When I was younger, I always thought it would be cool to own an NFL team, but let me just tell you that my dreams officially died today when I saw how rich you have to be to own one.
Nearly every NFL owner is a billionaire and unfortunately for me, I am nowhere close to being a billionaire. I'm also nowhere close to being a millionaire. To put my life in perspective, I had eight dollars in my wallet last week and I felt rich. Anyway, Forbes released its annual list of the richest people in the world and several NFL owners made the cut, so we'll be covering that, plus much more in today's 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. If any of your friends are billionaires who are interested in splitting the cost of an NFL team with me, then you should definitely tell them to sign up.
1. Today's show: Did empty stadiums make certain players better?
During the NFL offseason, we like to spice things up every week by adding a listener mailbag every Friday. 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 think we once spent 10 minutes talking about our favorite fast food restaurant (For the record, mine is Chick-Fil-A. If that place ever closes down, I will probably stop eating food). 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.
For today's mailbag, the questions were all over the place. Here's a small sample:
- I want you to tell me I'm crazy. I am a life-long Bills fan. I am thrilled with Josh Allen, but as I was watching closely last year it seemed the games when the stadium was empty he was awesome, but when there were fans in the stands he was average. Is he going to revert to an average-level QB next year when fans are in the stands every game? If we hand out an award at the end of the year for the "most intriguing mailbag question" of 2021, this one is definitely going to win. After looking like a completely average quarterback for the first two years of his career, Josh Allen seemed to finally figure things out last year, but as our reader notes, he didn't have to deal with a stadium full of fans trying to distract him. There were several quarterbacks who had the best season of their career last year. Not only was there Allen, but Baker Mayfield and Derek Carr both had a career-high in QB rating. Justin Herbert also seemed to thrive in empty stadiums and who knows if his success will carry over once there are fans in the stands. I don't think fans make a huge difference, but those are four quarterbacks who will be worth watching once fans are allowed to attend games.
- What is everyone's favorite sport memory? Doesn't have to be just football, could be any sport moment you got to see live either on TV or in-person. My favorite sports memory just happens to be the first one I vividly remember. It was the final week of the 1988 season and the Bengals were playing Washington. If the Bengals won the game, they'd win their division and get home-field advantage throughout the playoffs (Seriously, we once lived in a world where the Bengals were in the hunt for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs). The game was tied at 17 with five seconds left and Washington kicker Chip Lohmiller was trying a 29-yard field goal. I thought for sure the game was over, but then he MISSED the kick off the upright, which sent the game to overtime. In OT, the Bengals forced a fumble that set up a game-winning field goal by my dad (Jim Breech). My dad hit nine game-winning overtime field goals in his career, but this was the only one I saw in person. I should have demanded the game ball. My second favorite sports memory is Miami (Ohio) going to the Sweet 16 in 1999.
To listen to the rest of the questions from today's mailbag -- and to follow the podcast -- be sure to click here.
2. Father says football 'messed up' his son after ex-NFL player kills five in South Carolina
Former NFL player Phillip Adams killed five people this week before turning the gun on himself a few hours later, according to police. The shooting took place on Wednesday afternoon near the home of a prominent doctor in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The five shooting victims were identified as Dr. Robert Lesslie and his wife, Barbara, along with their grandchildren Adah Lesslie, 9, and Noah Lesslie, 5. James Lewis, a 38-year-old man who had been working at the Lesslie home, was also killed in the shooting.
After the shooting took place, police went on a manhunt in search of the suspect. After finding Adams holed up in his parents' home, police believe he killed himself just "after midnight with a .45-caliber weapon," according to the AP. Lesslie and his family lived less than one mile away from Adams' parents.
Adams played for a total of six teams during his six seasons in the NFL. After being drafted in the seventh-round by the 49ers in 2010, he would spend one year in San Francisco before also playing with the Seahawks, Patriots, Raiders, Jets and Falcons.
Adams' father, who spoke with a Charlotte television station on Thursday, blamed part of the tragedy on the fact that his son played football.
