Welcome to Tuesday, June 25. It's an important day in history, as on this day in 1951, CBS broadcasted the first color television program, and in 1984, Prince released his album "Purple Rain." Those events pale in comparison to what occurs today, as Jordan Dajani writes his first newsletter for CBS Sports.

Our fearless leader, John Breech, is still celebrating the birth of his child, which apparently is more important than writing this newsletter. Some people struggle with priorities, but that just opens the door for me to do what Tom Brady did to Drew Bledsoe. 

You think the NFL offseason is dull here in late June? Well, then you're just not paying attention. Here at CBS Sports, there is never a shortage of material to digest. First, why not subscribe to our newsletter? Which you can do right here. Unless you're not a real football fan. 

Let's do it.

1. Top 25 players 25 or younger

It's "List Szn," and no one else in the world does it better than our guy Cody Benjamin. This dude sent Breech his top 100 baby names knowing he wasn't ever going to look at it. This week, Dr. Benjamin ranked the top 25 NFL players under 25 years old. Now, there are some rules to understand with this project:

  • What is the actual cutoff? Players are eligible if they are 25 or younger when the 2024 season officially begins Sept. 5.
  • Is anyone else excluded? This year's rookies. Our focus is on players who have already played in the NFL.
  • What goes into the ranking? Past performance, future projection and, to a lesser degree, positional value. At the end of the day, it's a hodgepodge of where guys stand right now and where we think they're headed.

Here are a couple of notable names that made the cut:

25. RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions: The surprise first-round draft pick made just three official starts while splitting the backfield as a rookie, and even still, the slippery Alabama product eclipsed 1,200 scrimmage yards and 11 scores. His juice as a change-of-pace dual threat gives the already-balanced Lions a home run threat out of the backfield. 

19. CB Trent McDuffie, Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs were fine dealing top corner L'Jarius Sneed this offseason in large part because of McDuffie's emergence on the other side. Although he's still in search of his first career pick, the Washington product was often around the ball (three sacks, five forced fumbles) in 2023's title-winning campaign.

1. WR Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings: "Jets" missed literally 40% of the 2023 season and still topped 1,000 yards receiving for the fourth time in four years. He remains one of, if not the toughest wideout to guard in all of football, and his effortless explosion turns routine plays into potential home runs. The undeniable face of the Vikings after less than a half-decade of NFL play, Jefferson is already on a Hall of Fame trajectory.

To see Benjamin's full list, click here.

2. QBs who bounced back from bad rookie seasons


Star quarterbacks don't always enter the league as stars. We saw Peyton Manning lead the league in interceptions as a rookie before becoming one of the best signal-callers in NFL history, while Josh Allen took some time to develop into the dual-threat monster he would eventually become. The question has to be asked: Are you out on Bryce Young yet? 

The No. 1 overall pick of the Carolina Panthers last year averaged 5.5 yards per attempt in 2023, which were the fourth-fewest in NFL history, while his 73.7 passer rating also ranked last in the league. But how much blame does Young deserve for this disastrous campaign? His offensive line was bad, his weapons weren't much better, his offensive play-caller changed several times and his first head coach was fired 11 games into the year. 

Now that the Panthers have hired quarterback whisperer Dave Canales, how much improvement should we be expecting from Young in 2024? This week, CBS Sports historian Bryan DeArdo sat down and ranked the top 10 best careers by a quarterback that had a subpar rookie campaign. Here are two of his top three:

3. John Elway 

  • Rookie season (1983): 7 TD, 14 INT, 47.5 completion percentage, 4-6 record as starter
  • Career: Nine-time Pro Bowler, two-time Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP, 1987 NFL MVP 

While Dan Marino enjoyed immediate success, his fellow rookie classmate, Elway, initially struggled before quickly finding his way. In his second season, Elway led the Broncos to a 13-3 record. Two years after that, Elway led one of the greatest drives in NFL history that culminated with a trip to the Super Bowl. Elway capped off his career a dozen years later as a Super Bowl MVP, after the Broncos finally complemented his talent with an equally talented roster.

2. Troy Aikman 

  • Rookie season (1989): 9 TD, 18 INT, 52.9 completion percentage, 0-11 record as starter
  • Career: Six-time Pro Bowler, three-time Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP 

The irony here is that Aikman became the first quarterback to win 90 games over the course of a decade after going 0-11 as the Cowboys' starter during his rookie season. Aikman clearly got better, but Jimmy Johnson's quick reconstruction of Dallas' roster put Aikman in position to carve out a Hall of Fame career. He responded by playing at an elite level during the '90s while setting the Super Bowl career record for completion percentage. 

For DeArdo's full list, click here

3. NFC team desperately wanted Andrew Luck


The No. 1 overall pick out of Stanford back in 2012 played in just 86 NFL games, but is still viewed as one of the best quarterbacks in the modern era. Andrew Luck made the Pro Bowl four times with the Indianapolis Colts, led the league in passing touchdowns in 2014 and was the Comeback Player of the Year in 2018 before shocking the NFL world by retiring ahead of the 2019 season at age 29. Luck cited injuries as a reason for stepping away from the game he loved. If he landed somewhere other than Indy, would Luck have played longer? 

According to PHLY's Zach Berman, the Philadelphia Eagles "tried manically to trade up" for the No. 1 overall pick in 2012, likely "hoping that the Colts would bring Peyton [Manning] back" and trade the rights to Luck. What's wild is that the Eagles signed Michael Vick to a six-year contract just a year earlier! 

For the full story, check out Benjamin's piece, here.

4. Panthers' stadium renovation approved

2023 ACC Championship - Louisville v Florida State
Getty Images

The Panthers are staying in Charlotte. Monday evening, ESPN reported that the Charlotte City Council voted 7-3 to approve the joint $800 million renovation project for the home of the Panthers: Bank of America Stadium. Per WBTV, construction is expected to start next year, and be completed in 2029.

ESPN reports that the city will provide $650 million for the project, while team owner David Tepper will pay $150 million. Tepper released a statement on this victory:

"Today's vote by the Charlotte City Council is the culmination of many thoughtful discussions with city officials, local leaders, and our fans to create a shared vision for Bank of America Stadium. Nicole and I are grateful for the collaboration and support of the project, as well as our ongoing partnership between Tepper Sports & Entertainment and the city. For nearly 30 years, Charlotte has been the home of the Carolina Panthers and, more recently, Charlotte FC. We are proud to be in the Carolinas and look forward to delivering a venue that meets the needs of our community, players, and fans for years to come."

The Panthers played their first-ever season (1995) in Clemson as they awaited the construction of their new home. In their first season in Charlotte, the Panthers went 12-4 and made it to the NFC Championship game. 

The venue of Bank of America Stadium is always active, hosting Charlotte FC games, the Duke's Mayo Bowl, the ACC Championship game and numerous concerts as well.

5. Chiefs release Isaiah Buggs after multiple arrests

The reigning Super Bowl champions have not had the best offseason when it comes to activity off the field. The most recent player who attracted negative headlines was defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs, who was arrested twice in as many months. Buggs turned himself in on animal cruelty charges in May, and then was put in jail after an incident in which he picked up domestic violence and burglary charges. 

Tuscaloosa district court documents allege that Buggs "unlawfully" entered a woman's apartment and dragged the mother of his child down the stairs with the "intent to commit a crime." On Tuesday, the Chiefs officially released the 27-year-old.

6. Extra points!

Want more NFL news? Here are some other noteworthy headlines from across the league: