Before five minutes ago, I had no idea how much money I paid for my Netflix subscription. According to my credit card statement, I pay them $17.99 per month and although that seems high, I'm never going to question my subscription rate ever again and that's because they just announced a movie that might go down as the best film in cinematic history.
Apparently, Netflix has decided to make a movie about Saints coach Sean Payton. If you're wondering why Payton got picked or who will be playing him, we'll be covering that in today's newsletter. If you don't subscribe to Netflix because it's too expensive, I have some good news for you: Aaron Rodgers is starting his second week of hosting "Jeopardy!" today and since it's on over-the-air television, you should be able to watch for free. Anyway, this isn't a TV guide, it's a football newsletter, so let's get to the rundown.
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.
1. Today's show: Mock Draft Monday
From now until the draft starts on April 29, every Monday will be Mock Draft Monday on the podcast, and if you're keeping score at home, then you are already well aware that there are only three Mock Draft Mondays left (today, April 19, April 26). What this means is that you need to cherish these Mock Draft Mondays because they're going to be gone soon.
For this week's mock draft special, Will Brinson was joined by CBSSports.com draft expert and podcast regular Ryan Wilson. Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed that Wilson and Brinson have spent a lot of time talking about what teams are going to do in the top half of the first round, so they decided to do things differently this week and talk about what teams are going to do in the bottom half of the round (Picks 16 thru 32).
Wilson is predicting a heavy run of edge rushers and corners to go off the board in that range. The guys also discussed what trade option the Falcons might have at four and the fact that the Seahawks only have THREE PICKS in the entire draft right now (I say "right now" because there's a 99% chance some of those picks will be traded so they can acquire more picks. The Seahawks love making trades during the draft and they love it even more when those trades bring extra picks to Seattle).
To listen to today's episode -- and to follow the podcast -- be sure to click here.
Also, since it's Mock Draft Monday, here's a look at Wilson's weekly mock, and since the podcast focused on the back half of the first round, I'm going to go ahead and focus on that also by revealing each of Wilson's projected picks for spots 16 thru 32.
- 16. Cardinals: OL Alijah Vera-Tucker (USC)
- 17. Raiders: EDGE Zaven Collins (Tulsa)
- 18. Dolphins: EDGE Jaelan Phillips (Miami)
- 19. Panthers (TRADE WITH WASHINGTON): DB Greg Newsome II (Northwestern)
- 20. Bears: OL Teven Jenkins (Oklahoma State)
- 21. Colts: EDGE Azeez Ojulari (UGA)
- 22. Titans: EDGE Kwity Paye (Michigan)
- 23. Jets: EDGE Gregory Rosseau (Miami)
- 24. Steelers: EDGE Jayson Oweh (Penn State)
- 25. Jaguars: OL Samuel Cosmi (Texas)
- 26. Browns: LB Jamin Davis (Kentucky)
- 27. Ravens: EDGE Carlos Basham Jr. (Wake Forest)
- 28. Saints: CB Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech)
- 29. Packers: DL Levi Onwuzurike (Washington)
- 30. Bills: CB Tyson Campbell (UGA)
- 31. Chiefs: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Notre Dame)
- 32. Buccaneers: RB Travis Etienne (Clemson)
One thing you'll notice about this week's mock is that Wilson actually took it TWO FULL ROUNDS. So if you want to see how he thinks the first 64 picks in the draft are going to break down, be sure to click here.
2. Did Aaron Rodgers' contract mess up the Packers' free agency plans?
If you followed the Packers in free agency this year, you may have noticed that there wasn't very much to follow. Over the past month, the Packers really only made two moves: They re-signed Aaron Jones to a four-year deal worth $48 million, which is a lot of money for a running back, even for one as good as Jones. Also, they gave defensive Kevin King a one-year deal worth $6 million, which is a lot of money to give to someone who almost single-handedly cost your team a win in the NFC title game (He gave up two touchdowns in the loss to the Buccaneers and got called for a penalty that sealed the win for Tampa Bay).
One reason the Packers didn't make any other moves is because they're kind of handcuffed by Aaron Rodgers' contract. The team basically has zero salary cap room and right now, the quickest way to fix that would be to restructure Rodgers' contract. The easiest way to do that would have been to take Rodgers' base salary for 2021 ($14.7 million) and turn it into bonus money. If that happened, Rodgers would make the league minimum ($1.075 million base salary) and the cap hit from the rest of the money ($13.625 million) could be spread out over the life of the deal.
Of course, the Packers didn't do that, which has raised a lot of eyebrows around the league. One agent who had a player looking at joining the Packers this offseason told ESPN that Green Bay wasn't willing to sign anyone because they were being anchored down by Rodgers' contract.
"It's screwing the Packers in a lot of ways right now because there's just no cap space," the agent said. "They've called me about one of my players and said 'Hey, this is where we are now, and until we get something big done -- hint, hint -- we don't have any space.' It's kind of like a lose-lose situation right now. That's what [is] surprising to me is, you'd think there would be a middle-ground situation to get something done."
One odd part of all this is that it's not even clear who's to blame. Is Rodgers the one holding things back because he wants a few extra years of security or are the Packers hindering things because they don't want to commit to Rodgers past 2021? Rodgers has made it known that he would like to see the team add some talent and you'd have to think that he'd be willing to do anything possible to make that happen.
Basically, it feels like the Packers don't WANT to restructure because they want to be able to move on from Rodgers whenever they feel like moving on (If they don't restructure, they could conceivably get out of his deal after the 2021 season and move on to Jordan Love if that's what they want to do). I'm guessing Rodgers is open to a restructure, but only if it locks him to Green Bay for more than one year.
3. Browns could land Jadeveon Clowney
During free agency last year, the Browns tried to sign Jadeveon Clowney, but things didn't work out and he ended up signing a one-year deal with the Titans. With Clowney back on the market, it looks like the Browns are once again going after him, and this time, it sounds like they're not going to let him get away.
Although Clowney struggled with the Titans last year, he was playing injured on a defense that had no pass-rush (Clowney was placed on injured reserve in November and ended up missing a total of eight games due to a torn meniscus).
If he signs in Cleveland, it wouldn't be surprising at all to see him have a big season and that's because he wouldn't be the focal point of the Browns defense. With Myles Garrett getting most of the attention from opposing offenses, Clowney might be able to match the numbers he put up in both 2017 and 2018 (he tallied more than nine sacks in each season).
4. Netflix is making a movie about Saints coach Sean Payton
If you've ever wanted to see Kevin James star in a movie about Saints coach Sean Payton, you're in luck, because this is something that's actually going to happen.
According to Peter King of NBC Sports, James has signed on to star in a movie that will focus on what Payton did during his one-year suspension from the NFL in 2012. Nearly 10 years ago, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hit Payton with a one-year ban due to the role that the Saints coach played in BountyGate.
The fun part of this story is that Payton decided to use his year off to coach his son's football team and that's the part of his life that the movie is going to cover. Back in 2012, Payton sounded pretty excited about the thought of coaching a bunch of 12 year olds, so I'm guessing this movie is going to be awesome.
"One of the things I'm looking forward to doing this fall is helping coach my son's football team and doing a few things that you normally wouldn't be able to do," Payton said in 2012. "I look forward to cutting the oranges, hauling the Gatorade and watching my son play every game -- and being a part of calling plays for his offense and doing some things like that that really get me excited and I know get him excited."
If you've ever wondered what your subscription money goes to at Netflix, it turns out that it goes to brilliant projects like this. That being said, James probably would have been about my 19th option to play Payton. If the producers had done their homework, they would have hired Frankie Muniz (You can see a picture of their uncanny resemblance by clicking here). The movie will start filming later this year, which means it will likely be coming out in late 2021 or early 2022.
