The quarterback-turned-tight end was released today during the NFL's first round of cuts. If you didn't know that today was the first round of cuts, I don't blame you. The NFL changed things up this year to make things as confusing as possible.
So how many cut days are there this year? Glad you asked. We'll be covering that in today's rundown, plus we'll also be unveiling our All-NFC East team and taking a look at five quarterbacks who could break Peyton Manning's single-season passing record.
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1. Today's show: AFC East and NFC East previews
It's officially "Nerd Week" on the Pick Six podcast, which is our way of saying this is the week where we bring people on the show who are smarter than us. For today's show, Will Brinson was joined by Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus and the two took a deep dive into the AFC and NFC East. Using analytical data, the two made predictions on the win totals for each team in both divisions and they also tried to figure out how each division will play out.
In the AFC East, Brinson thinks the Bills are going to be able to coast to a division title, but Monson doesn't necessarily agree with him.
"I do think it's going to be tougher for the Bills [to win the division] this year than it was last year," Monson said. "I think the Patriots will be better than they were a year ago. The Dolphins might not be any better [than last year], but I'll doubt they'll be much worse and they were a pretty good team. And an overreaction to 15 snaps of preseason, if Zach Wilson is good, the Jets suddenly have a quarterback and they could get a lot better in a hurry. The thing about Buffalo: Josh Allen was incredible last year, but can he keep up that same level? Also, the Bills were pretty healthy last year, so they need to stay that lucky as well."
Despite the stiffer competition, both Brinson and Monson think the Bills will go over their win total of 10.5.
In the NFC East, Monson is jumping on the Cowboys bandwagon. With a healthy Dak Prescott and a healthy offensive line, Monson thinks the Cowboys can be good, even if Mike McCarthy doesn't turn out to be a great coach.
"I think the offense has too much talent for it to matter [whether McCarthy is a good coach or a bad coach]," Monson said. "They have so many good players. They have a mismatch at every receiver spot. They have arguably the best trio of receivers in the NFL. If Dak Prescott gets back to the level of anywhere near he was playing at before he got hurt, it's going to be one of the best offenses in the NFL. If the defense can just get back to not being one of the worst in the NFL -- it doesn't even have to be average -- below average would get that team to a level where they're able to hang with everyone week to week."
How do Brinson and Monson feel about the other NFC East teams? You'll have to listen to find out.
To listen to today's episode -- and to subscribe to the best daily NFL podcast out there -- be sure to click here.
2. Cut Day: Tim Tebow headlines list of players released during NFL's first round of cuts
Today is cut day, although it's not the only cut day this year and that's because there will be a total of three.
With the league trimming the preseason down to three games this year, the NFL decided to hold three cut days with each one coming on the Tuesday following a full week of preseason games. The first cut day is today (teams must cut down to 85 plays) with the next one coming on Aug. 24 (cut down to 80) and the final one coming on Aug. 31 (cut down to 53). On each of those days, the NFL's 32 teams will have until 4 p.m. ET to get their roster down to the allotted number.
Although teams have until 4 p.m. ET today to make their cuts, here's a look at some notable players who have already been released:
If you want to check out the full list of cuts, just click here (The list won't be final until after the 4 p.m. ET deadline).
3. 2021 All-NFC East team
If you follow college football, then you've probably noticed that each conference puts out its own preseason all-conference team each year. Since they do that in college, we thought it would make sense to do the same for the NFL, so our Jared Dubin decided to make a preseason all-division team for each NFL division.
Dubin's first all-division team is from the NFC East and although this is technically an all-division team, you wouldn't know that from Dubin's list of offensive players, which basically looks like he cut and pasted the Cowboys roster onto his all-division team.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the offense for the NFC East's all-division team:
QB: Dak Prescott, Cowboys
RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
WR: Amari Cooper, Cowboys
WR: CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys
WR: Terry McLaurin, Washington
TE: Logan Thomas, Washington
FLEX: Antonio Gibson, Washington
OT: Tyron Smith, Cowboys
OT: Lane Johnson, Eagles
OG: Zack Martin, Cowboys
OG: Brandon Scherff, Washington
C: Chase Roullier, Washington.
If you're scoring at home, that's six Cowboys players, five Washington players and one Eagles player. I would say the Giants got snubbed, but I'm not sure where you'd put a Giants player on that list. The good news for Giants fans is that you did have four players make the all-defensive team along with two specialists.
If you want to see the defensive side of the NFC East's All-Division team, then be sure to click here.
4. Raiders to require proof of vaccination for all fans at home games
If you want to attend a Raiders game in Las Vegas this year, you're going to have to be vaccinated and there's no way around it. The Raiders announced late Monday that any fan planning to attend a game in 2021 will have to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.
After watching his new stadium host zero fans in 2020 due to the pandemic, Raiders owner Mark Davis apparently wanted to do everything in his power to make sure that: A. Fans could attend games in 2021; B. They could do so comfortably (Since fans will be vaccinated, they won't be required to wear a mask).
"This policy ensures that we will be able to operate at full capacity without masks for fully vaccinated fans for the entire season," Davis said.
For fans or season-ticket holders who aren't vaccinated, the Raiders will offer them the chance to get the vaccine before each game.
In other vaccination news:
- Falcons hit 100% vaccination rate. The Falcons are currently the only team in the NFL that has a 100% vaccination rate. The team officially hit the mark on Monday. The advantage of being vaccinated is that players will be allowed to work out together. They also won't have to undergo daily COVID tests. Vaccinated players also don't have to wear masks around the practice facility. Most importantly, though, vaccinated players don't have to quarantine following a close contact with someone who tests positive.
- Ron Rivera frustrated with vaccine misinformation. Rivera's quote kind of speaks of itself. "[You have these] f------ a--holes that are putting a bunch of misinformation out there, leading people to die," Rivera said. "That's frustrating to me, that these people are allowed to have a platform. And then, one specific news agency, every time they have someone on, I'm not a doctor, but the vaccines don't work. Or I'm not an epidemiologist, but vaccines are going to give you a third nipple and make you sterile. Come on. That, to me? That should not be allowed."
With NFL cuts going down today, it will be interesting to see if the vaccination rates go up around the league, which would imply that unvaccinated players are being cut.
5. Five players who could break Peyton Manning's single-season passing record
With the NFL adding a 17th game this year there's a good chance that we're going to see multiple longtime records fall and one of those records could be Peyton Manning's single-season passing record of 5,477 yards, which he set in 2013.
During his record-breaking season, Manning averaged 342.3 yards per game over 16 games. However, to break the record, a quarterback will only have to average 322.2 yards since there are now 17 games.
According to our Bryan DeArdo, here are the five quarterbacks you should keep your eye on:
Averaging 322.2 yards per game isn't easy, but it's definitely possible. Over the past 10 years, we've seen two active players hit that number over a full season with Brady (327.2 in 2011) and Ben Roethlisberger (328.2 in 2015). Also, Prescott averaged an absurd 371.2 yards per game (a pace of 5,900) in 2020, but he only played in five games last season. Basically, there's definitely a chance that someone tops Manning's record.
In 2020, Mahomes led the NFL in passing yards per game last year with 316, which would have given him 5,372 over a 17-game season, which would have left him about 100 yards shy of breaking the record.
To check out DeArdo's entire story on the players who might break Manning's passing record, be sure to click here.
6. Rapid-fire roundup
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.
- Washington's NFL team narrows list of possible new team names down to three. Although we know the list of potential new names has been narrowed down, we don't know what those three names are so this news isn't as exciting as it sounds.
- Broncos starting QB could be named as soon as next week. The battle between Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock could be over after this weekend's preseason game. Broncos coach Vic Fangio said "it's possible" that he'll name his Week 1 starter a day or two after the team's game against the Seahawks.
- Titans sign two veteran safeties. The Titans added some serious depth to their secondary on Monday by signing Bradley McDougald and Clayton Geathers. McDougald has 82 career starts under his belt for various teams while Geathers started 34 games during a five-year stint with the Colts.
- Dak Prescott wants to play this week, but the Cowboys don't sound like they're going to let that happen. Prescott wants to get a few game reps in before the start of the season, but Mike McCarthy doesn't sound overly enthusiastic about the idea, "We'll see how the week goes, but there's no urgency from my perspective to see Dak play against Houston," McCarthy said. "This is more about we don't want to create a setback possibly." Prescott hasn't played in a game since being injured last October and I'd be at least a little concerned about rust going into Week 1 if he doesn't take a single snap in the preseason.
- Lions cut ties with player who was charged with DUI just one day after team's opening preseason game. The Lions cut Alex Brown over the weekend and the reason he was let go is because he's facing four charges stemming from a DUI arrest that took place early Sunday morning. According to ESPN.com, Brown has been charged "with two counts of operating while under the influence causing serious injury and two counts of reckless driving causing serious injury."
- Patrick Mahomes released a new shoe. The Chiefs QB officially has a signature shoe and that shoe will be released on Aug. 23. If you want a sneak peek at the Adidas shoe, be sure to click here.
- Buccaneers to rest starters this week. If you were thinking about betting on the Buccaneers this week in their preseason game against the Titans, you might want to reconsider and that's because Bruce Arians announced on Monday that he doesn't plan on playing any of his starters.