At some point this offseason, we will have a newsletter that does not mention Aaron Rodgers, but this is not that newsletter.
For the 112th consecutive day, Aaron Rodgers is still in the headlines, and if you think about it, that's kind of amazing, because he hasn't publicly done an interview where he talked about football since April 5.
That means that we've now gone more than a full month without hearing from Rodgers. I think he's giving us the silent treatment and if it's anything like when my wife gives me the silent treatment, that's not good news for the Packers. Ironically, my wife only gives me the silent treatment when I'm talking about Aaron Rodgers. I think she's already sick of hearing about it, which means she's probably not going to read today's newsletter, because we have plenty of Rodgers information coming at you.
We'll also take a look at another NFC North team with a potential controversy on its hands, and that team is the Bears, who are thinking about moving just outside of Chicago.
Alright, let's get to the rundown. As always, here's your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. To sign up, all you have to do is click here and then share the link.
1. Today's show: Dissecting the Aaron Rodgers situation in Green Bay
During the offseason, news can sometimes get kind of slow, but not this offseason and that's because the squabble between Aaron Rodgers and the Packers is the gift that keeps on giving to the 24-hour news cycle. If you're already tired of reading about Aaron Rodgers, I have some bad news for you, his name is going to be dominating the headlines until this situation gets resolved and based on things are going, it doesn't seem like it's going to be resolved anytime soon.
The situation is going to end in one of three ways: Rodgers gets traded, Rodgers retires or Rodgers returns to Green Bay.
There's no one who knows more about this situation than CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, so Will Brinson decided to invite him on for today's podcast and the two spent the entire episode talking about Rodgers.
If you want to know how La Canfora thinks the situation in Green Bay is going to end, you're going to have to listen to the podcast.
To listen to today's show -- and to follow the podcast -- be sure to click here.
2. Could Aaron Rodgers actually return to Green Bay?
If you have had your Aaron Rodgers fill for the day already, then I suggest moving on to the next section because all you're going to get here is MORE Aaron Rodgers. After covering roughly 91 topics about the Packers quarterback yesterday, we have one more today and it's an interesting one.
After seven straight days of hearing that there was no way Rodgers would return to Green Bay, there's been a much softer tone in recent days and it's a tone that suggests that Rodgers might be amicable to making up with the Packers.
The interesting thing about the latest information is that it's coming from the people who know Rodgers the best. Yesterday, Rodgers' friend John Kuhn said he thought things could be worked out. Later Thursday, another Rodgers friend and former Packers teammate, James Jones, said the same thing.
"I speak with Aaron all the time," Jones said, via NFL.com. "I talk to him a lot and it has nothing to do about getting the GM fired. It has nothing to do about getting a new contract and getting money. Everything that Aaron Rodgers has done since he's been a Green Bay Packer, this is not him, he's not a guy that's going to go out there and leak all this stuff and say he wants out of there and be giving all this stuff to the media. That's never been him."
Jones also added that he things the situation is fixable,
"When the organization side of it comes into place and you talk about him and the GM and the head coach working together, I think it's fixable, I think they'll be able to get that stuff done," Jones said.
Another former teammate of Rodgers, A.J. Hawk, also had an interesting opinion. Hawk's take probably carries the most weight and that's because he was WITH RODGERS LAST WEEKEND at the Kentucky Derby.
"We're in a weird spot right now, the Packers are in a very tough spot and Aaron, as well, so I'm hopeful that something can happen," Hawk said.
Despite those optimistic comments, Hawk did also add that it will be an "uphill battle" for the Packers to get things figured out.
By the way, if you're wondering how in the name of Vince Lombardi we got to this point with Rodgers and the Packers, you can click here for an excellent timeline that traces every event dating back to the selection of Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft.
3. Ranking 10 rookies drafted on Day 3 who have the best chance of having an instant impact
If you're trying to build a successful team in the NFL, the best way to do it is to hit on a few late-round picks. If you can find a diamond in the rough late in the draft, it comes with one big advantage: You have a potential starter under contract for cheap for a total of four years.
As you probably already know, Tom Brady was a late-round pick and due to his success and low cost of his contract, the Patriots were able to build around him to win three Super Bowls in his first four seasons as a starter. Although we'll almost certainly never see a late-round pick reach the level of success that Brady has, the fact of the matter is that it's possible to find good players on the final day of the draft, which consists of rounds 4 through 7.
