Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
When I was younger, I always thought it would be cool to own an NFL team, but based on what I read today about the net worth of the league's richest owners, I'm starting to think that I'll have to save up for at least 3,000 more years before before I can make that happen. And let's be honest: a billion dollars probably won't be worth a billion dollars in 3,000 years because toilet paper, water and cocoa beans will be the only currency that matters at that point.
Anyway, the reason I'm talking about this now is because Forbes has released its annual list of the richest people in the world and several NFL owners made the cut, so we'll be covering that in today's newsletter. We'll also be taking a look at how close Tom Brady came to joining the Dolphins.
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. Alright, let's get to the rundown.
1. Today's show: Best bets you can make right now on NFL win totals
Last week, the oddsmakers in Las Vegas released the 2022 over/under win totals for every NFL team. After poring over the information for an entire week, Will Brinson decided he was ready to unveil some of his best bets. For today's podcast, Brinson was joined by Tyler Sullivan and the two of them each came up with five totals that they liked.
Here's a look at what they came up with:
My take on Brinson's take: If there's one pick on his list that I feel like is a lock, it's the Ravens. That team dealt with roughly 712 injuries last season and despite that, they still managed to win eight games. If they can cut their injuries in half, which shouldn't be too difficult because they had the worst injury luck ever in 2021, then I think they'll easily get to 10 wins. (And remember, this assessment is coming from a noted Bengals homer.)
My take on Sullivan's take: The Colts "over" might be my favorite bet on the board this year. That team won nine games with CARSON WENTZ at quarterback, and going from Wentz to Matt Ryan is like going from a 1989 Plymouth Sundance to a 2019 Subaru Outback. Is the Subaru a sexy car? No, but it's safe, it's reliable, it will get the job done, and it's 5,000 times better than a Plymouth Sundance, which I know for a fact because I once drove a Plymouth Sundance. (It was my first car. Please don't ever ask me about it.)
If you want to hear Sullivan and Brinson explain their picks, be sure to click here so you can listen to today's episode. You can also watch today's episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. NFL's richest owners revealed
If the NFL ever decides to dump its salary cap, there's a good chance the Carolina Panthers would turn into the NFL's next dynasty and that's because they have the richest owner in the league.
According to the newest billionaire numbers from Forbes, the title of NFL's richest owner goes to Carolina's David Tepper, who has a total net worth of $16.7 billion, making him the 103rd-richest person in the world. If you've ever heard the saying, "the rich get richer," I'm pretty sure they were talking about Tepper. His net worth is up $2.2 billion from last year when Tepper was only worth $14.5 billion.
Not only is Tepper the richest owner in the NFL, but he's also the eighth-richest owner of any sports team in the world, making him the only NFL owner to crack the world top-10 list, according to Forbes. Tepper has so much money that he's worth $6 billion MORE than the NFL's second-richest owner, Stan Kroenke ($10.7 billion).
Although Kroenke isn't at the top of the list, he would be ranked No. 1 if you counted the net worth of his entire family. The Rams owner is married to Walmart heiress Ann Walton Kroenke, who's separately worth an estimated $9 billion, bringing the family total to $19.7 billion.
1. David Tepper, Panthers: $16.7 billion (103rd-richest person in the world)
2. Stan Kroenke, Rams: $10.7 billion
3. Jerry Jones, Cowboys: $10.6 billion
4. Robert Kraft, Patriots: $8.3 billion
5. Stephen Ross, Dolphins: $8.2 billion
6. Shahid Khan, Jaguars: $7.6 billion
7. Arthur Blank, Falcons $7.1 billion
8. Stephen Bisciotti, Ravens: $5.9 billion
9. Terry Pegula, Bills: $5.8 billion
10. Janice McNair, Texans: $4.2 billion
T-11. Dan Snyder, Commanders: $4 billion
T-11 Denise York, 49ers: $4 billion
T-13. Gayle Benson, Saints $3.8 billion
T-13. Jimmy Haslam, Browns: $3.8 billion
T-15. Jim Irsay, Colts: $3.5 billion
T-15. Jeffrey Lurie, Eagles: $3.5 billion
3. Bengals mock draft: Cincinnati reloads for another Super Bowl run
With exactly three weeks 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, we've got an entire seven-round mock draft devoted to the Cincinnati Bengals, which was written by me.
The Bengals basically have three needs they absolutely need to fill in the draft: cornerback, defensive tackle and left guard. Filling the defensive tackle spot is probably the most important, but there's not many first-round talents at that position in this year's draft, which means the Bengals will likely have to wait until a later round to grab one. (They could also trade up to get one, but I wouldn't bet on that.)
With that in mind, here's my full seven-round mock draft for Cincinnati:
- First round (31st overall): CB Kaiir Elam (Florida)
- Second (63): OL Jamaree Salyer (Georgia)
- Third (92): S Bryan Cook (Cincinnati)
- Fourth (135): DT Neil Farrell Jr. (LSU)
- Fifth (174): TE Grant Calcaterra (SMU)
- Sixth (209): WR Danny Gray (SMU)
- Seventh (226): DE LaBryan Ray (Alabama)
- Seventh (252): RB Kennedy Brooks (Oklahoma)
You can check out my full explanation for each of Cincinnati's pick by clicking here. If you need even more mock drafts in your life -- and who doesn't -- we also have a full Browns mock draft (click here), a full Steelers mock draft (click here), a full Packers mock draft (click here) and a full Bears mock draft (click here).
4. Terrell Owens wanted to make an NFL comeback last year at age 48
Over the course of NFL history, there have been 362 players selected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but not one of them has ever played in an NFL game after being enshrined. Terrell Owens was hoping to become the first last year, but unfortunately, things didn't work out for him and I'm guessing that's mostly because he's 48 years old. No NFL team wants a player who's nearly 50 unless his name is Tom Brady.
