Happy Tuesday to everyone, although I have to say, that probably isn't the best way to start things off today, because it's definitely not going to be a happy Tuesday for everyone due to the fact that it's cut day in the NFL.
Each team in the league will be making its second round of cuts today, which means roughly 160 players will be out of a job by the end of the day. If they want to take some of the sting off of getting cut, I suggest getting a Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, which apparently came out today at Starbucks. Is it way too early for that kind of stuff? Probably, but I will end up drinking three of them before the end of the week, so I'm not going to judge.
Alright, let's get to today's rundown, where we'll be talking about why Mac Jones could overtake Cam Newton and we'll also be revealing our All-AFC East team.
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1. Today's show: Fantasy week is starting
It's officially "Fantasy Week" on the Pick Six podcast, which is our way of telling you that if you want to win your fantasy league this year, then you better listen to every podcast we put out over the next few days. For today's show, Will Brinson was joined by CBS Sports fantasy guru Frank Stampfl.
If you're into daily fantasy sports, you should probably start stalking Frank on Twitter and that's because DFS is his bread-and-butter. Frank actually hosts a daily podcast of his own here at CBS Sports -- you can subscribe by clicking here -- and on that podcast, he gives out DFS advice (his most recent podcast went over the top DFS plays for Monday's game between the Saints and Jaguars).
If you've never tried your hand at daily fantasy stuff, then this is definitely the perfect episode of the Pick Six Podcast to listen because it will help you get your feet wet. Today's show won't be available until late Tuesday, but it will be worth the wait.
To listen to today's episode when it comes out -- and to subscribe to the best daily NFL podcast out there -- be sure to click here.
Excited for the biggest NFL schedule in history? Follow along on the CBS Sports app and get the latest insights from our team of NFL insiders, plus news from our team of experts, as well as data insights on every player. If you already have the CBS Sports app, make sure to favorite the your favorite team so you don't miss a thing!
2. Jameis Winston makes strong case for Saints starting QB job
I don't usually get overly excited to watch preseason games, but I was glued to my television last night for Jacksonville's game against New Orleans to watch one person: Jamies Winston.
This was a huge game for Jameis Winston and because of that, I was half-expecting him to throw five interceptions, which is what he usually does in huge games. However, not only did Jameis avoid throwing any picks, but he basically played a flawless game in the Saints' 23-21 win.
Here are a few nuggets from the game.
- Jameis makes his case to be the Saints starter. Whatever Sean Payton is doing with Winston, it's definitely working. Jameis was on fire last night as he completed 9 of 10 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns during one quarter of work. I have no idea what Payton's criteria is for picking a starter, but I have to think Winston won him over and did enough to earn the job with Monday's performance.
- Taysom Hill wasn't horrible, but Jameis was better. After Winston's one quarter of action, Hill was put in the game and he actually got to play for two quarters. Although he was going up against easier competition -- the Jaguars had a few more defensive backups in when Hill was playing -- that didn't translate to more success for Hill. The Saints' Swiss Army knife QB completed just 11 of 20 passes for 138 yards and a TD. It was a respectable performance, but it was nowhere as good as Winston's.
- Marquez Callaway looks like a star in the making. Callaway doesn't get to vote for who will be the team's starting QB, but if he did, he'd probably vote for Winston. The two seem to have some serious chemistry on the field. Against the Jags, Callaway caught five passes for 104 yards, including a 29-yard TD and a 43-yard TD, which both came from Winston in the first quarter.
- Trevor Lawrence struggled. I'm starting to think that Trevor Lawrence might not be good enough to solve all of the Jaguars' problems this year. The Jags' biggest problem is that their offensive line isn't that good and because of that, Lawrence faced a lot of pressure last night. That was one of the big reasons why he finished just 14 of 23 for 113 yards.
- Travis Etienne gets injured. The Jaguars first-round pick was on crutches after the game. According to NFL.com, he suffered a Lisfranc iniury and will have further tests to determine the severity of the injury. The rookie will be out indefinitely, but there should be a better timeline for his recovery once the foot has had more testing done on it.
As for the Saints QB Battle, if you want to read a more detailed piece on why Winston has an edge on Hill, be sure to click here.
3. 2021 All-AFC East team
The Patriots spent the offseason restocking their roster and if our All-AFC East team is any indication, their decision definitely paid off big time. The Bills might be the defending AFC East champions, but the Patriots have the most players on our all-division team.
Jared Dubin went through all four rosters in the division to create one Super Team that consisted of 27 players (12 on offense, 12 on defense plus three special teams). Of the 27 players on the All-AFC East team, ELEVEN OF THEM came from New England. The Bills produced seven players, which was the second most.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the offense for the AFC East's all-division team:
QB: Josh Allen, Bills
RB: Damien Harris, Patriots
WR: Stefon Diggs, Bills
WR: Cole Beasley, Bills
WR: DeVante Parker, Dolphins
TE: Jonnu Smith, Patriots
FLEX: Corey Davis, Jets
OT: Mekhi Beckton, Jets
OT: Morgan Moses, Jets
OG: Michael Owenu, Patriots
OG: Shaq Mason, Patriots
C: Mitch Morse, Bills
Although the Patriots had the most players overall, the might not even be the biggest surprise. A bigger shock might be the fact that the Jets had more players (5) than the Dolphins (4)!
