If you read yesterday's newsletter, you may have noticed that I spent half the thing complaining about how we had gone nearly two weeks without seeing a trade in the NFL so obviously we all know what happened less than one hour after the newsletter got sent out: A TRADE WENT DOWN.
I've always thought that I had the power to will things into existence and this definitely confirms that. The trade that happened on Monday wasn't just any trade, either, it was a huge trade with Sam Darnold being shipped off from New York to Carolina in exchange for three draft picks.
We'll be talking about that trade 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.
1. Today's show: Would Brady, Manning or Rodgers make the better coach?
During the NFL offseason, we like to spice things up every week by adding a listener mailbag. Usually, we give you that mailbag on Friday, but since we skipped out on the mailbag last Friday, we decided to make up for that by releasing a bonus mailbag today. Our mailbag episodes are pretty simple: We read listener questions during the show and answer as many as possible. Questions can be about literally anything. I mean, I think we once spent 10 minutes talking about our favorite order from Starbucks. 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:
- Question for John Breech: If Bengals had the No. 1 pick this season, are you picking Trevor Lawrence? If not, what's the move? PS: stop talking about Andy Dalton. I almost ignored this question for the Dalton blasphemy, but it was a fun premise, so I answered it anyway. If the Bengals somehow acquired the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, I would auction it off to the highest bidder. Back in 1999, the Saints traded away EVERY PICK THEY HAD IN THE DRAFT so they could trade up to land Ricky Williams. If any team wanted to make the same move to get Lawrence, I would want all their picks plus more. If no one was willing to trade away their entire draft, I'd just take Lawrence. The Bengals can barely win with one starting-caliber quarterback, maybe having two on the roster would finally fix things.
- Which of the following 3 quarterbacks do you think would make the best head coach: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers? Also what do you think their coaching styles would look like? I spent way more time thinking about this than I probably should have. Peyton Manning knows everything about everything and I think he could explain it well, so I think he'd probably make the best coach out of these three. Tom Brady has an insane work ethic and is highly competitive and if you're not both of those things, I think he would get frustrated coaching you. As for Aaron Rodgers, he's going to be too busy hosting '"Jeopardy!" after they give him the full-time job, so he's not going to have time to be coaching anyone.
To listen to today's episode -- and to follow the podcast -- be sure to click here.
2. Grading the Sam Darnold trade
Whenever there's a big trade in the NFL, there's a 100% chance we'll be handing out grades for that trade here at CBSSports.com and that's exactly what we did after the Jets shipped Sam Darnold off to Carolina on Monday. If you're the type of person who only reads headlines and doesn't really pay attention to the details, the trade involved the Jets getting three picks.
To land Darnold, the Panthers sent a 2020 sixth-round pick (No. 226), a 2022 second-round pick and a 2022 fourth-round pick to New York. Is that a good deal? Is that a bad deal? Let's find out from Jared Dubin, who served as our professor on this trade.
Panthers grade: B+
Darnold will be better set up for success in Carolina than he ever was in New York. He'll play behind a solid offensive line including Matt Paradis and Taylor Moton, and throw to a talented group of weapons including D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson (who was with the Jets for Darnold's first two seasons but broke out after signing with Carolina last year), and Christian McCaffrey. With head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady, he'll also be working with architects of successful offenses in both college and the pros.
The Panthers will have Darnold under contract for around $4.6 million for the 2021 season and they'll be picking up his $18.9 million fifth-year option for 2022. That gives them a two-year window to evaluate Darnold (in his age-24 and 25 seasons) while essentially paying him low-end starter money. For the price of just second-, fourth-, and sixth-round picks, it's a pretty nice deal.
Jets grade: A
The rumors are true: The Jets will be taking a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in this month's draft. Whether that's Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, or Mac Jones, we'll find out in a few weeks. But one of those guys will be wearing green and white next season. Knowing that, it didn't make all that much sense for the Jets to keep Darnold around. He was going to count for over $9 million on their books in 2021, but instead will carry a dead-cap charge of less than $5 million. The financials are just a bonus, though.
