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Welcome to the Monday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

If you're working today, then give yourself a pat on the back. Of course, we're working here at the newsletter, and that's because we don't ever take any days off. Actually, that's not true. As a matter of fact, you might want to save this newsletter and read it again tomorrow, because you won't be getting a new one on the Fourth of July. We'll be taking the day off and then returning on Wednesday. 

However, before we get to that day off, we have a jam-packed newsletter today that features our annual NFL coaches ranking, plus we're also ranking the top 10 interior defensive linemen in the NFL. If you're the betting type, we also have the best value teams that you can currently bet on to win each NFL division.  

As always, here's your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. We'll be delivering NFL news here all summer. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here. Let's get to the rundown. 

1. Today's show: Breaking down the Vikings offseason


Once again, it's time for another episode of our "All 32" series, and for today's show, we're focusing on the Minnesota Vikings. If you don't have any idea what the "All 32" series is, let me fill you in real quick: Between now and the start of training camp, every NFL team will get their own episode on the Pick Six podcast where we break down everything about their offseason while also predicting how their 2023 season will play out. 

To talk about how things are going in Minnesota, we brought on Cody Benjamin, who you might also know as the guy who writes the Wednesday newsletter around these parts. Cody lives in Minnesota, so he's had a front row seat to everything the Vikings have been doing for the past couple years (He also attended OTAs this year). 

Here are a few topics host Katie Mox and Will Brinson covered with Benjamin: 

  • Is Kirk Cousins the QB of the future in Minnesota? Kirk Cousins has been in Minnesota since 2018, but after five seasons, everything will be up in the air following the 2023 season. "If the Vikings wanted him locked up, they would have done that," Cody said. "I think of him kind of like Derek Carr with the Raiders fan base: He's not disliked, he's borderline top-10 production, but there's been no trophy to show for his [time in Minnesota]." If the Vikings don't have a successful season, Cody could see a situation where they move on from Cousins, who is going into the final year of his contract. "For the first time in five years, everything is on the table for the Vikings at quarterback after this season," Cody said. 
  • How many games can the Vikings win? Even though the Vikings won the NFC North last season with a record of 13-4, they're not getting much respect from the oddsmakers, who have the Lions as the favorite to win the division this year. The Vikings over/under total is set at 8.5 wins and Cody think they're going to hit the over, but he's not overly confident about that. "I'm going over, but barely," Cody said. "I would project a 9-8 season."

Cody spent nearly 25 minutes talking about the Vikings, and if you want to hear everything he had to say, you can listen to today's show here. You can also watch today's show on YouTube by clicking here.

2. Ranking all 32 NFL head coaches: Andy Reid on top for the second straight year

If you want to spend your Fourth of July having a wild debate, then make sure you show up to any party you're attending tomorrow with Cody Benjamin's latest ranking of NFL coaches. For the second straight year, Andy Reid is at the top of Cody's list. 

If this ranking was a career award, Bill Belichick would definitely be at the top, but it's not -- it's a ranking of who the best coach is heading into 2023, and Cody has Andy Reid at the top. You can certainly make the argument that Reid belongs ahead of Belichick this year. Under Reid's guide, the Chiefs have been to FIVE straight AFC title games and three of the past four Super Bowls (Also, since taking over the Chiefs job in 2013, Reid actually has a 4-3 record against Belichick). 

With that in mind, let's take a look at the top half of Cody's ranking: 

Top 16 coaches

1. Andy Reid, Chiefs
2. Kyle Shanahan, 49ers
3. Bill Belichick, Patriots 
4. Sean McVay, Rams
5. John Harbaugh, Ravens
6. Mike Tomlin, Steelers 
7. Sean McDermott, Bills
8. Sean Payton, Broncos
9. Pete Carroll, Seahawks
10. Doug Pederson, Jaguars
11. Matt LaFleur, Packers
12. Nick Sirianni, Eagles
13. Mike Vrabel, Titans
14. Zac Taylor, Bengals
15. Brian Daboll, Giants
16. Frank Reich, Colts

Cody knows I'm the resident Bengals homer here at, so it's clear his plan was to get me ALL RILED UP just before the Fourth of July. That's the only way to explain why he ranked Zac Taylor so low. 