- T.O. claims he actually talked with one owner before the start of the 2021 season. "Did I have an encounter with an owner prior to this past season, this last season, about me possibly playing? Yes, that did happen. I talked to the owner, I talked to the general manager at that time, and I talked to the head coach at that time about the possibility of making that happen." Owens didn't name the team, but he said the trio told him to stay in shape just in case.
- Owens reached out to Andy Reid. T.O spent two years playing for Reid in 2004 and 2005, so the two men definitely know each other pretty well, which is why Owens reached out in 2021. "I was blowing his phone up throughout the course of the year," Owens said of Reid. "I'm like, 'Dude bring me in, bring me in.' You know what I mean? But they brought Josh Gordon in and he didn't do anything. I can do what Josh Gordon was doing, which I mean, he didn't amount to anything really. That's not to say anything bad about him."
- Owens hasn't played in the NFL since 2010, but despite that, he says he's not retired. "I wasn't given the opportunity to play. That doesn't mean I retired," Owens said of his NFL career, via ESPN.com. Owens' last NFL catch came in December 2010 during his lone season with the Bengals.
As mentioned above, if Owens does find his way back to the NFL, he would be the first Hall of Famer to ever play in a game WHILE in the HOF. The Hall of Fame makes players wait five years after their final game before they're eligible, which is a big reason why we've never seen a Hall of Famer play in a game. Of course, if Owens doesn't break this record, breaking it seems like something that would be right up Tom Brady's alley. Speaking of Brady...
5. Tom Brady was apparently close to joining the Dolphins
Earlier this offseason, it was reported that the Dolphins made a play for Tom Brady, but there weren't really any details about how serious Miami was about obtaining him.
Well, we now have a few more details about the situation, and apparently, things actually got pretty serious. Here's the latest on the Brady-to-Miami saga based on a report that came out today from Pro Football Talk.
- Dolphins had a two-pronged plan for Brady. According to PFT, part one of the Dolphins' plan involved bringing Brady to the organization as a minority owner. Once Brady was on board as an owner, the team was going to try to work out a trade with the Buccaneers so that Brady could eventually play for the Dolphins.
- Miami was going to bring in Sean Payton as head coach. The other part of the Dolphins' plan was to make a trade for Sean Payton. PFT notes that the Dolphins "privately acknowledged" that they reached out to the Saints about a possible trade.
- The thing that blew all of this up. The Dolphins were hoping to make an announcement about Brady joining the ownership group the week before the Super Bowl, but before that could happen, the team was hit with the Brian Flores lawsuit, which was filed the same day Brady announced his retirement (Feb. 1). The lawsuit was notable, because Brady was apparently referred to in the suit. In the lawsuit, Flores alleges that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross tried to get him to tamper with another team's quarterback by meeting with him on Ross' yacht. According to The Palm Beach Post, the quarterback in question was Brady and Brady actually showed for the meeting even though Flores didn't.
As crazy as all of this sounds, all of this does line up pretty well from a chronological standpoint:
- Brady wants to play for the Dolphins, so he announces his retirement.
- Dolphins plan to introduce Brady as a minority owner as the first step to get him as a player.
- The Flores lawsuit derails everything.
- Brady then realizes the only way he can play in 2022 is if it's with the Buccaneers, so he comes out of retirement.
The offseason was already crazy enough that I'm not sure we could have handled Brady landing in Miami, where he would have played the Patriots twice per year.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Two more coaches join Brian Flores' lawsuit against NFL
It's been a wild 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.
- Two more coaches join Brian Flores' lawsuit against NFL. Two months after former Dolphins coach Brian Flores first announced a class-action lawsuit against the NFL alleging racial discrimination in hiring and workplace practices, former Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks and former defensive coordinator Ray Horton have filed their own claims against both the league and, specifically, the Cardinals and Titans, according to Flores' attorneys. Read more about their allegations here.
- Bruce Arians tried to recruit Larry Fitzgerald to Buccaneers. After the Buccaneers were hit with several injuries at receiver last season, Arians got desperate and called Fitzgerald. The conversation did not go well. "I called Fitz and he said, 'Coach, I couldn't run two plays right now, but thanks,'" Arians recalled.
- Blaine Gabbert re-signs with Buccaneers. In other Buccaneers news, Tom Brady's backup will be returning for at least one more season after Gabbert signed a one-year deal Wednesday.
- NFL quarterbacks will be showing off their arms at MLB opening days. Russell Wilson and Joe Burrow will both be trading in a football for a baseball over the next week. Wilson has been tabbed to throw the first pitch at Rockies' Opening Day on April 8, while Burrow will be throwing the first pitch at the Reds' home opener on April 12.
- Whitney Mercilus retires. After 10 years in the NFL, Mercilus has decided to hang up his cleats for good. Mercilus entered the league after the Texans made him the 26th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. During his nine-and-a-half seasons with the team, Mercilus started 102 games for Houston and played a big part on a Texans team that went to the playoffs in five of his first eight years.
- Falcons sign former Titans first-round pick. For the second time this week, the Falcons have signed another team's former first-round pick. The team announced Wednesday that Germain Ifedi has agreed to a deal. The offensive lineman was the 31st overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The move came on the same day that the Falcons also signed Rashaan Evans, who was the 22nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft (Titans).
- Buccaneers sign former Falcons first-round pick. The Falcons weren't the only ones signing former first-round picks. The Bucs also added one this week when they signed former Falcons first-rounder Keanu Neal. Neal, who was the 17th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, can play both safety and linebacker.