Hello Football Friends, it is I, Nicholas Newsletter. OK, we all know that's not my name, but if I write this newsletter for another two or three years, there's a 70% chance I'm going to change it to that. It has a nice ring to it.
Speaking of rings, the Buccaneers will be getting a Super Bowl ring at some point this offseason, but before that happens, they're going to be celebrating their Super Bowl win at the White House with a trip that's scheduled to go down Tuesday. I know how much everyone loves mixing football and politics, so tomorrow should be a fun day on Twitter.
Not only will we be looking at the details of the Buccaneers' White House trip today, but we'll also be taking a look at nine players who could get traded before the start of the season. With that in mind, let's get to the rundown.
As always, here's your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the Pick Six newsletter. To sign them up, all you have to do is click here and then share this link with them.
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.
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 there was one time where we spent 10 minutes debating what the best Doritos flavor is (I used to think the answer was cool ranch, but then I had spicy sweet chili recently, and now, I'm not so sure). 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.
Here's one question that we answered in today's mailbag:
Q: I need your thoughts on the Bermuda triangle phenomenon that exists in the NFL between Detroit, Cleveland and Cincinnati. So many number one picks, numerous careers washed away, more losing than should be allowed for any fan base, the land of perpetual "Next year's our year" chatter and most importantly zero Super Bowl wins.
A: I'm not sure this guy actually asked a question, but I'm going to answer it anyway. Living in the Bermuda Triangle of the NFL AND rooting for one of these teams ages you in dog years, which is why I'm technically 213 years old. I lived in this Bermuda triangle for 25 years (Cincinnati) and I still have nightmares about it. Whenever I see a Browns fan or a Lions fan out in public, I automatically empathize with them, because I know what kind of torture they've gone through cheering for their team.
When you look at how bad these three teams have been, it's almost impossible to believe: None of the three teams has ever won a Super Bowl (the Lions and Browns have never even been to one). Over the past 25 years, the three teams have combined for exactly one playoff win and that came last year with the Browns (The Browns are 1-2 in that span, the Lions are 0-5 and the Bengals are 0-7). The Browns haven't won a division title since the 1980s and the Lions only have one playoff win EVER in the Super Bowl era.
The shocking part is that these teams have somehow managed to remain bad even though they've combined to have 10 No. 1 overall picks over the past 41 years (the Bengals and Browns have had four each, the Lions have had two).
I'm 50% sure that one of these teams will win something at some point, but I'm also 50% sure they won't. Apparently, my mind is a Bermuda triangle.
To listen to the rest of the mailbag -- and to follow the podcast -- be sure to click here.
2. Buccaneers headed to the White House this week
It's been more than four years since a Super Bowl champion has visited the White House, but that drought is going to end this week and that's because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be heading to Washington, D.C.
According to the Associated Press, the Buccaneers will be celebrating their Super Bowl win with Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday.
Here's what we know and what we don't know about the event:
- Buccaneers first NFL champions to visit D.C. since 2016 season. A Super Bowl winning team hasn't visited the White House since April 2017 when the Patriots visited with Donald Trump. That ended up being the only time Trump hosted an NFL team. The 2017 Eagles and 2018 Patriots both ended up not visiting the White House. The 2019 Chiefs never had the option because of the pandemic.
- Will Tom Brady show up? Although the Buccaneers will be at the White House, that doesn't mean Tom Brady is going to show up. The 43-year-old has skipped his last two White House visits. Brady didn't show for New England's April 2017 visit with Trump or the Patriots' April 2015 visit with Barack Obama.
- Buccaneers kick off training camp just days after their visit. After meeting with Biden on Tuesday, most of the players will be heading straight back to Tampa and that's because the Buccaneers will be reporting to training camp on Saturday.
Basically, it's going to be a busy week for the Buccaneers.
3. Packers took a major financial hit in 2020
The pandemic was a financial disaster for the Packers, who spent more money than they earned for the first time this century. According to numbers from the Associated Press, the team reported a negative revenue with losses that reached $38.8 million.
That being said, don't feel sorry for the team. Packers president Mark Murphy emphasized over the weekend that the team is still in good financial shape.
"The pandemic had a significant impact on our finances. But that said, I think the Packers remain in a very strong position financially," Murphy said Friday.
Here's a deeper look at the numbers:
- No fans in the stands had a major impact. The Packers were hit hard financially because they didn't have any fans at Lambeau Field during the regular season, which caused their local revenues to fall from $210.9 million in 2019 to $61.8 million in 2020. Overall, the team earned $371.1 million in 2020, but the revenue loss came because they had expenses of $409.8 million.
- Team actually earned money overall. According to the Sports Business Journal, the Packers ended up earning $60.7 million in 2020. The reason they were able to do that -- despite a $38.8 million loss in the revenue department -- is because the team's investment fund made was wildly successful thanks to the rebound of the stock market (The fund had a gain of $120 million, which more than erased any losses the Packers had during the fiscal year).
- Silver lining for the Packers and every other NFL team. The good news for Green Bay -- and every other NFL team -- is that the Packers got a revenue-sharing check for $309.2 million from the NFL. Every team gets that check and it's up from $296 million, which is how much each team received after the 2019 season.