So who could those players be this year?
Glad you asked. Chris Trapasso made a list of six players drafted on Day 3 who could make an instant impact with their new team this year.
Let's get to the list:
- Michael Carter, RB, Jets (Fourth round, 107th overall pick). "The vast majority of running backs picked in the fourth round are clearly selected to be backups for the prime of their NFL careers, but not Carter, who could be starting from Day 1."
- Dez Fitzpatrick, WR, Titans (Fourth round, 109th overall pick). "In Tennessee, gone are Corey Davis, Adam Humphries, and Jonnu Smith. The Titans desperately needed a jolt of receiver talent, and they absolutely got that with Fitzpatrick."
- Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Lions (Fourth round, 112th overall pick). "He's one of the more polished route runners to enter the league -- particularly as a Day 3 selection -- and the Lions are at the ground floor of rebuilding their entire roster and receiver room."
- Chuba Hubbard, RB, Panthers (Fourth round, 126th overall pick). "Hubbard has a nice track to becoming the primary backup to Christian McCaffrey in Carolina. And fortunately for both of those ball-carriers, the Panthers made a concerted effort to upgrade the sturdiness of their offensive line this offseason."
- Quincy Roche, EDGE, Steelers (Sixth round, 216th overall pick). "The Steelers got quality contributions from first-year edge rusher Alex Highsmith in 2020, but gone is Bud Dupree, which means there's an opportunity for Roche to make a name for himself early in the NFL. And he has the game to do it."
- Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Bears (Sixth round, 216th overall pick). "Graham intercepted eight passes and had 32 pass breakups across three years at Oregon. That, in an of itself, should tell you something. Dude can ball."
I'm also going to throw in Bengals kicker Evan McPherson. When it comes to making an impact, it doesn't get much bigger than potentially winning a game for your team by hitting a field goal in the final seconds and it won't be surprising if the fifth-rounder from Florida does that once or twice this season in Cincinnati.
For a more in-depth look at each player on Trapasso's list, be sure to click here.
4. Bears possibly thinking about leaving Soldier Field?
After 50 years of playing at Soldier Field, it seems that the Chicago Bears are thinking about leaving the iconic stadium. Apparently, the team is considering a move to Arlington Heights, which is a suburb that sits roughly 30 miles outside of Chicago.
If you're wondering why the Bears would move, it basically boils down to this: A piece of property big enough for an NFL stadium is about to become available in Arlington Heights and if the Bears get a new stadium there, it would be an upgrade over Soldier Field, which has the smallest capacity of any stadium in the NFL.
During an interview last week, Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes revealed the the Bears were "seriously considering" a move to the site.
"Certainly, the Arlington Park site is available and we would consider the Chicago Bears a great fit for that particular site," Hayes said, via Fox 32 in Chicago. "I think the Bears are seriously considering it because it's such a unique piece of property. It has so much going for it in terms of its location in the northwest suburbs where a lot of their audience is."
A Bears executive didn't deny that the team was mulling a possible move when asked about the situation last week. One thing that could prevent the Bears moving any time soon is that they have a lease at Soldier Field that runs through the 2033 season.
Despite the fact that there's a lease in place, Hayes isn't discounting a possible move before 2033.
"I know there's contracts involved and lease agreements," Hayes said. "But a good attorney will tell you, you can always get out of those. There might be a significant price involved, but I would think if they wanted to make it happen, they could make it happen."
A horse track currently sits on the site where a potential Bears stadium would go, but the property is going to be sold in the coming months with the expectation that the new owner will raze and redevelop the property. If the Bears invest any money in the new site, that would be a good sign that they plan on moving.
Basically, this will definitely be a situation worth watching over the next few months and years. For all the details on this situation, be sure to click here.
5. One thing each team got right in the draft and one thing each got wrong
Even though everyone seems to think that their team had a perfect draft, I have some bad news for you: Your favorite team didn't have a perfect draft. For this entire week, we've been running a series that covers one thing each team got right in the draft and one thing each team got wrong.
We'll be wrapping that series up today with our final three teams and because I love surprises, we're going to focus on the team that surprised everyone in the draft: The San Francisco 49ers.
