At some point this summer, I promise you there will be a newsletter where we don't mention Aaron Rodgers, but this is not that newsletter. I've been writing about Aaron Rodgers so often that the autocorrect on my computer automatically changes any word that starts with an 'A' to Aaron.
Aaron you can imagine, I now hate my computer. Oops. I mean "as" you can imagine.
Although we'll once again be talking about Aaron Rodgers today, the twist here is that we'll actually be talking about some good news on the Rodgers front. In non-Aaron Rodgers news, we're going to go through and predict every game on the Bills' schedule. If you're a Bills fan who would like to go get a folding table and set it on fire so you can slam yourself through it to celebrate our prediction that you're definitely going to like, then you should go get that folding table now. Aright, let's get to the rundown.
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1. Today's show: Remaining offseason priorities
The NFL offseason started with a bang this year with the Lions and Rams pulling off a trade that involved Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff switching teams. Since then, we've had more trades, we've seen free agency and we even made it through the draft.
Although the meat of the offseason is behind us, that doesn't mean there won't be any more big moves, which brings us to the subject of today's podcast: For Thursday's episode of the Pick Six Podcast, Will Brinson was joined by Tyler Sullivan and the two guys talked about multiple moves that could still be made.
"We all know something might happen here with Aaron Rodgers. We'll see what happens" Sullivan said. "A lot of people think the Broncos are the team, but let's not sleep on the Raiders here. Let's see what they do. Keep the phone lines open."
The odd thing about the Raiders is that Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers both included them on a list of teams that they'd be willing to play for. Derek Carr has been good, but if Rodgers became available, you have to think Jon Gruden would kick Carr to the curb before you can say "Spider 2 Y banana."
To listen to today's show -- and to follow the podcast -- be sure to click here.
2. Aaron Rodgers' close friend says situation in Green Bay is fixable
When it comes to the Aaron Rodgers situation, there hasn't been a lot of good news coming out of Green Bay over the past month, but there's finally a little bit of good news for Packers fans and it's coming from James Jones, who offered a somewhat optimistic take on the QB's situation during an interview with Colin Cowherd on Wednesday.
Jones is close friends with Rodgers -- they spent eight seasons together in Green Bay -- and the former receiver revealed several interesting factoids.
- Jones believes Rodgers will actually show up for training camp. "He's willing to go in there and make sure they can get this thing right and get it fixable and go out there and put the best football team on the field and try to compete for a championship," Jones said. "And that's why I truly believe that he will be there for training camp, this will get fixed, and I think the relationship will get much better between him and the GM."
- Rodgers doesn't want the GM fired. Multiple reports this offseason have said that Rodgers will only play for the Packers if the team fires general manager Brian Gutekunst, but apparently Rodgers doesn't want him fired. "I've talked to Aaron," Jones said. "I talk to him all the time. And he's told me that it's not about the GM. It's not about new money. It's not about the GM. So when I hear everybody on here say, 'It's about getting the GM fired' and these things, it's not about that."
- One phone call ruined everything. Jones didn't give any details on this phone call, but it must have gone sideways pretty quickly. "His No. 1 beef is a private conversation on the phone that I can't share with you," Jones said. This is a situation that doesn't need any more mysteries, James. Just tell us what was said.
- One other reason Rodgers is upset. According to Jones, Rodgers is upset at the fact that the Packers keep dumping players who could still help the team. Jones mentioned several former Packers like Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and Jordy Nelson as examples.
The biggest upside for Packers fans is that Jones thinks the relationship is salvageable. However, Rodgers is clearly upset about multiple things and if the Packers can't placate him by the time training camp rolls around, it won't be surprising if he doesn't show up, despite Jones' optimism.
If Rodgers doesn't show up, Jordan Love said on Wednesday that he'll be 100% ready to start.
3. Tom Brady played injured for the entire 2020 season
The Buccaneers weren't going to be my pick to win the Super Bowl this year, but I think I might go ahead and reconsider that after finding out that they won it last year even though TOM BRADY WAS INJURED FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON.
