 65-yard field goal. if you want to see what it looks like for a position player to hit a 65-yard field goal, then you're going to want to click here. The Chiefs safety wowed the training camp crowd in Kansas City with .
- Kiko Alonso retires after one day at training camp. The veteran NFL linebacker lasted exactly one day at training camp. One day after signing with the Saints, Alonso showed up to camp and apparently anymore.