Over the past two years, Taylor has more playoff wins than any coach on this list not named Andy Reid. He's also TIED with BILL WALSH for the fifth-highest playoff winning percentage in NFL history for anyone who's coached at least five playoff games. If you want to knock Taylor, you can certainly point to his first two years with the Bengals where he went just 6-25-1, but Cody didn't seem to hold that against Kyle Shanahan, who's at No. 2 even though he went 10-22 in his first two years with the 49ers. 

To be fair to Cody, though, I'm not sure where Taylor belongs. I'd probably have him ahead of Sirianni, Vrabel and McDermott (and maybe even LaFleur), so he'd be on the cusp of my top 10. As for Shanahan, I don't think I'd have him at No. 2. The 49ers coach is definitely one of the best game-planners in the business, but he also has three seasons of six wins or less. Not to mention, his team blew the second-largest lead in Super Bowl history in 2019 (against the Chiefs) and then he followed that up in 2021 by watching his team blow the fourth-largest lead in the history of the NFC title game (He was also the Falcons offensive coordinator when they blew that 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl, but I don't think we can hold that against him since he wasn't the head coach). Shanahan is definitely a top three game-planner, but once you get to in-game coaching, I'm not sure he's in my top seven. 

Anyway, this is just the top half of Cody's rankings. If you want to see where all 32 coaches ended up, be sure to click here so you can check out Cody's story. If you're a Bengals fan who wants to argue with Cody about the fact that Taylor isn't ranked higher, you can do that on Twitter by clicking here, but please be nice because he's going to know I sent you. 

3. Ranking the NFL's top 10 interior defensive linemen heading into the 2023 season


For the past two weeks, we've been ranking every positional group in the NFL, and if you thought that we were done with our rankings, you were wrong. We've got another top 10 list coming at you today and this one is coming to you from Tyler Sullivan, who ranked the 10 best interior defensive linemen in the NFL. 

For Sullivan, the best part about making this ranking is that you don't have to put any thought in to the top spot because that automatically goes to Aaron Donald. After that, though, things are wide open. 

Let's check out his list. 

Top 10 interior defensive linemen for 2023

1. Aaron Donald, Rams
2. Chris Jones, Chiefs
3. Quinnen Williams, Jets
4. Dexter Lawrence, Giants
5. Deforest Buckner, Colts
6. Cameron Heyward, Steelers
7. Jeffery Simmons, Titans
8. Jonathan Allen, Commanders
9. Christian Watkins, Dolphins
10. D.J. Reader, Bengals

If you want a detailed explanation of Tyler's rankings, be sure to click here so you can check out his entire story

4. Colin Kaepernick still wants to play in the NFL 

Colin Kaepernick has now been out of the NFL for six full seasons, but he still has yet to give up on making a return to the league. During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, the former 49ers quarterback said that he's still looking for a chance to play. 

Here's a look at a few things Kaepernick had to say

  • He's still working out five to six days per week. Kaepernick says he's still working out so often because he knows he can still play. "I'm going to keep pushing," Kaepernick said. "I'm going to keep fighting for it because I know I can step on the field and play. Every workout, every opportunity I've had to show that, the feedback has always been positive. Everything from, 'he's still an elite player,' to 'the workout was great; it was better than expected.'"
  • Kaepernick has a message to NFL teams. The 35-year-old wants NFL teams to put their political bias aside and judge him based on his football talent. "Obviously, there's something else within this decision," Kaepernick said of why he can't even get a workout. "To me, that's typically what it ends up being, or has been for the last seven years. So, I just want the opportunity to come in, show what I can do on the field. Judge me based upon that, not the political bias that you have."
  • Kaepernick thought he was good enough to play for the Raiders last year. Over the past six years, only one team has bothered to give Kaepernick a workout and that came last year with the Raiders. Based on the sound of it, Kaepernick feels like he was good enough to be on their roster. "With the Raiders' situation last year, that was [Jarrett] Stidham and Nick Mullens, which to me, you just compare résumés and capabilities, on top of the workout and the feedback, it's like, 'OK, cool,'" Kaepernick said. 

