Hello and happy Wednesday, fine folks! John Breech is busy checking out the summer farmers market in town, hoping to find an affordable face-painter who will give him some nice Bengal tiger stripes. Or at least I think he is. In the meantime, you've got me, Cody Benjamin, to deliver all the latest from around the NFL.
This is the Pick Six Newsletter. 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 live reports from OTAs, "Madden" cover news, projected big-name landing spots and more ...
Brady Quinn and Katie Mox joined Will Brinson on the latest "Pick Six NFL Podcast" to go house-hunting for some of the big-name veterans still available via trade or free agency, namely Dalvin Cook and DeAndre Hopkins. Some highlights:
- Brinson isn't convinced a championship run is a bigger priority for Hopkins than money, after the ex-Cardinals wideout lost six weeks of pay due to his 2022 suspension, so he's not as confident the Bills or Chiefs will end up with the pass catcher
- Quinn can see why a short-term deal with the Browns could make sense for Hopkins, considering his connection with Deshaun Watson, but he also just generally believes the market isn't what it could've been months ago
- Mox believes the Ravens would've been an ideal fit for D-Hop had they not already signed Odell Beckham Jr., preferring Hopkins' 2023 upside and suggesting Baltimore checks all the wideout's boxes as a free agent
Catch the entire episode (and subscribe for all kinds of daily NFL talk) right here.
2. Inside the Packers: Jordan Love already has pull in locker room
CBS Sports NFL insider Jonathan Jones was in Green Bay for organized team activities (OTAs) this week, getting a firsthand look at the Packers' new signal-caller. Only time will tell whether Love is physically ready to replace Aaron Rodgers full-time, but the former first-rounder already has a strong grip on the role of respected and relatable leader.
That Love didn't fold (in his emergency 2021 start) is part of the reason the Packers were confident enough giving him the reins. Plus, how he was never gun-shy in Week 12 in Philadelphia last year. And how guys in the locker room seem to legitimately like him. That's no shot at Love's predecessor, by the way. But if Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes have the strongest gravitational pull of any player in any NFL locker room, the force of attraction between Love and a close object can't be much less.
3. Josh Allen becomes first Bills player to grace 'Madden' cover
"Madden NFL 24" is scheduled to hit shelves Aug. 18, and when it does, Buffalo's star quarterback will be the game's featured athlete, marking the first time a Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. This year's game, meanwhile, features several major updates, including the return of Superstar Mode, an updated Franchise Mode, and improved FieldSENSE graphics.the annual series. Allen is the fifth different QB to be on the cover of "Madden" in the last six years, following in the footsteps of
4. Contract drama: Samuel regrets hold-in, Bosa on track for new deal
Most of the talk out of San Francisco has to do with the 49ers' quarterback situation, where Brock Purdy is racing the clock to recover from elbow surgery and reprise his role as the starter ahead of Trey Lance. But we've also got a couple of updates pertaining to contracts. Star wide receiver Deebo Samuel is already locked up, but he that his "hold-in" last offseason, when he declined to take the field for team drills while seeking an extension, contributed to a "sluggish" 2022 season. Pass rusher Nick Bosa, meanwhile, is done before the start of training camp.
We've had boots on the ground as teams transition from OTAs to minicamp and then prepare for a break before training camp. Here's a look at some of our latest onsite reporting:
- Christian Gonzalez, who's been getting first-team reps as an outside corner , where the Patriots saw a scuffle break out at practice and got promising looks from first-round rookie
- Justin Jefferson, while teasing dynamic, aggressive looks from a defense now overseen by Brian Flores , where the Vikings are trudging along with no sign of Dalvin Cook and
6. Extra points: Jags unveil stadium plans, Browns after Hopkins
Hungry for more headlines? We've got you covered:
- Jaguars reveal state-of-the-art stadium plans: Big renovations are on the way in Jacksonville
- : The veteran QB has settled in as Detroit's signal-caller
- : The Browns are trying their best to lure the WR
- Saints WR is once again trying to stay on the field : The
- Titans star expects to stick around for 2023 : And the
- : Garrett Podell makes the case for all four teams in the open division