Considering how Darnold had performed during his three NFL seasons (59.8 completion percentage, 6.6 yards per attempt, 45 touchdowns, and 39 interceptions in 38 career games), the fact that the Jets got a Day Two pick for Darnold -- even if it's a future pick -- is pretty impressive. Add it all up, and this looks like a slam-dunk trade for the Jets.
Also, let me add that the Jets getting an 'A' for any offseason move they make is definitely a step forward for them.
3. Panthers might not be done trading or adding quarterbacks
With Darnold now in Carolina, it doesn't sound like the Panthers plan on keeping Teddy Bridgewater around much longer. During an interview on Monday, Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said the team would be keeping all its options open regarding their 2020 starting quarterback.
"We're going to find the right place for him, whether it's here or someplace else," said Fitterer.
What Fitterer really means is that Carolina is going to trade Teddy to the first team that gives them a solid offer. Although Bridgewater is likely on his way out, the Panthers are throwing him a bone: According to one report, Carolina has given Bridgewater permission to talk to other teams, which means he could have a say in his next landing spot.
As for Fitterer, he also said one other interesting thing on Monday. Even though the Panthers now have Darnold, he said the team could still look to take a quarterback with its first-round pick this year.
"This doesn't take us out of anything in the draft," Fitterer said. "It doesn't take us out of taking a quarterback, it doesn't take us out of taking any position. What we wanted to do going into this draft, through free agency, through this trade with Sam, was to just get rid of all the needs we have. We wanted to get to a place where the roster was in a good spot, and we could take the best available player at No. 8. We could always move up, and we could always move back, but this puts us in a position to make the right football decision for this team moving forward."
CBSSports.com draft guru Ryan Wilson doesn't think the Panthers will be taking a quarterback, but he does have them adding a weapon for Darnold in his latest mock and that weapon is Jaylen Waddle out of Alabama.
4. Patriots draft struggles might be Bill Belichick's fault
The Patriots have been so good over the past decade that it's kind of overshadowed the fact that they really haven't been drafting that well. As a matter of fact, the Patriots haven't drafted a single Pro Bowler since 2013 (Jamie Collins), which is notable, because the only other team in the NFL that's gone that long without selecting a Pro Bowler is the Bengals, and as everyone knows, when you're talking about NFL success, the Bengals are not a team you want to be compared to.
So why do the Patriots struggle in the draft? Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated painted a picture that puts most of the struggles on Bill Belichick, which makes sense, because he has final say on all personnel decisions in New England. Breer used an example from 2019 where the Patriots selected N'Keal Harry even though the team's scout would have preferred A.J. Brown or Deebo Samuel.
That being said, the Patriots also lost one of their key decision-makers this year when Nick Caserio decided to bolt New England for Houston. If the Patriots all of the sudden start drafting well -- and the Texans don't -- then we can probably go ahead and blame New England's draft woes on Caserio. The bottom line is that this is going to be an important draft for the Patriots and Belichick is not going to have anyone to blame but himself if things go south this year.
Even owner Robert Kraft wants to see the team do a better job in the draft.
"I don't feel like we've done the greatest job the last few years [in the draft] and I really hope and believe I've seen a different approach this year," Kraft said last week. "In the end, it all comes down to what happens on the field and how people execute and you really don't know how good a draft is for at least two years."
5. Chiefs mock draft: Patrick Mahomes is the big winner
With less than one month 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 Kansas City Chiefs.
Although the Chiefs finished with the best regular-season record in the NFL last season, they definitely have some holes on their roster and the Buccaneers exposed every single one of those holes during a 31-9 win over Kansas City in Super Bowl LV.
If the Chiefs want to make a run at another Lombardi Trophy, they definitely need to bring some help in for Patrick Mahomes and that's exactly what Patrik Walker has them doing in this seven-round mock draft. With their first four picks, Walker has them taking two offensive linemen and a wide receiver.
