Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
I'm not sure if you've looked at a calendar today, but if you haven't, I have some absolutely unbelievable news: The NFL regular season starts in exactly ONE WEEK. That's right, tonight is your last Thursday night without NFL football until January. Please tell your family and plan accordingly.
To mark the occasion, we're going to celebrate here at the newsletter by previewing the 2023 season from a different angle every day between now and next Thursday when the Lions and Chiefs kick off in Kansas City.
We rounded up 12 of our NFL writers and had them pick their division winners. Also, we're going to rank the last-place teams from 2022 that have the best chance of finishing in first this year. We have a lot to cover, so let's get to the rundown.
As always, here's your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. It's the perfect gift to get for your favorite football-loving friend. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here.
1. Picking a winner in every NFL division
With the NFL season kicking off in just one week, we thought now would be the perfect time to round up all of our NFL writers and ask them to make their picks for the winner of each division.
Of the NFL's eight divisions, our 12 writers didn't unanimously agree on the winner of a single one. The Chiefs came the closest, but in the end, they only got 10 of 12 votes to win the AFC West (The Chargers got the other two).
Here's a look at our voting results for each division, along with how many first-place votes each team in the division received. If a team isn't listed, it's because they received zero votes. (Next to each team's name, you can see their odds at Caesars Sportsbook for winning the division and how many first-place votes they received from each writer.)
Bills (+125): Seven votes to win the division
Jets (+250): Four votes
Dolphins (+300): One vote (The lone Dolphins vote came from Bryan DeArdo)
Bengals (+160): Five votes
Steelers (+475): Four votes
Ravens (+220): Two votes
Jaguars (-175): Nine votes
Titans (+340): Three votes
Chiefs (-175): 10 votes
Chargers (+280): Two votes
Eagles (-125): Seven votes
Cowboys (+165): Four votes
Giants (+850): One vote (The lone Giants vote came from Ryan Wilson)
Packers (+360): Four votes
Vikings (+260): Four votes
Lions (+120): Four votes
Saints (+105): 10 votes
Falcons (+190): Two votes
49ers (-200): Six votes
Seahawks (+220): Five votes
If you want to read our explanation for each of our votes, then.
2. Ranking the teams most likely to go from worst to first in 2023
One thing that makes the NFL so entertaining every year is the fact that it's one of the most unpredictable sports on the planet, and nothing proves that more than the league's ability to produce at least one team every season that goes from worst to first.
Last year, that team was the Jacksonville Jaguars. After finishing with an ugly record of 3-14 in 2021, the Jags bounced back in a big way in 2022 by winning the AFC South, which should give some hope to every team that finished at the bottom of its division last season.
So which team has the best chance to be this year's Jaguars?
Here are the rankings I came up with (If you feel like yelling at me on Twitter about how bad the rankings are, feel free to do so here).
Teams with the best chance to go from worst to first:
If you're wondering how I came up with these rankings, then you're going to have to read my full story, which.
3. Nick Bosa update: 49ers won't trade their star as holdout continues, but he could miss games
The 49ers star held out of training camp in hopes of getting a new contract, but that new contract still hasn't come, and with just 10 days to go until the 49ers' season opener against the Steelers, there's no guarantee that a deal is going to get done before then.
Earlier this offseason, the 49ers seemed confident that Bosa situation would be resolved by Week 1, but now, Kyle Shanahan doesn't sound so sure. Here are a few things that Shanahan and general manager John Lynch had to say about the Bosa situation on Wednesday.
- Shanahan actually sounds worried that a deal might not get done in time for Week 1. During his press conference, Shanahan was asked if the thought Bosa would be signed by now and here's what he had to say: "I thought it would come probably at this time just looking at the history of those things," Shanahan said. "I'm really hoping it gets done."
- Could Bosa miss the start of the season? The 49ers coach was asked if he could imagine a situation where Bosa isn't on the field for the first game or two. "I can imagine anything," Shanahan said. "Doesn't mean I like that picture. Of course not. You guys know how we feel about Nick, and we all know how good of a player he is. So hopefully we can come to terms soon and get him here as fast as possible." Shanahan definitely sounds unsure about when Bosa might show up.
- The 49ers definitely won't be trading Bosa. Shanahan and Lynch both gave the same answer when asked if there was a chance that Bosa would be traded and that answer was an empathic "No."
Bosa is headed into the final year of a rookie deal that's scheduled to pay him $17.86 million in 2023. It's not clear what Bosa's asking price is, but as the reigning Defensive Player of the Year who led the NFL in sacks last season, it wouldn't be surprising if he's looking to land a deal that would make him the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL. That honor currently belongs to Aaron Donald, who's making $31.67 million per year. The next closest defensive player is T.J. Watt, who's making $28 million per year. If the 49ers are willing to give Bosa a Watt-level of money, but not Donald, that could be the gap that's causing issues. Whatever the problem is, the 49ers need to figure it out soon if they want to have Bosa on the field for Week 1.
