Happy Wednesday, everyone. It's sure been a wild one! (More on that below). John Breech is taking the day to craft a 5,000-word piece on why Joe Burrow will be Super Bowl-bound in 2024 (or at least I think he is), so you've got me, Cody Benjamin, to deliver all the latest from around the NFL.
This is 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 major Tom Brady and Sean Payton news, keys to the Super Bowl and much more:
1. Today's shows: Tom Brady retires, Sean Payton traded to Broncos
The "Pick Six NFL Podcast" has been busy churning out emergency episodes. Why? Because everything is happening all at once! Between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the Broncos reportedly finalized a trade for former Saints head coach Sean Payton, and Tom Brady announced his retirement (again), this time "for good."
Here's a rundown of new must-listen episodes, featuring commentary from Will Brinson, John Breech and Tyler Sullivan:
- Tom Brady retires: An instant discussion on the quarterback's decision to step away at 45
- Sean Payton to the Broncos: The guys react to the Saints' blockbuster, and the Texans' subsequent hire
- Playoff team grades: Assessing and assigning memes to all the losing postseason contenders
Catch more episodes (and subscribe for daily NFL talk) right here.
2. Tom Brady fallout: 2023 QB carousel, TB12's all-time history
Here's everything you need to know about Brady hanging up the cleats for the final time:
- Brady announces retirement from the beach: Watch the QB's video confirming the news
- How TB12's departure affects the QB market: A look around the projected 2023 carousel
- Timeline of all Brady's Super Bowl victories: Reviewing the QB's seven championship wins
- Sports world reacts to Brady's retirement: Big names in and outside the NFL chime in
- TB12 by the numbers: A rundown of the QB's all-time production on the field
- Why Brady's new movie speaks to his legacy: An inside look at "80 for Brady"
3. Texans hire DeMeco Ryans as Payton heads to Denver
Sean Payton's reported trade to the Broncos didn't just affect Denver and New Orleans, which is getting a 2023 first-round pick as part of the swap. It also paved the way for the Texans to land former star player DeMeco Ryans, the 49ers' defensive coordinator, as their new head coach. Ryans was officially named Houston's new head man on Tuesday night, marking a return to Texas for the former Pro Bowl linebacker -- one already celebrated by fellow franchise great J.J. Watt.
4. Aaron Rodgers will decide on NFL future after Super Bowl
Brady may be leaving, but we'll have to wait longer to hear from the Packers star. Joining "The Pat McAfee Show" this week, the reigning NFL MVP said he won't announce his plans for 2023 until after the championship game "at the earliest." He did, however, acknowledge that the Packers appear to be "having conversations" about their own preference for what happens at QB without his input. Take that for what it's worth. On Rodgers' end, the QB admitted he's intrigued by both the opportunity to keep playing and enjoy the more relaxed approach of retirement: "I feel confident that in a couple weeks, I'll feel definitely more strongly about one of two decisions."
5. Lance expects to be ready for 49ers' offseason program
Speaking of QBs, San Francisco struggled to field any healthy signal-callers by the end of 2022. And now, with Brock Purdy sidelined indefinitely while requiring surgery for his elbow injury, it's unclear who will open their 2023 campaign under center. One banged-up QB could be back rather soon, however: Trey Lance, the team's 2021 first-round pick, said this week he expects to be 100 percent for the start of the offseason program after missing most of the year with an ankle injury.
6. Rapid fire roundup: Super Bowl uniforms, top free agents
Hungry for a few more headlines? Here you go:
- Rare All-Pro QB matchup could favor Eagles in big game: A historical trend points in Philly's direction
- Most important free agents for all 32 teams: A look at the top veteran decisions for each club
- Super Bowl uniforms unveiled: The Eagles got to choose first as the "home" team in the game
- 10 players who earned big paydays in 2022: A look at some potential winners of free agency