"I can say he's a good kid," Alonzo Adams told WCNC-TV. "I think the football messed him up."
You can read more details on the tragic story by clicking here.
3. Mock Draft: Jerry Jones apparently infatuated with Kyle Pitts
If you were to make a list of all the Cowboys' positional needs going into the 2021 NFL Draft, a tight end probably wouldn't be in the top three, but don't tell that to Jerry Jones, who has apparently become infatuated with the idea of selecting Kyle Pitts.
That news comes from ESPN's Chris Mortensen, who had this to say earlier this week:
"We're hearing this thing about Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys and the GM, being infatuated with Kyle Pitts," Mortensen said. "So I figure he's gonna have to trade up to get Kyle Pitts.... He spent $40 million a year on Dak Prescott so why not go get Kyle Pitts, or if he actually falls to 10 you couldn't rule him out."
The only potential problem with the Cowboys trying to land Pitts is that it's likely not going to be cheap to acquire him. There's almost no scenario where Pitts is going to drop to the Cowboys at 10th overall, which means they're going to have to trade up and you almost always have to pay a steep price to move up in the top 10.
Our four main draft writers here at CBSSports.com have Pitts going anywhere from fourth overall to sixth overall, which means, even in the best case scenario, the Cowboys will still have to trade up four spots. It doesn't mean it's impossible, but it does mean Jones better get ready to pay a hefty price if he actually wants to land the Florida tight end.
With that in mind, here are the top five picks in the latest mock draft from our Bryan DeArdo, who has Pitts going fourth overall.
1. Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)
2. Jets: QB Justin Fields (Ohio State)
3. 49ers: QB Zach Wilson (BYU)
4. Falcons: TE Kyle Pitts (Florida)
5. Bengals: WR Ja'Marr Chase (LSU)
To check out the rest of DeArdo's first-round mock draft, be sure to click here.
4. NFL's richest owners revealed
If the NFL ever decides to dump its salary cap, there's a good chance the Carolina Panthers would turn into an unstoppable powerhouse and that's because they have the richest owner in the league.
According to the newest billionaire numbers from Forbes, not only is David Tepper the wealthiest owner with a net worth of $14.5 billion, but he's also the only one in the NFL who's even worth more than $10 billion. According to Forbes, there are only four owners in the NFL who are worth more than $8 billion. Besides Tepper, the only other owners in the $8 billion club are Jerry Jones, Shad Khan (Jaguars) and Stan Kroenke (Rams).
Although Kroenke isn't at the top of the list, he would be ranked No. 1 if you counted the net worth of his entire family. The Rams owner is married to Walmart heiress Ann Walton Kroenke, who's separately worth an estimated $8.4 billion, bringing the family total to $16.6 billion.
In somewhat related news, Jeff Bezos is the world's richest man for the fourth-straight year with a net worth of $177 billion. The only reason I'm mentioning that is because his name came up last week during the Chargers ownership dispute. Chargers co-owner Dea Spanos Berberian, the sister of controlling owner Dean Spanos, wants to see the team sold and she specifically mentioned that the Chargers should reach out to Bezos to see if he's interested. If Bezos bought the team, he'd be richer than the rest of the NFL owners combined.
Top-15 richest NFL owners
1. David Tepper, Panthers: $14.5 billion (142nd richest person in the world)
2. Jerry Jones, Cowboys: $8.9 billion
3. Stan Kroenke, Rams: $8.2 billion
4. Shahid Khan, Jaguars: $8 billion
5. Stephen Ross, Dolphins: $7 billion
6. Robert Kraft, Patriots: $6.9 billion
7. Arthur Blank, Falcons: $6.2 billion
8. Terry Pegula, Bills: $5.4 billion
9. Stephen Bisciotti, Ravens: $4.9 billion
10. Janice McNair, Texans: $4.1 billion
11. Denise York, 49ers: $3.5 billion
12. Gayle Benson, Saints: $3.4 billion
T-13. Jimmy Haslam, Browns: $3 billion
T-13. Jim Irsay, Colts: $3 billion
T-13. Jeffrey Lurie, Eagles: $3 billion
5. Packers mock draft: Aaron Rodgers finally gets offensive help
With less than three weeks to go until the NFL Draft, it's time to get serious around here and when we get serious, we start producing seven-round mock drafts. Today, you're getting the Green Bay Packers.
