Boys and girls, the time has come. Training camp is officially underway, and the news is coming in faster than an Aaron Rodgers bullet pass. Speaking of Rodgers, we've got plenty of Packers talk on the way, as well as check-ins with countless other camp items. I'm Cody Benjamin, John Breech's trusty Wednesday fill-in, and I'm here to bring you the Pick Six Newsletter.
Now let's get to it. (And please, do yourself a favor and make sure you're signed up to receive this newsletter every day! You don't want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)
We've got updates on key QB situations, Rodgers predictions, new training camp events and much more:
- Today's show: What does the future hold for Deshaun Watson?
With camp underway, all eyes are on two drama-filled quarterback situations -- one in Green Bay (plenty more on that shortly), and another in Houston. The Texans saw Deshaun Watson report to camp this week to avoid daily holdout fines, but no one knows quite what to expect of the Pro Bowler moving forward as he both seeks a trade and faces numerous civil lawsuits and criminal complaints. On Wednesday's Pick Six Podcast, John Breech and Ryan Wilson joined Will Brinson to break down the situation.
Some notable nuggets: The guys agree that if the NFL were deeply concerned about where the Watson investigation is headed, it could easily put him on the commissioner's exempt list, essentially ushering him out of the spotlight on paid leave. The fact he hasn't yet landed on the list might inspire interested teams to approach the Texans about a trade. On the flip side, Breech says the 10 criminal complaints now filed against Watson would (or should) scare suitors away from whatever Houston's asking price is.
"There's no way I'm giving up three first-rounders," Breech said. "The Texans may want to get the ball rolling on dialogue," he added, but that doesn't mean anyone will -- or should -- pay a premium for a QB with so many off-field question marks.
Catch the entire episode (and subscribe for all kinds of daily NFL talk) right here.
2. Watson attends first practice of Texans training camp
Speaking of Houston's embattled QB, Watson was on the field Wednesday morning for the Texans' first summer practice, despite a report earlier this week indicating the team was expected to keep Watson away from the rest of the club amid his pending trade request and legal situation.
New Texans general manager Nick Caserio declined to confirm Watson's place as the team's starting QB entering camp, but Watson was under center taking snaps in warm-up drills early in the day. Per NFL Network's Steve Wyche, he began the session wearing his standard red No. 4 camp jersey, but removed it before joining the club's other QBs.
3. Insider notes: Ranking the top 2022 landing spots for Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers is reportedly committed to one more year in Green Bay, complete with a Randall Cobb reunion (more below), but CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reports that the reigning MVP is still on track for a LeBron James-esque "Decision" after the 2021 season. In other words, as Packers GM Brian Gutekunst all but confirmed on Wednesday, Rodgers may very well pick a new home for the 2022 campaign. According to La Canfora, these are the early favorites to consider a Rodgers pursuit:
4. NFL plans 'Back Together Saturday' training camp special
Just in case the start of camp wasn't enough to get you pumped for football, the NFL is debuting a new event this Saturday, July 31, and CBS Sports senior reporter Jonathan Jones dove into what it is and what it means. It's called "Back Together Saturday," and it'll feature all 32 teams hosting an open practice, with NFL media running round-the-clock coverage of every site all day, beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET.
"The ratcheting up in this mid-summer window when people are starting to turn their eyes to football in a big way ... I think we see it as this elevated launching pad," NFL executive Peter O'Reilly told Jones. "It's taken the essence that you've seen and lived and bringing it together in a more unified way."
5. Dolphins star Xavien Howard requests trade amid contract dispute
Howard reported to camp this week, but he wants no part of Miami moving forward. The Pro Bowl cornerback is just two years removed from signing a five-year, $75 million extension with the Dolphins, but he feels slighted after the team spent more to acquire his fellow cover man Byron Jones ahead of the 2020 campaign. After apparent attempts at securing a new deal, he wants out.
"I've given my heart and soul to the Miami Dolphins franchise since they drafted me in 2016, and want to make it clear that I love my teammates," Howard said Tuesday night in a lengthy statement. "They are my family. But what I've learned is that the business side of the NFL proves organizations don't always have a player's best interest at heart. My experience with the Dolphins the past few seasons has taught me that ... I don't feel the organization has dealt with me in good faith. I don't feel valued or respected by the Dolphins. Just like they take a business-first approach, so can I. That is why I want to make it clear I'm not happy, and have requested a trade. Until that trade happens, I am just here so I don't get fined, and will handle myself like professionals do."
6. Supersized camp roundup: Holdouts, new contracts and more
We are absolutely bursting with news now that camps are in full swing, so here's a rundown of all the other items you don't want to miss:
- Colts spend big to lock up Braden Smith: The right tackle has landed a $70 million extension
- Patrick Peterson slams Cardinals GM: The new Vikings corner says he's lost respect for Steve Keim
- Ron Rivera frustrated with vaccination rate: Washington's coach wants his team to fight COVID harder
- Zach Wilson a no-show at start of Jets camp: The No. 2 overall pick is still without a rookie contract
- 49ers say there's no open competition at QB: But Trey Lance has finally signed his contract
- Lamar Jackson plans to switch jersey numbers: But only if he wins the Ravens a Super Bowl
- Packers re-acquire Randall Cobb: Per Aaron Rodgers' request, of course
- Drew Lock opens Broncos camp as QB1: But Teddy Bridgewater will get reps, too