Hello everyone, and happy Wednesday. It's an especially happy one for John Breech, who finally witnessed his friend, Ryan Wilson, honor the Bengals in a big way (more on that below). While he basks in glee, you've got me, Cody Benjamin, to deliver all the latest from around the NFL.
This is the Pick Six Newsletter. Now let's get to it. (And please, do yourself a favor and make sure you're signed up to receive this newsletter every day! You don't want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)
We've got QB camp updates, major injury news, and another note on Deshaun Watson's future, plus lots more:
- Today's show: Evaluating rookie QBs' preseason debuts
Ryan Wilson and John Breech joined Will Brinson on Wednesday's "Pick Six NFL Podcast," and boy was it a riot. If you've been following the show for a while, you'll know that Wilson lost a bet to get a Bengals tattoo way back in 2020. Let's just say the situation got some colorful clarity during this episode, which is worth a watch on YouTube.
The guys also discussed rookie QBs' preseason debuts, with Wilson singling out the Commanders' Sam Howell for an impressive first showing "pushing the ball down the field" as Washington's No. 3. Brinson was similarly high on the North Carolina product, praising the QB room in D.C.: "If you're right about Carson Wentz, then you have Taylor Heinicke as the backup you trust, a frisky second-string guy. And then Sam Howell can be the redshirt guy ... and develop."
Catch the full episode (and subscribe for all kinds of daily NFL talk) right here.
2. Chargers extend Derwin James with record $76M deal
Call off the hold-in for Los Angeles' All-Pro defensive back, who struck a four-year, $76.4 million extension Wednesday, making him the highest-paid safety in NFL history. James, 26, missed all but five games from 2019-2020 but has been one of the game's top playmakers when healthy. Now, he'll average over $19M per year in new money, with $42M total guaranteed. He had been sitting out of Chargers practice since the start of camp, albeit with the unofficial permission of the team.
3. Jets injuries: Wilson has surgery, Becton out for season
New York had a busy offseason surrounding second-year QB Zach Wilson with more talent, but Gang Green is battling some big-name injuries ahead of Week 1. Here's the latest:
- Wilson undergoes arthroscopic knee surgery: The QB reportedly had a successful operation, but his recovery could be complicated, with initial estimates of up to a four-week absence. It's unclear if he'll be ready for the season opener.
- Mekhi Becton to injured reserve: The former first-rounder, who was set to move to right tackle this year, suffered a fractured kneecap in camp. The big man previously missed all but one game in 2021 due to a knee injury.
4. Giants will give Tyrod Taylor starting QB reps in preseason
Speaking of New York signal-callers, the G-Men are committed to giving former first-rounder Daniel Jones an audition as QB1 under new coach Brian Daboll. But they're not ignoring the possibility Jones will eventually be benched. Daboll revealed this week that backup Tyrod Taylor, signed this offseason as the No. 2, will get reps with the first-team offense during the preseason. The coach also left the door open for Taylor taking over under center: "We'll talk about whatever we think is best."
5. Deshaun Watson suspension: NFL, NFLPA negotiating settlement
Right now, the immediate future of the polarizing Browns QB is in the hands of Peter C. Harvey, the former prosecutor designated by commissioner Roger Goodell to oversee the league's appeal of Watson's suspension. Most expect Harvey to be strict in his ruling, lengthening the six-game ban recommended to the NFL by former judge Sue L. Robinson. In the meantime, however, the NFL and NFL Players Association are reportedly negotiating a potential settlement -- one that would presumably lengthen Watson's suspension without banning him for all of 2022. The QB has since settled all but one of 24 civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Patriots brawl, Seahawks lose QB, more
Hungry for more preseason headlines? You came to the right place:
- Rookie of the Year favorites: Josh Edwards explains why Aidan Hutchinson is a safe bet
- Win projections, fantasy targets for all 32 teams: A look at the state of every team entering 2022
- Ravens won't commit to J.K. Dobbins' return: The running back may not be ready for Week 1
- Two Steelers suffer season-ending injuries: WR Anthony Miller and S Karl Joseph are both done
- Patriots, Panthers fight during joint practice: Several players were ejected after a heated scuffle
- Antonio Gibson getting third-team reps: The Commanders RB may not be a lock to start
- Drew Lock ruled out due to COVID: The Seahawks QB was set to start their second preseason game