Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
The month of June is somehow already here, and for some NFL teams, that's actually a good thing. Thanks to the , there will be EIGHT teams in the league that will be picking up some extra salary cap space today. This is like finding money in your pants pocket two months after you left it there, in case you're wondering how these eight NFL teams are feeling today.
We'll be looking at those eight teams in today's newsletter, plus we'll be breaking down Tom Brady's latest comments because, apparently, he's decided that he's going to stay retired (I'm not sure I believe him).
As always, here's your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here.
1. Tom Brady shoots down rumors that he might come out of retirement to play this season
Ever since Tom Brady an interview with Sports Illustrated this week, Brady did his best to shoot down those rumors that he might come out of retirement.in February, there's been a lot of speculation that he won't stay retired and that he'll eventually return to football. As it turns out, maybe he's actually serious about his retirement this time around. During
- Brady says he's done playing. "I'm certain I'm not playing again. I've tried to make that clear and I hate to continue to profess that because I've already told people that lots of times." Brady also said he's just trying to spend more time with his kids. "In my personal life, just spending as much time with my kids as I can and seeing them grow up and support the different things they have going on. That's a pretty important job," Brady said.
- Brady is looking forward to buying a chunk of the Raiders. "I'm looking forward to my opportunity ahead with the Raiders and we're in the process with that," Brady said. Although he's buying a piece of the Raiders, that doesn't mean he can't play in the NFL anymore. If he gets approved as an owner and then decides he wants to play, he would have to get approval from the other owners to suit up for the Raiders.
- Brady definitely plans on joining Fox. Over the past few weeks, there had been some speculation that maybe Brady didn't want to go through with his Fox job, but it seems he's now all-in. "I'm looking forward to my broadcasting job at Fox next year," Brady said.
Although Brady said he's definitely not returning to the NFL, it's impossible to know what to believe at this point. Less than two months ago, Brady left the door slightly open. The guess here is that Brady probably stays retired, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if he decides to come back.
2. Ranking the NFL's 10 most complete teams
Since the end of the season in February, every team in the NFL has spent the past three months trying to make their roster better. So who has the best roster right now? Glad you asked.
CBSSports.com's Jared Dubin went through all 32 rosters this week, and after looking them over, he decided to rank the 10 best all-around rosters in the league. In news that probably won't surprise you, the two teams that played in last year's Super Bowl are at the top of the list. However, in news that might surprise you, that team that won the Super Bowl isn't ranked first.
Let's take a look at his ranking.
- 1. Eagles: "Having the most complete roster doesn't necessarily make you the best team -- just the one with the fewest holes. And that's the Eagles."
- 2. Chiefs: "As long as they protect Patrick Mahomes with an above-average or better offensive line, they can be the best offense in the league. K.C.'s defense is also surprisingly stronger than you think, and could be an above-average unit all season."
- 3. Cowboys: "The quality of talent on hand has never been the problem for the Cowboys... and this once again looks like a loaded roster this year."
- 4. 49ers: "This team is once again loaded on defense. They signed Javon Hargrave to join Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, and Drake Jackson up front. The have the best linebacker duo in the league with Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw. And they always manage to make things work in the secondary, even without any stars."
- 5. Bengals: "Had Cincinnati not lost both of its starting safeties and/or if there were more certainty about Chidobe Awuzie's knee, Jonah Williams' willingness to report if he's going to play right tackle, and whether or not the team is sticking with Joe Mixon for another year, the Bengals might rank even higher than this."
Rest of the top 10
If you want to check out Dubin's full explanation for his rankings, be.
3. Ranking the top candidates for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year
After ranking the top candidates for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year on Wednesday, we're flipping over to the other side of the ball today to look at the top candidates for Defensive Rookie of the Year. CBS Sports' draft guru Chris Trapasso ranked the top eight candidates, and here's who he likes along with each player's odds for winning the award:
1. CB Christian Gonzalez (Patriots) -- +1000
2. EDGE Will Anderson Jr. (Texans) -- +500
3. DT Jalen Carter (Eagles) -- +500
4. CB Joey Porter Jr. (Steelers) -- +2200
5. EDGE Will McDonald (Jets) -- +2500
6. CB Devon Witherspoon (Seahawks) -- +1000
7. LB Jack Campbell (Lions) -- +1500
8. DT Calijah Kancey (Buccaneers) -- +2000
Defensive Rookie of the Year is one of the most wide-open awards the NFL has. Over the past three seasons alone, we've see three different positions win it with DE Chase Young in 2020, LB Micah Parsons in 2021 and CB Sauce Gardner in 2022. That makes this award one of the most difficult to predict.
The only thing that's consistent about this award in recent history is that it almost always goes to a first-round pick. In nine of the past 10 years, a first-rounder has walked away with the award. (Colts LB Shaq Leonard is the only non-first-rounder to win it over the past decade).
If you're thinking about making a bet, Gonzalez and Porter definitely seem to be the best values based on Trapasso's rankings. If you're wondering why Gonzalez is viewed as the most likely player to win the award (and not Will Anderson Jr. or Jalen Carter, who are the favorites in Vegas), you.
4. Why June 1 is important: Eight teams will be picking up some major salary cap space
June 1 is one of those dates that gets thrown around a lot in conversation during the NFL offseason, but not everyone knows what it means, so let's break it down. During the offseason, each NFL team is allowed to cut up to two players with a post-June 1 designation. If they use this label, that means the player's salary cap hit can be spread out over two years. If they don't use the label and a player gets cut before June 1, then the team has to eat his entire salary cap hit that year.