5. Ranking the best NFL draft picks of all time
With the 2021 NFL Draft just weeks away, we decided to kick off a series last month that features the top draft picks of all time. The way this series works is pretty simple: Since there are 32 picks in the first round, we went through and listed the top five picks for each one of those 32 spots. Our countdown started with the 32nd spot and now, we're all the way to 16.
Although we haven't been covering every pick in the newsletter, I'm including the 16th spot today because I like themes and we started today's newsletter off with Ryan Wilson talking about what kind of value can be had in the back half of the first round. Just because you're stuck with the 16th overall pick doesn't mean you can't find a future Hall of Famer in the draft. As a matter of fact, the two best players ever selected at 16th overall are now in the Hall of Fame. The Cardinals have the 16th pick this year and if they can find someone just half as good as any of the five guys below, they'll be in good shape.
If you want to read a deeper explanation on the list, be sure to click here so you can check out Jordan Dajani's full story. On the other hand, if you'd like to yell at Dajani on Twitter because you disagree with his list, feel free to click here.
To keep tabs on our entire rankings, you'll want to click here.
6. How the Eagles fell apart just three years after winning the Super Bowl
It's not easy for a team to completely unravel just three years after winning a Super Bowl, but that's exactly what happened to the Eagles this offseason: The coach who won the game is gone. The quarterback who went 11-2 during the regular season, which helped propel the Eagles to the top seed in the NFC, is gone. Oh, and the 2017 roster has basically been blown up.
So how did things go south so quickly in Philly? The Athletic attempted to answer that question in a story on Monday and here are a few of the takeaways. The main theme you'll notice here is that the Eagles have been a dysfunctional mess over the past few years.
- Doug Pederson apparently got treated like a baby. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman held a meeting with Pederson every Tuesday following a week where the Eagles played. Pederson apparently hated the meetings because the Roseman and Lurie would treat him like a baby by questioning every single call that he made during the game.
- Analytics took over. The head of the team's analytics department, Alec Halaby, did not get along with Pederson's coaching staff. One source told The Athletic that the analytics team operates as a "clandestine, Black Ops department that doesn't answer to anybody except the owner." Yikes.
- Lurie might be too hands on. When it comes to hands-on owners in the NFC East, Jerry Jones is usually the one making all the headlines, but it turns out Lurie might be just as bad as Jones or even worse. According to the story, Lurie watches a lot of college film and feels that he's qualified to have a say in who gets drafted. One example of this came in 2019 when the Lurie wanted J.J. Arcega-Whiteside while the team wanted to take Parris Campbell. Not surprisingly, the Eagles didn't go against their owner. They drafted Arcega-Whiteside and that pick definitely hasn't worked out so well thus far.
Basically, Pederson was in an impossible situation: He had no personnel power, he was expected to listen to an analytics department that he didn't necessarily trust and he had to coach guys being drafted by the owner. If you subscribe to The Athletic, the entire story is definitely worth a read and you can check it out by clicking here.
Speaking of the Eagles, if you want to know how they could have the perfect draft this year, Jeff Kerr has the answer here.
7. The Kicker: Drunkest NFL fan bases
If you've ever wondered which NFL team has the drunkest fan base, I have some good news for you: You don't have to wonder anymore and that's because someone went out and actually researched this exact topic.
According to Lines.com, the Falcons have the drunkest fan base in the NFL. Here's a look at the five teams with the drunkest fans:
Based on the top four teams in these rankings, I think we can safely conclude that losing drives fans to drink. The four top teams have combined for exactly zero Super Bowl wins in NFL history and three of the four teams (Atlanta, Buffalo, Arizona) suffered three of the most painful losses in Super Bowl history. I mean, there's probably at least one Bills fan out there who hasn't stopped drinking since Scott Norwood's missed field goal in Super Bowl XXV. Also, the Falcons practically drove every single one of their fans to drink after blowing a 28-3 lead to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI. I'm guessing the stadium would run out of alcohol by halftime if the Bills and Falcons ever played in the Super Bowl.