If you want to see the defensive side of the AFC East's All-Division team, plus the special teams representatives, then be sure to click here.
4. Cut Day: NFL teams have to trim rosters down to 80 players
If it's Tuesday, that can only mean one thing in the NFL: Players are getting cut today.
With the league trimming the preseason down to three games this year, the NFL decided to hold three cut days with each one coming on the Tuesday following a full week of preseason games. The first cut day came last week with each team trimming its roster down to 85 players. For today's cut day, each team has to trim its roster down to 80 players (The biggest cut day won't be coming until Tuesday, Aug. 31, when each team has to get its roster down to just 53 players).
Teams will have until 4 p.m. ET today to get their roster down to 80 players. Although there are still a few more hours to go until the deadline, here's a look at some notable players who have already been released:
- Colts K Eddy Pineiro (Loses kicking competition to Rodrigo Blankenship)
- Chiefs DE Taco Charlton (Former first-round pick with the Cowboys)
- Packers LB Kamal Martin (Started six games as a Packers rookie last year)
- Rams QB Devlin Hodges (Started six games at QB for the Steelers in 2019)
- Seahawks QB Alex McGough (Drafted by the Seahawks in 2018)
- Washington WR Steven Sims (Racked up 61 catches for 575 yards and five TDs in two seasons with Washington)
If you want to check out the full list of cuts, just click here (The list won't be final until after the 4 p.m. ET deadline).
5. Cam Newton's absence might open the door for Mac Jones to win the Patriots' starting QB battle
One of the disadvantages that comes with being unvaccinated in the NFL this year is that you can't travel anywhere and Cam Newton found that out the hard way this week. The Patriots quarterback had to leave New England over the weekend to travel to a team-approved medical appointment; however, he didn't follow proper COVID testing protocols while he was gone and because of that "misunderstanding," he now has to stay away from the team for five days (If Newton had been vaccinated, he wouldn't have to sit out at all).
With Newton out until Thursday, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones thinks that could open the door for Mac Jones to win the starting job and Bill Belichick seems to agree with him. Less than 24 hours ago, Belichick made it clear that Cam was the starter. However, after it became clear that Newton would have to miss five days, Belichick slightly changed his tune on Tuesday, saying this would be a big week for Mac Jones. There's also been a report that the Patriots are "frustrated" with Newton over the situation. Basically, if Jones is going to win the job, he needs to do it this week.
Our Jones thinks New England's Jones could win the job for multiple reasons. For one, Mac Jones is going to get all the first-team reps this week, so this could be his best shot to earn the Week 1 starting job.
"Jones gets a few days of unquestioned No. 1 reps, followed by a joint practice against a Giants team who looked worse on Day 1 than Day 2 of their joint practices with the Browns last week."
The other part is that Newton could take a small step back during his time away from the team.
"Newton dazzled Thursday against the Eagles. He showed a mastery of the pocket, a strong arm and ability to go through his progressions and torch the Eagles. And now for Newton, a reset. Again. Just as he may have been hitting his groove. Missing time for this "misunderstanding" won't impact his body the way the actual virus did last year, but he'll have to stave off any feelings of discomfort upon his return."
To read Jonathan Jones' full take on why this will be a big week for Mac Jones, 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 happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you.
- Robby Anderson lands big extension with the Panthers. The receiver's contract was set to expire after the 2021 season, but that won't be happening anymore after Anderson landed a two-year extension on Tuesday. According to ESPN.com, the two-year deal is worth $29.5 million and includes $20.5 million in guaranteed money. That's solid money for a player who went undrafted in 2016.
- Justin Fields will start this week for the Bears. This might sound like exciting news for Bears fans who were hoping to see Fields start in Week 1, but it's not. Coach Matt Nagy said he's starting Fields in the team's final preseason game so that Andy Dalton will be fresh for Week 1.
- Browns place Cody Parkey on injured reserve. With Parkey on IR, that means the Browns will be going into 2021 with a new kicker. Parkey was in a competition with Chase McLaughlin, who will now presumably be the starter since Parkey is out.
- Josh Rosen signs with Falcons. Just days after getting cut by the 49ers, the 10th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft already has a new team. The Falcons will be the fifth team Rosen has played for since being drafted by the Cardinals. Besides Arizona, Atlanta and San Francisco, he's also spent time with the Buccaneers and Dolphins.
- Packers make trade with Texans. Houston acquired cornerback Ka'Dar Hollman on Monday in a trade with Green Bay. In exchange for Hollman, the Texans will be sending a seventh-round draft pick to the Packers.
- Daniel Jones set to make preseason debut. The Giants quarterback hasn't taken a single snap this preseason, but that's expected to change this weekend. Giants coach Joe Judge has said that Jones will likely play a good chunk of the first half on Saturday against the Patriots.
- Everson Griffen reunites with Vikings, promises to apologize to Kirk Cousins. Griffen spent 10 seasons with Vikings before leaving following the 2019 season and now, he's back with the team. Griffen has promised to apologize to Cousins for a tweet he sent out back in January (The tweet said "Kirk Cousins is ass. Thank you." For full context of that tweet, feel free to click here.)
- Tom Coughlin shares personal story. The two-time Super Bowl winning coach has been serving as his wife's caregiver for the past few years and he shared what life has been like for him in an emotional New York Times story that's definitely worth reading.
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