Basically, what this should all tell you is that owning an NFL team is a solid investment, so you should buy one if you can.
4. Best defensive players age 30 and over
Last week in these parts we covered the top players in the NFL under the age of 25 and since I don't want anyone to accuse me of being an ageist, I've decided we're now going to also put together a list of the top players age 30 and over.
On Friday, we covered the best offensive players over the age of 30, so now, we're going to look at the best defensive players over 30.
Top defensive players age 30 and over
DE: Brandon Graham, Eagles
DT: Aaron Donald, Rams
DT: Fletcher Cox, Eagles
DE: Cameron Jordan, Saints
LB: Bobby Wagner, Seahawks
LB: Lavonte David, Buccaneers
CB: Stephon Gilmore, Patriots
CB: Joe Haden, Steelers
S: Harrison Smith, Vikings
S: Malcolm Jenkins, Saints
S: Jordan Poyer, Bills
The Eagles were the only team that had multiple players on the list, which isn't necessarily a good thing, because that means they have some aging veterans they're going to have to replace soon.
This list was put together by Jeff Kerr and you can check out the entire thing by clicking here.
5. Nine trade candidates who could get dealt before the season starts
For the past three months, all eyes around the NFL have been on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers with everyone wondering whether Green Bay will actually trade its star quarterback. As you've probably noticed, that situation has been HOGGING the spotlight. Rodgers isn't the only player who could be traded before the start of the season so we decided to make a list of other players who could get dealt.
Our Cody Benjamin, AKA the man who writes the Wednesday newsletter, put that list together and here's his breakdown of five players who could get traded.
- Broncos RB Melvin Gordon: "The former Chargers back got decent money (two years, $16M) to headline Denver's backfield in 2020 and fared relatively well, but the Broncos are under new management and just spent a second-rounder on Javonte Williams."
- Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore: "Entering his age-31 season, Gilmore doesn't seem in a rush to leave New England; he just wants a raise. The Pats will likely try to appease the perennial Pro Bowler before even fielding calls, but if/when the two sides don't strike a new deal, suitors will be there."
- Bears WR Allen Robinson: "The current regime used its franchise tag on A-Rob partly because 2021 is a critical year, and without him, the Bears would be devoid of any proven No. 1 pass catcher. But that doesn't change the fact these two sides have been 'talking' about a new deal for ages without resolution."
- Texans CB Bradley Roby: "He's still a starting-caliber cover man on an otherwise porous roster. But the Texans need all the cap relief and additional assets they can get. The new front office may very well be restarting at QB -- and every other position, to be frank -- by 2022, if not this year, and Roby would still look appealing to contenders."
- Jets S Marcus Maye: "Does Joe Douglas prefer to deal Maye? Probably not. But he also didn't prefer to deal Jamal Adams. And both standout safeties failed to strike a long-term deal with the GM before exploring other options. The fact of the matter is Douglas doesn't prioritize lucrative paydays for the position."
Cody's list actually included a total of nine players. If you want to see everyone on the list or if you want a full explanation for why the five guys above might get dealt, be sure to click here.
6. Rapid-fire roundup
It was a busy 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.
- Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors. When Sherman went to court on Friday, the expectation was that he would be hit with at least four charges. That number ended up being five after Sherman was charged with DUI, endangering roadway workers, resisting arrest and domestic-violence-related counts of malicious mischief and criminal trespass. The good news for Sherman is that he won't be facing any felony charges. All five charges are misdemeanors, which means he'll likely be able to avoid jail time if he gets convicted. Sherman has pleaded not guilty and he also released a statement following his court hearing.
- Ted Ginn retires after 14 NFL seasons. After being selected by the Dolphins with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, Ginn managed to last 14 years in the NFL thanks in large part to his blazing speed, which never seemed to go away even as he aged. Ginn played for a total of six teams during his career (Dolphins, 49ers, Panthers, Cardinals, Saints, Bears). He'll finish his career with 412 catches for 5,742 yards and 33 touchdowns. The prolific returner also had seven return touchdowns (four punt and three kickoff returns).
- Saints defensive star hit with major suspension. Saints defensive lineman David Onyemata has been suspended for six games by the NFL after testing positive for a banned substance (We mentioned on Friday that he was suspended, but at the time, the length of the suspension wasn't clear).
- Two teams under 50% vaccine threshold. The Chargers, Colts, Cardinals and Washington currently have the four lowest vaccination rates in the league and it seems the lowest number belongs to Indy and Washington, who are currently the only two teams with less than a 50% vaccination rate, according to the Associated Press. The NFL is going to make things really easy this year for teams with more than 85% of their players vaccinated, which means both Indy and Washington have a long way to go.
- Melvin Ingram visiting Steelers. With Bud Dupree now in Tennessee, the Steelers are still looking for some pass-rushing help, which is one reason one they're bringing Melvin Ingram in for a visit today. Ingram is a free agent for the first time in his career after spending his first nine years in the NFL with the Chargers. Although he only played in seven games last season due to a knee injury, the 32-year-old did make it to the Pro Bowl in each of the three seasons before that.