If you paid attention to the draft last year, you may have noticed that no one got ridiculed more for their picks than the Packers. Although Green Bay could have used a wide receiver for Aaron Rodgers in the first round, they decided to throw their needs out the window to draft a quarterback instead. As if that wasn't bad enough, they followed that up by using their second-round pick on a running back.
The good news for Packers fans is that it doesn't seem possible that Green Bay could do any worse in the draft than they did last year. In his mock draft for the Packers, Cody Benjamin has Green Bay picking up some much-needed defensive help in the first round, followed by a new weapon for Aaron Rodgers in the second round.
With that in mind, here's the full seven-round mock draft for Green Bay:
- First round (29th overall): LB Zaven Collins (Tulsa)
- Second (62): WR Tutu Atwell (Louisville)
- Third (92): OT Dan Moore Jr. (Texas A&M)
- Fourth (135): CB Trill Williams (Syracuse)
- Fourth (142): EDGE Victor Dimukeje (Cincinnati)
- Fifth (173): C Jordan Reid (Michigan State)
- Fifth (178): TE Matt Bushman (BYU)
- Sixth (214): DL Marquiss Spencer (Mississippi State)
- Sixth (220): OLB Jamal Hines (Toledo)
- Seventh (256): OT Denzel Okafor (Texas)
You can check out Benjamin's full explanation for each of Green Bay's pick by clicking here. If you need even more mock drafts in your life -- and who doesn't -- we also have a full Vikings mock draft (Click here), a full Bears mock draft (Click here) and a full Chargers mock draft (Click here).
6. Patriots could lose Julian Edelman for part of 2021 season
After missing 10 games due to a chronic knee injury in 2020, Patriots receiver Julian Edelman could end up missing even more games in 2021 due to the same injury.
The former Super Bowl MVP underwent knee surgery in October in hopes that he would be able to return before the 2020 season ended, but that return never happened. Although Edelman has now had six months to heal, that hasn't really helped him thanks to the chronic nature of his problem. According to the Boston Herald, Edelman could choose to undergo another surgery, which would give him some temporary relief in the short run, but it wouldn't help him in the long run.
Edelman's knee has been bothering him for nearly two years and due to the constant issues he has with the knee, it's unlikely that things will get much better before the start of the 2021 season.
If Edelman can't play, that leaves the Patriots in a dicey situation. If the Patriots don't want to wait around to see if he'll be healthy, the team could cut him in a move that would free up roughly $3.5 million in cap space. On the other hand, they could also decide to keep him and let him mentor the younger receivers on the team. Either way, the 34-year-old won't be in New England much longer. He'll either be cut before the upcoming season starts or he'll leave after his contract expires following the 2021 season.
7. The Kicker: Patrick Mahomes hanging out at The Masters with Trevor Lawrence
I'm not sure what you guys did two days before your wedding, but I'm guessing you didn't get to hang out with Patrick Mahomes at The Masters. The only reason I'm bringing that up is because that's exactly what Trevor Lawrence did on Thursday.
The presumptive No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft, who's getting married THIS WEEKEND, decided to sneak in a trip to Augusta on Thursday so he could watch the first round of The Masters. I'm guessing this means all of the wedding planning is done, because not only was Lawrence in attendance at Augusta National, but his fiancee, Marissa Mowry, was also there.
During his time on the course, Lawrence spent some time talking to Mahomes and I'm guessing they were talking about how many Super Bowls they're going to combine to win over the next 20 years. I'm guessing 12. If you want to see pictures of the two quarterbacks talking on the golf course, feel free to click here.
As for me, I will not be attending The Masters, but I will be watching the final three rounds on TV in case you're wondering what my plans are for the weekend.