Brady underwent knee surgery in February and at the time, it wasn't clear when he suffered the injury. However, Brady cleared up the timeline on Wednesday when he revealed that his knee had been bothering him since April or May 2020.
"It was an injury I dealt with really since last April, May," Brady said. "I knew I'd have to do something at the end of the year, and happy I did it. It was probably something that certainly needed to be done and there was a great outcome, so I'm very happy about that. I feel I'll be able to do some different things this year than I was able to do last year."
This makes the Buccaneers' Super Bowl run even more improbable. I mean, not only did they win the Super Bowl with a 43-year-old quarterback, but it was a 43-year-old quarterback who had zero offseason time to learn the playbook due to the pandemic AND he played the entire year on an injured knee. I'm never betting against the Buccaneers again.
Brady is glad to now be feeling better because he can put all his focus on football.
"From this point to the beginning of the season, to the beginning of training camp, I really feel like I can really work hard at football improvement as opposed to getting back to a rehab, you know, place where you're more baseline," Brady said.
The biggest takeaway here is that the Buccaneers are going 17-0.
4. Predicting every game on the Bills' 2021 schedule
Now that the month of June is here, that means the dead part of the NFL offseason is almost upon us and although things can get kind of boring during that period, we're going to keep things spicy around here by going through and predicting every game on each team's 2021 schedule.
There are 32 teams and we'll be doing one team per day until we make it through every team. Today, we're going to wrap up the AFC East by taking a closer look at the Bills.
Our Tyler Sullivan went through Buffalo's entire schedule and picked out all the games they're going to win and all the games they're going to lose. Last season, the Bills ended up winning the AFC East title for the first time in 25 years.
As the defending champs, the Bills will definitely be going into the season as the favorites in the division. So will they be able to repeat?
Here's a look at how Sullivan sees the Bills doing in three key games:
- Week 1: Steelers at Bills. "Buffalo sees a bit of bad luck by getting Pittsburgh this early in the schedule as Big Ben will likely be his sharpest out of the gate. Still, the Bills' front seven should have no issue applying pressure on the immobile Roethlisberger and start the year off on a positive note with a win." Prediction: Buffalo 27-17 over Pittsburgh
- Week 5: Bills at Chiefs. "After starting the year off a perfect 4-0, dreams of an undefeated season are dashed by the Kansas City Chiefs in a rematch of the AFC Championship Game a season ago." Prediction: Kansas City 35-27 over Buffalo.
- Week 12: Bills at Saints. "The big question with this matchup centers around who'll win the quarterback battle in New Orleans between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill. In any event, they should be over any sort of growing pains by this point in the year to make this game competitive, especially in their own building. That said, whatever rapport QB1 has built up likely won't be enough to get past Buffalo here." Prediction: Buffalo 27-23 over New Orleans.
Overall, Sullivan is predicting that the Bills will end the season with a 14-3 record and if that happens, they'll easily end up repeating as AFC East champs. If they do that, it would mark the first time since the 1990-91 seasons that the Bills won the division two years in a row.
If you want to see Sullivan's prediction for each game, click here to check out his entire story.
5. Training camp battles to watch: Ranking the five best RB competitions in 2021
I'm not sure how it happened, but we are now just six weeks away from the start of the NFL's first training camp (the Steelers and Cowboys report on July 21). With that in mind, we thought now would be a good time to take a look at some of the biggest training camp battles in 2021 and today, we're going to take a look at running backs.
Jordan Dajani put together a list of the top five RB battles heading into training camp.
1. 49ers. "You can go ahead and pencil in Raheem Mostert as the "starter" for now, but who knows if he will be able to hold that title all season. The 49ers drafted not one, but two running backs this offseason. John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan took Trey Sermon out of Ohio State in the third round, and then took Elijah Mitchell out of Louisiana in the sixth round."
