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These are WILD TIMES in the NFL. The 2018 NFL Draft is upon us in just over a week, and to distract us, we've got everyone freaking out about the future of Aaron Rodgers (reportedly "frustrated") and Tom Brady (he hasn't committed to playing yet!)
Things are so weird that we're lobbing out casual three-team trade options involving the Bills, Giants and Broncos and it doesn't even really move the needle on draft insanity.
To try and sort through this mess, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora joined me on the Pick Six Podcast for a robust discussion on the following:
1. Rodgers' future in Green Bay and whether he should have any personnel control
2. Russell Wilson's future in Seattle.
People are sort of sleeping on this, as JLC points out, but Wilson only has two years left on his deal. 2018 could very well be his final season with the Seahawks if they are terrible and he decides he wants to play elsewhere or the Seahawks think they're better off trying to build around a cheap quarterback again. Wilson is going to turn 30 years old during the 2018 season.
"The rubber is going to hit the road here in 10 months from now," La Canfora said (listen to the full interview below). "If they're not -- if we get to January/February of next year and they're not actively engaging Russell Wilson and trying to pull out all the stops and re-recruit him and woo him and start putting proposals together.
"I think they're going to have a decision to make between next January to when they get back from the combine about 'What are we doing here?' Are we giving him -- at that point I'm going to guess it's $33 [million] a year, you know? Maybe, depending on what Rodgers gets and Matt Ryan gets, it's certainly going to be north of $30 [million]. He's one of the best postseason quarterbacks in history. He's done a whole lot with not a whole lot around him, especially since the demise of Marshawn Lynch.
"It's going to be a pretty simple calculation. You sit down with the owner and you say, are we re-upping with him and building around this model for the next five years. And if not, you have to trade him next year. You can't do the franchise tag thing and at that point, what's the franchise tag going to be, $37 [million]? We'll see. As soon as that season ends, especially if they don't miss the playoffs, they're going to have about six weeks there where it'll be incredibly telling whether they're engaging with him on a very active level or not."
This is not nothing. La Canfora sees them likely taking a quarterback at some point fairly early in the draft. Maybe it's all meaningless when Wilson signs a five-year, $150 million extension this offseason, but there are real issues to deal with, including an absurdly-priced franchise tag that will make it tough to retain Wilson moving forward.
3. Dez Bryant wants to play for the Gaints? His market might not be as strong as he thinks.
4. Could the Patriots be targeting Josh Rosen? And if so how high would they go?
JLC has the Pats moving into the top 10 for the UCLA quarterback, packaging picks to make a swap with the Raiders. Is that their ceiling? He thinks so, and it would require one of the top four quarterbacks to slide down the board.
"I don't know that they would go higher than [No. 10]. At what cost at that point, and are you absolutely sold on the kid? And it's someone you're praying doesn't take a snap for a year," La Canfora said. "So I think that's the highest they go. And look -- it could turn out they don't have to go that high. Maybe Rosen falls even more. I'm not saying Rosen is their guy, I think they'd love to get Baker Mayfield. I just don't see that happening.
"But is there a point where one of these kids is at 10 or one of these kids is at 13 or 16 or whatever where he could be the guy or we like him a lot and there's value there to do it. Or potential for value if he becomes the next guy. And Rosen just so happened that he fell and there are people who feel like he's the best pure quarterback this draft. And yeah, he might not be everybody's cup of tea, and yeah, he's a millennial. But Bill Belichick in his heart is an economist. I think the perceived value at a certain point will make sense. I can also see him not having to give up quite as much -- Gruden's been off it for a while, the Raiders have already done some stuff that's off the grid."
5. Three-team trade??
How would this work out exactly? I laid out a draft trade situation with the Giants, Broncos and Bills right here in more detail.
6. Quenton Nelson is a "s---kicker" and could go No. 2 overall.
JLC breaks down what people are saying about the Notre Dame guard prospect.
"Some guys I really trust were throwing around Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame, best interior offensive line prospect in 15 years," La Canfora said. "Beats the snot out of people, comes into your room, day one, is the alpha male in your lineman room, absolute, just, s---kicker in the run game and also doesn't give up any sacks."
Bonus: I learned how to use a bleep button. Exciting times in the Brinson household.
Full podcast below. Love the new format, hate the new format, have someone you want to see on the pod? Hit me up on Twitter @WillBrinson. Rate and review if you like the show.
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