Let's look at Ezekiel Elliott as an example of this. The Cowboys running back with a scheduled cap hit of $16.72 million. If the Cowboys had NOT used the post-June 1 designation, they would have had to take on Elliott's (so they would have saved $4.86 million in cap space). However, since they gave him the post-June 1 label, they get to spread it over two years with hits of $5.82 million in 2023 and $6.04 million in 2024.
By doing that, the Cowboys saved $10.9 million in 2023 salary cap space. Here's a look at all the teams that will be picking up salary cap space once the June 1 deadline passes along with the players they cut with the post-June 1 designation.
- Dolphins: $13.6 million (Byron Jones)
- Browns: $10.9 million (Jadeveon Clowney, John Johnson)
- Cowboys: $10.9 million (Ezekiel Elliott)
- Commanders: $4 million (Chase Roullier)
- Broncos: $3.8 million (Brandon McManus)
- Cardinals: $3.2 million (J.J. Watt, Rodney Hudson)
The extra cap space could really come in handy for the Dolphins, who currently have $1.31 million in cap space, according to Over the Cap. With more cap space coming their way Friday, the Dolphins might now be in a position to make a play for Dalvin Cook or DeAndre Hopkins.
Anyway, if you want to know everything there is to know about the post-June 1 rule, then.
5. One burning question for every team in the AFC North
With all the roster changes that have happened around the league this offseason, there are plenty of questions that each team will need to answer before we know if they'll actually be good in 2023.
With that in mind, we're going to go through each division to look at the biggest questions for each team. Today, we're going to cover the AFC North.
Here's one burning question Bryan DeArdo has come up with for each team.
- Bengals: Can their revamped secondary hold down the fort? "While most of the Bengals' starting lineup is still intact from last season, they will have a revamped secondary after losing starting safeties Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell in free agency and electing not to re-sign starting cornerback Eli Apple. Instead of re-signing Bates, Bell and Apple, the team opted to replace them with younger players while saving money that they will try to use to keep quarterback Joe Burrow and wideouts Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. It's an approach that will probably pay dividends down the road, but what about in 2023?"
- Browns: Will Cleveland's offensive gamble pay off? "There were rumblings that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam wanted to go from a run-first offense to an aerial attack during Watson's first full season in Cleveland. Based on their personnel moves, it appears that Haslam will get his wish. "
- Ravens: Can Lamar Jackson stay healthy? "In same ways, Jackson's immense talent is both a blessing and a curse. His peerless athletic ability has made him the greatest running quarterback in NFL history. Jackson's unique talent, however, has also contributed to his injuries. ... If the Ravens are more selective with Jackson's running, it should lead to a healthier Jackson and more wins for the franchise. It appears that this is the direction the Ravens are heading in, but we won't know for sure until the ball is kicked off in September."
- Steelers: Is Pittsburgh ready to make a leap? "It's been seven years since the Steelers won a playoff game, making them the AFC North team with the longest drought since a playoff win. ... Kenny Pickett is good enough to help get the Steelers back to being among the AFC's upper echelon. And if things go their way like they did this offseason, it could be enough to make serious noise when the playoffs begin in January."
To read DeArdo's full answer for each of these burning questions,.
6. Extra points: Pro Bowl punter retiring
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.
- Brett Kern retires after 15 NFL seasons. The NFL will be losing one of its best punters this year. Kern that he'll officially be retiring as of today. The 37-year-old spent 15 seasons in the NFL, including 13 in Tennessee. Not only did Kern make three Pro Bowls during his career, but he was also named first-team All-Pro in 2019. Kern ranked eighth or higher in yards per punt in eight of his 15 seasons.
- Belichick responds to OTA punishment. The Patriots coach was finally asked about his team's OTA violation and gave the most Belichick answer ever, "We had a situation with some scheduling in Phase 2, but we got that worked out. ... It's in the past. (We've) moved on. (Just) looking forward to getting out on the field today," Belichick said Wednesday. You can .
- Patriots special teams star rails against new kickoff rule. We've already heard several coaches complain about the new kickoff rule -- like John Harbaugh and Andy Reid -- and now, we have a player complaining. Patriots special teams ace Matthew Slater , which will allow for teams to get the ball at the 25 if they call for a fair catch anywhere inside the 25, "I just don't believe this is truly in the name of player health and safety. What I do believe is, 'We [the NFL] want to portray ourselves a certain way to the public that says we care about the players,'" Slater said (via ESPN).
- English soccer star wants to kick in the NFL. If the Cowboys are still looking for a kicker, they might want to call Harry Kane. The English soccer star wants to try and make it on an NFL team as a kicker after his soccer career. "I wanna definitely explore [it]," Kane said Wednesday. "I know it would be a lot of hard work. I'm not expecting to just rock up and start kicking field goals. It would be a lot of practice, a lot of hard work. But yeah, it's something I'd love to do." For a closer look at Kane's plans, .
- Rams defensive coordinator helps save drowning child. Raheem Morris played the role of hero over the weekend. The Rams DC was in Las Vegas during an incident where a drowning child was pulled out of a pool. "I saw people calling 911 so my first question was, where is the AED?" Morris said to ESPN. "When I got back, we had a doctor on site that was able to start the compressions. I was able to hand the AED to him, get it open for him, put the pads on the child, and he ended up being OK." You .