2. Jets. "In the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, New York selected former North Carolina running back Michael Carter. He had an impressive season for the Tar Heels in 2020, as he was named third-team All-America and All-ACC after rushing for 1,245 yards and nine touchdowns. His 8 yards per rush set a program record, and also led the FBS. It's not a given, but this is the player I feel like could take over the backfield by season's end. Along with Tevin Coleman and La'Mical Perine, he will be battling with some other interesting players such as Josh Adams and Ty Johnson."
3. Broncos. "The Broncos traded up at the beginning of the second round of the draft to select Javonte Williams, who was an All-ACC first-team player for the Tar Heels in 2020, and rushed for 1,140 yards. The Broncos parted ways with Phillip Lindsay this offseason, but they still have Melvin Gordon. Denver traded up for Williams for a reason. He won't start off the 2021 season as the No. 1 back, but keep an eye on this situation."
4. Steelers. "Najee Harris was mocked to the Steelers by many pundits, and sure enough, it came to fruition. Some may think he's going to enter camp as the unquestioned lead back, but I doubt it. While the Steelers let James Conner walk this offseason, they still have young talent in Benny Snell Jr., Anthony McFarland Jr. and Jaylen Samuels. Additionally, Pittsburgh also went out and signed Kalen Ballage in free agency."
5. Jaguars. "After James Robinson became just the fourth undrafted running back to rush for over 1,000 yards, he seems like a piece the Jags would want to build around, no? Even after his successful season, the Jaguars drafted Lawrence's college teammate in Travis Etienne with their second first-round pick, and picked up Meyer's former Ohio State running back in Carlos Hyde."
Jordan has a more in-depth look at each of these running back battles and if you want to check that out, 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 has happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you.
- NFL preseason schedule released: It took nearly a month, but the times and dates for every preseason game have finally been finalized and you can see those dates by clicking here. The preseason will kickoff on Aug. 5 with the Steelers and Cowboys playing each other in the Hall of Fame game.
- Chiefs lose Kyle Long to injury. Long's return from retirement hit a rough patch this week. The Chiefs offensive lineman fractured his kneecap and will likely have to miss all of training camp. The team is hoping he could be ready to play by Week 1, but that's not guaranteed.
- Todd Gurley visits Ravens. For the second time in two weeks, Gurley has decided to make a free agent visit. Last time around he went to Detroit, but this time, he's visiting with the Ravens. Gurley actually might be a good fit for what Baltimore is trying to do. His knees won't take a beating because he won't be an every-down back and he can catch passes out of the backfield, which is something the Ravens are trying incorporate more into their passing game.
- Amari Cooper could miss start of training camp. The Cowboys receiver is dealing with an ankle injury that will likely keep him on the sideline for the start of training camp. The good news for the Cowboys is that the injury isn't considered serious, which means Cooper shouldn't miss too much camp time.
- Deshaun Watson apparently eyeing the Broncos. Back in February, Broncos corner Kareem Jackson -- who happens to be Watson's friend -- said the Texans QB was interested in heading to Denver. Apparently, not much has changed on that front, because Jackson said this week that Watson is still interested in the Broncos. Of course, Denver will likely want to see how Watson's legal situation plays out before trying to make any sort of deal.
- Dak Prescott ditches Adidas for Jumpman. The Cowboys quarterback is switching shoe brands. After starting his career with Adidas, Prescott is now moving on to Michael Jordan's brand in what is a huge deal for both sides. According to ESPN, Prescott will be "the only Jordan Brand quarterback, the only Cowboys player and the highest-paid NFL player on the signature line's roster."
- Browns chief of staff suspended. Callie Brownson, who was the first woman to be a position coach on the sideline during an NFL game, was suspended by the Browns on Wednesday after being charged with a DUI in Ohio. According to court documents, Brownson was initially pulled over after after driving about 20 mph over the speed limit. Police stated that her blood alcohol content was .215, which is nearly three times the .08 legal limit in Ohio.