In other 49ers news, the team has finally added another kicker. With Jake Moody set to possibly miss the opener due to a quad injury, the 49ers have signed Matthew Wright to their practice squad, according to ESPN.com.
4. Jonathan Taylor trade talks got crazy
Colts running back Jonathan Taylor didn't end up getting traded this week, but it seems that things did get a little crazy on Tuesday between the Colts and other teams looking to add Taylor.
Here's a brief look at some of the things that went down:
- Packers tried to acquire Taylor. Going into Tuesday, we knew there was a mystery team involved in the trade talks and it turns out that team was THE PACKERS. Despite already having Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, the Packers when asked about the trade rumors. . "We're not doing what we're supposed to be doing if we're not investigating these things," Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said
- Colts tried to get Jaylen Waddle from the Dolphins. The Dolphins seemed to have the most interest in Taylor, but a deal couldn't get done and that's likely because of Indy's absurd asking price. Apparently, the Colts wanted Jaylen Waddle via Pro Football Network. "It wouldn't matter who they talked about." . Dolphins GM Chris Grier didn't want to talk about specific trade rumors this week, but he did have this to say when asked about the Colts request: "Jaylen Waddle would not be available to anybody," Grier said,
- Colts now sound like a broken team. With Taylor now stuck playing for a team that he doesn't want to play for, Colts general manager Chris Ballard gave a blunt breakdown of the situation. "It sucks for the Colts, it sucks for Jonathan Taylor, and it sucks for our fans," Ballard said Wednesday. I would agree with all of that.
Although Taylor is on the roster right now, that doesn't mean he will be when the season ends. If the Colts are open to dealing him, they'll have roughly eight weeks to find a trade partner before the Oct. 31 trade deadline. Teams can try to make a trade for Taylor even though he'll be out for at least the first four games of the season after being placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list this week.
5. 2023 All-AFC North team: Ravens dominate with nine players
The Cincinnati Bengals have won back-to-back division titles in the AFC North, but that didn't help them when Jared Dubin went through and made his all-division team for the AFC North this year.
Dubin went through all four rosters in the division to create one Super Team that consisted of 27 players (12 on offense, 12 on defense plus three special teams). Of the 27 players on the All-AFC North team, nine of them came from Baltimore, which ended up being two more than the Bengals produced.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the offense for the AFC North's all-division team:
QB: Joe Burrow, Bengals
RB: Nick Chubb, Browns
WR: Ja'Marr Chase, Bengals
WR: Tee Higgins, Bengals
WR: Amari Cooper, Browns
TE: Mark Andrews, Ravens
FLEX: George Pickens, Steelers
OT: Ronnie Stanley, Ravens
OT: Jack Conklin, Browns
OG: Joel Bitonio, Browns
OG: Kevin Zeitler, Ravens
C: Tyler Linderbaum, Ravens
If you want to see the defensive side of the AFC North's All-Division team, plus the special teams representatives, then be.
6. Extra points: T.J. Hockenson lands huge extension from Vikings
It's been a busy 24 hours 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.
- T.J. Hockenson finally gets an extension. The tight end had been hoping to get a new deal before the start of the season and that signing a four-year, $68.5 million extension, including $42.5 million in guaranteed money, per ESPN. The Vikings with the Lions. . He is
- Joe Burrow returns to practice. For the first time in more than a month, the Bengals quarterback . Burrow had not practiced since injuring his calf on July 27. The return of Burrow means that everyone in Cincinnati can now exhale.
- Cardinals were apparently breaking a lot of rules in 2018. The Cardinals were apparently using burner phones to communicate with suspended general manager Steve Keim back in 2018, according to ESPN.com. That nugget comes from former Cardinals coach -- and current 49ers defensive coordinator -- Steve Wilks, who testified in front of an NFL arbitrator this week in relation to a complaint that has been filed against the Cardinals. You can see all the details of the story here.
- Cade York turns down Browns to sign with Titans. After getting dumped by Cleveland this week, the Browns offered York a spot on their practice squad, but he TURNED THEM DOWN. Instead, York where he'll likely have a chance to compete with Nick Folk for the starting job.
- Joe Montana says Dan Marino is the best QB of all time. In an interview with Men's Health, the 49ers legend was asked to give his vote for the best QB of all time and his answer was NOT Tom Brady. Instead, Montana gave his vote to Dan Marino and if you want to know why, you'll .
- 'Inside the NFL' announces its new analysts. The iconic NFL show announced a new set of analysts this week and there have been some big names added. The show, which will air Tuesdays on The CW, will be hosted by Ryan Clark. The former Steelers star will be joined by Jay Cutler, Chad Johnson, Chris Long and former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder.
- Hall of Famer passes away. Gil Brandt, who spent nearly 30 years as a member of the Cowboys organization, can hear more about Brandt's mark on the game here. at the age of 91. Brandt spent most of his time with the team as the vice president of player personnel. He was inducted into the Cowboys' Ring of Honor in 2018 and then one year after that, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Brandt was also a key figure in the creation of the NFL combine and the refining of the NFL Draft. You