In the five weeks leading up to the draft, the 49ers fooled everyone into thinking they were going to take Mac Jones, but then they turned around and took Trey Lance instead. So was that the right move? Our Jared Dubin says yes and lists it as the biggest thing the 49ers got right in the 2021 NFL Draft.
- One thing the 49ers got right: They have a definitive plan under center. "Lance has the skills to operate well within Shanahan's offense -- and let's be honest, pretty much every quarterback does -- but he also has skills that none of Shanahan's previous signal-callers, aside from Robert Griffin III, have had. Lance has terrific speed and vision, and he'll be able to contribute in the run game like no previous Shanahan quarterback."
- One thing the 49ers got wrong: Didn't add any depth at corner. "San Francisco added two cornerbacks in the draft with picks No. 102 (Michigan's Ambry Thomas) and 172 (Deommodore Lenoir). A compensatory third-round pick and a fifth-rounder are unlikely to be starter-level contributors during their rookie seasons, leaving the 49ers a little bit thin in that department unless everything goes perfectly well for them. It's not an enormous missed opportunity, but it's one that could come back to haunt them if things don't go right."
To check out a more in-depth explanation from Dubin on how the 49ers did in the draft, be sure to click here. If you want to read about one thing the Raiders did right in the draft, then you're definitely going to want to click here. You can also check out our take on the Rams by clicking 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.
- Dolphins sign Jason McCourty. Dolphins coach Brian Flores has apparently decided to turn his team into the Patriots south. McCourty, who spent the past three years in New England, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Dolphins. The defensive back played under Flores in 2018 while both were with the Patriots.
- Dolphins add son of Pro Football Hall of Famer. Besides signing McCourty, the Dolphins also made another move this week. The team signed tight end Jibri Blount and this signing is mostly notable for two things: Blount didn't play college football AND he's the on of Pro Football Hall of Famer Mel Blount.
- Lions cut ties with Kerryon Johnson. It's been rumored all week that the Lions were going to release Kerryon Johnson and although that move was expected to happen on Wednesday, the Lions didn't actually go through with it until Thursday evening. Johnson had been with the Lions since 2018 when he was selected in the second round of the NFL Draft.
- NFLPA at odds with NFL. The NFLPA and NFL could he headed for a heated battle this offseason over whether players should be paid if they get injured while working out away from their team facility. The subject came into focus this week when Denver's Ja'Wuan James tore his Achilles while working out on his own. After the injury, the NFL made sure to remind players that your team doesn't have to pay you if that happens (James could lose up to $10 million in salary). The NFLPA has called the NFL 'gutless' for making an example of James. For more details on this situation, be sure to click here.
- Colts become first team to sign their first-round pick. We finally have a first-round pick under contract. The first player to sign was Kwity Paye, who agreed to a four-year deal worth $13.6 million. Like all contracts for first-rounders, the deal also includes a fifth-year option. Paye, a defensive end, was the 21st overall pick in this year's draft.
7. The Kicker: DK Metcalf is trying to qualify for the Olympics
After DK Metcalf chased down Budda Baker following an interception in the Seattle-Arizona game last year, USA Track & Field (USATF) invited Metcalf to try out for the U.S. Olympic team. Although I'm 60% sure they were half-joking, Metcalf is going to get the last laugh, because he's decided that he's actually going to try out for the team.
The first step in the try out process will come on Sunday when Metcalf competes in the 100m race at the USATF Journey to Gold Series (4:30 p.m. ET, NBC). According to NBC Sports, Metcalf will need to run the race in 10.2 seconds if he wants to qualify for the Olympic Trials, which are taking place in June.
If you're wondering whether Metcalf can pull this off, he did hit 22.64 mph when he ran down Baker and he did that while in football pads. If he did that for a full 100m, that would translate to a time of 9.88. However, when he's running on the track, Metcalf will be starting from a block, which means he won't be able to hit 22.64 mph right away, which means a 9.88 would be almost impossible. Of course, he doesn't have to run a 9.88, he just has to hit 10.2.
If you're going to watch Metcalf on Sunday, remember to call your mom before you do. And if you're not going to watch, you should still call your mom because all moms love getting a phone call on Mother's Day.
Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! See everyone on Monday.