With that in mind, here's the full seven-round mock draft for Kansas City:
- First round (31st overall): OT Dillon Radunz (North Dakota State)
- Second (63): WR Elijah Moore (Ole Miss)
- Third (94): LB Dylan Moses (Alabama)
- Fourth (136): OL Drake Jackson (Kentucky)
- Fourth (144): EDGE Victor Dimukeje (Duke)
- Fifth (175): CB Robert Rochell (Arkansas)
- Fifth (181): DL Khyiris Tonga (BYU)
- Sixth (207): TE Noah Gray (Duke)
You can check out Walker's full explanation for each pick by clicking here. If you need even more mock drafts in your life -- and who doesn't -- we also have a full Raiders mock draft (Click here), a full Broncos mock draft (Click here) and a full Chargers mock draft (Click here).
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Falcons might trade their pick, Antonio Brown wants to be re-signed
This has been a busy week in the NFL and since it's nearly impossible to keep track of it all, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you.
- Falcons could trade out of the fourth spot. With Sam Darnold out of New York, that means the top three picks in the draft are almost certainly going to be quarterbacks, which means the fourth pick could become a hot spot for teams looking to trade up. The Falcons currently hold the fourth pick and according to multiple reports, the team has had discussions with multiple teams about possibly trading the pick away.
- Antonio Brown wants the Buccaneers to re-sign Antonio Brown. The Buccaneers have had a busy offseason -- they're the first team since 1977 to win a Super Bowl and bring back all of their starters from the game -- but one player they haven't re-signed is Antonio Brown. Apparently, Brown is feeling left out and we know that because he went on Tampa Bay's Instagram page this week and asked them to "Sign AB." Desperate times call for desperate measures.
- Lions land Quinton Dunbar. The Lions added some depth to their secondary on Monday by signing Quinton Dunbar to a one-year deal. Dunbar spent the 2020 season with the Seahawks, but played in just six games due to injuries.
- Vikings starting corner arrested. Jeff Gladney was arrested on Monday in Texas after he turned himself in due to an assault allegation. According to police, Gladney was charged with family violence assault stemming from an incident on Friday where the corner allegedly assaulted a 22-year-old female. The 2020 first-round pick played in 16 games for Minnesota last season and started in 15 of those.
7. The Kicker: Packers trolled on 'Jeopardy!'
Aaron Rodgers hosted his first episode of "Jeopardy!" on Monday and although I highly enjoyed the show, I'm guessing there's at least one person who didn't and that person is Packers coach Matt LaFleur.
During Final Jeopardy, one of the contestants didn't know the answer, so he decided to ask a much more creative question, "Who wanted to kick that field goal?"
And just in case you're wondering, the contestant is referring to the field goal that LaFleur decided to kick with 2:05 left in an NFC Championship Game where the Packers were trailing by eight (The field goal cut it to five).
The best part is that Rodgers answer by taking a subtle jab at his coach, "That's a great question."
You can see the entire clip by clicking here.
Rodgers was so good on Monday that some people were wondering what he would do about football if he got offered the permanent hosting job and the answer is, he would do both.
"I don't think I'd need to give up football to do it," Rodgers said of hosting in an interview with The Ringer. "They film 46 days a year. I worked 187 this year in Green Bay. That gives me 178 days to do "Jeopardy!" So I feel like I could fit 46 into that 178 and make it work. It would be a dream job for sure, and I'm not shy at all about saying I want the job. That's how I went into it. I want an opportunity to be in the mix."
My dream job is writing this newsletter, but unfortunately, I won't be around tomorrow to do it. I'll be off celebrating my daughter's first birthday and since she likes giraffes, I'm guessing the zoo will somehow be involved. Since I'll be chowing on birthday cake, Cody Benjamin will be here to guide you. Cody, if you're reading, I promise to save you some cake.