During his time with the 49ers, Kaepernick went to two straight NFC title games and a Super Bowl. With a good coach (Jim Harbaugh), he was nearly unstoppable, going 25-14 (Yes, he went 3-16 with Jim Tomsula (2015) and Chip Kelly (2016), but there's a reason neither of those guys have a head-coaching job in the NFL anymore).  

Kaepernick once had the talent to play in the NFL, but after six seasons away from the game, it's hard to envision a situation where a team would bring him in, even for just a workout.  

5. Best value teams to bet on to win each NFL division

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If you love making money, then this is the one part of the newsletter that you do NOT want to skip over today. We're making some early division title bets today and those bets will be coming from R.J. White, who's our gambling guru over at SportsLine. 

Usually, White's content is behind a paywall, but you know what, it's the day before the Fourth of July and there is nothing more American than giving something away for free, so we're going to go over a few of White's picks. 

AFC East odds

  • Bills: +125
  • Jets: +250
  • Dolphins: +300
  • Patriots: +800

White's best value bet: Dolphins. "My favorite team to back on these odds is the Dolphins. Miami averaged 16.3 points in the four games Tua Tagovailoa missed last year and 26.4 points in the 12 games in which he played at least 70% of the snaps, and he could be even better in Year 2 with Mike McDaniel. Also, the Dolphins defense should immediately improve with Vic Fangio pulling the strings."

NFC West odds 

  • San Francisco 49ers: -175
  • Seattle Seahawks: +210
  • Los Angeles Rams: +850
  • Arizona Cardinals: +2700

White's best value bet: Seahawks. "I love the Seahawks this year, and I believe the additions they made on the defensive side of the ball could help propel them past the 49ers, especially if Seattle turns out to have a major advantage at QB between the two teams."

That's only a small taste of what White had to offer in his story. If you're looking to make any early divisional bets, then you should definitely check out his entire article here

Remember, if you want to read a story on SportsLine, you do need a subscription, but trust me, it's totally worth it. Not only do you get loads of quality gambling content, but you also get a free trial of Paramount+. If you want to sign up, just go here

6. Extra points: Birmingham wins USFL title

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. 

  • We have a budding USFL dynasty. For the second straight year, the Birmingham Stallions are your USFL champions. The Stallions won the title on Saturday night with a 28-12 win over the Pittsburgh Maulers. The game was actually pretty exciting with the Stallions only leading by one score for most of the fourth quarter. Birmingham was led by QB Alex McGough, who not only threw for 243 yards and four touchdowns, but he was also the game's leading rusher with 64 yards on the ground. You can get a full breakdown of the game here
  • Jets continue to look like they're going to be the 'Hard Knocks' team. Last week, there was a report that the Jets were bracing to be on "Hard Knocks." Now, it looks like Packers president Mark Murphy has confirmed that. During a recent Q&A on the team's website, Murphy had this to say about this year's version of the HBO show. "I'm anxious to see the Jets and the many ex-Packers on 'Hard Knocks' this summer -- should be very entertaining." I don't think a team president would write that unless they were pretty certain that the Jets are, in fact, going to be the team. 
  • Titans running back charged with aggravated assault. Hassan Haskins was arrested over the weekend and charged with aggravated assault by strangulation for an incident that involved his girlfriend. According to police, Haskins became angry after his girlfriend "liked" another man's photo on Instagram. You can read the full details of the situation here
  • Buccaneer star predicts 12-5 record for Tampa Bay. I think we've officially found the most optimistic person in Tampa Bay: Tristan Wirfs. The Buccaneers left tackle was recently asked how he thought his team would do this year and he predicted that they would go 12-5. This is a team that went 8-9 WITH Tom Brady last year, and now, they'll have either Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask at QB. If Wirfs had predicted that they were going to win the division, that wouldn't have been that crazy because the NFC South feels wide open this year, but 12-5 definitely seems like a crazy prediction.